Dos and Don'ts, all we need to know is the Bible; however, not all is covered explicitly. Discuss how Christians should act or what they should do when facing divorce, smoking, and other issues.

Divorce

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  • Divorce

    If you live in a country where you can get divorced on a whim, even if it's not for accepted Biblical reasons. I was wondering if in the eyes of God, if a couple is actually divorced? If they get remarried to other people, while they consider themselves divorced, are they really adultures? I know that God comes first but we are supposed to follow the rules of our country, so is it okay if your county allows it?

  • #2
    I'd like to go back to the basic and what is fundamental or written in the bible which says we should look at marriage as a lifetime commitment and that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, will be guilty of adultery. Not getting a divorce doesn't mean you're not following the laws of your country, it simply means honoring a commitment you made before God and men. If you start a marriage with the view that you can get a divorce if you find that the relationship is no longer working, then you're starting the marriage on the wrong foot. We should look at marriage as a lifelong commitment and consciously work on keeping it alive and happy.
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    • #3
      Greetings bebet and welcome to CF.
      Well said.

      To the opening post and the question of Divorce and local law, God seems largely indifferent to local law (or any other rules or opinions of man) when it comes to the area of sin and holiness and the contracts that he makes with people. Marriage is a three way contract. The man and the woman are being joined before God. Only God gets to decide the conditions under which that contract is dissolved (like if one party dies).

      So they may be divorced in the sight of local government, and still married under the laws of God. God does not yield to human authority.
      Last edited by atpollard; 11-16-2016, 10:40 AM. Reason: spelling
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      • #4
        I personally think the marriage vows should be amended to read: As long as we both shall 'love'. The truth is that people change as they progress through life, and they grow and develop a whole new world view, and as their perspective of life changes, so does their relationship evolve. Unfortunately, couples don't always change at the same rate or even going toward the same direction in life and they tend to grow apart. I was married for close to ten years and at the end of it, I could hardly recognize my husband as the same fun loving, funny, kind and caring man that I had married. He changed so much in the space of those ten years that it was as if someone flipped a switch. When we made the decision to divorce, it was mutual and I'm sure that it was the best thing that we could have done.
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        • #5
          What bebel and atpollard say are true, though I should preface that by saying any Christian couple should remove the word "Divorce" from their vocabulary, because as soon as it is introduced things become much more complicated, even though on the surface an individual may think they are "getting out of something." If a couple is truly endeavoring to model their marriage after biblical principles then they shouldn't even be thinking about the D word and more along the lines of what they are going to do to make the marriage work. From prayer to something even more overt.

          Don't get me wrong, there are some sins where Divorce is justified, but it should always be viewed as the ultimate last resort. It is just best to approach any conflict resolution within a marriage without that in mind.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Corts View Post
            I personally think the marriage vows should be amended to read: As long as we both shall 'love'. The truth is that people change as they progress through life, and they grow and develop a whole new world view, and as their perspective of life changes, so does their relationship evolve. Unfortunately, couples don't always change at the same rate or even going toward the same direction in life and they tend to grow apart. I was married for close to ten years and at the end of it, I could hardly recognize my husband as the same fun loving, funny, kind and caring man that I had married. He changed so much in the space of those ten years that it was as if someone flipped a switch. When we made the decision to divorce, it was mutual and I'm sure that it was the best thing that we could have done.
            With all due respect, this notion is totally unbiblical. Marriage, as designed by our Creator, is for a man and woman for life. Love is one of commitment, not fleeting emotion.

