“And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” (1 Corinthians 7:10–11, AV)
Today there seems to be an aggressive attack on three fronts. They are the sanctity of truth, the sanctity of life, and the sanctity of family and its foundation, marriage. Why are these three areas under attack? It begins with an attack on truth. By this I mean biblical truth. If truth can be undermined, then everything else collapses into chaos. There are many today that say that truth is not absolute. However, these same people say that this statement is absolutely true and thus defeat their own premise.
The Bible from beginning to end is God’s word. As God is the immutable source of all truth, so is His word. In it we have the principles upon which humanity is to function for blessing in life. Yet, the attack on the truth is part of the devil’s evil schemes. His goal is to undermine the truth and create havoc in God’s creation. As mentioned, this covers many areas. One such institution is the family of which the foundation is marriage.
The Bible says much about marriage and here Paul speaks about a problem that attacks directly this institution. It is divorce. When I was a young man, there was a TV show called “Divorce Court.” It began in 1957. The cases focused on whether the court would permit the divorce or not based upon certain legal grounds. Many times, the divorce was denied and the couple was told to get counselling and reconcile.
However, in the 1970s the no-fault divorce was introduced. With this, a couple could divorce for any reason and then the legal battle was over things such as alimony, child support, division of property, etc. Divorce became something much more commonplace in our country.
Yet, the Bible reveals very specific truth regarding divorce but unfortunately, we as a country have departed from its teachings. Thus, we are seeing the breakdown of the family and the repercussions thereof.
Here Paul wrote to the Corinthian church regarding this issue of divorce. His basic premise is that God’s ideal for marriage is that of a pure undefiled union between a man and a woman only separable by death. This was founded by God in the beginning (Gen 2:24). His exhortation echoes the Lord’s on this subject.
“But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” (Matthew 5:32, AV)
Now, we do not understand the specific reasons that Paul needed to address this in Corinth. It may have been that some who had unbelieving spouses thought that divorce was necessary for religious reasons. It might have been that some were divorcing because they were not satisfied or fulfilled in their marriages. We do not know exactly. But we do know for certain that God hates divorce (Mal 2:16), and we in the church must fight for the sanctity of marriage which is the foundational unit of the family.
More on this in the next devotional.