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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?

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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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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.

Edited by atpollard
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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First off I think no one ever gets divorced on a whim. I think when people get divorced it's a combination of unresolved issues, hurt feelings and sense of abandonment multiples many times over over the course of time. It's something no one ever gets without thinking about for a long time. I think when peoples get divorced they haven't signified that they quit but how the relationship isn't one of love anymore. I think God will understand when love is involved, afterall God is love.

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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?

 

Hi LeapofFaith,

 

No. We are not to follow the laws of our country if the laws conflict Scripture.

 

Rom. 13:6-7

  • 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.
  • 7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor."

We are to obey governments unless they violate Scripture. Notice in Romans rulers are called servants. In the context of Scripture from the beginning of Chapter 13 rulers are subject to God, their rulership depends on submission, if they do not serve or obey God they are no longer to be obeyed.

 

Acts 5:29

  • 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

 

Regarding no fault divorce, they are Covenant breakers. Marriage is meant to be a Covenant relationship between one man and one woman under God.

 

Malachi 2

  • 13 And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand.
  • 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.
  • 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?[f] And what was the one God[g] seeking?[h] Godly offspring. So guard yourselves[i] in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.
  • 16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her,[j] says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers[k] his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

Matthew 19

  • 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.

Ephesians 5:31-32

  • 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
  • 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

 

You may also take interest in the Geneva Bible rather than the King James bible, because the Geneva bible had notes from early reformers that challenged the rule of disobedient kings. These notes were removed from the King James bible. The Geneva, and not the King James was the prized Bible of early Pilgrims, making its way to America on the Mayflower.

 

One would think, given the success of the GB, that with the arrival of James from Protestant Scotland in 1603 it would be accepted officially by the authorities. After all, its influence was overwhelming, as were its sales. However, Puritans with such hopes were seriously disappointed when King James I rejected the GB altogether. In his estimate, the GB was the worst on the market, as he made clear at the Hampton Court Conference in 1604 (“I think that of all, that of Geneva is the worst.”). Of course, his comments were not directed towards the translation as they were towards the marginal annotations. According to King James I, he saw these notes as “very partial, untrue, seditious, and savoring too much of dangerous and traitorous conceits.”[32]

 

James’ rejection of the GB’s annotations was rooted in his anti-Puritan, anti-Presbyterian ecclesiology. For King James, his authority should be dependent upon the bishops. No bishops, no king![33] Scottish Presbyterianism had no bishops. For King James, this was egalitarianism and republicanism at its worst, as exemplified in Calvin’s Geneva. Therefore, King James “preferred an Episcopal system, not least because of its more positive associations with the monarchy.” Consequently, episcopacy was the “safeguard to the monarchy.”[34]

 

But it was not just that the GB came from the republican, Presbyterian city of Geneva. It was much more. For King James, such an ecclesiology was evident in the annotations of the GB itself. McGrath has led the way in this regard, giving several examples of annotations upon texts King James disapproved of.[35] The annotations challenged the “divine right of kings,” a doctrine advocated by King James (cf. True Law of Free Monarchies of 1598; Basilikon Doron of 1598). As he says in Basilikon Doron, “God gives not Kings the style of Gods in vain, For on his throne his Sceptre do they sway; And as their subject ought them to obey, So Kings should fear and serve their God again.” The divine right of kings was foundational to monarchy. However, certain texts and annotations in the GB, which we must consider, undermined such a doctrine.

 

(1) Daniel 6:22 is an example of Daniel disobeying the King and being approved by God in so doing. The text states, “My just cause and uprightness in this thing in which I was charged, is approved by God.” The GB comments, “For he disobeyed the king’s wicked commandment in order to obey God, and so he did no injury to the king, who ought to command nothing by which God would be dishonoured.”

