1 Corinthians 7:11 Not An Option

But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:11

Divorce is the number one option of marriages that are struggling. As soon as there is some major struggle in a marriage, many people look to getting a divorce.

They want out of the marriage, feeling that there is no hope of reconciliation. Many will even right a clause into a marriage certificate to allow for divorce or nullification of the marriage under certain circumstances. People want to escape the troubles, rather than face them.

Paul gave his own opinion on divorce. It was that if a woman separates from her husband, she should not get remarried. And the man must never divorce her.

Divorce has become so common and mainstream, that there is very little to no difference between the world and the church. Marriages face some difficulty and the only way that they see as a way out of it is by divorce. They want to give up, move away and try again.

God had never planned it that way. His plan was marriage was for life, no matter what happens in it. He hates divorce. Throughout the bible, the relationship with God is always shown as a marriage. God does not divorce the believer, though He will allow the believer to go.

When a believer goes through with a divorce, he is saying that his problem in the marriage is bigger than God. That God cannot fix his marriage. This is selfish, prideful thinking.

There is nothing that God cannot fix in one’s life, if one is willing to obey everything God says to do. To stop getting a divorce, one must love and forgive as God loves and forgives, and not allow divorce to even be an option.

You may be in a struggling marriage and are contemplating divorce. Don’t do it. Give your life, your spouse and your marriage into the hands of God.

Seek God to know how to treat and love your spouse as God treats and loves you. Be willing to love and forgive as Jesus loves and forgives you.

With God, all things are possible. Do not conform to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Allow God to rule in your life and marriage, and do not allow divorce to be an option, regardless of how ugly it may get.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to rule in your relationships with others; that you will trust God with your marriage; and that you will love and forgive as God does.

1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee Sexual Immorality

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18

One of the greatest sellers in media, whether it is books, magazines, tv shows or movies is sex. People, as a whole, like to see things that are sexual in nature.

The porn industry is the greatest, most profitable industry across the entire world. Along with purchasing sexual acts, the acts of sexual acts is extremely common among all people, everywhere and of every age level.

Paul just finished telling the Corinthian people that their bodies are members of the body of Christ. Now he tells them that they must flee all sexual immorality.

Sexual sins has not only permeated the society at large, it has also permeated throughout the church. It is common to hear of couples living together in sin, without being married. Many churches have begun to accept people living in homosexual lifestyles and not call it a sin. And this is just the physical act side of things.

There are another group of believers who won’t do the physical acts, but have it in their minds and dreams. They will watch porn, or think about it on a constant basis as if it does not matter and there is nothing wrong with it.

Jesus had brought about the idea that not only is the act sinful, but thinking about the act is also sinful. Thinking about the act, will often bring about the physical action.

As with any sin, the believer must flee it. Temptation to sin sexually will arise, but one must flee it. He must turn and run away as fast as he can and focus his attention upon God and His word, rather than the sinful ways of this fallen world.

You must examine what your thoughts and actions are about. What are you willing to see and do? Do not allow the beliefs that free sexual acts or thoughts are good outside of the marriage God instituted in the Bible.

Line your thoughts and actions up with what God has put in place. Whenever temptation to sexually sin arises, flee with everything that is in you. Do not allow thoughts to stay, leading to greater things against God.

Sexual acts are good, but within the boundaries of marriage that God made. Live for God, not self.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will strengthen you to flee all sexual sins; that God will guide you to flee all sin; that you will focus your life on God and His word; and that you will live for God in every area of your life.

Isaiah 54:5 Who Are You Married To?

Wedding rings

For you Maker is your husband–the Lord Almighty is his name–the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. Isaiah 54:5 

The view on what marriage is varies from person to person all over the world. Many see marriage as just something convenient for the moment. People go into marriage for selfish and temporary reasons.

Marriage is supposed to be the dedication of a man and woman to each other for the rest of their life. They are to focus on each other and no one else.

The real focus of what marriage is supposed to be is found in the dedication to each other. It is putting the other person before one’s own self. People will be dedicated to someone or something. Often they are dedicated to things.

Isaiah reminds the people that God is their husband. The people are married to God. He is to be their focus.

This concept of being married to God has never changed. The book of Revelation finishes with a prophecy of Jesus returning for His bride.

Believers are to be married to God–focused and dedicated to God and God alone. There is to be no adultery with false gods–anything other than God Himself.

