Summary: Stay put in marriage.

Title: Reasons to Stay

Text: 1 Corinthians 7:10-16

Truth: Stay put in marriage.

Aim: I want to give reasons to strengthen their resolve to remain married.


Jon & Kate Plus 8 is TLC’s, The Learning Channel, most watched program. It has followed the life of Jon and Kate Gosselin. A year after their marriage Kate gave birth to twin girls. Three years later they wanted one more child and Kate gave birth to sextuplets. On June 22, 2009, 10.6 million viewers, a huge audience for cable, tuned in as the couple announced their separation. Kate has now filed for divorce. The twins are eight years old and the sextuplets are five.

The first year Jon worked a 9 to 5 job and Kate, along with some help, cared for the children. By the third year they were making enough money from appearances and speaking engagements for Jon to quit his job. Last year, they moved into their $1.1 million dollar home in Pennsylvania. The plans are for Jon to live elsewhere when Kate has custody of the children at their Berks County compound, and then for Kate to find other living arrangements when Jon has custody of the children. The show is on hiatus until August.

Maybe you have seen the emotional news conference of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. He confessed to a yearlong adulterous relationship with a television news reporter from Argentina. He couldn’t seem to keep from talking about it. His wife Jenny found out about it in January and sought to put a stop to it. Of the two, she is the only one appearing to act like a well-adjusted adult. In a released statement to the media she offered no opinion on her husband’s political future. She said that is up to the voters and elected officials of South Carolina. Her statement also included: "Mark showed a lack of judgment in his recent actions as governor. However, his far more egregious offenses were committed against God, the institutions of marriage and family, our boys and me."

Someone said, “Fifty years ago parents were apt to have a lot of kids. Nowadays kids are apt to have a lot of parents.”

We are living in a day when divorce has exploded with frequency. There are many societal reasons: the emancipation and growing independence of women, the sexual revolution and the loss of taboo for immorality, and no fault divorce laws. But the main reason for the horrendous divorce figures for America is the loss of influence of the Christian faith and Christian standards on sex and marriage.

Marriage is viewed by opinion shapers of our culture as a lingering vestige of the Victorian era. It needs to be replaced because people change and experience personal growth. We need different companions for different stages in our life. We’re told to adopt an attitude called serial marriage. What perversion! It celebrates failure and has the audacity to call it success. What is really disintegration these darkened minds call growth.

Why are passages like this so contentious? Why do pastors reluctantly preach these texts, if they do so at all? It is because divorce has become the norm for our society. The senior adults in this room can remember a day when they didn’t know any one that was divorced. I heard an older adult preacher tell that he was eight-years-old the first time he’d ever heard the word. It was a playmate in his neighborhood. The boy was the only child in the school class that came from a broken home. Today, a child who lives with both biological parents is the minority in the school classroom.

I’m not going to be a pulpit bully this morning on the subject of divorce. It’s been said that the only thing more painful than the divorce of a mate is the death of a mate. We need the truth, but the truth spoken in love.

I’m not giving a full treatment on the subject of marriage and divorce as it is taught in the Bible. That would require a thorough understanding of passages from Genesis, Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, I Corinthians, and I Peter to name just a few. That is to say that each passage needs to be interpreted in its specific context and the overall context of the Bible. I intend to keep my interpretation mainly limited to the context of 1 Corinthians.

We’re in the section in 1 Corinthians where Paul is answering questions the Christians at Corinth are asking him. Apparently, a teaching that promotes an ascetic lifestyle had gained popularity in the church as a way to live a spiritual life. As a result, married couples were withholding intimate relationships from one another. Paul taught that this is wrong, and that physical intimacy is a way to promote godliness among the Christian married.

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