The Dangers of Divorce – Matthew 5:31-32

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Pastor Scott L. Harris

Grace Bible Church, NY

May 18, 2014

The Dangers of Divorce

Matthew 5:31-32

War on the Family

It has been well over two decades since the term “civil war” was first used to describe the social and politic conflict between those still holding to a Judeo-Christian Ethic and those who have fallen under the influence of secular humanism. We are a nation in moral confusion and turmoil, and since the amorality of secularism is now the prevailing view in most of our various government entities, our public school systems, and major entertainment and news media corporations, it is a war we are losing. In fact, the enemy has invaded our camp which is why the church in America as a whole has become so weak and irrelevant to the rest of society. Statistically, the actions and beliefs of those who profess to be Christians is not much different from the rest of society.

One of the major areas of battle has been the family, and not just family values, but even the definition of a family and whether it should exist. While the family has been historically defined as those people related by marriage, blood descent or adoption, that is not the definition held by large portions of society. Traditional marriage relationships are not important to them in defining a family. Many states have already perverted marriage and the family by giving legal definition and privileges to relationships that are contrary to God’s laws. This includes not only the ungodly practice in several States including our own of granting a marriage license to same sex couples, but also of cities and corporations that grant “spousal” privileges to those who cohabit. The terms husband and wife are being replaced by other terms such as “significant other,” “domestic partner,” “spouse,” and “lover,” in some segments of society and even on some forms to reflect these changing definitions of the family.

There is also the effort by some social activists to eliminate the traditional family altogether because they see it as a great hindrance to their goals. Feminist Kate Millet said over forty years ago that, “the family unit must go, because it is the family that has oppressed and enslaved women.” That line has not changed any since then. The so called “Pro-choice” movement is part of feminism’s anti-family thrust. The idea that only the mother has the right to decide whether the baby lives or dies redefines the family as a mother and child. Dad is eliminated from the family picture. I have always found it curious that Planned Parenthood – the nation’s single largest provider of abortions – choose that name. It sounds like a group that will help a couple plan and prepare for the birth and rearing of a child, but instead it is a place where parenthood is terminated.

But radical feminists, homosexuals and amoral legislators are not the biggest threats to families. The greatest threat to the traditional family and therefore society itself is the dissolution of the institution of marriage, and there are many forces in this threat. I already mentioned in my Mother’s Day sermon last week the increasing delay in people getting married due to economic factors and general selfishness. A more serious factor that delays marriage or even blocks it is unwed motherhood and the promotion of single parenting as a legitimate alternative lifestyle.

Unwed Mothers

Single women becoming pregnant has always been around since fornication has always been a temptation to which some fall. In times past that situation would result in either what was termed a “shotgun wedding” as the man was forced to fulfill his obligations to the mother and to the child he had fathered, or the child would be put up for adoption. However, two factors have radically changed our society resulting in the number of unwed mothers skyrocketing. The first was the establishment of welfare for unwed mothers. This allowed her to keep and raise the child on her own without the financial support of the father. The second was abortion as a “woman’s right to privacy.” This placed the decision of whether the child would even be born solely in her hands. Abortion became a last means of birth control over which the father has no say and therefore no sense of responsibility. These two factors have allowed people to fornicate without serious consideration of the consequences of procreation. It is just about having a good time for the moment. She does not need him if she wants to keep the baby and she kills the baby by abortion if she does not. Either way, the father feels no obligation toward her or the baby and there is no marriage.

This has become so common in our society that there is little or no shame associated with it anymore. In fact, it has become fairly normal. Consider that in the United States in 2012 the average age of a woman for a first marriage was 26.6 (up from 20.8 in 1970), but the average age for a first birth was just over eight months earlier at 25.8 (up from 21.4). About 40% of all births in the U.S. are to unwed mothers with some population groups up as high as 70%. A large portion of these women do not marry. In 2012, about 45% of single mothers have never married with the rest divorced, separated or widowed.

