Archive for August, 2011
Setting: Daddy has left for church. Mommy is upstairs with Shawn and Faith is downstairs in the living room. The living room is next to the kitchen with an island with a sink in it. But the hallway blocks off her way to the kitchen, basement, bathroom, laundry room and front entrance.
Senario: Every once and a while Mommy hears the water go on and then off. This went on while she was upstairs changing Shawn. Eventually she came down stairs to find Faith standing on a kitchen chair, cup in hand, turning on the tap from the island. She had figured out a way to push a chair to the island, climbed up on top to get a cup, climbed back down to stand on the chair to get a drink of water. She is getting too smart for her own good. What’s next?
It is quite fun watching her scold them, then put them on the naughty chair. Then after their “time” is up she talks to them about what they have done and gets them to apologize to each other.
Today was very interesting because both Faith’s fuzzy friends were in trouble. So Faith pushed the naughty chair all the way down to the end of the hallway where she put Bunny Bear. Then Faith put Puppy on the other naughty chair (used to be her’s but now it’s Shawn’s). We asked Faith what her friends had done and she told us that Puppy had hurt Bunny Bear. But Bunny Bear retaliated. So both of them needed to be put on the naughty chair to think about what they had done to each other.
We are hoping Faith is learning more about how to behave and less on how to discipline.
I Corinthians 7:12-16: Divorce between a believer & unbeliever
After speaking to the married couples that are believers Paul now turns his attention to those who are married to unbelievers. This is part 2 of the Christian view of divorce from Paul.
v.12-13, Paul starts this verse by saying “now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord.” This is the people in the Corinth church that were married but felt single because their spouses were unbelievers. They might have both been unbelievers when they first got married but shortly after getting married one spouse became a Christian and other remained an unbeliever. The question that came from the Corinthian believers was “should we stay married to an unbeliever or should we divorce.” Paul answers the question but before doing so he let’s the believers at Corinth know it is not from the Lord but his own wise counsel. This doesn’t mean Paul regarded his words had no authority it just means on this matter he can’t quote any of Jesus’ teaching. Paul based his advice on God’s commands about marriage and applied them to the situation the Corinthians were facing. Now Paul answers their question. “If a Christian man has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her” and “if a Christian woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him.” Paul affirms the marriage commitment. God’s ideal for marriage is to stay together–even when one spouse is an unbeliever. To leave would be disobeying God’s command regarding marriage (Mark 10:2-9).
v.14, This verse can be confusing when we hear “the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage.” When we think of holiness (NLT) or sanctification (NIV) we definitely don’t equate it to unbelievers, it usually describes Christians. This verse doesn’t teach that the unbelieving spouse is “saved” because of the believing spouse. Because we know that each person must make a decision for themselves to accept Christ. What this verse means is the believer exerts a spiritual influence in the home that can lead to salvation of the unbelieving spouse. The marriage relationship is holy or sanctified in spite of the fact one spouse is an unbeliever. So there is a moral influence on the unbeliever as the Christian spouse lives a Christ-like life obedient to God. So believers married to unbelievers should not think they will be defiled or unclean by having sex with their unbelieving spouse. “Your children would not be holy, but now they are holy.” Paul calls the children of such a marriage “holy” because of God’s blessing on the family. The children are not unclean or illegitimate just because one of the parents is an unbeliever. “Holy” means dedicated to God by the believing parent. The believing parent is called by God to raise his/her children in faith, hoping some day that their influence will lead the child(ren) to accept salvation for themselves.
v.15, While the believing spouse must not leave the marriage if the unbelieving spouse wants to stay, the opposite may also happen.“But if the husband or wife who isn’t a believer insists on leaving, let them go.” The unbelieving spouse might decide to leave because their spouse has become a Christian, the marriage should then be dissolved and the believing spouse should let the unbeliever leave. When a divorce happens for this reason “the Christian husband or wife is no longer bound to the other” and they are not disobeying God by this divorce. The last part of the verse says “for God has called you to live in peace.” A situation that would be impossible in a home where the unbeliever didn’t want to stay with the believer. It would just lead to frustration, it is better for this marriage to be dissolved.
v.16, Paul finishes this section by going back to keeping a marriage between a believer and unbeliever together for the express reason that the believing spouse could lead the unbelieving spouse to Christ. Paul says “Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you?” But this is only for those couples who can stay together “in peace.”
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? I think ultimately God wants us to stay with the person we married even if they are an unbeliever and especially if we can live at peace with them. However if they want to leave we should let them go but continue to pray for their salvation.
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Again I am just so thankful I am married to a believer and I don’t have to worry about any of these issues.
I Corinthians 7:10-11: Divorce between believers
Background: Unfortunately some of the newly converted Corinthians thought all relationships, including marriage, needed to be disrupted or ended. So men and women thought they had to leave each other to live a celibate life. So Paul decided to make it clear for them in verses 10 and 11.
v.10-11, The Christian view of divorce is “command that comes not from [Paul], but from the Lord.” Jesus taught about divorce during his time on the earth (extra reading…Matt 5:31-32; 19:3-9; Mk 10:2-12; Lk 16:18), basically saying that married people are meant to stay married and not be divorced. Even though divorce is permitted as an option in those days, it was not God’s plan for those married. Paul goes onto explain “a wife must not leave her husband” or some translations say “separate from her husband.”–literally means divorce. In the Roman culture it was permitted for a wife to leave/separate from her husband and in the Jewish law it was all centered around the husband leaving/separating from his wife. However if a woman “does leave her husband, let her remain single or else be reconciled to him.” She doesn’t have the option to marry another man. Of course Paul says the same thing to the husband at the end of this verse “the husband must not divorce his wife.”
In those days the home was the husband’s and if there was separation on the wife’s part she LEFT. However, if the separation was on the husband’s part, he would SEND her away from the home. So when Paul tells the wife to not leave and the husband not to divorce it is in keeping with the social customs of the first century. However Paul makes it very clear he expected the same from both parties, either be reconciled to their spouse or remain unmarried.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? Even though I am not thinking of divorce and never thought about leaving my wife, these two verse have made me realize something I have known for a while. Marriage is forever. The Christian view is to stay with your spouse. However I know that there are always gray areas in every issue, so Paul says if we decide to leave our spouse, we only have two options–reconciliation or stay unmarried forever. It is a good thing to always remember.
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Be thankful for my wife of 18 years and how much she loves me. No matter how hard it gets be willing to stick it out and work it out!