5 Reasons Why Family Matters; Design, Love, Divorce, Remarriage, and Children – Connecting Truth to Life

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Timeline. MapGo to today’s Bible reading (use your browser arrow to return): John 10:1-21; Mark 10:2-12; Matthew 19:3-12; Mark 10:13-16; Matthew 19:13-15; Luke 18:15-17

5 Reasons Why Family Matters; Design, Love, Divorce, Remarriage, and Children. Whew! There is a lot to cover so this will be a longer post. Hang in there–this is a crucial topic in today’s world.

There are many challenges to our families in today’s world. It seems like most American families are fractured by anger, alienation, separation, divorce, and abuse. Added to that are the new kinds of families cropping up–two mommies, two daddies or a combination. Almost anything it seems is called a family, and families matter. What does the Bible say about Why Families Matter?

Family Matters to God–He Designed it!

In Jesus Day, things were not much different than today. Rome controlled all of Palestine and most of the known world. Their culture was morally deficient and people were getting divorced for any and every reason. What did the Lord have to say about it?

In today’s Bible reading, the Pharisees (religious teachers) are jealous of Jesus’ popularity so they try to discredit him. They attempt to trip Jesus up by testing him about interpretations of God’s Law. The Pharisees follow their understanding of the Law of Moses and add their own traditions. By adding to the Law and leading others in their errors, they violate the intention of God’s Law and harm families and their nation. They are like hired shepherds, who care only for themselves and nothing for the flock they lead. What is essential for families to survive and thrive?

Love Matters

Family Matters. Love each other

Love is unselfish and is shown by caring. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who cares for his sheep. His sheep are those who believe in him, trust him to save and take care of them, and follow him. Unlike the Pharisees and other false religious leaders, Jesus feeds, binds wounds, protects, and goes after lost sheep. He carries the injured ones close to his heart. Are you one of his sheep, or are you like a lost lamb without a shepherd? God will care for you if you are one of his sheep. Why not ask him to be the shepherd of your soul? (more…). 

Family Matters to God! When we love our family, we do as Jesus did—we feed, bind wounds, protect, go after those who are lost, and carry the injured ones close to our hearts. We are unselfish and caring. If we fail to love the members of our family, they feel isolated and cold. This often leads to something else Jesus addresses.

Divorce Matters

Family matters. God hates divorce

The Pharisees test Jesus on the interpretation of Moses’ law regarding divorce. Moses required an Israelite man to give a certificate of divorce to his wife if there was some indecency (a sexual affair is implied; see Deuteronomy 24:1). A strict interpretation of the Law is that only the husband can divorce his wife, and only because of a sexual affair. A liberal view, which the Pharisees taught, is that a man can divorce his wife for any and every reason (Matthew 19:3The Bible Knowledge Commentary of The N.T., by Walvoord and Zuck, ©1985, pp. 148-9). Which idea will Jesus adopt? Whichever he chooses will divide his followers. The same is true today.

“What did Moses command you?” [Jesus] replied. They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”

“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. ”For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. Family Matters to God!

”When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:2-12,NIV).

Adultery? Even after a person is  legally divorced? As a youth, I could not understand it. Doesn’t God want people to be happy, I thought? That seems harsh and uncompassionate to a lot of people. Why would God say that?

Jesus said Moses allowed it, but it was not God’s original intent. A divorce is an act of violence against the family (Malachi 2:15-16). That’s true, it leads many families into financial stress or ruin, and it separates mothers or fathers from their children. Sometimes it separates siblings and leaves one of the parents homeless and destitute. Peace is elusive because many parents continue to fight even after one leaves the home. Children are caught in the middle. Sometimes there is physical violence. 

Why did Moses allow divorce? Moses was trying to bring some control into a bad situation because the Israelites were obstinate in not following God’s plan for marriage.

