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When is it acceptable to get a divorce?

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  • When is it acceptable to get a divorce?

    I was told while growing up that when a man and woman married they would be married forever in the eyes of the church and god until death. Divorce was allowed only in cases were adultery has occurred.

    In all honesty I got divorced under those grounds. I haven't blink any eye since the judgement was passed. Now that I have come clean about it. What do you think about divorce and when is it acceptable?

  • #2
    Originally posted by joshuap View Post
    I was told while growing up that when a man and woman married they would be married forever in the eyes of the church and god until death. Divorce was allowed only in cases were adultery has occurred.

    In all honesty I got divorced under those grounds. I haven't blink any eye since the judgement was passed. Now that I have come clean about it. What do you think about divorce and when is it acceptable?
    Like you I was divorced. My then wife left me and was married some three months later. I was torn for years as to whether I could remarry. The thing is, I have entered into a New Covenant with my wife under God. It is a real covenant. There are numerous Scriptures that suggest that even when one makes a vow under error that they should live up to that vow. This was actually brought up in my church when I applied for membership. The church wanted to know whether I was repentant. I am. Most often couples fornicate and think we will get married and that will solve our problem. Not so, the sin is not a matter of timing or one that will magically clear up once married. But for the sake of time, I will not go into that at the moment. I am merely suggesting that lots of things lead up to a divorce. It is like the car's windows not working, the doors not unlocking, and the radio not coming on. Later you discover from the shop that the Vehicle's control module is bad causing all those issues. You could of replaced the car's window motors, the lock mechanism, and the radio, but you would not have solved the real problem.

    I have repented for being a failure, a failed spiritual leader in my past marriage. This is why we should place so much emphasis on finding a spouse from our own faith. Secular marriage would have us justify no fault divorce. Perhaps your wife doesn't cook well enough, doesn't parallel park good enough etc. Maybe she thinks you don't, and that's just okay by the divorce courts... .

    What did Jesus say?

    19 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

    3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”[a]

    10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”
    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

    • #3
      When you feel like the relationship isn't working anymore. When you have different life goals that don't match in the first place. When you realize the whole marriage thing was a mistake, as your personalities don't match whatsoever. People can hide true self for some time in order to leave a better impression. However, they won't last forever. That's why you shouldn't rush at such things as marriage and having children. Otherwise, there's a fair chance of making your life complicated.
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      • #4
        I've never been married and thus never been divorced, but have seen friends go through divorces and I have had broken relationships. I feel people don't take marriage seriously, and that's one reason why I haven't married as yet. People can be too flippant about getting a divorce and the celebrity divorces in the media don't help, because it makes people think it is acceptable just because they don't get on.

        Sadly, society appears to see adultery as something that is quite common. It can still make scandalous headlines, but people aren't shocked unless they are celebrities and want to keep their clean cut image. Relationships do break down, and I think divorce is acceptable when two parties don't wish to share their lives and could cause more harm by staying together. There is no point in trying to make a relationship work if one side doesn't and makes life a misery for another. People end up getting violent, resentful and depressed and that is no way to live a life.

        I have friends who married too young and by the time they hit 40, their life aims had changed, so it was better to separate and stay friends as much as possible. In some cultures it is still frowned upon, and in my family there is only one divorce I know of and that was because my uncle blamed my aunt for their only son being gay. It's their own business, but we all knew it was a marriage of convenience anyhow as she was pregnant before they were married, which back then was the thing to do and not to have a child out of wedlock. Sometimes it is inevitable, but as outsiders we should never judge those who choose divorce as there maybe things we do not know.
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        • #5
          I didn't get married until I was 42, so it can't be said that I married too young. LOL. Plus, I married a man whom I thought was completely not my type. It's working out just fine and has for the past five years. I knew him for a year and 4 months before we were married, and that seems to have been plenty long enough. My parents knew each other for precisely 6 weeks before they got married, and they've been together quite happily for 52 years. People say, "don't rush into it, you'll regret it later", but sometimes that doesn't matter at all. As for me thinking that he wasn't my "soul mate"? Well, God had other ideas, and on the night of our first date together, when I was sitting there regretting ever meeting him in the first place, I prayed about it and heard God's answer... just three words... "wait and see". You could translate that in different ways but I sincerely felt that He was telling me to wait it out, go out with this man again and see what happens. It was the best move I could have ever made in life. When we take God's word for it, listen to His voice, He tells the truth... always. I believe in the Bible, which is God's Word... so if it says the only reason for divorce is adultery... then that's the case... at least in MY Book. ;)
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          • #6
            Just a subtle point, but divorce is PERMITTED for adultery, it is not MANDATORY.
            When I was first thinking about maybe getting married, I spent six weeks studying every verse in the Bible that had the word 'husband' or 'wife' to answer the question "What is God's definition of this job description?" Then I could make an informed decision about whether or not I even WANTED the job.

