Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. (
1 Corinthians 7:1-2)
Should you find yourself in the land of shattered dreams, is it possible to pick up the pieces and move on to a life of fulfillment? You might have dreamed of marriage and years later you are still single. Maybe you married and despite your commitment, your mate walked away—divorce dashed your dreams. Perhaps you were happily married and death snatched your spouse from your arms. Can you pick up the pieces? The Corinthians wrote Paul about this, and in the seventh chapter we find God’s perspective.
You can pick up the pieces from DISAPPOINTMENT (v.1-9; 25-38). It would be a mistake to stereotype all single adults as frustrated people. Some are quite happy being unmarried. Scripture teaches that God gives a special gift of singleness to some—a supernatural grace that liberates them to serve Christ exclusively. Others feel a deep disappointment. They want to be married, but have not. There is something worse than being unmarried, and that is marrying outside of God’s will. Some are so desperate for marriage, they unequally yoke with an unbeliever. You get the Devil as a Father-in-law when you do! Remember that in the sovereignty of an all-wise and all-loving God, disappointment can be His appointment. Devote yourself to living for Christ, wait on the Lord. Paul was single and satisfied, fulfilled and not frustrated. You can be.
You can pick up the pieces from DIVORCE (v.10-24). Paul doesn’t present a comprehensive statement on divorce and remarriage here—he is answering specific questions. We must look at the whole of Scripture to find the entire teaching. Although divorce isn’t desirable, it is sometimes permissible. Paul tells us that if an unbeliever deserts a believer, the Christian is not bound. Christ also taught that when someone violates one’s vows with persistent immorality, divorce may be allowed. When divorce occurs for Biblical grounds, then remarriage is permissible. The goal, however, is to stay together, if possible. Reconciliation and rebuilding the relationship can be a miraculous testimony to the grace of God. The believing spouse may lead their lost mate to Christ. Forgiveness can be expressed, even when trust is broken. Divorce always brings pain—even when it is unavoidable. It breaks hearts and children are often the broken pieces. The church must do all it can to prepare people for healthy marriages, help those with troubled marriages, but minister to those with broken marriages also.
You can pick up the pieces from DEATH (v.39-40). Unless both spouses die at the same time, then one will face the sorrow of a funeral. Since the two became one, they will feel like part of them is gone. The grief-stricken struggle with depression—even anger with God. Thankfully, for His children, there will be a glad reunion day! Some will remarry. Make sure you find God’s choice for you, if you do. You don’t get over this loss—you just learn in time to go with it, and find the supernatural peace Jesus gives.
I pray for those with broken dreams today, that God will help you pick up the pieces!