My Thoughts on Divorce

Jay Dee

My Thoughts on Divorce

Aug 20, 2012

Let me start by saying that I know this is going to upset some people, and I’m sorry for that.  But not sorry enough not to post it. I’m seeing a growing trend in Christianity regarding divorce.  I’m not talking about the growing trend of

Let me start by saying that I know this is going to upset some people, and I’m sorry for that.  But not sorry enough not to post it.

I’m seeing a growing trend in Christianity regarding divorce.  I’m not talking about the growing trend of Christians having divorces, which I’m seeing conflicting data on.  I’m talking about the growing trend of Christians supporting divorces.  I’m seeing more and more often that Christians are suggesting divorce as an option.  To me, this is just appalling.  Growing up, I don’t think I ever heard anyone talk about divorce in any light openly.  It was something talked about in whispers in very small groups and always as a disdainful practice.  Now, I’m not suggesting we should go back to not talking about it.  I’m in favour of communication.  However, I am not in favour of this growing trend of thinking divorce is OK.

Now, in the Christian circles, at least those who are an active part of the Christian community, I see mostly arguments revolving around Matthew 19:9:

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.

Matthew 19:9 NIV

People take this as permission to get divorces for “martial unfaithfulness” which is being stretched to the limits these days.  But I’m more interested in the preceding verse:

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.

Matthew 19:8 NIV

I got married believing that marriage was for life. I still believe that. I heard Pam Stenzel once say that “monogamy is one person for life, not one person at a time” (paraphrase) and I really like that sentiment. I believe it reflects what marriage was designed to be.

Now, as Christians, I think we are called to live life the way God intended it. We are to be sober, in a world that teaches us to drink, do drugs and escape. We are called to give away money, in a world that teaches us to hoard and spent it on ourselves. We’re called to treat our enemies as loved ones, in a world that teaches retaliation and brutal punishment. And I think we’re called to love our spouses, regardless of what they have done.

So, I think, wherever possible, one should stay married.

I don’t think lack of sex (and I had 8 years of a “sexless” marriage) constitutes a valid reason, though many would argue that it falls under “marital unfaithfulness”. I never once thought of leaving my wife.

I don’t think the use of pornography is a valid reason, and neither does my wife.  She didn’t leave me when I came clean about my addiction, though that could fall under “marital unfaithfulness” as well.  In fact, she hugged me and cried with me and when I asked “what now?”, her answer was “You’ve just been as open and honest as you’ve ever been.  I think we should go have some really hot sex.” (My wife is amazing).

I think physical/emotional abuse is a good reason to leave in order to seek help and to stay away to keep yourself safe so long as you need to, but not a justification for divorce.

I promised to love and support, through thick and thin, good and bad, rich or poor and just about every couple promises those same things, if not in words, then in sentiment.

So, should you always support your spouse? Yes. Should you always support what they are doing? No.
Should you always stay married (in my opinion)? Yes. Should you always stay in the same house? Perhaps not, particularly if there is harm being done, though I think you should always work towards reconciliation, if possible.

Is this easy? No! Who said being a christian would be easy?

Is it fair? No! Who said life was fair?

We are told that we will suffer for following God.  Belief does not mean we get to lie in a bed of roses. It means that at the end of the day, we strive to live a perfect life as God intended.

I think much of the time (definitely not all) Christian marriages fail because they did not start with Christian dating/courting boundaries. How many of us got physically involved (not just sex) before we were 100% committed to each other. How many of us took the time to get to know our spouse?  How many of us took the time to make sure we were each whole, individuals seeking God independently before getting married? The Bible says that two shall become one, but that implies that you are each a “whole” person to start with.

I guess for me, I’m saying, I would never divorce my wife. If she started cheating on me and left me, and filed for divorce, I wouldn’t sign the papers. She would need to drag me through court kicking and screaming that I still love her, and let the judge force the issue, because, for me, God forbid I end the covenant.

Ultimately it comes down to this in my mind: Our marriage is a reflection of Christ and the church, or the relationship between God and us (if you want to get personal).

I cannot say I’ve been faithful to God.

I cheat every day.

I am bad at maintaining the relationship.

I put other things first.

What if God said “well, he cheated, so he’s out, that’s the rule!”?

So, that’s my opinion.  I’m curious, what’s yours?  Let me know in the comments below.

Looking for help?

45 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Divorce”

  1. Michael DuVernay says:

    Divorce is getting to be the normal thing way too much. Things get somewhat rocky and one or both say thats it and they are divorced like its no big deal. I know marriages are not easy and are very stressful as I have gone through many difficult times during my marriage and yet I dont want to leave my wife who is my best friend as well as my life partner.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I feel the same. We’ve had some pretty rocky parts of our marriage for some long stretches. Thank God we didn’t give up. I wouldn’t trade what we have now for anything.

