Thinking Christian

Thinking Christianity for church, home, and community

The Marriage Debate

There’s hardly anything that so threatens to divide our world as today’s marriage debate. And there’s hardly any issue that requires deeper thought, while seeming to undermine it at every turn with sloganeering, accusations of hate and phobia, and feelings-based debate. My purpose here is to try to wrestle this discussion back onto a course where we can actually give it some thought.

My three central series on this topic are

Sometimes to lighten things up we hear from “Phil and Alex” as they debate marriage.

Besides that there are these additional core posts on the marriage debate, and these ten most recent posts:

[post_list name=”marriage_debate_all”]

9 Responses to “ The Marriage Debate ”

  1. Alex says:

    My wife decided to leave me 2plus years ago. God has put it within my heart to be hold fast to the dictates of scripture that are clear. But as I enter the third year i grow weary(a clear indication that i have drifted from his presence). Yet as my own mind wars against what i know God wants i find myself going back to the bible–and what the bible states is very clear.

    —“If a woman leaves her husband she must remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.” I mention this passage from corinthians first because in our own wicked fleshly state, there may be a response (from the woman to feel like such is unfair and controlling etc etc.) However, beneath this direct call to obey for the woman, indirectly to the man is something even more difficult yet God calls to the man to do so regardless. The indirect call for the man is this and it is without question.

    In the midst of divorce, in this case the woman leaving the man, with no promise of reconciliation the husband is called to remain at his vow kneeling before the feet of God for God would has told the woman to return to the man if she decides to remarry(Her husband!). In this it is clear God tells the man to stay put. Is it not interesting to that there is nothing in the language appealing to the idea of x-husbands and x-wives? God says she must return to her husband(not x).

    “a woman is bound to her husband so long as he lives”. That passage is from corinthians and how can God be anymore obvious then that, leaving no room the ideas for a 2nd(3rd,4th)marriage with another man. (of course this goes for the man as well).

    “if a man divorces his wife and marries another, he commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she to commits adultery”. That is from Mark 10. Again God leaves no avenue for us to think divorce and remarriage to another person is acceptable. He commands against it. Because he tells us that remarriage is adulterous—“thou shalt not commit adultery.”

    Finally, “men love your wives’ the way Christ loved the church”. That is from Ephesians. I’ve heard a few pastors mention this, spending an entire sermon that covers the relationship between Christ and the church–the church being adulterous to Christ yet not only did He pursue but also gave His life upon the cross.

    What of all of this? Are we to be overwhelmed and burdened by these dictates? By no means for all dictates from scripture are from God and are in order that we may live!! All other things that call into question the dictates of He who created and loved are from the enemy and lead to death! These dictates are to release us from burdens that we bear up in darkness in a confused state corrupted by our own allowance to be deceived so that our flesh may get what it desires. How sad it can be—only if we choose not to obey calls to life!

    God says his ways are not our ways!! He goes onto say pick up your cross!! What was God himself doing when he said pick up your cross and follow me? He was dying to Himself for no other goal that we may be RECONCILED back to him!! Picking up your cross is directed to all creation but how much more might it be directed to the married–i wonder. Yet we ignore the call and head tilted downwards we turn from light, and from life, only to see the ground at our feet as we take one disobedient step after another not realizing the cliff that lay just ahead. And all the time God calls to us with a clear and obvious voice.

    How sad it truly is that we have itching ears and that so many pastors have stepped forward in submission to us and not to the word of God proclaiming it as it should be.

    We are all sinners saved by grace. My call to my wife is forgetting the past, we press forward together in love. Only in love. My plea,my hope.

    -Ak

  2. Thank you for trying to “wrestle” it back on course. It’s refreshing to hear a thought-leader acknowledge the need to steer the conversation in a positive direction!

  3. Beth says:

    Thanks for your thoughts on this! I just found your blog but you have tons of great resources. I’m especially enjoying the posts on marriage :)

  4. Karen says:

    You really might want to take the scripture in full context. In those days some men had more than one wife. Ask God to give you wisdom in this area and ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit. It’s a walk alone and no “man” should tell you whether you are to marry again or not.

