Desertion

First Corinthians 7:15, the Marriage Covenant, & the Nature of Desertion: Part 3

From DBSJ. Read Part 1, and Part 2.

The Marriage Covenant and the Definition of Desertion in 1 Corinthians 7:15

As reviewed earlier, Paul clearly allows for a believer to remain passive when an unbelieving spouse divorces and deserts their marriage according to 1 Corinthians 7:15. From the explanation above, though a spouse may actively divorce a spouse who has broken the marriage covenant in some way, the command in 1 Corinthians 7:15 is to be passive when being divorced. This contrast implies that the marriage covenant has an indirect bearing on the Pauline Privilege in 1 Corinthians 7:15 at best. Nonetheless, it is still helpful to see how the marriage covenant can better inform a believer to carry out the command of 1 Corinthians 7:15 in a number of situations.

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First Corinthians 7:15, the Marriage Covenant, & the Nature of Desertion: Part 2

From DBSJ. Read Part 1.

The Marriage Covenant

A review of the Pauline privilege in hand, this article will now examine a biblical marriage covenant by means of surveying the primary Old Testament passages that show marriage to be a covenant relationship. Though the constraints of this article do not allow for a detailed theology of a marriage covenant, the basic nature and obligations of a marriage covenant may be seen by a survey of five Old Testament passages: Exodus 21:10–11; Deuteronomy 24:1–4; Malachi 2:14; Ezekiel 16:8, 59, 60, 62; and Proverbs 2:16–17.14 The final section of this paper will use this survey to conclude whether or not the marriage covenant has any bearing on the nature of desertion in 1 Corinthians 7:15.

Exodus 21:10–11

If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights. And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

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First Corinthians 7:15, the Marriage Covenant, & the Nature of Desertion: Part 1

By David J. Huffstutler1

Divorce is a difficult topic to address on both theological and practical levels. Even when this topic is carefully studied by the best of Christian scholars, conclusions on the topic and their practical applications can yield a spectrum of beliefs and practices. When discussing divorce, charity is essential.

Realizing the varied beliefs that many have on the topic of divorce, this article seeks to investigate a difficult issue that exists within the position that allows for divorce in certain circumstances, the majority position on divorce within evangelical theology today.2 Additionally, this article will carry out this investigation from the understanding that marriage is a covenant relationship, a position to be surveyed briefly below.3 Whether a reader approaches this article to better research his own position or that of his fellow Christian, all may be edified along the way.

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