What About Abusive Marriages?
I never will advocate a woman to stay in the house with an abusive husband. Paul even gave allowance for a woman to depart (I Corinthians. 7:10). Unfortunately, many believe because they do depart they then are allowed to remarry. That is the opposite of what Paul and Jesus both taught. If a woman does depart, she must remain unmarried. Paul taught if a woman does not remain unmarried, she will be called an adulteress for as long as her husband is alive (Romans 7:2-3). I know that is not pleasant, but that is what both Jesus and Paul taught……..a divorced woman who remarries will be guilty of adultery as will whoever marries her. This is not about what you or I think. This is about what God thinks and what He commands us as followers of Christ. The world will sin……….that is what the world does naturally. We believers—-those who have truly been born again, should flee sin and separate ourselves from the practices of the world.
I believe scripture teaches that all God joined marriages are ‘til death. Any “joining” outside of the original marriage is called adultery. I know there are heartbreaking situations out there. Paul gave provision for those in such cases—-they can depart, but they must remain unmarried. This was practiced in the early church exclusively until the reformation. The offended spouse remained single, waiting for the offender to come to repentance. That seems to me to line up with the nature of Christ and is our calling for this life—-to be longsuffering towards those who offend us with sin, desiring for healing and reconciliation to take place.
I agree this (abuse) is a major problem in the Church. And I agree this is a major factor as to why marriage is entered as well as left on the unbiblical grounds of other than a life commitment.
But it is not the only factor.
In fact, the seeds of this problem go back in the Church to when men began to depart from the code of Christian behavior and mistreated their wives (who were trying to maintain their code of Christian behavior)… Something had to be done. Women had to be defended. The Church relented that obligation to the Lesbian element that headed up that defense. The roles of men and women became clouded. Both men and women were and are more vulnerable as a result in not only the sanctity of marriage but in illicit sex, adultery, exploitation, and on and on.
I agree with this. In my opinion, the Church in trying to handle abused women threw the baby out with the bathwater. The floodgates were opened. Intending to extend mercy and compassion, instead what happened is the forsaking of truth. Instead of holding men accountable for their atrocious behavior towards their wives, they allowed unbiblical divorces and remarriages to occur in “acts of compassion”. We see some of the same “acts of compassion” extended toward the homosexual couple who wants to be welcomed into the midst of the church—-while they remain in their relationships. The same acts of compassion are now bringing forth fruit for the unrepentant homosexual—they stay in their sin and also encourage others to do the same. Read the article I posted. It is very eye opening—–written from the perspective of an Episcopalian priest who desires to see the practicing homosexual welcomed into the Church Body. He believes, like remarriages that are now accepted as ok, the same will occur with practicing homosexuals who are in loving, long-termed, monogamous relationships. He believes these relationships are “blessed by God” just as the relationships once termed “adulterous” are now acceptable.
If you are divorced and cannot have peace at home, Paul is saying it is ok to remarry.
How do you reconcile what Paul (the Lord actually) said in I Corinthians 7:10-11? Another marriage was CERTAINLY NOT an option……..
Is it your view that some Christians CAN remarry after a divorce, while others cannot?
It’s obvious you won’t accept that God may allow divorce in some cases and that people, even in marriage, should be protected from being victimized. I do hope you never experience the hell that many husbands and wives have gone through in abusive Christian marriages. What is your solution for protecting the victims in abusive marriages?
I know you think my view is narrow, but as I’ve said on many occasions, I cannot depart from the Word of God nor what the Lord showed me is His heart on the matter. As others have said, we have a false sense of who is the “guilty” party. The fact of the matter is that in a marriage BOTH sin. Yes, some sin is “worse” in our sight than others. However, I believe in cases where there is severe abuse…..or one feels they cannot take something, they can “depart” (Corinthians 7:10-11).
I would never tell a man/woman to stay in a home where their life or the lives of their children were threatened. However, for me to then tell them a later point that they are free to remarry due to their spouse’s sin, I cannot do such a thing. Scripture teaches that the marriage bond exists until death (Romans 7:2-3, I Corinthians 7:39). For me to encourage another relationship would be for me to encourage a person to commit adultery. Now we have compounded the sin involved in the marriage of the covenant spouses. One is guilty of spousal abuse, etc………….now the one abused is guilty of adultery. Paul teaches (from the Lord) that if a woman is to depart from her husband, she is to remain unmarried or be reconciled to him. There is no provision to remarry while a husband is living—unless one wants to enter into an adulterous relationship in the sight of the Lord. That is one’s choice to make, but I would never lift that up as an option for someone who professes to love the Lord and want to follow Him.
I can honestly say that if I have to choose between saving a life or upholding an abusive marriage, I will work towards the saving of the life. For me the life of a person is far more valuable than an abusive marriage. I now that you and I differ on that point. I can only assume you don’t really believe a woman will be killed but the police can tell you differently.
I’m not quite sure what you are supporting here. Is it that you support a woman’s/man’s right to divorce for abuse or is it that you support not only a divorce, but also the joining with another person after a divorce? In other words, you feel that abuse allows for the dissolving of the marriage bond (Romans 7:2-3, I Corinthians 7:39, I Corinthians 7:10-11)?
As far as statistics go, it appears to me that most domestic abuse cases involve NON-married persons (single, living together or divorced persons (ex-spouses). http://www.divorcereform.org/vio.html
In those cases, it sure doesn’t appear that divorce solves the problem of abuse as many would like to think. As a matter of fact, it appears that in many cases divorce can escalate the abuse sometimes to murder. I also read that divorce is a leading cause of suicide……..so it’s very hard for me to see anything “good” in a divorce taking place in a lawful marriage which has been joined by God.
Nobody here has said that an abused person should seek abuse or that others should allow it to happen. Godly men should defend a woman or child that is being abused. All I have said is that it is not a justification to divorce the person and marry someone else. I have even stated that separation may be wise under certain circumstances, but that doesn’t mean the person has a license to disregard God’s commandments. You must remain unmarried and seek reconciliation if the abuser repents of their abusiveness. That’s all I’ve ever advocated.
I Corinthians 7:10-11 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.
