Personal Stories

My Name is Gracie: I’m Married to an Unbeliever


What is the church’s response to Christians who are married to unbelievers?


I walked my son to his bus stop this morning and came across this lonely crocus in my front yard. Everything in my yard says Winter is still here, but this one little crocus showed her pretty face in the recent warm days we’ve had. I was thinking about the personal story (below) and wondered if this is what Gracie feels like – alone in her church. We’ve discussed singles in churches and how difficult that can be, but we haven’t discussed what it’s like for a married person married to an unbeliever and the church’s response.

I’d like you to read about Gracie, who is married to an unbeliever.  Sometimes spiritual harm comes to people in the form of emotional abandonment, apathy, not caring for an individual. Let’s read Gracie’s story. I’m thankful she was willing to share it with us.

~Julie Anne

 

image***

 My Name is Gracie: I’m Married to an Unbeliever

 

I am a christian, married to an unbeliever. Being married to an unbeliever is hard. It can be heartbreaking, frustrating and exhausting. Many times, the church is not helpful when it comes to this subject.

I renewed my relationship with God thirteen years ago. Occasionally my husband would come to a service for Christmas or Easter. I would introduce him to my friends, but we would often end up sitting by ourselves. No one would invite us to sit with them. I don’t really know why.

The church is missing the mark when it comes to dealing with spouses who are married to unbelievers. In my experiences (I’ve been to six churches since I renewed my relationship with Christ) at different churches, except for the one I attend now, it has always been the same thing. People find out you are married, but your spouse doesn’t attend church. They ask if he is a believer, and you say no. From then on, you feel like half a person because of the way you are treated.

In one church, which I attended for 8 years, I was involved in one ministry. I was in leadership. However, when I would give advice to others regarding their marriages, I was told “You have no right to talk to anyone about marriage. Yours isn’t so good.” I did attend outings with others, but I often felt like a third wheel to all the couples there. In all of those years, I was never asked to be involved in any other ministry, and although many of the couples I know were invited to dinner with the Pastor and his wife, I never was. The church is not huge either. It makes you feel less than. Churches focus so much on marriage and family, and marriage sermons are always geared to those who are believing couples. I only heard one sentence in all my years that slightly mentioned the unequally yoked issue. It basically said “If you are married to an unbeliever, act like a christian.” Wow, that’s helpful.

People in my situation have many struggles. We have divided loyalties. We want to be at church often, and are questioned when we can’t attend every event. We are told to be sold out for Jesus, but can’t be there all the time because our spouse gets upset, and the church then thinks we don’t want to be involved. We sit in the pews and feel sad when we see the happy couple with the two kids who are shining examples of a ‘christian family’ and feel like there is something wrong with us because we sit alone Sunday after Sunday.

I left that church two years ago after attempting to confront leadership in the ministry I was involved in. I did it biblically, per Matt. 18. However, when I attempted to bring in witnesses, the lead pastor wouldn’t allow it. It was going to be me against the three of them. I knew how it was going to turn out, as these leaders have been confronted before, and nothing was done. I left that church and never returned.

I started attending another church, and things in my marriage were getting worse. I went to see the pastor and his wife. All I got for advice was the typical ‘pray more, submit more, have more sex, etc’. I told them he had committed adultery, and found out they don’t believe in divorce even for adultery. I was stunned. I confronted the pastor’s wife one Sunday and asked “So he can sleep around all he wants, I can’t divorce him? So, what, I’m supposed to keep loving him, having sex and just hope I don’t get HIV?” She paused and said “Well, no.” It was like that thought never even entered her mind! I left that church shortly after once I discovered they are heavy into patriarchy, too.

Many of the women I communicate with in a ministry which deals with this issue have had things said to them such as “You must submit, even to sin. You must obey, you have to be Jesus with skin on. Because how would you feel if you were married to your husband for life but he/she never got to know the Lord? It’s your job to get them saved!” This is unbiblical, and it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on us, especially wives. Our husbands are supposed to be representing Jesus, and we ladies are supposed to be the bride. We take on a role we aren’t meant to. If you are married to an abusive spouse, or an addict, it is even harder.

I will end by saying I have finally found a wonderful church. I did interview the pastor for two hours before I joined, and had a list of questions for him. I was very pleased with his responses. In the midst of all this, I found out one month ago my husband is having an affair. I did everything those former churches told me to do, I prayed, fasted, submitted, loved, encouraged, and he still had an affair. I have come to realize that even if you love perfectly, they may not love you back. Jesus loved perfectly, and they still killed him. Even today, people still reject Him. I know I did the best I could, but my husband still chose someone else. I went to my current church and explained the situation, as this has been a not great marriage for a long time. No one condemned me. No one told me God hates divorce. What did they tell me? “You are worth more than what your husband is doing to you. It’s not your fault. How can we support you?” That’s Jesus. That’s love.

 

 

160 thoughts on “My Name is Gracie: I’m Married to an Unbeliever”

  1. Ugh. The one about no divorce for women, even if adultery is involved, perplexes me. I understand the argument–that the passages in Deuteronomy, Matthew, and the like make no mention of the woman divorcing her husband–but the flip side is that in the Torah, the woman did indeed have a remedy of divorce in cases of adultery. Specifically, she brought forth evidence to the town elders, who when persuaded (if persuaded I guess fits, too), would take the husband and his lover out of town and stone them to death.

    Slightly harsher than our current system, yes, but a method of divorce nonetheless. It boggles the mind that those pushing “no divorce for women” don’t clue in to this, and quite frankly it strikes me that pastors, deacons, and elders don’t use situations like this to bring God’s Word to bear upon the offender. Something like “we have seen the evidence of your adultery, and absent clear evidence refuting it, we are encouraging your wife to separate or divorce unless you demonstrably repent.”

    Like

  2. “You are worth more than what your husband is doing to you. It’s not your fault. How can we support you?”

    Wow, Grace. I’m so glad your current church is supportive. That’s wonderful.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Gracie, You’re right. In Grace’s situation, there is more than one issue going on: how the church treats Christians who are married to unbelievers AND how church handles divorce, abuse, or troubled marriages. We already that many churches can fail miserably when handling marriage when there is abuse.

    I wonder how many people would truly welcome Grace just by the fact that she is married to an unbeliever?

    Like

  4. @Bike Bubba:

    Ugh. The one about no divorce for women, even if adultery is involved, perplexes me.

    Doesn’t perplex me. She mentioned that church was heavily into Patriarchy.

    To paraphrase a certain Bill Cosby:
    “Church Says You Can’t Leave Me, HA HA HA HA HA.”

    Like

  5. HUG; perhaps, but it’s worth noting that rejection of a woman’s right to divorce an adulterer is not a universal feature of churches which advocate complementarian or patriarchal theology. I think the argument may actually originate with Bill Gotthard, though I’m not sure.

    I’ve seen the argument in a number of places, to be sure. I just don’t get how one can read the Bible without cluing in that God did indeed provide a way for a wife to leave her unfaithful husband in the Torah, and that while we probably don’t do well to replicate their method, we can honor the intent that God gave by allowing divorce in this case.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you, Grace, for sharing this painful story.

    And to those on this blog, I have to say that the subject of divorce is perhaps the single most misunderstood and mis-taught of doctrines in all of Christendom. The Lord released me from my 20-year marriage to an abuser, yet I was condemned in the church, I spent years praying over this, and the Lord (and Pastor Walter Callison) opened my eyes to the truth found in Scripture. What came out of my own journey is my book, “God Is My Witness: Making a Case for Biblical Divorce.”

    Divorce is biblical, given by God to protect the innocent from the hard-hearted. A writ of divorce provided by a husband declared his forfeiture of his wife and her freedom to “marry whomever she wishes.”

    The word translated “divorce” so often in Scripture is actually the word for “putting away,” the act of sending away a spouse without a writ of divorce The act kept a wife bound to her husband and not free to remarry. “God hates divorce,” the oft quoted dogma actually reads, “God hates putting away.” Read in context,, you can see the truth and God’s heart for the women whose husbands had been “treacherous” toward them, sending them away so that they could take other wives “the daughter of foreign gods,” and committing polygamy.

    Nor does Jesus ever condemn divorce for cause. When the Pharisees questioned Him, they asked Him what He thought about them “putting away their wives,” not divorcing them for cause. And when our Lord is claimed to have said that the “divorced” woman who remarries commits adultery, or the one who marries a “divorced” woman commits adultery, the word there is “put away,” not “divorced.” A “put away” woman, forced to remarry due to financial need committed adultery only because she was still married. (Matthew 5). The offense was committed by the hard-hearted husband who refused to either love her or release her with a writ.

    Marriage is sacred, ordained by God to be a reflection of the love between Christ and His bride, the church. He never intended for marriage to provide a haven for sin. Yet too often the church subscribes to exactly that.

    I too lived by the traditional church script and wondered why our life continued to spiral out of control in spite of my faithfulness for all those years. Now I know that the contemporary church’s legalistic stance on the subject of divorce is absolutely unbiblical and inconsistent with the heart of God.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Sorry, but ” Beatin’ and Cheatin’ ” are deal breakers to me. No one, male of female should have to put up with either…and divorce for either is acceptable to me…..
    Trouble is so many churches don’t see it like that….this Patrimony only business his got to change….sorry, but ain’t working for a lot of people….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Grace,

    Julie Anne said:
    “I wonder how many people would truly welcome Grace just by the fact that she is married to an unbeliever? ”

    In a couple of threads ago, I mentioned that my brother-in-law, who is very very active in the church, is engaged to his 3rd wife.

