God’s prophet said it plainly so long ago – the Lord hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).
But why? The answer is because (More …)
God’s prophet said it plainly so long ago – the Lord hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).
But why? The answer is because (More …)
Anton Popazov and his wife, Nataliya, got a divorce. That would be hardly worth mentioning, except they are both under contract to the Moscow State Circus and their act involves Natalia shooting an apple off of Anton’s head with a crossbow. The London Times asked Anton during a traveling show in Sheffield, England, whether he was afraid. He replied, “I still trust her because Nataliya is very professional. The show must go on.” Well, I am all for the show going on, but I think I would chose to be a spectator rather than the target. Divorce is tragic wherever it happens and leaves deep wounds. God says, “I hate divorce.” I know sometimes it is simply unavoidable; but we should make every effort to make marriage work. This is Just A Minute.
The subject of divorce and remarriage is very controversial in our time, but the controversy is by no means a new one. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus picked up the hot potato subject of divorce and addressed it with direct and simple but very sobering words — “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery” (Matthew 5:31-32). Space won’t allow an in-depth analysis of this text, but Jesus’ teaching here is augmented by His further teaching later in Matthew 19:1ff. There Pharisees attempted to put Him on the defensive by asking in verse 3, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” As a part of His answer Jesus declared in Matthew 19: 8-9 – “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” Those are strong words about divorce and remarriage! Combined, the two passages emphatically declare only one reason God allows divorce — sexual infidelity by the marriage partner. If a divorce takes place for any other reason and then remarriage follows, all the parties involved commit adultery: the divorce-er, the divorcee, and the one the divorce-er or divorcee remarries. That’s tough marriage-medicine in a me-first world where people want a quick, easy way out of any difficulty and inconvenience that arises, including in marriage.
Jesus’ words, though not difficult to understand, have proven difficult for many in our divorce-prone, no-fault divorce world to accept, including some in the church. I have read that a friend of W. C. Fields once entered the old comedian’s room to find him reading the Bible. Fields, a self-avowed atheist, was asked what he was doing. Fields quickly shut the Book, and, apparently embarrassed, replied, “Looking for loopholes, just looking for loopholes.” Many people look, and with first one argument and then another, insist they have found a loophole that releases them from the authority of God’s law concerning marriage and divorce. The mental twists and turns people go through bring to mind something I learned from fellow-preacher and friend David Sain. In a sermon I heard David preach, he mentioned a quote people often use regarding different Bible teachings — “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.” But Brother Sain pointed out that saying is incorrect, and went on to proclaim the truth of the matter this way: “God said it….and that settles it!” Whether or not we believe a Bible truth has zero to do with its veracity! A majority of men and women once believed the earth was flat, but that did not make it so. Some in Jesus’ day had relaxed God’s law on marriage and divorce — but Jesus never did. Marriage is sick and getting sicker in our society, and even in the church. The hope for a cure is not in diluting Jesus’ teaching. Let us, at least in the church, take and trust the strong marriage-medicine the Great Physician prescribes.
Dan Gulley – Smithville Church of Christ
It’s an interesting proposal although I doubt that it will make it anywhere. According to a story on the web, a ballot initiative has been introduced in the state of Colorado that, if passed, would require people to take marriage classes before they get married. With the exception of widows, and no doubt widowers, the more times a person has been married the more class hours that would be required for that person to complete in a “marriage education class” before they would be issued another license.
Although I believe it does bring some attention to a national and cultural problem, I don’t think that this proposal would fix the problem even if it passed. As with everything else in life it’s not that people don’t know what the right thing to do is – it’s that we don’t care. Despite the fact that I won’t personally marry anyone who refuses to do marriage classes I know that when a person is through with a marriage then no pre or post education will prevent it.
I think the initiative deserves an “A” for effort, but I also believe that it’s just another band-aid being placed on a wound that this nation has been ignoring for a couple of generations now; and a band-aid won’t work when antibiotics are what’s needed.
“The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason? And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”” (Matthew 19:3-6)
What’s going on with Baby-Boomers? Now that they are in their 50’s and 60’s they are divorcing at double the previous rate. Gray divorces make up fully one fourth of all divorces in America. Bowling Green State University professor Susan Brown co-authored a recent report entitled “The Gray Divorce Revolution”. I’m reminded of the story of the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of an elderly couple. The husband whispered in the ear of his hard of hearing wife, “I like it all but the band.” She turned to him and shouted, “I can’t stand you either!” Young or old let us remember that marriage is a lifetime partnership made “till death do us part.” This is Just-A-Minute
Typical, you might say, for Hollywood types, except that Cruise is a walking and talking advocate of “Dianetics,” or “Scientology,” as developed by the book’s author, L. Ron Hubbard.