 

(2) Daniel 11:36 is a second text where the king is viewed as a tyrant. Notice the comment, “So long the tyrants will prevail as God has appointed to punish his people: but he shows that it is but for a time.” Surely, the political application to the sixteenth and early seventeenth century is impossible to ignore. Like Israel, God’s people, the Puritans were also being punished for their iniquities by wicked rulers. However, in due time, God would bring down the king. McGrath observes that the “Genevan notes regularly use the word ‘tyrant’ to refer to kings; the King James Bible never uses this word–a fact noted with approval as much as relief by many royalists at this point.”[36]

 

(3) Exodus 1:19 is yet a third example where Pharaoh wickedly commands the Hebrew midwives to kill all male Hebrew newborns. The midwives refused and even lied saying the “Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.” The GB says that their disobedience in this act was lawful (though it qualifies that their deception was evil). Tricking the tyrant is allowed by the law. McGrath draws the parallel to the seventeenth century, “As radical Protestant factions, such as the Puritans, began to view James as their oppressor, the suggestion that it was lawful to disobey him became increasingly welcome to Puritans and worrying to James.”[37]

 

(4) 2 Chronicles 15:15-17 was yet another text with annotations King James disliked. Here King Asa discovers his own mother, Maachah, committing idolatry and so he removes her and cuts down her idol, burning it. Yet, he did not remove the high places nor kill her. The GB comments, however, that King Asa did not go far enough. He “showed that he lacked zeal, for she should have died both by the covenant and by the law of God, but he gave place to foolish pity and would also seem after a sort to satisfy the law.” King Asa’s lack of zeal contributed to his “negligence of his officers” and “his people’s superstition.” McGrath again observes that the parallel to King James is hard to avoid. James’ mother, Mary, Queen of Scots, had been executed by Elizabeth I. Without a doubt, James would have cringed at such commentary. Moreover, the commentary is clear that even the king is subservient to the law. His own pity cannot get in the way of his religious commitments.[38]

 

(5) Psalm 105:15 is the last text we will consider, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” While the GB saw the anointed here as referring to God’s people corporately, the KJV identified the anointed as the king himself. McGrath observes, “The text was thus interpreted [by the GB] in a way that made no reference whatsoever to the ‘divine right of kings.’ According to the Geneva Bible the text was actually, if anything, a criticism of kings, in that their right to harm the people of God was being absolutely denied.”[39]

 

To conclude, the implication of these texts and annotations is very lucid: the king must be disobeyed if he violates the will of God and commands us to do likewise. McGrath summarizes the issue insightfully, “James I held that kings had been ordained by God to rule the nations of the world, to promote justice, and to dispense wisdom. It was, therefore, imperative that kings should be respected and obeyed unconditionally and in all circumstances. The ample notes provided by the Geneva Bible taught otherwise. Tyrannical kings should not be obeyed; indeed, there were excellent reasons for suggesting that they should be overthrown.”[40]

 

God bless,

William

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Hi LeapofFaith,

 

No. We are not to follow the laws of our country if the laws conflict Scripture.

 

Rom. 13:6-7

  • 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.
  • 7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor."

We are to obey governments unless they violate Scripture. Notice in Romans rulers are called servants. In the context of Scripture from the beginning of Chapter 13 rulers are subject to God, their rulership depends on submission, if they do not serve or obey God they are no longer to be obeyed.

 

Acts 5:29

  • 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

 

Regarding no fault divorce, they are Covenant breakers. Marriage is meant to be a Covenant relationship between one man and one woman under God.

 

Malachi 2

  • 13 And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand.
  • 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.
  • 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?[f] And what was the one God[g] seeking?[h] Godly offspring. So guard yourselves[i] in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.
  • 16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her,[j] says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers[k] his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

Matthew 19

  • 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.

Ephesians 5:31-32

  • 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
  • 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

 

You may also take interest in the Geneva Bible rather than the King James bible, because the Geneva bible had notes from early reformers that challenged the rule of disobedient kings. These notes were removed from the King James bible. The Geneva, and not the King James was the prized Bible of early Pilgrims, making its way to America on the Mayflower.

 

 

 

God bless,

William

 

Okay, that clears up some technicals. But what if you get divorced for mental or physical abuse. That doesn't exactly fall under sexual immortality. Yet, it's legal and reasonable to understand why you would want to get a divorce. But then can they never marry afterwords to keep with God?