    There are churches that do not believe in the Catholic, passed down to a few hard lined reformation denominations, concept of:
    1. A distorted view of Matthew 18 process, and
    2. A distorted view of divorce/remarriage.

    In Deuteronomy 24, there is an example of a woman getting a divorce, not just once, but twice. The last time I discussed divorce, Bike Bubba had added that some believe that Deuteronomy 24 included divorce all due to the fact that the word “uncleanness” was in the sentence, and somehow that got equated to adultery. My first question is: Who created that concocted conclusion? Really? What was the penalty for adultery? A divorce? No, death by stoning.

    Leviticus 13 discusses the “unclean” stuff, and it can be as minor as a scab.

    Leviticus 13:3
    And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean.

    Leviticus 13:8
    And if the priest see that, behold, the scab spreadeth in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a leprosy.

    Leviticus 13:22
    And if it spread much abroad in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is a plague.

    Those are just a few examples of many. They already had a clue in Deut. 24 what uncleanness was from Leviticus 13.

    But again, the penalty of adultery/fornication was death by stoning, not divorce. In addition, the second example of a divorce (not “put away”) is all because the husband didn’t like her very much.

    Put away is not the same as divorce.

    Matthew 5:32 states, if anyone would dissect it, that a “put away” wife married a “divorced man”. Both are guilty of adultery, all because this is what is known in our secular world as “bigamy”.

    1. The only reason to “put away” your spouse was for fornication/adultery. ***But since the law stated that those people are to be stoned to death, then the wife had been put away without cause, and it should be well noted that the Pharisees wanted to have many reasons to put away a spouse, not just for fornication. But there is no restrictions on getting a divorce. If the put away spouse had been divorced, then married a divorced man, there would be no problems.

    Matthew 5:32
    whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

    I say all this to conclude that it is not a sin to get divorced, nor is it a sin to get remarried. And yes, there are church’s out there that understand all this, because I just gave an example of my brother-in-law engaged to his 4th wife, and everyone knows about it at the church.

    Then we have the Matthew 18 thing. Who sinned against whom?

    And finally, we have that patriarchy thing, that seems to forget that the Apostle Paul does not condemn a marriage where one is an unbeliever.

    I heard someone say recently on a Yahoo blog, that God created marriage for mankind, he didn’t create mankind for marriage. But the patriarchal folks seem to think that if married couples populate the earth with godly children, then they are bringing in the kingdom by population. Very strange teachings all the way around.

    There are healthy churches out there, outside of the reformed ones.

    Ed

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “You are worth more than what your husband is doing to you. It’s not your fault. How can we support you?”

    Wow. That is the most awesome thing I have heard from any church. The whole “God Hates Divorce” thing I’ve heard repeatedly even though it is taken out of scripture that has nothing to do with actual marriage. With much through, prayer, reading and counsel with wise people I came to the conclusion that I didn’t care any longer what people think, but did care very much what God thinks. I believe that he allows divorce for abuse, adultery and desertion. Adultery may mean sexual immorality and desertion doesn’t have to mean that the deserter necessarily left the home, but left the relationship.

    I was asked by one elder and his wife how they could help. They thought that I was working part-time when I left, but God had already provided for me in every way that I needed.

    Grace thank you for telling your story. I certainly wish that more churches put people above marriage. As you know they are rare.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thanks for all your comments everyone. I often wonder, if being unequally yoked, actually cost me my marriage in some ways. Due to personal convictions, there are some things I just won’t do, and my husband would often tell me I am no fun, boring, etc. because I had left the party life behind.. I believe that happens more often than we hear about. But nobody wants to admit it.

    Like

  11. Cindy,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share the misunderstandings about divorce in the church. We hear so much about Christ and His Bride and the parallels of marriage. It just doesn’t line up that a God who defends and protects the oppressed would rather have a woman remain in a marriage beaten (physically, emotionally, spiritually). Look at the way He tends His sheep, He goes after lost sheep, He also has very strong words against those who harm.

    Either God is a loving and merciful God or He isn’t. We can’t make this no-divorce-allowed issue about pulling a couple of verses without understanding the full meaning and then reject the whole and consistent character of God throughout scripture.

    Like

  12. Gracie,
    I know of couples who were unequally yoked and divorced. One lady in particular who’s husband had left her after she was saved told her that very thing. She was no fun anymore, she was not the person he married etc. it didn’t take too long before he left and divorced her. She is convinced that she is not Biblically allowed to remarry. I don’t agree, but she has strapped on that yoke and seems to be find with it.

    Like

  13. Grace, thank you for sharing your story. I am so happy that you have found a church that is a supportive community for you. Good luck on all your journeys forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I often wonder, if being unequally yoked, actually cost me my marriage in some ways. Due to personal convictions, there are some things I just won’t do, and my husband would often tell me I am no fun, boring, etc. because I had left the party life behind.. I believe that happens more often than we hear about. But nobody wants to admit it.

    No sense in beating yourself up, Gracie. Yes, he didn’t like the fact that you wouldn’t go out to the parties and do whatever, but having been around the sun a few times myself, I can state clearly that I’ve not seen too many partiers celebrate their silver and golden anniversaries, if you catch my drift. I’m guessing, rather, that you made things last a lot longer (for better or worse) than they would have if you’d not obeyed God. To draw a picture, I’m guessing he came home more than a few times because the party was no fun without you, and his liver thanks you for it.

    You did all God asked and quite frankly quite a bit more, and that despite church leadership that apparently did not believe what the Bible says about adultery. Go in peace, you are free.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. @Gracie:

    Thanks for all your comments everyone. I often wonder, if being unequally yoked, actually cost me my marriage in some ways.

    My old college roomie explained “unequally yoked” as having differing belief systems in general puts added strain on the marriage, and it’s better to avoid that. Marriage has enough stress points without adding more.

    Like

  16. @ChapmanEd24:

    heard someone say recently on a Yahoo blog, that God created marriage for mankind, he didn’t create mankind for marriage. But the patriarchal folks seem to think that if married couples populate the earth with godly children, then they are bringing in the kingdom by population.

    It’s called “Salvation by Marriage Alone” and “Bedroom Evangelism”.

    And then there’s those 200-year plans of Christianese Tywin Lannisters for their Godly dynasties…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Bubba, thanks. I finally stopped beating myself up about it a while ago. I believe churches had made the institution of marriage an idol, much like what HUG alluded to. But his partying still goes on. The woman he is with likes to party.

    Like

  18. Re: Apostle Paul and being married to an unbeliever.

    Paul makes a shocking comment in 1 Cor 7: That an unbeliever married to a believer is HOLY. No one ever discusses that.

    Like

  19. Anon2,
    I interpret that scripture of 1 Cor 7:12-14 quite differently. The unbeliever is sanctified through the believing spouse yet not saved or Holy. Their children were made Holy until they become of an age when they could decide whether or not to except Christ for themselves. The unbelieving spouse still must come to Christ in the same way that we all do, through the belief in Jesus Christ and what he did for us on the cross and repentance of sin.

    In my opinion, ALL children are clean until they reach an age where they can decide for themselves. I don’t believe that Jesus would deny a child who was born to unbelievers and condemn them to parish due to their parents convictions or lack thereof. Paul was speaking about Christian marriage in the church of Corinth and what was happening there..

    An unbelieving spouse doesn’t necessarily have to leave the home to prove they do not want to be with the believer. Many do not, but show their contempt while staying. I do not believe this is acceptable to God and do not believe that the believer is in bondage in this situation either.

    Paul was trying to stop believers from divorcing their unbelieving spouses without trying to make the marriage work first because that is what they thought was expected of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Brenda R.,

    I’m sure I would interpret 1 Cor 7 the same way you do if I were being examined for a church leadership role. BUT the plain reading is quite shocking, don’t you think?

    And it does go along with some of the verses in Paul’s other writings about having entire households baptized.

    Clearly there are things that the first century church believed that don’t fit well with Evangelicalism. Too bad Paul’s not around to ask.

    Like

  21. Anon2 and Brenda,

    The quote is:
    “sanctified by”

    Note: It does not indicate that the spouse is sanctified, solely on the basis of being married to a believer. After the word by, it states, “the husband” or “the wife”.

    It is the actions, aka, “by”, which sanctifies. In other words, his behavior changes over time based on what the believing wife is doing. Sanctification is an ongoing process. It does not indicate that the unbelieving spouse is holy.

    And therefore, the word “sanctified” is not a past tense word, all due to the word, “by”.

    Meat Loaf is cooked by an oven does not indicate that the meat loaf is already cooked.

    That is how I read into it.

    Ed

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Ed, Anon2 and Gracie,
    I got all that Ed. We just say things a little different is all. This believing spouse was trying not to be hit with the glass when thrown at her, listening to how terrible I was and thrown under the bus for all of X’s transgressions. They were all my fault. I didn’t have time for my own faults, it was all taken up with his. There was no sanctification going on. There was no holiness being achieved over 22 years. Leadership–no thanks. I don’t want that responsibility.