The situation in Moses’ day was not too different than it is today in America. People are getting divorced for any and every reason, and they are willful about it. Many preachers are trying to bring some control over the situation by stressing the clause in Matthew; i.e., no divorce “except for marital unfaithfulness.” Jesus, however, emphasizes the sacredness and unity of marriage as God’s intent. “Therefore [he says] what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Mark 10:9). The disciples, hearing of the troubles of marriage and divorce, say that maybe it is best not to get married. Jesus said singleness is a good and acceptable choice for some but not for all.

Remarriage Matters

Family Matters; remarriage often causes division

As we read earlier, Jesus says to remarry is to commit adultery (unless the spouse has died). This is because it is a violation of the original covenant with the first spouse. “Till death do us part” is Biblical. The modern vows of “as long as love shall last” are not. What if a couple has an argument right after the wedding and then do not feel in love? Should the marriage end as quick as it began?

In American society, divorce can be acquired in a short time for any reason. A popular reason given for divorce in today’s culture is “irreconcilable differences.” There is not much marriage security in low commitments. The marriage covenant is not just a slip of paper, and it is not just a hope for happiness. The marriage covenant is a promise. It is a vow to our mate in the sight of God and many witnesses that we will forsake all others and give ourselves totally to each other. And in many wedding vows, the commitment is strengthened by the traditional promise, “for better or for worse,” and “as long as we both shall live.” 

Are you one who feels trapped and wants out of your marriage? What happened? Was there a serious violation of trust, or was there a gradual inattention given to the marriage relationship because work and children took all your time? Or, did you take your relationship for granted? Why not try again? Remember what it was like when you were first married when you were kind and showered each other with love and attention? Why not gradually do those things again? Feelings follow actions. Someone needs to begin to make a positive change–why not you? The movie Fireproof may be inspirational to get you started.

If there are severe problems in marriage, it is challenging to stay committed to the relationship. However, Family Matters to God! It will glorify the LORD and benefit the spouses and their families if both partners seek Biblical counseling to work out the issues. If one partner is not willing to do this, the other should still go. As stated earlier, divorce can cause chaos, division, poverty, and even violence. God wants us to seek paths of peace and restoration. He doesn’t want this only for us, but also that we may glorify him.

A healed relationship is wonderful! It is an example to children and others of God’s grace and forgiveness and how he can bring peace and joy once again into a marriage relationship (Malachi 2:15-16). Choose this link for more Biblical help with marriage.

What if some have already been divorced or divorced and remarried? There is forgiveness, hope, and healing in Jesus. Call out to him. His arms are ready to receive and give you comfort. He can help you. If you are divorced, pray for a forgiving spirit toward you husband or wife.  If he or she has not remarried and is not abusive, perhaps you could also pray for reconciliation. Although that may seem like it is impossible, by God’s grace, many have done it. If you are remarried, stay that way and make it the best marriage you can for the glory of God. This is the counsel of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7. 

Children Matter

Family Matters; children need us

Family matters to God! In Jesus’ day, children were brought to him so he might touch and bless them. The disciples tried to forbid the children from coming because they didn’t think he had the time or should be bothered by them. Jesus says, however, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14, NIV).

Kind Christian people are like the hands of Jesus—they can touch children’s lives for eternity. If not in the home, caring Christian people can be found in local Bible-believing churches and organizations. Current teaching in our America society is that children should be allowed to make religious decisions for themselves, without anyone else’s influence. Because of this, many children aren’t given any religious instruction, either personally by a parent or through a church or religious organization. If children are not exposed to Christ, how can they possibly choose him? We are responsible for teaching them about the LORD so they might be saved (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).We are responsible as Christian parents to nurture and encourage them to obey the LORD (Ephesians 6:4). The salvation and discipleship of children will lead to a better society. More generations of people will come to know the LORD if children are exposed to the Bible and the Christian message regularly.


How should we love like Jesus?

What do people struggle with regarding divorce and remarriage? What is Jesus’ view of divorce and remarriage and why?

Why should we not leave children alone but instead expose them to Christ?

Focus Verse

John 10:11 “I [Jesus] am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” (NIV) 

praying hands

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Used with permission from Rodney Harrier.

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