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Matters of Divorce
The Divorce Issue and God's View of it part #2
Here we are back on the issue of divorce. There has been an overwhelming request that I submit more information on this subject as divorce has indeed become quite rampant and common during these "last days"...Truth Is...
Many questions have come to me concerning when it is proper to leave a marriage, as well as when it's proper to pursue a new relationship when it becomes a moot point that the current one is not going to work out.
Given the fact that I am indeed a Messenger it is my responsibility to present things from his standpoint, which in many cases may not be what the reader may wish to hear. But is it not true that God's way is the best way for us? Does He not have a reason for all that He does and says? Do you or are you willing to listen to God's view and then follow through accordingly, knowing that it will work to your benefit by doing so? Proverbs 3:5-7 speaks of "trusting in the Lord in ALL that you do AND NOT LEANING ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING...".
So many of the readers who have contacted me with questions on divorce have clearly sought consolation or even perhaps confirmation that their decision to move outside or away from their marriage either to be with someone else or simply to escape situation where there is no longer any love. Most often these people already know the answer, but the answer is not what they want to hear. So I am moved to ask my fellow believers in Christ: "Do you trust God"?
Let's get into the matter then...
First let's get the understanding that the word of God is the ONLY point of reference to which any christian should consult when making such decisions as to whether to remain in a marriage or not. Given that there is only one reason or ground for divorce given in the bible that GOD condones: adultery...we Christians already know this but we tend to "try our case" as it were by presenting mitigating circumstances; but the words found at Matthew19:9 are pretty well cut and dried; in fact those with a red-letter bible know that these words were said directly by Jesus himself:"..and I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commiteth adultery: and whoso marrieth she which is put away doth commit adultery..."
This should help us understand that unless there has been adultery committed there are NO other grounds for divorce! No, God did not have anything to do with the "irreconcilable differences" thing that has become so popular; nor does He endorse or condone it...Truth Is...
That fact is why so many ministers insist on there being constructive and extensive counseling with couples considering marriage. Although we are told going in that marriage a very serious institution/union, we all too often are caught up in our passion(s) be it emotional, sexual, or financial; and we throw deliberate caution to the wind. Notice the operational word here is "deliberate", which denotes thoroughly taking into consideration ALL the points and factors negative and positive that should be delved into, discussed at length, and then agreed to. We feel that if we don't get married we may lose that person or our very life depends on that marriage happening. maybe we as Christians get so overwhelmed by carnal desire that we rush to squelch the burning fire within with the first or what we feel is the best candidate that comes along! It could even be a desire to have a child before it's too late. Often it's just plain old love bursting forth in abundance... On the one hand it is sad to see people who after entering into a marriage bond find they should have thought longer and harder before committing to it. Alternately it is a fine example for those who are contemplating marriage. Be more deliberate in your consideration(s).
I have had many readers question whether they have grounds to leave their mate because they use drugs or are abusive emotionally, verbally or even physically. I will not and do not condone staying in the home with a physically abusive mate, whether it be the man or the woman. Notice I said physically. In fact the next scripture should encourage those who contemplate marriage to really learn the nature of their intended mates. ..
When there is a matter of entirely too much abuse and one finds they must leave the home then consider this: 1 Corinthians 7:10-16 gives a clear view of how God instructs us to deal with each other . It let's you know that It is preferable that we don't even separate if there is no adultery in question. Let's read:"
...and unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband, and let not the husband put away his wife...'
Now let's stop there for a moment and get something very clear right away. Ladies, guys, you too. Even though it says remain single or unmarried, it DOES NIOT say it's ok to have a "buddy", a "friend"or "friends" that come and grant you a little "relief" every now and again. Be it financially or otherwise:STOP IT! This brings us to another issue actually: if you leave your mate because they have committed adultery, and the two of you have sex afterward, then that actually constitutes reconciliation and nullifies the adultery ground for divorce. It's as if you extended forgiveness. Lust is not very good reason to get married; it's just yet another. What you have to realize that marriage was something GOD instituted personally, and HE takes it very seriously as he also does the dissolution of it. Due to our state of imperfection He allowed for one manner of acceptable dissolutionand cited NO other in his book of instruction which the bible really is.
