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RCCG SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER’S MANUAL
SUNDAY 14TH OF MAY, 2023
LESSON THIRTY-SEVEN (37)
TOPIC: DIVORCE IS COSTLY
SUNDAY SCHOOL HYMN
1. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
O how I love Thee well,
I am happy, it makes me glad
To rejoice at Thy birth.
2. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Thy friendship suits me well,
Both young and will sing Thy song,
We long for Sunday School.
3. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Christ was Thy first teacher,
The Holy Spirit, great teacher,
Does manifest in thee.
4. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
This testimony is sure,
That God, the Father Almighty,
Poured His blessing on Thee
5. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Though the sun be so bright,
Or if the clouds be black with rain,
I’ll be in Sunday School.
6. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day
I rejoice to see Thee,
Will thou pass over me today?
Without my being blest?
OPENING PRAYER: Almighty Father, we pull down every force behind marriage break-ups in the name of Jesus.
BIBLE PASSAGE: *Malachi 2:13-16 NLT*
13. Here is another thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, weeping and groaning because he pays no attention to your offerings and doesn’t accept them with pleasure.
14. You cry out, “Why doesn’t the Lord accept my worship?” I’ll tell you why! Because the Lord witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows. 15. Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.
16. “For I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.”
*Malachi 2:13-16 KJV*
And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.
Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
MEMORY VERSE: “And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.” Malachi 2:15.
INTRODUCTION: Anyone considering divorce must have experienced months or years of struggle with their spouse. They are familiar with emotional distance, insecurity, fear, depression, anger, and perhaps betrayal. Life has become so difficult that divorce seems like the only path toward peace and happiness. Our High Priest empathises with believers in such state (Heb.4:15). However, God clearly explains His reasons for esteeming marriage so highly. He says it was He who “made them one” (Mal.2:15). Marriage was God’s idea and any deviation from His design is detestable to Him. Marriage is not just a contract; it is a covenant. This is why God hates divorce and the consequences can be grievous.
LESSON AIM: To study God’s attitude to divorce.
Through this lesson, students should be able to:
a. Understand that God hates divorce.
b. Discover the grave consequences of divorce.
TEXT REVIEW: Malachi 2:13-16.
-The teacher should identify five things which God raised in this passage especially with regards to marital faithfulness.
LESSON OUTLINE 1: GOD HATES DIVORCE
-The teacher should explain the points stated below to buttress why God hates divorce
i. Marriage symbolizes the covenant which God has with His people. 1Cor.6:17
ii.God wants His children to understand that the marriage covenant is a very serious covenant.
iii. Any attempt by a spouse to break the marriage covenant is a deliberate attempt to mar and make mockery of God’s concept of covenant relationship. Rev.19:7-9; 2 Cor.11:2
iv. God did not intend divorce to be part of the marriage experience and it grieves Him when we harden our hearts and break a covenant that He created. Matt.19:4-8
v. One major purpose why God established marriage is to produce “godly offspring” i.e God-fearing children and God’s people. Mal.2:15
vi. God’s design for the family was that one man and one woman commit themselves to each other for life and rear children that will understand the concept of covenant as well.
vii.There is a far greater likelihood of having a successful marriage for Children reared in a healthy, two-parent home.
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: The class should discuss the impacts of divorce on marriages, homes, children and society at large.
LESSON OUTLINE 2: DIVORCE HAS GRAVE CONSEQUENCES
A.The teacher should point out to the students that:
i. There is a direct correlation between the way a man treats his wife and the effectiveness of his prayers.
B.The teacher should explain the seven consequences of divorce as indicated below:
i. Divorce is a death of a union, and therefore the death of a dream, a promise and a family unit. Everyone involved – even a perpetrator – will feel grief and loss during a divorce. If there are children involved, they will experience severe grief over the loss of being with both parents together and living under the same roof.
ii. Divorce marks a pivotal moment in a person’s life, especially for children; life as they know it changes forever and they become different versions of themselves, adapting to new routines and new versions of their parents (who have also changed).
iii. Children of divorced parents are more likely to experience poverty, educational failure, early and risky sexual activities, non-marital childbirth, early marriage, cohabitation, marital discord and divorce.
iv. Following a divorce, parents and children often experience emotional and psychological problems that can last for years, even for the rest of their lives. Anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, fear of abandonment, distrust, insecurity, lack of intimacy, confusion over sexual and/or gender, guilt, faithlessness, loneliness, bitterness, and rebellion manifest themselves in children who have lived through the divorce of their parents.
v. Divorce matters can lead to a poor sense of judgment especially on marital issues, increase in crime, drug/alcohol addiction and even suicide attempt.
vi. The productivity of divorcees/divorced men may reduce at work and in their service to God.
vii.There is a chance of another divorce. Research shows that about 60% of divorcees/divorced men who marry will divorce again. Realistically, most people carry the unresolved issues from their last failed marriage into their next marriage. Malachi 2:13-14
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: According to Malachi 2:13-14, what happens to the offerings made to God by men who deal treacherously with their wife?
SUMMARY: God hates divorce because it carries grave consequences.
CONCLUSION: If God hates divorce, believers should do everything possible, including consulting with the Author of marriage – God, to make the marriage work.
EVALUATION: Why does God hate divorce?
CLOSING PRAYER: Almighty God, please help spouses to remain faithful to the covenant of marriage forever and pass this godly character to their children until You come in Jesus’ name.
ASSIGNMENT: Give five (5) flimsy excuses couples make for divorce. (2×5=10 Marks).