Marriage is one of the most beautiful gifts God has given mankind. However, when marriage is not based on God’s Word it can result in great emotional pain and tragedy. Therefore, today we will be discussing how to have blessed marriages by learning both what not to do and what to do right. For those who have already made some of these mistakes you can rest assure that God’s grace is able to both forgive you and make all things new. And for those who are single or already married learn to do things that please God!
Matthew 5:31-32, “31 It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
- Sermon on the Mount: The longest single portion of Jesus’ teaching found in Matthew 5-7 that serves as the foundation of Christian morality and spiritual practice. #KingdomBasics
- Disciples: Born again committed students and followers of Jesus Christ.
- Kingdom of Heaven/God: The active rule and reign of Jesus in one’s life and upon the earth with kingdom blessings. The kingdom is all about the King!
U.S. Divorce Rate
- The divorce rate in America for the first marriage is 41%
- The divorce rate in America for the second marriage is 60%
- The divorce rate in America for the third marriage is 73% (Source)
- 12% of men and 7% of women say they have had sex outside their marriage, this mean 10% of marriages are suffering from infidelity.
- The infidelity rate for men over 60 increased to 28% in 2006 from 20% in 1991 (6% increase). For women over 60, the increase is more striking: to 15%, up from 5% in 1991 (10% increase).
- About 20% of men and 15% of women under 35 say they have already been unfaithful, up from about 15% and 12%. This means that the younger generation is double the national average. (Source)
Cohabitation Effect Stats
- Cohabitation in the United States has increased by more than 1,500% in the past half century. In 1960, about 450,000 unmarried couples lived together. Now the number is more than 7.5 million.
- The majority of young adults in their 20s will live with a romantic partner at least once, and more than half of all marriages will be preceded by cohabitation.
- This shift has been attributed to the sexual revolution and the availability of birth control, and in our current economy, sharing the bills makes cohabiting appealing.
- But when you talk to people in their 20’s, you also hear about something else: cohabitation as prophylaxis (action taken to prevent a disease).
- In a nationwide survey conducted in 2001 by the National Marriage Project… nearly 50% of 20-somethings agreed with the statement, “You would only marry someone if he or she agreed to live together with you first, so that you could find out whether you really get along.” About 60% said they believed that moving in together before marriage was a good way to avoid divorce.
- But that belief is contradicted by experience. Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.
- When researchers ask cohabitors these questions (like, “Why did you move in together?”), partners often have different, unspoken — even unconscious — agendas. Women are more likely to view cohabitation as a step toward marriage, while men are more likely to see it as a way to test a relationship or postpone commitment, and this gender asymmetry is associated with negative interactions and lower levels of commitment even after the relationship progresses to marriage. One thing men and women do agree on, however, is that their standards for a live-in partner are lower than they are for a spouse.
- Sliding into cohabitation wouldn’t be a problem if sliding out were as easy. But it isn’t. Too often, young adults enter into what they imagine will be low-cost, low-risk living situations only to find themselves unable to get out months, even years, later. It’s like signing up for a credit card with 0 percent interest. At the end of 12 months when the interest goes up to 23 percent you feel stuck because your balance is too high to pay off. In fact, cohabitation can be exactly like that. In behavioral economics, it’s called consumer lock-in. (Source)
- RESULTS: (a) U.S. Marriage Rate is Down: 21% since 1960, currently only 51% of U.S. adults are married compared to 72% in 1960. (b) Women are Getting Married Older: The average is 27 years old for first marriage, its highest point in over a century, source. (c) Unwed Families: Almost half of all children are being born to unmarried families, resulting in many fatherless homes, stats. (d) High Abortion Rates: Because people are having sex without the commitment of having children and families they’re murdering their unborn children, over a million a year and 3,500 deaths on average, stats.
- DIVORCE: To end a marriage agreement.
- NO FAULT DIVORCE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT: Deuteronomy 24:1-4, “1 If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, 2 and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, 3 and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, 4 then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.”
- DIVORCE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT: Jesus taught that sexual immorality is the only good grounds for a biblical divorce. If done for other reasons the divorced spouse will be victimized and the new spouse will be considered an adulterer. Consider the literal transition from the NET, “31 It was said, ?Whoever divorces his wife must give her a legal document.? 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Also, in Matthew 19:3-15 Jesus taught that if someone gets divorced for any other reason than sexual immorality the one who initiates the divorce become an adulterer. Therefore, the wrongful divorce results in the following people becoming adulterers by God’s law, (a) The one who initiates it (most likely the man), (b) The divorcee (the woman), and (c) The person who marries the divorcee.
- PAUL’S ADDED INSIGHT: 1 Corinthians 7:10-15, “10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord):A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. 12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?”
SUMMARY OF DIVORCE IN THE BIBLE
- REASONS FOR A BIBLICAL DIVORCE: There are only two good reasons for divorce in the Bible, (i) Sexual immorality & (ii) An unbelieving spouse who is not supportive of the Christian lifestyle (this would include verbal & physical abuse).
- UNBIBLICAL REASONS FOR DIVORCE: If a divorce is done for other reasons such as, (i) Falling out of love, (ii) Not getting along, or (iii) Wanting to start new lives apart; both spouses and their new partners are guilty of adultery because reconciliation should be considered.
- FORGIVENESS FOR THOSE IN UNBIBLICAL DIVORCES: Forgiveness is available for the adulterer if they, (a) Ask their spouse to forgive them and (a) Try to be reconciled. Since I do not believe divorce in an “unpardonable sin” the adulterer can start a new life with God and remarry if they have truly repented. Forgiveness is available for the unbiblical divorcee if they try to be reconciled to their spouse. Likewise, if they other spouse does not reconcile they are free to remarry.
- SEXUAL IMMORALITY: To have sex outside of marriage or to be sexually active with someone other than your spouse.
- EXAMPLES OF SEXUAL IMMORALITY IN MARRIAGE: (1) Adultery, (2) Romantically kissing or touching, (3) Emotional affairs, & (4) Pornography addiction.
- REMARRIAGE: To marry after being either divorced or widowed.
- BIBLICAL REASONS TO REMARRY: (i) After your spouse has died, 1 Corinthians 7:7-8, (ii) If your spouse cheats on you, Matthew 5:31-32, & (iii) If your spouse is an unbeliever who doesn’t support your faith in God, 1 Corinthians 7:15.
SEVEN TIPS TO AVOID DIVORCE
- REMAIN sexually pure until you get married- avoid pornography, sexual perversion, and dirty talk, Ephesians 5:3-6.
- MARRY a committed disciple who follows and obeys the Word of God, 2 Corinthians 6:14.
- OPERATE in the biblical roles God gave for marriage and family, Ephesians 5:21-6:4.
- FILL each other’s love tank everyday- affair proof your marriage, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.
- SEEK godly counsel and accountability if you see signs of perversion or have continual intense fights.
- PRAY and serve God together, Philippians 4:4-9.
- DAILY walk in love and forgiveness, Matthew 18:21-25.
Matthew 19:4-6, “…at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 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’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”