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Who Gets the Dog? | Matthew 19

What God has joined together, let no man separate.

This week, we study Matthew chapter 19. Let’s dig in!

Listen along to the episode here or on your favorite podcast app.

I am a product of divorce.  I don’t think it created that many issues in my life.  I had a fantastic, happy childhood.  Sure, the older I get I become aware of emotional scars, but we all have them.  I was the only one in my elementary classes whose parents were divorced and a mother that had a career that required travel and long hours.  Brentwood, TN in the 80s was pretty conservative.  However, the divorce was warranted.  The reason was the only one the Bible flat out says is allowed…adultery.  Mama put up with so much.  Let’s just say I won’t be doing a 23 & Me test.  No telling how many siblings I might have out there.  (I think I know of four, but Mama and I think it could be 7.  Yikes.) 


Divorce has always been a touchy subject for me when it comes up in church settings.  I always felt so attacked by the “God hates divorce” reference of Malachi 2:16. That was the statement made in a Bible study I was a part of in my early thirties. I was the youngest attendee by about twenty years.  Mama was also a member.  Half of the women in it were divorced.  I was so upset that they referred to mama’s situation as being something God did not approve of.  I argued with them.  I was in tears.  They were unrelenting as I made my case that Mama’s decision was made with God’s permission and that it had been redeemed in all the good and blessings that had come since.  As I look back now, I think there was just misunderstanding on my part.  They were just trying to say God hates divorce not casting aspersions at my Mama.  Honestly, God does hate divorce.  It was never his plan.  It was not what he wanted for us.  But sin, you know.  And that is what Jesus was saying in Matthew 19:8, “He said to them, ‘Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.’”  Jesus does not just refer to the law but takes it back further to the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. 

Marriage is a complete union.  Physical, spiritual, and emotional.  It is an oath.  God really wants us to keep our promises.  Especially those made in front of him.  I guess you could argue that a non-church wedding where God isn’t mentioned probably has different rules.  If God wasn’t at your wedding, he won’t be a part of your marriage more than likely.  God created marriage for our good.  We can’t enter into it lightly.  We can’t go in thinking if it doesn’t work out I can always try again.  No one has a perfect marriage.  The only perfect part of my marriage is God.  And that’s the key.  Where Jim and I are weak God is strong.  His righteousness covers and helps with patience and compassion and understanding and forgiveness and anger.  He celebrates in our triumphs and blesses us more than we deserve.  What God has joined together, let no man separate.

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