“USA Today” picked up on the news of the divorce and one of its reporters wrote, “As the public face of Scientology, Cruise had become the leading advocate of a spiritual and religious empire that claims it can make people more successful, capable and better at personal relations. The latest scrutiny over their divorce is now turning into a public spectacle in which Scientology stands as a major participant.”
Dianetics, or Scientology, is just plain humanism. People might believe Scientology is a recent idea, but its roots spring from long, long ago. Erasmus, a philosophic contemporary of Luther, lived and preached humanism ―man is the measure― and lived from 1466-1536.
As Dianetics proclaims the education of a person toward becoming a person in the “clear,” or a practicing Thetan, Erasmus proclaimed the education of people because, as one philosophy text says, education alone would “eventually conquer stupidity and ignorance.” Dianetics is nothing more than making man a god and educating him to understand that he is god. Dianetics is nothing more than the philosophy of Erasmus.
As “USA Today” pointed out, Scientology has suffered through the trials, lawsuits and controversies since its “creation” in 1954. But with Cruise, we have a demonstrated logical inconsistency. If Scientology claims it is the sure-fire remedy for collapsing marriages and personal relationships, then why is Cruise and Holmes, the two greatest devotees of the “religion,” divorcing?
Since Cruise and Holmes are “practicing Thetans,” why are they resolving their differences in a court of divorce law?
The truth is that Scientology is neither religion nor truth. The truth is in the Bible. The teachings of Jesus are truth. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free,” (John 8:32 NKJV).
If you want the truth, then you want Jesus. You want his truth. You want to obey his will. Obey him today.
John Harrison advertised in the Knoxville Journal for a husband for his daughter. The ad said, “Needed: son-in-law. Hunting and fishing a must. Must be willing to wash dishes on hunting trips.” Harrison says his daughter was dating too many men who weren’t outdoorsy. For years many have thought that compatibility was the most important ingredient in a successful marriage. However recent studies show that commitment and communication are far more important. Commitment is the determination to make it work. And communication is the ability to understand another’s viewpoint. It is not fighting, nagging, insulting or arguing. At the root of communication is unselfishness. Real communication desires to understand what the other thinks and feels. Each should be seeking the happiness of the other. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess
Patrick Murphy of Sussex, Wisconsin, had a problem – his wife, Sharon, & his dog, Maddy, couldn’t get along. He decided one of them had to go. He put an ad in the local paper which read: “Wife or dog must go! Wife is good-looking, blonde, but impatient. Dog is German shorthair, 2 ½ year old, spayed female. Your choice, free.” Murphy said his ad produced more than 20 calls from people interested in the dog or eager to trade a little humor: however, Murphy insisted he was serious. This is just another sad commentary on our times: according to NationMaster, the US had the highest divorce rate per household in the world in 2011, 4.95 per 1000 couples. The destruction of home and marriage has become disas¬trously easy and common. With the trend, it shouldn’t be long until our local radio stations offer a “Swap & Shop” for marriage partners. Maybe preachers should change the marriage vow from “till death do us part” to “till I have a better offer.” This is Just-a-Minute with Ed Boggess
Professor Hans Jurgens asked 5,000 German husbands and wives how often they talked to each other. After two years of marriage, most of them managed 2 or 3 minutes of chat over breakfast, about 20 minutes at supper and a few more minutes before retiring. By the sixth year, it was down to 10 minutes a day. By the 8th year of marriage, a state of almost speechlessness was reached. Surely, this sad lack of communication contributes to the skyrocketing divorce rate. Marriage experts tell us that there are “three C’s” that are the keys to successful marriages: commitment, communication, and cohesion. When couples stop communicating, the marriage already has one strike against it. The other two usually come in short order. If you want to have a successful marriage, start by talking to each other; not shouting, not insulting, not nagging, sut simple communication. “What God hath joined together let not man put asunder.” This is Just-a-Minute with Ed Boggess
In a Gallop Youth Survey, American teenagers, by a 2-to 1 ratio, believe that divorces in this country are too easy to obtain. By about the same margin, teens feel that most couples who get di¬vorced have not tried hard enough to save their marriages. Bernard Wiese, marriage specialist and therapist, has shown that every marriage goes through 5 stages: the honeymoon stage, a time of disillusionment, a misery stage, a time of awakening and finally the time of mature love. The trouble is, too often, the towel is thrown in before mature love is reached. Often, couples are never able to advance past the misery stage. Some will say they simply weren’t compatible. But compatibility is not something you begin with, it is something you work towards. It can only be achieved when each seeks to please their partner before they please themselves. By doing this, they awake from their misery and advance to mature love. This is Just-a-Minute with Ed Boggess
I have been asked to speak on 1 Corinthians 7:14-16:
14: “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.