Too often believers become like the world in casting aside their marriage. The call for a divorce or live in adultery. They give their hearts and lives over to someone or something other than God. They forsake their first love, their husband.

This adultery can happen when a believer allows sin and sinful habits into his life as he refuses to listen to the Holy Spirit.

The good news is that God does not call for a divorce, as men do. He keeps calling His bride to be with Him. He is in it for eternity, with an eternal love for His bride, the believer–the church.

When you chose to follow Jesus, you became a part of the bride of Christ. He is your Maker and God of all and now is your husband.

Dedicate all of your love and focus upon Him. God is the perfect husband I that He will lead and guide you perfectly in every area of your life. He will never fail you as human husbands may.

While doing this, do not allow yourself to fall into adultery and seek or lust after other husbands–stepping into sin or turning to false gods. Remain loyal to God alone, your husband.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be dedicated to God alone; that your life will be a one of marriage dedication to God; and that you will know His love and protection for you. 

Proverbs 6:25 Wandering Eyes

Bird looking

Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes. Proverbs 6:25 

There are women in this world who are very beautiful physically, but are very dark spiritually. They live their lives to flirt with other men. They are never satisfied with just one man, but want a piece of each one.

There are also men, who look handsome physically, but their character is bad. Just like some women, they desire to be physically with other women, no matter who the person is.

Many people who see someone who looks great will begin to lust after that person. They desire to be with that person, whom they don’t even know, because of how that person looks or acts.

Solomon gives a strong warning for a person not to lust after a woman who is straying and lives for the wrong reasons.

Physically beauty is only skin deep. Many see it and desire the physical side of another person, disregarding the character and spiritual side of a person. This leads them into fornication and adultery, very quickly.

Some may only lust after another person and never do the act, but Jesus linked it as the same when even lusting in the heart as the actual action.

Lust for a person is seen every where a person looks. It is pushed as acceptable and common. It does not matter if a person is married or not.

There are many believers who get caught up in the lie that the other person might be better. Some will choose to act upon their thoughts, while many will just stay in the stage of lusting after someone.

While it is true that some men or women will look great, a believer must quickly turn his eyes away and move on. He must never allow lust to reign in his heart, turning him away from God.

Regardless of whether you are single or married, happy or not with your situation, you must guard your eyes. Do not allow yourself to be captured by the physical characteristics of another person.

God has set up the pattern of being with another person and how it is supposed to be. Follow His plan. His plan will bring contentment and joy. Walking the way of the world in lust will only bring about death and destruction.

Seeing someone cannot be helped, but what you do with your thoughts can. Focus your thoughts on God, not people.

I pray today that you will see people as God sees them; that you will know the true love of God for others; that God will help you guide your eyes and heart; and that God will help you to not lust after another person outside of marriage.

Marriage: Divorce–Never!

Torn fabric

Divorce is something that is extremely common. One cannot go anywhere without meeting someone who is divorced, in the process of divorce, or thinking about getting a divorce.

Statistics of America state that about 41-50% of all marriages will end in divorce. The average length of a marriage in the United States is seven years.

In the church, the statistics may be slightly lower. Their average can be found at about 38% get divorced or are divorced already.

These statistics are just with first time divorce rates. There are many people who have been divorced more than one time.

The reason for divorce are numerous, but usually stem around the following: infidelity, lack of commitment, conflict or arguing. Many finish with reasons of infidelity, domestic violence, or substance abuse.

Abuse

With these types of statistics, divorce is a reality in this world. It is something that is found outside and inside the church. Very few people are not touched by divorce in some way or another, either they have been through a divorce or they know someone who has.

Knowing this, I want us to take a look at what the Bible says about divorce.

In the previous posts I looked at what marriage is. It is one man and one woman put together to become one (Genesis 2:22-24). Many will say that this is just the Old Testament and does not apply to us today.

The Pharisees came to Jesus asking about divorce and if it was lawful or not to do. Jesus repeats what was said in Genesis in both Matthew 19 and Mark 10. With those words that the man and woman are to become one, He also adds:

Matthew 19_6

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. (Matthew 19:6)

The leaders wanted to know what Jesus had to say about divorce and He tells them that it should not happen at all.

“For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” Malachi 2:16 NASB

God hates divorce! It should not happen.