Absolutely correct, (Name Deleted). Again, none of us has said that a woman is REQUIRED to stay in the home where abuse is occurring or submit her children to it. She can most certainly leave the home, but why does it mean she then has to leave the marriage? It appears ultimately this comes down to those who want to justify disobedience to the Lord by discarding a mate. The thing is that we don’t get to have our say on when a marriage is dissolved—-that’s God’s determination. God does not dissolve a marriage for abuse…….. and there’s no scriptural evidence to lift up that notion as being ok. What we are left with is this: if anyone leaves such a marriage(divorces) and enters into another(marries another), they are entering into adultery according to the Lord’s own Words on the matter.
That is not opinion, that is the Lord’s word. As has been stated before, many of us in our flesh would choose to honor second marriages after treacherous behavior on the part of one of the spouses, yet, as believers and followers of Christ, we are called to believe/speak/act as He does………not according to our flesh.
With all the scriptures you’ve quoted and comments you’ve made, you still have not addressed my questions to you. In both my post the challenge was to deal personally with the victims. To get up off the law for a minute and look at the victims. Look at them.
I know where you both stand as far as scripture is concerned. You don’t have to repeat that. I don’t have a problem with you both sharing your convictions on the matter. I just want to know if what you have written on these posts is exactly what you would tell your child who has almost been beaten to death by their christian spouse. That’s what I’m asking. This is the question I want answered.
You can quote scripture all day long. That’s easy. But at the end of the day what it comes down to is how YOU would deal with your child in this situation because your saying this is how God would deal with His children. Can you apply what you’ve written if it were your child.
I don’t know exactly what you are wanting me to say. Would I be there for an abused woman, to love and care for her needs—-including emotionally? Absolutely! However, what do you want me to say—-that in any counseling I may do for such a woman (including my own daughter) that I should counsel AGAINST scripture? I could never do that—concerning ANY sin/possible sin. My words, my heart needs to line up with the Lord’s. That is my/our call as followers of His. It’s not “law” —it’s love and obedience. If we love Jesus, then we will follow Him and His way of doing things. We also will counsel others in the way of the Lord because we know/fully believe that His way is the best—-irregardless of how “hard” things may look.
There are those who did not do it God’s way and now are presently in agony over it……..they went against the Lord and took to themselves another spouse—forsaking the one the Lord had joined them with. Now, when they “see” the scriptures, they realize their present relationship is sin in the Lord’s eyes. Does the Lord wish they had obeyed Him and spared themselves from the pain they are presently in due to their sin? Absolutely. That is why I could never counsel someone to go ahead and disobey the Lord by entering into an adulterous relationship (remarriage)—-because I’ve SEEN the devastation in the lives of those who have disobeyed and are now trying to make things right.
Ok. Let’s say on your job you are scheduled to be in at 9am sharp and every morning you are 2-7 minutes late. Finally, your boss fires you. Whose fault is that? In the same way, if I physically abuse my husband and he decides to divorce me after he gave me space to repent but I refused, whose fault is that divorce?
Why would a divorce be necessary? What is wrong with a separation?
As for the job example, if one knew the requirements when they were hired and chose to not adhere to them, being fired would be their fault. However, a good employer will try to find out why the tardiness was occurring and possibly extend grace to the late employee—whether their reasons were good or not.
In any case, I don’t see how this can be related to a marriage though. An employer and employee are not “one flesh” joined by God til death. Do you see the relationships as being on equal footing?
Having said all that, I still believe and I would love for you to disprove me in this – If you were to spend time with victims, your views on divorce/remarriage would be challenged and you would experience a paradigm shift, which doesn’t mean you are now off the will of God. We have to learn to properly apply scripture to our life.
In other words, you want situations/emotions to rule how I view God’s Word and adjust my self accordingly. Sorry, I cannot do that……….the here and now is just not as important to me as the hereafter………and I cannot think to mislead others and cause them to sin in the Lord’s sight.
Can’t you see then that GOD, will allow for AND accept that circumstances in this Sinful world will leave you with no choice but Turning on Red to Save the life of Someone or Yourself. (and It does not mean you’re selfish or less Spiritual.
But where do we find this taught in scripture,? I don’t see how the destruction of a covenant marriage is EVER helpful to God’s created “family”……..do you? Finding another spouse may feel good, may be good financially, emotionally, etc—-but truly, is it “good” in the big picture of things from God’s perspective?
Let me Understand you…. Do You believe that regardless of How UNSAFE the “covenant” marriage is, God desires that one stays there and not seek to protect him/herself from being killed- (and I’m not exaggerating here)? This is not about covenant when a Marriage gets to this point — THIS IS A PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUE (especially if the offending spouse is a “believer” he/she should be treated as an Un – Believer” according to Scripture) How do you, or Can the following verse be applied here? Matthew 12:7. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
I have said multiple times that I don’t believe a wife needs to stay in a home that she is being beaten in. Are you insisting that there are only two alternatives: one either STAYS and is beaten OR one can divorce and remarry someday?
What is wrong with a separation and the man/woman working on their marital problems while living in different locations? Wouldn’t the fact that one or both are working towards some sort of reconciliation/restoration be a good thing in the sight of God—-much better than people living in unforgiveness/bitterness and making “justifications” why they shouldn’t have to honor their marriage because of the other’s sins? Truly, which scenario is more in line with the heart of the Lord. I’m not saying this walk would be an easy one by any stretch of the imagination, but I do believe the Lord desires families to remain intact or if “broken” to be healed and restored—however long it take.
I’m not sure if you are equating “mercy” with teaching that remarriage is ok with God. If so, I can’t go along with that. Since I see remarriage as adultery, I could never encourage someone to enter such a relationship. I view it much more merciful to steer one away from sin and the effects of it, than to encourage them to enjoy “this life”—knowing they will be in disobedience/sin.
I just hope and pray that those who have such a hard line stand never have to walk in the shoes that some of us have walked in.
Some of us have done everything to save a marriage but after many many years, God says “enough is enough”. I pray that some of you will never go through the heart ache.
Some of us were stupid. I hope and pray that you won’t make the same mistakes. But God has raised us up, made us wiser, and is redeeming the rest of our lives.
