TILL DIVORCE DO WE PART

Divorce and remarriage is quickly becoming the prickliest subject in the church today.  On the one hand the Bible is profoundly clear on the subject that God hates divorce (Mal 2:16), but on the other hand as many as half the people sitting in the pew may be divorced.  At the risk of offending the ‘faithful’ (pun intended) most pastors remain conspicuously quiet on the subject.  I understand that.  It would seem counter-intuitive to offend half our congregation, so it is easier to just avoid the subject altogether.  The problem is that divorce and remarriage in the church is now reaching epidemic proportions.  We have no desire to chase divorcees out of the church but at some point we need do something to do stem the tide and return to honouring this God ordained institution.

The church’s standard on marriage took a big step backward last week when the 700 Club’s Pat Robertson gave a man, whose wife was suffering from Alzheimer’s, the incredibly bad and unbiblical advice to “divorce her and move on.”   After a firestorm of criticism he came on air a week later and said that he was misunderstood.  I listened carefully to both broadcasts.  He never recanted or apologized but instead insisted that he would never advise someone to divorce their sick spouse.   What?  That is exactly what he did.  Watch the unedited video.  It’s pretty clear what he said.

Look, nobody understands better than me how easy it is to say something stupid on TV.  I do it every week.  So I am going to give Pat Robertson the benefit of the doubt that… HE IS THE ONE SUFFERING FROM ALZHEIMER’S AND THAT HE HAS FORGOTTEN WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT DIVORCE!  Sarcasm aside, this is exactly what I am talking about; that preachers have become so soft on this issue that their voices are almost indistinguishable from that of non-christians.  (Although I am quite certain many would not think it very honorable to divorce a terminally ill spouse)  Most vows today still include the commitment; for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do we part. It is a sad state of affairs when we are not willing to stand by our spouses in their greatest hour of need.  In the case of the guy whose wife had advanced Alzheimer’s, it would only be a few years or months and he would be free to remarry soon enough.  We are just so selfish and have no understanding of the virtue of sacrifice.

I spoke about this issue last Sunday in our church.  A newcomer was annoyed with me and told me that her friend’s husband (wink wink) was abusive and she was now living with another man.  Why was she not free to divorce her husband and marry Mr Wonderful, she wanted to know.  ”Look”, I said, “I don’t make the rules.  You do not have to live with an abusive spouse, but you are not free to divorce him and marry another.”  To which she said, “Don’t you believe that God is happy when we are happy?”  I responded sarcastically, “Yes, that’s it, our personal happiness trumps all the other principles of God’s word.”  To which she rebutted quite satisfied, “Then I rest my case.”   Aaarrrggg Lord help us!

If I am to get even bolder and blunter, this sentiment is actually coming from the clergy itself.  We have not clearly articulated God’s will regarding marriage nor provided the resources to help marriages succeed.  Worse yet a frightening number of pastors are divorcing their wives, remarrying and carrying on in the pulpit like nothing was the matter.  38% of pastors in North America are now divorced.  Here is a short list of some of the more well known ones that barely missed a beat after their marriages went south; Kathryn Kulmann, Aimee Semple Mcpherson, Richard Roberts, Jimmy Bakker, Robert Tilton, John Hagee, John Jacobs, Paula White, Charles Stanley, Benny Hinn, Juanita Bynum and the list goes on and on.  How does one justify any of this?

I am not claiming to be morally superior to these people.  Kathy could get sick of me and leave me tomorrow… yeah, yeah who could blame her?  I just want to know why these preachers have not stepped gracefully out of ministry and allowed God to rebuild their obviously broken lives?  Why are we still listening to and following leaders who have put their personal happiness ahead of all the values that Jesus taught on marriage?  The Apostle Paul (who it is generally believed to have been a widower) gave a higher standard for those who are ministers of the gospel. ...He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord–how he may please the Lord.  But he who is married cares about the things of the world–how he may please his wife. Cor 7: 32-33  He taught that if a man was no longer married he should devote himself to serving God not to pleasing himself or a wife. That is not the message that is being communicated today.

Nobody said marriage was easy, but if God isn’t big enough to keep our marriages together than what hope is there for us and our mission to a broken world?  And why would anyone want to listen to our so-called message of hope… they already know how to screw up their relationships… they don’t need our help for that.  The fact is the Bible has wisdom for marriages just like it does every other subject… or as the Apostle Peter said “in all things pertaining to life and godliness.” There are tremendous books, videos and courses on marriage by Tim Kimmel, Mark Gungor, Gary Smalley and 100′s of more.  It is not like we lack resources, we just lack resolve.