  2. Rena Gunther says:

    Divorce has certainly become as commonplace in the church today as it is in the world, sadly. However, as a divorced {and remarried} Christian, I believe we need to guard our words carefully when talking about this topic.
    After my divorce {Which, although it was not due to adultery, I will not get into.}, I had my own share of battles with condemnation as well as struggles with how to address issues that friends brought my way. Our God is indeed a God of restoration. And He restored me beautifully even after divorce.
    Unexpectedly, I had various friends and family come to me with their marital problems after I had began my second marriage. The problems varied from normal marital problems to extreme. In my lack of maturity {and having left my own struggles behind} I began to advise these loved ones as I saw fit. The Holy Spirit dealt with me on this. Time went on.
    Once again, I found that women would come to me to vent and also seek advice. After my dealings with the Holy Spirit I then swung the pendulum the other way. This is something we Christians so often do. It’s called lack of balance. The thing about temperance {the fruit of the spirit} is that it’s not just self-control–it’s even balance. It takes HIS SPIRIT to strike that even balance.
    Once again, the Holy Spirit dealt with me on this. I began asking Him what in the world I was supposed to tell them, how was I supposed to advise them. Many of these issues were very serious. Whether or not a person who leaves a situation such as some of those brought to my attention, and then ultimately divorces because of them is not for us as the church to judge. The Holy Spirit very clearly showed me that this was the lives of people that I was dealing with. I was to bring these people in prayer to our Lord and ONLY SPEAK as He led.
    I’ve had Christian friends say that they do not believe divorce is okay even for adultery. Jesus said so. HOWEVER, if we will submit to Him, He may compel us to stay even in the case of adultery.
    There is indeed a fine line when dealing with this topic. I know. I’ve walked it. I thought at one time I would talk more about it on my blog. Thus far the Lord has not led me in that direction. It’s not the stepping on toes that bothers me at all. It’s the stepping outside of His voice. I did that before. I certainly want to be careful not to do so again. My own daughter is now going through divorce. And at the risk of stating her business I will say that it because of the very thing Jesus said was just cause. It’s difficult to watch. My heart aches for her and for my grandson. And it is especially sad when I find other Christians have told her that it’s not Biblical for her to leave.
    As her mother I’ve told her all along that SHE must hear from God. To stay in certain situations can be enabling. But even if she needed to get out from under such a situation, let the Lord lead her steps. She is going to have to listen for His voice and hear Him call her name. When He speaks to me He says my name, not hers. Whatever vision He gives her He will enable her to walk out. But I cannot walk it out for her.
    It is my prayer that, we, the church, will seek the Lord on behalf of one another.
    After all, it’s the lives of people we are dealing with. And this is indeed a fine line.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      As always, thanks for the response Rena,

      While I agree that Jesus said it was OK to divorce for adultery, although the word he uses is “porneias”, which can be extended far beyond adultery, it means any sexual immorality. This can include looking at another woman sexually.

      But, I draw attention to Paul’s words:
      “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive. (1 Corinthians 10:23)

      Just because we are allowed to do something, does not mean we should.

      I would never tell you what you did was sinful. I don’t know enough about you, or your situation, to even make a guess of it. All I was saying in my article is that for me, it would be a sin to consider divorce.

      Sin is not universal, it has a lot to do with conviction. The Bible is clear that “sin is not taken into account when there is no law.” (Romans 5:13b) meaning, if you are not aware it is a sin, it cannot be one. Sin is a removal of yourself from God. It occurs when we deliberately decide to go for ourselves, not for God. Who am I to say what you are convicted of.

      All I can say is what I am.

      I would never criticize someone for getting a divorce. And I will never suggest someone get a divorce. I hope that clarifies my viewpoint.

  3. Vicky says:

    I agree with your stance on divorce not being and acceptable solution for a christian. I agree that God hates divorce and did not plan it. Unfortunately however, my feelings did not prevent it from happening to me. Now I put my emphasis on forgiveness, redemption and restoration and the realization that it takes 3 people to make a marriage work, 2 spouses and God. Thanks for sharing your heart on a tough topic.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yes the message changes completely after the fact as it does with all sin. While the overriding theme is always love from God, the presentation is different.

      After the fact, it is important to focus on forgiveness and renewal of your relationship with God. Focusing on the divorce itself bears no good fruit, only pain.

  4. Neenah says:

    I agree w u. I have been married for 35 years. From before “I do” it was bad. Too much detail to go into but abusive in nevery way. I feel I have to have some boundaries or I’m not effective at all. He really doesn’t know how to have a relationship and s content being roommates .. We are both believers. I’m out of breath and desire. I have done 35 years of counseling and knw all the ins and outs. I think we actually would be better living apart than together at leat for a long while. I need to get my breath back.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks for the support. I’m sorry to hear about your struggles though. It is unfortunate that though there is so much advice in the bible about how to improve your relationship, the bulk of is about changing yourself. There is no way to force a partner to grow, only the hope that your own growth will inspire there’s, but there is no guarantee.

