Lori Alexander, John Piper, Christian Marriage, Divorce
It is no surprise that Lori Alexander at The Transformed Wife is pushing John Piper’s words on marriage and divorce. Lori continues to show that there is no room for divorce when a woman is in an abusive marriage. Women in abusive marriages who go to Lori asking for help will hear this:
You made a covenant before God which cannot be broken.
God hates divorce. You must change your behavior to win over your husband.
Marriage is a representation of Christ and the church. Christ did not abandon the church therefore you must not abandon your marriage. If you decide to leave your husband you will tarnish the reputation of the church.
You must do everything in your power to save your marriage. Your salvation and the salvation of your husband depends upon this.
What Lori and John Piper fail to miss is:
Jesus treated women with respect.
Not once did Jesus command a woman to stay with an abusive spouse.
What God hates more than divorce is found in Proverbs 6: 16-19: “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” These are actions that can often be found in abusive marriages.
God is always on the side of the abused and condemns the abuser.
Since Lori Alexander has women who come to her asking for advice, it would be far better for her to be Christlike and show love, compassion, and care toward a victim of domestic abuse. If an abuser is unwilling to change and get help it is not the victim’s responsibility to save her marriage.
If you are in an abusive relationship and are ready for help, please feel free to email us and we will help you find resources in your area. Or, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help at 800-799-7233.
33 thoughts on “God Loves Victims More Than Saving an Abusive Marriage”
Nonsensical unbiblical garbage.
As for staying ‘in love’ not being important, love certainly is vitally important to any Christian relationship!! Now, here we could get into a discussion of types of love, romantic verses friendship and so on and so forth, but I doubt that’s Piper’s point.
Once again, there are so many things wrong with Lori’s teaching (sigh). First, we don’t have to look too far in Scripture to see that there are covenants made throughout Scripture. Covenants may be made, kept – and broken. It takes all parties in the covenant to keep it – and only one to break it. Living in a broken (or obliterated) “covenant” does not honor God; it makes a mockery of God’s design for marriage. Secondly, God does not hate divorce. He hated “putting away,” (the word commonly interpreted as “divorce”),which was a situation where men who “put away” their wives without cause or without a writ, presumably to take other wives, keeping the wives bound to their husbands and not free to remarry. This is clear in Malachi Chapter 2 if you read a literal translation. The act of “putting away” a wife is also the issue that Jesus and Pharisees were disputing. Jesus skewered the legalists for trying to get Him to concede that they could “put away” their wives for “any cause at all” (so they could take other wives). And for this reason, should these “put away” women remarry, they were committing adultery because they were still legally married! For more, please check out: “Three of the Most Commonly Misappropriate Scriptures on the Subject of Divorce,” This false doctrine so commonly taught is nothing more than spiritual malpractice. Let’s refute this once and for all. http://www.hurtbylove.com/a-redemptive-look-at-three-of-the-most-commonly-misappropriated-scriptures-on-the-subject-of-divorce-part-i/
Amen, Kathy! Thanks for sharing this. I wonder why Lori and John think it’s ok to make salvation conditional upon marriage or divorce when Jesus himself doesn’t.
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Also, I think covenant is somewhat of an anachronism. When Abraham bought the burial place for Sarah, he went through a formal ceremony where the land was deeded to him. This was a covenant. Many things today that we consider “contracts” would have been called covenants back then. Lovers of “covenant theology” want to formalize only specific covenants (faith, marriage, children), but that is not how it was used.
So, if all these things in the Old Testament are covenants, then how should we deal with the person who rents our house and then stops making payments? Evangelical “covenant” language says that we must forgive and forget and move on. How many pastors do you think will evict a delinquent renter, while at the same time telling a wife that she is obligated to stay in a marriage, even though her husband has repeatedly violated their covenant?
Thanks for reading Lori so I don’t have to.
Just pondering the idea of how allegedly, “staying married is not about staying in love.” Can you imagine how hurtful it would be to tell someone, “I don’t love you, I’m just in a covenant with you.” Or how about a relationship with the Lord Himself, “I don’t love you, I just exist in this reluctant covenant?”
The bible says God is love and those who don’t know love, can’t know God. There are many different kinds of love I suppose, but just the same, to go around shaming the idea of love or implying love is selfish or something is actually probably offensive to God Himself and certainly un-biblical.
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When I was divorcing my abusive ex-husband, he sent me a letter saying, “I don’t love you, but I will show love to you” if I came back. Such a good, sacrificial Christian!
Personally I wonder if Lori would change her mind if Ken ever slammed her against the wall and gave her a black eye while he called her a b-word. Seriously. If she doesn’t live in fear then keep your mouth shut for those of us that do.