Single Parent Families

Why is this so bad? Let me give you some statistics about single parent families, but before I do, let me be clear that I am not speaking against single parent families per se, but I am saying that the situation is tragic. It is not God’s ideal for the family, and it is a very difficult circumstance to live in. Anyone that has been there or has had a friend or relative there knows what I am talking about. Single parents need help and encouragement regardless of the situation that caused it. I advocate helping single parents, and as these statistics will show they are in great need of help, but I am also speaking against the sins that cause it. Single parents need to be active in church life so that both they and their children can benefit from the interaction with godly people who can help, advise and be role models for them.

About one third of all children in the U.S., about 15 million, are being raised without a father and another 2.8 million without a mother. Income of single mother families is only about one third of married couple families with a 2011 poverty rate of 40.9% compared to 8.8% for married couples. That leaves them more vulnerable to hunger, utility cut-offs and homelessness. Eighty percent of homeless families and 90% of those receiving government Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are headed by single women.

What is the effect on the children? 2003 statistics show 75% of children / adolescents in chemical dependency hospitals were from single-parent families. Seventy-five percent of teenage pregnancies were adolescents from single parent homes. Children of fatherless homes also had dramatically higher rates of behavioral problems, dropping out of High School, psychiatric treatment, being institutionalized, prison and violent crime. Sixty-three percent of suicides are individuals from single parent families. Single parenting is not what the entertainment media portrays. There is nothing glamorous about it. Single parents need help and those who are not need to avoid it. How? 1) Keep sexual activity confined to marriage. 2) Stay married.

Divorce

Staying married is not always easy which brings us to divorce which is the third and perhaps the most serious factor that is destroying traditional marriage in the United States. In 2012, about 41% of first marriages will eventually end in divorce. But now you say, “Pastor, what about when the marriage goes bad? Isn’t it better to get a divorce and not have to live is such a horrible situation, and isn’t it better to spare the kids having to live in such a negative environment?” While there are certainly cases such as physical abuse in which a separation is warranted, those situations are rare. We live in a society in which divorce is easy and the stigma against it has been removed so it has almost become an expected part of life. If people thought more seriously about the consequences of divorce there would be more care given in choosing a spouse and greater hesitation to pursue it.

First, there is a high financial cost. While there are advertisements for low cost divorces in the hundreds of dollars, the costs escalate rapidly if anything is contested concerning property and especially custody of children. Lawyer and court fees can quickly rise to the thousands and tens of thousands of dollars. Add to this the cost of having to reproduce another household with the additional rent, utilities and all the start up costs such as basic furniture, kitchen ware and cleaning supplies. There are also the long term costs which are not borne equally. Remember, the no-fault divorce laws were written by adulterous men and their friends. Divorced men increased their standard of living an average of 42% while divorced women and their children decline 73%.

The personal cost in emotional pain is even greater. Pat Conroy described his pain in a book entitled, “Death of a Marriage.” He said, “Each divorce is the death of a small civilization. Two people declare war on each other, and their screams and tears infect their entire world with the bacilli of their pain. The greatest fury comes from the wound where love once issued forth . . .” “When I went through my divorce I saw it as a country, and it was treeless, airless; there were no furloughs and no holidays. I entered without passport, without directions and absolutely alone. Insanity and hopelessness grew in that land like vast orchards of malignant fruit. I do not know the precise day that I arrived in that country. Nor am I certain that you can ever renounce your citizenship there . . .” “For a year I walked around feeling as if I had undergone a lobotomy. There were records I could not listen to because of their association with Barbara, poems I could not read from books I could not pick up. There is a restaurant I will never return to because it was the scene of an angry argument between us. It was a year when memory was acid . . .” “I began to develop the odd habits of the very lonely. I turned the stereo on as soon as I entered my apartment. I drank to the point of not caring. I cooked elaborate meals for myself, then could not eat them . . .” Those who have been divorced can tell you similar stories.

It is worse when there are children involved. The pain persists because issues with the children require continued interaction between the divorced couple. The children are often used as tools against each parent, and the pain your children suffer reminds you of your own pain.

