1 Cor. 7:15-17
“15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let him or her leave. The brother or the sister is not bound in such instances. God has called us to live in peace. 16 Because how do you know, wife, whether you will bring your husband to salvation? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will bring your wife to salvation? 17 If not, then each of you should continue the life the Lord has assigned you, to which God called you. This is my rule for all the churches.
called from conflict
Apparently in first century Corinth, there were not only a number of mixed marriages among the believers, but a lot of conflict over that fact. Paul had encouraged those who had unbelieving spouses who wanted to remain with them – not to get a divorce. But he instructs those who are the victims of divorces because of their faith not to contest the divorces. His reasons are as follows:
- A Christian is not bound by law to stay in a marriage no matter what. There are circumstances where divorce is the best option.
- God has called us from conflict, even conflict in marriage. We should seek peace.
- The fact that you are a believer does not guarantee that your marriage can be saved, or that your spouse will eventually repent and be saved.
For those whose spouses are willing to stay, Paul’s advice is to continue with the marriage because God called them while married. It was his practical rule which he shared with all the churches he supervised. Marriage is messy, and divorce is always harmful. But Paul did not see a divorce as a catastrophe. He saw hope, even in that state of brokenness. God loves divorced people, and so should we.
LORD, give us compassion for those who have experienced the tragedy of divorce.