Some of you won’t really understand what we have gone through unless you go through it, too.
And this in no way implies that the word on God is conditional. Just that it is not always an “either/or else” issue.
I personally know many who are living it—-holding the so called “hard” stance while being separated from their covenant spouse……..or some who are in very difficult marriages and are standing on the Word of God in obedience. It is a hard walk, but as you basically said, the Lord’s Word is not subject to personal condition/outward appearance. We all need to remember that when we are going through our personal situations.
Many today are trying to fit God’s Word into their circumstances instead of looking at their circumstances in the light of God’s Word and receiving direction/guidance. His Word endures forever……….and it is this Word we can trust on to make wise and Godly decisions by—-decisions we won’t regret later down the road.
God said he who makes one of these little ones to stumble it is better to have a millstone tied around his neck and drowned in the sea. That is a good indication that to stay in a marriage where the children are being abused is not a good thing.
God says that if a man does not take care of his family then he is worse than an infidel.
If God does not accept us if we remain in our sins and reject him then how can we accept a spouse who only shows us hate.
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Jesus sacrificed for us WHILE WE WERE SINNERS, not after He had cleaned us up.
Yes, God did say that a man who doesn’t take care of his family is worse than an infidel, yet what He didn’t say was that because of this, his family can up and leave him and move on to another “family”…….
Many speak of the abuse issue, which I do know is a bad problem, but it seems if there’s abuse, some take that as a license not only to “depart” from the abuse, but to get remarried as well. The thing is that Jesus never allows for such a thing—-absolutely to the contrary. Abuse does not dissolve the bond of marriage. A woman may need to “depart” (I Cor. 7:10-11) for awhile, maybe lifelong, but she is not free to marry another man.
I guess you can’t imagine Him ever saying, “dear, this is getting too dangerous. You need to get out”.
I’m not going to speak for (name deleted), but for myself. Yes, I can very much hear the Lord saying such a thing, but what I don’t hear Him say is that we are to forsake our vows to our spouse—because they sin. How much sin is ok for us to then depart and never look back………..leaving our “other half” behind? Is it not the duty of a spouse to intercede for the wayward one—in whatever way they are wayward?
I guess you can never imagine God blessing a new relationship when He knows that the old relationship would destroy both of the people involved.
I can’t imagine the Lord blessing a relationship He Himself has called sin (adultery). If we are to say such a thing, then we cannot discriminate on which relationships we say God blesses. I have seen though that human nature—especially in the churches—-uses uneven weights and measures. That’s why we see so much sin in the professed body of Christ today.
You are writing with the assumption that if we are just patient enough, God will change our spouse. What about our spouse’s free will? What if they never change? You think God will expect you to live your life on hold for that?
Absolutely God will expect it. It is the human mind that rejects God’s demands upon us and then reasons away His commands. Do you think He put a time limit on the woman who departs in I Corinthians 7:10-11? Did He say……….”well, after a couple of years of remaining “unmarried”, if your husband doesn’t change, you can then go out and find yourself a nicer man to dwell with.” That is what many are saying God means? Where is the end to taking the Word of the Lord and changing it to suit our personal circumstances/comforts/wants?
In an odd way you are making the victim accountable for the spouse’s turn around…. that with enough time the odd one will see the error of their ways?
WE ALL ARE GUILTY before God. Why are you making it appear as there are some who are “innocent” of sin and some who are “guilty”? There is that scale again. Are there repercussions for sin? Yes—temporal and eternal. The temporal ones for an abusive spouse may mean that his/her spouse “departs” from them. They may then fill that empty space with another person, but then they are committing adultery in addition to the other sin bondages they are in. If the “innocent” goes and joins with another—-they have entered into bondage themselves (adultery)…….and now, they fled one bad situation in which they may not be held guilty before God, but then entered into a situation in which they WILL be held guilty before God.
Yes, we don’t know if an old spouse will ever change. But He does! So it is always and in every part of life, move forward with prayer and ask for wisdom.
But the Lord already gave His direction in His Word. That direction does not involve “moving forward” with a new person, unless one wants to get entangled in an adulterous relationship. The Lord’s will, which I don’t think anyone can really argue with biblically, is to restore and reconcile that which is damaged. When He joins two as One—they are One, until death. We can “add” others to that mix, but they will never subtract that which is the original. Only God can divide what God put together.
To say then that we don’t know if an “old” spouse will ever change…….is to say that we are not willing to do what we are called as His disciples—-we are not willing to be ministers of reconciliation—because we can’t see the end result. What kind of faith will those looking on think we have? Will they be drawn to Jesus through that type of abandonment? Even the unsaved have the fortitude to stay and work on their marriages or to remain unmarried………….why is it that we, who profess to have Christ living inside us, can not/ will not do what the unsaved CAN do?
I see you saying that the spouse may leave the other spouse due to abuse, or whatever – that the abusive (or whatever) spouse may go on to another person after that, and then BOY are they in more trouble now!
No, I said they are more entangled in sin, which is true if they then enter an adulterous union.
There are stories in the bible where God could see that people would not change. So I guess I have issues with “us” having no knowledge that the odds are against it happening also. I’m not saying we are any where close to his knowledge either. There are loads of characters in history that if you read enough about them – you knew they would not change. Does that say you should not forgive or you should not pray for them? Hardly! We are called to do just that!
Do you mean from a distance, right—-with a new person in the picture? I guess I’m not understanding your viewpoint. Are you saying it’s ok to disobey God because we don’t know when/if someone will come to repentance? Do you believe our obedience/or lack thereof should be dependant upon other’s obedience/lack of obedience?
As far as the unsaved staying married and faith followers don’t – that makes no sense. There are cases for both (staying married and being divorced) on either side of the coin.
That is the truth, (name deleted). There are many unsaved who stay married because something in them tells them that getting divorced and breaking up what God joined together is wrong. In other words, they may not be born again, but there are some non-believers that live a morally superior life than many Western Christians do today. That should not be. The % of atheists who divorce is smaller according to George Barna (the well-known Christian pollster), than that of confessed Christians. I have to ask myself why that is? Is it that Christians seem to be of the mindset that God will forgive them, so they go ahead and do what He commanded us not to do? Greasy Grace? Thinking one because saved, has a license to sin? I don’t know, but it is a good thing to ponder.
