As a divorced Christian woman, I find it hard to read or hear about marriage. I was not following God’s way when I met the man I eventually married. I took my marriage vows more seriously after I turned my life toward God, but that does not always fix the problem.
1 Corinthians 7:12-14 states:
To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.I tried to follow this instruction for many years. In many circumstances that may be enough, but my situation involved psychological abuse of both me and my children. It got to a point that I felt, and my counselor observed, my marriage was becoming extremely detrimental to my mental health and that of my children.
When there is a marriage involving abuse, either psychological and/or physical, the situation can be serious. If both people in the marriage will not seek counseling to try to correct the situation, the problem will most likely get worse as the years go by.
But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? 1 Corinthians 7:15God has allowed us a way to peace.
Marriage can provide an intensive training ground in the nature of the union itself. But the lessons learned in marriage need also to be learned by every one of us. Being single can sometimes make it easier not to get involved with others. In some situations you can just walk away or not get involved to start with. So do not shut yourself off from others. You need to get out and serve with others to build character as you interact with other people. You learn to deal with their imperfections and they learn to deal with yours.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21 admonishes all of us to each to submit to one another. If you are not out among people, to whom will you submit?
All of us, male, female, single, divorced or married, will some day be the bride of Jesus Christ.
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:19-21We need to learn to trust Jesus to do what is best for us, even as a husband and wife learn to trust each other. Just as the relationship is to grow between husband and wife through love, mercy, forgiveness, commitment, submission to one another, so must everyone’s relationship grow with Jesus.
So as you come across the teachings about marriage, remember they do apply to you, whatever your marital status.
Editor's Note: The beautiful artwork was provided by Magdalena Schotten. More of her artwork can be seen at www.hausgemeindetreff.de/