            The greatest lesson in the Bible on what it means to be a Husband (if you really want to know what the job description entails) is found by really studying the book of Hosea.
            If you are not prepared to enter marriage with that sort of a commitment to walking a hard road and being in it for the long haul, then stay single.

            Notice how the marriage of Hosea and Gomer ends ... hint: not in divorce.

            [Now if the other person leaves you, there are verses that deal with that. I just wanted you to see that God CAN fix anything.]
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            • #7
              Originally posted by artyarson View Post
              When you feel like the relationship isn't working anymore. When you have different life goals that don't match in the first place. When you realize the whole marriage thing was a mistake, as your personalities don't match whatsoever. People can hide true self for some time in order to leave a better impression. However, they won't last forever. That's why you shouldn't rush at such things as marriage and having children. Otherwise, there's a fair chance of making your life complicated.
              Is this your personal opinion? It sounds like it. What you just talked about has nothing to do with Christianity and what it says about marriage and adultery.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by atpollard View Post
                Just a subtle point, but divorce is PERMITTED for adultery, it is not MANDATORY.
                When I was first thinking about maybe getting married, I spent six weeks studying every verse in the Bible that had the word 'husband' or 'wife' to answer the question "What is God's definition of this job description?" Then I could make an informed decision about whether or not I even WANTED the job.

                The greatest lesson in the Bible on what it means to be a Husband (if you really want to know what the job description entails) is found by really studying the book of Hosea.
                If you are not prepared to enter marriage with that sort of a commitment to walking a hard road and being in it for the long haul, then stay single.

                Notice how the marriage of Hosea and Gomer ends ... hint: not in divorce.

                [Now if the other person leaves you, there are verses that deal with that. I just wanted you to see that God CAN fix anything.]
                How does any of that reflect me and my decision. Did I day I wasn't ready for marriage? Nor did I use caps. If you think I'm going to continue to stay married to an adulteress then your nuts.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by joshuap View Post
                  How does any of that reflect me and my decision. Did I say I wasn't ready for marriage? Nor did I use caps. If you think I'm going to continue to stay married to an adulteress then your nuts.
                  It doesn't reflect you or your decision.
                  For that matter, there were more basic issues left out of your tale that make it impossible for me to comment on your specific case.
                  Like were either of you 'born again' when you were married and divorced? Two unregenerated people in a failed marriage is different that two professing Christians in the same situation.

                  ... and even if I had all the facts, it isn't my job to pass judgement on anyone.
                  I was just commenting on Marriage and Divorce in general:
                  > Divorce is permitted but not mandatory.
                  > Far too many people enter marriage 'hedging their bets' ... "We'll try it and if it doesn't work out, then we'll just go our separate ways."
                  > Far, Far too many Christians are on their third or fourth marriage and far too few people really seem to know how to fight well. They get angry and hurt, but resolve nothing.

                  None of this may apply to you, I don't know you.
                  I just know a lot of men with struggling or failed marriages and far too many were easy to see the train wreck coming.
                  They just smiled and nodded and charged head first into that wall.
                  The Bible has a lot of really good practical advice, unfortunately, it only works if you (both) do it.
                  Too often one side is simply disinterested in what God has to say.
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                  • #10
                    Adultery and abandonment are the only reasons I have found in scripture. God still says in Malachi that He hates divorce. Although I do believe there is some grey area around abuse and by no way do I advocate staying in an abusive relationship, but that is a place where you'd just have to listen to God and go in the direction He points you in. And I second what atpollard wrote, there is never a time when divorce is mandatory.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by joshuap View Post
                      How does any of that reflect me and my decision. Did I day I wasn't ready for marriage? Nor did I use caps. If you think I'm going to continue to stay married to an adulteress then your nuts.
                      Just like to get you to think about something joshuap.

                      19 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

                      3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”[a]

                      10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”
                      My point in bringing this up:
                      • Matthew 5:28 - But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

                      Were you guilty of such when married joshuap? Placing your wife's actions off to the side. During the days of Jesus' ministry there were two schools of rabbinic interpretation. One was Hillel, and the other Shammai. The House of Shammai held that a man may only divorce his wife for a serious transgression, but the House of Hillel allowed divorce for even trivial offenses, such as burning a meal. Jesus was addressing these two schools when approached by the Pharisees. Really, no different than today, the Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus in popular opinion of the day. If Jesus agreed with them he would of been criticized for either being not conservative enough or too liberal. His answer says it all: "Have you not read?" and is one that appeals to the authority of Scripture. What does your bible say, joshuap? You may want to consider Matthew 5:28, did your wife also have grounds for divorce because of adultery? If I may, you may want to seriously consider repentance, rather than being hardened from the whole ordeal like me. Which do you suppose is the innocent party in God's eyes? And I am not referring to the innocent party according to secular courts that justify no fault divorce or the school of interpretation from the House of Hillel. No matter what, if you are like me, you'd consider the fact that you were the spiritual head of your household. My failure as the spiritual head helped or if not was the leading cause of my divorce.