What does it say to the unsaved when the church basically tells the followers you must stay close somewhat to a dangerous person – otherwise shame on you for not be warriors of reconciliation? They will think we lost touch with reality!
Who cares what they initially believe, (name deleted)? What they will see is faith in action—-and that IS what will affect them positively for the kingdom’s sake. We “say” we are ministers of reconciliation. Are we? Proof is in the pudding. Jesus said it best—-“if you love me, obey me”……….If we truly love others—-especially the one God joined us to—-will we forsake them? Would Jesus?
Again, if you blame another’s wrong for letting you go against what God teaches, then you are scapegoating.
If you blame an abusive spouse for your divorce, you will still have to take responsibility. Most people do not contemplate this and are in the blame mode when they do divorce.
Yes, that is part of our sin nature—–passed down from Adam and Eve. First Adam blamed GOD for giving him the woman whom he said CAUSED him to sin (in other words, “she made me do it. If you hadn’t given her to me I wouldn’t have sinned”). Eve in turn also didn’t take responsibility of her sin—-she instead blamed the serpent who deceived her. God gave a command, yet both claimed the fault of another for their disobedience to His command. Eve was deceived because she did not heed the Word of the Lord………Adam blatantly disregarded the Lord’s commands though he knew what he was doing was wrong.
My son says this all the time when he disobeys me: “if I didn’t have my sister, then I wouldn’t disobey you and then be in trouble”……
Interesting we just got done reading Genesis 1:26-3:24 today in school. We were talking about how Adam and Eve both blamed someone other than themselves when they chose to disobey God. Many times the same ol’ Adamic nature rises up in us and we use excuses as to why it is ok for us to disobey God—either because someone else sinned or because our “flesh is weak”…….
The thing is that such arguments didn’t fly concerning Adam and Eve and it won’t fly with us—-who have been delivered from the bondage of sin in our lives through Christ. We can choose not to disobey God. If we do, the Lord will honor that. If one says that one can’t obey due to the weakness of the Flesh, then there is no Gospel message we can preach that will be believable. There is no power there to overcome sin.
Those who say such things as “I don’t have the gift of celibacy”……….that may be true and that’s the reason why you married in the first place. However, what the Lord does expect is the “gift” of faithfulness that you will bring to the marriage and to Him concerning the covenant you entered into.
“I think we can learn strategies to not come under abuse cycle reactions by learning about resistance to evil. I think God is all about foiling such efforts from the enemy in individual believer’s lives, no matter what the hardship/attack. That may be from a distance and with support too. It is good to see what has come against you as a spiritual battle, and you may only win when you are fighting spiritually. By obedience, by living a repentant lifestyle yourself, by determining that their disobedience is not going to justify yours and by seeing the underlying forces at work. God’s power is bigger than any disorder, any destructive cycle. “
Amen, sister. Thank you for such a balanced approach on this issue. You are correctly seeing that in the case of some abused, that there needs to be a weighing of self—reactions/non reactions, etc. However, sometimes no matter how Godly a spouse is in their reactions, they cannot control the behavior of the other. In that case, as you said, separation is necessary—-allowing the LORD to do a work in His perfect timing and His perfect way.
I don’t think the argument of divorcing an abusive spouse is any different than any other argument for divorce—-many still continue to use “scales” to justify leaving the covenant marriage—ie; “his/her sin is worse than mine”…………yet how does the Lord look up us? Are we using righteous judgment with such reasonings? Are we limiting the Lord in what we believe His is able to do to turn things around and heal/deliver others of their bondages to sin as we believe He delivers us?
I’m just not sure sometimes who some are talking about. To think that God would encourage a woman to return to her rapist or the like, in order to prove to Him or others that she would be willing to do anything for Him is wrong. That is not God at all. He is not like that. Satan is the one that says jump of the cliff and God will rescue you. Those women who get killed while claiming the Lord sent them back are mistaken. God is a rescuer. He delivers from all calamity! He is just and He defends the poor and the oppressed.
I think you do not understand God. You think only the one suffering abuse is under bondage, but the truth is the abuser is ALSO under bondage and in need of rescuing. Both are in bondage until the Lord frees them—- He is deliverer of ALL who are in bondage. Once a rapist/beater/adulterer/adulteress, not always one—-with God. With man, there is no hope of REAL change. With God, ALL things are possible. To have the heart of God towards a wayward spouse is to have the desire to see them transformed into the image of Jesus—-so he/she will be the spouse the Lord desires them to be. THIS is the heart of God. The heart of God is not to remove/replace, unless it is done by the death of a spouse. That is the only BIBLICAL principle I can find. I can find no example of a divorced/remarried couple in scripture that are considered blessed of God……..Can you?
I still think you don’t see this. Please try. It is very important to you that you understand that the sinner is the hard hearted one. And while it may at times be the hard hearted one that “files” for divorce, it doesn’t have to be, the innocent may use the permission God gave them and file for divorce from the hard hearted one. But in all cases, it is the hard hearted one that caused the problem in the first place. And in the lack of repentance, divorce is a usable, though difficult, solution to such an inequality of marriage, where one is subject to the abuses of the other.
I realize some have had to use the civil divorce for issues of abuse to protect themselves and their children. However, you know I believe that a civil divorce does not dissolve the two into ONE that God joins together. It merely serves as a tool of “legal” separation—–hopefully temporarily…………Just as the Lord used it with Israel.
