(originally published on October 12, 2016)
Regarding the five states or stations of life, I point out the following biblically commanded requirements and restrictions:
1. The state of SINGLENESS —
Requirements: Believers of both genders are to find increased ways to serve God and others with the extra time they posses as a single person. Restrictions: They are not allowed to be involved in any kind of sexual activity to any degree, in any way, shape, or form, for any reason, with anyone. Nor are Christian singles allowed by God to knowingly or intentionally marry an unbeliever.
2. The state of MARRIAGE —
Requirements: Both the husband and the wife are to view marriage as an absolute, unconditional, lifelong covenant commitment, and both must fulfill their God-appointed responsibilities according to their God-assigned biblical roles. Restrictions: Neither husband nor wife is allowed to violate or switch their God-given roles, nor deny one another sexual fulfillment as long as it is biblically acceptable, nor divorce for any reason they want, nor be physically, emotionally, or verbally intimate with anyone other than their spouse.
3. The state of DIVORCE —
Requirements: There are two–and only two–biblically acceptable grounds for divorce. These are unrepentant adultery, and/or unrepentant abandonment by an unbeliever as defined by Scripture. There are absolutely no other exceptions, no matter what the painful circumstances might be. Restrictions: Some divorced people, depending on the situation, might be forbidden by God in Scripture to get remarried until certain conditions are met, if ever. Consult your spiritual leaders to see how the Bible applies specifically to you in this matter. Also, divorced people are like single people, in that there is no allowance for any kind of sexual activity, not even with the consent of an ex-husband or ex-wife.
4. The state of REMARRIAGE —
Requirements: The Bible only allows remarriage for individuals who have biblical grounds for their most recent divorce. And they are commanded to fulfill all of the normal and biblical responsibilities of all other married people in the Bible according to their God-assigned roles. Again, if they are Christians and are able to remarry, they must marry another Christian. Restrictions: They are not allowed to intentionally marry an unbeliever. And, they are not allowed to remarry without biblical grounds for their recent divorce. Lastly, they are not allowed to remarry an ex, if that ex has been married to someone else in the interlude.
5. The state of WIDOWHOOD —
Requirements: In 1 Timothy 5:3-16, God’s Word gives an extensive treatment to the subject of widows. Young widows 59 years of age or younger are to be open to the idea of remarriage to a godly, believing spouse. Widows 60 or older who meet the qualifications of Scripture are to be placed on a list by the congregation and its leaders, and be the object of special honor and care by their families first, and then by the congregation at large. Widows are to be known for their good deeds, hospitality, acts of service, faith, love, and prayerfulness. Restrictions: Widows are not to use their newly found freedom from marriage as an excuse to live in wanton pleasure or sin, nor are they to be idle, gossips, busybodies, or people who stir up trouble in the congregation.
Again, God doesn’t allow anyone to be single, married, divorced, remarried, or widowed for any reason they want, any time they want. God does regulate the real Christian’s life in all facets. Acknowledging and submitting to God’s right to rule these areas of our life is part of being the slave of Jesus Christ!