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@Persephone My husband wanted me to return home because his contempt and disdain for me had mostly dissipated over the past year (of separation.) Exact quote. He smashed the covenant to pieces for over 30 years but I got all the blame from my church for divorcing him. I often wondered about the verse in Prov about the tragedy of an unloved wife. I understand now. Pharisaical to say “I don’t love you but I refuse to end this marriage because I’m committed to my image.” John Piper says stuff that is as weird as my ex said.
**Editor note: Persephone asked me to change her name for privacy. Kathi
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I believe they are totally misinterpreting Ephesians 5. Yes, all believers are to follow the example of Jesus… we demonstrate that we are Christians by showing love and compassion as he did. This includes the marriage relationship (as stated in Ephesians 5) but is not limited to it. They are so obsessed by the idea of permanence in marriage that they are totally missing the big picture. It seems to me that Lori is “misrepresenting Christ” by her lack of love and compassion for the abused. If she got divorced it would not be a worse misrepresentation than her current attitude.
So, I wonder, if a women stayed in domestic violence in following Lori’s and Piper’s teachings, are they willing to stand by their words ? Are they willing to stand before God as partners in murder with the abusuve spouse?
I am quite certain they would manipulate more scriptures to set themselves free. How is it that publishing companies are so uneducated, ill informed so that they actually put this junk in print!
May we always remember Lori’s hypocrisy through this image of her in ‘immodest’ short shorts.
“What Lori and John Piper fail to miss is:” No, actually they miss it successfully, they don’t fail to miss it. They fail to see it. 🙂
For the Pipers, the thing the church is missing is authority and obedience, not love. A marriage lacking love is okay as long as the authority structure is in place. If the authority structure is so unloving as to be abusive, then it’s still a valid authority structure, but needs some help being more loving, but again, more important for the authority structure to be preserved than to protect the victim of abuse.
You see it over and over in all their dealings with authority. Repeated abuse of authority is winked at and swept under the rug, while victims seeking to be free of that abuse are covenant breakers and publicly excommunicated. That goes for clergy/laity, husband/wife, parent/child, etc., it’s always more important to maintain the authority than to correct abuse.
Paul says, “the elder who is sinning rebuke in the presence of all”. Interesting that many leaders “resign” or “retire” when their sins come to light. The rest of it is “so the others may take warning” Refusing to deal with elders publicly has created a church culture where leaders know they can get away with pretty much whatever they want. Like the Pharisees, the wolves will maintain the right facade to fit in with the church, while they chew up the sheep.
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Serena Joy can’t stop lecturing all those Handmaids, can she?
Salty, thanks for sharing Ken Alexander’s take on shorts and lust. I couldn’t help but laugh as I read it. I need the humor today after reading ofa all the injustice and horror taking place in the US and around the world.
How in the world does Ken know that 99.9% of men won’t lust after women in ‘modest’ shorts. Some men will lust after women and girls no matter what they have on simply because they’re female. I also chuckled when I saw how Ken spelled do’s (doos).
Glad you liked it Cindy.
Laughter is the best medicine.
A covenant is a contract with emotional content. A marriage is a covenant. A covenant is formed by one or both parties making vows. When one breaks a vow, it is called breaking the covenant in Scripture. A broken covenant can be restored or terminated. The termination of a marriage covenant is called a divorce, it should be for cause of breaking a vow or vows of the marriage covenant, not just for any reason at all.
In the picture it states “Christ would never leave his wife. Ever.” That’s not exactly true. In Jeremiah 3:8 God writes Israel a certificate of divorce for her harlotries. I agree with Donald above. Jesus says that God allowed divorce for “hardness of heart” which that can actually mean a lot of things. We must care to not judge but help others through very difficult heart issues.
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Well Donald, I’m pretty sure that physically,emotionally,and spiritually abusing your wife, constitutes a broken vow, a violated covenant.
I know how good fathers feel when someone treats their own child unfairly. I imagine Jesus, who actually invested in us and gave His very life protecting us, would not take kindly to it either.
This teaching heaps abuse upon the abused. It keeps the abuser in position of power while there is no out for the abused.
Lori says she is commanded by God as an older woman to teach younger women. Jesus clearly placed higher standards on teachers. While trying to place heavy burdens on women she neglects justice and mercy.
FEATURE, NOT BUG.
