I have been pastor to single people in two churches. I grew very fond of so many. It seemed that many felt ‘second class’ in some way, especially if they had suffered a divorce. I often reminded them of the 3 greatest single people in history and my affection for them. #1 Jesus. He is our model in all things. #2 The apostle Paul, who at a younger age was married, but single while older. (What an impact for the kingdom of God he made). #3 My mom. Once married, but she chose to be single for most of her adult life. Of course, there is nothing bad you could say to me about her! God has a special place in his heart for those who have suffered a divorce. But, what do we do with the question, “Can a divorced believer re-marry? Don’t be too quick to answer. Jesus appears to be a bit of a “hard baller” on the question of divorce and remarriage. In his day, it was a lot like ours, rampant divorce without cause. They invented the idea of ‘irreconcilable differences’ or no fault divorce. Signing the ‘no fault’ bill into law in 1969 in California was Ronald Reagan’s greatest public policy regret. Did you know that? More importantly, Jesus said:
Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery. Luke 16:18 NASB
Ok, catch your breath. Don’t freak out, especially my beloved friends who have remarried. I am not saying (and I do not believe Jesus is either) that you are outside His will. You may have found yourself right in the center of it. This is a strong caution about the deceitfulness of our emotional decision-making when so vulnerable and hurt from a lost marriage (that we jump right into another) and the other far too common casual attitude that denies the spiritual union and life-long commitment that marriage is. So, if your marriage failed, you’ve taken the time to heal, gain insight about yourself, and have committed yourself anew to the Lord Himself, and God brings a person into your life, with whom the overflow of your love can be shared,… my belief is you are permitted to marry. What could be more in fulfilling God’s desire for you than a life-long partner with whom you can minister within your family (blended as it will be) in a Christlike manner?
Do I affirm single people and divorced people as ‘first class’ in the church? Am I sensitive to the insecurities, pains, and hurts they may have?
God, as this day begins- I am praising you for my Dad and Judy, Bob and Joymay, Troy and Rachelle, Roman and Lori, Tyler and Michelle, and the dozens and dozens of people who love You and that You gave a new marriage, one that glorifies You and blesses them. Would you remind them that they are first class with you and me as well!