AWKWARD: How did reading this chapter make you feel? Confused? A little weirded out? Curious? Surprised? Take a moment to identify what your feeling right now, and then ask yourself why it is you feel that way. What is it in you that's making you confused at this or surprised or awkward that God would say these things to you? This exercise can be a helpful way to identify pockets of sin within yourself that need to be confessed.
IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU: People have an inherent tendency to arrange relationships in a way that maximises the benefits to them. Maybe your not that selfish though, because you go to great lengths to put your spouse or friends first rather than yourself. That's better, but you're still missing the mark. The goal of all of your relationships should be that 'you [and those you're in relationship with] may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord (v35).'
DIVORCE: v10-11 contain some hard teachings on the topic of divorce. We dug deeper into this topic when we read Jesus' words on this subject in Matthew 19. Rereading that post will help you understand today's passage as well: wgtncrc.org/post/mt-19
WHO'S IDEA IS ALL OF THIS ANWAY? Are all of these verses inspired, authoritative words, or is it just the parts where Paul indicates his commands come directly from the Lord like he does in v10 & 25? We understand that all of the words of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit as He breathed through the human writers, but not every word was inspired the same way. Moses wrote down exactly what he heard God say directly to him. Daniel recorded what he saw in dreams and visions. Luke wrote down what he had carefully researched. All of these revelations came in far different ways, but yet all of theses words are considered divine and authoritative. In today's chapter, Paul passes on some commands that the Lord gave him directly, which are clearly authoritative. Just because God revealed to Paul the other truths this chapter communicates in more subtle ways, it does not make those words any less true or authoritative for you and me.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The God above all things who calls all people and relationships to be in submission to Him
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God that the relationships you are in would bring both you and the other parties into closer relationship with Him
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: