Divorce Part 2: Foundational Truths
"Some Pharisees came to Him to test Him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?" "Haven't you read," He replied, "that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."-Matt. 19:3-6 On Sunday April 19, 2015 Molly Schuyler made food eating history when she devoured three 72-ounce steaks in twenty minutes. She completely humiliated the Big Texan challenge. I am ashamed to admit that I watched the video. It was AMAZING! This 120 pound woman completely dominated the challenge. Her technique was to tear apart the steak with small bites and occasional sips of water. A technique that put her on the Mt. Rushmore of competitive eating icons.
On May 3, 2015 I began a challenge of my own; preaching on the subject of divorce. My technique is very similar; I am diving into the scriptures and breaking down this giant issue into small digestable pieces. Prayerfully, The Lord will bring much needed clarity and healing through this series.
Our text for this week was Matthew 19:3-6. The Pharisees approached Jesus with a question designed to "trip Him up". Why? There are a couple of different theories. One says that the Pharisees were trying to trick Jesus into dealing with divorce the same way that John the Baptist dealt with Herod's divorce. They were hoping that Jesus would receive the same outcome as John. Death. Another thought is that the Pharisees were trying to trick Jesus into affiliating Himself with one of the two prominent Jewish leaders of the time; Hillel and Shammai. Hillel was the liberal leader that called for the allowance for divorce in almost any circumstance. Shammai was the conservative leader that held hard and fast to not allowing divorce for anything other than adultery. Deceiving Jesus into following one or the other would have been very beneficial to their motives towards Jesus.
How does Jesus respond to divorce? He responds by explaining marriage! Why? I believe it was because of a few reasons:
- He wanted to expose their motive.
- He wanted to remind them of God's plan for marriage.
- He wanted to remind them of God's involvement in marriage.
Jesus was re-establishing the spiritual foundation of marriage. He would later address divorce, but the glaring need was not the understanding of divorce, it was the understanding of marriage. One man, one woman, one lifetime. A God ordained union that connected the man and the woman on three levels:
The physical is the physical attraction and interaction of our bodies. The soulful is our personality and the way that we connect on an emotional level. The spiritual is our spirit being, the part of us that God created to commune with Him. When God unites the husband and wife, it is a powerful bond. Each level has its own place in marriage, but the spiritual level is the most important. If we walk with God, intimately, by reading His Word, praying, listening, obeying etc. we are strengthening the primary foundation of marriage. When both the husband and the wife walk this way, marriage is a wonderful, beautiful, fun, and amazing experience. The best part is that even when troubles come, and they will come, the marriage is not shaken because the foundation is strong.The physical and the soulful were not intended to be the foundation. That's why marriages that are built on the physical and the soulful, alone, do not last. I explain this in greater detail in the actual sermon (please go to www.chbcok.com to listen).
The spiritual side of marriage is centered on The Gospel.
"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed."-1 Peter 2:24
As believers we are forgiven, we experience the supernatural power of God in our lives, we are empowered by The Holy Spirit, and we are healed! All of these elements lead to intimacy with The Father! When we have this intimacy we know and understand God's promises for us and we trust them-regardless of the circumstance. Promises like these:
"The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but The Lord delivers him from them all."-Psalm34:18-19
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." -Romans 8:28
Aren't those amazing promises?! Of course they are! And these promises are true in every circumstance.
What I have to say now is very difficult and may not be easy to receive. If you have been divorced or are going through a divorce, you must hold on to the promises of God. You can't afford to blame God, be mad at God, or temporarily lose your mind and fall apart. You must hold tightly to The Lord and let Him lead you through this terrible storm. The enemy (Satan) is so good at making God look like the bad guy. He is an expert at creating doubt, fear, anxiety, anger, and bitterness. He is a liar and has no good intention for you or me. His desire is for divorce to be the catalyst for your demise. To separate you from God and begin a cycle of divorce and emotional pain that will be carried on for generations. You must walk with your Heavenly Father-no excuses!
You must not detach from God or His people. The enemy will play with your mind and emotions. He will make you think that everyone at church hates you, is ashamed of you, and is against you. Those are lies. Even if there are some people in the church who say mean things, there are also those that love you. Stay close to the ones who love you. You need God to speak into your life through The Word and through prayer. You also need God to love you through His people. Don't run. Don't isolate yourself. Don't fall into the enemy's trap. There is love, hope, forgiveness, and did I mention love? And all of those things come from Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Please take the time to listen to the sermon for this week. I believe God has a wonderful plan for your life... do you?
Much Jesus Love,