Father, thank You that You desire for us to walk in what is life-giving and that Your ways are for our best.
Read: Matthew 19:1-15
 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan.  Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.  Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”  “Haven’t you read,” he replied,”that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’  and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”  “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”  Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.  I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”  Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.  For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others-and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”  Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
Reflect: Does God have the last word?
Divorce has become accepted, and same-sex marriage is now legal in many countries. Modern thinking welcomes it as a step toward a more equal society, and even Christians are divided over it. So who has the right to say what marriage is?
Only the Creator of marriage has the right to define it (4-6), and because he gives only good gifts (7:11), his way is the best way, even if it seems difficult (19:10). In what ways do Christians judge God’s way as too hard and choose compromise (7,8), following the world rather than God’s Word? What decisions of yours were shaped by God’s Word (4)?
The church tends to affirm Western culture’s ideal of finding romantic perfection with “the one,” but Jesus celebrates singleness, although his culture’s talk of “eunuchs” may not make it seem so (12)! Singleness allows us to focus on “the Lord’s affairs” with “undivided devotion” (cf. 1 Cor. 7:32-35). This is no consolation prize, but in our “single-minded” response to God-given opportunities, if we’re prepared to recognize it, we’ll find ourselves placed into the wider family of faith, where our need of friendship, love, and support can be satisfied.
Pray that single people will flourish in your church family and that married couples will reflect Christ’s love for his bride.
Lord, help us to walk in Your way even when it is difficult. You are Lord and You are good.