Apr 5, 2013
A reader shared that her marriage can’t be reconciled and that she faces a future of singleness without sexual relations. She wondered how she could deal with that.
My wife and I shared our thoughts in this post.
The reader also raised honest questions about why God would give such strict commands about marriage, divorce and remarriage.
I thought her questions would be helpful for others to ponder. So I asked her permission to post our discussion. She graciously agreed.
So here are —
I’ll be honest and say that this still seems like some kind of test. God has put us here to enjoy so many things such as friendship, love, childbearing, etc — and yet because of rules so many of them are banned.
Why are we here if we are not to enjoy the things of the earth? If it’s so we can be tested as to how suitable we are for heaven then what kind of God really is he?
I cannot understand this kind of God as a parent, I am not a parent like that. Why have a dry life that is going to end in heaven? If that’s the case why wait for heaven?
I cannot understand the meaning of a life of grief and unhappiness actually. I don’t test my children daily so they can prove to me that they are worthy of my company.
I cannot understand this type of God if he is true – it does indeed make me feel most certainly not like worshiping him.
I am not talking about a few moments of sexual pleasure in relation to being with him, that is not an issue. I am talking about a life-altering perception of one’s entire future…for what reason? Because of some sort of strange rule.
Did Jesus come to abolish rules or create more? I am genuinely asking because this subject stumbles me to the point of not caring about him.
From what you shared, it sounds like your husband has brought great pain to you and your children. And although we have not met you, our hearts go out to you. We cannot imagine how painful this must be.
But more important is that God grieves with you. This morning I (Steve) read that Jesus was moved with compassion for a sick man (Mar 1:41). And God cares so much about your tears that it’s like he stores them all in a bottle and writes them all in a book (Psa 56:8).
But you ask — if God cares so much, why would He create good things and then in some cases not let us enjoy them. That’s a crucial question.
Let’s focus on marriage. This is a good gift God created for us. It can bring loving companionship, great joy, deep pleasure. But part of what makes marriage so beautiful is the covenant each person vows — ’til death do us part.
So why does God permit remarriage only in cases of death and adultery (Rom 7:2; Matt 19:9)? It’s because in other cases remarriage would break the original marriage vows. And if God allowed us to break our marriage vows, that would make the vows meaningless, and would destroy the preciousness of marriage.
So when God prohibits remarriage, it’s not to keep good from us. It’s to give good to us — the good of marriage as He intended it to be.
OK. But what about you? You believe it’s God’s will that you not remarry. So where is God’s goodness in this towards you?
Or as you put it — Why have a dry life that is going to end in heaven? If that’s the case, why wait for heaven?
Here’s the answer. What we are going to share is something we have experienced over years of following Christ. We have suffered very little compared to you, but God has used the little suffering we’ve had to teach us some precious truths.
What God says is that, in Christ, He Himself is our all-satisfying Treasure (Psa 16:11; Psa 37:5; Phil 3:8). This is not something we only experience in heaven. This is something we can experience now. We see that in Asaph, who in this life experienced such joy in God that he said — “besides You I desire nothing on earth” (Psa 73:25-26).
So God is your all-satisfying Treasure. Which means the greatest joys on earth (and in heaven) are found in Him alone.
And God promises to orchestrate every detail of our lives, including every trial, to bring us the greatest joy in Him (2Cor 4:17).
So the only reason God would call you not to remarry, is because it will be through singleness that you will have the greatest joy in Him.
In other words, God only says No to earthly joys in order to bring us the infinitely greater Yes of joy in Him.
But this is not easy. This means we have to trust Him.
So look at His love displayed on the Cross — for you. Look at His willingness to receive the nails in his hands and feet — for you. Look at how he refused to call a legion of angels to deliver Him, how He chose to suffer minute after minute, hour after hour — for you.
He loves you, dear Reader. He loves you.
So trust His wisdom. Trust His goodness. Trust His love.
After decades of childlessness, Abraham and Sarah would say — trust Him.
After years of slavery, false accusations, and imprisonment, Joseph would say — trust Him.
After suffering the loss of all his children, and his property, Job would say — trust Him.
It won’t be easy. It will be a fight — the fight of faith.
But God promises that in Christ He will give all the grace, comfort, love, forgiveness, strength, and joy you need.
One hundred years from today, when you see Christ displayed in all His glory, you will thank Him for the honor of suffering for Him — of suffering to uphold His will for marriage, and suffering to display His all-satisfying glory.
He is worth it all.
We have been praying, and will continue to pray for you.
Steve and Jan
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And here are some related posts you might find helpful –
- How To Be Content
- A Promise For Those Disappointed By God
- 6 Reasons Heart-Satisfaction Is Crucial
- What Are the Promises of God?
(Picture from everystockphoto by xiordashx.)