No, We are encouraged not to separate. Even if your mate fooled you into believing he or she would go to church regularly and then after the wedding they stopped going, well you got that! Often that comes from our going on those social networks and saying things like: If you're not 6" tall don't message me", or "If you don't have a car and your own house , don't email me" but when it comes to what REALLY matters you say things like:" You don't have to be religious, just spiritual", or "As long as you'll go to church with me sometimes we can talk"...Truth Is...
Why are you willing to compromise on the ONE thing you should be firm about? That's really why so many folks end up on this site reading Truth Is... and asking questions every three months or so. they keep getting that guy or woman they keep insisting on and it doesn't work! (*see "Choosing a Mate a Guide for Today's Christian" by daledad8(Truth Is..) They didn't play you, you played yourself!
But GOD got that covered too! Let's read some more of 1 Corinthians chapter 7...go to verse 12:"But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: if any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away, 13: "and the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him ..."
That's right, that means if they don't clean up the house, smoke dope or whatever, won't go to church, nag, or do any of the other many things you hate except commit adultery, you are counseled to remain in the marriage!
That scripture covers a lot of the excuses we use to not only divorce, but even separate. It says "NOT LEAVE HIM"; this means not leave HER too fellas. We are all familiar with the scripture that says "God hates a divorcing", ok, that's why it is crucial to in addition to covering all the aforementioned questions but to ask yourself this: "am I willing to remain in this marriage regardless of it this person turns out not to do all they have promised?". That means if they lose their job and become so discouraged they seemingly give up. That means if they lose their job and all they can find is one that pays much less, even much less than you. That means if she gains so much weight she doesn't look anything like she did when the two of you met. That means if he/she refuses to go to church or even live a christian life. GOD's view is that you must stay in that marriage as long as that mate wants the marriage! You just read It yourself so don't look at me all crazy. You wanted to know what GOD says and feels didn't you? Why is it the very ones who seek God for answers are the ones who don't want to hear the answer!
Let's get confirmation: 1 Corinthians 7:14..."For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband, else were your children unclean, but now they are holy..."
Yes, it tells us that our continued christian obedience, the one thing it seems so hard to adhere to fully, is what may save your entire household. Think about Lot and Noah as examples...Even if the sanctification or saving as it were doesn't come in the time you wish; if God doesn't soften the mate's heart for years, it is your responsibility top maintain and trust your God. Sometimes salvation's reward doesn't come until the resurrection, and your faithful service during your lifetime is a determining factor while God's Grace is the final word. Not to stray too far from the subject, but the "obedience" mention beforehand is something that we often take to be something subjective (conditional) but it is not. It is something we must do all the way down the line in every situation at all times. We can't be selective as to what principles we adhere to and do not and expect to receive God's full blessing or actually to receive it at all!
What is being said here is that if we choose to enter into a marriage bond it is and should be viewed as just that: a bond. "What God has put together, let no man put asunder..."; this and other portion once regularly said in a marriage ceremony have been conveniently removed as we have found many ways to get out of marriages that we no longer want and wish to have an "escape clause" available when that time comes. Yes, we want to tell God what He'll accept, even when it comes to marriage.
So what are you saying Truth, I should stay in a bad marriage? Bottom line? Yes...you chose to take your vows before God and you swore to him to do all you can to make it work, so, make it work!
I will not encourage anyone to remain in a abusive marriage. But what I will say is that if it comes to where you are truly suffering (not talking about they simply get on your nerves either, or you're just sick of looking at them), you may need to leave, and if it is you that feels that way then it should be YOU that leaves, not them! Do I have to say it twice? Afterward, it still should be your goal and intent to repair the marriage; MAKE IT WORK! You swore to God you would and that is what a "vow" is, an oath!
The next verse often gets confused with an excuse to divorce,...
verse 15:"But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart, a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God hath called us unto peace..."
If you keep this scripture in context with the preceding verses it doesn't say you can then go ahead and marry someone else if your mate leaves you. It just says you don't Have to force yourself to stay with them. You're still married. Now in most and many cases as time passes the mate will get involved with someone else and of course there will be sexual activity which then constitutes adultery. Then divorce could enter the picture. But until and unless this occurs you are still married and must conduct YOURSELF as such, be your mate there or not. This is sad and very difficult for many and that bis understandable, which again is something to seriously consider when entering into a marriage as a christian.The thing is regardless of our situation or circumstance we are required by God to conduct ourselves according to his principles anyway. That is how He sees your obedience and thus rewards you as He sees is needed and through his grace which we don't deserve anyway...
