Summary: The value of marriage has decreased in our society.
Fireproof: Raising the Value of Marriage
From a message preached by Scott Kallem, Pastor of 3rd Baptist in Marion, IL
June 7, 2009 FBC, Chester Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A In the 1970’s, a wave of no-fault divorce legislation swept across the nation (developed a culture of divorce).
1 Prenuptial agreements, shorter marriages, destruction of family
a Now, many states are realizing the socio-economic effects of easy divorce.
aa Negative effect on kids (impact on juvenile justice system, education, welfare, mental & psychological price has made states pay attention).
bb In 1997, Louisiana passed a “covenant marriage” law, allowing couples to ONLY file for divorce if infidelity, abuse, neglect, or imprisonment occurs (so far, only 5% of marriages have agreed to enter into legal covenant marriages).
2 Churches try mandatory counseling.
B Good ideas, but the answer to raising the value of marriage is not in the laws, mandatory counseling, but by a yielded life to the revelation of God’s Word.
1 When Jesus had finished these words, He departed from Galilee and came into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan; 2 and large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. 3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus , testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?" 4 And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female , 5 and said, ’for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife , and the two shall become one flesh ’? 6 "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." 7 They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away ?" 8 He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality , and marries another woman commits adultery ." Matt 19:1-9 (NASB)
a In Jesus’ culture, marriage was in trouble
b Even among religious people
aa Pastors, deacons, Sunday School teachers, church members experience marital troubles
bb It is what it is
c I want you to grab two non-negotiable truths that can help you raise the value of marriage.
I There are no excuses (vs. no-fault)
A Excuses seek to remove blame, justification for a behavior, to get away from an obligation.
1 Clip #1 (Caleb is trying to excuse himself from the marriage)
2 The Pharisees gave two excuses for dissolving a marriage.
a Excuse 1 (v. 3): Some Pharisees came to Jesus , testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?"
aa This was a hot topic, controversial, highly-debated trick question.
• If Jesus answered one way, & was lax on divorce, He’d depreciate the Torah & offend one side; if He answered the other way, He’d offend the other side & lose people.
• Argument was from Deut. 24:1: When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house...Deut 24:1 (NASB)
• There were people who thought divorce could be for any good (or bad) reason (Rabbi Hillel), and some believed it was for cases of adultery only (Rabbi Shammai).
bb But wait-there’s more! Jewish law stated that if a Jewish man divorced his wife for any reason other than infidelity, he had to return her dowry (lost money, property, land).
cc They wanted to know for what reason they could excuse themselves from their marriages.
b Excuse #2 (v. 7): They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away ?"
aa The Pharisees were arguing Scripture with God.
• They were devaluing marriage & using the Bible as a proof-text to do it.
• Instead of finding God’s heart they were looking for loopholes...looking for ways to be righteous & still give up on marriage.
bb It’s easier to make excuses than to make an effort.
There are two non-negotiable truths in this passage. The first is no excuses, and the second is, “Jesus says”.
II “Jesus says” (v. 4-6, 8-9) And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female , 5 and said, ’for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife , and the two shall become one flesh ’? 6 "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."