I recently heard a minister on the radio say “no Spirit-filled couple has ever divorced.” When I heard that I had to stop for a minute to consider what he said. Then when I thought about what the scripture teaches I had to agree with him.
I’ll explain why this is true. But first I will clarify what this is not saying. This statement is not saying a Spirit-filled person will never go through a divorce. There are many people that have been through a divorce that gave their best to God and their marriage. The divorce was against their will. It happened because of what was wrong in their spouse’s heart. One person living a Spirit-filled life is not enough for a Spirit-filled marriage. It takes two to make this statement true.
What is a Spirit-filled marriage?
First, let’s look at what Spirit-filled means.
Ephesians 5:17-21 Net – 17 For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise by understanding what the Lord’s will is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit,
Then the scripture describes what a Spirit-filled looks like.
19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for each other in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
So Spirit-filled people are those who speak to others in line with what the word says. Their hearts stay in a place of worship before God. They’re always thankful to God for what they have. And they submit to each other out of their devotion to the Lord Jesus.
“Submitting to one another” in verse 21 is key. Here we see how being Spirit-filled affects our relationships with one another. Paul then gives some examples of what it means to submit to one another, beginning with marriage.
Examples of submission
Ephesians 5:22-33 “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, 23 because the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church—he himself being the savior of the body.
24 But as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her
26 to sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of the water by the word,
27 so that he may present the church to himself as glorious—not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless.
28 In the same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no one has ever hated his own body but he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church,
30 for we are members of his body.
31 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’
32 This mystery is great—but I am actually speaking with reference to Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless, each one of you must also love his own wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
This is a well know passage of scripture dealing with marriage. But if we read it in context, Paul didn’t out of nowhere change the subject to marriage. This passage describes what it looks like when both the husband and wife “submit to one another.”
Also in chapter 6, Paul describes what it looks like when parent and child live in submission to one another. And then how master and slave, or in today’s world employer and employee, submit to one another.
So everything that is written from Ephesians 5:22 through 6:9 is a description of submission. It is how we are to live in each of our relationships. Which again is a part of what it means to “be filled by the Spirit,” verse 18.
6 reasons why divorce doesn’t happen in a Spirit-filled marriage.
- In a Spirit-filled marriage we “submit to one another.” Our roles may look different, but we are both submitting for the good of the marriage. Ephesians 5:22-33
- When marriage is Spirit-filled we give up our singleness and we “join together as one.” Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:31
- In a Spirit-filled marriage we “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit.” Ephesians 4:1-3
- In a Spirit-filled marriage, we give up “selfish ambition.” We treat each other as “more important than” ourselves. Philippians 2:3
- When marriage is Spirit-filled, we live “by the Spirit” so that we do not give place to the “desires of the flesh.” And by the Spirit, we are able to “put to death the deeds” of the flesh. Galatians 5:16, Romans 8:5, & Romans 8:13
- In a Spirit-filled marriage, we will never have “hard hearts,” which produces divorce. Mark 10:2-9 Because our hearts will always produce the “fruit of the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-23
I know this list is only a few of the reasons. But the important thing here is to know how beneficial a Spirit-filled marriage is. And also know a Spirit-filled life is a life of devotion to the Lord and submission to one another. It is a life where we understand that “whoever loses his life” for the Lord’s sake “will find” his life. Matthew 16:25
I must also say for this to work in our marriages this Spirit-filled life has to be continual for the rest of our lives. We must be diligent to stay full of the Lord and give no place for the devil to wreak havoc on our marriage.
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