  5. Overcoming with Love via Facebook says:

    Have you heard of Todd White? He has the same thoughts. He has a teaching on youtube: “It’s Not About You”. God bless you! <3

  6. Sex Within Marriage via Facebook says:

    I’ll take a look, thanks.

  7. Conroy Dennis says:

    Thank you for your article, but divorce is wrong in the sight of God, and so is remarriage[unless it’s your covenant spouse, or your covenant spouse is dead.] Christians have debated this issue for years, but the Word will not change. This debate is because of the misunderstanding of the scripture in Matthew 5:32, where Jesus says,” Whosoever put away his wife, saving the cause of Fornication, causeth her to commit adultery, and whosover marry her that us divorced, commit adultery.
    The misunderstanding is the word fornication that Jesus used in this scripture. But let’s understand, the word fornication means sex before marriage. It was Jesus who in the same book and chapter in Matthew, and verse 28, He says,”Whoever looks at a woman and lust after her, commits Adultry with his heart.” So clearly Jesus knows the difference between Adultery and Fornication. But getting back to Matthew 5:32, when Jesus says [paraphrasing],”The only reason for divorce is fornication.” So what has puzzled Christians about what Jesus have said in this scripture, is how can a married person commit fornication? Well in Jewish customs, again, because of the hardness of man’s heart, Moses[not God] permitted men to divorce their spouse if they found some uncleanness[she wasn’t a virgin] in her. In Matthew, chapter 1, Joseph found out that his fiancé[wife] was pregnant before they were married. In verse 19, the Bible says that Joseph was going to put her away[the term for divorce]. But an angel spoke to Joseph and told him to take Mary as his wife, because the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary.
    In the book of Mark, chapter 10, verses 2-12[to paraphrase], Jesus said in the beginning, there was no divorce, God made male and female. The two shall become 1 flesh. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Whoever put away his wife, and marry another, commits adultery against her. And if a woman put away[divorce] her husband, and be married to another, she commits adultery.
    In 1Corinthians 7:10-11[paraphrase],the Apostle Paul wrote,” Let not the wife depart from her husband, and if she departs, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband, and let not the husband put away[divorce] his wife.”
    The Bible says that God hates divorce. Jesus, nor God, never gave permission to divorce. It’s no where in the Bible. In fact, if you read the book of Hosea, God told a man to marry a harlot, a whore. He never told the man to divorce this woman.
    For those of you who have married another, while your spouse is still living, repent., turn away from that sin of adultery, and quickly get out of that non covenant marriage that God doesn’t honor. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10,” Be not deceived, fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, abusers of themselves, thieves, covetous, shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
    Your fav tv pastor ,or your pastor won’t tell you the truth concerning divorce, and remarriage, but I’m bold enough to tell you that according to the Word, it’s wrong, and you will burn in the lake of fire for being in adultery[in a marriage, while your spouse is still living].
    God bless you,

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Hey Conroy, thanks for commenting. I’m curious though, did you actually read the post, because it seems that you’re arguing but the argument your posted agrees with mine, so I’m very confused.

      Then, you quote Hosea like it’s a novel idea…but I quoted it in my post.

      Then you finish with “I’m bold enough to tell you … that divorce is wrong!” But, that was the point of my post.

      I’m very confused, could you clarify? What was the point you were trying to make?

  8. Conroy Dennis says:

    Jay, I’m so so sorry. I was responding to someone who said that they were remarried, and not to their covenant spouse. I’m so sorry for the mix up. By the way, I love your blog, great job : )

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I’m glad you love the blog. However, I’m very confused by something. You suggest this person get out of their “non-covenant marriage”. You’re proposing one sin (divorce) to solve another sin (living with someone who isn’t their “covenant spouse”)? It doesn’t work that way, they don’t cancel each other out.

      For example:
      2 Corinthians 6:14 tells us not to marry unbelievers. But the solution when you learn of this is not to divorce the unbeliever. That would be contrary to 1 Corinthians 7:13 telling us not to divorce unbelievers.

      Each of us must choose to follow God in the best way given the circumstance we are in. You cannot go back, rather, you must turn to face God wherever you are. In whatever marriage they are currently in, they should do their best to honor God, and that means creating the best, most godly marriage with the person they are currently married to.

      Otherwise we’d have court houses full of new converts divorcing their current spouses in an attempt to go back to their first spouse. How can you justify that against Malachi 2:16?

  9. Conroy Dennis says:

    Well Jay, I understand your views, but as Disciples of Christ, we must live according to the Word of God. God says,” His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.”
    So to answer your comments, again we have to always ask,”What did Jesus say about this?” Jesus made it very clear in Mark 10:11-12,” Whoever put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.[12] And if a woman shall put away[divorce] her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” In the book of Romans 7:2-3, the Apostle Paul wrote,” For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives. But if her husband is dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.[3] So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adultress. But if her husband is dead, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another.”
    So Jay as you can see in the Word, it’s a sin in the sight of God to marry someone other than your covenant spouse if their still living. If an individual divorce, and marry another, then God sees them as an adulterer.
    Jay, many may not receive this Word from the Lord, but many will have to give an account for dishonoring God’s Word.
    I pray this answered any confusion.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Using that line of logic, is it not just as valid to kill the first spouse and thus make the union a covenant?

    2. Lauren Todd says:

      Yes, very true many will give account for dishonoring God’s word, because “covenant partnership” = marriage. It could be stated that; your covenant partner is just that; your covenant partner. If you think about it, it is not possible to make the same covenant with someone else. So then a “covenant” being in essence, an agreement between a man and a woman, who, “willingly” go into a covenant relationship with each other with God as witness, defines what marriage is and what it is not. This is why God holds you accountable. I divorced my husband, without a legitimate reason, twenty years ago. We have reconciled recently and for friends and family, and for his sense of security, (that I would never leave again) we have remarried. Divorce is the enemies design to destroy family and subsequently humanity. Don’t divorce!! I would not wish, what I have been through on another human being. Don’t give into temptation to divorce. It is simply not God’s design, so it could never be blessed of God. Also, my husband is my soulmate. Both of us really are not complete without each other. That is how it is supposed to be. The only exception is when two people are “forced” to go into that covenant partnership. For example, a bride of 12 years old is sold into slavery and forced by violence to marry a thirty year old to keep the drug ring active or what not. Then the marriage was never legitimate to begin with, because the pair were not going into the sacred covenant with will intact.

  10. Conroy Dennis says:

    lol.. Jay, we can’t fight God’s Word. His Word is His Word. Sometimes God’s Word is tough to swallow. Sometimes God’s Word and ways goes against our logic and what makes us feel good. But as disciples of Christ, we must follow His Word, even when it doesn’t make sense to us.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      No argument there, what I disagree with is your interpretation of said Word. It seems like all Law and no Grace, but just as Grace without Law is too liberal, Law without Grace is too legalistic. It is a difficult knife edge to balance, which Jesus spent much of his ministry attempting to show the way for.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m very big on Law and Commandments, more than most Christians these days, but there is a place for Grace as well, and your argument lacks the Grace is know comes from God.

      1. Lauren Todd says:

        Yes, Grace..Grace covers us. Covers over a multitude of sins. I tell you, I have friends who have both been married to other people. What must be considered is the will of the partners involved. Does your covenant partner legitimately want to be with you?? (and not for the purpose of murdering you in your sleep). If he/she does no want to be with you, than basically that person is lost and has abandon God (if that person even claims to know God at all) Grace covers me, or I would not stand as a witness for God today. If your partner by covenant is genuinely repentant, than you absolutely must forgive your covenant partner and return, as God has forgiven us. If not, you can move on with your life. But, to protect your soul, God has designated that you should seek him and stay out of romantic relationships. No one promised a life of ease.

  11. Conroy Dennis says:

    Jay, in Matthew 7, verse 13-14 says, ” Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.[14] Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it.”
    Paul preached Grace, but it was Paul who wrote by the direction of the Holy Spirit said in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11,” Let not the wife depart from her husband.[11] But if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband. And let not the husband put away[divorce] his wife.” Paul, also wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, that adulterers would not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
    I’ve been asked when talking about this subject of remarriage after divorce,” Doesn’t God forgive, if you repent from the Adulerous marriage?” The word repent means to turn away from. Many Christians believe they can willfully sin against God, and just keep repenting, or saying they’re sorry. True repentance is to turn away from the sin, even if it means getting out of a marriage that is considered a sin in God’s eyes.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I think you are applying 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 incorrectly. There is a large difference between someone who lives a lifestyle of adultery, and a person who has had a divorce and remarried. Also, the verse says “Kingdom of God”, not kingdom of Heaven, and inheriting the kingdom of God is not the same as going to heaven. The Kingdom of God is here, on Earth, today, for those that can see it. Heaven is not here on Earth yet, though it’s preparation has begun (Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27). The requirements for Heaven are simple. Mark 16:16b is extremely clear: “… he that believeth not shall be damned.” You cannot claim people will not enter heaven based on merit without dismissing this verse. Now, will they experience “heaven on Earth” in the Kingdom of God, perhaps not. Perhaps there will always be something missing, as with all of us who hold on to some sin. Perhaps that is why only those like little children will experience it. We have to let go of so much, to revert back to that state of no guilt, no burdens, just child-like faith and acceptance to be able to really experience God here on earth. It is few who attain that.

      Other than that, I agree with everything you say until the second part of the last sentence.

      Jesus told the woman in John 8:10, “Go and sin no more”, and that is what He tells all of us. But, what you are suggesting is one final sin, and that’s not in keeping with the message.

