Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Step Back, Reassess and Reengage

1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. 2 Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.

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. 9 And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.”

10 Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”

11 “Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. 12 Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can” (Matthew 19:1-12 NLT).


So what is Jesus saying here? He’s saying that God is not for divorce. His intention was not separation for those who have been brought together in his name. His intention was a lifetime commitment but because of the hardness of our hearts, we have made concession. Because of the hardness of our hearts, we look for the easy way out.

This is very cliché but it is one of my favorite quotes: “A calm sea never made a good sailor.” I don’t have a clue who said it first but the point is that who we are will always be a result of the storms we weather. Great men are forged through adversity and the greatest relationships have overcome some of the toughest struggles because the individuals involved have made the choice to stay in the fight.

I encourage you to stay in the fight. Work through the issues. Recognize where the fight is. It may be coming from all directions but that doesn’t mean that your spouse is your enemy. It just might mean that neither one of you is focused on from where the fight is actually coming. You’ve hit panic mode. Step back and reassess then reengage.


“We are a society of people who have been repeatedly told, trained, and taught that we are dependent on external situations to determine our happiness and contentment with life. When circumstances are not to our liking we are destined to be utterly miserable and can assume that we cannot be happy, content, or fulfilled until circumstances change. Unfortunately many times the situation does not change because the change-agent is immobilized. The change-agent is you.”[1]

[1] Rob McCarter, Optimistic Thinking: The Key to Success (Chapel Hill: Professional Press, 1994), 23.

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