RSS

Tag Archives: Christian marriage

Gaurding Your Heart

As we continue through Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church, we see that he has been very transparent about himself and his ministry.  His desire is that those he’s writing to feel the same affection towards him.

We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you.  We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us.  As a fair exchange — I speak as to my children — open wide your hearts also.
2 Corinthians 6:11-13

He’s telling them this because it’s very important to guard our hearts.  We have to be asking; who do we open our hearts to?  Sometimes we set ourselves up for problems and setbacks in this area.

Look at how Paul warns the church.

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?  What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
2 Corinthians 6:14-15

Most of the teaching that I hear about this passage has to do with marriage.  They teach that a Christian should never marry a non-Christian.

While I believe that this is true.  There’s more to it than just the marriage issue.  It refers to any contractual partnership arrangement.  We have to be careful with how closely we attach ourselves to the world system.

Of course, we can have non-Christian friends.  How else will they see the Gospel message lived out?  That’s not a problem.

To understand this we need to look at the words Paul uses to describe this attachment.

The word, yoked, is a Greek word that actually means yoked differently.  It’s like yoking a bull and a horse together.  No work will get done.  They’re too different.

Also, you can’t yoke two animals together that are facing opposite directions.  I’ve seen the spiritual equivalent of this in a marriage.

There were two Christian individuals.  They were both at about the same level in their Christian walk.  They, unfortunately, didn’t do any pre-marital counseling.

If they had they would have discovered that even though they were at the same spiritual level, she was heading toward Christ while he was heading away from Him.  The marriage ended in divorce.

We have to be careful who we attach ourselves to, either in romantic relationships or business partnerships.  They can either drag us down or lift us up to our full potential.

In my next post, I’ll look at the other words in this passage that Paul uses to describe these relationships.  It’s important that we guard ourselves against this spiritual minefield.

Question: How have you seen this concept of unequal yoking played out?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 15, 2020 in Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Marriage is Not an Escape

In his first letter to the Corinthian church, Paul gives advice about our romantic relationships.  As we continue looking at these, he now talks about those who have never been married (virgins).

Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.  Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are.  Are you married?  Do not seek a divorce.  Are you unmarried?  Do not look for a wife.  But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned.  But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
1 Corinthians 7:25-28

You may think, from reading this passage, that Paul was against marriage.  That’s not the case.  This is referencing a certain situation that was happening in his day.

Persecution was beginning to break out against the church in some locations.  That’s what he meant by this present crisis.  He wanted them to weigh their decision carefully because of the uncertain future.

This is a very important concept for us to understand in our generation.  As a pastor, I’ve had the privilege of bringing many couples through the pre-marital counseling process.  It gives a lot of insight into what Paul is talking about here.

Let me explain.  In talking with couples, I ask them to give reasons why this marriage is right for them.  I’ve heard many answers.  There are some that don’t sit well with me.

“I want to get married now because this is the first person that has ever shown any interest in me and I don’t want to lose him.”

That’s not a reason to pledge your life to someone.  God is able to bring the right person along at the right time.  You can’t make a life altering decision, based only on someone’s availability and your desire to be married.

There are other issues as well.  I’ve seen people who are single but are in a bad family situation.  Their parents have an addiction problem or are very abusive.  They see marriage as an easy escape from their home environment.

This can end up making a bad situation even worse.  Marriage is not an escape from your problems.  If anything, it brings you a whole new set of problems.

I say this not at all getting down on marriage.  I’ve been married to my wife for almost 40 years.  I wouldn’t want any other life.  I love everything about our times together.

But I can tell you this – there are problems we faced together that we would never have had as single people.  Marriage comes with its own unique set of challenges.  You have to be prepared for this as a couple.

If you’re single, don’t ever look to marriage as an escape from a bad situation.  You may dream about being married someday.  But being married is never better than being single – UNLESS – you marry the special person that God has chosen for you.

So, to all the singles out there, I’m telling you to put your hope in the Lord.  If you want to stay single, then do so without feeling guilty.  If you want to be married, then trust God to bring you the right person at just the right time.

God wants your life to be abundantly blessed.

Question: How have you trusted God in your relationships?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Divorce – God’s View

I’m continuing to look at Paul’s teaching on marriage relationships in First Corinthians, chapter 7.  Here’s where some of the controversies start.  He’s going to talk about divorce.

To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.  But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband.  And a husband must not divorce his wife.
1 Corinthians 7:10-11

This verse is specifically talking about marriages between two Christians.  Paul is being clear and concise in his description of the Lord’s command.  He states that divorce is never a part of God’s plan.

I know that this teaching doesn’t sit well with many in our generation.  We live in a society where divorce is an acceptable part of our culture.

This is why marriage is not to be entered into on a whim.  The world sees it as simply an agreement to live together.  Scripturally it’s a lot more than that.

Divorce was acceptable in the Jewish culture as well during the time Jesus was ministering.  The Pharisees asked Him His opinion.

Here’s what Jesus told them…

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?  So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
Matthew 19:4-6

The Pharisees weren’t satisfied with this answer.  They didn’t see anything wrong with divorce.  They rested their case on the fact that the Law of Moses allowed for it – so they had a Scriptural basis.

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard.  But it was not this way from the beginning.  I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Matthew 19:8-9

His answer was simple.  Divorce is not God’s will, but He knew that mankind was going to do it anyway.  So the Lord set up some ground rules to make it more amicable.

Of course, this opens up another can of worms.  It’s obvious from the above passage that God understands what we, as human beings, are like.  He knows that once we set our hearts on doing something, even against God’s will, we’ll probably go there.

So God made an allowance for the hardness of our hearts.  That tells me that divorce isn’t the unpardonable sin.  I know there are some denominations that totally write you off once you go through a divorce.  That’s not God’s view.

We must always remember that even though God hates divorce, He loves people.  He’s willing to work in and through us no matter what we’ve gone through.  It’s not my place to tell anyone that they’re somehow disqualified for ministry because of a divorce.

It’s really up to the move of the Holy Spirit in someone’s life.  I’ve seen divorced ministers who’ve walked under a powerful anointing from God.  Why would God confirm their ministry if they had disqualified themselves?

I find it best to leave the judgment seat to Christ.

Question: Based on this teaching, what’s the best way to prepare Christian couples for marriage?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 29, 2019 in Relationships, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , ,