growing into the largeness of marriage

Jesus said, “Moses provided for divorce as a concession to your hard heartedness, but it is not part of God’s original plan. I’m holding you to the original plan, and holding you liable for adultery if you divorce your faithful wife and then marry someone else. I make an exception in cases where the spouse has committed adultery.” [Matthew 19:8-9 MSG]

Listen to how Jesus' disciples responded to his words about divorce:
“If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
Jesus tells them that marriage is basically for life and it makes them uncomfortable.
Even so, I do find the candid response of the disciples to be a bit refreshing.
Sadly some today enter marriage with this mindset but are not so candid about their attitude.

In verses following Jesus tells them:
“Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. ... But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.”
I think mental duplicity is always tested by trials like sickness and poverty.
It is why our vows often include staying faithful to each other in such times.
To men who find it difficult to commit to such marital vows Jesus says don't do it.

I love how The Message uses the phrase "growing into the largeness of marriage".
Being married forced me to grow up fast and become more than I dreamed I could be.
Dealing with the sufferings of my wives has forced me to becomes a larger person.

My sensitivity grew when wife Ellen went blind nine months after we married.
My heart grew even more when my wife Ann was disabled in 2007.
Marriage provides us with opportunities for growth like nothing else.

I think that marriage can be bring out the best in us and make us better people.
It can change the way that we love from self centered to other centered,
And, in the end, it can make us more like Jesus.

Thank you for my wife Lord. Help my life to be an encouraging force in her life.

... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.


  1. I praise the Lord for my hubby of almost 46 years. I think he would say the same about me!

    Too many people don't want to work on their marriage. Anything worthwhile takes time and work!

  2. I needed to sign in, so here is another comment so I can see follow-ups. I don't like this feature. I have it on mine too, and don't know how to change it.

  3. I am grateful every day for my dearest of 50 years come June 24th.

    Marriage does take work, understanding, communication, lots of love, lots of forgiveness, a whole lot of the "Love Chapter" in Cor.

    If both hubby and wife, would wake up in the morning and say...How can I show my love to my dearest today...and then do it....Boy would we have a lot of great marriages.

    Good article Bob.


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