I also wanted to address the highlighted area. You said in ALL cases………..I have to disagree with you. Many times the husband has caused so much hurt in a wife, that she is driven to another man/men for love, affection, etc. The end result of HIS sin, is now her sinning. The same can be said in the case of some men who stray. Many times the wife is bickering, demeaning, contentious, etc. The man then will find himself in a place of emotional need…………and the enemy has a place of attack. In the end, it can be said that many of the so-called “innocent” in the marriage are the very ones who sinned in their role of husband/wife……..which led to the other responding in sin. Though you may believe some spouses are “entitled” by Jesus to seek a divorce or “move on” to another spouse due to adultery, the Lord SEES what led to the adultery…………and HE is not holding scale with the adulterer on the lower end. As a matter of fact, Jesus points the finger at a man who CAUSES his wife to commit adultery……..why? It’s much deeper than the fact he puts her away without cause…………..it’s because the husband is NOT being the husband He is called to be………and because he is not fulfilling his role, the wife may now find herself in sin. Jesus has called a husband to WASH his wife…………….Eph. 5. It is a BIG role……….what I don’t see Jesus telling a husband is to DESERT his wife for her sin and replace her with a new wife (or someone else’s wife). A husband is called to LOVE as Christ loves……….and part of that role is to CLEANSE Her………not to throw her away because she is “dirty”………………
In all of Ephesians 5 I see nothing concerning either the role of a wife or the role of a husband that is conditional based upon the spouse’s actions. A wife is to HONOR her husband……….Jesus didn’t say———“only honor him if he is honorable”…………..In the same vein, Jesus doesn’t tell a husband only to love a “cleaned up, sinless” wife. No, he is to SACRIFICE for her………..He is to LOVE her as Jesus loves the Church and gave Himself up for her.
You and I will just have to disagree because at this time we do not have the same eyes. I do not believe Jesus gives “permission” to destroy what He has joined together. I do not believe Jesus gives permission to destroy a family that was created BY HIM through a covenant marriage. I do not believe Jesus gave permission for husbands and wives to divorce and marry others’ husbands and wives and try to ‘mingle’ all the differing households, extended families, etc. Jesus came to give life and give it more abundantly. The rate of divorce/remarriage is NOT a fruit of this abundant life……….it is the “fruit” of one who is trying to destroy what God has joined together………and he is being very successful in our day in that regard. A “little” leaven HAS leavened the whole batch!
The first characteristic of a Christian is to show love, of which I don’t see here. why do we want to condemn rather than lift up. There are women that are in abusive relationship. do you think God would not forgive them if they got out of that marriage? Would he frown on them if they found someone who really loved and cared for them?
Paul addresses that, “If you depart, remain unmarried or be reconciled to your husband”……… I Corinthans 7:10-11. Jesus said, “whosoever marries one put away, commits adultery”……Matthew 5:32, 19:9, Mark 10:2-11, Luke 16:16-18, Romans 7:2-3.
Do you think the Lord would bless a union He has called adultery? There is nowhere we will find in God’s Word where it is ok to sin in order to be “happy”?
I will say this though, I don’t know of any battered spouses who leave to find a better husband/wife. Most times I find that they leave to flee abuse period.
I don’t think I said that they leave TO find someone else. I mentioned what should happen biblically AFTER a woman has departed, however. You seem to think it’s God’s grace that such a woman finds another husband, though it would be disobedience/sin to do so? I do not see where our personal fulfillment negates/supercedes the commands of God. That is exactly the mindset we now find in the “Christian” homosexual community. They too believe God’s grace allows for them to disobey the Lord and even believe that when they find someone special, it is the Lord’s doing.
One close friend of mine absolutely refuses to marry anyone. She is divorced from an abusive husband. The thought of marriage to her is something close to an abomination, when you see her reaction to the mention of it.
She is wise, though I fear if her refusal to marry is not based upon the Lord’s commands, she will fall when the enemy puts the right suitor in her path.
To think the same Word which protected women from the abuses of hard-hearted husbands by making it law for the husband to issues them a divorce which gave them their freedom and the right to marry again in the OT, is the same Word that now binds spouses to abusive mates in the NT for the rest of their lives with no possibility of marrying again unless that spouse has died, is inconsistent with the nature, the character and what is actually written in the whole Word. It is also inconsistent with principles of Jewish life.
Again, You plainly ignore what JESUS has spoken: “A woman is not to depart from her husband, but if she does depart, she is to remain unmarried OR be reconciled, and a husband is not to divorce his wife”…………..
No. I am acknowledging that God provides protection for the oppressed in marriages and He has done that through allowing divorce. This seems to be something you wish to deny.
No, I do not deny this. Scripture very clearly shows this in I Corinthians 7:10-11. A woman CAN depart. The problem you seem to have is the restriction to marry again. You obviously do not believe it fair, so you are insisting God must mean something different than what He has clearly spoken.
Yes, there may be those who have done their spouses wrong and then left and married another but again, I am not addressing them. We must not forget that this is not the case for everyone though. There are those who have left abusive mates because their spouse refused to repent and their lives were in danger.
Again, the Lord did give a provision in such cases………..but the provision did not include remarriage/adultery.
So am I suppose to ignore your statement above about how you feel there are times in which to separate/divorce due to this situation now? I mean you just contradicted yourself!
No, it just shows mine as well as others difficulty in understanding the WHENs of separation. The reasonings I see many times, seem to be more for “self”, than for kids. That is completely understandable if it is the woman who is the one suffering abuse. However, when one uses the children as the reason, and separates, with the father having very LIMITED access to the kids, until he gets help, that would solve the abuse dilemma. However, sometimes when a person says their kids are being abused (especially emotionally) and they say a divorce is needed, I don’t understand personally how the kids will be better if they spend, let’s say, half of their time at their dad’s—-with NO maternal supervision concerning how he treats the kids. Again, like (name deleted) said, we are getting off topic here, because this is not an abuse thread, but whether marriage after a divorce is permissible. The exact details of separation are not spoken about by Paul. We just have the Lord’s commands on what is to be done AFTER a separation.
The Christians can blame anyone they want to, but unless they start addressing the reasons WHY this is happening…. besides quoting scripture all over the place and patting people on the heads and doing a prayer…it will continue! We are called to do something about it…and we are FAILING in that area BIG TIME! So others that throw hard heart stuff out need to be sure they aren’t either in that arena! BE VERY sure because I bet God will ask them what they did besides guilt, shaming, praying and quoting scripture!
You want to know why the problems are what they are—selfishness……………all around. The so called abuser, the one in the marriage with high expectations which are dashed by human sinfulness and reacts in an ungodly manner, the church elders which sit idly by doing nothing to chastise/teach men how to be Godly husbands, the older women in the church who do not teach the younger how to be good, respectful wives/mothers, the culture which is “me” focused (to the detriment of family), the neighbor who has so much on their plate they don’t want to get involved when they see a family struggling………..etc, etc.