    I don’t think Paul would have the same answers to the cases addressed here today. I don’t believe he would see things the same way. When Paul was talking to baby Christians in the 1st century their circumstances were quite different. There may have been very new believers and there spouses hadn’t caught up yet that were very good together.

    Anon2, That passage of scripture kept me in bondage for far too long and perhaps entire households were being saved in that day, I don’t think it is happening so much anymore. At least not in the US.. I do understand what Paul was doing at that point in time. I think he would have a whole lot of differences if he were writing or ministering today and would be saddened by many so-called marriages. That is one of the questions that I have on my list for folks I meet up with in Heaven. Of course, then I would imagine I won’t care anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. The role of the Christian spouse in sanctifying the unbelieving spouse lasts only so long as the marriage is intact. After Paul speaks of the unbelieving spouse being sanctified by the believing spouse, he writes:

    But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases THE BROTHER OR SISTER IS NOT ENSLAVED. God has called you to peace. (1 Corinthians 7:15 ESV, emphasis added)

    Certainly separation can be by physical departure. To hold in bondage without either supporting or leaving is surely to be thought an even more profound act of de facto divorce than physically separating. In either instance, the divorce, the putting away, is perpetrated by the unbelieving spouse. The Christian spouse is at liberty to apply for a decree of divorce from the appropriate court. Spiritually speaking, the court order merely recognizes the de facto divorce that has been committed by the unbelieving spouse. The court order is the equivalent of the Old Testament certificate of divorce, or “get,” to which every put-away spouse is entitled.

    I recall that somebody has already mentioned something to the effect that a divorced spouse in possession of a certificate of divorce or “get” was and is free to remarry.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Brenda,

    You are right. In the days of the Apostle Paul, I believe that 1 Cor 7 was discussing an existing good marriage already, that originally started out with both spouses not being in the faith. Then one comes to the faith, while the other doesn’t.

    In regards to Jews, they already had Deu. 24 showing divorce/remarriage was allowed. Now Christianity comes along, and the Catholics distort that by telling Christians that if they get remarried after a divorce, you are going to hell? Then the protestants (reform folks) held onto that belief, too? So, what we have, is that in the Jewish culture, divorce/remarriage is not a sin, but Jesus comes along, and all of a sudden, divorce/remarriage is a sin?

    There is absolutely no way that is what Jesus was talking about. And the Apostle Paul knew it, because he never used the word divorce in 1 Cor 7 at all. Therefore, the Christians of that time was well aware that divorce was allowed. It is the later generations that distorted that. And it is still a major influence on people, keeping them in a bondage of marriage that they don’t even want to be in.

    Ed

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I don’t know Brenda, it is possible that we might care very much about what Jesus and the Apostles meant when we get to the next world. I am enjoying Bible study with NT Wright so much now. Can you imagine actually studying with Jesus? We don’t know much about what is to come, but it wouldn’t surprise me if learning is part of it.

    Like

  26. Ed,
    I’m free now, Praise God. That is why I took on finding abuse programs to give copies of Barbara Roberts book, “Not Under Bondage”. There are so many more that are held captive in marriage because of scripture that doesn’t exist or is distorted. The locks on the chains need to come off and set people free. Many are paying a very high price for theology that suits man’s view point, but is not in line with who God is. It was very hard for me to get past these scriptures, but the yoke is much lighter now. BUT, I am on a mission. Several referrals came in this week and miles to go before I sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Marsha,
    I get conflicting remarks when I talk about my list of questions. Some think we will ask questions, some say we will automatically know, some say we won’t care anymore being with Jesus, others are as bewildered as I am. I wonder if we will all gather round and listen to Jesus tell the rest of the story. Will I get to talk to the Samaritan Woman like I would love to do. Will I get to find out why David didn’t stick up for his daughter when she was raped by her own brother. There are so many mysteries that I think about. I really hope people don’t stick in little cliques like they do now. I can’t imagine that will be an issue there.

    Like

  28. Brenda,

    While I respect Barbara Roberts in regards to her book, I need to agree with Cindy’s comment from yesterday. Barbara’s book discusses divorce for the abused, but also agrees that the phrase “put away” equates to the word “divorce”. And, based on my belief, which is affirmed with Cindy, there is no restrictions on divorce, as the phrase “put away” is different than the word “divorce”. So, while her book teaches divorce in the cases of abuse, what about divorce in the cases of, “I just don’t want to be married anymore. because I’m not in love with my spouse”. Are they stuck in a marriage that they don’t want? Isn’t that bondage, too? As for you, I am glad that you are free.

    Ed

    Like

  29. Ed,

    Barbara’s book discussed divorce for abuse, desertion and adultery (sexual immorality).

    Why did the marriage fall apart? Why aren’t they in love any longer? Were they in love to begin with? Marriage is hard work and as long as you are with a person of your choosing and these things do not exist, why are you not working at keeping it together and the spark alive. No, I don’t believe that you should dissolve a marriage because he throws his socks on the floor or she gained a few pounds after child birth. Has the covenant been broken because of these things? No. The covenant is broken when these forms of mistreatment that are not loving in anyway enter into the relationship. I find that getting divorced “just because” involves selfishness and pride and the one leaving the marriage in that case is deserting their spouse, which brings us right back to the 3 reasons for Biblical divorce.

    Barbara goes back to the 2 forms of divorce in the OT times. One was for cause or breaking covenant, the other was “just because” she burnt the toast or didn’t “do it” for him anymore, I’m bored and want something new. I hope you can see why these books would be good for those who want to escape a destructive marriage and feel they have no way out because of the way churches have taught on the permanence view of marriage–no divorce for any reason. She is trying to reach those who feel they must stay in abuse in order to honor Jesus, which is just not the case.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Oh, one other thing Ed,
    No one else offered their books to help those in need for free. All of this is being done at someone elses expense.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Brenda,

    You had said:
    “Barbara goes back to the 2 forms of divorce in the OT times. One was for cause or breaking covenant, the other was “just because”…”

    My response:
    I am taking it back to OT times, too. Deuteronomy 24 sets the stage.

    Deut. 24:1-4
    When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

    2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.

    3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;

    4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

    Verses 1-2 shows divorce based on a scab (see Leviticus 13). This is not discussing adultery. The penalty for adultery is death by stoning.

    Verses 3 shows remarriage, indicating that remarriage is not a sin, but a right. Now, if verse 1 was discussing adultery, are we to say that the penalty for adultery is to divorce and get remarried? No. She wouldn’t be alive to get divorced or remarried. She would have already been stoned to death.

    Verse 4 shows that a spouse based on a remarriage may get divorced on the “just because”. In this case, he hated her, or didn’t love her.

    Nothing in verses 1-4 indicate the words adultery, or fornication. Why? Because that spouse would be dead. This is where the term “put away” comes in. No divorce papers needed. It’s as if the marriage never took place to begin with. He is not a widow in this case.

    For a much clearer picture of the word, “uncleanness” in verse 1, please refer to Leviticus 13.

    Ed

    Like

  32. I’m married to a medical ‘night shift worker.’. Although he loves to read and study scripture n’ such….. our social dilemmas are a challenge. I visit museums, go to food pantry, visit churches (no membership at any) and coordinate socially in other ways all without husband many times. I would like to be a part of a good faithfilled church regularly but this may only be in God’s timing. I read the words in red for my ‘pastor’ and ‘counselor’ from a KJV bible and do what feels comfortable for my spiritual needs and perhaps my children’s spiritual needs too.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Brenda,

    To continue, now we get to 1 Cor 7. So, Paul is basically stating that we don’t stone a spouse to death for the penalty of adultery, and he is also stating that we don’t “put away”. But he is indeed stating to divorce, so that both can again remarry without it being adultery, which we actually call in the secular world, bigamy. A put away spouse is still married. That is why a divorce is needed, so that no adultery, or bigamy is going on.

    Ed

    Liked by 1 person

  34. “People in my situation have many struggles. We have divided loyalties. We want to be at church often, and are questioned when we can’t attend every event. We are told to be sold out for Jesus, but can’t be there all the time because our spouse gets upset, and the church then thinks we don’t want to be involved. We sit in the pews and feel sad when we see the happy couple with the two kids who are shining examples of a ‘christian family’ and feel like there is something wrong with us because we sit alone Sunday after Sunday.”

    I’m pretty sure my mom dealt with this one during the years my dad was only home on weekends due to his job, but didn’t go to church himself.

    After we moved, my dad came to our new church for a while, but later quit. For a variety of reasons, I’ve long been of the opinion that my dad is not a Christian, but my mom will not let go of her belief that he just might be. This means that I see her as married to an unbeliever, but she doesn’t see it that way. Kind of an odd situation. He has never grossly mistreated her that I know of, and has always been willing to live with her. Thankfully, she has always been in churches where she was fully accepted and supported, for which I am grateful.

    Like

  35. Ed,
    I said she goes back to the OT, I did not say that the NT is not involved. The 2 forms of divorce are Jewish terms with clearly different meanings. I suggest that you read the book. Barb spent 3 years doing the study required to write it. I have read the book once in entirety and use it for reference. By the time I was finished with it and Leslie Vernick’s books I had a much clearer vision of what was acceptable and what wasn’t. Barb can address the issue much better than I can. If you want to debate the topic, go to ACFJ and I’m sure Barb would be happy to give you a run or she might tell you to read her book. Or go to YouTube and look her up. I believe she has her study on the concubine wife there. That is quite good. There is also a good blog post at ACFJ on the slave wife in the OT being the same as the abused wife today.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Brenda,

    I’ve seen her YouTube video, and she is quite certain that “put away” is the same as “divorce”.

    And, also, I’ve heard several people say, including Bike Bubba, that the word “uncleannes” in verse 1 is related to adultery/fornication. But as I have shown, that cannot be, all because that spouse would not have had an opportunity to divorce or remarry… she’d be dead.

    There is a blog that I follow, that states some pretty weird things at times, so I counter his position. Most times, he could care less of my opinion, but still posts my comments. And, recently, he posted an article about divorce.

    So, my debate would not be with Barbara, so much as it would be with so-called “orthodox” doctrine that states that no one, after a divorce, can remarry, period, when it is clear in Deut. 24 that yes, you can.

    I will end this topic by stating that I cannot find anywhere in the bible any restrictions on divorce. Therefore, I would be in disagreement with Barbara on her “No, you cannot divorce” rules. I am in agreement with Cindy.

    In regards to you, I’m not debating this with you. I am just showing a different side of it than Barbara’s side, and my side is in agreement with yesterday’s comment with Cindy.

    Ed

    Like

  37. Ed,
    I don’t believe that Cindy, Barb, Jeff Crippen, Joe Pote, Leslie Vernick, or others that will come to me in the middle of the night, will say that it is alright to Biblically divorce for any reason at any time at all including burning the toast, a scab or not picking up the socks. Why would anyone want to put away his wife over a scab, burned toast or became he’s bored? That is a hardened heart there.

    Like

  38. Brenda,

    You had said:
    “I don’t believe that Cindy, Barb, Jeff Crippen, Joe Pote, Leslie Vernick, or others that will come to me in the middle of the night, will say that it is alright to Biblically divorce for any reason at any time at all including burning the toast, a scab or not picking up the socks…”

    I don’t believe that they would come in the middle of the night, either. Maybe in the daytime, sure. Please note the humor!!

    But if they have PROOF texts to show, then “show them”, I would say to them. I showed you the 4th verse, in which states that the husband hated her. That pretty much sums up burnt toast, or not picking up the socks. Verse 1 indicates the scab (uncleanness). That’s all biblical, Brenda.

    Next you said:
    “Why would anyone want to put away his wife over a scab, burned toast or became he’s bored? That is a hardened heart there.”

    No one is allowed to “put away”, except for fornication, and, in the OT, she’d be dead. That is my point. Put away is not divorce. Divorce is allowed, put away isn’t allowed.

    Hardness of the heart is no different today than it was in the days of the Law of Moses.

    Furthermore, after the Pharisees got done, the disciples of Jesus pressed him even more. And this is what his response was:

    Matthew 19:10-12
    10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.

    11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

    12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

    No one is mandated to be married. Harness of the heart is the reason for divorce, and if it was allowed in the days of the law of Moses, it’s allowed now.

    It’s not a sin for a Jew, but now it’s a sin for a Christian? 1 John 3:4 states that sin is the transgression of the law. So, if it is lawful for a Jew to get a divorce, it’s also lawful for a Christian, as well.

    But keep in mind, please, that I discuss that “put away” is not “divorce”. A put away spouse is married. A divorced spouse is not married.

    Ed

    Like

  39. This is not necessarily to Brenda, but…

    I just re-listened to Barbara’s YouTube Video again. She states that Malachi 2:16 does not indicate that God hates divorce, but it is stating that the man (he), third person hates divorce.

    First, it does not say “divorce”, it states “put away”. Second, I would buy that if it was an exact quote of God, but it isn’t. Who is talking in the following verse?

    Malachi 2:

    16
    For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

    The person talking is putting God as the third person (he). God isn’t talking, someone else is. It is the someone else that is stating that God hates “putting away”. Then…then, he quotes a statement from God, “for one covereth violence with his garment”.

    Psalm 73:6
    …violence covereth them as a garment.

    She lists only 3 reasons as the “biblical” reasons for divorce.

    1. Adultery, as per what Jesus preached.
    2. Desertion, as per what Paul preached in 1 Cor 7.
    3. Abuse, as a subset of Paul’s explanation in 1 Cor 7 verse 15.

    I don’t see number 3 in 1 Cor 7:15. Maybe some might, but I don’t. It is the unbeliever that departs in that reference, not an abuser.

    In regards to number 1, taking into consideration that “put away” is not “divorce”, Jesus is not discussing divorce as a result of adultery. Jesus is discussing adultery as a result of “putting (or put) away”. And the only reason to “put away” is for adultery.

    This is why I disagree that there are “only” 3 “biblical” reasons for divorce.

    Ed

    Like

  40. Ed,
    I don’t remember what version of the Bible that Barb uses so I won’t go there with the “put away” verses “divorce” thing. I don’t have time to listen to the video again right now. There is a chart in her book on pages 134-135 that shows the belief, Sharrai or Hillel law and what Jesus had to say. Treacherous divorce, a divorce that takes advantage of the system and allows for divorce for any cause in the Hillel system is not condoned. If a man/woman does this and remarries it is seen as adultery, it is Also, looking upon another lustfully who one is not married to is considered committing adultery. So Jesus laws were not allowing stoning for adultery, but is seen as sin. Putting away or divorce, whichever, is seen as sin unless certain issues exist. Severe neglect of the partners needs for food, clothing and sexual intimacy, Sexual sin is a given that divorce is allowed, but not mandatory.

    Between all of the resources that I listed yesterday and David Instone-Brewer (who’s name did come to me in the middle of the night. Yes, Ed I got your funny. I don’t think any of these people will be dropping by anytime soon.) and the Bible references given by them is why I conclude these are the reasons for divorce. Do you really think that Jesus wants His own to tolerate abuse from their spouse for a life time? Is the abusing spouse truly one of His own? How did Jesus respond to women? He is an example of what a loving husband and father should be, of course without ever being married himself. Jesus treated women and children in a calm, loving way.

    Ps Jeff Crippen has many sermons online (not YouTube)RE: abuse that most preachers would never speak of. They are very good.

    Like

  41. Brenda,

    You had said:
    “Do you really think that Jesus wants His own to tolerate abuse from their spouse for a life time? ”

    Of course not. That is my whole point in this whole thing, Brenda. I do not see any restrictions in regards to divorce. So for people needing to search the bible to find out if their situation validates a divorce is, to me, not needed. Just get the divorce, and stop feeling guilty about it, even if it is as minor as socks on the floor. You can dissect the “why” questions when the divorce is over.

    If the wife does not want to be married, she needs to be free, regardless of the reasons. The same goes with the husbands.

    Matthew 23:24
    …strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

    Ed

    Like

  42. Ed,

    I hope when I ask rhetorical questions like that, that you are not offended. I don’t think you are easily offended.

    You know, when it comes right down to it, divorce is not the end all of end all’s. Couples can get back together if the Lord is willing. I know a couple who had been married for about 30 years and one day Mrs. decided she didn’t want to be married anymore, no particular reason. Mr. gave her what she wanted as he always had. A few years later they got back together, have been living together for several years and plan to remarry. They never really did quit loving each other.

    For me Ed, I had to make sure that I was in God’s will. That meant more to me than anything. There are many out there who are in that same position. I printed a number of letters out this morning to places that may want Barb’s book. Praying for them to find places that will help those who feel stuck in marriages that are devouring them.

    Brenda

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Brenda,

    No, I don’t get offended. I like a little bantering back and forth. Sometimes, due to the nature of the blog, I gotta watch myself. But, Julie Anne does a good job keeping me in check!!

    But seriously, sometimes I just use common sense, because I seem to be just shaking my head at things that are so simple, that many “orthodox” people are so dogmatic about. It’s like searching the scriptures for weeks just to find out if God allows taco’s for dinner. I mean, really!????

    Ed

    Like

  44. Nah, Ed, I think my only real issue was divorce. It took me years to wrap my head around the lies I had been told and get past them. I would now hand a man or woman a book and say, “here I think you should read this before going home and being a verbal or physical punching bag again”. Like many other things, I don’t think taco’s are ever mentioned in the Bible. My preference would be a bean burrito and chocolate shake and haven’t found any particular scripture on that either.

    Like

  45. Brenda,

    Well, since we can’t find it, and based on the “orthodox”, then we will assume since farting is a sin, to some, we had better not!! LOL. Foul stench is not godly!!

    Ed

    Like

  46. You are very lucky to have found this church.

    I have finally come to the awareness that being a Christian is not about having the picture perfect marriage, or family. I think this huge emphasis on marriage and family in Christian circles is a form of legalism, and can become a form of idolatry. Being a Christian means being a follower of Jesus. It means abiding him Him. His Holy Spirit lives inside of us. We are new creations and our lives are hidden with God in Christ. In actuality, I have finally come to the point personally where the health of my marriage is sort of irrelevant to my walk with Jesus. Does that make sense? I have no control whatsoever over my husband’s spiritual state, nor his behavior or attitudes, and God doesn’t expect me to. And a good marriage requires the cooperation of both partners, not just that of the wife.