  5. Tom Gilson says:

    Karen, your comments here seem rather cryptic: I’m not sure what you’re responding to or in what context you’re speaking. Thanks.

  6. Dallin says:

    Comments clearly promoting identifiable distortions of biblical teaching are not allowed on this blog. I’m considerably more open to atheism and skepticism than I am to representatives of counterfeit Christianity.

  7. Alex says:

    per Karen “You really might want to take the scripture in full context. In those days some men had more than one wife. Ask God to give you wisdom in this area and ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit. It’s a walk alone and no “man” should tell you whether you are to marry again or not.

”

    Karen, I don’t know if you are responding to me or not but I’ll go on as though you are referencing to what I wrote.

    It is because I have taken the entire scriptures into account that I say what I say concerning marriage. And might I ask what that means to you—to take the entire scripture into account in this regard. People say look at the whole picture and by doing so make it difficult when it is quite simple. God says “thou shalt not commit adultery”, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, body and soul”, and “love your neighbor as yourself”. What more is there to take into account from that point unless we want a reason to resist? Are we not children? For that is how we must accept it that we might walk into His kingdom.

    We know what love is by Corinthians, a la it keeps no record and is not self seeking. It is a dangerous thing in my experience—with myself and others—when people read an obvious dictate of scripture and then call into account the cultural context or the wider picture of scripture without any direction after such an exhortation. This is usually an attempt to evade Gods simple yet powerful call and command.

    I should say though that when, in truth, we take the whole picture of God’s word into account, if it is of pure motives it will not complicate anything but rather simplify it. And it is simple. God is Love. That love sent us a savior for the purpose of forgiveness and reconciliation. Do you not know what ministry that is yours and mine? It is the ministry of reconciliation—That’s Corinthians.

    We look at God who is Love and that is the measure. What does He do by love, He has loved which yielded to us a sacrifice, which leads to forgiveness and the aim of which is reconciliation back to the father as we are—his children. This is the right relationship and there is no other.

    What I’ve said is that I might not have multiple wives!!! And to the women that she might not have multiple husbands. You see, people are divorcing left and right and have covered themselves with a cloak woven with lies. We live in a culture where man and women have multiple husbands and wives but we don’t realize it because of the word divorce. Do you realize that while we may divorce that person they don’t simply become a friend our acquaintance. They indeed are still our husband or wife. There is no reference to ex-husbands or ex-wives in scripture. The closest we have to that is in Ezra and the issue of foreign wives. But it is at that point that your exhortation in looking wider is applicable here. When we re-marry(accept if there was unfaithfulness by the wife) the marriage is really no marriage at all and is nothing more then an adulterous relationship—it is foreign.

    It is somewhat ironic that very thing you have called into question concerning the issue of multiple wives and husbands is the very thing that will protect us from such.

    I will leave you with an excerpt from my journal entry from today. Karen, I believe you are a sister in Christ, we must all start to hold each other accountable in love.

    —- The mark of the Christian is when we strike out of darkness, out of ourselves, into his light and say to one another, I love you, I forgive you, let us be in right relationship. So many Christians are choosing darkness in this day. So many are choosing their right to themselves. It is no wonder that He said, “when I come back will I find any faith at all”. ——

    The one place for this is under the banner of Christ which God himself provided and calls us to.

    -AK

  8. Mónica Paz says:

    Thank you for these comments. They are telling me what to do and how to stay in the Love of Our Holy Jesus.
    I just read what I need to read, and it was enough, very clear for me. Thanks a lot, and keep on working for the Kingdom of Our Lord, please, we need people like you.
    Catholics need people like you, working close to Jesus and his Mom, Our Blessed Lady, Mary.
    My English is not so good, by I try to understand and I will try to teach to my “people”, the people that He puts in my life, this message too.

  9. Adhering to biblical direction is the best solution for a sustainable marriage. This of course coupled with having a relationship with Christ first. Some interesting comments on here.

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