Since when did ‘till death do us part’ become the only part of the covenant that matters? Isn’t ‘love, honor, and cherish’, loving as Christ loved us, just as important and even more telling of how to display and reflect Christ’s relationship with His bride? Since when has abusing one’s wife been a reflection of Christ’s covenant? Jesus would never abuse His bride, so if you have, you broke the covenant way before physical death made it possible. We can reflect Christ’s covenant love to the world by treating women the way HE did 🙂 The church has an opportunity to show the world the love, value, dignity, esteem, and honor God has for women by standing with them, believing them, supporting them 100%, and holding abusers accountable 100% (with actual consequences). Just think what it would look like if the church would spend the resources, time, and energy poured into ‘restoring a fallen man’s ministry’ into providing for and restoring the lives of the women and children who survived the abuse instead!
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“The church has an opportunity to show the world the love, value, dignity, esteem, and honor God has for women by standing with them, believing them, supporting them 100%, and holding abusers accountable 100% (with actual consequences). Just think what it would look like if the church would spend the resources, time, and energy poured into ‘restoring a fallen man’s ministry’ into providing for and restoring the lives of the women and children who survived the abuse instead!”
Amen!!! Thank you!
Since abusers had to keep their winsome widdle wifeys from running out on them and not looking back. “GOD SAITH!”
It doesn’t even make sense. You have to ignore a ton of biblical stuff to come to the conclusion that divorce is the worst thing you can do.
Donald, “emotional content”
If I cry when I buy my next beautiful new car from the dealer, does that make it a covenant? Seriously, though, you haven’t defined anything by saying “contract with emotional content”
“vow” again, this is anachronistic language and you are using words that have loaded meanings that people think they understand but really can’t define.
My pastor had us exchange vows and declared us married, but we and he still had to sign the marriage license for the state to recognize it.
I could say that a covenant is a sacred contract, but again, that runs into issues. Our covenant with God does continue into eternity, but the covenant of marriage and the covenant that children are born into don’t – or we’d fall into the trap of the Sadducees.
Even trying to related it to the three spheres (family, church, state) leads to a definition that falls short. While marriage definitely fits that, becoming a Christian, for example, doesn’t necessarily redefine our relationship with our family and state.
So, the only thing that seems concrete to me is that it is “solemn”. A covenant is something that is meant to be well thought through – not like clicking “I agree” to the EULA on the app you just downloaded. I think that is the same thing that you are getting at when you say “vow”.
You think too highly of yourself. It’s so funny how you sinned against God yourself, nailed him to the cross, he was bruised and afflicted because of YOUR sin. Yet, here you are saying that God would NEVER want anyone to endure any type of harm. So what was the point of the marriage vow again? I dont understand what’s so hard about NOT getting married if you plan on divorcing. No one held a gun to YOUR head and forced you to make the vow. It was your choice. You same women who will leave and name call and call the man an abuser(even though the Bible says if someone strikes you on one cheek, turn the other cheek to them) will never abandon your child if they were cursing you out or beating you. You will still claim and love your child, even though that child came from your marriage. Stop being self righteous. The wife that is being abused is not sinless. That is a lie. Is she a victim, yes. Should she seperate, yes. But to sin against someone for sinning against you, makes NO sense.
Somebody showed up mad today!
Good question. What exactly is the point? It’s definitely not to force people to live with someone they cannot live with in peace anymore.
Most people don’t ‘plan’ to divorce, so this is really not helpful. Separation within a marriage without divorcing forever is just so strange a thing to ask. IT’s not a real marriage at that point, so why preserve a piece of paper that no longer speaks to reality?
I guess those legalists forgot that there is only one divorce in the bible – when God divorced Israel. Now what? http://www.hurtbylove.com/the-only-divorce-in-the-bible/
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Wow…How, exactly, am I “self-righteous” when I think that women deserve to feel safe in their own homes and be treated with respect and dignity?
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The King James Bible gave birth to the “God hates divorce” mantra.
English translations before the King James were not nearly so harsh.
Myles Coverdale (1535) translated Malachi 2:16 like this:
Yf thou hatest her, put her awaye,” sayeth the LORDE God of Israel and “geue her a clothinge for the scorne,” sayeth the LORDE of hoostes. “Loke well then to youre sprete, and despyse her not.”
I have paraphrased Coiverdale’s translation in modern English:
“If you hate her, let her go! And vindicate her so she will not be blamed for the breakdown of the marriage, compensate her for the wrong you have done!”
I have recently published an academic paper on the translation of Malachi 2:16. In the paper I argue that Myles Coverdale’s translation of Malachi 2:16 is wholly consistent with the meaning of the Hebrew text.
My paper has been praised by Eternity News, an Australian evangelical magazine:
To avoid my comment going to spam I put DOT in place of . in the link
The Eternity News article contains a link to my academic paper.
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