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What does the BIBLE say about Divorce and Remarriage
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Writer: Betty Miller | bibleresources.org/divorce-remarriage/
What are the spiritual consequences of divorce? Is there scriptural precedence for a divorced person to ever remarry? Can a divorced person fill a place in ministry? How are we to deal with those who have suffered in this area?
With so many extremes being taught on this subject, it is difficult to have the proper perspective of this problem in the church. In this teaching we will examine how to deal with these complicated issues, in a spirit of both righteousness and mercy.
In today's society, divorce is a fast way out of an unpleasant situation. In the United States, roughly half of all marriages now end in divorce. This statistic is almost as high in the church as it is the world. What are we to make of this flood of broken covenants that wash across our land? Many are drowning in its tide, beaten by their own broken words and failure. Some are dying under a flood of guilt, while others sail merrily along, unaware that their boat is rotting and will soon sink under the waves. Is there a cure for this marital epidemic of broken promises, blame, guilt, unforgiveness, discontent and wounded children? Can God truly heal even the most broken of marriages?
Although God hates divorce, He loves the divorcee and will help all who call upon Him. He wants to teach us how to love the way He loves. The definition of true love is "God is Love."
Unless God is brought into a marriage they will never experience true love.
People can experience an emotional feeling we call "love", however this is only one aspect of love in a marriage. The kind of love that is needed for any marriage to be successful is the the God kind of love because this love is not a selfish love. God's kind of love, loves even when that love is not reciprocated. One attribute of love is faithfulness and loyalty. A Christian marriage is based on trust in God and each other.
Love is a Choice
Another thing we must understand about love is that it is a choice. True love is not something we trip into and out of easily. God's love for us endures all things and does not change, even when we do. He doesn't love us for measuring up to a certain standard. He loves us because He is love Himself. There is not one thing He does that is not motivated by love. When we fail, He does not reject us, but in compassion reaches out to restore us. Though He sees the hardness, blindness and hypocrisy in our hearts, He still loves us. He loves us enough to not overlook these things, because He knows they will destroy us. He loves us with a consuming, passionate, holy, jealous and gentle love. He loves us so much that he continually offers us forgiveness, comfort, encouragement, peace and joy. Finally, Jesus showed that He loves us more than His own life when he laid it down His life for us.
Because He loves us in this way, so we also are to love each other. Nowhere is God's love for us better illustrated than in marriage.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things--that she might be holy and faultless. Even so husbands should love their wives as (being in a sense) their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church. Because we are members (parts) of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning (the relation of) Christ and the church. However, let each man of you (without exception) love his wife (being in a sense) his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband--that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him and loves and admires him exceedingly. Ephesians 5:25-33 (AMP)(verse 25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
(verse 26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
(verse 27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
(verse 28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
(verse 29) For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
(verse 30) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
(verse 31) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
(verse 32) This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
(verse 33) Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband.Ephesians 5 (KJV) verses 25-33
In this verse we see that the union between man and woman is a portrayal of the divine romance between Christ and the Church. The only reason man and woman are attracted to each other and desire to build a life together, is because this principal is true in a spiritual sense. The natural realm is an illustration of the spiritual realm, and all spiritual truths existed long before the natural ones were manifested. In the same that way men and women seek each other to become one, so our spirits are also seeking oneness with God--and He with us.
Just as Eve was brought forth from Adam's side, so the church was brought forth from the wounded side of Jesus. We are "bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh." God is a "family man" seeking to establish a union of love between His son Jesus and His Bride, who is the church. Together, they will rule His creation and bring forth many offspring, just as Adam and Ever were originally commissioned to do.
God hates divorce because it is a perversion of the holy picture of the His Son and the Church. This is also why He hates homosexuality, sexual promiscuity and other sexual and gender-related sins. All of these have their source with the Evil One who seeks to pervert all of God's truths until they are a twisted lifeless shamble of what they once were. When God's truths are twisted, instead of being instruments of life and freedom, they become tools of death and destruction. What can bring us the greatest happiness can also bring us the greatest sorrow. God took a great risk when He put so much power in love. He knew it could both heal--and hurt--us more deeply than anything else He created. Yet, if this is true for us, it is even more true for God Himself. He also, is deeply touched and wounded by love. Yet, because He is willing to risk His very heart for the sake of love, so we must be willing to take that risk as well. He is our example. God's love alone has the deepest power to fulfill us. However, it can only fulfill us to the extent that we use and understand it properly--and we cannot know true love unless we know God.
The most basic principal of true, godly love is this: Love lays down its life for others.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
This "laying down of our life" can be manifested in many ways. Basically, it includes loving others more than ourselves, thinking of their welfare, honoring them, forgiving them, wanting the best for them, etc. This is to be practiced for both those who love us and those who hate us. Furthermore, this is to be a way of life--not an occasional mood, when we are feeling benevolent towards the world! Love is a deliberate choice.