God waits for us, and will accept us on whatever level we are at. What happens in these families are far beyond the simplistic ‘chucking’ of them aside as you quote. I’m glad God can see that also, and its shame that others are so blind. God sees when others quote guilt, and do nothing towards solutions and hope also. We are told that we will always be forgiven, but he doesn’t stop the consequences for our actions. Healing is good for the Abuser, but if their spouses move on…it could be just that CONSEQUENCE!
Yes, that is true, that may be the consequences, but now the so called abuser AND the abused are in sin. Surely, you do not think THIS is good in the sight of God!!! God’s will is for the family to be RESTORED, no matter how long it takes. That is the LOVE spoken of in 1 Corinthians 13. You know, for me, it is grieving to see people encourage family to be forever broken. Now that is hopelessness! I praise God every time I read a post that encourages forgiveness and longsuffering towards spouses that are either in sin or have recently repented of sin. Those posts speak the heart of God, not those posts who rest on “rights” and glory in “consequences” to those who sinned. When I read such posts, I am reminded of where I came from and glad that some showed me mercy/compassion in my sin and didn’t give up on me. Moving on, is giving up and there’s no way around that truth.
No one states the GLORY of consequences! That is called adding your opinion to the version of the story on the board. GLORY to consequences? COME ON!
Oh, come on, (name deleted). I have been on Christian message boards for over 12 years now and I have SEEN GLORYING. Just like a child would say, “See, you got what you deserved!!!!”…………You can deny it all you want, but it has been portrayed on this board as well as many other “Christian” boards. It either comes from the second spouse (the new wife, new husband against the first wife/husband), or it comes from the embittered first spouse who has remarried—-because of their partner’s sin.
Not only that, but the truth of the matter is that quite a few so called Christians are real quick to throw the word “divorce” into the mix when counseling others………..”you know, you biblically have the “right to divorce her/him”……….THAT is grieving. I’m sorry that you don’t like my “other side” of the coin, but it is very much needed. Like I said in my previous post, I REMEMBER where I came from—sin-wise—-and I am EVER so thankful that people did not give up on me. I want to encourage others who are hurting NOT to give up on the one hurting them. The Lord does want to HEAL and restore—in His perfect timing. It IS His will. One book that has had a great impact on me was The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom. She was not the character which affected me most, it was her sister, Betsi. She had a heart to care/pray for the OPPRESSOR. She wanted them to come to a place of repentance and healing. Corrie could not grasp it until years later after she was released from the concentration camp. Then, she started understanding God’s great love for the SINNER and she started walking in it as well. My heart is very much for the oppressed, but there are already many who are ministering to the oppressed. Who is ministering to/for the oppressor—-to show them the Love of Christ and to share with the oppressed God’s heart towards the oppressor? To show both sides that HE is longsuffering, that His love does not fail………….that His Goodness will lead to repentance. Are we not the vessels of God used to show people who Jesus is? We are called to comfort the afflicted………..but comforting is not in giving them “pleasant” things to hear that only lead to more destruction in their lives and the lives of the generations after them—-we are to minister to their physical needs and help them to understand the Lord’s ways, towards them as the afflicted as well as towards their spouses, the afflictor. Blessings………..
I mean from what I have been reading the situation of abuse has come up, and this is what you said….You never answered it. I also believe that the person needs to find healing – both sides do for different reasons – some attempt this and then reject it. Some thankfully DO get the healing they need! They must do Matthew 18, and they can and SHOULD continue to pray for them even if they fall into that heathen status that they bible states.
I don’t know what you mean by “heathen” status. If it means that giving that label to someone during the Mt. 18 process gives a green light to the other to divorce and then “move on” with someone new down the road, I reject that practice and I am almost 100%positive the Lord rejects that too, since He came to bring RECONCILIATION to mankind…………and He didn’t set a time limit on that reconciliation either (with the exception of death being a “time limit”).
In some cases YES the family should be waiting for them, and there are an awful lot of people that do for a very long time!
I do not believe the Holy Spirit directs SOME, I believe He directs ALL to love per I Corinthians 13—-if they truly belong to the Lord.
At times the Holy Spirit directs them to not wait any longer, and I have seen them struggle with that decision. According to your opinions they shouldn’t listen to the Holy Spirit, or of course they are just wrong in hearing the message.
According to what scripture teaches, I believe if someone heard “do not wait any longer, but seek out a new mate”, they would not be hearing from the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit and Word can never be at odds with each other.
I guess I don’t agree with your opinion of scripture, and people can quote it until they are blue in the face…I still know they are missing a bunch of other scripture within it.
I would be very happy to consider this “bunch” of scriptures that will prove the permanency of covenant marriage not to be Truth.
Paul ….. offered abused and abandoned people certain “outs” from dysfunctional marriages.
Many of us would be glad to see such biblical proof. There is none. I know your stance on using Matthew 18 as a means to dispose of a spouse and then using that passage to gain freedom to get another spouse. I believe God is GRIEVED with such a twisting of His Word. Paul was VERY clear (and even said his admonishments were actually commands of the LORD) in regards to 2 professing believers and what was to be the outcome of two who were not dwelling together——REMAIN UNMARRIED or be RECONCILED. You add to the Lord’s Word and in so doing have caused people to stumble into sin (adultery).
If a man were to rape his wife he would be required to forgive that man, but that does not mean he is to welcome that man in his house so it can happen again. I think Restored Heart was using the example of a thief instead. With adultery, one is required to forgive…I agree. But to allow it to continue over and over again and stay is destructive.
