7-18-21 | Worth It! | Rick Ives
If God can Design it, we can Break it! Rick Ives
This past weekend I preached on Broken Design. In other words, God lays out a clear design for marriage in His Word, and we far too often end up breaking that design. What happens when that happens?
To start, remember God’s promise through Paul in Romans 8:38-39 that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love. And nothing means just that – nothing.
So does God love Christians who have been divorced? Yes of course – nothing can cause Him not to. Does God love Christians who have remarried? Yes of course, nothing can cause Him not to.
I would encourage you to read in John 4 the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman he met at a well. This woman had been married 5 times and was currently living “in sin” with a man she was not married to. The conversation Jesus has with this woman is fascinating in that they discuss theology, her life, His deity, and in the end the woman concludes that Jesus is a great Prophet and possibly the Messiah Himself! That’s an amazing conversation.
And yet, what we don’t see in the conversation is Jesus condemning the woman for her divorces, remarriages, living as an adulteress, etc. This reminds me of the time when the Religious Leaders dragged a woman who had been caught in adultery in front of Jesus to be condemned. Instead, Jesus told the woman he would not condemn her, and that she should go on her way in peace, and change her ways.
Jesus showed love, patience, concern, and respect for the woman at the well, at the same time not pulling any punches about her lifestyle. And that helps to answer the big questions here. God of course hates sin – all sin – but he does not hate people. Divorce is a serious thing, but it is not some kind of mega or unpardonable sin. That’s not to make light of it – God gives a clear design in His word for marriage, and He wants us to be happy and united with our spouses. But God does not hate us, reject us, or treat us as damages goods if our marriage fails. He loves, forgives, and restores.
If you are feeling guilt or shame because of the way your marriage went, or because as a Christian you were divorced and perhaps remarried – know that shame and guilt are not from God. If others condemn you, Jesus does not.. Jesus, of course, may correct us, at times he may even discipline us for our own good, but He will never condemn, shame, or reject us. Rather, He wants to restore you to a full and life enhancing relationship with Himself.
So if you have sinned, ask for forgiveness, and move on with your life. After all, knowing that we all would sin (James 3;2), Jesus taught that if we confess our sins, He forgives the sin. All sin. Nothing can separate us form the Love of God!
I am not speaking theoretically here. As a Christian I went through a terrible marriage, divorce, and what has turned out to be a wonderful remarriage to my wife now of 35 years. I know that God loves me, forgives me, and wants the best for me. You too!