Summary: How to address Marital problems
Divorce and the Bible Part 4
The Book of Mark
Mark 10:2-12, various
A. We have defined the ideal for marriage as revealed by God, Jesus and the apostle Paul – it is the union between one man and one woman for life.
B. We have seen that divorce is a destructive action which has it roots in our sinful nature.
C. God has made provision for the inevitability of divorce by establishing guidelines.
1. Divorce is never presented as a first option.
2. All of the passages we looked at which address the issue of divorce only accept it as a possibility they never recommend command or encourage it.
D. As I also pointed out last week sometimes there are certain instances in which it is all but impossible for a marriage to continue.
1. The bible gives 2 instances where divorce is acceptable.
2. Each individual case for considering a divorce is different.
a) To try to categorize them in a message or series of messages would be very difficult if not impossible.
b) I feel that it is better to know the biblical principles and then take each circumstance by itself in order to determine whether or not it is the right thing to do.
E. Remember that God designed marriage to be permanent.
1. The word cleave; or joined means to be glued.
2. If you have ever done any wood working you know that when you glue two pieces of wood together and try to separate them later you will cause damage to both pieces.
3. If two become one as the Bible says then if you break that apart you only have half of what was before.
F. So the question may be asked “how far do I have to go in my commitment to my marriage before I end it?”
G. The simple answer to that question is as far as God’s commitment to you goes.
H. That is what I want to address today. To look at this whole thing in a different light.
II. How to address marital problems.
A. The first thing you have to understand about marriage is its primary purpose.
1. It is not to have children and continue the human race.
2. It is not to find true happiness and companionship.
3. It is not to have sex when ever you want.
4. The primary purpose for marriage is to glorify God and for those of us who are Christians it is to conform us to the image of His Son.
a) Ps.86:9 All nations whom You have made Shall come and worship before You, O Lord, And shall glorify Your name.
b) Rev.4:11“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
B. When we fail to see this divine perspective of marriage it becomes what it is today.
1. A convenience based purely on human perspectives of selfishness and personal preference.
2. We cannot expect the world to act any other way but we should as Christians.
C. What does it take to make a marriage work in today’s crazy world?
1. Commitment - to God and His word.
2. A willingness to be obedient to Him and trust Him Ro.8:28.
D. God gives us perspective on this through an illustration of His love for Israel found in the book of Hosea and by the instructions given by the Apostle Paul in Eph.5.
A. First of the Minor Prophets.
1. He is writing to spiritually bankrupt Israel in the years just before they were taken by the Assyrians.
2. His writing displays the love of God for His people despite the depth of their sin.
B. His life was to be a living illustration of God’s relationship to Israel.
1. God often did this with His prophets.
2. His life was to be a living demonstration of a great spiritual truth.
a) God told him to marry a woman who turned out to be a prostitute and he remained faithful to her at all cost no matter what she did.
b) All of this was to demonstrate how faithful God would remain to His wayward wife Israel.
C. This gives us a standard by which we are to pattern our marriages.
IV. Setting vs.1-2.
A. Historical setting vs.1.
1. 4 kings of Judah to the south, Jeroboam king of Israel to the north.
2. He prophesied during a period of prosperity and political peace but total moral and spiritual impoverishment.
3. The 10 northern tribes of Israel were from the beginning almost totally devoid of any propensity toward obeying and following God.
4. And yet they were His people just as the two other tribes.