  12. Conroy Dennis says:

    Jay, in 1 Corinthians 6;9-1o, Paul makes it very clear, he said an adulterer will shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
    Jesus call anyone who divorces their spouse and marry another, while their 1st spouse, or covenant spouse is sill living, Jesus calls them an adulterer in Mark 10:11-12. Many Christians have been deceived, or not taught this principle.
    Again, in the book of Romans,chapter 7,verse 2-3, it talks about how a wife is bound to her husband, as long as he lives, but if that husband dies, she’s free to become married, and not to be looked at as an adulterer.
    Our definition for adultery is far different than God’s definition. It was Jesus, who said in Matthew 5:27-30, that if you look upon a woman with lust in your eyes, you’ve commmited adultery. And in verse 30, Jesus said,”And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. For it’s profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” Jesus was talking about an individual going to hell for adultery, because in the same chapter, and in verse 32, He goes on to say,” Whovever put away his wife[divorce] causeth her to commit adultery.”
    My point I’m making is this: Adultery of any kind, will lead you to a burning hell. The Bible says in Hosea 4:6,” My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.” The Bible says in Romans 6:23,” The wages of sin is death!”
    Jay, if someone is in a 2nd marriage, and according to the Word of God, is a sin, they need to repent. Repent means to turn away. Not to say,”I’m sorry”, and continue in the ungodly relationship.
    Jay, I pray that you will seek truth in this matter. Truth is honoring God’s Word, even when it seems unfair, or you don’t understand it with your human logic.
    God Bless you : )

  13. MJK says:

    Life is not always fair!
    I experienced much in first fifteen years, out of 25, in my marriage. I was disrespected, lied to, manipulated, called bad names and sworn at, physically violated, emotional tortured, stolen from, locked out of the house while the rest of the family ate, and so much more. The most recent 10 years have been a delight. I never gave up on my marriage. Why would I? My husband is an upright and Godly man. You see, the first 15 years was with my father-in-law involved. I was in a daily battle. My armor sure took a beating. We operated a family business with Mr Evil. It was hard. Most women would have left. I stayed no matter what. Now, it’s so rewarding to have a Godly marriage without Mr Evil around. Mr Evil lost it mentally ten years ago, and then finally died. Sadly, he never accepted Jesus. My husband had it much worse with Mr Evil. He feared for his life, at times. Mr Evil had guns.
    It’s kind of ironic, because I now live in the very house that I was locked out of. God was with us all along (and still is). I kind of felt like Job at times. Life is not always fair. Boy, don’t I know it. For better or worse, I lived through the worse. Now I’m living the good life!
    Please don’t tell me you just don’t “get along” with your spouse (or your in-law). I will not be able to relate. Now, if you tell me you have been tortured, then let’s talk. Thanks for letting me vent.
    God bless all marriages. Oh, by the way, I love your website Jay Dee.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Wow, that is quite the history. I’m so glad it worked out. That must have been very hard to stick through. I hope you have many many more years of bliss to continue to outweigh the dark periods.

      Glad you like the site. Thank you for commenting and adding another perspective. I really appreciate it.

      1. MJK says:

        I guess my message to others is, that you should not give up on your marriage, no matter what. Yes, sometime it’s pure torture. If we are truly to be Christ-like, then by all means, we sometimes will suffer. We were never promised a rose garden. Life is a bunch of trials. My days of suffering are over, over, over. The best part of this whole thing is, I never ever gave up on our marriage. Regardless of what was going on with Mr Evil, my hubby was, and is, completely opposite to Mr Evil. I could rest ever night knowing that our marriage would always triumph over evil. If God is for us, who can be against us? If we could stand strong through this, we can stand strong through anything. Never give up. Divorce is NOT the answer. It’s just a continuation of more heartache. Better to figure it out and work it out…no matter what. IMHO.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          I agree.

  14. alana says:

    was too lazy and hungry to read the whole post but i believe and I know that divorce is sin doesn’t matter the circumstances if your husband is abusing you then you are to leave the household until he deals with it but not divorce me and my friends were discussing what if you married your cousin or brother but didnt know is it ok to divorce the thing is for me is that God would not let you marry a family member remember he is against incest so in that case the Holy Spirit was speaking to you warning you that that is not the right person for you bt let’s say you didnt listen or hear the holy spirit because of sin etc. your marriage is still null and void in the eyes of the law anyways so you aren’t actually married (in certain countries if you you report thatyou didn’t know it was your family that you married then that situation would be rectified well in my country that’sthe way it is anyways the law wouldnt see you as married

  15. Butterflywings says:

    I’m guessing, Jay Dee, that you don’t interpret what Paul wrote about letting a non believer go very differently from me. I interpret it as abandonment being grounds for divorce. And there are some who would argue that serious abuse is abandonment. I’m not totally sure about that one, but I’m leaning towards believing that.