15: But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.
16: For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
Considering the number of doctrinal fights over this passage concerning marriage, divorce and remarriage, this is a daunting task. I guess I will find out how many theories there are out there for this passage.
The first and last verses are rather easy — the middle is a battlefield passage in the Lord’s church. Entire books have been written on this passage doing battle against false doctrines.
What are your thoughts on this passage? Thanks for your input!
Yes, you read that correctly. I still can’t hardly believe it myself. A couple I know (though not well) divorced recently after being together two-thirds of their lives. He initiated the divorce saying that he hadn’t been happy for a long time; she claims to still love him. Both have obviously failed to consider the other as better than themselves (and evidently this has gone on for years).
It made me stop and think: Could that happen to any couple? I suppose so. If one leaves their first love mentally, the body will often eventually leave too, I suppose. It’s certainly this way regarding one’s relationship with the Lord. Once a Christian no longer loves the Lord with all His mind, he will drift away in time.
Dear friends, may we always seek to renew our commitment to the Lord and to our mates! What is strong today will not be so tomorrow if we fall into neglect.
Fellows, my heart is heavy and has been for two days now. I’ve been preaching full-time now for a small church of about 30 people for nearly 11 years and I experienced a difficult first this week pertaining to Matt. 19:9, I Cor 7:10,11, etc.
First, let me say this–I understand the truth of God’s word on marriage, divorce, & remarriage (MDR), and I teach it.
Nevertheless, it is one thing to teach a difficult truth to an audience and another thing to teach it to a couple sitting across from you (there is a huge difference emotionally). It is one thing to teach an audience that “we must not live in adulterous situations–even if the civil courts sanction such” when you don’t have any specific person in mind, and it is another thing when you know the couple sitting a few feet away is, by their own admission, living in adultery.
Let me back up a minute–this is not the first time I’ve had discussions like this with people privately in my office. Strangers will call me up asking me to marry them. I never agree to do so over the phone but always offer to meet with them to discuss their situation. Often the couple interested in getting married has no Scriptural right to do so, and I show them Jesus’ words to that end. Some are respectful and quiet as they leave but others are angry and let it be known.
But 2 days ago I had a new experience. A couple I’ve been studying with (both about 50 years old with no young kids) have learned much in the past few weeks and have come to understand they need to be immersed. We talked a lot about conversion in our recent study. Also, they specifically wanted to talk about marriage, so we did. She has a Catholic background and was concerned that the church of Christ would not accept their marriage. We addressed that and then we talked about Matt. 19, etc. The man was qualified for marriage, but the woman was not (having divorced her 1st husband years ago, but not for infidelity). This man and woman sitting across from me understood (for the first time) the gravity of Jesus’ words in Matt. 19:9 and it hit them like a ton of bricks. I felt like Ezra and would have pulled out some of my beard if I could grow one (9:3).
“I’m not a bad person,” the woman said. “We didn’t know these truths when we got married a year or two ago” (they had lived together a number of years before getting “married” recently). I nodded as my heart ached for them. I thought to myself: “Would they be able to do what God’s word prescribes?” I then shared some verses on commitment, Jesus’ sacrifice as an example for us, and what it means to make oneself a eunuch for the kingdom’s sake. I tried to explain the brevity of life and the “duration” of eternity.
The couple didn’t get mad; they didn’t leave; they sat stunned and took it all in. This gave me hope for them. After 2 hours of talking about MDR and baptism, we all left the office with heavy hearts. How will it end? I do not know. But I’m praying for them and hope you will, too. They have great potential for the Lord–but not as a “married” couple. Will they seek first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness or will they turn away as the rich, young ruler did? Only time will tell.
I have a small inkling now of perhaps how Ezra felt in Ch. 9. I know the truth and can do nothing else but preach it in its entirety. I’m not the most sensitive chap, and, in my youth, I cannot recall every feeling terrible about sharing God’s word with someone. But it had to be done (Acts 20:26,27), and I did it the best I could in love (Eph. 4:15). Praise be to Almighty God!
How do we stay afloat when every else around us is drowning? We must have something to hold onto that will not perish; something firm and persistent. Likewise, how can remain married in a world filled with divorce, promiscuity and unhappiness? I have some advice for you today to help you accomplish your goals.