Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- September 13, 2011
“What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Mark 10:9
Divorce is not an option for committed followers of Christ—it is omitted from their vocabulary. Yes, human frailty wants an out. It doesn’t want to be uncomfortable or inconvenienced, but marital challenges are God’s process of purging. Relational reconciliation within the bonds of marriage is a proving ground for all other relationships.
Marriage mandates focused fidelity and faith in God—for it is not a relationship of convenience, rather one of conviction. We cannot give up on our spouse, except in the case of adultery. But, even in unfaithfulness, their repentance and our forgiveness can heal the severance of trust and intimacy. Indeed, whatever God does is not to be taken lightly, for the Lord is in the marriage-making business. He joins a man and a woman together, as a mirror of our relationship with Him—final and forever.
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12).
Furthermore, there is no need to run and hide when you let down your spouse. When the bubble of marital bliss bursts: be kind, patient and forgiving. It starts by allowing Christ to cleanse your heart, because left on its own the heart becomes selfish, proud, immature and demanding (Matthew 15:19-20). Jesus came into your life so you could be a servant to all, especially your spouse. He gives you peace, so you can be a peacemaker at home.
Thus, be a justice of the peace under the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ-centered marriages create peace and quiet, so submit to the Lord together and experience Him who produces a peace that passes all understanding. God’s marriage design overcomes divorce’s destruction by creating environments of encouragement and care.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
Children feel the safest in a family where divorce is not an option. The Lord hates divorce, because He knows it results in disappointment and disillusionment. Therefore, see your marriage sealed by the Holy Spirit, never to be separated by man, so be hopeful by persevering. You were joined together in marriage by Jesus, and for Jesus, not to be destroyed by man’s decree of divorce. A lifetime of commitment is Christ’s choice.
“Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful” (Malachi 2:15-16).
How can I serve, love and forgive my spouse and not threaten them with divorce?
Related Readings: Malachi 2:10; Matthew 5:31-32; 1 Corinthians 7:11-13
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Another great post! Just please be sure to address the issue of abuse. No one should stay in a physically, sexually, or emotionally abusive marriage if their spouse is unwilling to repent and change. It is unsafe for all who are subject to the violence (including children) and is certainly not part of God’s plan for marriage.
so what do you do if your husband says he doesnt love you anymore? there is no communication? no affection? and he lies and decieves me? been married for over 20 yrs and nothing has changed (in fact has gotten worse) on his end. what about a very lonely marrige?
This is great advice to those who are married, but you might want to address those who were left beind by divorce by no choice of their own. I agree that marriage should be a life long institution, but my husband of 21 years and his girlfriend (she had been married 20 years) did not feel that way. That leaves a lot of devistation and Bible verses like that tell me how much God hates divorce just makes me feel like more of a failure.
My marriage suffers from financial infidelity and a lack of intimacy. My husband who claims to be a pentecostal minister spends money we don’t have, so we are always in debt. Everything I brought into the marriage is now gone, car, life insurance, health insurance, nest egg, everything. I had to get my own bank account just to survive. We are an older couple ( 61 and 55). This is a remarriage for both of us, (we are married 7yrs. now). I can’t even trust him to pay the cell phone bill on time, there’s always an outstanding balance. He suffers from obesity and a laundry list of medical issues. He gets disability and a small pension. He watches TV, eats and sleeps most of the day away. I support myself financially. I cryed out to his pastor for help but he didn’t even acknowledge my plea. I finally left him (TX) to move back home (CT) two years ago. What do I do? He’s killing us financially, yet I know God hates divorce.
I know God hates divorce but tread lightly on those of us who go through it.
I was in an emotionally and verbally abusive marriage with an unbeliever who refused to change and made me homeless by deliberately giving up our home. I can give you his number and you (or your female relatives) marry him and enjoy his company if you’d like. I’m done.
Hmm. Am wondering–why does this post say that it’s okay to divorce in cases of adultery? I know that it’s legal grounds to divorce, but why does adultery give us an out?
I thought the only out was an unbelieving spouse, and only then if he/she wasn’t pleased to live with us.
Unfortunate that some of us have been left by their spouse for no apparent reason. Many of the previous comments do address some serious issues facing their marriages. I wish I had really placed GOD first in my marriage. For those of you in difficult situations/marriages. I know GOD has a plan for all of us, no matter what the circumstance or situation. Please do not forget that GOD does give us free will. I believe it is our free will or a lack of following his will that leads marriages to destruction. This is just my opinion. I am no expert having been divorced also. I hope each of you that reads this can find the patience and FAITH to help heal your wounds. I am still healing but GOD has been good !
