To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?1 Corinthians 7: 10-16
On our flight out to Phoenix this weekend, I sat by a man who recently lost his wife. He is 82 years old and he spoke of his family and children and how his faith in Christ has brought meaning to his life. As it turns out, he and his family have roots in the Arizona Assemblies of God and he is still active in his church and ministries.
I remember when the word “divorce” was rarely mentioned or considered, especially within the church, but it is more likely today. Unfortunately, his story is less common than it should be, especially among believers. Too many times I hear of families who are broken and lives that are affected both in the near and the long term.
Unlike the advice some might give today, Paul encouraged the covenant of marriage even in often difficult situations where one spouse is a believer and the other is not. The commitment to marriage has an impact not only on spouses but on their children as well.
A broken marriage is simply just that and I’ve seen far too many of the years who have not been willing to go the distance.
Paul’s words above are straightforward and are based on the teachings of Christ, so what did Christ have to say about marriage? When asked about the subject, Christ responded by referring back to the beginning saying:
“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”Matthew 19: 4-5
I think most of us agree that marriage is among the most important decisions we make as adults. Do we take important decisions in our lives as seriously as we should? Are we ready to sacrifice our own desires for the sake of honoring our vows before God?