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LeapOfFaith, I was wondering the same thing. I have actually heard horror stories from people who stayed in an abusive marriage because they held to the belief that divorce was wrong, while they were being physically and mentally abused. The other person claimed to be a Christian and held divorce as a sin over their head to keep them in the violent situation. They eventually left but held on to a lot of guilt because of it. There has to be a line drawn somewhere, I hope.

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I don't have a verse that addresses abuse directly (lets assume physical, just for simplicity), but I can offer a personal opinion based on other scriptural precepts.

 

1. Where there is no love, there is no salvation. Hate for people is never a sign of a new heart or the promised Holy Spirit. Therefore, the rules for dealing with unbelievers apply, not the rules for a marriage between believers. This is what James was speaking of when he described a dead and ineffectual faith. It is also what John spoke of as wolves come among the sheep. One who abuses others is not saved (their actions speak louder than their words).

 

2. The essence of the Marriage Covenant is one of esteeming the other above yourself. No man hates his own body, and the wife and the husband are called to a bond of one flesh. A unity of purpose and essence. An earthly mystery intended to illustrate the relationship between Christ and the Church. For Christ to abuse his Bride is unthinkable. For a husband to abuse his wife, or a wife to abuse her husband is also unthinkable. It is a violation of everything that God has created Man and Woman and Marriage to be.

 

I would see abuse (physical or emotional) as an act of rebellion against the creator, a violation of the covenant and an abomination against the family and everything that God intended the family to be. Were I involved in such a situation, or advising my daughter in such a situation I would advise immediately getting out of that unholy situation. The covenant has already been broken, as surely as adultery. The party wronged should seek wisdom from God in prayer and good advice from godly people.

 

If you wish to try and rebuild the relationship, the burden falls to the abuser to make extraordinary measures to not only change, but to prove, over time, that they have changed. This should require years, not weeks or months. It should involve accountability and real help and real change. Nothing is impossible with God.

 

However, if there is no evidence of any real willingness to change, or the christian cannot bring themselves to risk going back to that situation, then I suggest that the actions of the unsaved abuser constitute a declaration in deeds that they have rejected God's marriage covenant already. In such a case, I advise divorce and repentance and forgiveness and accepting the mercy of Christ and praying for God to provide a spouse with whom you can be equally yoked ... a Marriage between two of the Chosen.

 

That is my opinion.

I hope it helps and leads no one astray.

 

Arthur

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Okay, that clears up some technicals. But what if you get divorced for mental or physical abuse. That doesn't exactly fall under sexual immortality. Yet, it's legal and reasonable to understand why you would want to get a divorce. But then can they never marry afterwords to keep with God?

 

Hi LeapofFaith,

 

Is it reasonable? Or is it more reasonable to take heed before entering into a Covenant relationship? No doubt, God hates divorce and never intends for a husband and wife to separate, but because of sin may be necessary in the case of physical abuse.

 

Our vows and Covenant should be taken very seriously. For example, why would anyone enter into a financial agreement with someone that has poor credit and doesn't pay back what they borrow? That would be against all rationale. Why would you enter into a marriage Covenant with a person that demonstrates abuse? Were there no signs of such behavior in the persons doctrine on the way they perceived the Covenant relationship between Christ and His Bride (the Church)? Know this before entering into marriage:

 

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.”

 

I know one particular pastor whose parents were separated for 19 years. The wife remained faithful, and after 19 years, the husband reconciled his relationship with her. The congregation prayed time and time again for them, and it was amazing when the husband came forth from out of the blue, repented, and reconciled his marriage.

 

God bless,

William

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Hi LeapofFaith,

 

Is it reasonable? Or is it more reasonable to take heed before entering into a Covenant relationship? No doubt, God hates divorce and never intends for a husband and wife to separate, but because of sin may be necessary in the case of physical abuse.

 

Our vows and Covenant should be taken very seriously. For example, why would anyone enter into a financial agreement with someone that has poor credit and doesn't pay back what they borrow? That would be against all rationale. Why would you enter into a marriage Covenant with a person that demonstrates abuse? Were there no signs of such behavior in the persons doctrine on the way they perceived the Covenant relationship between Christ and His Bride (the Church)? Know this before entering into marriage:

 

 

 

I know one particular pastor whose parents were separated for 19 years. The wife remained faithful, and after 19 years, the husband reconciled his relationship with her. The congregation prayed time and time again for them, and it was amazing when the husband came forth from out of the blue, repented, and reconciled his marriage.