God does hate divorce, but there are circumstances where it is unavoidable. Choose to have joy in your heart and only let God convict you of what you should do. Every situation is different and only God can give you the direction you should take. Things about how God hates divorce and other articles about different things are meant for someone who reads them on a particular day, but not for others. Again only let God be the one who convicts you. I don’t think any blame is being directed toward any one person. Have a blessed day and know that God is the only Judge of you.
Great article and marriage and it’s purpose not often spoke about as God intends. One point of disagreement – adultery is not the only exception. Moses allowed it for hardness of heart and it is ok if married to a non believer who leaves. There are 3 reasons in Bible, not one
Ps tell sweet generous Marissa that she did the right thing to separate and shame on her pastor for not stepping in to confront her husband so he may repent and work toward marriage restoration. If in 2 years husband still not willing to provide/ repent – the Bible says he is an unbeliever and she may divorce without Guilt!! God hates divorce because it is always due to sin in Marissa’s case his.
And what’s this Pat Robertson is trying to tell us about it being okay to divorce a spouse with Alzheimer’s?? Good grief.
Hello my brothers & sisters in Christ. I for one, came from a home of divorced parents & nvr wanted that for my family. However I am a divorced mother of 3 grown men God blessed me with during the course of a 26 yr. marriage. I have read the first comment on marriage; “Joined by God”. Very true in most of what the writer had to say except there is a key word & the key word is “God”. “What therefore “God” hath joined together let no man put asunder”. Did God join the two of you together or did the both of you come up with the idea? Surely we stand bride God while taking our vows but has God really joined the two of you as in making the choice? Did you consult God about the choice or have you entered in the decision-making blindly? The reason I can comment on the subject is because God has made me a witness to this topic of marriage & divorce when I didn’t ask for his perfect wisdom in choosing a mate, yet choose a mate I did. Years later after much suffering and loss of hope God rescued & delivered me from a hopeless situation with the man “I” chose. The Holy Spirit asked me to trust Him & when I said, “Yes Lord” he whispered in my ear calling my husband by name & spoke to me that he was NEVER my husband. There all that time had gone by & I thought I lived with a man that God had put me together with only to find out that I was joined in WORDS only! So be careful in your choosing of a mate. Be sure they are sent by God & not the devil. Because we can recite whatever words there are to recite & still not be in the will of God if God himself has not sent you who you need. Its a fact we choose mates out of vulnerability, ignorance, lost hope, time lines, jealousy, envy, lonesomeness, ect. God has not joined together for the wrong reasons, however He will sustain & keep you thru it all as He did me. I am now living single & @ peace & God has instructed me to WAIT ON THE LORD…He didn’t say no, He said wait. Please take the time to consult with your All knowing Heavenly Father before being joined to an unchosen mate. In Gods eyes I have nvr been married, yet to the public I went thru all the ritualls. God bless.
Penny, my heart goes out to you in heartfelt prayer. Only one who has experienced living in a lonely marriage knows how to give answer to your question & I’m sorry to say I have experienced it. I cannot give you expertly advice but what I can give you is Jesus. The bible states the wife’s “1 duty is to RESPECT her husband…whether he seems to deserve it or not. Respect is our duty commanded by God. We can’t wait for love from our spouse, we have to respect, Eph. 5:33. As a wife respects she will submit to right leadership. That’s where the gift of discernment plays a big part. The bible teaches us if we love God we will DO His commands no matter what we face in life. We are to see our spouse as God sees them. Your mate is totally in the wrong for not loving you, his wife as the bible commands yet remember, we as Gods children don’t function as the world functions, we have the love & help of Christ available to us in every time of need. Rely on the Spirit of God to see you thru as you obey Christ because it is better to obey God than man. God does not put more on us than we can bear. He sees & He hears. He is concerned. Ask God what is it that He wants to change in you & watch the dvd, “The Love Dare”. And as you start to love & forgive with Gods help ask Him to soften your husbands heart to receive what you have to give. Isn’t your marriage worth saving to you? I pray God heals the hurt from your heart & your spouse. You will be blessed in your well doing. Is there anything too hard for God?
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