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Divorce and Christ

Updated on February 23, 2013

Silver lining

Bad things happen to good people. Our test is always measured by our love.
Bad things happen to good people. Our test is always measured by our love. | Source

Look at the audience

I think when people think of divorce and Christ they normally just shut down thought and accept that Christ condemned divorce. But you really have to look at it more closely. I do not mean a history lesson or assert right or wrong here but we must look at the situation that was present and make sense of what Jesus said, remembering His Love for the “least of these”.

Around the year 0 we would find women as property of men. We would find such a overbearing patriarchal society that we would cringe. All the laws benefited the man over the female. Any position of respect that a woman had was due to family, stemming from a man. Marriage was totally at the man’s pleasure. A woman without a man or her father’s house was nothing. Divorce went against the woman in shame and ostracized her from community.

In those times no worthy man could divorce his wife and leave her destitute. It was just a horrible situation.

(for a moment think of Christ’s treatment of women, including a whore and an adulteress. – Just Love and compassion)

Even Gods' word only makes sense in context. What Christ said to Pharisees was different than what he instructed his disciples.

So that in those days a divorced woman was kicked out of her house, with or without the children and cast aside. She was scorned. Her survival literally depended on compassion and love of others. Now when you put into context when Jesus says “10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.” In Mark 10, you get a sense for what He was saying. Christ was not in love with laws. When he gave a strict command he meant it for our well being. And mostly for the well being of the “least of these”.

It is fun to note that right after saying this he commanded his disciples (who seemingly did not like children) to bring on the kids!! It almost sounds like a birthday party.

Two Chalices

Let the marriage chalices never be seperated.
Let the marriage chalices never be seperated. | Source

Do not shake your head, lend a hand.

I would hope when you read this you send out some love for folks who just cannot keep their marriage together. Maybe give a call out to someone who is suffering in divorce. Let them know that you do not judge them, only love them.

Then let us give thanks for the truly great women like the Gloria’s, Hillary’s, Condelissa’s, Theresa’s and Madeline’s and Eleanor’s that have recently helped to raise up all humankind by elevating the respect for all woman.

Christ did not condemn divorce. Christ helped to protect the women. Good job buddy!

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I have a few words about your last post.

      Cool, awesome and right on. I especially like how you tied in respect.

      Don't change.

    • profile image

      KEGM 4 years ago

      There would be far fewer divorces, too, if more people listened to the words of Pope Paul VI who foretold in the document, Humanae Vitae, that use of contraceptives would cause men to lose their respect for women; result in more cases of adultery and a decline in morals; and cause governments to pursue population control policies. (Consider the abusive practices documented in India, China, Peru, etc.)

      On the other hand, those who practice Natural Family Planning almost never divorce. That is likely due to the fact that it requires men and women to practice self-mastery periodically. (Such people are not likely to commit adultery.)

      NFP has been proven in studies to be as effective as the pill, but without the grave health risks. (The World Health Organization lists the pill with estrogen & progestin in it on its list of Group 1 carcinogens on the same page with tobacco and asbestos.)

      Few women are aware that the drugs used in the pill are hormonal steroids, which can be delivered orally or by injection, IUD, vaginal ring, or skin patch. It's illegal for men to use steroids, but it's politically incorrect to diss the pill, even though the World Health Org. says it causes cancers of the breast, liver and cervix. In men, steroids cause muscle growth and increase the risk of liver cancer. In women, steroids cause breast tissue growth and cause 3 cancers.

      Keeping women in the dark about such a serious health risk is the perfect definition of patriarchy.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      So your broad brush absolutes have appropriate exceptions?

    • profile image

      KEGM 4 years ago

      No, actually the Church obligates a spouse to divorce a man who abuses her and her children. There is a strong obligation to protect the children. No one in his right mind would oppose that. I'm going to make an educated guess that the vast majority of divorces have nothing to do with abuse.

      Furthermore, I am not an expert on annulments, but I would also guess that an annulment may be possible in the case of adultery because the offending spouse had no intentions of pursuing the real obligations of marriage.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      If a man beats his wife and small daughter and refuses help, and is a Satan worshipper and routinely commits adultery and does not provide.

      I would think that God would intervene by giving the wife a divorce.

      But I understand you. We live under the law in your view.

    • profile image

      KEGM 4 years ago

      Read what Our Lord has to say about self love in the links I sent you for The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena. He said in order to please Him, one must do violence to one's own self love.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      My friend be careful that you do not miss the most important of all starting places. We must love ourselves. Our great lover cannot love us unless we Love Him. And we cannot love our brother or enemy until we are taught love. If a catechism is taught in words it is an empty gong. But taught in love it is a lighthouse upon which we can focus in stormy seas.

