DIVORCE is NOT an OPTION for a CHILD of GOD
November 22 Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians Chapters 7-9
"Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife." (1 Cor. 7:10-11)
In the above passage, Apostle Paul issues a critical statement on the issues of divorce and remarriage among Christian believers as he quotes a command given by Jesus Christ when He was on earth (see Matthew 5:32; 19:3–9; Mark 10:2–12; Luke 16:18). When Christ was on earth, He told us not to divorce a spouse. Instead of divorce, Paul uses the word translated depart, which refers to wives leaving their husbands. The idea is the same: a believing husband and wife should not leave each other. At the unfortunate event if a couple divorced, they were to remain unmarried all through their life!
We can observe from the earlier verses that Apostle Paul’s advice to the unmarried is given as optional; his advice to the married is given as a command. Paul’s command here is in opposition to Greek and Roman law which permitted a woman to divorce her husband, but there is no doubt that the apostle has in mind the explicit instructions of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus had forbidden divorce except on the ground of unfaithfulness (Matt. 5:32; 19:9). The overall instruction that Paul gives is that a wife should not to depart from her husband under any circumstance!
However, Paul recognizes that there are extreme cases where it might be necessary for a wife to leave her husband. In such a case, she is obligated to remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband. Separation does not break the marriage tie; rather it gives opportunity for God to heal the differences that have come between and to restore both partners to have fellowship with Him and with one another. On the other hand, the husband is commanded not to divorce his wife, and there is no exception made in his case. Paul wanted to reinforce the main teaching of Christ on this subject: Christian married couples should not dissolve their marriages for any reason whatsoever!
Why is divorce not an option for a married child of God? The straight forward answer is that it is difficult for a Christian husband and wife to provide a model of reconciliation to the world if they cannot be reconciled with each other. As God’s children, we should follow God’s original creation design and never sever the oneness of our marriage bond. As a Christian couple, we are to bear witness to the world by keeping our marriage indissoluble as they represent the truth of covenant love that should live and grow in a spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Finally, Christian spouses can have a wonderful ministry to each other as they grow in the Lord and their love each other. As Paul addresses this subject in another scripture passage, our earthly marriage is actually revealing the mystery of the intimate relationship of Jesus Christ and His bride, the Church (see Eph. 5:22-33). Let us never forget this simple truth: divorce is not an option for a child of God!