HomeWord - May 17, 2007


This devotional was written by Mike DeVries

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. Genesis 2:24-25

So a few weeks back my wife and I got the news that some friends of ours were ending their marriage. Perhaps not earth-shattering news, as this kind of thing happens all the time, but for us, this time something was different.

As we heard the story, we both had such a profound sense of sorrow – like something beautiful, something good, perhaps even something worth fighting for... had just died. Maybe you’ve had this same kind of feeling as you’ve heard the news of someone’s marriage ending. Perhaps it was even your own marriage.

Why do we have this deep sense of sorrow? I think it’s because we feel something of what God feels.

Central to the Jewish life was a prayer that was recited daily, called the Shema. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” It was a prayer the Jews recited in the morning and in the evening, as a reminder of who God is, what His desire is for the world, and how we are to respond to His love.

There’s a fascinating issue with this prayer though. While this prayer is often seen as a pronouncement that there is only one God, the word used in Hebrew, echad, is more multifaceted than that. It can mean “one,” “whole,” “fullness,” “unity” and even “harmony.”

So central to this prayer is the reality that God is whole. God is unity and fullness. Yet it was also recognition of what God’s desire was for all His creation – harmony and wholeness.

So what does this have to do with marriage? Everything.

You see, in Genesis 2:24-25, we are reminded by the writer that the man and the woman, the two will become one flesh. In short, when a man and a woman come together in marriage, they are made one – in wholeness and harmony. Marriage is one of the ways God puts Himself and His desire for all creation on display.

This is the mystery of marriage: A wholeness and a harmony that manifests itself in being completely open, completely honest, completely vulnerable with one another. And when the world sees this, it captures a glimpse of the nature of God and His dream for this world.

Beyond marriage, the same concept applies to all our relationships. Jesus said, “By this will all men know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Wholeness and unity in all our relationships says something important to the world about the reality of God.

So perhaps this is why when we hear of a marriage ending, we have this profound sense of loss as the world loses another opportunity to see God. And, may it serve as a challenge to make the most of our relationships – for God’s sake.

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Ever had your heart broken? How? By whom? Why do you think it hurt so badly? How does this relate to God and His dream for this world?


Matthew 19:1-12; Mark 10:1-12

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