READ: Matthew 19:1-15
THINK: A marriage between a man and a woman represents the first and deepest personal relationship established by God outside of His own relationship with mankind. From the beginning, God had a definite design for this special union. But ever since mankind rebelled against God, people have defied and distorted God's plans regarding all sorts of human relationships. Only by following God's design and relying on His help can we find true fulfillment within a marriage or any other relationship.
RESPOND: What does this passage say about God's plans and intentions for marriage relationships? In what ways do people's attitudes and actions defy God's plans for marriage? Why does God take the break-up of a marriage so seriously? What does this passage indicate about the conditions in which God allows for divorce? (See 19:9 note.) In what ways does God's forgiveness provide hope and healing for those who have experienced the tragedy of divorce? Why was Jesus so adamant about ministering to children?
PRAY: Pray for couples you know who may be struggling in their marriage, that they would look to God and find resolution in their relationships. Pray for friends who have been hurt by divorce. If your own family has been hit by this tragedy, ask God to bring emotional healing to all involved. Pray that from here on, your family members will learn to depend more fully on God and to follow His plans for their lives.
ACT: Prepare for healthy relationships in your future by relying on God to help you make wise and unselfish decisions in all your relationships with people. Take time to compliment any couples you know, including your parents, who have exemplified godly devotion in their marriage.
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