Day 65…1 Corinthians 7:10-11
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!
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