Divorce, Yea or Nay?

There was a time in my life that I wasn't sure my marriage would work. During the years my husband struggled with his addiction were the hardest years of my life. I had people all around me tell me to get a divorce. I would shake my head at them and adamantly explain that I did NOT want to divorce him. People thought I was in a hopeless situation. But with God we do have hope. I know that each struggling marriage has different aspects of what is happening. Some women deal with physical abuse, mental/emotional abuse, molestation of their children, drugs, etc. It's sad to say in today's world, that the list could go on.

In my situation, I chose to seek God's Word on the matter. Let's look at 1 Corinthians Chapter 7
1 Corinthians 7

1Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

2Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

3Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

4The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

5Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

6But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

7For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

8I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I.

9But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

10And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

11But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

This was the part that really stuck out to me. In my situation, I had to walk away for a season. My husband was using drugs and I couldn't have my children in that environment. Although I left, I did not leave the marriage. We separated, but did not divorce. Something I noticed in these two verses is that it isn't clear on why she would leave her husband, but it is clear that she is to remain unmarried or be reconciled back to him.

I have a friend whose husband has been a good man to her, no abuse, no drugs, He just didn't want to become a believer. He had no interest in tithing, attending church or reading the Bible. He even refused her permission to attend church faithfully. My mom also dealt with a similar situation. My stepdad didn't want to go to church with my mom. He wasn't a believer for quite a while and my mom attended church without him.

12But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

13And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

14For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

Although I physically moved out of my home years ago and had to find my own apartment, it was my husband who left me. He was not walking with God and did not want to make the marriage work. He departed. Some would interpret this next verse to say that I could be out of the bondage of marriage in this case and that God would give me peace.

15But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

In my situation I did not have peace.

39The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

I literally prayed this! "God, if you want me out of this marriage you'll have to take my husband home to heaven." Not that I wanted him to die, not at all. However being faced with these scriptures I felt bound to a marriage that others told me was hopeless! This next passage of scripture addresses the man:

Mathew 5:9, "27Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

29And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

30And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

31It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

32But I say unto you, That 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 did not commit adultery against my husband, and had he went ahead with the divorce he would have caused me and any man I would marry to cause adultery. Some people would stop here and scratch their head in confusion, as did I. Did I want to face that possibility of committing adultery myself? Would I be held accountable for adultery when it would have been HIM getting the divorce and not me? I was willing to make it work! Where would I be at fault here??

Matthew 19, " 3The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

4And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

5And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

6Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

7They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

8He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

9And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

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

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

12For 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."

In verse 11 Jesus himself explains that not all men can receive this saying, but those to whom it was given. In my situation, I felt as though I could receive this saying and that it was truly being given to me. In my situation I knew it was not for me to get a divorce.

Mark 10, " 10And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.

11And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

12And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery."

I felt as though the Lord was telling me NOT to put away my husband from the marriage. I did not want to commit adultery. Now what about those women who have already made a decision to divorce? What about those women who didn't have this understanding at the time?

John 8, " 3And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

Now this passage of scripture does not say what kind of adultery she committed. Was she playing the whore with many men? Was she married to another man after leaving her first husband? In this chapter it does not specify. These rulers were using her as an example to try and tempt the Lord in order to accuse him.

6This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

I wonder what He was writing in the sand? Was he writing how many times these men had bad thoughts? Was he writing about the sins they committed earlier that morning?

7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

**10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."**

What a wonderful grace! Our Lord is gracious and forgiving! Praise the Lord for his mercy! He simply says, "Neither do I condemn thee, Go and sin no more." The Lord has given His mercy to this woman! Ladies we do have hope! God in his infinite wisdom knows what trials we face in the world today. He sees what the men of this world are doing with their lives. Yet he offers forgiveness, peace, mercy, and grace. God loves you no matter what happens in your life.

1 Kings 8:57, "The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us: "

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Anonymous at: April 30, 2008 at 2:58 PM said...

Thank you for posting this, these verses has strengthened me and I am ready to face the day! :)

<3 Martha

{ denise } at: April 30, 2008 at 6:38 PM said...

That was wonderful. My DH has used the law "no divorcing me baby lol" against me, in fact I've thought before he may have married a "Christian" just for that reason :P Long story, but thank you for the Scripture, that was very encouraging.

{ Sisterlisa } at: May 1, 2008 at 8:23 AM said...

Thank you for commenting Ladies. I know the topic is difficult for many women to read. We need to do all we can to protect marriage in this dark and failing world.

{ Wendy } at: May 29, 2008 at 1:14 PM said...

Great article, Sis. I believe the subject of divorce can be very confusing especially for new believers. It's important that we seek wisdom in this area and not conform to the world's view of convenient divorces instead of making the decision to fight for our marriages according to God's will, because his will is indeed- to stay and fight.

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