 

God bless,

William

 

Yes, but there are some relationships that start out fine and healthy, they might even be good the first three years and then a relationship turns dark. I get that people shouldn't enter a permanent relationship with a toxic person but sometimes people change or only reveal themselves when they think the other person won't leave them. That one event is probably an exception, most toxic people are who are the perpetrators of abuse get off because it gives them a sense of power and feeds into their self worth to make others small. While I'm happy about the wife who's husband repented his mistakes. I hear to many horror stories of woman needing to run away with their kids because she wasn't sure he wouldn't kill them in one of his moods.

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I don't have a verse that addresses abuse directly (lets assume physical, just for simplicity), but I can offer a personal opinion based on other scriptural precepts.

 

1. Where there is no love, there is no salvation. Hate for people is never a sign of a new heart or the promised Holy Spirit. Therefore, the rules for dealing with unbelievers apply, not the rules for a marriage between believers. This is what James was speaking of when he described a dead and ineffectual faith. It is also what John spoke of as wolves come among the sheep. One who abuses others is not saved (their actions speak louder than their words).

 

2. The essence of the Marriage Covenant is one of esteeming the other above yourself. No man hates his own body, and the wife and the husband are called to a bond of one flesh. A unity of purpose and essence. An earthly mystery intended to illustrate the relationship between Christ and the Church. For Christ to abuse his Bride is unthinkable. For a husband to abuse his wife, or a wife to abuse her husband is also unthinkable. It is a violation of everything that God has created Man and Woman and Marriage to be.

 

I would see abuse (physical or emotional) as an act of rebellion against the creator, a violation of the covenant and an abomination against the family and everything that God intended the family to be. Were I involved in such a situation, or advising my daughter in such a situation I would advise immediately getting out of that unholy situation. The covenant has already been broken, as surely as adultery. The party wronged should seek wisdom from God in prayer and good advice from godly people.

 

If you wish to try and rebuild the relationship, the burden falls to the abuser to make extraordinary measures to not only change, but to prove, over time, that they have changed. This should require years, not weeks or months. It should involve accountability and real help and real change. Nothing is impossible with God.

 

However, if there is no evidence of any real willingness to change, or the christian cannot bring themselves to risk going back to that situation, then I suggest that the actions of the unsaved abuser constitute a declaration in deeds that they have rejected God's marriage covenant already. In such a case, I advise divorce and repentance and forgiveness and accepting the mercy of Christ and praying for God to provide a spouse with whom you can be equally yoked ... a Marriage between two of the Chosen.

 

That is my opinion.

I hope it helps and leads no one astray.

 

Arthur

 

Thank you for taking the time to have such an in-depth response...this brings a lot of comfort. I have never been married, as I have previously stated, but my boyfriend was in an abusive marriage for a few years and deals with a lot of guilt from having gone through a divorce. The church he was attending at the time shunned him completely to the point he left the church for a while, and that breaks my heart on a completely different level.

 

He actually did try to fix it, both one on one and by going through counseling through the church, but it only ended up being used as fuel against him when things kept going south.

.

I will be sharing this with him when the time is appropriate, so I appreciate the insight more than I can say.

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Well I cannot really speak to whether or not the on-a-whim divorces are official in the eyed of God, but I would say that these people probably have some other things on their plates that they are dealing with, so I would not want to burden them further. If you are in one of these relationships, chances are that you lost something along the way and found yourself in that position. Things happen, though, and so I do not want to judge anyone because relationships are tough, but it does go to show you how difficult of an issue this is, despite the fact that it is so popular and I am pretty sure the numbers are still around fifty percent, which is incredibly alarming to me. Interesting stuff, and thanks for sharing.

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I think part of the reason for so many divorces is that people don't take the time to really marinate in their relationship before tying the knot. I agree with rz3300, I don't know how many divorces are "on a whim" and everyone I know that has gone through one says it was one of the worst experiences of their lives. I think it is wise to not judge, because we cannot possibly know their circumstances, but I would love to see the number of divorces decline.

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