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That's how she listed her marital status.
There was never a better phrase to describe divorce.
E-mom has asked us to go out on a huge limb to answer this month's Marriage Monday question, "Is Divorce Ever Right?"
I'm swallowing pretty hard right now. This is a sensitive subject which has affected many people and families, including my own. I, IN NO WAY, want to cause grief to anyone who has suffered through the trauma of divorce. No one who has done so has entered into it lightly.
God knows how tough relationships can be. He knew we'd need some help, so in His mercy He gave us some guidelines to follow. As I see it, and keep in mind I am no theologian, only an ordinary woman who seeks God in His word, scripture gives us three situations where God allows divorce without judgment from Him.
1. An unbelieving spouse wants to leave.
2. Marital unfaithfulness.
But, if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
1 Corinthians 7:15
Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."Matthew 19:8-9
3. You resolve not to remarry or be united with another.
Sin occurs when we are joined with someone else, which God considers adultery, as stated in the Matthew 19 passage, not in the separation of divorce. If you plan to stay single, divorce is not sinful, but this can be a hard resolution to stick to.
To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
1 Corinthians 7:10-11
And that's it. As unfair as it may seem, these are the only provisions I see in scripture. I understand this doesn't address many, many situations that come up in marriage including abuse, neglect, complacency, disrespect, addictions, negativity and controlling behavior. We live in a fallen world and in a fallen world, we humans mess things up. Satan gets his grimy mitts in there and stirs the pot of our lives, making things more difficult, clouding our perspective and judgment. He causes people to be cruel and insensitive to each other, intolerant, impatient and unloving.
Satan makes it complicated.
Which is why we desperately need direction from God to clear the muddy waters. If you are considering divorce, will you first look to see if your situation fits into these scriptural mandates? If not, will you ask God to show you what your next step is before you take drastic measures?
And if you have been party to divorce, can I tell you God's not mad at you? You don't have to feel guilty or bristle every time the subject comes up. No human being is in any position to condemn you and God doesn't either. He hurts for you. He wants to heal you. He will draw near to you if you will draw near to Him. Tell Him about it. Be restored.
But God is a God of reconciliation and peace, not disorder. In Him alone will we find hope and restoration.
For more Marriage Monday posts, visit e-Mom at Chrysalis.