Teenside Daily Devotional

4/9/20
Read Matthew 5:31-32.

I want to be honest. I would rather skip these verses than discuss them. Divorce is something that has had a large effect on pretty much everyone to some degree, and I personally don’t feel qualified to speak on the topic because I’m not even married. I also know that many teenagers today, maybe including yourself, have experienced the direct effects of divorce while I have not. However, these sayings are not my own. They are from the Word of God, they are perfect, and there is very little interpretation to be done on my end. I will, however, share some of the effect that divorce has had on me.

Long before I was born, both sets of my grandparents got divorced, all but one getting remarried. So, from the day that I was born, I had seven grandparents. Now, for me, it wasn’t odd because I had known this to be the case my whole life. For my parents however, this had lasting effects. My father grew up fatherless. His father just left. His mom worked three jobs to pay for everything they needed. My dad had role models that helped him and guided him, but he never had what I have been blessed to have: a dad. My father is an amazing man who fears God, but I can recall many instances in my childhood, and still today, when it is apparent that he didn’t really have a father. For my mom, one of the kindest women you’ll ever meet, the divorce of her parents created a bitterness and resentment towards her father. So, I really don’t know him or his family that well. Thankfully, they saw their parents as examples of what not to do and have worked through countless complications to keep their marriage strong and centered on Christ. I am thankful for their love and their example.

I have no doubt that some of you have much more direct experience with divorce. I am sorry if that is the case. And maybe, like me, you hear about the divorce rate and it makes getting married sound like a huge risk. I can assure you of one thing though. Marriage is a huge blessing. God wouldn’t have created it otherwise! Jesus and Paul wouldn’t have brought it up if it wasn’t important. It models the relationship between Christ and his Church, and there is nothing more rewarding or beautiful than that. Do not be discouraged by the actions of our world. Do not let it continue to wound you. Trust God with your relationships, pray for them constantly, and he will bless them!

Questions:

*Take a moment to journal these questions. Write down your thoughts, questions, and concerns. Then date your entry. One of the coolest things is being able to look back and see how God came through for you.*

  1. These can be some hard verses to tackle– especially if you have been directly impacted by divorce. It may seem as though Jesus is being harsh; and is, at the very least, blunt when it comes to this topic. But it’s because He himself is a relational God, who cares about our relationships. He knows the deep wounds that come from the wake of divorce– and he doesn’t want that for anyone. How has divorce directly or indirectly affected you? How have you been wounded either, by the effects of the divorce in our society on your perspective of marriage, or personally?

  1. How can God begin to heal these wounds and give us a new perspective? Read Jesus’s encounter with a woman who carried the wounds of divorce: John 4:7-30. There are so many beautiful things that go along with this story but for the sake of this topic, let’s just focus on a few. Do you think that Jesus brings up her divorces to bring shame or extend life? This woman has been left feeling empty and scarred. What does Jesus offer her to heal the pain?

  1. No matter how marriage has been modeled for you, you can look to the model that Jesus set for his church. As an abundant example of love, He gave his life for her. To Him, she was worth it. And the bride of Christ, or the Church, shows her devotion by following His lead. She marches into the battle unafraid because she can trust in the sacrificial love of the commander. Read 1 John 4:16-19. How is the love of Christ perfected in us? How does this image of marriage differ from the one we see in our culture? 

Prayer: Spend some time praying about the things you journaled. Pray that God would heal the wounds of divorce in your life– and fill the empty spaces with living water. Ask that He would continue to show you what true love looks like. Thank Him for the relational role He plays in our lives– that he wants us to experience relationships that reflect His idea of marriage. Pray that as you abide in him, love would be perfected in you.

Song: No Fear in Love- Steffany Gretzinger

Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/169Fs68hROYRdS362T8D9w
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