Divorce and Remarriage
[From Noel] All the Bible verses we have talked about during the past few weeks share the conviction that marriage is a lifetime covenant commitment and divorce is a tragic violation of that commitment. We live in a fallen world and we are constantly faced with the reality of the pain and hurt that results from our sin. One person cannot be faithful for two people and so as a result there are many marriages that fail.
A Biblical commitment to marriage includes a commitment to reconciliation, wherever that is possible. If you are divorced and there is any hope for reconciliation for your relationship, the Bible stresses that you should seek reconciliation wherever possible. Never the less, the Bible teaches that whether you have been divorced or not, the most “marriage honouring” thing you can do is be committed to the marriage you are currently in. The Bible DOES NOT TEACH that you should break up a second marriage and seek to reconcile with your first spouse. Past failures are in the past and a Christian should always seek to reconcile any wrong they have committed but some things cannot be restored. Some marriages are so wounded and so broken, they have died and cannot be brought back. God grieves the results of these sins and we should too.
Consider how Paul’s writings in 1 Cor. 7: 10 – 16 illustrate this idea. In Corinth, new Christians were struggling with what to do with wives or husbands they married before they became Christians. Some were abandoning their spouses after they accepted Christ because of their new found faith. ‘Now that I am a Christian, should I divorce my pagan husband / wife?’, they were asking Paul. Paul told them to maintain these relationships as much as possible for it was possible that unbelieving spouses would be turned to Christ if they continued to live together.
Out of all of this it can be seen:
• One of the highest values of marriage is reconciliation.
• A product of a Godly marriage is the sanctification of both husband and wife.
The most faithful thing you can do to honour the bond of marriage is to live faithfully with your present spouse. God is glorified as you seek to love and serve your spouse the way Jesus loves us. A husband and wife are shaped and molded into the image of Jesus as they bear with each other and forgive each other. That’s one of the greatest results of marriage: by loving and forgiving we become more and more like Jesus.