    But I totally understand what you said about if faced with divorce with yourself. Despite the years of physical, emotional, verbal abuse and even rape the day after I never asked my first husband for a divorce. Even when I kicked him out of the house for attacking our then 5 year old daughter, it was only ever supposed to be temporarily until he’d gone to rehab, got off the drugs, got back on his psych meds and given approval by child protective services to move back in (because of his attack on our daughter, they were involved and I had been told if I let him in the house or anywhere our daughter was [except when the family court ordered it] then they’d take our daughter away from me so needed their approval). But in the end it was him who insisted on a divorce to marry his mistress. I refused to sign the papers, went to court to fight it, pointed out that he was genuinely seriously mentally ill at the time, that he wasn’t mentally competent to make legal decisions while off his meds and suffering from paranoid delusions, but the magistrate simply said if he’s not in hospital or on a PTO (a treatment order) then he can do as he pleases legally and therefore saw no grounds to not give him the divorce. I fought tooth and nail to save my marriage. I know there is not a single thing I didn’t try to save it.

    And I do believe in situations like mine, that if forcibly divorced, that the divorce frees the person who tried to save the marriage and was divorced against their will. It comes back to letting the unbeliever go in peace.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      No argument here. I’m sorry you had to go through that.
      I think there is a big difference between being forced to divorce and initiating/consenting to divorce.
      Just like I wouldn’t accuse a rape victim of engaging in pre-marital or extra-marital sex.

      1. ButterflyWings says:

        Yes, I understand that. But I also don’t see anything wrong with those who choose to sign the divorce papers when asked by a cheating and/or abusive spouse. Nor do I really see any problem with those who choose to end things with a cheating or seriously abusive spouse.

        1. Lauren Todd says:

          You could try to look at it from God’s perspective. My marriage was not without abuse. I was slapped on one occasion. I left and went home to my parents. My marriage could have become an arena of violence, but with God’s grace it did not. From the night that our worst fight ever occurred, my family and I made it out that he was the enemy, and that he “abused” me, and bruises were proved in court, from that night. Believe me, there is always more to the story. The damage inflicted was very heavily exaggerated by myself and my father in court, so that he would get the shallow end of the stick. My life and limbs were not in jeopardy at all. Women are encouraged by society to divorce. Six out of ten divorces are instigated not by men for unfaithfulness, they are by women. It is too easy and Satan will use any wedge in order to sharpen his claws for the purpose of ripping your family to shreds. We still have things to work out, forgiveness reigns supreme. Grace covers us both now. Divorce is cruel. You torture your soul and that of your partner. Above all else, the enemy wants divorce, for the traditional family is the glue that holds society together.

  16. Lewanna says:

    You make some really great points and I agree with most of them. However, it is dangerous to ignore the fact that God does give us reason to divorce. I completely applaud your commitment to your wife. But you really make it sound like under no circumstances should anyone divorce. This actually is contrary to God’s exception as you quoted in Matthew 19:9. The reason I find this dangerous is that it can cause those that have had to go through the heartbreak of divorce to feel they have gone against God when there are times that God is the one actually leading them out of a bad situation. Yes – I believe everything possible should be done to save the marriage. But after much prayer, determination, and doing whatever it takes – sometimes God just tells us it’s time to let go. Now, I am in complete agreement with you when you talk about the fact that divorce happens because we didn’t go through courtship the way a Christian should in the first place. Let me give you my testimony. I met my first husband during a time in my life where I was very far from God. I was on the road back to Him but I still failed to seek His guidance. After I got married, I spent the first few years in a complete bubble. I thought I had the kind of marriage God wanted me to have. After I learned my ex-husband was planning to leave me for another woman but changed his mind, I chose to forgive and stay with my husband despite the horrible emotional roller coaster ride I was on with him. I can honestly say that I stood by him when no one else would. But because he began to confess to me different sexual experiences he wanted outside of the marriage (although he swore he would never act on them) trust continued to deteriorate. And his verbal abuse got worse by the day. But I chose to stand by him despite his rages and the trust issues I had with him. I prayed daily for my marriage. My husband (at that point already having admitted to me that he really wasn’t a Christian – it was an act to please me and my family) refused to pray with me so I would just lay my hand on him as we lay in bed and pray for both of us. The more I prayed, the worse things got. So I asked God if there was anything that needed to be revealed about my husband to me if he would reveal it somehow. God answered my prayer very quickly by laying it on his heart to finally come clean. He admitted that he never meant his wedding vows. He told me that everything is only temporary to him but he knew my faith and my values so he married me because he wanted me so bad. He actually referred to our wedding as a shot gun wedding. I was crushed. I would have never wanted to be married to someone who didn’t want to spend their life with me! And he knew that. He proposed – he NEVER told me he didn’t want to be married. Yet he accused me of forcing him into the marriage simply by having Christian values! He also admitted that he would never be faithful to me. He had already opened up his own bank account and planned to leave without telling me. But something made him tell me everything instead. (I know it was God answering my prayer – he was actually angry with himself later for telling me. He wanted to keep up the facade until he was gone). It was at that point that I just let go. I felt God loving me and telling me that it was ok to let him go. He was never meant to be my husband in the first place. God walked with me through it all and in the most amazing way led me to my true husband. A man that I have known since I was sixteen and lost touch with. After 17 years God put this man back in my life and now he is my husband!! I have never been more loved because he loves God first!! This is God’s plan for me and it takes my breath away every day. If I had made the choice to hold onto a marriage that God never intended for me to begin with – when HE was clearly guiding me out of it – I would have missed out on so much. What’s even more amazing is that God brought me to forgiveness of my first husband (I like to think of him as just my fake husband – it was all a lie). I have expressed my forgiveness and he does feel guilt for the things he put me through. I pray for him to come to know God and perhaps soon he will. Right now, he has completely denounced God and has chosen a lifestyle of sexual sin. Yes – spouses can work through these types of issues if they turn to God and give it to HIM. But if BOTH partners are not willing to do that and work together, keeping God centered, there comes a time when God gives the faithful partner the peace in knowing that he or she has done everything they can and it is okay to let go. God has a better plan. It’s so easy for those that have never had to deal with this kind of situation to say that they would never get a divorce or refuse to sign the papers. I’m not saying that is not a true statement that you made. But go through the nightmare I went through (and so many others) and you might not be so confident in that statement. Go through day after day as the faithful spouse while being screamed at and called names no one should ever be called. Live a life of walking on egg shells just to keep the peace. Go through having your heart broken on a regular basis. Feel the huge sense of complete hopelessness. Go through day after day feeling like you are a failure – you failed to make your marriage work, therefore you failed God. You failed your spouse. You failed your family. And then feel God wrapping you in His comforting arms. Read in scripture where He says that it is okay to divorce and remarry in your situation. Feel Him guiding you into peace in knowing you did everything you could do and it is okay to let go. Tell me that your decision would still be the same. Let me be clear – I do not believe divorce is EVER part of God’s plan. I would have never faced divorce had I listened to God in the first place. But in His knowing our humanness and that we do fall into situations where we are deceived by someone who is not faithful to his or her vows, He does give us that exception. But I also believe that you are correct in saying that because someone is not faithful does not mean you run down and get a divorce. There are so many cases where spouses work through the heartbreak of marital unfaithfulness with God’s help and guidance. But there are other cases where the only option is to let go and divorce.

