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When Love Fails

God made marriage, so it should be honored.

From the editor

Given that Valentine's Day is this coming Sunday, many of you will probably be addressing themes like love, relationships, dating, and marriage. But as you well know, not everyone in your congregation is living on cloud nine when it comes to such things. For example, many in your congregation have felt the sting of divorce. But what a difficult topic to address from the pulpit! This week we're featuring a thoughtful, responsible sermon on the issue. May it be of great help to you in your preaching on this painful topic.


Today we come to the difficult subject of divorce. This is not an easy subject and is not to be taken lightly. I invite you to listen to the entire sermon with an open mind. Jesus' teaching in Matthew 19 unfolds in a logical and helpful fashion to touch on the main issues we need to address today. I want to specifically address a few groups today: (1) those whose marriages have failed; (2) those whose marriages are in crisis—there is pain and confusion, and you want out; (3) those who are married but not in crisis, because you will face crises; and (4) those who know and love the people I've just named, because we're all called to rally around them through hard times.

The ancient context

Matthew 19:1-2 says, "When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there."

Jesus' ministry is growing. When ministry grows, hard questions get asked. In Matthew 19:3, "some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?'" Today, the question gets asked, "Are there biblical grounds for divorce?" That's ...

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Bill White is a church planter in urban Long Beach, California.

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Sermon Outline:


I. The ancient context

II. God made marriage, so it should be honored.

III. Hardness of heart is the issue in divorce.

IV. The biblical grounds for divorce