Tuesday, June 17, 2008

God has called You to Peace.

1 Cor. 7:15 (ESV)
But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.

Quite unfortunately Divorce has run rampant in recent years. The church’s reaction to this problem has been, in far too many cases, very harmful. There is a stigma attached to those who are divorced. Both parties are often punished, shunned, excommunicated, or looked down upon. When it comes to divorce, people tend not to see the planks in their eyes. I have to confess at one time I felt the same way about divorce. As if putting a huge stigma on it would prevent future divorces, possibly even my own. It didn’t work. But I learned something. The stigma is a stigma of fear. People dread divorce. We have made it the “deadliest of sins,” it is seen at times as a curse from God. Often times people even fail to recognize that a party might be innocent in divorce. “It takes two to tango,” the saying says. Yes it takes two to tango, but only one to divorce. If the other won’t tango with you anymore, you are hard pressed to get them to dance. Spouses don’t often relish making their partner dance the jig by shooting bullets at their feet. The truth is no one is without sin, we all need to be forgiven. At times we all need to be chastised. But tread lightly with those in your community facing divorce. Divorce won’t rub off by being their friend in a time of need. It isn’t contagious. And when a person’s spouse walks out on him or her, do not ever assume it was because that person wasn’t living up to their “marital duties.” Don’t pour salt in the wounds. I thank God my congregation was a little bit more open-minded about divorce than I was as a young pastor. If they had the same messed up views I did at the time, I wouldn’t be here today. My congregation knew how to forgive as Christ forgave them, and how to pick a man up when he was down. God has called us to peace, there isn’t much peace in divorce, but there should be peace in the church, where God forgives all us sinners.

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