Here is the Sunday morning sermon for Sunday, February 22nd, 2009.

FIREPROOF YOUR MARRIAGE PART 5
Unloved part 2
1 Corinthians 7:13.

1 Corinthians 7:13 ISV – And if a woman has a husband who is an unbeliever and he is willing to live with her, she must not abandon him.

We are continuing our sermon series this morning entitled, “Fireproof your marriage.”

Last week we dealt with the Husband being married either to a spouse that doesn’t love them or a spouse that doesn’t love the Lord and we looked at the biblical response.

This week we are going to look at this subject from the perspective of the wife.

Women, I don’t know why it is that it seems that more believing women are married too husbands that either don’t love the Lord, or don’t love them, but the percentage seems to be greater on your end than the reverse.

I do know this, that women desire love, especially believing women.

In the song by Rascal Flatts, “What hurts the most,” it talks about almost having the love you long for, it being so close, and in the end, the person just walks away from you.

Well, want to be real this morning. How many of you women had the dream of the white house, the big back yard, the white picket fence, 2 and a half kids, a husband that brings you either flowers, chocolates, or diamonds each day he comes home? But now many of you are living in another reality that’s wasn’t part of your dreams. Maybe you love your husband, but he just doesn’t love you…and it hurts deeply.

Maybe you have a husband that can’t stand church, or has been embittered by the church, or maybe he is a non-believer. You want him to so much be a loving man of God, but he is the opposite…..it hurts because you love him so much.

Maybe your husband is verbally abusive too you, instead of words of love and affirmation, all you hear are words of hate and destruction….it hurts to have your spirit broken like this.

Women, are you just to give up on these men?

Well, we want to look at Scripture this morning and see some answers from God. He has plenty of answers, but we are only going to look at a few.

This morning we will see that God reveals how we should be in regards to an unloving husband or an unbelieving husband.

If your unloving, unbelieving husband is willing to stay in the marriage – then do not abandon him.

1 Corinthians 7:13 ISV – And if a woman has a husband who is an unbeliever and he is willing to live with her, she must not abandon him.

Most translations say, “divorce” at the end of the verse. And it is true that it does mean that. But the Greek word goes much deeper than the word divorce conveys. It means, “to literally walk away in total abandonment.”

The Lord knows the hurt and pain in your heart. He is so mindful of it. He hasn’t said this because He wants you to endure punishment. This chapter goes on to say some things about your unloving, unbelieving spouse that is so important. Let’s continue on looking.

Your unbelieving husband has been set apart by the Lord because of your faith in Christ.

1 Corinthians 7:14a ISV – For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified because of his wife.

The word, “Sanctified” in this verse does not mean that your unbelieving husband is saved. What it means is because of your faith, God is in your home, therefore, He works on your unbelieving husband as well.

Let’s look at what the NLT (se) says of this passage.

1 Corinthians 7:14a NLT (se) – For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage…

This should be such a peaceful verse for you women with spouses that either refuse to love the Lord, or who refuse to go to church.

Your husbands may think that they can run from God, but they cannot, because of your faith…God is in the very situation. Your unbelieving husband may try to shut the door on God working on him, but he cannot, because as long as he stays with you, then God will be working on Him.

What should you do if your unbelieving spouse leaves and wants a divorce?

1 Corinthians 7:15 ISV – But if the unbelieving partner leaves, let him go. In such cases the brother or sister is not bound; God has called you to live in peace.

This may sound controversial, but it shouldn’t be. If your unbelieving spouse leaves and pursues a divorce, then let him go. God wants us to live in peace. Don’t pressure him to stay if He doesn’t want too. God has provided a way out of the situation.

Not only that, notice that the Scripture says that the believer is not bound. What does this mean? I feel that it means that if the non-believer leaves and divorces, then the believer is free to pursue their life, even to the point of finding someone else to marry. It would not be a sin and you are not bound by Scripture to continue if the unbeliever leaves.

By the way, it doesn’t mean that you should just give up on him. Continue to pray for him. Who knows, God can perform a miracle and change His heart.

However, the Scripture is rather clear on two believers who divorce.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11 PHILIPS – 10 To those who are already married my command, or rather, the Lord’s command, is that the wife should not leave her husband. 11 But if she is separated from him she should either remain unattached or else be reconciled to her husband. A husband is not, in similar circumstances, to divorce his wife.

How do we know that this is different and meant for two believers in marriage union? Well, the book itself was written to Christians, so to me it is rather clear that vv. 10-11 are talking about two believers in marriage.

They are to stay married, and if one leaves, they must remain unattached, not marry another or else be reconciled to the husband/wife.

What if the other spouse remarries? Well, reconciliation is impossible at this point, so I believe that you are no longer bound by the Scripture for reconciliation, therefore, you are free to marry another. I have searched the Scripture on this subject concerning divorce between two believers and one remarries. The Scripture I feel is actually silent on the subject of the single believer who is divorced and their former believing spouse has remarried; so let the Lord speak to your conscience concerning this.

Let’s move on.

Hold onto hope that God will save your unbelieving husband.

1 Corinthians 7:16a ISV – Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband?

As long as your husband has not abandoned you or the marriage, there is hope, so hold on to that hope and trust God.

One final point concerning unloving husbands; What should a believer’s actions be when their husband is unloving?

Do your best to be submissive to your husband as too the Lord.

Ephesians 5:22 TNIV – Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

This doesn’t mean to submit when he wants you to go against your Lord’s will. Neither does it mean to submit to abuse, whether it is emotional, vocal, physical, or sexual; it means to live a submissive quiet life before him and continue to honor him as your husband. Do it out of a heart of love for your Lord.

Notice though that this Scripture says to submit as to the Lord. Is the Lord abusive to you in anyway? Of course not. Therefore, do not submit to abuse, because abuse is not of God. Get help and protect yourself if abuse occurs.

God understands your hurt when you are unloved by your husband, or your husband doesn’t love the Lord.

Continue to trust in the Lord for your husband. As a believer, God is working on Him.

When the pain is so great, cry out to your Savior, Jesus Christ, He understands that pain and wants to minister too you.

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