            God's Word is quite clear when it says “I hate divorce, says the LORD God of Israel.” (Malachi 2:16) Why would a believer do something God Himself said he hates? Beyond that, there two reasons given in the New Testament in which a believer may divorce. One is sexual immorality (Matthew 5:32 and 19:9) and the other abandonment by an unbelieving spouse (1 Corinthians 7:15). Remarriage in those two cases remain a matter of debate within the church, so I won't get into that here.
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            • #7
              This question gets into the difference between legality and ethics/morality. States/countries that tend to legalize morality tend to become more autocratic or theocratic in nature as what was seen under Hitler's Germany, Mao's China or most of the Middle Easter countries today. A free and democratic country will tend to be much more permissive than what is taught in the Bible since it has to cater to the believer and non-believer alike. However, just because something is legal doesn't make it moral or ethical. Abortion is murder, essentially, but it is legal in the United States and almost all Western countries and it would never be considered anything but a profoundly immoral act. Euthanasia, gay marriage, pornography, etc. all are legal as well in these same jurisdiction and are profoundly immortal and unethical as well.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by My3Sons_NJ View Post
                However, just because something is legal doesn't make it moral or ethical. Abortion is murder, essentially, but it is legal in the United States and almost all Western countries and it would never be considered anything but a profoundly immoral act. Euthanasia, gay marriage, pornography, etc. all are legal as well in these same jurisdiction and are profoundly immortal (sic() and unethical as well.
                Indeed. And I'd add that we believers ultimately answer to God. Just because a government of this world dubs something legal, doesn't for a second make it moral. On the contrary, what is so often mandated by man is totally immoral. I'm reminded of Ephesians 6:12: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
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                • #9
                  The fact that you know God comes first is already your answer. Man made laws are not what should govern our lives but always the rules of God. Persons are trying to change the words of God to suit their lifestyles but that is not right. The Bible did not say we can't divorce but remarriage is adultery. Even though the Bible stated that we can divorce only on the grounds of infidelity, if my husband is beating me ruthlessly and is not changing or seeking help, then I would leave him. Not necessarily divorce but if needs be I will set him free but bot remarry.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bebet View Post
                    I'd like to go back to the basic and what is fundamental or written in the bible which says we should look at marriage as a lifetime commitment and that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, will be guilty of adultery. Not getting a divorce doesn't mean you're not following the laws of your country, it simply means honoring a commitment you made before God and men. If you start a marriage with the view that you can get a divorce if you find that the relationship is no longer working, then you're starting the marriage on the wrong foot. We should look at marriage as a lifelong commitment and consciously work on keeping it alive and happy.
                    These are wise words. We definitely need to consider that all important step of marriage to be something sacred and holy, not throwaway. Jumping right into marriage without serious consideration, is a horrible idea for a couple considering that next step. If your marriage isn't working out, then there are options. Christian counseling is one such course of action. The idea is to do whatever you can with divorce being a final and last option. I wouldn't advise anyone to remain in an abusing relationship, of course, but otherwise, there are ways to make it work if the couple works at it hard enough.
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                    • #11
                      May I ask this question from a genuine place? Once the actual act of divorce is done, and both people have moved on with their lives, what are they to do? I know genuinely repenting is a powerful thing. But if you do not remarry that person, are you perpetually living in a state of sin? I ask this because the man I am currently in a relationship is divorced (emotional, mental and physical abuse from her were the reasons) and want to know how it affects our faiths together and our faiths as individuals.

                      I will confess to not knowing much on the topic from a biblical standpoint. I have never been married and have always held to the thought that once I am married, that will be the only time it happens.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by whysewserious View Post
                        May I ask this question from a genuine place? Once the actual act of divorce is done, and both people have moved on with their lives, what are they to do? I know genuinely repenting is a powerful thing. But if you do not remarry that person, are you perpetually living in a state of sin? I ask this because the man I am currently in a relationship is divorced (emotional, mental and physical abuse from her were the reasons) and want to know how it affects our faiths together and our faiths as individuals.

                        I will confess to not knowing much on the topic from a biblical standpoint. I have never been married and have always held to the thought that once I am married, that will be the only time it happens.
                        Good Question.
                        I hate 'what ifs' where I don't have all the facts, but painting with a broad Biblical brush, there are two sets of rules that apply.
                        One for a Marriage between Believers and one for a Marriage between unbelievers where one is later saved.