Why does God hate divorce? It is because He is a God of LOVE. He is Love. He wants His people to be people of love.

Divorce is not love. There is no love in divorce. There is no forgiveness. It is only hatred and selfishness. It only brings about pain and suffering for selfish reasons.

Love has absolutely no room for selfishness or hatred.

Some will say that divorce happened in the Bible and that Moses made provision for divorce. Jesus had something to say about this:

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way form the beginning.” Matthew 19:8

Stone heart

It was only out of the hardness of heart that divorce was ever allowed. This, again, does not show love. Love is soft and kind.

Now I know that there are some out there saying right now that I just don’t know or understand their situation. There are some that are being verbally, emotionally or physically abused, or some combination of all three. They will say that divorce is their only way out of the situation.

I do know that abuse does occur. I agree that it is horrible and can be life-threatening. However bad a situation is does not in any way allow for divorce. The only situation that Jesus says that allows for divorce was for sexual immorality–a spouse cheating on the other spouse sexually with another person.

Even then, divorce does not have to be the answer.

Think about life as a believer. Jesus promised that there would be persecution of every believer. He never promised that following Him would be easy or fun. He only promised that it would be worth it in the end.

Think about this situation: As a believer you are persecuted and abused–physically, sexually and emotionally. Does this give you the right to strike back in anger and hate? No.

Think about Jesus. He was perfect, never did anything wrong ever. Yet, He was abused, persecuted and killed upon a cross. Jesus endured whippings and beatings and a crown of thorns put on His head. Then as He was put upon the cross, He had to endure the pain of nails being driven through His hands and feet. And He had to endure the punishment of all sins of every person for all time. Then to top it off, His Father, whom He had been with for all eternity, turned His back on Him and struck Him.

Jesus crucified

How horrible! How wrong!

Yet, as Jesus was upon the cross He prayed that the Father would forgive them because they did not really know what they were doing. He forgave them of what they had done wrong.

And the whole reason for going through all that suffering was so that you may have life and be forgiven of your sins. This is real love.

You, as a believer, are to be just like Jesus–full of love and forgiveness. If you are going through persecution as a believer, does that give you the right to deny Jesus to get out of that persecution? NO! You are expected to endure the persecution, love your enemies and forgive them, just like Jesus did with you.

No where in the Bible does it give a believer the right to sin for any reason at all. Yet, many want to divorce, just because ‘we are incompatible’ or ‘he/she is abusive’ or for some other reason. None of these hold up under the command that no one should separate what God has put together.

Marriage may or may not be easy. Guaranteed there will be times that it will be difficult. There will be times that will seem like the most horrible thing on the face of the earth. Yet, marriage is supposed to be about love. One is love the other, no matter what.

Wedding vows with ring

Going back to the vows. Many said that they accept the other ‘for better or for worse’. This is often forgotten or ignored. You promised to live together for better or for worse, now wanting to get out of that promise because something is worse. You are to keep your vows before God. He will hold you accountable for every vow you made.

The other thing to remember is that with God all things are possible (Philippians 4:13). God can redeem your marriage. He can also give you the strength to endure all of the abuse that you may be going through. He can give you the love you need to love your spouse, even when that love is not returned and hate is given.

Just as your walk with God as a believer is not always easy, you walk in marriage may not always be easy, but it is worth it to love and fulfill your vow. Who knows? God may change the heart of your spouse and bring the spouse around to change his/her ways to a way of true love.

Rough path in forest

Divorce does not allow for change. It does not allow for love. It does not allow God to be the center of one’s life. It only brings about death and separation.

Do not allow death and separation to destroy your marriage. Hang in there and trust God to turn things around. Pray daily for strength and love to keep moving forward. Trust God to make the needed changes in your life and in the life of your spouse.

Now with this being said, I will say that there may be times when a spouse may have to move out to be safe from harm. Moving out is not getting a divorce, but staying safe. It still holds on to the hope that God will turn the marriage around.

Also if your spouse is an unbeliever and wants to get the divorce, than you are free to allow the spouse to get the divorce and you are released from your vow. However, you must not be the one to initiate or choose to get the divorce. Fight for your marriage.

Prayer with bible

I will be praying for your marriage. Praying that God will be the center of both of your lives and the center of your marriage. I will be praying that God will give you strength to love your spouse no matter what happens.