Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Relationships matter 2

This is my second thought on relationships, this time focused on divorce.

Divorce is a big issue for many Christians since God seems to have a negative view of it. God uses pretty harsh language through the prophets, likening Israel's (in the Old Testament)  behaviour to that of an unfaithful partner. Why is God so down on divorce? Possibly because it signifies the break-up of something that should have been being nurtured between two people and instead has fallen apart with all of the associated issues. God's language is even more vehement through Micah (a prophet) - "I hate divorce ...".

Divorce is a big issue for society, it breaks families, relationships, often generates huge patterns of long lasting hurt, anger and resentment and if stats are correct for 2009, affects over 99K children a year in England and Scotland combined!

I am sure we can all cite cases where the situation could only be resolved through divorce and there are, in my opinion, some which Christians should advocate divorce in for example where violence is being done to one or other or both and cannot be stopped or where children are being harmed. However many relationships break up for reasons which may well have been resolvable if only those involved had tried earlier or not given in to temptation or wrong encouragement.

But the real point is this, divorce, like living together rather than marrying, is not God's best for us. Being who we are means we understand too late what we have broken by the actions or lack of actions that caused the break-up. God's best is that we find partners who we will invest our lives with and who in turn will invest their lives in us.

When however it has gone wrong and a person is divorced, the next difficulty is can they remarry with God's blessing? Can they be married again in God's eye's? A question I have been asked a few times of late. In a perfect world with no sin, there would be no divorce because none of us would marry "the wrong person", non of us would "stop loving" our partner ... but we are what we are and the result is broken relationships and a desire often to form new ones with the hope of something better.

 Fortunately for us, God is forgiving, its in God's nature to forgive even when his people break relationship with him time and again he offers a new start. That new start is shown to us in Christ - we are told to admit our wrong doings and accept forgiveness for them, forgive as you expect to be forgiven. Then and only then can we move on, works in progress but hopefully the wiser for our experience able to try again with God working with us, making a better and more lasting result of a subsequent marriage.


Anonymous said...

Hi pastor Tony. Robinson listening to your easter sermon up in Hartlepool. Apparently the one who the movie rain man was based around can recite the bible from Genesis to Revelation. What a beauty.

Tony Mayes said...

just goes to show more research on my parts needed :-)

I think that reciting it and understanding it are two different stories.