An idea that developed in the later part of the twentieth century in the quest to avoid divorce has been “trial marriage.” This is considered a normal practice today, but it is not very good at producing marriages or avoiding divorce. About 45% who cohabit do not marry and only 1 in 47 will get married within 1 year and 1 in 23 in 3 years. Those who cohabit that do marry are 50% more likely to divorce. Only about 12% of couples who cohabit end up with a marriage lasting 10 years or more. In addition, the woman is more likely to be physically abused and children of cohabiting parents will statistically be more likely to live in poverty, have problems in school, be expelled and be incarcerated.

Children of divorced parents have similar problems and about half of the children growing up in the United States will experience their parents divorce.*School age children living with a parent & step-parent or only the divorced mother are 40% – 75% more likely to repeat a grade, 70% more likely to be expelled from school and twice as likely to drop out.*Children of fractured families are 50% more likely to develop health problems and have more psychological problems than even those of children who had a parent die. *Young sons often experience nightmares and a “father hunger” soon after dad leaves home, and in their teens they are more likely to have increased levels of aggression, gang membership and other emotional and behavioral problems. * Young daughters of divorce often experience anxiety and guilt, and in their teens they are more likely to be sexually involved, marry younger, be pregnant more often before marriage, and become divorced or separated themselves from their eventual husbands. *Children of divorce typically experience depression, drug and alcohol experimentation and a diminished ability to form lasting relationships. *Children from broken homes are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide.

Dr. Armand Nicoli of the Harvard Medical School has said, “The trend toward quick and easy divorce, and the ever-increasing divorce rate, subject more and more children to physically and emotionally absent parents.” He added that if the trend continued, “the quality of family life will continue to deteriorate, producing a society with a higher incidence of mental illness than ever before.” That was over two decades ago and his predictions are coming true.

Divorce is rarely a solution to problems. It just creates new, often more complex ones. In light of all this it is no wonder that God says in Malachi 2:16, “For I hate divorce.” It destroys the family which God Himself instituted.

Divorce is a problem now, and it was also a problem at the time of Christ. It was a problem that was made worse by the teaching of the Scribes. Turn to Matthew 5:31 as we continue to examine Christ’s examples of true righteousness as compared with the self righteousness of the Scribes.

The Teaching of the ScribesMatthew 5:31

“And it was said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of dismissal.”

This statement is based on Moses’ instructions in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 concerning divorce. Turn there for the background for Jesus’ statements concerning divorce. “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man’s wife, and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.”

No where in this passage is divorce commanded or even recommended. In fact, this passage is a series of conditional sentences ending with the conclusion that the man who divorces his wife cannot remarry her if she remarries and her second husband dies or divorces her. The passage and commands within it were given for a couple of reasons. First, divorce had been occurring for nearly any reason and this restricted it to only one reason stated as, “she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her.” Second, this protected the woman by giving her a certificate she needed to have legal standing. This kept her from being accused of abandoning her husband and also prevented her from being accused as an adulteress and stoned when she remarried. The passage does not prohibit divorce, but instead regulates it and brings out its seriousness. This was not a temporary separation. This was permanent. Note as well in verse 4 that it resulted in defilement.

The Scribes of Jesus’ time had in effect circumvented what Moses had said and had gone back to the practices that brought about Moses’ regulations on divorce in the first place. In fact, the Pharisees had gone so far as to say that Moses commanded divorce. In Matthew 19 the Pharisees come and ask Jesus about divorce. In verse 7 they say to Jesus, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate and divorce her?” They had twisted what Moses had said into a command to divorce rather than a restriction and a caution against it.

There were three religious views concerning divorce at the time of Christ. Two of these were very strict, but the third, that of Rabbi Hillel, allowed divorce for nearly any reason at all. It was the most popular view. It even allowed for divorce if the husband just found someone else he liked better reasoning that the current wife would then be unfavorable in his eyes and therefore indecent to him.

Our society is much like that today. If she burns the bagels, then divorce her. If he snores too loud, then divorce him. If you become bored, then divorce and change partners. No-fault divorce is one of the great tragedies of our society. It was promoted as a way to reduce the pain of divorce, yet that very pain was a protection. It made people think long and hard before seeking a divorce and forced them to try harder to work out their marriage problems. With some of that fear removed, more couples do not bother to work as hard on their marriage, or one partner seeks the divorce unilaterally. The no-fault laws have resulted in more divorce and therefore more pain which many in our congregation have suffered.