                      I had a secular marriage counselor tell me once, marriage is like a dance, sometimes the man leads and sometimes the woman leads. If the man or woman chooses not to follow then the dance is over. Rubbish, I say now that I have never witnessed a traditional dance where the woman leads, or biblical marriage where the woman is the spiritual head of the household. There is only failed spiritual leadership. Consider taking responsibility and accountability.

                      All I know is that as a result of my divorce I was left pondering Matthew 6:15 - but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

                      John Piper is a pretty hard liner when it comes to divorce and/or remarriage. I must say that Piper's scriptural basis was one of the things that helped lead to the softening of a hardened heart from a bitter ordeal:



                      I hope this may only help you in the future.

                      God bless,
                      William
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by chelle318 View Post
                        Adultery and abandonment are the only reasons I have found in scripture. God still says in Malachi that He hates divorce. Although I do believe there is some grey area around abuse and by no way do I advocate staying in an abusive relationship, but that is a place where you'd just have to listen to God and go in the direction He points you in. And I second what atpollard wrote, there is never a time when divorce is mandatory.
                        G'day Chelle,

                        On the issue of abandonment, consider this, you may be abused and choose to separate from your husband. You are saying because you separate, your husband has grounds for divorce because he feels abandoned? I know a couple that was separated for over 19 years, then was brought back together. The wife stayed faithful throughout the whole ordeal, as the body of Christ prayed for her.

                        Scripture does say God hates divorce, as well as Covenant breakers. Scripture indicates that a vow should be honored even if made in error:

                        Numbers 30:2 - "If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
                        Deuteronomy 23:21 - "When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the LORD your God will surely require it of you.

                        God bless,
                        William
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          While we are unfaithfulness is a good enough reason for divorce maybe there's something we can learn from the prophet Hosea's life? His marriage was an allegory of God's relationship with Israel. If God could forgive Israel and once again let them be His people no matter how unfaithful they were if someone cheats on you once or twice, shouldn't we forgive them if they promise they'l be faithful in future?
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by joshuap View Post

                            Is this your personal opinion? It sounds like it. What you just talked about has nothing to do with Christianity and what it says about marriage and adultery.
                            As a Christian, I appreciate faithfulness in relationships. Being faithful and loyal to your partner is very important. Otherwise, It can't be a long term thing. However, relationships is a pretty complicated thing and you can't just rely on the Bible today.
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Originally posted by artyarson View Post

                              As a Christian, I appreciate faithfulness in relationships. Being faithful and loyal to your partner is very important. Otherwise, It can't be a long term thing. However, relationships is a pretty complicated thing and you can't just rely on the Bible today.
                              I am surprised to see a post that begins with "As a Christian" and ends with "you can't just rely on the Bible today."

                              Do you think that when God inspired the Bible's authors, he didn't know that relationships are complicated?

                              Originally posted by artyarson View Post
                              When you feel like the relationship isn't working anymore. When you have different life goals that don't match in the first place. When you realize the whole marriage thing was a mistake, as your personalities don't match whatsoever. People can hide true self for some time in order to leave a better impression. However, they won't last forever. That's why you shouldn't rush at such things as marriage and having children. Otherwise, there's a fair chance of making your life complicated.
                              Oh dear - by that logic I should have divorced my husband after the first year! My friend...when a sinner marries a sinner, the relationship won't work. Promises will be broken and expectations will be dashed.

                              When I married my husband, he said he wanted kids.
                              I don't know if that will ever happen now. He won't say yes; he won't say no. He's in this state of addiction to video games, and that's all he cares about.

                              You have no idea the pain in my heart when I sob out to God, "I want a kid so bad." Years of tears, and it gets worse every anniversary.

                              But God. He asks me, "Do you trust Me?" And I say "Yes." And he says "Will you trust me if you remain childless until the day you die?" And I say "I think so..." and he says, "Will you trust me if your husband plays video games 10 hours a day until the day he dies?" And then I realize that I might never get my desire for a godly husband and a house full of kids. But when I look at eternity, I know that I can bear 70 more years of this, if he requires it of me, because he will give me the grace to do it. (And I admit, when I think about bearing this for 70 more years, I tell God I'd like him to just take me now!)

                              He's using this marriage to make me holy. Not happy. 0 of my hopes and expectations for marriage have been fulfilled. But I find this inexplicable joy in knowing I'm right where God wants me to be, even though it's painful. And somehow I feel like a warrior when I fight the temptation to feel sorry for myself or wish I hadn't gotten married.

                              Anyway, I just hope my experience might inform your perspective a little! God bless.
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