Today is October 9, 2018

Verse of the Day — 1 Corinthians 13:4

Love is patient.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

God wants us to be very patient with those around us.


MINI BIBLE STUDY FOR THE DAY

Christians are instructed repeatedly in the Bible to be patient in every circumstance God allows in our lives. We are to be patient:

  • when wronged by someone

    The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, —2 Timothy 2:24

  • when we are suffering

    But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer —2 Corinthians 1:6

  • and while we are teaching others about God’s Word

    preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. —2 Timothy 4:2

Our Christian walk should be marked with the distinct characteristic of patience:

. . . walk . . . with patience . . . —Ephesians 4:1-2

. . . put on a heart of . . . patience; —Colossians 3:12

The fruit of the spirit is . . . patience. —Galatians 5:22 (See also 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Colossians 1:11.)

God is love, love is patient (1 Corinthians 13:4), and God lives in us.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant

So as Christians, we are to allow Him to reflect His love/patience in our lives for all to see. And we are to exhibit this trait of patience our entire lives:

Be patient . . . until the coming of the Lord. —James 5:8


QUESTION FOR THE DAY

Dear Compass,

I divorced my husband after years of physical abuse. I really tried to be the kind of Godly wife the Bible wanted me to be. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the courts instructing him not to come within 500 feet of me for the next ten years, and my pastor telling me that if I stayed married he would probably kill me, I’d still be married to him.

My husband claimed to be a Christian and we went to church. But most of the time he was a monster, doing drugs, sometimes drinking, extreme flirting, and he would not work. We never had children. I never caught him in the act of adultery and although he claims he was faithful during our separation, several people told me he was having women spend the night with him.

My questions are:

  • I understand that since my husband is a Believer, I am to remain single or be reconciled with my husband. Therefore, if I remarry, am I committing adultery?
  • Even though I couldn’t prove adultery prior to divorce, if my husband now sleeps with another woman, would I then be free to marry?
  • If he remarries, will that free me to remarry?
  • If he never remarries, am I to stay single my whole life?

ANSWER:

This is a very, very difficult area. God hates divorce (“For I hate divorce,” says the LORD, the God of Israel . . . —Malachi 2:16) and intended that marriage be forever—for better or worse, and unfortunately you got “worse.”

But understand that there is a tremendous difference between SEPARATION and divorce. You were right to get out of a situation where you were being abused. The problem is that once you sought the legal divorce, you were saying, in effect, that you could no longer trust God to deal with or change the circumstances of your marriage. You were also telling your husband that he was beyond your forgiveness.

Your pastor was right to be concerned for your safety (as in separation), but that still does not justify divorce. Divorce should be avoided by Christians at all costs—even if the spouse is an unbeliever.

“For I hate divorce,” says the Lord . . . “do not deal treacherously.” —Malachi 2:16

A woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, let her not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, —1 Corinthians 7:13-14

It makes no difference if your husband is a Christian or not. God says you are to stay married. He does not distinguish between a Christian husband and a non-Christian husband.

A wife is bound as long as her husband lives . . . —1 Corinthians 7:39

The Bible is also clear that you should prayerfully seek reconciliation.

. . . the wife should not leave her husband. But if she does leave, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband. —1 Corinthians 7:10-11

It may not be wise to contact your husband in person or to be in his company at this time, but you can communicate that you love him and that you desire to follow God’s plan. It makes no difference if he is in sin or not in sin because that is God’s area of responsibility, not yours.

Your comment about his adultery gives us the impression that you may be looking for an “out” and truly not wanting to wait for God’s plan to fully unfold. What if God has him on a 15-year plan? Or 30-year plan? Do you want what GOD wants, or do you want what YOU want?

if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery. —Mark 10:12

Jesus, addressing the Jews during the Age of Law, did say divorce was permitted if there was adultery involved.

but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. —Matthew 5:32

But the unmistakable characteristic of the Church Age/Age of Grace, which followed the law and Jesus’ death, is forgiveness and reconciliation. In the Church Age, we are to love others as Christ loved us.

and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. —Ephesians 5:2 (See also Ephesians 5:25, Romans 15:7, and 1 John 4:19.)

And Christ loved us with TOTAL forgiveness for ALL things, even when we sin over and over. Also, in the Church Age we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us that offers us the ability to forgive and move on, not remembering a “wrong suffered.”

does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered —1 Corinthians 13:5

That leaves no room for divorce under any circumstance.

If you sincerely want what is best, trust God to be in control of this situation and allow Him to use you mightily. Pray for your husband, for reconciliation, and for a strong marriage. You may want to pray about finding new spiritual leaders that will give you advice based on the unwavering and unchangeable Word of God.

Furthermore, if God doesn’t allow reconciliation, you have the promise of an incredible life ahead of you. Being single allows time to develop a much deeper relationship with God. Or God may bring someone new into your life.

But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn. —1 Corinthians 7:9

Either way, God promises to honor your obedience and trust in Him in ways that will count for eternity.

One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how (she) may please the Lord; but the one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how (she) may please (her husband) . . . the woman who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; . . . and I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to . . . secure undistracted devotion to the Lord. —1 Corinthians 7:32-35

Note to Christians who have divorced and remarried: God paid for ALL sin on the Cross, so move on with your new spouse. It’s not the unpardonable sin!

Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. —1 Corinthians 7:15

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you should marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin should marry, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. —1 Corinthians 7:27-28

. . . forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. —Philippians 3:13

Additional resource for this GML:

You can download and watch a DVD for free from the Compass Digital Store by clicking on the title below—no credit/debit card needed.

Satan’s Top 10 Lies: Lie #1 Divorce Is the “Unpardonable” Sin for Christians – Bill Perkins

Or you can order this DVD to be mailed to you also by clicking the title above and choosing that option or by calling 800-977-2177.

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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.

Answers to questions in GML are intended to be supplementary and in the spirit of Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, and 26:26, which calls for believers to seek counsel from more than one person. Therefore, it is not recommended that any decision be based solely on GML’s answer, but rather it be considered one of several counselors when determining a course of action.

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