Forgiveness and restoration/reconciliation are two different things. We are told we must forgive or we will not be forgiven. Forgiving someone does not mean that there is instant reconciliation in a marriage. There must be true repentance for reconciliation to work. If someone is committing adultery over and over, obviously there is not true repentance working in the heart of the adulterer/adulteress. In such cases, however, that does not “free” the forgiving spouse to “move on”. Jesus and Paul both taught that the marriage bond is lifelong (Matthew 5:32, 19:1-10, Mark 10:1-12, Luke 16:15-18, Romans 7:2-3, I Corinthians 7:10-12,I Corinthians 7:39), even in the case of adultery as we see in Rom. 7:2-3. Personally, I find it odd that the relationship of two who are joined by God is compared to a thief and the one stolen from—-it is not apples to apples. Would we compare our relationship to our children in the same way (and the bond towards children, scripturally, is not as close as a husband/wife relationship)…………? Surely, if a child offends us numerous times, can we disown them, saying they are no longer our children, someone else can take them instead?
To me, children and parents are a relationship on a different level. God said we are to leave and cleave and become one with our spouse. When a spouse cheats, the bond is broken. They are the one that has not kept the vow. I see that as different than if a child offends you. We are not one with them, we are to care for and discipline them.
A spouse can repent and the marriage can be better than it ever was before. Do you deny this? When we marry, we take MANY vows, and I think there probably is not one of us who has not broken at least 1 of those vows. I think we can clearly see through scripture that adultery does not “dissolve” the marriage, but injures it for sure. We see that in Hosea with Gomer, we also see that in Mal. 2 in which the priest remarries, yet God calls his first wife, his companion, the wife of the covenant. Even though he is remarried (committing adultery), he is still ONE with his covenant wife—–same with Gomer and Hosea. Jesus taught this same thing—-the ONENESS of the original marriage partners, even in the face of adultery. As for our children, has God made them ONE with us? No. The marriage relationship is even more binding than the parent/child relationship in God’s eyes………….because one day they too will “leave and cleave”……..and that is how God made it to be.
Not sure what Christians you are dealing with but none of the Christians I have the pleasure of knowing who are divorced single or divorced remarried got “tired of the flesh”. As a matter of fact, this forum should be proof that most women do not do that. There are threads all the time of women who deal with a lot of flesh and still desire for the marriage to work only to have their husbands continue in sin and walk out on them or continue abusing. The same happens to men. This statement, in my opinion, reflects a very poor attitude towards the family of God.
My statement accurately reflects the state of marriages that were joined by God………many get tired of the “flesh” and give up (giving up and walking out/moving on, or giving up and NOT waiting are acts of the flesh too). Sinful flesh is the cause of ALL marital breakups………and is the cause of ALL unbiblical remarriages.
IT is true that many women who have not been saved yet, do these things but as I said, the Christian men and women that I know, do not and they are just as free.
I know of “professing” Christian people that think it’s quite ok to join themselves with someone who is merely seperated from a spouse. To me, WALKING with Christ is evidence of one’s place in the kingdom of God. Freedom, real freedom in Christ is to WALK like Him and not be bound to the sins of the world (including how one responds to sin against them). Freedom is being able to leave their spouse and move on because one has a good job, but choosing NOT to because their focus is on serving God, not man.
I’m sure that’s true because that unyielding nature is what breaks the marriage covenant. The women I have encountered are living this way because their husbands refuse to submit. Then they run across this foolish doctrine and their bondage remains. The man is off doing whatever he will while they sit chained to him.
I’d be very interested to see scriptural evidence that an “unyielding nature” dissolves what God joined together.
Scripture says that divorce was allowed due to the hardness of men’s hearts.
WAS, is the key word here.
It was the remedy for men./women who were victims of their spouses hard-heartedness.
Yes, it WAS a remedy for the hard-hearted because they reject God’s ways. However, read John 3:19-21. Also, you twist who Jesus was speaking of in regards to divorce—-He was speaking of the ones whose hearts were HARD as the ones who were doing the divorcing!!! The women did NOT divorce, so your assertion that divorce is for the “victims” is not biblically supported……….unless you wish to apply I Corinthins 7:10-11 to that.
The women who leave their husbands in order to find another man are indeed guilty of an adulterous posture but in cases of abuse for example, that is not why they leave. That goes for men and women. They flee abuse, whatever form it takes, period.
And the Lord gave them instructions in such a case: “remain unmarried OR be reconciled”. I Corinthians 7:10-11.
Remarriage may happen or may not, but their motives for leaving was not of an adulterous nature and that needs to be recognized because God not only looks at what is going on externally but He, alone, sees the heart.
Many things start off innocently, but end up going in a whole different direction. I know a woman who claims her husband abused her, then she ended up taking another woman’s husband (getting involved with him BEFORE he was divorced, even). Her heart when she left her husband may have initially been right(I have no way of knowing that), but was it right when she got involved with another woman’s husband………….and fought to justify it? The road to hell is paved with many “good intentions/motives”.
If one gets a divorce because it doesn’t work out and later he falls for another woman. Is he really supposed to say “Honey, I love you but I’m not free to remarry.”?
We know what the Bible says about divorce. What do we tell the woman who’s getting battered physically and emotionally on a regular basis?
What do we tell the man that’s in the situation where there’s been long term sexual rejection?
Do we follow Christ or our own thoughts/feelings? Jesus said, “if you love me, Obey me.”……..Do we love Jesus?
I’m not trying to incite rebellion, but to be honest, I can’t see any self-respecting anyone, Christian or non-Christian, staying in abusive or toxic situations like the ones I mentioned above. Can you?
I know you’re not trying to incite anything. My point is that the “reasoning” of our minds many times is at odds with God’s Will/commands for us.
Because someone is exceeding sinful (in our estimation), we do not have cause to chuck them away according to the Lord (none of us is without sin—NONE). The Lord did appear to give some allowance for separation (I Corinthians 7:10-11), yet even in that, He commanded that such persons remain unmarried OR be reconciled with their spouse (assuming they repent for violence/adultery, etc). I personally do know of people who are abiding/have abided in the same home with spouse who is in blatant sin. I would consider them “self-respecting”………..not by man’s standards, but by the Lord’s standards. They have felt the need to CLOSELY love their spouse IN their sin.
Whatever one decides in such a case (whether to stay or separate), I don’t see an allowance anywhere in scripture to get a new spouse—without committing adultery in the process. The thing is that as Christians we ARE called to suffer many things in this life and NOT to respond to those things as the unsaved responds. One of the biggest problems in the Church today is that it looks no different than the unsaved—-yes, many go to church, but their MORAL and interpersonal Responses are not much different than the world. I saw that type of worldly reasoning in your post and that was what I am addressing. If we really get into God’s Word and ask Him to reveal HIS heart and place it in US, we would reject much of what is spoken to us today in regards to personal “rights”…………they just do not line up with what Jesus taught.
