Thursday, June 12, 2008

Command not to divorce

1 Cor. 7:10-11 (ESV)
To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband [11] (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.
Divorce is ugly. Sometimes it is necessary but always ugly. God hates it. Paul here isn’t negating the reasons for divorce that are given elsewhere in scripture. However, as a rule, not an exception, he is saying the woman should not separate from he husband. And the husbands should not divorce his wife. What is unusual about this is you see the gentile, non-Jewish influence in the Corinthian church. Roman culture allowed for a woman to divorce, Jewish laws and customs did not. Jesus addresses his discourses on divorce directly to men, with no thought of the woman, who would divorce her husband. He was speaking to Jews. But here, Paul addresses women. He tells them first that they should not divorce, or separate from their husband. Especially, they should not divorce under the guise that this would help them be more religious, or sanctified. This may seem a bit silly to us today. How could divorce be considered a sanctified thing to do? Well it isn’t that strange of a thing to do. Even Augustine for all intents and purposes divorced his wife, the mother of his son, to pursue the religious life. Well at least he turned his concubine out on the street. I’m not going to be too particular on the difference between a wife and a concubine. It is amazing the things that people will do to try sanctify themselves, how blind and loveless the law can make a person. People will do all sorts of silly things to impress God, even divorce their spouse, but that isn’t what God wants. God knew the hole we humans were in, and how stupid we could be in trying to secure our own salvation. That’s why He sent His Son to die for us, so we wouldn’t have to secure our own salvation, or sanctification, or what ever else you want to call it. But freely forgiven and loved by Christ we are now free to love, even our spouses.

3 comments:

Ann Marie said...

You see I was raised Roman Catholic and spend 13 years in private Catholic school along with the fact that I am 23 years old and go to church still every sunday with my parents. You lost me the moment you wrote "God hates" I have a *very* hard time believing God hates anything. He may greatly dislike something or not want us to do things but he doesn't hate, hate is far too strong a word have you ever looked up it's meaning? Wikipedia sites bigotry, prejudice, and racism as examples of hatred. Isn't love what we are preached? To love all others, remember sacrifice is the ultimate love right. Jesus sacrificed his life out of love, sacrifice is not just literal I think. I think the sacrifice of a prejudice or a strong feeling that is comfortable to us that lets us avoid difficult subjects, such as hmm..hate maybe. I think once you lift the hatred from your heart you will be surprised how understanding and loving you can be of all people, because we are all God's children, made in the image of his son.

steve martin said...

ann marie,

Ann Marie,

"The Lord loves those who hate evil."

Psalms 97:10

"There are 6 things that the Lord hates..."

Proverbs 6:16

God has no problem with hatred...of things that are evil.

Anonymous said...

Anne Marie,
As a divorced pastor I know how much god loves all his people. Even those who end up divorcing for what ever reason. but he hates divorce, not divorcees. Remember,the opposite of love is not hate. it is indifference. Because god loves his children all of us, he hates divorce which is fraught with much pain for his children.
Sorry for the long time it took to respond. I'm in California picking up my son.
Bror Erickson