Day Eight: Matthew 5:31-32

“Anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and if someone marries a divorcée, he commits adultery.” Matthew 5:32

This might be the first section of the sermon that you approach as an undergraduate and think, “Well, but I’m not married, so I literally can’t get divorced! Good thing I don’t have to think about this.” While it might not be your present reality, it could one day be your reality, and even if not, marriage is of such importance to God that all of his people should seek to understand his heart for it more deeply.

It relates back to the last entry on the value of sexual intimacy for displaying what God’s heart towards his people is and what the joy and safety of his relationship with the community of Christians is like. Sexual intimacy is the most graphic depiction of this intimacy, but all of marriage is also a display. Marriage was designed to be a relationship built on unbreakable promise and unbreakable fidelity: to be the partner, friend, companion of another soul, to possess and be possessed by no one else except the spouse God has given you to. It reflects the unbreakable promise God makes to protect, love and guide his people forever, and the fidelity that a redeemed heart affectionately returns to her God.

This is why divorce is so evil: it defaces the unity that God established. Our culture treats it casually, selfishly, certainly because we have forgotten or never known the original intention for marriage.

As you continue to reflect from Day Seven on God’s goodness and design for sexual intimacy, reflect too on ways that marriage shows what his relationship to us is like. Write out some observations on how marriage does this, and also write out some ways that marriage falls short of showing what God and his Church are like. If you desire to marry someday, a good and noble desire, add to your regular prayer life requests that God would shape you into a person of good character, that he would transform you into a person who is empowered by him to seek the goodness of another above yourself.