In our opening posts (here, here, and here), we considered the case of "Brad" and his long-time live-in girlfriend and three children. We considered the cost of Brad following Jesus and how the church should help him to pay that cost.
We've been thinking of Luke 14 as one foundation text for this series. There, the Lord says:
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'
31"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
So, we're left to understand that those who turn from the broad path of the world to the narrow path of the Kingdom will need to count and pay the cost of following Jesus.
Scenario 2: Angela and Andy, Divorcees Wishing to Remarry
Today, I want to introduce a different scenario. Meet "Angela" and "Andy." They've been dating for about a year now. Both are professing Christians; they understand the gospel and give evidence of loving the Lord. They're in their early thirties and are active parts of two different local churches.
"Andy" is a member of your church. They've decided to marry and have come to you/your church seeking marriage counseling and to have the wedding there. As you speak with Andy you learn that both have been divorced. This will be their second marriage.
In Andy's case, his first wife had been unfaithful and they eventually divorced over the adultery. Andy and his first wife were professing Christians. In Angela's case, she had been unfaithful to her husband, leading to a divorce. At the time, neither Angela nor her husband were believers.
Andy's first wife has gone on to remarry and now lives with her second husband and four children across town. Angela's first husband has not remarried.
Can Angela and Andy remarry? If so, both of them, or one of them? Why or why not?
In your opinion, what are those costs in this situation? And how can you and your church help them bear those costs?
You don't have to be a pastor to answer these questions. I welcome your thoughts as a church member who might be called upon to help in a situation like this. The more the merrier!