Week of August 6
Restoration From Divorce
By Skip Heitzig
Some years ago, Christianity Today quoted Dr. Armand Nicholi of the Harvard Medical School on the important trends in America that are destroying the family. Among them were moral decay in society, frequent family moves, and lack of communication in the home. But the most destructive force—no surprise here—was divorce. The divorce rate has increased 700 percent over the last 100 years, and its effects are far-reaching. In fact, a new study by the University of Chicago says that the stress of divorce can cause long-term health problems, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
At the time of the Christianity Today article there were 13 million children under age 18 who had one or both parents missing. That number is probably much higher today. It's understandable to be concerned about the negative effects on men, women, children, and society as a whole. It causes broken relationships with children, depression...the list goes on and on.
But there's a more important concern—it violates the Word and the principles of God. That's the number one reason that we should be opposed to divorce. In a verse that probably most people are familiar with, Malachi 2:16, God says that He hates divorce. He hates the sin that causes it, and the violent result. It goes against His Word.
But God understands divorce. In an analogous sense, He has experienced it with his people Israel, who broke their covenant of love and their spiritual relationship. "Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce..." (Jeremiah 3:8). God understands your pain firsthand!
God divorced Israel and put her away for the adultery she had committed. Although He was clearly the "innocent party" in this divorce, He didn't simply walk away. God loved Israel regardless of her sin and desired to restore their relationship, for restoration is always in God's heart.
With Jesus Christ, forgiveness, redemption and repair are available. Talk with God about His restoration plan for you. As you do, you'll realize that although your sin be as scarlet, He can make you whiter than snow. Failure is not the last word. God has not promised to smile only on those who have never blown a marriage relationship. Have you failed? Have you sinned? Then you've come to the right Person—Jesus. The meaning of His name says it all, "for He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
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Our nation is constantly on guard to preserve democracy and freedom. But we need to pay attention to the safety and wellbeing of our souls. In his newest book, Homeland Security? Skip Heitzig examines the spiritual threats that all believers face, from the personal and family levels, up through the global level. Find out what God's word says about these threats, and how we can best follow God's original plan for victory.