  17. roguenine9lu says:

    “I guess for me, I’m saying, I would never divorce my wife. If she started cheating on me and left me, and filed for divorce, I wouldn’t sign the papers. She would need to drag me through court kicking and screaming that I still love her, and let the judge force the issue, because for me, God forbid I end the covenant.”

    I loved reading this part because it sums up pretty much exactly how I feel.

    I think one of the things that is often overlooked in discussions of divorce is that the consequences can reach further than just the couple involved and their children. It affects others especially if they come from the same close knit group of friends. Several years ago two of my friends got married. They were the children of two of the men who have most influenced my spiritual life, especially my early spiritual life. The Bride was the daughter of the Youth Pastor whose ministry lead to my receiving Christ and whose teaching helped to strengthen the basis of my faith. The Groom was the stepson of the pastor who Baptized me and shepherded me through the early years of my faith, again helping to strengthen my foundation in Christ. While some in our group of friends knew a little more about the problems in the marriage before their divorce was announced, it took me completely by surprise (though in retrospect there I can at least see some hints that it was coming). It also came about 4 months before my own wedding and caused me to briefly question whether or not I wanted to go through with it, thinking something along the lines of, “If those two couldn’t make it work, what chance do I have?” Thankfully I worked past those thoughts pretty quickly and in some small way it may have galvanized my resolve before marriage, to be willing to forgive any wrong my wife might inflict upon me regardless of whether or not she sought forgiveness and to do my best to not be in need of forgiveness (that second one is a little harder, I think) and it was on my mind the night before the wedding that if I went through with it, there wasn’t any going back so I needed to make absolutely sure that I could forgive anything. Still our group of friends hasn’t been the same since. While part of this is likely due to us getting older and becoming more involved in our own families, I can’t help but think that it is also partly related to the PK’s divorce.

    One other thing that I realized recently in a discussion with some of my coworkers is how blessed I am to have parents still married to each other. Looking just thought my aunts and uncles, my parents are the only ones who still married to their first spouse. All six of my aunts have been divorced at least once, it’s not quite as bad with my two uncles as one of them became a widower relatively early and hasn’t remarried and the other hasn’t to my knowledge, ever been married (he is estranged from my grandmother and I haven’t had any contact with him in about 15 years, so he might have married at some point). I will say, though, that Romans 8:28 applies even to divorce. I don’t think that there is anyone in my family whose faith I admire more than my eldest aunt’s second husband.

