Today 1Corinthians 7:10-17 will be our text. Now Paul turns his attention from advice on when and whether to marry or not, to those who are already married. And he specifically states that it comes from God, not his own ideas.
A wife must not leave her husband. But if she is seperated from him, let her remain single or else go back to him. , from vs 10 & 11 TLB. Okay, we have already established that God does not sanction divorce. That it is to be avoided. But here the wording illudes to a "seperation". Not living together as man and wife. How many people do you know who "split up" with their spouse and before any paper work for divorce is even filed they are out dating or even living with someone else.Our society says this is okay. But here we see that God sees it different. As long as you are married, then YOU ARE MARRIED. You are never single or free until a divorce is finalized, no matter what the circumstances.
Now lets look at vs 13, And if a Christian woman has a husband who isn't a Christian, and he wants her to stay with him, she must not leave him. Umhum! On the Christian message boards there are always plenty of people complaining and crying that their spouse is not a Christian or says they are and are not living it. That is sad. That is hard. But that in and of it's self does not give the Christian spouse freedom to leave! They are commanded to remain if the unsaved spouse will have them. (If you really looked into it, many - but not all - who are in that situation are there because they did not seek God's will before they married or were not Christian theirself before they married.) And God even gives His Divine reason for requiring this of us:
So the unsaved spouse might come to know Him and the children might learn of God and come to know Him! God's first priority always and forever is the salvation of man! From Genesis to Revelation! To Him there is no greater need and no higher purpose!
In verses 15 and 16, God examines the other side of the coin - you have an unsaved spouse that doesn't want to stay with their Christian spouse. They are free to leave! Free to end it! God pushes Himself and His ways on no one. And the unsaved is not bound by the call to obedience that the Christian is. You can try to gently persaude them to stay, but he tells us not to insist. Don't cause a big stink with fighting and bitterness. Just accept it and let go. I'm not saying this is always easy....many things that are right in God's sight are not easy. But He knows it is best.
Now look at verse 17, where we end today. If everyone took the words of this verse to heart and truly tried to do as it says, divorce would be a rare exception! And the marriages we were in would be fuller, richer and more satisfying! Mark it. Use it. Share it.
But be sure in deciding these matters that you are living as God intended, marrying or not marrying in accordance with God's direction and help, and accepting whatever situation God has put you into.
Definately words to live by! If you are receiving any help from these devotions, please spread the word! If God has used them to change your life in some way, to minister to you.....please respond here with a testimony! If you just want to dicuss something personally, you can email me.
God bless you!