    In other words, I am not under bondage of performance. Being a “good Christian” doesn’t mean playing the part of the perfect little wife, always being compliant, always pleasing my husband, constantly sacrificing for him, etc. etc. I think that is a form of bondage and legalism. It also puts the onus of the marriage upon the woman. Living a holy and pure life is what God wants from me, whatever that may look like in my own life. Truly loving another person can involve tough love and being confrontational, not just being a passive doormat. Often, always being compliant enables another persons sin. That is not loving.

    All I can do, is follow Jesus, and allow Jesus to live in me, and through me. I can love my husband only by allowing Jesus to love him through me. I can only do this through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    All this emphasis on being the perfect wife, mother, etc is, in my personal opinion, an idea put forth by much of the church leadership, which in conservative churches is almost 100% men. Many of these church leaders are pretty patriarchal, and they have a lot to gain with regard to their personal agendas by putting forth this idea of the perfect and always “submissive” (subjugated?) wife.

    We can only live the Christian life by allowing God to live in us and through us. We are saved 100% by grace, and we live the Christian life 100% by grace. WE never, ever EVER have to add works to merit God’s love or favor, neither at the moment of salvation, at the moment of death, or at any time in between. We cannot do any of it in our own strength. There is no cookie cutter perfect wife, mother, family, etc. I can be in a really messed up marriage, or family, and still live an anointed and holy life in christ. Or, I can have the picture perfect marriage and family, but really be an unregenerate hell bound sinner. Most likely, it is somewhere in between. A good marriage depends upon both partners, not primarily the wife.

    Jesus came to give us rest, not to place impossible burdens upon us. He says “come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. So don’t let the Pharisees place burdens on you, daughters of Jesus Christ.

    Like

  47. Voicewilderness, one thing I’ve noticed, and has me befuddled, is many churches believe the man is the head (Jesus). However, when problems arise, they put all the work onto the woman (bride) to change the marriage. That’s backwards.

    Like

  48. And, also, I’ve heard several people say, including Bike Bubba, that the word “uncleannes” in verse 1 is related to adultery/fornication. But as I have shown, that cannot be, all because that spouse would not have had an opportunity to divorce or remarry… she’d be dead.

    Probably could be dead is closer to the truth. Remember what Joseph did when he found that Mary was pregnant? Keep in mind they were still operating under the Mosaic law. I would agree that there is room for disagreement regarding what “uncleanness” (literally “nakedness of a thing” according to my NKJV’s notes–I don’t have any Hebrew resources here) means, but I don’t think that it’s a gimme that the woman would be killed if she were found to have fornicated prior to marriage. Lots of men probably had mercy.

    One other note; yes, the specific word used for the concept of divorce is “put away”, but let’s ask a basic question; if a man “puts his wife away”–separates and perhaps takes another wife–and for that matter, “divorce” has its roots in “divertere”, to move away. So I would be cautious about quibbling too much over whether we ought to say “put away” vs. “divorce”–practically speaking, it’s the same thing except we involve more lawyers today.

    Like

  49. Let me clarify; regarding put away vs. divorce, we need to ask the question of whether the two concepts are really different. I am skeptical that they are.

    And again, Gracie, praying for you in this.

    Like

  50. Bike Bubba,
    “Probably could be dead is closer to the truth. Remember what Joseph did when he found that Mary was pregnant? ”

    He was going to quietly “put her away”.

    Matthew 1:19
    Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

    Note the word “public”, and “privily”, and again, “put her away”.

    Joseph was still going to “put her away”, but he just wasn’t going to have her stoned. But, make no mistake here. She would have been found, and stoned, being pregnant without a husband. But, God intervened with Joseph in a dream. So, he didn’t put her away privately, or publicly.

    Next, you said:
    “One other note; yes, the specific word used for the concept of divorce is “put away”, but let’s ask a basic question; if a man “puts his wife away”–separates and perhaps takes another wife–and for that matter, “divorce” has its roots in “divertere”, to move away. So I would be cautious about quibbling too much over whether we ought to say “put away” vs. “divorce”–practically speaking, it’s the same thing except we involve more lawyers today.”

    This is where I vehemently disagree with you. A put away wife is still married.

    And, you don’t have to be a Hebrew scholar to see Leviticus 13.

    But, I ask you this, Bike Bubba, if “uncleanness” meant what you think it does, would God reward that person with a “remarriage”? I don’t think so. I don’t say this to be mean, but, common sense, Bubba. She’d be dead, according to the law. And Mary would have eventually been dead, too. Her pregnancy without being married would have been the proof needed. And there was no mercy with the Law of Moses.

    Ed

    Like

  51. Bike Bubba,

    I do acknowledge one thing that you said, in that divorce requires a process called, “put away”. But the process of put away is not divorce. Without that writ, the put away means nothing, except adultery if either party gets married again. You gotta have that writ.

    Ed

    Like

  52. Leviticus 20:10-12,14 (verse 13 is homosexuality, so I left it out)
    And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them… And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.

    Deuteronomy 22:22-25
    If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.

    Deuteronomy 22:13-21
    13 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid (VIRGIN): Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel’s father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

    Ed

    Like

  53. Ed, in 1 Cor. 7, the terms “depart” and “divorce” are used interchangeably. Now if you like you may try and parse out how it is totally different when a woman is abandoned with a legal document testifying to that from when it occurs when she receives no such document, but the fact of the matter is that in a divorce, a person is put away, and the Scripture describes this in Malachi as “treachery.”

    You’re seriously quibbling over this? Seriously? It is as if you do not know enough people to figure out that when someone leaves their lover, married or not, a scar is left.

    And yes, you can describe Deuteronomy 24:1’s term of “nakedness of a thing” as having nothing to do with sexuality and the abuse thereof, but if indeed we believe that Christ fulfilled the Law, I would personally think it more reasonable to suggest that both in Deuteronomy and in Matthew, as well as in 1 Corinthians, they’re getting at sexual immorality of some sort. More or less, you’re assuming that clause A in the law assumes that clause B in the law will be implemented perfectly–which is the exact opposite of what the latter part of Deuteronomy says. Which is why Christ tells us that Moses gave divorce because our hearts were hard.

    So your argument is (a) counter to the experience of the OT and the Gospels, (b) counter to the interpretations of 2000 years of Christian theologians, and (c) counter to the hypothesis of the unity of Scripture.

    Like

  54. Bike Bubba,

    Yes, I am countering 2000 years of theologians. I’m non-denomination. I have a bible. I don’t need theologians to interpret the Bible for me. I can read. I have a Bible. And I dissect. Who did the Bereans consult? Theologians? No. They consulted scripture. Study to show thyself approved. Study what? Theologians?

    I will cover your, “Christ fulfilled the Law” thing. Jesus did not fulfill the Ten Commandments. He fulfilled prophecy of himself. Matthew 5:17-18 is about Genesis to Malachi. Not Exodus 20 to Deuteronomy. However, we are not under the law of Moses at all.

    I will answer more in a moment.

    Ed

    Like

  55. Bike Bubba,

    So, since we are in the New Testament, hearts are not hardened anymore? Really?

    According to 1 John 3:4, sin is defined as “transgression of the law” (Not “miss the mark as many will say). Knowing this, it was not a sin for Jews to get divorced, and if that be the case, it still is not a sin to get divorced. Jesus didn’t add a law to Christians, he condensed the law into one law.

    Ed

    Like

  56. Bike Bubba,

    “You’re seriously quibbling over this? Seriously? ”

    Yes, I am. Why? Because abused people are straining at a nat and swallowing a camel for explicit instructions on whether they can divorce or not. Or, they are being told by clergy, that it is a sin to divorce. Or, they are being told by clergy, that they can get divorced, but that it is a sin to get remarried.

    That is your 2000 year old theologians for ya.

    That is why I am quibbling over this. No one should stay in a marriage that they don’t want to be in, based on a fear that they are going to hell.

    The threat of going to hell if one divorces, or remarries is justification for me to quibble.

    Ed

    Like

  57. “You’re seriously quibbling over this? Seriously? It is as if you do not know enough people to figure out that when someone leaves their lover, married or not, a scar is left.”

    Actually, for many, leaving is the beginning of healing. The scars are put there by those who do evil to the one they are married to whether they are emotional or physical scars. And in many instances it is much healthier all around for the children not to be brought up around abusive evil which is normalized for them if they stay in the marriage.

    Like

  58. Lydia, little bit of interpretation here. You’re referring to marriages which dissolve because of clear adultery or abuse, and in those cases, I would agree that leaving, or perhaps deciding to leave, is the first step to recovery. Agreed.

    I was actually referring to, however, the damage God is referring to in Malachi 2; the husband shows “treachery” to his wife in leaving her. And that’s a scar, whether lawyers are involved or not. For that matter, though I’d agree with you that leaving an adulterous/abusive relationship can be the first step of recovery, it still leaves a scar. Don’t you think?

    Like

  59. Ed,
    No one should stay in a marriage that they don’t want to be in, based on a fear that they are going to hell.

    I don’t think the problem for most of us is the fear of going to hell. It is first and foremost disregarding God and the vows taken even though the spouse has walked and stomped all over them. We want to do what is right in his eyes, not man’s. Most of the women that I know that have been through this–this is the problem. There is also the premise that wives are to keep the family together, which I know sounds fruity but that way have thinking has been passed down for generations. Stand by your man no matter how lousy he treats you.

    People who divorce or event separate loose family, friends, their church. They loose everything that they know and have to start over again. It’s just not that simple for everyone.

