Married Once, Divorced Twice – John Lemme
My name is John. I am near to 68 years. I gave my life to our Lord Jesus in 1974. This was shortly after my daughter, Dee Dee was called home after being with us for 5 ½ years. She was beautiful and perfect in every way until the day she became sick with chicken pox and complications of Reyes Syndrome. In one week she was in Jesus’ arms. During that week while she was burning up with fever she went into the kitchen and got a big plastic garbage bag. She went back to her room and placed all of her baby dolls into the bag. She made her mother promise to give them to the children that we had told her about that didn’t have any. (We did). My wife told me of these things and I witnessed many other strange happenings. My wife knew something was happening but didn’t know what it was. She was visibly shaken but tried to remain calm. I know now that she did not want to face what she thought was happening. There is much, much more to this part of my family’s story. My wife also gave her life to Jesus later that year.
We survived the emotions and loss for 20 additional years. We started our walk with the Lord by immersing ourselves in God’s word day and night attending church or Bible study, 5, 6 and sometimes 7 days a week for the next 2 years.
We were searching for and finding answers for our lives and what it means to have a relationship with our creator. (Acts 17:11)
At that time we also had a second child, a boy 3 ½ years of age. We subsequently had 2 more children.
I was a wild type in my teens and 20’s. The way I acted and treated my girlfriend Pam, of 4 years was not something I can be proud of. She should have got the hint and not married me. But she loved me. We had some great times and some bad times. I loved her but my rebellious antics continued into our marriage; I remained wild and was easily swayed to the excitement and adventures of other women along with other forms of selfishness.
After I became a true believing Christian I tried to live my life walking with God. In my weakness I failed many times. But I would repent seek forgiveness and start over. My sins were not always repetitive. I seemed to be able to find a variety of diverse failings. (Jude 1: 6-8) I can look back now and see the attacks and the lessons learned.
It can be true that there have likely been thousand of souls that have come to know our Lord Jesus because of the testimony of our family and our lives, and it all started with Dee Dee. By the observance of some of our actions we may have also detracted some from faith in our Lord. I can only rely upon God’s grace towards me/us and the knowledge that His Word will not return void. (Isaiah 55:11)
For many years I was like the Israelites in the desert. I had crossed the Red Sea but had not yet crossed the River Jordan. I was in a wilderness of life. I had not yet entered into the Promised Land. I knew and belonged to Jesus but I had not experience nor was I being led by the Holy Spirit. I don’t know if it is possible but it seems that the Holy Spirit would come and go in my life. (Ephesians 1:13) So my position is that He had influence upon me during this time.
My marriage ended after 27 years (we had dated for 4 years prior to marriage). The attacks had overcome my weak character and disobedience. The years of depression, financial ups and downs, legal issues, etc., etc. that we both experienced along with my prior destructive actions towards my wife finally took their toll and Satan looked as if he had won. I guess he did win that battle. (Ephesians 6:12) But he lost the war. I know because I have read the Word and I have read it to the end! Jesus lives and he is the victor.
Completely broke, no place to live, seeing no possibility of providing for my family I had a nervous breakdown and I left. I abandoned my wife and our 2 teenagers. They all told me to get out and I truly thought they would all be better off without me. My wife took off her wedding band and threw it across the room at me and told me it was my fault that Dee Dee died. I know that she didn’t really believe that, but it was part of the consequences from the battlefield of her mind. I considered suicide. I sought help but could not really find anything more than a sympathetic ear and time delay of my emotions to stop me from doing something really stupid.
At this time in my life I felt completely abandoned by everyone including God. I entered into a period of anger and self satisfaction. After a short period of rest I began to rebuild my life, without God.
I began to meet new people. I drank a little, sometimes a little to much. I started smoking again (I had stopped for over 20 years). I obtained a variety of jobs until I sought training and settled into being an over the road cross country truck driver.
During this time I met Katie. She was 17 years younger than I, but that didn’t matter at the time. We dated, fell love and eventually married.
We did not start from a good place. We partied hard and fast for a while. We enjoyed a lot of sex, a few drugs, weird friends, etc.
