BSF Matthew Lesson 20 Day 3

Study of Matthew 19:1-9 part 2 ~ My answers to BSF study questions.

6.  a.  Divorce and remarriage is not God’s best for us. He meant for a man and woman to marry and stay together for life. God also didn’t create multiple women for Adam—only one.

b.  The Pharisees sought to justify their own loose interpretation of “uncleanness.” Jesus clarifies that the only thing meant by the word “uncleanness” is adultery. It doesn’t mean if she is a bad cook, or gained a pound or two, or isn’t as cute as she used to be.

c.  In 1 Corinthians 7:10-16, Paul writes that married couples should not divorce. It they do separate, they should not remarry. If they do remarry, they should not later go back to the former mate.

7.  a.  God hates divorce.

b.  God disregarded the prayers and offerings of the priests because of the way they treated their wives. Even though they cried out to Him, He saw their hardened hearts.

c.  Jesus promised He would never leave us nor forsake us. His love for us is not conditional. He loved us before we loved Him. He loves us even when our hearts are still hard. The marriage relationship is like Jesus and the church. Because of this, men are instructed to love their wives unconditionally. This provides the security the relationship needs to remain strong.

d.  He loved me before I was even born. He has never left me or forsaken me. He loves me even when I let Him down. He loves me when I fail to submit to His will. He forgives me, and he even forgets all about it. It’s mind-boggling!

e.  Funny they should ask this question. I divorced after 23 years of a very bad marriage. I felt like a frog in a pot of water, set on the stove to boil. I wanted to jump out so badly but feared what would happen if I did. I actually preferred death to facing another day. 

In the wee hours one morning, sitting in the rocking chair—praying and crying, I heard His still, small voice ask me if He could answer my prayer (to fix our marriage) any way He wanted. It wasn’t until that moment that I was willing to let go.

A short time later, my verbally and emotionally abusive husband moved out. 

That was 17 years ago.

I did remarry. My new husband of 15 years is a godly man who had never been married before. 

That said, to this day when I read Jesus’ words about marriage, I’m still guilt-ridden.

So I repent again. I think, “I should have been stronger.” “I shouldn’t have remarried.” “Maybe I could have been a better wife.”

I ask myself questions like, “Where did I go wrong? I prayed before I got married the first time. He was on fire for God back then. Were you telling me not to marry him, and I missed it?”

On and on it goes. So, if your situation is similar, believe me when I say, “I know how you feel!” I wish I had all the answers to make you and I BOTH feel at peace. 

I often remember something my dad said back then: “Sometimes there aren’t any desirable alternatives.” 

We can’t and shouldn’t attempt to control others. They have free will and choose to exercise it. They can refuse to talk to a counselor. If backed into a corner, they can lie to a counselor. They can delude themselves into thinking, “Maybe I over-reacted at times, but you shouldn’t have “blah, blah, blah…”

So that leads me back to Moses’ decision: He allowed them to divorce due to the hardness of their hearts.

In my case, it was an act of mercy. 

I’m so glad BSF included question c. And this question.

Even today, the Pharisees’ modern-day counterparts encourage us to demonstrate a PhD in condemnation! Grace is still an elective course.

Let the love and grace of God be our major and our minor! Studying the law should birth hearts full of thanks for the mercy and grace displayed by the finished work of Jesus on the cross!

As long as our hearts are humble and repentant before Him—rather than trying to justify ourselves as the Pharisees tried to do—we can throw ourselves at His feet, pour out our tears, and wash those beautiful, scarred feet with our hair.