The certificate of divorce is important, but the scribes taught that as long as that was done you were righteous regardless of your reason for the divorce. Since they were lawyers and good at legal work, they considered themselves to be righteous in their divorces.

The Teaching of JesusMatthew 5:32

Jesus corrects the teaching of the Scribes in Matthew 5:32, and in doing so also contradicts the prevailing view of our own society.

“but I say unto you, that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Jesus’ comment here about divorce follows directly from His comments concerning adultery just prior. (See: The Heart of Adultery) The Scribes thought they avoided adultery because they were not physically intimate with another man’s wife, but Jesus said they committed adultery in their hearts when they looked on a woman to lust after her. The Scribes thought they would be righteous as long as they got the legal work done when they divorced their wives for whatever reason at all. Jesus states that apart from one exception, whoever divorces his wife multiplies adultery all over. Legal paper work does not make something right or wrong before God. God looks at the heart and Jesus condemns the teaching and practice of these religious hypocrites because they proclaimed themselves to be righteous before God while teaching and practicing what amounted to legalized adultery.

All this is in contrast to what God says about the nature of marriage. The Scribes regulated it to a legal relationship. Our society has become similar with marriage law now more akin to contractual law and business partnerships than a covenant between a man and a woman to be a family. Romantic feelings, not commitment to sacrificially love, have become the basis to form or break such marriages in which the vows are ceremonial only. The couple does not actually mean for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live. The actual promise is more like, “as long as I like you and don’t find something I like better.” This takes us back to the meaning of marriage.

Ceremonies marking the beginning of a marriage vary from culture to culture. Most of the elements in weddings in western culture derive from ancient Roman customs including the ring ceremony. Some weddings only last a few minutes such as those in a court room before a Justice of the Peace. Other ceremonies can last many days. Ancient Jewish Weddings lasted seven days. But the real question is, when does God see the couple as “married.”

Turn back to Genesis 2:20-24. In verse 20 God establishes that Adam needs a “helper suitable for him.” In verses 21, God causes Adam to sleep and takes a rib from him. In verse 22, God fashions a woman from that rib and then brings her to Adam. In verse 23 Adam accepts the gift and names her. In verse 24 the pronouncement of the institution of marriage is made stating, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Marriage takes place upon the man cleaving to his wife and becoming one flesh with her. The word cleave means “to glue.” And like two pieces of wood glued together, they become one and cannot be separated without permanent damage.

Central to marriage is the idea of the two becoming one flesh. It is interesting to note this idea is strengthened by the fact that in the Old Testament Law, though the death penalty was instituted for sins of adultery, incestuous relationships and sexual perversions, it was not required of unmarried people. Instead, Exodus 22:16-17 and Deuteronomy 22:28-29 indicate that a man who seduces an unbetrothed virgin and lies with her must pay the dowry and she becomes his wife unless the father absolutely refuses, in which case he still must pay the dowry. The illicit sexual relationship results in a marriage with Deuteronomy 22:29 adding that “he cannot divorce her all his days.”

Jesus says here that just because the legal work has been done does not mean that the marriage is over in God’s eyes. Jesus tells them that when they divorce for any other reason than the exception Jesus notes here, then you cause your wife to commit adultery when she remarries, and whoever marries a woman so divorced commits adultery. The paper work may be done, but the marriage is not over in God’s eyes. The teaching and practice of the Scribes and Pharisees only ended up promoting more adultery. Imagine how that truth began to sink in on the religious leaders that had divorced their wives for some other cause than the exception Jesus mentions here.

Now you say, “what is the exception?” The word here is porneiva / porneia, and it is translated differently in various versions as unchastity (NAS), fornication (KJV), marital unfaithfulness (NIV), sexual immorality (NKJV & ESV). All I will say about this exception at this point is that it is very narrow, but I will not be discussing it in detail until next week. I don’t want you to miss the point of this passage which is not the exception given but rather the contrast between the self-righteous teaching of the Scribes and true righteousness. Too often our human hearts want to know what the exceptions to the rules are so we will know how and when we can get out of the commands rather than following God from the heart. This morning I want the stress to remain properly on the nature of true righteousness as opposed to self-righteousness.

