I woke up this morning thinking of God’s goodness. “I NEED God’s goodness,” I told myself. “If I wasn’t connected with God’s goodness, I would wither up and die.”
A little melodramatic, but it describes what I feel.
Anyway, today’s reading is Mark 10, and I as this blog unfolds, I am going to tie it in with God’s goodness.
Some Pharisees came to test him. They asked, “Can a husband divorce his wife?” Jesus answered them, “What command did Moses give you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to give his wife a written notice to divorce her.” Jesus said to them, “He wrote this command for you because you’re heartless. But God made them male and female in the beginning, at creation. That’s why a man will leave his father and mother and will remain united with his wife, and the two will be one. So they are no longer two but one. Therefore, don’t let anyone separate what God has joined together.”
You know, when God made the world, He saw that it was good. This is so true for me. Almost any time I am struggling, I can go out into nature and feel the very presence of God’s goodness. It is beautifully overwhelming. It is healing.
And then when God made man, He said it was very good. This is important for me to remember because I tend to be down on myself. I have to work on self love. I have to remember I am God’s unique creation, one that is not just good, but very good! How can I naysay God and act like I don’t have worth!
But God declared one thing to be not good, “It is not good for man to be alone.” So God took his very good creation, man, and gave him something else that was very good, a “helpmeet,” a companion who would make him better and life better.
So this is what marriage is to be — the best thing, the daily providence of God’s goodness in our lives.
And that is why Jesus doesn’t support divorce — not because he wants anyone to stay in miserable marriages, but because he wants people to have one of the best gifts he can give. He’s saying, “Don’t give up! If you persevere and apply Godly principles, I will bless you through this marriage!”
I mean, look at I Cor. 13 and what love is to be —
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up. (GWT)
If we had a spouse who was consistently like this, wouldn’t we be joyful every day!
If we were consistently like this, how would it make a difference in our marriage? I was thinking of it yesterday as I was driving in the car with my husband and we were trying to work out Mother’s Day plans with our kids. We couldn’t decide where to go. We were hungry. It was hot. “Love is patient,” I kept telling myself. “It isn’t irritable. It isn’t rude.”
What about for our friends? What if we loved them this way? Jesus just talked in Mark 9 about “have salt in you and be at peace.” I wrote a blog on the power of peace and unity. Can we be united with our friends?
I mean, what was the last thing Jesus prayed for before he was put on the cross? “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” (John 17:20)
Do we pray for unity? Do we seek that all men would know us by our love, our love that is patient and kind, that bears all things?
If marriage is a holy union because God has made man and woman one, what about the body of Christ? “He makes the whole body fit together and unites it through the support of every joint.” (Eph 4:16 GWT)
It is not good to be alone. It is the epitome of goodness to be united — in marriage, and as brothers and sisters. Church can be epically wonderful!
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Ps 133:1
But just as marriage takes work, it takes work to be united as disciples. We intentionally encourage. We overlook insults. (Prov. 12:16) We remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of evil. (Eph 6)
May God’s goodness grow and spread as we grow in unity and in number.