December 12, 2018 ● 18-9
Mark 10:5: But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.”
Rom. 5:19: For as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
Phil. 2:3-4: Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
The religious leaders tried to trap Jesus when they asked Him a question on divorce. In their viewpoint divorce was fine because Moses permitted it (Mark 10:4). Jesus reminded the religious leaders that Moses permitted it because the Hebrews violated God’s law by marrying foreign women, and divorce to remarry a Hebrew woman was the only way to ensure the pure Hebrew bloodline would not be corrupted in future generations.
The “hard heart” is simply another way of reminding them of their sinfulness. The Hebrews knew it was against God’s law to marry foreign women but they did it anyway because, well, they wanted to do what they wanted to do.
Marriages are strengthened when we understand we are sinners and are very prone to going our way and doing our own thing, even in the area of marriage. When both husband and wife acknowledge their sinfulness and their capacity to be both self-centered and selfish, they are on the road to a stronger marriage. Why? Because no problem can be solved until the problem is identified, and sin is our problem.
When “self” is crucified, spouses can focus on meeting the other’s needs. But until “self” is crucified there is a greater risk of what one spouse wants or desires at the expense of the other’s needs or desires.
Let God’s Word equip you today to have a stronger marriage through the realization that you are a sinner, and that by the grace of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit, you will work on setting self aside for a stronger marriage.