How to Be a Better Spouse (13 of 26) by Jonathan McLeod
This content is part of a series.How to Be a Better Spouse (13 of 26)
Series: Kingdom Life
''You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart'' (Matt. 5:27).
Jesus declared, ''Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven'' (Matt. 5:20). Jesus wants his followers to have a better righteousness. In verses 27-32, Jesus addresses two topics: lust and divorce.
[Read Matthew 5:27-32; 19:1-12.]
STRATEGIES ARE NOT ENOUGH
If you were to do a Google search for ''How to be a better husband/wife?'', you'd find all sorts of strategies for being a better husband or wife (e.g., to be a better husband: (1) learn how to communicate; (2) be willing to compromise; (3) help your wife around the house).
Strategies can be helpful, but they don't address our fundamental problem: our sinful hearts. All sinful behaviours originate in the heart: ''Out of the heart come evil thoughts [e.g., lust], murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander'' (Matt. 15:19).
A BETTER RIGHTEOUSNESS IN MARRIAGE
In Genesis 2, God ''brought [the woman] to the man'' (Gen. 2:22). And we are told, ''Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh'' (Gen. 2:24). A marriage is not merely a contract between two people. It's ''a sacred bond between husband and wife before God as a witness.''
In our marriages, God wants us to have a righteousness that ''exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees'' (i.e., a better righteousness).
1. We must commit to the EXCLUSIVITY of marriage, even in our thoughts.
Jesus says, ''You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery''' (v. 27). But Jesus declares that a husband or wife can be an adulterer even if he or she doe ...
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