    • profile image

      KEGM 4 years ago

      I didn't give you the full web address for the Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena. It's catholictreasury.info/books/dialogue/index.php

      There is also a discussion on the need for the love of God (below). As you know, we cannot love our neighbors if we do not love God first and foremost and seek to please Him. See Section 3 of the Treatise of Divine Providence here: catholictreasury.info/books/dialogue/diag6.php

      You have been given great responsibility as a catechist. "From those who have been given much (i.e. their Catholic faith), much will be expected." God holds all of us responsible for properly forming the young people He gives us. If you are careful to teach with the mind of the Church (i.e. following the Catechism, the pope and bishops who speak in union with him), then you will not mislead the children in your charge.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I teach catechism. I layout how the Churches' good theories and course of conduct should work together to find an higher connection with God.

      I do it, I work it, I preach it. and I suggest it.

      If I count my paces. And i concentrate, and I do all I can to kick the ball just right I score a field goal.

      If I have been trained as a canonical Council which I am. I have no authority over those who do not know the law. You see the greater we are in knowledge the better we must be in learning and not preaching. Though I preach within the satisfaction of the Lord, I hope.

      Love is the commandment upon which all others rest. I shall not bind except as the Lord commands and I shall not bind until He does.

      Kind of long and all King George like but I hope we are thinking the same.

    • profile image

      KEGM 4 years ago

      I am not prophesying or issuing commands. I am simply reporting what the Church teaches. I believe that out of His love for mankind, Jesus wanted to ensure that we would have a sure guide in the Church so that we would be confident in the way to follow in order to gain eternal life. He did this because it's so easy for men to deceive themselves when deciding right and wrong.

      He gave St. Peter authority to speak on faith and morals and gave His assurances that Peter would not err in matters of faith and morals when He said, "Thou art Peter (which means "rock") and on this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven (which means He gave Peter and his successors the keys to unlock the gates of heaven). Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:18-19

      St. Catherine of Siena is a 14th century saint and doctor of the Church. I found her book, The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena, fascinating. She reported on her ecstasies. I was especially interested in reading one section of her book called, A Treatise of Obedience. I strongly encourage you to read it. It tells why humility and obedience are necessary for salvation. See: catholictreasury.info/books/dialogue/diag81

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I feel as though you are prophesying and issuing commands. I like it.

      But you clearly are not a leader of a flock. What is it that gives you the confidence to preach in absolutes?

    • profile image

      KEGM 4 years ago

      When we choose to re-interpret Jesus' unambiguous words to fit our desires, instead of humbly accepting what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says His words mean, then we deny God His right to give Peter authority to speak infallibly on matters of faith and morals. We make ourselves our own magisterium. Jesus told his Apostles, "He who hears you hears Me." Read what God told St. Catherine of Siena (as reported in the Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena) about the need for humility and obedience in order to be saved (because our first parents were locked out of the Garden of Eden because of the sins of disobedience and pride). He stated unequivocally that those who disobey His Vicar (the pope) are in a state of damnation. The Catechism says:

      Article 6 THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT, IV. Offenses Against the Dignity of Marriage

      2382 The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble.173 He abrogates the accommodations that had slipped into the old Law. 174 Between the baptized, "a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death." 175

      2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law. 176 If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.

      2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:

      If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another's husband to herself.177

      2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.

      2386 It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law.

      There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.178

      I would add that there is a clear difference between calling a sin a sin and deciding that the sinner is an evil person. The former has to do with speaking the truth. The latter has to do with being judgmental.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      ib thanks for your comments, thanks for keeping them short.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California

      None of the Apostles were women.

      Christ never married

      Christ of the New Testament never returned.

      Hillary Clinton, you must be joking.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      phdast7, Thanks for you reading and comment. I keep pounding on the simple notion "if you feel the love you are doing the loving thing'

      No one I have ever met does not like that concept. You state the general principal perfectly in your comment. If we get all filled up with Love and Charity -- there ain't no room for the negative.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      A balanced, rational , and loving look at what Jesus said and what he intended. Love and charity should always take precedence over judgement and criticism. Sharing.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sometimes, it almost seems like the judging of others is a way of elevating ourselves. An eternal challenge to see who is best. Thanks much for your visit and comment.

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      If people just remembered that the overriding rule was "Charity" there wouild be a lot less judgementalism and a lot more happiness in the world.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

      Voted up.