Summary: This sermon deals with myths surrounding divorces, reasons for divorce and alternatives to divorce.
The Myths Of Dating Marriage & Divorce Part V
The next myth is that it is okay for me to date someone who is in the process of getting a divorce. A person is married until they are no longer married. To date this person is in direct violation of a covenant the person has made to someone else and the covenant the person has made before God. It does not matter how long they have been separated from their spouse.
You may want to believe that as soon as the divorce as final, they are going to marry you. I have literally watched people fall into this trap. The woman who is waiting, gets pregnant, the divorce never happens and now a child has a father who can never be the father God intended for the child to have. Yes, Christian women get pregnant by married men, and Christian men getting married women pregnant. There are absolutely no winners in this scenario.
You are too valuable in the eyes of God to be used by someone else who is hiding behind a divorce they might or might not get. Keep in mind that you are only listening to one side of the story. You may be thinking the person is married to the worse person alive, but in reality that other person may be doing all that he or she can to try and save the marriage. Guard your heart and your feelings right from the get go. If a person is married, he or she is not available. Insist on seeing some papers from the court before you start dating. Many a people have married a person who is already married.
Another myth in marriage is that if things do not work out, a divorce will simply put me back where I started and it will be easy to just start again. Some facts about divorce. Divorce is often going to leave women and children much poorer than they were during the marriage. Divorce is not going to terminate the feelings you have for each other. They may intensify, and they may go to the extremes of hatred. The other partner may become consumed with the destruction and death of the other person. Bitterness can eat at you for years and years to come.
Divorce is not going to necessarily make the necessary changes within you to be successful in the next relationship. Divorce is a painful process which kills a family, and robs children of relationships God intended for them to have. Divorce leaves some people emotionally scarred for life. Dreams are shattered, commitments are broken, and some people are simply tossed to the side as though they were nothing. God knows all this, and it is in God’s compassion that He cries out, "I hate divorce." God never said he hated divorced people, but He hates a system that shatters the lives of the people He loves.
Divorce has to be understood in the context of marriage. God intended for marriage to be the highest degree of relationship possible between two people. It even is to supercede the relationship between a parent and a child. Two people are to so cleave to each other that nothing is to be allowed to come in between the relationship. A covenant or agreement is made before God and the church to be committed to working out whatever problems come up, and to share the joys and struggles of life together. That was God’s plan.
But then we came along and decided to improve upon God’s plan. We think no-fault divorce is something which came up in the 70’s and 80’s from the Women’s Rights movement. No no-fault divorces were common in Jesus’ time. It was so bad that some religious teachers were teaching that a man could divorce his wife if she burned his meal. The nation was divided over the issue of divorce. The followers of the school of Hillel taught that a man could divorce his wife for almost any reason. The followers of Shammai, believed a man could get a divorce only for sexual offenses. In Matthew 19:1-12 the Pharisees, or religious leaders, tried to force Jesus to take sides on the issue.
Jesus reemphasized that a man and a woman were to be joined in a one flesh relationship that would take precedence over all else. Since God had joined them as such, no one should seek to separate them from each other. The Pharisees knew that Jesus was talking about a permanent relationship between a man and a woman. So they challenged Jesus by saying, "look if what you’re saying is true, why did Moses allow a provision for a divorce?"
Jesus probably was a little upset when he answered, "Moses permitted a divorce because of the hardness of your heart." Jesus was really saying, "some men were so abusing their wives, out of compassion and mercy for the wives, Moses allowed for divorces. The situations were unbearable. But just because Moses allowed it, did not mean it was God’s plan. God’s plan was and is for a husband and wife to honor the commitment they made to each other.