I just have a question: I can understand people saying that re-marriage after divorce is adultery. If a woman divorces because her husband was abusing her, and wants to marry, will it still be adultery? It seems to me like you are punishing the woman for marrying an abuser. Are you saying that the woman should not be allowed to marry? She should just stay single after she divorces? Or should she not even divorce the abuser, but just separate from him and pray he changes so she can come back home? What if he never changes? I am not trying to be funny, I just want to understand what people believe and why…
Personally, I believe the Lord has spoken clearly on the issue though many do not believe He is clear. Jesus clearly said in two of the gospels (Mark 10:1-12, Luke 16:15-18), “Whosoever divorces and marries another commits adultery” and “whosoever marries one divorced commits adultery”.
Paul taught (Romans 7:2-3), “For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man”.
And I Corinthians 7:10-11: “But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband, but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband”.
And I Corinthians 7:39: “A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord” (notice that what Paul teaches to this church is also what he taught to the Roman Church). Hope that helps, Grace. Remember, it matters not what we say/think, it only matters what the Lord says/thinks in regards to sin……….because He is judge.
Just as much as the ill affects of woman staying married to abusive (all forms) men and vice versa. Secular writings are very valuable because they don’t try to put a positive spin on horrible marriages. They tell what they see for real, whether it’s in the church or in the world.
Yes, ALL sin has ill effects, this is true. My point in bringing up secular writings on the effects of divorce/remarriage is to show that someone can’t say that Christians “taint” the findings to support their biblical viewpoints that marriages should stay intact. The secular writings are the “fruit” of the truth that divorce/remarriage is destructive to family and has long term ill effects on children who suffer through the selfishness of their parents by bringing into another person into the picture when the children have a living mother/father. Many times there is a tug of war that is just plain unGodly……….
(Concerning reconciling to an abusive spouse who claims to be repentant)
It could be because the ‘trust’ factor wasn’t restored. Just because you forgive people doesn’t mean you trust them. Before you say they go hand in hand – think about it. They don’t always. Trust is an important aspect of a couple reconciling, and its funny how many people seem to think unempathise this. As if a couple can be successful in the God’s eyes just ‘playing the married couple’ to keep the church family happy. It can fall apart later, and they are once again placed in the box of labels people love to use. Reconciliation is a process and its unique to all couples. A lot of people don’t realize the increased pressure and pain they hand out – when compassion, walking along with them, grace, etc is lacking can add to the factor of divorce as well.
We didn’t get into the trust aspect of this, but believe it or not, I agree with you that when a spouse has continually erred/sinned in the same way(s), there is a time of “testing” to see if the change is permanent. I am in full agreement with this. I believe that “remaining unmarried” is what is called for in such cases. However, if a woman (or man’s) heart is to love as Jesus loves, forgive as He forgives, reconcile as He reconciles, then that should be our heart as well. If we say, “I will NOT ever go back with so and so no matter HOW they have changed!”…………that IS hardheartedness. If someone HAS changed into a man/woman of God and is NOT hurting their spouse any longer, but LOVING them, then turning away…….forever……… that is not an act of forgiveness. We must remember this also when speaking of reconciliation/restoration——with no other human relationship does God take two and join them into ONE FLESH. So trying to compare relationships outside the marital relationship is not apples to apples. What I am at odds with is the “moving on” mentality. Because one doesn’t WANT the spouse they were married to, no matter that they have been transformed or are very repentant for past actions, they feel it ok to take another spouse—maybe even one that belongs to another. THAT conduct I KNOW is displeasing to the Lord.
I can’t say that all of the ones who believe this way are presenting their case in a negative way with questionable motives, I have met some respectful people here with opposing views from mine. However, my concern is for others who may not be as grounded in their faith, and may be lead astray with this doctrine. I also fear the possibility of one returning to an abusive spouse out of fear that God will turn from them, rather than in response to His guidance if it is safe for them to do so.
Most that I know who believe in lifelong marriage would never counsel someone to return to an abusive spouse. Paul very clearly gave an option for a woman in such a case, “remain unmarried or be reconciled with your husband”, I Corinthians 7:10-11. Reconciling could only be possible in such a case if the husband was truly repentant, not only in word, but in his very heart/actions.
I will just say that if you were to remarry, I think you would be released to do so. Your ex, (and I don’t know your story completely)
I am not divorced. I am in my first marriage. My husband and I both came to believe in lifelong marriage through our personal studies. If I were divorced from the One God joined me to, I will never remarry. I will remain faithful to the Lord. Sorry if you didn’t understand a post of mine.
Good for you! Don’t let the people who suffered abused in their first marriage to return to their spouse just because you have no idea what it was like to be abused.
I think I have already addressed this issue. Paul clearly gives admonishment to the one who departs from their husband: “remain unmarried or be reconciled to your husband”. One does not have to return to an abusive mate. They do have a choice to remain safe. Ps. yes, I do know what it is like to be abused. Thankfully, I did not end up marrying the boyfriend who was abusive. Unfortunately, MANY women understand abuse………
Many I know who are divorced prayed and hung on for years. One woman I know stayed for 28 years before she could stand it no longer. Her children were horribly damaged by her husbands stupidity. You think you know other peoples hearts, that they don’t care. Why would this woman have stayed so long if she hadn’t cared? She’d have left the first year, when his obnoxious behavior began. Judgmental is what your attitude would be called. Remember what Jesus said about that?
FEW stay for that long, (name deleted). MOST get out of their marriages within the first 10 years. I’m sorry that you feel my attitude is judgmental, but it is not. My judgments are based upon the Word of God, not situational reasonings. As I have stated, when one is in an abusive situation, there is remedy……………depart, but remain unmarried. See, the problem is that those who depart don’t want to remain unmarried, so they label people such as me, “judgmental”, when in reality they are not against what I/others say, but against what God Himself has commanded…………and they don’t want to hear it.