“It has also been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife is to give her a certificate of divorce’; but I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except on grounds of sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who has been divorced commits adultery.” Matthew 5:31-32 NIV
But to the married [believers] I give instructions—not I, but the Lord—that the wife is not to separate from her husband, (but even if she does leave him, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband) and that the husband should not leave his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 NIV
I must admit that I got overwhelmed as I tried to study what scripture says about divorce and marriage from both the Old and New Testaments and from various commentaries on the subject, both historical and contemporary. So I’m going to focus on what I’ve experienced, and what I’ve learned.
I’ve had the privilege as a sound and lighting tech for many years to serve at a variety of weddings, both small and quite large — good memories for me. One definite thing was apparent in all of them: none of the couples took their vows with the idea of divorce in mind. Certainly Phil and I didn’t when we took ours.
Some of you reading this knew and will remember my husband, Phil and me as we have been part of South Fellowship for many years. We got married in 1965 because we “wanted to see each other’s face across the breakfast table for the rest of our lives”. We celebrated our 43rd anniversary three weeks before he died on April 2nd 2008.
Over the years we learned, sometimes easily, sometimes painfully, that being “in love” is very different from loving. The best description of loving is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 FNVNT (* First Nations Version New Testament)
* Article on First Nations Version in Christianity Today “Native Christians: Indigenous Bible Version Is ‘Made By Us For Us”
Love is patient and kind. Love is never jealous. It does not brag or boast. It is not puffed up or big-headed. Love does not act in shameful ways, nor does it care only about itself. It is not hot-headed, nor does it keep track of wrongs done to it. Love is not happy with lies and injustice, but truth makes its heart glad. Love keeps walking even when carrying a heavy load. Love keeps trusting, never loses hope, and stands firm in hard times. The road of love has no end.
As you pray the Lord’s prayer with us this week, think about 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 in light of: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 NIV
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