Dluxe's World

Monday, March 3

(re)Marriage - Matthew 5:31-32

One of the great joys is my life is the small group we get together with on [most, or at least some] Sunday nights to study God's Word. It's a joy to fellowship with and be challenged by other believers with Scripture clearly at the center.

Over the past two meetings, we spent a fair amount of time staring at Matthew 5:31-32. There Jesus says:
It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (ESV)

This passage dominated conversation since we all know people, including believers, who have experienced a past divorce and are considering remarriage or have already remarried. And we seemed to have three questions that we moved through in our discussion:
  1. Is the construction of this passage 'supporting' (even if only in a limited way) the provision for divorce on the grounds of adultery or is the passage noting something else? For example, would a valid reading of the passage also be "everyone who divorces his wife makes her commit adultery, except on the ground of sexual immorality"?
  2. What counsel should we give Christians whose spouses have been unfaithful to their marriage?
  3. What obligations does someone considering remarriage have towards a former spouse in light of this text? What about if someone is already remarried? How does that change their responsibilities towards their former spouse?
The fact is, among many other things, I need to work on how to be a better teacher. I tend to be one of two ways: In order to spur discussion and not be dogmatic, I don't do the heavy lifting of study and so I am not prepared to teach/lead well. On the other hand, if I press into a text my tendency is to be 'preachy' and dogmatic and probably counterproductive to the dynamic a small study is supposed to create. (Let's leave aside the massive issue of the accuracy of my rigidly held exegesis for a moment, shall we?)

The nice thing about a blog is that I can work things through to my Type-A satisfaction without having to be preoccupied with my inability to lead discussion well. HOORAY INTARWEBS!!!

So, Lord willing, I'm going to spend a couple blog posts trying to answer those questions listed to my satisfaction. With grace, perhaps a kernel of what is said will be helpful to you too...

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