Self-righteousness tries to manipulate the law to achieve one’s own ends. True righteousness wants to do God’s will at all costs. Self-righteousness is concerned with a good self-image. True righteousness is concerned with a bringing honor and praise to God and viewing the self from God’s perspective. Self-righteousness will see how close it can get to the line without crossing over while true righteousness wants to stay safely away from the line.

Jesus’ correction of the Scribes and Pharisees tells them that all their efforts at self-righteousness are futile. Though they look down on others saying that they are not murderers or adulterers and they take care of the legal paper work in their divorces, Jesus says they are in fact guilty of murder in their hearts because of their hatred (See: The Dangers of Anger), they are guilty of adultery because they lust after other women (See: The Heart of Adultery), and their legal paper work of divorce has resulted in a proliferation of adultery. What they viewed as righteous divorce and remarriage, Jesus views as serial adultery. Neither religious leaders nor any human government set the standard for righteousness, decide what right and wrong, or determine morality. That belongs to God and God alone. The best that we humans can do is to learn what God has declared and submit to it.

Conclusions

Let me close with some quick final thoughts on this subject.

1) It is clear that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:15-16). He hates the sin of the one causing the divorce. He hates the breakup of marriage which He instituted. He hates the victimization of the children that comes with divorce. The example of prophet Hosea demonstrates how much even the offended party should be seeking to restore the relationship.

2) Divorce is not the best in any situation, but because of the hardness of men’s hearts (Matthew 19) there are Biblical grounds for divorce, but those grounds are very strict.

3) To divorce apart from the exception given in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 is sin, but it is not the unforgivable sin. There are still consequences, but the sin can be forgiven. Even the adultery that causes divorce or the adultery that results from an unbiblical divorce when remarriage occurs can be forgiven by Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 even lists those who were fornicators and adulterers as those who were “washed”. . . sanctified . . . and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” If you have committed these sins and never asked Christ for forgiveness you can do that right now in your own heart where you sit, and His promise to those that confess is that He is faithful and just to forgive that sin and cleanse from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Anyone that looks down on another Christian because they have been divorced is in the same danger of self-righteousness as the Scribes and Pharisees.

4) Are you already divorced and remarried? You cannot divorce again to try to reconcile with your first spouse for that would be an abomination according to Deuteronomy 24:4. Eggs cannot be un-scrambled, so taking the advice of Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:17-24, in whatever position you are in this moment, live it totally for the Lord, seeking His will and His glory.

5) Divorce is a terrible tragedy. There is a high cost financially, personally, and spiritually. It destroys God’s plan for the family. Divorce has lasting effects that cannot be changed, but God can heal and restore a vessel that is tarnished by sin regardless of whether that sin is an unbiblical divorce, sexual immorality, murder, greed, envy, deceit, slander, arrogance, boasting, being untrustworthy, unloving or unmerciful. God can take even the most filthy vessel, clean it and make it a useful treasure in His kingdom.

I praise God that this church is filled with people that were once stained vessels that are now cleaned and being used for God’s glory. If you are still without Christ and therefore still in your sins, today can be the day that you can be forgiven God and let Him begin to clean you and restore you to useful purposes. Talk with me or any of our church leaders after the service

KIDS KORNER

Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up. 2) Count how many times the words “divorce” is said. Talk with your parents about the consequences of divorce and how God can forgive, heal and restore those who have suffered from it.

THINK ABOUT IT!

Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. How do you see the traditional family being attacked in our society? What has caused the rapid increase in unwed motherhood in the last two generations? What dangers do single parent families face? How can you help them? What are the financial costs of divorce? The emotional costs? The effect on children? Why does cohabitation increase divorce rates instead of lowering them? What did Moses teach about divorce – Deut. 24:1-4? What did the scribes teach about divorce? How is the view of our society similar to theirs? What did Jesus teach about unrighteous divorce? How does God define marriage? If you have suffered from divorce, explain. How does God cleanse the sinner? Have you been cleansed? Can God use you for His glory now – if not, why not? How can you forgive those who have hurt you?