Katie came with a lot of issues; divorced from a drug and abusive relationship of 14 years (married 10), 3 kids, dysfunctional childhood, other abusive relationships, etc. I naturally ignored all of this because she was beautiful and a lot of fun.
But I also saw a good side of her. She had a good heart, a soft side, a caring nature.
After a year or so we started talking about God. She had a lot of questions but I was reluctant to answer because I knew that if she new the truth it would mean the end to my party time!
I was still angry at God and still running away from Him! How stupid and selfish was that? But like Jonah I was swallowed up, except I was in a big truck, with Katie.
One day while we were driving she was reading a book containing God’s promises. She realized that God loved her. Shortly after she was reading another book about God’s grace and she accepted Jesus into her heart. She will tell you that it felt like she received an electric shock!
That started me on a road back to Him and her on a learning experience of His Word.
We have come a long way in the 15 years that we have been together. We have loved each other very much and always will. We take care of each other. There is way more to that part of our story.
We have always felt that things weren’t the way that they should be. This was especially evident at holiday times, birthdays, funerals, etc. Our families were split. We could never all be together in the same place. That’s also another story.
We discussed our feelings to one another on occasion over the past few years, but then the feeling became more intense. I can’t tell you how it came about, but we started to investigate what God’s word says about divorce and remarriage.
He hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and condemns remarriage! (Luke 16: 18) There are specific and unambiguous instructions concerning this issue.
(1 Corinthians 7: 10-15) Basically if a couple separates and ultimately divorces through mans legal process God says there are only two options available; either reconcile or remain single unless death of one intervenes. Remarriage constitutes adultery. On this the scripture is clear.
Adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Also clear in scripture. (1 Corinthians 6: 9-10)
A former adulterer, murderer, thief, etc., can be forgiven if repentance is evident, outward by ones confession and subsequent actions, and the inward change of his/her heart.
By Gods grace these sins are forgiven and forgotten and have been paid for by our Jesus’ sacrifice upon the cross. But, Grace does not cover all!
Grace does not cover unrepentant sin.
If that were true then the whole world of sinful souls would be going to heaven, and Jesus would have suffered and died in vain!
Grace does cover all truly REPENTANT sin.
If you are remarried you are living in adultery each and every day.
This is the same as continually living in sin! Where is the repentance?
Are we to utter the words of please forgive me, just words, no turning away from the sinful action?
Wow! What a deception perpetrated upon today’s church.
Katie and I still love each other and I as I said before we always will, but we both love Jesus and we can not love Jesus and be disobedient to Him.
I have been blessed with the undeserved love of three women in my life. (Four if you count my mother but that definitely had its rough spots). A first love, also known as puppy love, (She is, I believe, with the Lord now. I found out a few years ago that she and her family never stopped loving me). Second was, my “Covenant Wife” “the wife of my youth.” She would not speak to me for over 13 years. Even though she divorced me she never stopped loving me. Third is Katie, how do I describe her? “As the adulterous woman of my ignorance?” She does not deserve a title like that. Especially in light of the woman she has become and the path of obedience to Jesus that she has chosen. I don’t believe that she will stop loving me either.
I will admit that the love I have for each of the ladies that have been in my “love” life is different. That includes my mother.
Katie and I have made a choice, both of us, together, and that is to be obedient. Therefore we took the steps to resolve the issue.
We filed legal documents for the Dissolution of our marriage. We are now each, single.
This was an unbelievably difficult thing for us to do. Our emotions have traveled the entire scale. We will undoubtedly have future emotions that we will have to deal with also. We are still dealing with all of the change’s that are now required in our lives.
We keep going to the promises of our Heavenly Father knowing that He will take care of our needs.
We have had little support in our decision from our friends, family and our church. Most think we are insane fools. We tried to find a new fellowship, but have kind of been asked to change our belief and position or look elsewhere.
But we know the truth, and we believe that those in the church and those in the world need to know the truth about the “Marriage Covenant” and how important it is. We are going to tell them.