Thursday, December 4, 2008
1 Corinthians 7
In my study of 1 Corinthians I came to the passages on Marriage. Specifically, the ones about divorce and remarriage. It was my intent to pass over them without expressing my opinion, hoping no one would notice. I have gotten into trouble several times before on this issue. But, since delving into the subject with a certain somebody, I am convicted to write about it. I'm sure many will be offended, and being Christmas is coming I'll expect the lump of coal this year rather than the sugar, but nevertheless it is the word of God.
1Corinthians 7:10-11To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
Aahh! Plain and simple. Black and white. On to chapter 8. That is until you enter the kids, the loneliness, the bills to pay, the security and love of a spouse.
I think at this point we need to look again at our foundation before we can start framing the windows. God is the God of the Universe. It was Him who created this world, and Him who laid down the laws. We really don't get much of a choice. Before we are saved we are ruled by sin. Many things happen in our lives (even as Christians) where sin rules. But, sin always has consequences whether we are saved or not. Just because we are saved does not mean that our previous sins do not carry with them consequences. Yes, we are forgiven, but the consequences remain. A newly saved Christian on death row for murder should still expect the electric chair for his past crimes.
When we are saved, we acquire a new master: Jesus. For the rest of our lives there will be a battle of wills, tho, as to who we serve. The old nature does not go away. We still sin. But, in a Christian, the new nature perseveres. Through the Holy Spirit our eyes are open to God and His ways which are revealed through the Bible. We are allowed to see it as if from God's perspective rather than our own. As Americans we don't like to be told what to do, but that is exactly what the Bible does. It tells us God's way. Whether we like it or not.
I do not see anywhere in scripture that allows for remarriage. I do see places where divorce is allowed, but not remarriage. This is not a light subject for me. I have had many years to come to an understanding on it, and have seen it from about every angle. The child of divorced parents, friends and family experiencing divorce, fighting with my husband entertaining divorce. I know that I have hurt many people with my stand on divorce, not intentionally, but because the word of God is all that I have to stand on. We don't have to like what scripture says, or even feel like it's right. The word of God is God himself. As we learn to stand on it we learn to put God in His correct position, and we humbly take ours. To say we don't fully understand it, but yet we will trust God for what it says. To put Him first.
This, as any other issue, becomes an obedience issue.What makes me upset about this issue is what is revealed in a lot of people's lives who call them selves Christians. How easily we crumble under our own ways and desires. Because it doesn't feel good, the word of God is dismissed.
Romans 8:18 says I consider our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Will God not be faithful to those suffering through the pain of divorce and the commitment of staying single until being reunited with their spouse? What legacy do we want to leave to our children. One that the word of God is worth obeying? Or one that says we get to pick and choose which part of the word of God is worth obeying?
Yes, God does forgive all sins. Even divorce and remarriage. But as Paul says again in Romans, should we sin so grace may abound? If you look at the statistics, Christians do not look much different than the world on this issue. Are we supposed to look like the world? If the world accepts something, that is usually a big red flag to me that it is not Christ glorifying, and makes me delve into scripture all the more on the subject. Divorce and remarriage does not work even in a pagan society, so how do we use that to justify it in a Christian's life?
Satan seems to be viciously attacking the family, and he seems to be winning. Christians seem to be laying down and letting him have his victory. Isn't it time to fight back with the word of God, and make our lives reflect that? What if that was done by obedience, even to the little things? Even to the hard things. They may not seem to make a difference now, but even obedience has consequences. Eternal, glorifying ones.
To those divorced and remarried, make your peace with God on it. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. His blood atones for it all. We must go on from where we are in life. To those divorced, trust God in His plan for this. If it is all for our good to be obedient, don't you trust Him for this too? He promises to never leave us or forsake us. I'm sure he meant even in this. Paul says in verses 32-35 how the unmarried are able to commit their time and work to God in a way the married are not able to. Commit this to Him, and see in eternity if He doesn't prove himself faithful.
Okay, in scripture God says: I hate divorce. A woman has become defiled if she remarries. Divorce causes adultery. Divorce was given because of the hard hearts of people refusing to obey God. The bond of marriage is only released by death. If divorced, only remarriage to your spouse if acceptable, given she has not been defiled.
God loves marriage. He created it for His glory, and our enjoyment. More glory to Him. His words, not mine.
And, if your longing for more: