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.

Psalm 85:8 Listen And Don’t Turn Wrong

Funny horses

I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants–but let them not turn to folly. Psalm 85:8 

Peace is something that most people want all over the world. They are searching for peace or ways to have peace. Yet, as they search for peace, it never seems to be found.

For short periods of time some find a little peace, but it does not last. Some will find peace in getting away from everyone and everything. Others find peace when there is no direct battles going on and everything is going their way. While each of these has signs of peace, they are not real peace and it does not last.

One of the sons of Korah states that he will listen to what God has to say. One thing that God promised was peace to His people. His people are those who are faithful to Him. However, there is one requirement, they must not turn to folly.

Believing in Jesus brings about a peace the world cannot understand. It is peace in knowing the salvation He provides and peace despite the troubles that are occurring in one’s life. This is a peace that overrides anything that is going on in life, both good and bad. Nothing can take that peace away.

Although nothing can take that peace away, one can give it away. A person gives that peace away when he turns to folly. Folly is doing anything that has no purpose or meaning, anything that lacks any value.

Living in any sin is the greatest folly a man can do. Sin has no purpose other than to separate a person from God and kill him. It is a waste of time and only brings about death.

As the world turns to folly/sin, the believer is to turn away from all folly and listen to God.

When you turn away from sin and begin to listen to God, you will know what He desires of you. You will learn of His great love for you. You will know the peace that He has for you.

God has promised you all of these things, regardless of what the world says or does. Trust that He will give them to you as you turn from sin and folly.

Focus your life on serving God and building His kingdom and you will know the peace that the world can never know.

I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus provides; that you will know the peace of God in your life; that God will strengthen you to turn from all folly and sin; and that you will only do what pleases God. 

Psalm 76:11 Keep Your Vows

River in valley

Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them; let all the neighboring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared. Psalm 76:11 

Making a promise is something easy to do. Promises are made all the time by people of all ages and all nations. Keeping the promise is something different.

Promises are broken every day by people all over the world of all ages. People feel that it is acceptable to break a vow because of some unexpected circumstance in their life.

Since people are so quick to break a promise, contracts have to be drawn up with extreme details to cover every possible situation if the promise is broken. When someone breaks the contract, there is a negative consequence.

Asaph tells the people to make vows to God, but not only make the vows, but to keep those vows also. The other nations are watching and will bring gifts to God because of the vows being kept by His people.

Just becoming a believer begins with a vow. It is a vow to believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus and to follow Him for the rest of the days of one’s life.

However, there are also many other vows a person can make before God. Vows to turn from sin. Vows to do some work that He has called one to do. Promises to spend more time with God and in His word.

People are quick to make vows to God when in a difficult situation. They promise that they will do something, if God gets them out of the bad situation. Whether these are good or bad promises, God expects one to fulfill those promises. Every idle word is taken into account.

As believers keep their promises, the world will see and be amazed. They will give God honor for what they see.

Be careful in making a vow or promise to God or to anyone else. If you make a vow, be sure to keep that vow. Trust that God will give you the strength to fulfill it.

God has made many promises to you and He will fulfill every one of them faithfully. You are to be just like Jesus and the Father, faithful to your word.

Do not allow circumstances or struggles to cause you to break a promise. God does not allow anything to change His promise.

The world is watching to see how you keep your vows. Are you representing God?

I pray today that you will know the promises God has given you; that God will help you keep your vows; that you will trust God to help you in keeping your promises; and that you will a witness of God’s promises being fulfilled. 

Marriage Vows: I Do

I do

One of the things that people look forward to in going to a wedding ceremony is waiting for the marriage vows to be said. When the vows are said, it completes the marriage ceremony and the couple are then married. It becomes official.

Although there is nothing in the bible about having to say a marriage vow when one gets married, there is nothing against the bible in saying a vow. All a vow is, is making a promise. It is promising that you will do or not do something. It is committing oneself to something or someone.

In a wedding ceremony the common traditional marriage vow goes somewhat like this:

“I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith [or] pledge myself to you.”

Some have changed the wording some, but this is the basic standard of a traditional wedding vow or promise.

Autum twigs

When you look at this vow, you will see that it covers everything possible in a marriage–better/worse, richer/poorer, sickness/health. Every marriage will go through every one of these at some point or another. It is human nature to do better or worse, be richer or poorer, and have times of sickness or good health.

Every person who goes into a marriage must realize that these things will occur. There will be times of great joy and happiness, when everything is going perfectly. There will also be times of struggle and pain. Neither one should stop a marriage.

All of these things are done because of love. The next part of the vow is to love and cherish the spouse.

Love comes from God. Remember God is love. God loves you with a perfect, undying love. That love is a love that loves you no matter what, better/worse, richer/poorer, sickness/health. There will be times of better, worse, richer, poorer, sickness and health as you walk this life on this earth. God’s love for you remains the same. He keeps His promise to love you for all eternity.

Heart padlock

The same love God has for you is to be brought into a marriage. There will be times that will be better and there will be times that will be worse. There will be times that will be richer and times that will be poorer. There will be health as well as sickness. None of these things should change a marriage and the vows to each other.

As you are going through life married and begin to face some tough times, the worse times, look back to your vow at the beginning. Think about why you were willing to say ‘I do’ to those vows. Hold on to that reason. Keep loving and cherishing your spouse, regardless of what your spouse says or does.

It will not always be easy, but then life is not easy either. Walking with God is not always easy. There are always tough choices to make. There are always difficult times to walk through when walking with God. It is a walk of faith.

Older couple walking

Your marriage is a walk of faith with God. You are trusting that your spouse will be faithful and continue to love you, just as God has faith that you will be faithful and love Him as He loves you.

When you said ‘I do’ you made a promise. Now work at keeping that promise and don’t give up.

Thank you for continuing with me on this journey at looking at marriage. Next week I will look at the husband and his responsibility in a marriage. Have a blessed marriage in our Lord Jesus Christ! See you next week as we continue this journey.

1 Kings 17:15 Acting In Faith

Boy stepping out

She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 1 Kings 17:15 

To do something people like to know what the outcome will be. They want to have a favorable outcome with the actions that they do. Most people will look at what the different possibilities are and weigh the differences.

The primary way most people will act, is if the possibility of a favorable outcome is very high, will they do the act. If the possibility of a favorable outcome is very low, then the only way that they will do the action is if the favorable outcome will be very high, such as in playing the lottery.

During the time of a proclaimed drought, Elijah went to a woman for some food. The lady said that all she had was enough food for one more meal, and then she and her child would die. Elijah told her He would provide for her needs, so she made him a meal. God did provide and they had food every day during the drought.

Acting in faith takes some courage and faith in God. One has to know that God is full of love and is faithful to His word. Throughout the Bible, over and over, God says that He will provide.

Nearly every believer in God has heard this said or read the verses, yet, many are afraid to act in faith. They are afraid to give their last bit of food for a stranger, trusting God for more. They are afraid to give to a missionary in need or give the tithe plus some more in generosity. They are afraid to go up to someone and tell them about Jesus. These things are all not done out of lack of faith in God.

If you can trust God to save your soul from sin, then you should be able to trust Him with everything else. Trust God when He directs you to do some thing.

Doing what God asks of you may look like you are stepping off a cliff and will die, unless He does something, but do it anyways. God has a reason for you to take that step. It may be for you, or it may be for someone else, but do it.

God has never been unfaithful, nor will He ever be unfaithful.

Act in faith today!

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know that God is faithful; that you will trust God’s word to you; that you will have faith in God’s promises; and that you will always act in faith towards God. 

Deuteronomy 23:23 Keep Your Word

Handshake promise

Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth. Deuteronomy 23:23

Every day millions of people make promises about something to someone. This can be promises to other people or to God. At the same time there are millions of people who break their promises and do not fulfill what they said they would do.

Breaking the promise is such a common problem, that people have to sign extremely detailed contracts to make a promise on many things. These contracts are legally binding writings stating that the person will do what was promised, or there will be consequences.

During the time of Moses, having a written contract was not common, it was just the word of the person. God tells them that they must keep their promise, because it was the person who freely, from his own mouth, made the promise.

It does not matter why or how the promise was made, it must be kept, despite the consequences. People will come up with every excuse possible as to why they have to break the promise. Yet, it must be kept. God holds the person accountable for that promise.

Many people will also make a sudden rash promise to God in the heat of the moment. Often this is done to make God happy with them and to get Him to change the situation. God will hold that person responsible for that promise.

God always keeps every promise He has ever made. He is and will be faithful forever to His word. Believers are to be just like God and keep their promises. They are not to suddenly refuse to keep the promise, regardless of how hard it may be to keep it.

Jesus kept His promise to you in providing you salvation and forgiveness for your sins. Keeping His promise cost Him His life. He had to die on the cross in order to keep His promise to save you.

Each day you have options on what you will say and what you will do. As a believer, you must always be a person of your word. Fulfill every promise that you make. Every time you make a promise to anyone, remember that you are also making that promise to God, and He will hold you accountable.

Be careful what you say, and always keep your promise.

I pray today that you will only speak what God wants you to say; that God will strengthen you to keep your word; that God will see you as faithful to your word; and that God will help you to keep from making rash promises.