Putting Away,
Departing and Remarriage:

It is no secret that marriage and how it is viewed in society has changed in the past few
decades. Pre-nuptial agreements, renewable marriage licenses, marriage contracts, no-fault
divorce, etc. show how the permanency of marriage has suffered in present day society.
Marriage has gone from a life-long commitment, regardless of the circumstances, to a
temporary situation, broken for the slightest of reasons.

Although "in the world but separate from the world," the church has been affected by the views of
society on marriage. As the church has reached out to a lost and dying world with the
everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, it has, quite properly, spoken of the love and mercy of God
unto those who have believed marriage to be less than permanent. Unfortunately, at times the
message of love and mercy was not accompanied by a message of righteousness (as it must
be), teaching the sacredness of the life-long commitment in marriage. Thus, the church has
experienced those in its midst who have not only believed, but practiced (and continue to
practice) a less than life-long commitment to marriage.

The disagreements on divorce and remarriage have come to a head in the last twenty-five years
or so, but they reach as far back as the second century. Disagreements on Matthew 19:9 and I
Corinthians 7:15 can be documented throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, yet they did not
create the fervor they do today. Why? There may be many reasons, but one compelling fact is
the change from the realm of ideology to reality. Because of the increase in the divorce rate, it
has ceased being a philosophical question of "What would you do?" and became a practical
question of "What are you going to do?" It is no longer a moot question. There is not a
congregation nor a family that divorce has not touched today.

Therefore, the subject before us is vital and necessary. It should be considered carefully and
prayerfully, remembering that the right answer is not what I say, nor what any favorite writer or
preacher says; it is what God has revealed in his word.

May you study PUTTING AWAY, DEPARTING AND REMARRIAGE in the light of God's word with a
love for the truth, allowing it alone to guide you.