Well since Thursday I have read and re-read this particular passage we are studying, 1 Corinthians 7. I know I said we would look specifically at the verses 12-15 however, I’m feeling convinced that we must actually consider the two verses prior. So today, I’m going to tackle something I HATE to address. But these verses are directly impacting to our lives and they are in God’s Holy Word for a reason. So, I’m compelled by Jesus to walk through these, line-by-line and offer some thoughts.
Good grief, is it just me or does this “D” word stir up great emotion in your soul? And for me personally, the “D-Word” is especially raw in my home as most of you know my son is facing a divorce in the near future. But, I think it’s a topic we must consider because if we are utterly honest, in our core, we the unequally yoked have considered divorce at one time or another.
Okay here are the dreaded verses:
1 Corinthians 7:10-11 To 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.
Line by Line: To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord):
Let’s remember again that Paul is writing to the church in Corinth in response to their questions about marriage. And earlier in the chapter Paul has much to say about marriage responsibilities. You should read that section because it’s really great.
Paul is passing a command to the church that is in utter confusion because the believers are emerging from a lifestyle and belief system of Greek Mythology. They don’t have information or any reference point to know what to do or how to behave when they come to faith and are married. So they ask Paul, their spiritual leader. Remember Paul was instrumental in starting the church in Corinth in his earlier visits. As their spiritual father, Paul is ordained by God and has demonstrated that God is with him. Thus he speaks a command from God.
Line by line: A wife must not separate from her husband.
This statement could light our comments board on fire!!!!!
Let me be clear here. I believe in marriage. So does Paul and our Father in Heaven knows that marriage is the singular relationship that demonstrates God’s desire for intimacy here on earth. God loves marriage. But our Lord is good and He is kind a full of grace. There are situations where marriage is no longer a safe place for a spouse or children. There are situations that arise which are of utter evil and harm. Thus, the second line appears.
Line by line: But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband.
Now here is the rub. If she does separate, what does God say? She has two choices as she moves forward in her life. One, she remains unmarried. Two, she reconciles with her husband.
This is difficult for so many. Why? Because our society views marriage differently than God views marriage. In the Lord’s view when a man and a woman marry, they are making a holy “vow” to one another. They are swearing their life-long commitment before the throne of the Almighty.
In 2014, our legal system has become embroiled in what is actually a religious ceremony and you can see what disaster that has wreaked upon Biblical marriage -just read the newspaper.
That aside, let’s return to the statement, she must remain unmarried. This is where most Christians can’t deal. God is calling women to singleness!
Now let’s be utterly authentic here. Or at least I will be. There were occasions when that ugly word, divorce, entered my thoughts as a young wife. And right behind those thoughts followed something like this, I want to marry a man who is a believer. I know my life would be so much better.
Yep, I will be honest and bet a good number of you have been on this train with me in years past. But God isn’t saying in this passage that if you leave your marriage to remarry. He calls us to singleness.
GOOD GRIEF!!!! Why would God do this? I don’t have an answer to this question right now. But I can tell you that believers who are considering separating from their spouse for whatever reason, God is calling them/us to a lifetime of singleness.
So this is the rub. There may be absolutely STRONG reasons for a separation. But when you consider this mandate from Corinthians to remain single, it introduces an entirely different dynamic into your decision making.
Here is my personal thought on the matter: In my personal marriage, if for some crazy reason I became separated from my husband, I would remain single for the rest of my life unless God brought about reconciliation. I know that I know that I know this to be true in my heart and spirit.
You might say to me, “Well Lynn, that is all well and fine for you but I’m young and I have young children. I want to be married and have a family why would God not want that for me?”
Ahhhhhh, good question. And on Friday I will share a true story where a very young woman (under 25 years old) with young children faced this very dilemma.
Again, I’m not a Biblical scholar, so please be gentle with me. Respond in love even if you disagree. My question to you SUM Family, why would God and Paul place this very firm “command” in His Holy Word?
Can’t wait for Friday because this story is real and heart wrenching.
And next week, we will deal with the husbands. Guys out there, you’re not getting off the hook in this line-by-line study. *grin*
Love you my friends.