Biblical Principles For Living

Divorce

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What is Divorce?

  1. Divorce is the breaking of the marriage covenant as set forth by God in Genesis 2:24 God states in His Word that a man shall leave his mother and be united to his wife and they will become one” NIV.  This union is for life.  God hates divorce.   Proverbs 2; 14-18 it talks of an adulteress wife who has ignored the covenant of God.
    1. Why does God hate divorce so much?

                                                               i.      It is inconsistent with His purpose Genesis 2:24

                                                             ii.      It creates problems for all involved.  Stress on friend, children and fellow believers.

                                                            iii.      God permits divorce only for marriage infidelity, but only after prayerful attempt at forgiveness and reconciliation.

                                                            iv.      Scripture permits but never requires a divorce from a marriage partner who commits adultery, Matthew 19:9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery” NIV

 

  1. People who divorce for reasons other than marital infidelity ought not to remarry, but:
    1. There should be a try at reconciliation and a reunion of the marriage vows.

 

    1. There should be a desire to seek God’s resolution for the marriage breakdown

 

    1. Divorced persons must seek forgiveness for any sins that led to the divorce

 

    1. Divorce does not have to mean a physical separation it can mean an emotional separation as well.  God call us to be as one flesh and any emotional separation from a spouse means you are not functioning as one flesh

 

    1. Seek God’s grace for spiritual growth and healing.  Galatians 5:14 says that we are to “Love your neighbor as yourself. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” NIV This verse says to love and not devour which means that any reconciliation must be accompanied by true forgiveness and a total letting go of past indiscretions. This means that you have to let God heal your heart and mind.

 

  1. The church should seek to prevent divorce                                                     
    1. There needs to be some form of premarital counseling offered

                                                               i.      This instructions should consist of what marriage is to be through God’s eyes as described in His Word

 

    1. There also needs to be ongoing opportunities for marital instructions which

Involves the opportunity for sharing as a couple. Proverbs 11:14 says,” that for lack of instruction a nation fails but many advisors makes victory sure”NIV.  Though this verse is about using good advice to run a nation it could as well apply to marriage and read,  “for lack of instruction a marriage fails, but many advisors makes a marriage secure” 

                                                                                                                              

                   C.   A marriage is built on the foundation of good examples.  What this means is that 

the principle example of a Godly marriage is the church leadership as described in 1 Timothy 3:2-3 “Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife”. NIV A couple will follow the example of other couples so the leaders of the church must be careful to live as examples for others to follow.

 

  1. The church should endeavor to counsel those that are considering divorce.
    1. This is done to help the couple to seek other solutions for their problems other than divorce.

 

    1. In the event that counseling does not lead to resolution the church is also called on to discipline those who continue on and get a divorce.

 

    1. There are also times the church must discipline those seeking to remarry or who have already remarried

 

    1. Remarriage is only permissible for those who have legitimately divorced or if marriage to the former partner is deemed by the elders to be impossible as described in 1 Corinthians 7:39, A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord”. NIV

 

    1. Individuals who remarry for one of the prescribed circumstances must at all times submit themselves to the Word of God

 

                                                                                                                              

  1. There are certain circumstances whereby those who have been divorced and who have married divorced persons may be admitted back into church membership
    1. If they give evidence of forgiveness and show give evidence of Christian living.

 

    1. The elders of the church must evaluate the circumstances surrounding a divorce or remarriage in order to assure;

                                                               i.      Obedience to the Scripture

                                                             ii.      Establish the legitimacy of the marriage

                                                            iii.      This is as established by God’s Word in Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

  

   

  1. The Church should always apply the Word of God in love to all people considering divorce, remarriage or who have been divorced or remarried as prescribed in Ephesians 4:15-16,  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work”.  A church member of leader should never seek to maliciously slander or harm a person who is divorced or considering divorce.
    1. The goal of the ministry is to restore any break in fellowship with God and with eh life of the church and to preserve the purity of the church and to clear the reputation of the person.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Bible verses are from the NIV Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society