“When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then 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 of his house, and she departs out of his house, 2 and if she goes and becomes another man’s wife, 3 and the latter man hates her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife, 4 then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the Lord. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance. Deuteronomy 24:1-4

You do not learn to fly an airplane by following the instructions for making a crash landing; you will not be successful in war if you train by the rules for beating a retreat. The same is true of marriage and divorce. The exceptional measures necessary when a marriage fails are of no help in discovering the meaning and intention of marriage. Jesus endeavors to recover God’s will for marriage, not to argue about possible exceptions to it. His opponents ask what is permissible; he points to what is commanded. Deut 24:1–3, he argues, is not a pretext for divorce but an attempt to limit its worst consequences for women. The divine intention for marriage cannot be determined from a text about divorce. – James Edwards

29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. – Ephesians 5:29-32

That is why we are married. That is why all married people are married, even when they don’t know and embrace this gospel. Marriage is meant by God to put that gospel reality on display in the world. – John Piper

Here are 15 questions to help you and your spouse take the relational temperature of your marriage:

  1. How often do you laugh together?

  2. When is last time you had a meaningful conversation about something other than your schedules or the kids?

  3. Do you ever turn on music and sing and dance and act silly?

  4. How many times in the last month have you prayed together or read the Bible together?

  5. Do you ever hold hands?

  6. Has your physical intimacy grown cold, infrequent, or a source of too much pressure and stress?

  7. When is the last time you said “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you”?

  8. When is the last time you said “Thank you” for regular, ordinary task like making dinner, doing the dishes, paying the bills, fixing the car, or folding the laundry?

  9. When is the last time you (cheerfully!) said, “How can I help you this week” (and meant it)?

  10. When is the last time you surprised each other with a gift, a note, or a night out?

  11. Have you raised your voices at one another in the last month?

  12. Are you finding yourselves more eager to spend time with someone at work, at church, or at the gym than you are with each other?

  13. When you have time together at home, just the two of you, is the television always on in the background?

  14. Are there hurts or sins or fears that you need to disclose to one another?

  15. How might the love of God the Father, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit shape your life together in this season of marriage?

Chris Daukas

Chris grew up in a moral home, but didn’t find the grace of Christ until he was a sophomore in college. He began to devour the Word and was soon helping to lead bible studies, outreaches, and worship at church. He married his beautiful wife, Tara, in the summer of 2002.

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