    Brenda

    Like

  60. “I was actually referring to, however, the damage God is referring to in Malachi 2; the husband shows “treachery” to his wife in leaving her. And that’s a scar, whether lawyers are involved or not. For that matter, though I’d agree with you that leaving an adulterous/abusive relationship can be the first step of recovery, it still leaves a scar. Don’t you think?”

    I was speaking of those who inflict the scars.

    Like

  61. Ed, you won’t find too many theologians over the centuries who would argue that divorcing an adulterous husband will get you sent to Hell. Even the Gothardites won’t argue that. So splendid straw men there, but you’re only demonstrating that you’d do well to read the work of these great theologians before trying to speak about them.

    Like

  62. Brenda,
    You had said:
    “People who divorce or event separate loose family, friends, their church. They loose everything that they know and have to start over again. It’s just not that simple for everyone.”

    Did they lose Jesus? If they lose friends, are they friends? If they lose family, then it’s the families problem, not hers. Yes, they have to start over again. Where is the Christians to support her?

    Next, you had said:
    “I don’t think the problem for most of us is the fear of going to hell. It is first and foremost disregarding God and the vows taken even though the spouse has walked and stomped all over them. We want to do what is right in his eyes, not man’s.”

    I think it is a major problem to tell people that they are going to hell. MAJOR. And, as I keep stating, no one is disregarding God. Divorce is allowed. Your premise is that divorce is not allowed. I’ve shown that it is allowed.

    And finally, if a wife does not want to be married to a husband for ANY reason, do you really think that the husband wants to be around a spouse that doesn’t want to be around him?

    What is healthy? Do you really think that God wants us in an unhealthy marriage?

    1 Cor 7 had a context, and that context was an unbelieving spouse. But people have opened up a can of worms by making it where there are two believers.

    Finally, what happens if a married couple just heard the gospel for the first time. But they are twice divorced, which means remarried?

    Scenario 1:
    God forgives you…but if you get divorced, you will both be in hell.

    Scenario 2:
    God forgives you…and if you get divorced, that’s fine, but don’t get remarried, or you will be in hell.

    Scenario 3:
    Don’t even bother coming to church. You are hell bound.

    And based on what clergy is giving advice on, there is undue guilt being given for something that has been allowed from the beginning. Jesus did not put a restriction on divorce at all. He clarified “putting away”, all because the Pharisees wanted to “put away” for other reasons other than adultery, without a writ of divorce papers.

    And then somewhere down the line, someone began equating “put away” with “divorce”. And that continues to be a guilt trip on people that should never be there.

    Ed

    Like

  63. Bike Bubba said:
    “Ed, you won’t find too many theologians over the centuries who would argue that divorcing an adulterous husband will get you sent to Hell. Even the Gothardites won’t argue that. So splendid straw men there, but you’re only demonstrating that you’d do well to read the work of these great theologians before trying to speak about them.”

    Concerning hell and adultery, I agree. I’m not discussing adultery.

    Also, in regards to your “treachery” of Malachi:

    Malachi 2:11
    Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.

    Verse
    Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.

    All of that is “spiritual”. It isn’t discussing a man who is married at all.

    Who is the wife of his youth? God. Judah has treated God with contempt, because he was worshiping other gods. Judah, in this case, is not a person, but a people.

    Ed

    Like

  64. In essence, God is accusing “Judah”, as a people, of committing adultery against him, the wife of Judah’s youth, because God is still married to them. That is dealing in treachery.

    Put away…not divorce.

    Ed

    Like

  65. Ed, OK, so if we accept your exegesis of Malachi 2, we worship God because….He desires godly offspring, then? And how is this to happen outside of a one flesh relationship like marriage, exactly? And we worship God because…..He hates divorce?

    Really, I think you’ve got something of an uphill battle in trying to argue that Malachi 2:13-16 is dealing with anything but the institution of marriage, Ed. I won’t argue this any more here because it’s getting out of hand and way off topic, but you really, really, really need to read some decent commentaries like Matthew Henry’s on this passage.

    Like

  66. Bike Bubba,

    How many times do I have to say that it does not say that God hates divorce. It states that God hates “put away”, and that is not not not not not divorce.

    The People of Judah did not divorce God, they put God away, and married another, while still being married to God, and that is adultery.

    There was no divorce that took place. It does not say that God hates divorce. So, please stop equating the two.

    And in regards of Matthew Henry, or commentaries, is that what the Bereans did? No, if our authority is scripture, then scripture it is, not commentary. Opinions are not scripture. Seems that people use commentaries to see if the Bible is right. No, we are to use scripture to see if commentaries are right.

    Ed

    Like

  67. Ed,
    “Did they lose Jesus?” No, if anything most find a much closer walk with Jesus once free. I know that you would set anyone free that wants to be free. That’s fine, but I’m afraid that decades of being told another story makes it very difficult for women. I empathize and sympathize with women who choose to stay when they really should leave for their own well being. We need more like you that would stand up for this injustice.

    There is also the issue of the family courts for those who have children. There are many cases when a woman looses her children because she is made to look incapable to caring for the children. Abusers are good at smoke and mirrors. The Christians to support her–they all shunned her when she left the guy. There just aren’t that many out there willing to support a woman who chooses separation or divorce. I was out and about with a friend who is legally separated from her husband. We were out shopping and the pastor’s wife from her now former church saw her and quickly ran the other way. Support is far and few in between. Even those who will speak to you afterwards don’t want to discuss that situation and Heaven forbid you say something about maybe being ready to date. Now that is really a taboo subject. You can’t be serious, you’re divorced you can’t date, you should be trying to reconcile with the abuser that you left. You know if you’d have stayed he just might have got saved, if you had only been a better wife and disciple of Christ.

    You said, “if a wife does not want to be married to a husband for ANY reason, do you really think that the husband wants to be around a spouse that doesn’t want to be around him?” ABSOLUTELY, I DO. If I would go back to the X right now, he would be pleased as punch and then start using me for a punching bag. Abusers don’t want to leave, they want to abuse, they want to control and they want their stepford wife to do just as she always did–take it. You most likely would not want to be with a woman who didn’t want to be around you, but that probably means that you are NOT an abuser and for that I am thankful.

    No. I do not believe that anyone should ever be told they are going to Hell nor would I ever tell someone that. I have had my salvation questioned because I am divorced. That in itself breaks my heart.

    Like

  68. “Ed, you won’t find too many theologians over the centuries who would argue that divorcing an adulterous husband will get you sent to Hell. Even the Gothardites won’t argue that. So splendid straw men there, but you’re only demonstrating that you’d do well to read the work of these great theologians before trying to speak about them.”

    Gothard is a great theologian? Anyway you could not be more wrong. Many fundamentalist groups teach that an adulterous husband has a wife who was not a good wife Who kept herself attractive to her husband. Or maybe she was a Proverbs nag wife. Even Driscoll taught this as matter of course and taught this thinking to all of his acts 29 recruits. In fact Bruce Ware of Southern seminary taught that an unsubmissive wives triggers abuse from her husband. If there is one thing you can count on in evangelical and fundamental circles is that it is always the woman’s fault no matter if it is adultery or abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. Lydia; au contraire. Gothard is a minor league thinker, and that’s the reason I mention that even he–an outlier, an aberration–will not go so far as to suggest that the woman who divorces an adulterous man is bound for Hell. Rather, almost all theologians in the history of the church have held that adultery IS grounds for divorce. The major discussion is whether evidence of repentance allows the victim not to divorce, and what extent of repentance is necessary.

    See what I’m getting at? Now you mention many other things, and I think it would be appropriate for me not to address them one by one, because they are not quite related to my main point, which is that adultery is grounds for “putting away” or divorce. Blessings to you.

    Like

  70. ” The major discussion is whether evidence of repentance allows the victim not to divorce, and what extent of repentance is necessary.”

    Yikes. who gets to decide that in your tradition? repentance is something it will take years to see if it is really there or not. the other problem is whether or not the abuser had been a long time professing Christian at the time. that would make any declarations of repentance suspect.

    there are enough heavy burdens on people as it is we just add more to victims of abuse and philanderes in the church because we elevate marriage over Jesus Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

  71. Brenda,
    You had said:
    “if a wife does not want to be married to a husband for ANY reason, do you really think that the husband wants to be around a spouse that doesn’t want to be around him?” ABSOLUTELY, I DO.”

    Well, that’s not exactly what I was talking about, but I understand. Outside of abuse, is what I was talking about. I guess I should not have used the word, “any”, but I should have said, “other than abuse, adultery, desertion”.

    Ed

    Like

  72. Bike Bubba,

    I have never argued against divorce in regards to adultery. Never. I have never argued against putting away in regards to adultery. Never.

    Let me clarify what I have been saying all along.

    Old Testament
    There is no divorce in Leviticus for adultery.
    There is “putting away” and “death”.

    New Testament
    There is no putting away for adultery.
    There is no death for adultery
    There is divorce for adultery.

    Jesus did not discuss adultery as a reason for divorce. They were still under the law of Moses.
    Jesus discussed adultery as a reason for put away without cause, because the put away was not in compliance with the law. Based on the law, a woman can get divorced and remarried…unless it was adultery, and then if it was adultery, she is put away, and stoned to death.

    Jesus did discuss put away for adultery, not divorce. They were still under the law of Moses

    Jesus did not discuss divorce for adultery. They were still under the law of Moses.

