Marriage, Divorce, and Singleness – Gospel in Life

Marriage, Divorce, and Singleness

Tim Keller |  April 22, 1990

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  • Marriage
Matthew 19:1-12
RS 6-6

Understanding Marriage and Singleness from Matthew 19:1–12

Marriage, as the Bible teaches us, is a creation of God from the very beginning of man. It’s a deep-rooted part of human existence and society. To fully understand it, we should look at how God designed it. Looking at what God has to say about marriage, divorce, and being single shows how they’re all connected.

1. Jesus explains what marriage really is

True marriage isn’t about ceremonies or having children, but about ‘cleaving’ or deeply connecting, symbolizing a promise. This promise, a public declaration of never-ending faithfulness and devotion, is what marriage really means. It’s about pledging to love and serve in the future, regardless of what may come. This commitment shapes our future and helps us forgive our past.

2. The goal of marriage is friendship

According to the Bible, marriage is primarily about a deep friendship based on trust and openness, reflecting our connection to God. As Jesus taught, marriage is a promise with the aim of companionship and understanding. The challenge for both single and married people is to prioritize this friendship over romance and sexuality, creating a bond that embodies the true essence of marriage.

3. Jesus highlights the importance of marriage

Marriage, a divine creation, has a significant impact on our life path and self-view, influenced by our spouse’s words and actions. The core of marriage is this promise and friendship, a fact confirmed by Jesus. Despite its challenges, the love and sacrifice shown by Christ inspires us to love bravely. It also helps us understand His teachings on divorce and being single.

1. Divorce is like removing a body part

Real repentance requires a deep understanding of our own sinful nature and an honest wish to let it go. Sin isn’t just about our actions but comes from a deep hurt within our hearts. Repentance isn’t a one-time event, but a lifelong journey of turning away from sin and turning towards God. It requires humility, honesty, and relying on God’s grace. Ultimately, true repentance leads to change and a closer relationship with God.

2. Sometimes, divorce is necessary for survival

Real repentance calls for a deep understanding of our own sinfulness and a sincere wish to renounce it. Sin is more than just our actions; it’s a reflection of our heart’s hurt. Repentance is an ongoing journey, requiring humility, honesty, and dependence on God’s grace. This journey ultimately leads to transformation and a deeper connection with God.

3. Being single, no matter the situation, should be seen as a calling or it can’t be endured

Marriage’s lasting nature is crucial for personal growth and trust, with divorce only considered in severe cases like infidelity or abandonment. We should avoid judging divorce harshly and remember that even in cases of unbiblical divorce, repentance can lead to forgiveness. Being single, neither better nor worse than marriage, is a special calling that lets people serve others and God. This highlights the importance of prioritizing God’s kingdom and seeking His guidance in every stage of life.



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