Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. May the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob any descendant of the man who does this, who brings an offering to the LORD of hosts!
And this second thing you do. You cover the LORD’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So, guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So, guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” – Malachi 2:10–16 (ESV)
In the second half of verse 15, Malachi writes: “And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring.” The LORD is deeply invested in the intergenerational blessings that He is working through His Church. This is why we repeatedly hear in Scripture: “This promise is for you, and for your children.” It should be obvious that both marrying unbelievers and being faithless to your husband or wife are utterly contrary to this God-given goal.
Yet, we should also see the glory of God’s grace in His covenant commitment to work through our marriages for the sake of producing Godly offspring. The LORD does not view the children of believers as though they are vipers in diapers. The LORD has set aside the children of believers as being holy – and He has put His own name on our children in baptism: where they are baptized into the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God’s intent is that these precious children would grow up hearing His word read and preached in Church – and also that they would see God’s word being lived out in the life of your marriage and your family.
Sometimes people struggle with what they imagine discovering God’s will for their lives will look like. But if you are married with children, you don’t need to wonder at all about this aspect of your lives: The LORD is seeking godly offspring; and that your children would see the gospel acted out in your relationship – as wives submit to the husbands the way you are teaching your children to submit to Christ – and that their fathers would love their wives – even as Christ loved the Church – and gave Himself for it.
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 42
Q. 42. What is the sum of the ten commandments?
A. The sum of the ten commandments is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbor as ourselves.