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05
Divorce - Destruction of Homes
October 5, 2016

Sometime ago the Chicago Sun-Times carried the story of a local couple who were in the midst of a hostile divorce.  Six months into the case, their baby was born.  His mother named him a day later, only to find her husband had gone to court to bar her from naming the child.  Shortly thereafter, they began legal mediation to see if they could agree on a name.  The Sun-Times article concluded with the overseeing judge urging the couple to work things out, saying, “I would hate to see this thing turn ugly.”  Really?  Seems to me the ugliness had already settled in.

The question of divorce was a quandary for the Pharisees.  They came to test Jesus in Matthew 19 and Jesus gave them the Cole notes on marriage.  God created human beings male and female.  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united, literally glued together firmly with his wife.  When God joins a husband and wife they are not to be meddled with.  Divorce was a concession for the hardness of the human heart.  Except for sexual immorality, surrendering sexual purity, divorce and remarriage was prohibited.

Divorce is a deviation from God’s design.  He hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).  It devastates lives emotionally, financially and relationally.  It wreaks havoc with a person’s trust in God’s promises of answered prayer.  Where people have invested long hard hours, agonizing prayer, faith may be seriously wounded.

How is the church to respond?  Build into marriages with words of encouragement, nourishing and encouraging young couples; small group participation, attendance at seminars and assistance with marriage counselling.  Uphold the covenant of marriage with the highest regard.  Minister to those caught up in the web of divorce with comfort, assurance of God’s grace, lending support without correction or judgment, practical help with repairs around the house and/or vehicle.  Be patient and sensitive.

What are some further ways in which churches can guard and protect marriages?  How can faith communities help those who are going through marriage break ups?   

pj

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