  18. asm says:

    I initiated my divorce, and feel that God approved. I take marriage very seriously and as a result lived for many years in misery. I won’t go into lengthy details, I’ll just say that my wife was mentally ill. She inherited it from her mother. She refused to recognize she had a problem. She refused marriage counseling. Her mother drove her father into an institution and she was pushing me the same direction. Depression and thoughts of suicide set in. For years I prayed and fasted that He would heal my marriage. After years the answer He gave was that she was not going to change and divorce was the answer. She’s continued her downward spiral, but as a result of the divorce she’s no longer taking me and the kids with her. Divorce saved my life and restored my happiness. How is that a bad thing? I don’t know how to reconcile my divorce with the scriptures that condemn it, but I am completely confident that at judgment day I can stand before Him feeling no guilt for divorcing, since He told me it was OK in my case.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. – Matthew 19:8

      The reconciliation is that if you cannot find it in you heart to love them, then in some cases it is better to divorce.

      But, no, I don’t think that’s what God really wants for anyone.

  19. Rechelle Fleck says:

    Very interesting topic and I love that you brought it up because there are those who believe that you should never divorce or remarry for any reason and there are others who base the quality of their marriage based on how “happy” they are. I was in and still am in a marriage with an unbelieving alcoholic (we were both unsaved while dating). For 10 years of our 13 years of marriage, he was mentally and spiritually abusive (severe at times) and I was on my knees about what the Lord wanted me to do because I was desperate to leave. You see, he had biblically abandoned the marriage in may ways in addition to trampling on God’s Holy design for marriage, so yes, unrepentant abuse can be a biblical reason for divorce. I was hurt, damaged, and lost due to this, but for some odd reason, God told me to hold tight, so I did. During this time, I formed a support group for Christian wives of alcoholics and addicts and started exposing this problem to the light of Christ where the church was either in denial or ill equipped to deal with the problem. This group has grown to over 1,500 members and continues to grow by 1-5 women PER DAY. The stories they tell are beyond tragic, but their love for the Lord and their husbands is beautiful. For us, sometimes God opens the door for separation, divorce, and even reconciliation. Addiction damages not only the wife and the marriage, but damages the children (it wreaks havoc on them mentally), as well and sometimes in order to not only protect ourselves, but our children God does open the door for divorce. We are not called to be doormats or martyrs to our husbands (which I was), but mighty, strong, vibrant women for Christ!! As a mother, I would NEVER tell my kids to just suck it up if they were constantly being abused, and if God is my protector and my Heavenly Father, neither would He want the same for me. So with all that said, after completely giving my husband to God, he has started to soften toward me over the past several months and I began to see why I was told to stay and that my marriage could be restored. However, in the group I was lead to start, there are some husbands who never change (remember that wonderful thing called free will), and after sometimes years of prayer, the wife is allowed to leave a chronically volatile situation.

  20. Stephen Visser says:

    I’ve been married three times … to the same woman for thirty years. I had the marriage I thought I was getting, the marriage mess we both made, and now the marriage God has restored and made better than ever. In my 2nd marriage mentality, my attitude to other couples wanting to divorce was, ‘Well suck it up; see, I am!’ I was full of Truth, but not Grace.
    I have recently walked with a Christian family man whose wife left him for another man; he went through Family Court and contested the divorce but the Judge granted it to her anyway. Now he is being told by some women in our church he must stand for her and never get into another relationship, but to keep praying for her return (even though she has married the new man). He is miserable.
    Another guy; He’s a new Christian, we prayed for his wife of 15 years to get saved; she did!! Then he rapidly divorced her as he had found another (non-Christian) woman. His ex-wife has been told by the same women at church she must stand for him and never get into another relationship, but to keep praying for his return (even though he has married the new woman, and she is pregnant). She is miserable.
    Just these two cases were a recent heavy burden for us as we know the families, yet no one knew what was going on inside their thought life before disaster struck, and then they were fixed and immovable for the family destruction they would cause.

    Jesus came full of Truth and Grace.
    Publicly – Truth. I uphold the marriage covenant as Holy and unbreakable; I always tell those in troubled marriages that if God can raise the dead, He can raise a dead marriage – just look at Carolyn (my wife) & I. God is seeking a Godly generation (Malachi 2:15)

    Privately – Grace. I take each couple God brings to us and ask – what are you doing here? (John 5:19).

    The Sabbath was created for the man, and not man for the Sabbath; therefore I believe the marriage covenant is not above the individuals in it.

    I don’t think we should bring back stoning, but it sure solved a lot of problems quickly and the innocent party had the option to enter another relationship, if and when it pleased!

    Anyway, that’s my current opinion.
    I’m willing to have my position challenged

    1. Jay Dee says:

      All the verses about not marrying again say that “except for sexual immorality”.
      So, if you believe that divorce is not valid and you’re still married (as some do), and that you can’t remarry for that cause, then arguably if your ex has moved on and gotten remarried, then within that paradigm, they’ve now committed adultery and you’re free to move on.

      I don’t particularly find the position of “you have to stay unmarried even if they don’t” to be on solid ground.

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