January 19, 2018

Matthew 19:3–8 (NLT) — 3 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’ 5 And he said, ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” 7 “Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” they asked. 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended.

I am doing a wedding this weekend so this is probably the reason these verses caught my attention. If we have a question on how life should be lived our first response to ourselves should be Jesus’ response, “Haven’t you read the scriptures?”

We could save ourselves a lot of pain, sorrow, misery, misdirection and confusion if we would just consult God’s word. When it comes to having a successful marriage it is all about the husband and wife receiving each other. That is the ideas behind leaving father and mother and being joined together in oneness.

When God brought Eve to Adam he didn’t know anything about her. There was no dating. There was no getting to know each other. The only thing that Adam knew was that this was God’s choice for him. So because he trusted the integrity and wisdom of God he received her. He accepted her for whatever strengths or weaknesses she might have because he trusted that God knew best. So Adam’s focus would not be on Eve’s performance, Adams focus would be on God’s flawless character. This marriage would be one of continual acceptance.

So in light of this I always ask the potential couple if they know in their hearts that God chose them for each other. If they say ‘yes’ then I talk to them about receiving each other. If they were God’s choice then that means that they must continually accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses because God knows best. They should not focus on each others performance but on God’s flawless character. God knows what he is doing. Their strengths and their weaknesses would help to mature each other and make for a divorce proof marriage.

Cleo is a detailed person. She is also good with numbers. I am not detailed and not good with numbers. That is a weakness that I have. Cleo is the one who keeps our finances in order and our checkbook balanced. Cleo could criticize my performance in this area but she doesn’t. She realizes that God put us together so that in this area she could help me.

I am a spur of the moment person. I am ready to go somewhere instantly. Cleo likes to think things through and plan ahead. So she is not always ready to go when I am. She is slow to get moving. At first I fussed and fumed and criticized her for this until I realized that knew God knew what he was doing; he was using this to develop understanding and patience within me! I began to receive my wife and not focus on her performance but on God’s integrity.

Our marriage has lasted well over that last 42 years when we both remembered to receive each other. I have a tendency to forget; Cleo doesn’t:)

This act of receiving is good for every area of our lives. Has God provided you a spouse? Receive him or her. Has God provided you with children? Receive them. Has God provided you a job? Receive your boss and co-workers. Has God provided you with neighbors? Receive them. Has God placed you in a church family? Receive them. Has God placed you in a city? Receive it. Has God given you a pastor? Receive him:)

Would our lives be different if we trusted the flawless character of God and just received those that he has put into our lives?

2 Corinthians 5:15 (NLT) — 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

Be Inspired Hilltop!