“Difference” and “otherness” is what typically drives people away from each other, but it’s actually through the differences of the “other" that God intends for us to find blessing. How have you seen this at work in your own marriage? if you’re not married, how have you seen this work in your relationships?
Some biblical scholars in Jesus’ day (the house of Hillel) were bending Scripture to serve their own purposes, in this case, to avoid sticking it out with their wives. We do this all the time. Can you think of any parts of Scripture you are currently bending or ignoring to avoid God’s will for you? Share and discuss.
God’s ideal for marriage is that it would be a lifelong union. God also recognizes that sin and brokenness sometimes fracture the marriage union. Instead of ignoring the reality of divorce, He reaches in and lays out limitations and parameters to protect his people from further sin and damage. What does it tell you about God’s character that He doesn’t keep a distance from our fallen situation but enters into it for our good?
Have you always viewed singleness with the same dignity and purpose as Jesus does? Discuss how Jesus’ perspective challenges your own perspective. Also, discuss how married Christians can help cultivate an environment where singleness is valuable to the Kingdom of Jesus.
The Gospel is a message about a faithful husband who relentlessly pursues a faithless bride—it spans both testaments of Scripture. Instead of sending us away, God sends Jesus to a cross to cleanse and renew us. He also wants the relationship to work right, so Jesus takes up residence in us by the Spirit to empower us to love God with all that we are. Spend a few minutes thanking God for his faithfulness. Discuss how the Gospel empowers each of us to reflect God’s faithfulness in our own marriages (or other relationships).