Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Get Out of Jail Free?

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. 1 Corinthians 7:12-14

This is funny to me.

At first glance it might seem like a strange and archaic thing to say. It might even sound very closed minded. But it is very specific and for that matter specifically hilarious.

I never understood this passage till my Dad taught on it one day. He was talking about the Christian family and what marriage means from that perspective. Then he came to this passage and was like… “so all of y’all who are now Christians and have been taught that it is bad to be unequally yoked (a Christian being married to a non-Christian) that doesn’t mean that you have a license to leave your spouse! This ain’t no get out of jail free card.”

When he said that I realized what Paul was doing here. Paul is addressing questions from the church at Corinth and clearly someone asked this question. I imagine it went something like this.

Unhappily Married woman: So now that I’m a Christian do you think I can leave my good for nothing husband? After all I’m not supposed to be married to someone who ain’t Christian right?

Local Pastor: Umm… I don’t know about that.

Unhappily Married Woman: What you mean you don’t know? The rule is I’m supposed to be married to a Christian. Free at last! Thank God almighty I am free at last!

Local Pastor: Umm… that don’t sound right… let’s ask Paul about this.

The idea that we should marry someone with our values makes sense. Our values are what lead us and guide all of our decisions. How can we march in the same direction as a person whose values are taking them in a different direction?

In that case you can’t help but to be pulled off of your own path.

But what’s interesting here is that Paul reaffirms the importance of the wedding vows. Marriage is a promise that is not meant to be broken. People change. The person that you married will not be the same ten years later. And neither will you. Marriage is about compromise; but, it is about growing together, allowing the other the freedom to become fully themselves as individuals so that they can in turn contribute to a stronger union.

Or so I hear…

But it’s funny to me that someone actually posed this question. It’s actually a good question when you think about it. If one’s core values radically change in a marriage it could cause serious problems.

That’s why it is good to search within ourselves to understand the foundation of what makes us who we are before we make that kind of commitment. Once we become settled in the fundamentals of our identity we are finally capable of understanding what we truly need, the kind of person that will fulfill us for a lifetime.

So be careful jumping into serious bonds with folks before you are ready; because even if you do get a divorce later on, odds are the life you lived together will stay with you until the end of your days.

Search within and try to understand the core of your beliefs. Do the work necessary to understand where you are coming from and the trajectory of the path for where you are going.

If you are reading this as an unmarried person then WHEW! Gotcha in time.

If not… I hope you’re happy and good luck!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Man of God,
    I absolutely agree..."be careful jumping into serious bonds with folks before you are ready".

    During meditation on Sunday, I read Song of Solomon and there was a particular phrase that was mentioned about three different times.

    "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, Do not stir up nor awaken love Until it pleases". (verses 2:7, 3:5 and 8:4)

    When I read this, my first thought was about how people are so lovesick. Liken to your friend mentioned in the Halloween post who was "ass out" with a hospital gown and named as lovesick on his bracelet.

    Everything in God's timing...

    By the way....that idea was brilliant. :)-

    Much Love


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