Saturday, March 25, 2017

Christian Dating And Courtship

        "For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man." (Romans 7:2-3)

        "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.” In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter. So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” (Mark 10:8-12)

        People committed to matrimony are under ordinary circumstances united until the moment of physical death. If a spouse dies, however, then the living member is free to marry again (1 Corinthians 7:39). God absolutely despises divorce (Malachi 2:16). Therefore, it is best for arguing couples to seek reconciliation. Marriage was instituted by God. He has authority over it.

        The best thing to do is marry another Christian, somebody who shares a similar worldview. To marry somebody from a different religious or a secular background is not recommended because he or she could pose a great threat to one's own spiritual life--though it is not an absolute command (1 Corinthians 7:12-14; 1 Peter 3:1-6). Marrying an unbeliever is unwise, to say the least.

        We need to stop judging people by worldly factors such as physical appearance, charm, intellect, and wealth. Neither should one choose a spouse on the basis of a mere profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:21). What a person should be looking at in a potential spouse is their overall doctrine, state of heart, and personality. Thus, it is better to suffer from the pains of loneliness than to make the poor decision of marrying the wrong person!

         Some people may have to wait a long time before finally getting married, like Isaac who was forty before he got married (Genesis 25:20). In fact, not everybody has been called to live a married life. Even Christ spoke of the celibate (Matthew 19:11-12).

         "...although divorce is always the result of sin, divorce in itself is not always a sin, and not everyone in a divorce situation is guilty of sin. Matthew 19:9 gives us one case in which divorce is allowable: sexual immorality. This term translates the Greek word porneia, which can cover a wide variety of sexual sins and not just a physical relationship between a person and another who is not his or her spouse. Repeated, impenitent sexual sin is proper grounds upon which the injured spouse may seek a biblical divorce. Paul gives the other grounds for a biblically permissible divorce—desertion on the part of an unbeliever (1 Cor. 7:10–16). A Christian married to an unbeliever is free to remarry if the unbeliever wants out of the marriage. In both cases, it is imperative that good and godly elders are prepared to deal with the multitude of complexities that can arise when one spouse seeks a divorce. They must be able to discern when actual sexual sin has been committed, when a professing believer has actually proven himself an unbeliever through impenitent spousal abuse, and much more if they are going to accurately discern whether a divorce is biblically acceptable in a particular situation." (https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/when-god-allows-divorce/)

2 comments:

  1. Another wonderful article on marriage. As a Catholic I can affirm almost every point you made. I would love to see you write more on this subject.

    I would like to mention one thing that we Catholics view differently. I mention it here just for discussion, not argument. It is in regards to what is called the "exception clause" of Matthew 19:9. The Greek word there is porneia, and Jesus is referring to illegality. The reason divorce is permissible in those cases is because the original marriage was an illegal or illicit one, so there was never the one flesh union. More succinctly, Jesus is saying that divorce is OK when there is not a one flesh union. That is the Catholic interpretation.

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    1. Rome reads into the text because they want absolutely no divorce while they have divorce under a different name -- annulment. And it's a farce because people could be married for decades and suddenly get an annulment.

      the Bible is plain; divorce is permitted for sexual sin, i.e. adultery. The illegality is what is happening IN the marriage, not something happening prior to. That "prior to" eisegesis is how they come up with annulment.

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