                        For Believers, Divorce is never God's desire, but it is permitted for infidelity (Someone will come along and clarify if I missed any other allowable condition).

                        For cases where one is an Unbeliever, the Believer is not to seek a divorce if the unbeliever is willing to remain married, since the unbeliever may yet be saved through the example of the believer. On the other hand, if the unbeliever wishes to leave the marriage, then the believer is instructed 'not to let the door hit them on the way out'. In other words, the Believer is free to remarry.

                        Having dealt with far too many divorces (not mine, but helping men through theirs), nothing makes me angrier than an amicable divorce where they part as friends. That indicates to me that they should have tried to make it work.

                        In some of the ugliest divorces that I have witnessed, I am reminded of the book of James "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." James 2:26
                        When I see a person with so much bitterness and absolutely no love in them, I find it hard to believe that anyone can be connected to the vine (Jesus Christ) and bear absolutely no fruit of the Spirit. I tend to view such people as likely unsaved.

                        I cannot speak to your specific case, because I don't know any of the people involved, but I hope this gives you a general overview.

                        One final reminder, the only 'unforgivable sin' is rejecting Christ and dying with your sins unforgiven, because there is no other sacrifice that is acceptable to God. It helps to remember that if we are willing to repent, Christ is faithful to forgive ... anything.
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                        • #13
                          Thank you for such an in depth response. I know he did not take his divorce lightly and had to reach the point where physical harm was happening to his body before he left. I have no idea if she was saved or not, but I do know the choice to leave was his.

                          There is no going back at this point, so I guess the best thing is to keep moving forward? I do not want to take such a decision lightly, either. I have prayed about this frequently and I know he has too. We cannot undo the past but hopefully we can create a stronger future.

                          I suppose my concern stems from reading something Paul said (I have been out of practice, so to speak, so I do not remember precisely where); but we basically cannot sin knowing that we will be forgiven as a motivator to not try to do any better. My intention is not to live in sin by making the choice to be with this man.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by whysewserious View Post
                            Thank you for such an in depth response. I know he did not take his divorce lightly and had to reach the point where physical harm was happening to his body before he left. I have no idea if she was saved or not, but I do know the choice to leave was his.

                            There is no going back at this point, so I guess the best thing is to keep moving forward? I do not want to take such a decision lightly, either. I have prayed about this frequently and I know he has too. We cannot undo the past but hopefully we can create a stronger future.

                            I suppose my concern stems from reading something Paul said (I have been out of practice, so to speak, so I do not remember precisely where); but we basically cannot sin knowing that we will be forgiven as a motivator to not try to do any better. My intention is not to live in sin by making the choice to be with this man.
                            For you and him moving forward, a more important verse would be 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

                            14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

                            “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
                            and I will be their God,
                            and they shall be my people.
                            17 Therefore go out from their midst,
                            and be separate from them, says the Lord,
                            and touch no unclean thing;
                            then I will welcome you,
                            18 and I will be a father to you,
                            and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
                            says the Lord Almighty.”



                            The critical point here, is that those whom Jesus has saved have no business linking their lives with the unsaved in marriage. For a Christian to marry a non-Christian is a recipe that invites pain and trouble down the road. He says it is like joining Light and Darkness, they have no business being together. So the MOST important thing is to:

                            Matthew 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

                            Seek God's Kingdom (that means God gets to lead) and his Righteousness (that means you want to please God) ... and God will take care of everything else in your life.
                            If God is guiding your steps, and God is guiding his steps ... how far off track can you get before God is able to correct one or both of you.

                            [Which is why marrying the unsaved creates so many problems.]

                            May God Bless You and Keep You,
                            Arthur


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                            • #15
                              Thankfully, I have learned my lesson as far as dating men that are unbelievers. Much of that dealt with struggling with my own faith for years and I did not know what I believed. None of it ever worked out. The man I am currently involved with is also a believer and played a major role in getting me back into church and encourages me in my walk.
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