    Are we there yet?

    Ed

    Like

  73. Lydia,

    You had said to Bike Bubba,
    “Yikes. who gets to decide that in your tradition?”

    Bike Bubba is all about that Matthew 18 process thing, so he gets to decide!!

    Ed

    Like

  74. To the lady of the original post: I’m sorry you’ve been overlooked by most Christians.

    I’m over 40, have never married. I know what it’s like to be marginalized by most Christians/ churches/ denominations due to martial situation/ status.
    Most Christians only care about people who are currently married, and with small children at home.

    Most conservative Christians do not seem to notice or care about people who don’t fit “married with kid” at home demographic. If you’re in your situation (married to a Non Christian), divorced, never married, your spouse is mentally absent (due to having brain damage or dementia) or widowed, you will be ignored, if not treated like an out-cast.
    It’s a real disgrace and not how I believe Jesus would want people treating each other, but it’s pretty common.

    Like

  75. All the last number of posts about who may divorce and when and how, and is remarriage okay or when is it okay.

    It’s stuff like this that makes me glad I’m not as keen on Christianity as I used to be. I no longer feel I need to justify every choice or action in my life based on criteria such as “Would God approve?,” “What does the Bible say about this?,” etc.

    Something else I’ve noticed is that it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, because God forgives people and there are no ramifications. I’ve yet to hear a story of God striking someone dead today with lightning because they got a divorce.

    So many people (and I would include Christians on this) are not even trying to live up to the Bible’s teaching on things I don’t see the point in trying myself.

    These people are not being held accountable by God, by churches, or whatever. Droves of Christians are divorcing, re marrying, having affairs, having sex prior to marriage, using kinky web sites for kicks, and I don’t see God striking them with bolts, like Zeus did in Greek mythology.

    Anyway, when you stop racking your brain with, “Should I do X, what would God think if I do it,” or, “Does the Bible support me doing X,” life becomes a lot easier to live. I don’t find myself as confused or paralyzed by “what decision should I make” thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  76. Lydia said,

    Many fundamentalist groups teach that an adulterous husband has a wife who was not a good wife Who kept herself attractive to her husband.
    Or maybe she was a Proverbs nag wife.
    Even Driscoll taught this as matter of course and taught this thinking to all of his acts 29 recruits

    I was going to toss Driscoll out there, but on another front. He made some kind of comment suggesting if a preacher has an affair. it’s because the wife let herself go.

    Christian television host Pat Robertson said the same thing on a similar topic or maybe the same one. I remember Robertson told a story on his show of a husband who got drunk often, and he blamed it on the wife for being over-bearing.

    He’s also made comments on his show that men cannot help but have affairs because there are half nude models on TV all the time, and women “let themselves go.”

    I’m a visually attuned female. Suppose I get married, my husband starts out sexy hot, but gains a ton of weight – according to Driscoll and Robertson, I should then be justified in having an affair. If they are going to be consistent between the genders, that is.

    Most of these Christian personalities or preachers who preach a “blame the wife” theology are usually Republican and right wing (I myself am Republican / right wing).

    What I cannot figure out is how these particular Christians reconcile their “blame the wife” theology with the usual Republican belief of personal responsibility.

    That is, it does not matter if the wife weighs 800 pounds or is a shrew, none of that excuses the husband having an affair or getting drunk – the spouse should take personal responsibility for his unhappiness in the marriage, not have an affair on the wife or blame the wife for the affair. But guys like MD or PR would blame the woman for the man’s failing.

    About divorce and Christian views. It runs the gamut. The usual is that divorce is allowed in cases of adultery but in no other cases.
    But some say no, not even in cases of adultery (John Piper may be one of those?).
    Some say emotional abandonment is okay for divorce, that is a good reason.

    It’s funny (in a sad way) how sola scriptura Christians (and I respect sola scriptura) can never agree on anything not even if or when or how a married couple may divorce.
    You would think that all these people who claim to take the Bible “at face value” would agree on the basics, but often times, they do not.

    Like

  77. “I guess I should not have used the word, “any”, but I should have said, “other than abuse, adultery, desertion”.

    Ed,
    If a man is rejected by his wife, if she doesn’t love him how he is and belittles him, is disrespectful of him on an ongoing basis; those really are forms of desertion. She is breaking the covenant vows that she took when she married. If he has done all he can to make the marriage work, then no I don’t see why he would stay with her. Paraphrasing Proverbs, “It is better to live on a roof than to live in the house with a nagging wife.” I believe “wife” could be replaced with “husband”. Marriage is not as important as the people in it. I truly believe that if Jesus was asked more questions on the topic there would be far less confusion and judging on this topic. Marriage should not be taken lightly, thought through and prayed about before hand. If the man I married was who he presented himself to be, I would still be married. Some times really bad things happen after the piece of paper is signed. I find it sad that the next piece of paper signed made my life better.

    I hope that Gracie is blessed with a God fearing man who treats her with the love and respect that she is due. I would hope the same for you Ed, if that is something that you want in the future.

    Brenda

    Like

  78. Daisy,
    You make an excellent point which can be easily validated within the realm of churchianity. The stench from the manure pile is equal to the double standard rot found within our churches with regards to the double standards found amongst men and women. Within the western church systems, there is MORE emphasis placed on the Biblical perfection of the woman with deafening, deafening, dare I say it again,

    DEAFENING

    silence placed on the Biblical character of the man. The church says men must marry Proverbs 31 women, and yet are not women to marry men of Biblical character as well? Or are church men off the hook because they are not held “as accountable” before Jesus, the Christ, one day so as to give an answer? As far as organized religion goes, one that calls itself Christianity, a born again Christian woman, sitting in the average western church with all of its carnal and fleshly programs, would find herself getting pretty depressed (not encouraged nor exhorted as we are commanded to do), for not measuring up in any area of life.

    The bull horn call is “we must fix our women and make them perfect” so we, as men will love them more. And if those women we marry cannot become perfect, well then, we have a Biblical excuse to beat, batter, neglect, abandon, verbally and emotionally abuse her, destroy her friendships and family support system, and then kick her some more and leave her as a dung heap beside the road……so the other “church goers” can have their turn at abusing her as well. Then we listen to the pastor, skillfully and arrogantly speak against the religion of Islam and their treatment of women under Sharia, all the while similar fleshly manifestations are happening right under noses. The self righteous condemn one form of religion and yet the rotting double standard is alive and well within what is called “Christianity.” It’s like drinking water from the contaminated slough pond, rather than the Living Water Jesus provides for us through His teachings……oh, how He regarded the women of His day…..and they were sinners to boot!

    Daisy, I would love to have coffee or tea with you and have a laugh over the Robertsons and the Driscolls….seems to me that Pat wears more make-up on his face for his television ministry(???) program than most of us women wear in a year. Guess he needs to learn our beauty secrets……and I often wonder how much of the gullible sheep’s donation money does he spend on his own personal “looks” to impress his cult followers? Perhaps that money is better suited to give to the poor, the sick, and the widows amongst us for their personal needs. Does God really care that these men need make-up or a designer suit and tie for a television program? Really?

    Or how about that pious man, or should I say pious men, that sit around and mock this woman or that woman concerning weight issues, apparel issues, conduct issues, or any “issue”, when in fact, those same “issues” apply to the very ones who speaks such criticisms……another words, the kettle calling the pot black syndrome. A balding man, with a grey beard (more hair on his chin than his head), with a sagging spare tire around his waist, wearing a bright lime green shirt and pleated tan pants that need major alterations to accommodate those fleshly imperfections, dares to call out his neighbor’s wife for her weight issues, clingy clothing choices, and “not looking proper in church.” Lest we not forget…..when the men flirt, make eyes and lust after the “newest and latest “looker” in church, well then, that is alright because their thought process is NOT televised over that big screen we see in front of us….and yet…….cannot our Great God read their thoughts….and is not lusting after another woman a sin as well…..just sayin…..

    If man/woman wore little teleprompters on their chests, exposing every thought from the brain, for all of us to see……oh, how all of mankind would be condemned…..and Jesus knew every thought that proceedeth out of the minds of the Pharisees, did He not?

    I apologize for this mini diatribe…..for living amongst the hyper-hypocrites in our “conservative” area makes one yearn for the teachings of Jesus all the more. And I dare say, if He were living amongst us, eating with all those “sinners” out there, it would make the “churched” hairs stand on end in anger and disgust….and we would crucify Him all over again, and again, and again.

    Julie Anne, please delete this comment it is not appropriate here. I respect your blog, immensely. Thank-you.

    Like

  79. Daisy, your quote:
    “Droves of Christians are divorcing, re marrying, having affairs, having sex prior to marriage, using kinky web sites for kicks, and I don’t see God striking them with bolts, like Zeus did in Greek mythology.”

    I’m not sure all of these people are truly Christ followers. Only God knows their heart. The whole idea around studying the Bible is knowing Jesus more and wanting to be like Him. I don’t believe that Jesus would have done any of these things as He is God as well as man. When we look at how Jesus treated women and children, that is how men should be treating them and women treating their man and children also. All of the things you listed are not like Jesus. Having a husband and children didn’t get me closer to living in the path that Jesus took. Divorce has.

