Theme: Asking questions about divorce.
1. Paul reminded the Galatians of the freedom they have as Christians. He told them that they should use this freedom not to do whatever they wanted, but to “serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13). This is good advice for all sorts of relationships: marriage, friendships, even brothers and sisters. What could it mean in your house to serve someone in love?
2. Mary and Joseph were engaged to be married when Mary told Joseph that she was expecting a baby. Not just any baby, but God’s Son! Joseph knew that no one in the village would believe her. Having a baby before she got married would make Mary an outcast, and she could even be killed! But God explained about Mary’s baby to Joseph in a dream, and told Joseph not to be afraid to marry her (Matthew 1:18-20). What an example of serving someone in love! Joseph knew that he would be gossipped about too, but he trusted God and put Mary and baby Jesus’ needs before his own. As you listen to this episode, think about the relationships that you see. Are people serving each other?
“... serve each other with love”
In this episode Lucille is shocked when her parents tell her that God hates divorce.
If the Bible says that God “hates” divorce, does that mean that God hates divorced people? Of course not. God’s love for us isn’t based on our behavior; it’s based on his character (Romans 5:8). But because God loves us, he gives us guidelines that help us to live the life that he created for us. One of those guidelines is to consider marriage a lifelong relationship of love and faithfulness (Genesis 2:18-24).
But this is not a reality for many. The parable of the Prodigal Son shows us the heart of God when his children wander away from the life he wants us to live. God doesn’t cut us off, but rather watches eagerly for our return (Luke 15:11-32). If you know anyone who has lived with divorce, or if it has happened in your family, you know the pain it causes. God hates that pain that surrounds divorce—broken promises, shattered families, and needy children. But God doesn’t hate the people involved in divorce. Instead God loves and offers his healing grace to parents and children who struggle with divorce and its effects.
Want to dig deeper and see some examples of God working through difficult marriages in the Bible? Check out Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 18:1-14), Jacob and Rachel (Genesis 29:16-30), and Hannah and Elkanah (1 Samuel 1).
Make a paper chain to keep track of ways that your family follows the command to “Serve one another in love.” Lay out strips of colored paper in a central place in your house. When someone in your family puts others’ needs before their own, write their action on a piece of paper, make it into a circle, and add it to the chain with tape or staples. How long will the chain get in a week? How long in a month? What new ways can you find to serve each other?