Friday, October 16, 2015
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There's nothing like a famous divorce to sell newspapers. You know, people put together the words fault and divorce, and an American public collectively says, "Oh, tell me more! Whose fault? Tell me more! Put it in the newspapers! Put it on the news!" So the press obliges us, and rumors become front page headlines, especially as you're checking out of the supermarket. There are speculations about every gory detail: financial, historical, interpersonal, and extramarital.
I remember when my friends who only came every three years from being missionaries in Beirut, Lebanon would stop at our house – last stop before they left after visiting Christians all over the country. And I would always ask them the same question, "What's changed since you were here last time?" And I remember they soberly said to me after this one trip, "Christian divorce." They said, "It just wasn't like this only three years ago."
Oh, it's not just in the headlines. It's in lives all around us. Sometimes you feel like saying, "Enough all ready! I'm sick of all this talk about divorce." Well, I know someone who's been feeling that way for a long time.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Bad News of a Dying Marriage."
Here's the word for today from the Word of God. It's from Malachi, and I'm reading from the second chapter. Verse 13 says, "You flood the Lord's altar with tears. You weep and wail because He no longer looks with favor on your offering or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, 'Why?' It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not God made you One? You belong to Him in body and spirit. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth." Listen to these words, "'I hate divorce' says the Lord God of Israel."
There was a time when a believer in Christ just didn't consider divorce as an option no matter what their marital troubles were. God calls this broken faith with your marriage partner. Of course, today divorce is not an attractive option for a Christian who's struggling in a marriage, but a whole lot feel it's an option. See, they continued to widen the justifiable grounds for ending a marriage, at least in their own minds.
While we discourage divorce, we see it happening all around. Listen to the clear voice of God, "I hate divorce." He seems to be saying here that breaking the marriage covenant is tearing up your relationship with Him too. Those three words should be deeply etched on our hearts; on the heart of every married person – God's words, "I hate divorce."
Now, He didn't say, "I hate divorced people." But God does not take the death of a family lightly and neither should we. We need to hate it like He does. After hearing so much about people trying to justify divorce, I've had people say, "I'm sick about all this talk about divorce." Well, actually, that's how God feels about our softness to what He hates. I know you want God's blessing in your life.
Well, you need to nail shut that back door; that one that's on your marriage vows that is a door that you feel like, "Well, maybe if I have to, I'll slip out the back door." The moment you allow divorce to be even a possible option, you make it much more likely that it will happen. You start to divide your energy. You start to say, "Well, there is that possibility."
You've got to focus your energy on making this marriage thrive. Fight for a marriage, face the problems, don't deny them, and determine before God you will fight for it.
Divorce is an option, but God hates it and a divorce is always really bad news!