Summary: This sermon reveals what the Bible says about divorce and remarriage.
Divorce and Remarriage
Divorce: doesn’t it hurt just to say it? We cringe from the hurt and pain divorce always brings. Many people listening have been divorced or have parents who have divorced or children who have divorced. Divorce hurts deeply and its impact never completely goes away. As a pastor I have seen so much devastation from divorce, even decades later, that I feel sick to my stomach. We have experienced divorce in our families, so this message is personal.
For many the issue of divorce is filled with fear of rejection by God or the church. Please know that God promises:
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Rom. 8:1
At Christ Fellowship we welcome all people. We are a church of forgiven sinners rejoicing in the grace of God. We are people of grace. What if you have made a really big mess? We will end today with God’s amazing gracious forgiveness. Jesus Christ is the cure for divorce.
Follow along using the sermon outline as we dig into God’s Word to see God’s take on divorce and remarriage. At Christ Fellowship we are All-Bible. People guided by the Word. When you face difficult issues and decisions, you should ask: what does God say? When it comes to divorce and remarriage we are prone to seek advice from friends and that’s not bad, but their advice is a distant second to God’s Word. In addition to your outline I have given you a list of the major passages relevant to divorce and remarriage. Let’s review the core truth that marriage is a life-long covenant of love.
Marriage is a life-long covenant of love.
The marriage covenant is founded in creation, In Genesis 2:24, God says, 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. A husband and his wife are to be united to each other for life. One man, one woman, one couple, for life. God takes marriage vows seriously. In the last book of the Old Testament, the prophet Malachi uses covenant language to warn that we must not be unfaithful to our spouse. Malachi warns:
So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. 16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. Malachi 2:15–16 (NIV)
In context the warning is against husbands who were breaking their marriage covenant to marry foreign wives. The clear point is repeated twice: “So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.” Divorce breaks public promises made to God and to your spouse in the presence of family and friends. God prohibits divorce because he knows what it does to people. Divorce destroys lives. Divorce rips apart what was never meant to be divided. In its wake divorce leaves incredible pain, guilt, anger and hurt.
Jesus speaks to the issue in Matthew nineteen, where he quotes Genesis 2:24. Jesus says,
6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Matthew 19:4–6.
Jesus’ main point is that God intends marriage to be for life. We make vows for as long as we both shall live; not only for as long as it makes sense, for as long as we are happy together, as long as our needs are being met. God designed marriage to be a life-long intimate relationship of love.
However, there are times where the Bible recognizes that divorce is the best of several bad options. The bottom line is that divorce is possible because of sin but divorce is never required.
Divorce is possible because of sin
When you are fighting with each other you can forget the joy you had and the commitment you made. You are blinded by the pain, hurt and anger. It can feel like your issues are too big to fix, too many things have been said and done that can never be taken back. Trust is shattered. Remember God specializes in the humanly impossible. He is the God of miracles. Nothing is too hard for God.
God does allow divorce in certain circumstances, however, he never commands divorce in any circumstances. Divorce is always a result of sin, but is not always a sin itself. Because of sin, divorce is possible. When Jesus was asked,
7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. Matthew 19:7–8.