Continuing in First Corinthians chapter seven, we continue into the section from verse 10 through 24. In this section Paul will discuss marriage, separation, and divorce. His statements are simple and clear and so important to us today!
What if I told you that there is one area of focus and attention that, if improved, would positively affect national and state levels of crime, economic prosperity, and poverty related issues? What if I told you that addressing this area would even take a burden off the need for more and greater government involvement in social life? Well, there is such a thing, and the answer is not gun control or immigration, education, minimum wage, or healthcare! It is the health and stability of the family unit! This topic is very well documented and the verdict is clear: healthy families make healthy societies.
Divorce related issues plague us and influence our world in ways many do not understand. Divorce has social, emotional, economic, and even governmental impact. I would be surprised if there is anyone in the church whose life has not been directly impacted by divorce — for example, your parents may be divorced, you may have been divorced, or maybe grown kids that have been through a divorce. So I know I don’t have to tell you about the damage, confusion, and pain that divorce causes for spouses and for children! The family unit is still the basic building block of every society. Strong families make strong societies. The opposite and negative affect is also true.
I also know many may feel condemned about having been divorced! While Paul does not address all the “what if’s” of divorce and remarriage directly, we will take some time to imagine scenarios. What if I got divorced for the wrong reasons? What if I was the one who promoted it? Am I under God’s judgement for that? Can I be forgiven? Is there hope?
Paul also takes a few sentences to discuss mixed marriages. No, not mixed race, but mixed faith! What if you are married to someone who is not a believer and never comes to church? Maybe you think, as the Corinthians thought, that you could be so much more effective if you were out of that marriage! We will discuss those very issues.
But Paul summarizes this entire discussion by saying that following Jesus is not dependent on the outside circumstances of our life being just right. “If I only had the right job, or my spouse wasn’t so negative about Jesus, or I had a different situation, then I could really blossom and be an effective witness for Jesus.” Have you ever felt like that??
Listen in and hear what God says about these things through Paul in this passage today!