While thinking thru' some theological topics for some churches, it struck me that I have never posted my thoughts on these topics.
Divorce has touched 'everyone' I know. What kind of a fool must I be to weigh-in on this? Well, it is my privilege to guide others in understanding God's Word; this topic is near to His heart.
What you read below is about 3 years in the making. I could not have completed it without the assistance of Ron, Brock and Jon; to them I offer a hearty "Thank You".
1. Marriage is God-ordained for all mankind. It is the lifelong union of one man and one woman before God and man, consummated by sexual intimacy. ( Gen 1.27-28, Gen 2.24-25, Mt 19.4-6, Mk 10.6-9, 1 Cor 7.39 )
2. A believer and an unbeliever should not wed. ( Col 3.18-19, Eph 5.22-33, 2 Cor 6.14-17 )
3. Marriage is a useful aid in deterring immorality and adultery. God opposes all sexual activity outside of marriage. ( 1 Cor 7.1-2, 2 Tim 2.22, Eph 5.1-3 )
4. Vows are not just of present love, but of future, mutually binding love; these are made “before” God, if not “to Him” outright. Both husband and wife are to demonstrate their love for Jesus by loving their spouse well (1 Pt 3.1-7). Wives are to be submissive, to live pure and God-focused lives. Husbands are to be considerate, treating their wives with respect as co-heirs in God’s kingdom. (Eph 5.22-33)
5. Death breaks the marriage bond. ( Rom 7:2-3; 1 Cor. 7:39 )
6. Marriage provides a living example, albeit an imperfect example, of Christ’s love for His bride, the Church. Marriage is to be held in honor. ( Eph 5.32, Heb 13.4 )
1. God is opposed to both divorce and hard-heartedness.
( Gen 2.24, 1 Cor 7.10-11, Mt 19.8-9, Mk 10.2-12).
2. In ailing and broken marriages, both spouses are hurt and have caused hurt in the other. Both are strongly encouraged to agree with God about the nature of their actions, motivations and attitudes.
Confession of all know sin is a critical component for the purpose of living godly and receiving God’s blessing – whether single or married.
3. Adultery does great harm to the marital bond. Divorces sought for reasons other than adultery were, following a re-marriage, a means of adultery according to Jesus. (Mt 5.31-32, 19.8-9 ) When a spouse has committed adultery, the Scripture does not require divorce, nor does Scripture condemn a divorce for that reason. ( Dt 24.1-4, Mt 19.8-9, Mk 10.2-12)
4. Reconciliation of the relationship should always be sought. Divorce is not a “do over”; it is a cancellation of the vows, a violent act against the marital bond, and poorly portrays the power of God’s love in Jesus to the community. ( Mal 2.16 )
5. Should a believer and an unbeliever be married, the believer should not seek a divorce, nor should he/she stand in the way of the unbelieving spouse who seeks a divorce. ( 1 Cor 7.15 - 17 )
6. Separation of married partners is not necessarily sin and may be advisable when a spouse is dangerously abusive and/or neglectful, or absent. Separation may be advisable on a limited, specific, short-term basis for the purpose(s) of healing, training or protection.
7. Divorce is not better or worse than other sins. Its consequences are often wide-reaching. We who are the bride of Christ are called to not only uphold God’s ideal but to assist those who have fallen short of it.
1. Widows and widowers are free to re-marry another believer, there is no offense in this.
2. Former spouses should repent and be reconciled to God and to their spouses.
(1 Corinthians 7:11; 1 John 1:9)
3. The re-marriage of one’s former spouse releases one to wed again.
4. Re-marriage cuts off all possibility of re-marrying one’s prior spouse. ( Dt 24.1-4 )
D. Membership and Service of Divorced Persons
1. Membership may be considered for any divorced person who otherwise meets the qualifications
2. Since every case of marital conflict is unique, it is important that much time be given to consider each case on an individual basis, consistent with the scriptures and church policies.
3. Elected offices, even those of pastor, may be filled by divorced males who meet stated qualifications.
It is my policy and express intent to provide instruction and effective counseling in the establishment, preservation, and restoration of God’s ideal. This includes my referring others to professional counselors, doctors and other caregivers, as needed.
 hard-heartedness is a sinful, unrepentant attitude toward God and his standards. (Dt 9.27, Ps 81.12, Jer 17.1, Mk 7.6, Eph 4.18, Mt 5.31-32)