A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Teaching, Training & Commissioning
Chapter 12 Episode 3
REMOVING THE OBSTACLE OF DIVORCE
We are told by the Holy Spirit in Romans 12:2 that, as disciples of Jesus, you are not to be conformed to this world, but you are to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is: that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
There are obstacles to (1) being transformed into a Child of God and (2) becoming a disciple of Jesus (3) entering the Kingdom of Heaven, now, and (4) walking in the power of His Spirit. Galatians 5:19-21 tells us of these obstacles and that those who practice these things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
These next episodes will continue to identify these obstacles and remedies for their removal from your life.
Divorce and remarriage is a common error committed by people calling themselves “Christian”, who want the benefits of but reject the requirements of becoming a Christian as they are often overcome by fleshly or emotional desires.
(For our convenience, I have coded the Obstacle in green, the penalty in purple and the Remedy in Blue.)
Episode 3: Removing the Obstacle of Divorce requires cooperation and commitment to the covenant of marriage.
Matthew 5:31-32 says “WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE’;
but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of un-chastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
Jesus, first, gives us an understanding of divorce in Matthew 19:3-6 and then the remedy for divorce in Ephesians 5:21-24:
Jesus explains, in Matthew 19:3-6, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’?
“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
Imagine having your arm our your leg amputated. Can you imagine the pain and the loss? Literally losing part of yourself would impact and affect your body, your mind, your soul and your spirit. Please dear ones, do not deliberately wound yourself and others.
The remedy to divorce is found in Ephesians 5:21-24.
Ephesians 5:”21-24 says “be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.”
The word Greek word for “to be subject to” or “submit to” is “Hupotasso”, which literally means:
- To arrange under, to subordinate;
- To subject, put in subjection
- To subject one’s self, obey
- To submit to one’s control
- To yield to one’s admonition or advice
- To obey, be subject.
- To mutually agree upon
HUPO – arrange under; TASSO – mutually agree upon
The intention of “submission or subjection” is found in the CONTEXT of the words in this chapter of Ephesians which encourages us to be wise and moral, kind and pure, gentle and forgiving.
The context is also found in the meaning of the words in these verses.
Specifically, “Hupotasso” comes from a Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”.
These troop formations were called a Phalanx. The Phalanx was the formation, usually in triangular form, in which The hoplite phalanx of the Archaic and Classical periods in Greece (c. 800–350 BC) was the formation in which the hoplites would line up in ranks in close order.
Hoplites were citizen-soldiers of Ancient Greek city-states who were primarily armed with spears and shields. Hoplite soldiers utilized the phalanx formation in order to be effective in war with fewer soldiers. The formation discouraged the soldiers from acting alone, for this would compromise the formation and minimize its strengths
The hoplites would lock their shields together, and the first few ranks of soldiers would project their spears out over the first rank of shields.
Those at the front were, what we would call today, THE TIP OF THE SPEAR or the POINT MAN. They presented the first defense against the enemy and were the first to engage the enemy and the first to take casualties.
The phalanx therefore presented a shield wall and a mass of spear points to the enemy. Making frontal assaults against it very difficult.
It also allowed a higher proportion of the soldiers to be actively engaged in combat at a given time, rather than just those in the front rank.
This word, “Hupotasso”, in non-military use, is “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.
The Bible gives this as an example for husbands and wives to cooperate and to successfully navigate life and in waging wars against ‘their common enemy’, Satan.
The wife is fully engaged in the marriage relationship, but, God says the husband is to be the Tip of the Spear in order to protect and preserve and, if necessary, the first to fall.
Interestingly, Ephesians 5:22, contains the phrase, “be subject to your own”, which include the word Greek word, “idios”, and means, “uniquely one’s own, peculiar to the individual”. “Idios” is a stronger word than the simple possessive pronoun, ‘own’. This emphatic adjective means ‘private and personal’ “.
In other words, God gives each husband a wife, designed by God, Himself, to fulfill a role specifically for that husband. God gives the wife gifts, talents, abilities and a calling uniquely designed to serve God and to compliment and to complete the husband.
This is why the Bible says “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
“So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself”.
It is also why God says, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
Neither, the husband nor the wife, can be made complete as persons, finding refuge, protection and provision as provided by God; neither can they mature and sustain one another, until they understand this Spiritual principal and follow it.
Marriage has mutual strength through commitment and cooperation with one another under God’s Steady Hand.
Please take this to heart, dear ones. This message is so important.
The world and the Devil are deceiving the family in to thinking ‘what works for you is OK”. It is NOT OK. God’s design, His plan and His Word is what gives life, and life more abundant. Stop following the world and REASON through God’s Word. Understand it and live!
Your Brother and Friend,
PS: Marriage makes the two into ONE. Divorce is a violent tearing apart, no matter how amicable you try to be.
Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)
Please bookmark this page and watch for our next chapter,
“Removing the Obstacle of Secrecy and Lies”
(The previous episode can be found at “Removing the Obstacles of Lust”)
(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along. You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references which are necessary for the entire teaching)