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121 Responses to TILL DIVORCE DO WE PART

  1. Annie Dueck says:

    Thank you for this bold and honest blog!! Much more needs to be said about this subject! We need more church leaders to take a stand on this subject because I think it is one of the biggest reasons non-Christians don’t take Christians seriously these days. We are losing our influence in the world because we can’t even stay married. One preacher said that marriage is God’s way of squeezing the selfishness out of us. It is painful but in the end, we will be more like Christ and isn’t that the ultimate goal?
    Thanks again!!

  2. Patricia says:

    I am so sorry I read this because I do not believe that you wrote this with an ounce of wisdom or thought into what may occur from some of your comments.

    Abuse of another person by an abusive spouse. Be it a man or woman is wrong. And in some cases to reduce the violence, divorce is the only answer to calm that control. I believe God is a forgiving God. Your interpretations in some cases and judgements have limited grounds for accusations. There are many references in the Bible in regards to divorce. I see one mentioned here. I encourage people to look them up.

    I have heard of the abuses of men and women to eachother and children watching it and trying to live through it. There are also parts to the marriage contract that goes both ways. Neither says that we are to dishonour eachother. Quoting the Bible on certain topics and slamming a home run in saying it is “fully wrong” has condemned an awful lot of people and put other people in harms way in the name of God through the years. Thus, pushing some victums out of the Churches and into the “Wilderness”. Others it has put them to death. You have noticed Manitoba has the highest death rate in the country and many used to be due to abusive marriages?

    Alzeimer’s sufferers are known to live as long as 14 years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alzheimers
    Something I have witnessed in the families and lives of loved ones of family members and friends that is extremely hard to endure for most people. There is a reason why we have people in old folks homes that are there and feel they are forgotten because the people that love them cannot bear the pain of them not knowing they exist when they do go for a visit.

    Someone once said, “Before you have walked a mile in my shoes…..” Pastor Mark. This is one of those articles that I feel you have not put much thought into before you put it into print. But you are not like the famous character, “John Boy” in his gifted writing capabilities sometimes. I would suggest one thing before you write another blundering, misinformed article again. I suggest you take it to God in prayer. If he answers back with a deep gnawing instead of you having a weight taken off of your shoulders, tear it up.

    God’s judgement is what counts, for he is all seeing. And you only see the skin of the matter, but your article cuts many people to the heart and soul that can administer so much pain that is everlasting and bring up old hurts, etc. Too bad that some people will pick up your article and will whole heartily judge others and tarr them for having a divorce without not knowing. Some even say, “Do not talk to them or have anything to do with them.” when they hear someone had a divorce you know? And all in your article and preaching favor. Forgetting to Judge not lest yee be judged.

    In closing I would like to say that I wish for you good health and happiness always, and that you never glimpse the pain that some people endure that finds them in that dark spot asking for a divorce brings some people towards. For no one goes into marriage wanting one and most feel very torn up and a lot of feeling of being a failure as they are ending one.

    • Jessica says:

      I am married to an alcoholic. Four years ago, we separated. But God told me NOT to get divorced. Why? I’m not sure why. But it’s HIS standard. If you’re a Christian, you have to follow HIS standard, not YOURS, and not the WORLD’S. No excuses. My husband and I live together today, which I’m not suggesting all people married to an alcoholic do. Especially if they’re abusive. But the only reason to divorce is because you want to sleep with someone else! Admit it! How will you explain that one to God, when everything he has said about divorce boils down to this – DON’T DO IT!

  3. Fighting For Marriage says:

    Oh Mark…hiy yiy yiy. Thanks. Thanks very much for being one of the few to be bold. Isn’t that so unbelievably pathetic that this is ‘bold’ when it used to be very well known to all that this is the truth the way the bible presents it? First of all I need to say that I have been married for over 20 years. Some days seem longer than others. Some days I want to run screaming,and some days I love him to death (not literally, haha). There have been days where we have both stated we are done, but we have stayed. All in all, it’s tough, but it is worth it. I have a quick story for you, and I believe there will be many people out there thinking I am referring to them because it seems to be the common story these days. A friend’s husband left her for another woman. We were all in shock. She tried to win him back for 4 years. She DID NOT believe in remarriage.As soon as the divorce was final (which she prolonged)he married the ‘other woman’, her minister told her ‘he is dead to you, you are free to remarry’. I told her I disagreed. She said she respected my opinion. I told her if she remarried I could not attend. In the meantime, mutual friends introduced her to Mr. Right. They became engaged. She invited me to the wedding. I didn’t go. She said I was judging her, and that I was basically a pharisee cause there are far worse sins, and God wants his children to be happy. I said I loved her but disagreed, after all, she knew all along that I believed what I believed and couldn’t change it just to make her comfortable. We still speak, there is a tension, I still believe it is wrong, but do not judge her. She made her choice and will have to live with it.I am so tired of the ‘you are judging me’ statement when all we are trying to do is live by the standards God has set for us. When we see a fellow believer fall into a lifestyle that is not God honoring, we are no longer allowed to admonish because people are terrified of being convicted and have to own up to what they’re doing could possibly be wrong, and then have to give it up??? And it’s only going to get worse from here. We are the minority, and sadly, NOW the minority is no longer listened to…we are scoffed. God bless you and your ministry; Keep speaking the Truth!