Then there is the ones who have met someone in church they feel are a better fit for them and they want to know if God will condone their relationship since this is a fellow believer. Well maybe you should have waited a little longer for God to b ring them to you. But He will NOT condone you leaving your mate because your mate is on drugs or basically is a heathen in your eyes, and you find a ":good christian "; no, don't fool yourself and no, don't do that. Usually, things will work out to facilitate that bond is it is within God's will that the two of you unite.
The thing is that given that God does hate a divorcing, He wills that you find a way to reconcile if it is at all possible, and if you feel it is not, then continue to pray and trust, and wait to see if He presents a way to do it. Remember, you chose to get married and you somewhere along the line were told or heard or even thought that it was a very serious step you were taking, so now you must live with it. You may have to wait for your reward at the end just as in any other situation. Hey, if you can't wait for that then how do you convince God you are willing to wait for the ultimate reward? Think about that.
Now if your mate divorces you then that is out of your control. You have to continue living and there would be a different situation and perhaps remarriage would be something you could look into. Otherwise don't find yourself in a situation where you are trying to take advantage of God's grace and end up losing it because you're a little too confident of his forgiveness. You're only fooling yourself, and there are consequences. You may feel willing to deal with those consequences as they don't seem so dire for the present, but you never know what may transpire over the ensuing years as a result. You are bringing a new set of people into your life when you remarry, and with them comes a new set of circumstances and experiences over time that may result in your losing much more than you thought you would and then you'll sit angry with God thinking He's punishing you. James 1:13-17 is a very good scripture to read for that thought:"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his OWN lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren, every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow or turning..."
What this says is that it is our desires, our wishes, and our wants and decisions that bring the things we suffer upon us, not God punishing us. We have sin naturally, but when we push forward to satisfy ourselves when God's laws, rules and principle don't jibe with what we want then when the results are terrible it's not God's fault nor him punishing you; it is you getting what you worked for. Reaping what you sowed as it were. Of course so often we feel we are SO in love that we are willing to suffer whatever penalty may come just to be with that Man or that woman. remember that when it comes and just don't turn away from God, h\he didn't do it. It would be a good time to actually draw close to him and ask that He fix the mess that you made, ok?
* as a side note, when seeking counseling about a relationship issue, please don't lie, or hold back part of the story. If you say you're in a bad relationship because your mate is on drugs, but you also use them but not as much, don't blame it all on them. If you say you want out of the marriage for whatever reason and that you have found someone at church who is spiritually minded and add:"We haven't done anything yet", that is usually a sign that you HAVE done "something" even if it's just a lot of kissing and whatnot. Honesty and truth will make it easier for you to get the help you seek, the way God would have you get it...Truth Is...
Let's get back to 1 Corinthians chapter 7 and read the final verse, verse 16:"For what knowest thou, O'wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O'man whether thou shalt save thy wife?"
That's right, your christian obedience could very well be what saves not only your marriage, but your mate and again any children you may have.(don't forget the children!). You may spend most of if not all of the rest of your life within a loveless marriage, but that is much better than losing out on your salvation forever now isn't it? You Chose To Get Married! I can only emphasize that you have to find a way to make it work, or else spend your life separated but with no one else as a mate. That may sound harsh, but it is the way it is.
Yes, your "friends may encourage you to leave your mate because they are mean to you; but do they physically abuse you? If not, you are encouraged to stay, because even if you leave, God will not condone your entering another relationship or getting a divorce. Just so you'll know, pushing your mate to the point of being physically abusive or even to the point of adultery(it can be done), is not something God looks ell upon either. That is conspiring to sin in truth. Don't play with God brothers and sisters.
I know this may not be what a lot of you wanted to hear, but you did ask for God's view. Don't be one of those spoken of at 2Timothy 4:3,4:"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; bjut after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
Don't follow that example and lose out on your relationship with God or damage it. We really need him in these difficult times, the time of the end...Truth Is...
* Yes there will be part three!