    I can now do the things that I always wanted to do, but was not allowed. I want my life to reflect Jesus. I don’t care what other “Christians” are doing. I don’t care what other people think. Since getting to that point I am finding true friends. I don’t tell people what I’m doing other than the book distribution project. I need all the help I can get on that one. Speaking of the things you do or money you give to people is boasting and getting my reward on earth. I want my rewards in Heaven. I look forward to meeting my Savior. We think of this life as short, but in reality we are already living in eternity. Our souls do not die when the body does.

    I pray for all of those who want a Godly mate in their lives. That God will provide their hearts desire.

    Like

  80. Daisy and Katy, thanks for your comments. Regarding all the divorce posts, whether it means put away OR divorce, I look at it this way. God in the OT divorced Israel. In the NT Jesus went to the Jews first, and when rejected, went to the Gentiles.So, just looking at it that way, says to me, that divorce and remarriage is okay. (I don’t believe in divorce over minor issues, like socks on the floor.) We christians love to complicate things.
    Regarding husbands that stray due to the wife’s behavior, that’s hogwash. I can’t tell you how many times I was told by christians, it doesn’t matter what he does, it doesn’t give you the right to sin in return. But then we have the Driscoll’s and Robertson’s come along and tell us women that it is our fault if hubby strays. So he can blame me for his sins, but I can’t blame him for mine???? Some days I wish I could view their turn at the judgement seat…..I think Jesus is going to have more words for them on their views, than He will for me about my divorce.

    Like

  81. Brenda,

    In your example, I would agree that someone broke the vows that said, “I promise to”, whatever those promises were, i.e., better or worse, rich or poor, til death do us part, etc.

    But if the love isn’t there, the marriage needs to dissolve. You can’t force something that isn’t there. But I would not call that desertion. To me, desertion is something like the spouse saying, “I’m going out to get a pack of cigarettes, and never returns”.

    But, I guess some have several definitions of desertion. I was in the military. Desertion has a definite meaning. Unauthorized absence with intent to desert, or Unauthorized absence over 30 Days.

    So, my whole point is, you can put any and all reasons in the “desertion” clause, if that is the way that one wants to define desertion as breaking the vows.

    And if that be the case, what would be a reason to stay married?

    LOVE. That is the only reason. Jesus is all about LOVE.

    If we don’t love Jesus, do you really think he wants us as a bride?

    God is the one who put in place the option for divorce, Moses didn’t. Moses is mentioned because it is the Law of Moses. Moses doesn’t make the rules. And, hardness of hearts hasn’t changed just because we are in the New Test.

    No one should stay in a marriage that they don’t want to be in anymore. And God is OK with that.

    Ed

    Like

  82. Gracie,
    “God in the OT divorced Israel”

    Yes, you are absolutely right!

    There is two examples:
    1. Divorced for adultery (spiritual)
    2. Put away with NO divorce

    Jeremiah 3:8 (Put away “and” divorce, showing that it is not the same)
    And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce;

    Isaiah 50:1 (Put away and “NO divorce, also showing that it is not the same)
    Thus saith the Lord, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.

    Ed

    Like

  83. Gracie,

    Some days I wish I could view their turn at the judgement seat…..I think Jesus is going to have more words for them on their views, than He will for me about my divorce.

    Amen, Gracie. Those that claim to be teachers and not uplifting Jesus and keeping the oppressed in that state are in for an awakening. I try not to dwell on them much or speak about them. Some folks like publicity even if it is negative. I am grateful for blogs such as this one who speak truth about what is going on in the world, Julie Anne is doing a great work at exposing the ungodliness out there. It makes me want to dwell on Jesus more. This world is not our home though, the best is yet to come.

    Like

  84. Ed,
    “If we don’t love Jesus, do you really think he wants us as a bride?”

    If we do not love Jesus, I am absolutely certain that we won’t be in his bride. He knows our hearts and our intentions.

    I am right there with Gracie, I don’t believe in divorce for minor issues and I’m sure we both would have been thrilled for only having minor issues. When I envision the triune God, I see 3 as one perfectly together yet act independently. All one mind and one accord. That is the way God intended marriage to be a man, a woman and God. It takes all 3 to make a marriage work.

    Ed, I don’t know anything about what your marriage was like. You and the ex have/had free will. If it was better to part, then so be it. I am not judging you one way or the other. I’ve been divorced twice for cause, I have no room for judging anyone. I made poor choices and was clueless in making them. My red flag system is on high alert. If that means spending the remainder of my days alone with Jesus, I am cool with that.

    Brenda

    Like

  85. Brenda,

    “I don’t believe in divorce for minor issues”

    If the love isn’t there, that is a major issue.

    I’m not using my divorce as any examples. Before studying the Catholics and Calvinists, I never knew Christians had rules and regulations concerning divorce/remarriage.

    Catholics are OK with divorce, as long an no one gets remarried. Calvinists don’t seem to be OK with divorce at all, let alone a remarriage.

    So these people can’t even agree amongst themselves. But knowing that Calvinism came from Catholicism, strange rules and regulations does not surprise me anymore

    Catholicism came up with the idea that “put away” is equated to “divorce”, and that was passed down from generation to generation, so much so, that some translations seem to have replaced the phrase “put away” with the word “divorce”.

    And I just don’t agree with their dogma, based on my study, and there are others who agree, and that includes Cindy. My own divorce plays no part in any of this decision making. I am not influenced based on experience, and I am certainly not influenced by theologians or Catholicism’s “church fathers” decisions.

    I am a Berean at heart, and they didn’t consult anyone but scripture as individuals. The Bible tells us to study to show thyself approved. And that is what I do.

    Bike Bubba wants me to study commentaries. Not happening.

    Ed

    Like

  86. Ed,
    Sorry, shouldn’t have brought it up. I guess I don’t care what the denominations think anymore. I look at commentaries from time to time, but don’t put much stock in them. Dead people that I can’t have a discussion with don’t enthuse me much. I do however like reading accounts of the martyrs. There were many that I have read about in the Anabaptist camp, young people who spoke out and did not run away. I feel their courage of speaking the gospel until the end. Totally off topic, but, yes I believe in reading for myself and letting the Holy Spirit do His work on my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  87. I do agree with you on this important point about loving your spouse, Ed.

    From Mark 12: “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

    Who is a closer neighbor than our spouse? Love is the most important issue.

    Inspiration for being a Berean:

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
    Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV

    Brenda

    Liked by 1 person

  88. Gracie and Brenda,
    I love your comments here. I praise our LORD for the both of you and your teachings. And yes, Ed, as well, for it is through these commentaries of born again believers that I can learn from and be edified and exhorted in my faith in Christ alone. I am truly grateful for all of you as I sit a moment and ponder the goodness of our Comforter, Jesus the Christ. To Him be the Glory.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. Lydia

    Who gets to decide whether repentance is sufficient? Well, I would argue the Scriptures give a hint as to that; Matthew 5 clearly indicates that a victim of adultery may choose to divorce. The question, then, is whether it is wise for the victim to divorce.

    Now note again; the victim has the right to a divorce, so there is no sin issue here, and hence Matthew 18 does not apply to the victim as it does to the adulterer. Hence the key question for the victim to decide with those she counsels with whether it is better to part ways or to remain.

    And the role of the church in this? Well, again, as I hope it is with Gracie, the role is to gently provide counsel and support for the victim.

    See, not so scary, is it? Biblical guidance isn’t so bad, the big issue is rather that many men and women insert themselves instead of the wisdom of Scripture.

    Like

  90. This entire thread is testimony to the fact that we are living in what I am calling the age of the Jericho Road “church.” Truly, when it comes to those who are left, as it were, robbed, beaten and stripped naked by their spouses, the priests (pastors) and Levites (lay Christians) ignore and pass by at a distance. It’s just that today’s priests and Levites aren’t satisfied to merely ignore and pass by. As applied to today’s “church” one would have to observe that the Priests and Levites heap shame and blame on the suffering. One is left with the impression that today’s priests and Levites would, if they could, consign the newly-impoverished to debtors’ prison. They would and do treat the merely impoverished, that is, those who never had marriage relationships to lose, the same way.

    Today’s equivalent of good Samaritans we might be able to find, but where, oh where, might we find the inn keepers who are equipped, qualified and willing to nurse the “church’s” victims back to wholeness?

    Ideas?

    Liked by 1 person

  91. bike bubba,

    I value your comments on this thread, but am having some difficulty where you state, “Hence the key question for the victim to decide with those she counsels with [is] whether it is better to part ways or to remain.” Seeking Godly counsel is, of course, good. The problem is that in today’s conservative evangelicalism, the “pastors” have shown themselves apt to side with the man who abandons, beats, abuses and chases after adulterous relationships. One need not heed such counsel.

    Like

  92. Gary, two responses. First of all, note that the Bible does not limit counsel to church officers, but rather specifically commends the practice of older women counseling the younger in Titus 2. No? And the same goes for men–Titus 2 by no means limits counsel to pastors, or women. It belongs to all church members.

    Second, I would suggest that if one does not trust the counsel of one’s pastor, that in itself is a “gut check” where one ought to consider leaving whether or not one has been victimized. No? Now I will grant that sometimes a crisis is when one finds out that a theoretically “good preacher” can’t counsel their way out of a cardboard box, and that is tragic. But that said, our key gut check is whether the pastor can, per 1 Timothy and Titus, counsel the flock. It’s independent of the tragedies of life, really.

    Like

Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s