Monday: Loving and Respecting Others
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God’s voice, which dominates Malachi’s book, is the voice of a loving father who pleads with His children.

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

When the people raise questions and make complaints, He is ready to dialogue with them. Most of the issues discussed by God and His people have to do with a few basic attitudes.

Read Malachi 2. Though a number of issues are dealt with, for what practice is the Lord especially condemning them? See Mal. 2:13-16.

While all the Jews recognized God as Father and Creator in their worship, not all of them were living as if God was the Lord of their lives. Malachi takes marriage as an example to illustrate lack of faithfulness and commitment to one another. According to the Bible, marriage is a sacred institution established by God. The people of Israel were warned against marrying outside the faith, because by so doing they would compromise their commitments with the Lord and fall into idolatry. (See Josh. 23:12-13.)

God had intended that marriage should be a commitment for life. In Malachi’s time, however, many men were breaking the vows that they had made early in life with, as the prophet said, the “wife of your youth.” Seeing their wives grow older, the husbands would divorce them and marry younger and more attractive women. For this reason, God says, he hates divorce (Mal. 2:16). This strong statement reveals how serious God is about marriage commitments, which so often people take very lightly. The strict rules in the Bible about divorce show just how sacred marriage is.

Because divorce was legal in Israel (Deut. 24:1-4), some men did not hesitate to break their marriage vows. Toward the end of the Old Testament period, divorce appears to have become common, somewhat like many countries today. Yet, in the Bible marriage is consistently presented as a holy covenant before God (Gen. 2:24Eph. 5:21-33).

Read Malachi 2:17. What warning should be taken from these words, especially in the context of the day’s lesson? Or even in general? How could we be in danger of harboring that same attitude, even subconsciously?

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Monday: Loving and Respecting Others — 14 Comments

  1. Jehovah hates divorce (mal. 2:16) . As a rule, his church must hate it, too. Let's sacrifice to save our marriages. Jehovah will honor our meak and humble efforts by keeping our marriages safely prospering together in spite of disunity. It's true. It's my personal experience. It's the FAITH I LIVE BY.

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    • If our marriages have no unity, then we should ask God to help us, because while God hates divorce He also wants us through our marriages and families to show unbelievers the kind of God that we serve that He is able to not only save marriages but have happy marriages here. He didn't create Adam and Eve to live in disunity. That's why Jesus prayed and ask the Father to make us one even as they are one.

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  2. Marriage is taken lightly these days, such a shame . We are imperfect people looking for the perfect mate. When we allow the Lord in our marriage and built on it, we have a better chance of making marriage last. We need to treat each other with respect and love. If we have a job, no matter how tough, we make it work, it should be the same with marriage. Let us put the Lord first in all that we do

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    • While God hates divorce, let's remember the reason why He hates it. He hates divorce because of the pain it causes the families involved. He hates divorce but He loves divorcees and their children! God hates anything that causes His children pain.

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  3. Carmen if we really believed that God hates divorce and that as a church, we should hate it too we would not have as many divorced couples as we do today. Let's face it, even our Pastors are not hesitating to get divorced and remarry. It is time that we stop spouting out platitudes and take God at his word. If God hates divorce so should we!

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    • where is it written about modern weddings?
      cant I remain married in the eyes of God if I Married before knowing Christ, know the evils of divorce and cant condone divorce, but not wedded in church?

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      • Jickson, if you were married before knowing Christ -- whether in the church or not -- you are married still after you come to Christ. In fact, being a Christian should make you a better wife. :)

        The Apostle Paul wrote this concerning marriage:

        10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

        12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

        15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

        17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. (1 Cor 7:10-17 NIV)

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  4. Also brethren remember God allowed divorce because of the hardness of men's (our) hearts.
    In a case like mine my marriage was through trickery.
    My husband committed adultery too many times for me to count though I loved him truly and even by his account was a good and Godly wife. I would forgive him when he would confess and seem to go to God.
    However the longer we were married the more he got into violence.
    I have since realized I married a narcissist who almost drove me to suicide.
    And he is still putting on the kind sweet face at church.
    So I too hate divorce with all my heart for our children suffer because of my bad choice and his hard heart.
    Just wanted to present the other side of an ugly situation.

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    • Dear KaRan,

      The statement that the Lord hates divorce is in the context of men divorcing their wives on the flimsiest of pretexts. Wives did not even have the option of divorce in those days, as far as I know. So that reference does not mean that God wants you to stay in an abusive marriage. In fact, God hates the mistreatment of any of His children!

      Your first loyalty must be to your Creator God. That means that as far as you are able, you should not allow the Creator's property (that is you) to be abused.

      When Jesus said that anyone who divorces his wife except on grounds of adultery, he indicated clearly by the "except" that you have abundant grounds for divorce. However, you will want to consider the practical implications of divorce in your case. Will you be better off? Will the children be better off? Take it to the Lord in prayer, without the pre-judgment that the Lord would "hate" for you to divorce an abusive, narcissist. He may give you strength to stay in the situation and make the best of it. Or He may impress you to plan for a divorce.

      Please remember that God values you, and He wants you to be able to serve Him according to your heart. Do not blame yourself for your husband's behavior, even when he tries to put a guilt trip on you. It may very well help for you to stand up to him with firmness, indicating that he has no right to abuse you verbally or physically. (You are the Lord's property!) Abusers are generally cowards, and sometimes just standing up to them with firmness will make a positive difference. (I have personally observed that a man who was abusive with his first "people pleaser" wife did not even try to abuse a strong woman who stood up to him. He didn't really change, but he threw stuff at the wall instead of at his wife. ;)) Jesus can give you the needed strength. However, no one outside the situation can give you specific counsel. You need to listen to the Lord in all of this.

      Praying for you,
      Inge

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  5. Just as the priest were perverting the law and knowledge then, so it is with some of our pastors and leaders, there are not representing the law as it should be because they have believed in the morals of the world more than the law of God

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    • We have been inclined to think that where there are no faithful ministers there can be no true christians, but this is not the case. God has promised that where the shepherds are not true He will take charge of the flock himself. ( 5 testimonies p80) by EGW

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  6. Its in deed true that the best argument we can put forth in defense of our religion is a good marriage. Marriage potrays the true condition of the heart,whether its being renewed daily or whether the graces of the Spirit abide within.

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  7. Brothers and Sisters good afternoon, i have a question on divorce. There is a brother in our Community who married a certain lady. After three months in marriage the woman delivered a baby boy. According to the man, he said he never had sex with this woman before marriage. This child is now grown up and has been brought up by this man. Their marriage life has been on rocks because the husband has never trusted this woman and always asks the woman to disclose the father of the child. The man wants a divorce. Is it okay? What advise can i give them. Please help with answers

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