Because You Asked
The Truth about Staying Married
1 Corinthians 7:10-17
Context: Unbounded immorality, radical celibacy and Imago Dei matrimony.
Overriding Principle Command:
Each one should retain the place in life that the Lord has assigned him and to which God has called him. (1 Cor. 7:17)
1. Believers must stay married because they have been empowered to bear the image of a covenant-keeping God (1 Cor. 7:10:11; Deut. 24:1-4; Mk. 10:1-12).
What about Moses’ Certificate of Divorce?
Paul picks Jesus over Moses (“not I, but the Lord”)
God’s will for his original design overrules his concession for managing the sin of hard-heartedness.
Truth: If believers become unmarried from each other, they are to remain unmarried or be reconciled to their estranged mate.
2. A believer must stay married to an unbelieving spouse if the unbelieving spouse wishes to remain married (1 Cor. 7:10-16)
Does that mean marrying an unbeliever is sanctioned by the Lord? – No
Doesn’t an unbelieving spouse defile the believing spouse? – No
The believing spouse makes the family an “object of God’s devotion.”
Aren’t the children of the union, unholy? – No
God’s grace is so expansive that the children are granted special status with the Lord.
The act of this marriage, rather than connecting the believer to sin, brings the unbeliever(s) into direct contact with God’s grace (Barclay); an atmosphere highly conducive to their salvation.
Truth: If the unbeliever wishes to stay, stay married; if the unbeliever wishes to leave, the believer has God’s permission to be unbound and let them go in peace.
In an adulterous generation the believer’s role in marriage is to display the glorious nature of a covenant-keeping God. Staying married puts God’s glory on display.