the one with all the questions about divorce

So, the mundane was not was mentioned in my e-update (which if you want send me an email, i may have your address wrong)…

but, now back to my theme… sort of…

Divorce is of course becoming more and more common… and i don’t know how to deal with it really… so may questions…

1. Is it ever ok to get a divorce?
ie if your husband/wife is cheating on you.

i mean, didn they break the covenant? Does that release you? Or do you show the love of Christ by being faithful, though your spouse is not?

how about if your husband is physically abusing you? That doesn’t seem like a good situation, but the Bible doesn’t address it at all…

If you go there, you could go to verbal abuse though too… where do we draw the line?

2. Is it ok for a divorced person to remarry/ marry a person who has already been divorced?

i mean if your spouse leaves you, does that mean you have to be patient until he/she changes their mind?

Or what if the person wasn’t a Christian before, but now is?

Doesn’t it seem like a person could redeem a divorced person? Say one’s spouse was cheating on them, now i come in and show Christ with my love… kinda like Boaz and Ruth don’t you think? i have to admit, there are movies i watch and the wife leaves the guy, and then he meets somone else who actually accepts him and believes in him, and it seems redeeming… but i don’t know if i should think that way…

3. What if you don’t agree with someone getting remarried or marrying a divorcee? Do you still go to the wedding? Stand in the wedding? Actually, i guess this could apply to any marriage you don’t necesarily agree with…

4. In general, how to you handle a person going thru a divorce? Especially if you know both parties… How do you show love and support, even as you disagree with the decision? Do you help a person move out? Do you refuse to help? How do we give grace & truth?

shoot, i have no idea what i would say, i couldn’t imagine the pain… but even just how to act… i’m not sure…

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13 thoughts on “the one with all the questions about divorce

  1. Ok, these are good questions, some I still have and have had to deal with during the past few years. My dad left my mom when I was 23. Really, the marriage had been dead for about 12 years before that. Even though at first I blamed my dad because he was the one who left, I now see that both parties made mistakes. I don’t have a good answer for your first few questions. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be living in an abusive situation or to deal with an unfaithful partner (that is probably my biggest fear– oh the trust issues!). and I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to remain in such a situation. But I do think, no matter what the situation, divorce grieves the Lord. Again, I’m not pointing fingers or judging, I just don’t think the Lord would ever be happy about a marriage ending, no matter what the reason is.What I do want to respond to is question 4, because I think I made a mistake in that area. I actually went through a period where I wouldn’t talk to my father, blamed him, judged him, wanted his church to discipline him, wanted him to pay for what he did. Now I wish I had responded differently. I think it’s really important to love the person. It wasn’t an easy decision for my dad. He struggled with it for years. I’m not saying it was the “right” decision, but I know now it wasn’t an easy one for him. I think a lot of people did cut him off and side with my mom. But I don’t think that was the best response. It certainly wasn’t loving. And he really needed love at that time. I guess what I’m trying to say is, the person/people involved are going to have enough consequences to deal with with the divorce itself. I don’t think us cutting them off going to help matters at all. Love them, support them the best you can, ask them questions, try to hear their heart. But don’t abandon them.

  2. I just listened to a great talk by Piper on this, one in his most recent series on marriage. His views were pretty extreme, but good. His main premise was that marriage is made to reflect Jesus’ relationship with his bride, the church. He never leaves us, even when we are daily unfaithful to him. Piper did said there were cases were staying would be helping someone to continue in sin so those cases warrented a seperation. He also said if your spouse is an unbeliever and pushing for a divorce to give him it.
    The toughest part was that he said he didn’t believe remarriage was ever right, unless your spouse has passed away. So even if your spouse divorced you, or beat you, Piper believed you are required to stay single. He followed this by saying that the church has a huge responsibility to include these brothers and sisters into our lives and families.
    Finally he did add that once a divorced person is married God can totally redeem and use that marriage and that he has many examples in his church of people he don’t think have gotten married but that God has redeemed and still uses in big ways.
    Listening to it, I totally see its a tough thing. And of course thankfully I’m not anywhere near understanding how difficult marriages can be. But I think Piper used some solid scriptures to back up his ideas. But I did think actually counseling someone in this line of thought would be so hard, especially if you’ve never been in their shoes.

  3. Interesting to read the comments. I am curious how the people in Piper’s church reacted… I am sure there are lots of divorced people there, and many of whom have remarried.I like your questions Mookie. But I don’t know how to answer them.

  4. Talk about funny timing, two of those I’m subscribed to mention divorce on the same day…In this entry on Machel’s blog, he makes references to a series of posts here: first, second, third, and fourth.Definitely a difficult subject. The hardest advice I’ve ever been asked for by a friend was regarding leaving a spouse.

  5. Good thoughts and worthy questions – my recommendation for a book that addresses these issues is http://www.amazon.com/Marriage-Divorce-Remarriage-Bible-Adams/dp/0310511119  It’s not a big book, it’s clearly written, not a difficult read as it is logically presented and I think theologically sound.  I read it as part of a one of my classes in Biblical Counseling.  The scriptures address marriage and therefore many of your questions quite directly – however some of the others (verbal or physcial abuse) I think are better addressed by general principles for how we are to treat one another.  The verbal abuse for example if it is from one professed believer to another is, to me, a Matt 18 issue – you go privately and if you are not heard – and you will know that you are because the behavior will change – then you go back with another.  What is implied to me in that passage is another of greater authority.  If it needs to end up with the elders or in front of the church, so be it.  I think that we’re just not willing to take scripture and it’s remedies as they are sometimes – they’re hard, they’re even embarrasing – but I’ve been there and the only resolution to any problem that really has any hope of working must come from scripture – truth with a capital T.
    I will look forward to hearing the Piper sermon if someone can provide a link for it.

  6. I was going to respond to this and then got busy with the kids and forgot. Christianity Today ran an article about divorce in October. It is worth a read. (I don’t know if the article is available online.) It basically looks at the discussion of divorce and remarriage among the Pharisees in the first century. In light of this, they say Jesus allows divorce (although it is not the preferred route) on the basis of adultery (Deut. 24:1, Matt. 19:9) or abandonment (Exodus 21:10-11). Jesus grounds marriage in creation, not in the relationship between Christ and the church, which is I think, the place for the basis of marriage. They also say remarriage is okay, but I think they don’t present enough evidence for it. They seem to say if you’re divorced so it is ok then to remarry. (I am not saying they are wrong, I just think they need to present some more evidence for remarriage.) They also make a good point that in America remarried families are going to be a HUGE missionfield. People trying to be faithful to God in the midst of putting two families together could use a lot of help from gracious and truthful churches.

  7. John Piper has a review and dissenting opinion of the above referenced article here: 
    http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TasteAndSee/ByDate/2007/2443_Tragically_Widening_the_Grounds_of_Legitimate_Divorce/
    I think it tragic that the church is looking for loopholes on this topic.  As someone who continues to wait patiently for God to provide a spouse, I behold in wonder at the increasing numbers of my “Christian” peers who have divorced and remarried.  One such family friend I know was counciled by her pastor that doing so was okay because she probably wasn’t a “believer” (though she and her former spouse had claimed to be) when she divorced so remarriage was okay.  I have too great a fear of the Lord to marry someone who is divorced and risk leading them into adultery…why exchange temporary pleasure for eternal blessing?

  8. i guess i can weigh in and say.. yeah i don’t know- which is why i ask the questions…
    but at this point, i don’t think i could in good conscience marry a divorcee, b/c it is unclear to me how God feels about it… but i porbably wouldn’t have a huge problem if someone else did… though i would never encourage divorce…

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