Sermon Notes: The Dangers of Divorce

May 18, 2014 Matthew 5:31-32

War on the Family

We are in the midst of a social, political & moral _________between the Judeo-Christian ethic & secularism

The _____________ – its value, definition and even existence – is a major front in this war

The “pro-choice” movement is part of feminism’s __________________thrust

The greatest threat to traditional marriage – and thus society – is the _____________________of marriage

Economic factors and selfishness ______________marriage

Unwed Mothers

Unwed motherhood and the promotion of single parenting delays and even _________________marriage

“Shotgun weddings” or adoption were the ___________________to unwed pregnancies in the past

Welfare for unwed mothers removed the necessity of financial support from the _____________

Abortion as a “woman’s right to privacy” _____________the father’s sense of responsibility for the baby

Unwed motherhood is now normal ~____of all births in the U.S. 45% of single mothers have never married

Single Parent Families

Single parents need ___________and encouragement regardless of what caused their very difficult situation

Radically higher rate of __________- 40.9% – increases vulnerability to hunger, utility cutoffs, homelessness

Their children have higher rates of behavior ____________, drug abuse, dropping out, crime, prison, suicide

Single parents need help. Avoid it by: 1) Keep sexual activity confined to marriage. 2) __________married

Divorce

The most serious factor in destroying marriage – about ___________ of first marriages end in divorce

There are ____cases in which separation is warranted – but our society has made divorce easy for any reason

Divorce itself is ________, and the standard of living for women and children decline by an average of 73%

The _______________costs are high: Death of a Marriage by Pat Conroy

________increase the pain because they tie you to the ex-spouse and the pain they suffer increases your own

“Trial marriage” seeks to avoid divorce, but fails. Cohabiting before marriage increases divorce rate by ____

Children of divorce have higher rates of _____________with behavior, health, school, drugs, abuse, suicide

Divorce rarely solves problems – it just creates new, more complex problems. God _______it – Malachi 2:16

The Teaching of the ScribesMatthew 5:31

Deuteronomy 24:1-4

Not a command, recommendation or prohibition, but a series of conditional statements that are __________

It ________________divorce to one stated reason of disfavor in his eyes due to some indecency found in her

It required a certificate that _______________the woman from false accusations

Divorce and remarriage resulted in ______________- Deut. 24:4

The Pharisees _____________what Moses said into a command to divorce – See Matthew 19:7

The Scribes following Rabbi Hillel ________________Moses and allowed divorce for any reason

Our society is similar, but No-Fault Divorce has removed protection, __________divorce and therefore pain

The certificate of divorce was _____________, but getting the legal work done does not make you righteous

The Teaching of JesusMatthew 5:32

Jesus follows up His teaching about lust and adultery to declare that unrighteous divorce multiplies _______

The Scribes regulated marriage to a __________relationship and our society has done the same thing

Romantic ________________, not commitment, have become the basis to form or break such “marriages”

__________ established marriage in Genesis 2:20-24

Central to marriage is the man ____________to his wife and they become one flesh : cleave = glued

____________was the penalty given to those who break that bond by adultery, incest and sexual perversions

Having the legal work done in an unrighteous divorce does not mean the marriage is ________in God’s eyes

Unrighteous divorce results in ___________________adultery

Jesus’ point is the contrast between the teaching of the self-righteous and ________________________

The self-righteous manipulate the law for their own benefit, true righteousness wants God’s ____at any cost

God and God alone sets the __________of righteousness, decides right from wrong and determines morality

Conclusions

1) God hates _____________ (Malachi 2:15-16)

2) Divorce occurs because of ________of heart (Matthew 19), but the grounds for righteous divorce is strict

3) Unrighteous divorce is sin and has consequences, but God can ___________ it – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

4) If you are already divorced and remarried, you cannot ________________the egg – 1 Corinthians 7:17-24

5) God can take a vessel filthy with sin, clean it and make it a useful _______________for His kingdom


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