Nov 202013 0 Responses

Divorce Can Proclaim the Gospel

Marriage is one of God’s plans for making himself known. As husbands and wives love one another with a forgiving, merciful, faithful love, they point to God’s great love for us.

Divorce is a violation of God’s commands. With very few exceptions, God forbids divorce. He does so, in part, because it is against his covenant love. A God who loves unconditionally desires us to build our families on unconditional love. (See: How to Stay Married in the Tough Times)

While divorce is a sin, it can also clearly proclaim the gospel.

Need a reminder of the gospel, watch this:

This truth should never be used to encourage divorce, but it can be used to encourage those who have divorced.

Divorce can be used to proclaim the gospel by:

Showing our great need for forgiveness—to ourselves and others. Divorce is public, always public. While the details may not be known, the outcome always is. Going through a divorce can strip us of the perception of perfection. It can remind us, and reveal to others, our need for grace. A healthy marriage can, at times, give the false impression of someone being better than they are. We all need grace. Sometimes a divorce makes that need more apparent.

Teaching us to find our identity in God alone. Humanity has the ability to take good things and confuse them for ultimate things. We attempt to define ourselves by something other than God himself. This is idolatry. Many good people unknowingly turn their marriage into an idol by defining themselves by the marriage. Divorce can quickly strip away the idol. It can remind us that our lives are solely defined by God.

Turning our attention toward eternal things. God often reveals himself through suffering. It is often in our times of greatest sorrow that God has our attention. Because of this, divorce can often be the path through which God reveals himself to us. I know many people who say it was only because of their divorce that they came to know God. While it’s a path none of us would choose, it is a path God often allows in order to open our eyes to His love.

Testifying of our trust in the midst of suffering. No matter who is responsible for the divorce, staying faithful in the midst of the divorce can provide a wonderful testimony to those around us of the power of the gospel. By seeking and giving forgiveness, rejecting bitterness, showing sexual restraint while single, holding on to faith, continuing to serve, and trusting God in the midst of our darkest days, we can point others to Christ. Few things testify to the truthfulness of the gospel like faithfulness in the middle of sorrow. Divorce can provide such an opportunity.

The church has notoriously pointed out the negative effects of divorce. We are right to do so. However, God is so great, He can even use something he forbade in order to make himself known. Divorce can bring glory to God if we trust him in the midst of the divorce and come to know him greater through the experience.

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