  4. Fighting For Marriage says:

    Just a quick response to the above statement. My sister was beaten for years. I do not believe God wanted her to be in that ‘institution’…however, I also believe it is very clear that remarriage is wrong. I love her dearly and am thankful she is free from her ‘beatings’, however, the 2nd husband is abusive in a whole new way…and so the cycle continues.

  5. Mark Hughes says:

    Patricia
    You can argue that no wisdom went into writing this blog, but a great deal of thought did. I don’t believe that it is written in a spirit of condemnation of those who are divorced but rather a challenge for Christians to start getting it right. Women (or men) in an abusive situation are not obliged to live with that person but are not free to divorce unless there is adultery. Here is what the New Testament says on the matter. Like I said, I don’t make the rules. You can argue with God about it… but you will lose.

    Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. (Matthew 19:8)

    It has been said, “Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.” But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:31-32)

    Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. (Mark 10:9)

    I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery. (Matthew 19:9)

    And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery. (Mark 10:12)

    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)

    Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Luke 16:18)

    If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. (1 Corinthians 7:12)

    And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.
    (1 Corinthians 7:13)

    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. (I Corinthians 7:15)

    If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)

    • Patricia says:

      So tell me then, to the woman and her children that have been abused beyond repair of ever trusting her spouse that cannot have a divorce and taking her punishment one more time from his hands because he says she is his wife, what do you say the answer should be?

      There is a reason that women return 14 times to an abusive partner. Some people never know her trials at home but she may be sitting in your church pews or reading this article you wrote. What do you say? And if you say the answer is simply leave him but don’t divorce him, then I know it is because you do not understand the nature of that kind of evil, because you have never had to experience it or help a people that are going through it.

      When you stand at her grave though, do you think that it was all worth it because she did not give him a divorce?

      What I am saying is she forgiven by God and can move on and get married again? I have heard this too many times from too many. Some do not get through it, Pastor Mark. Some die at the hand of their spouse. It is a fact that some abusers (both men and women) take a divorce as sign to end their torment to him/her. God is not loving of him/her? God does not care for him/her. This is the law so they will not be forgiven if they are a believer.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dear Patricia, I come from such an abusive family. My mother was abused a lot by my dad; she stuck on for us as she didnt have money/education/job on her own. Did it go upto the point of divorce, it almost did! But God chose to touch my dad and he has changed and is still changing. Do i believe that my mom should have gone for the divorce? no. Do i think however she went through hell and had a right to live peacefully, yes ofcourse. Has life been hard for us? yes, but do i support a divorce? Never. Pastor Mark never said continue to get beaten up by the spouse, he said, separate, but dont divorce unless it is the case of adultery. And i totally agree to it 100%.

      • anonymous 2 says:

        Patricia, I understand that this frustrates you. As Pastor Mark said, he doesn’t make the rules, the Bible does. These biblical rules apply solely to Christians. If you are not a Christian, get divorced and remarried as many times as you want. What are the rates at now? 3 marriages a lifetime? Go for it. I have known many godly woman who have had to leave their homes due to abuse. However if you were following a biblical life what great does a divorce do as biblically to remarry would be adultery. Divorce does not save anyone. Many times asking for a divorce actually leads the abuser to much worse things. Sin is sin, no matter how passionate you are on a subject. Marriages can work, can be fixed if God is involved. Most of these situations, God was not involved. But just as Anonymous above said, God can change everything, and He heals. He is a good God, we are really bad at making decisions. Also remember, God died for the abuser too. Clearly if a woman, or man, or children are getting abused, the abuser desperately needs Jesus, and the family needs love.

      • anonymous 2 says:

        just to be clear … I don’t recommend the divorce/remarry routine… it has many consequences that exist whether you choose to disregard the Bible or not. Its emotionally scaring, it hurts your relationships, your children & plays with your mind. It sounds like I’m selling it, but really, I think it’d be counter-productive.

  6. anne says:

    Pastor Mark,
    AMEN AND AMEN,thanks for being blunt!!Keep up the great job,if people are being convicted of sin that is the holy spirit not pastor Mark. Stop slamming him for standing firm in Christ Jesus,,love love your blog and church on T.V.I have been married for 22years and no matter what there is no back door of escape,i have been blessed with a loving hubby but i did not jump into married life with out much prayer!!
    GREAT JOB WELL DONE,LOVE this article!!true all true we need more like you:)

  7. anonymous says:

    id like to know what should a person do if he knows that his wife is cheating constantly on him ?

  8. anonymous says:

    i also like the church to talk about the unfaithfull issue that is very comment in north america, that causes a lot of people to getting divorce in these days…

  9. Anessa says:

    Thank you Pastor Mark! God bless you for preaching the Bible instead of catering to what some people want to hear. God will bless you abundantly and you’ll be able to sleep peacefully at night!!

    In reply to your comment, Fighting for Marriage, “I do not believe God wanted her to be in that institution” What God doesn’t want is the husband to beat the wife. God wants all marriages to stay together till the end. But I agree with you about people who live in a way they shouldn’t always try to turn things around to make the person who speaks to them about it look bad. They think it’ll take the guilt off them??

  10. Jusuf says:

    Personally, I like you (pastor Mark) bringing up the issue of marriage to the surface.
    When my wife and I still lived in SE-Asia, we heard/read few persons witnessing how years of prayer from few congregations changed an abused spouse to be a faithful and loving husband. Obviously with a sacrifice being bitten up and heart ache. We involved in praying, visiting a woman who used to be a muslim married with a catholic man and converted to catholic, but after having 3 children (one of them a classmate of our daughter), the husband left hisown family to another woman in other city and he has a child from this new spouse. There’re no such things as government support for children like in Canada, meaning she must to pay all expenses with 3 children including school fee every month. Her muslim parent and brothers/sisters asked her to be a muslim again in order to be able to help her. After fasting and pray, one day her husband came back and lived with her and children for few months, but then he left again. Before we moved to Canada, her husband finally helped her in supporting the children school fee and she was still a catholic.

    There’re so many issues in marriage that even divorce could happen to those couple who have been married for 50 years. When we lived in borneo, we had a copy of muslim scholar desertation about how to ruin christian and the writer proposed muslim boys to marry christian girls then after having kids, leave her for good.

    Before I got married, I have principles and dreams about happy marriage. One of the principle I learned from a radio, a retreat of methodist young adults when I was a manager in the oil filed and other people experience in marriage bad or good; “have a spouse with the same faith” (at that time even moderate muslim declaring the same statement). Marriage has a RISK, but not the same as investing money with risk management technique. Personally I enjoyed every moment with my wife and our children. Without the Living GOD, it’s no way I met my wife who at that time lived in the capital, was a christian school teacher and a church sunday school teacher as well as praise & worship song leader and sometimes leading sermons for seniors and home-group. Meanwhile, I lived in different island, moving anywhere around the country, very independent and too far to go to her church in the capital. Up till now, I realized my wife is a gift from GOD and I always be thankful to HIM. If King David talked to his own soul, I do too ….. keep reminding my soul, because our soul easily forget how GOD works in our own life.
    Marriage is still a risk, just like LIFE itself has a risk. For us the Living GOD is not a third person in our marriage, we do not like a 3rd person in our marriage relationship. God is our heavenly Father where my wife and I personally can talk to HIM anytime.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The only thing you were right on is that marraige is not easy, but you clearly missed mentioning the two biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage:

    1. Marital infidelity (sexual unfaithfulness) by the spouse. The innocent party may divorce and remarry.

    2. A Christian’s unbelieving mate departs from the Christian. The divorced Christian is free to remarry.

    In addition, any and every divorce from one’s unsaved past is forgiven at the time of salvation. Why not give the answers as it is written instead of talking in riddles.

    • Patricia says:

      To Anonymous

      I agree with what you wrote. You cannot talk riddles and give partial answers to what is written. It is the same as not proclaiming God’s word in a rightful manner.

      • Mark Hughes says:

        I am not sure what riddles I am speaking in. I specifically did not write a blog about the justifiable causes for divorce and how to get out of ones marriage. I am more interested in why we need to stay in our marriages.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think we’ve established that marraige takes work. I honestly think there could be a few more Sundays on what the important things couples should be doing to create a close and strong marraige/relationship. This is where couples stumble. They give up because they don’t know where to start. Now, I’m talking the basics, because every relationship can have different problems, but sometimes LOVE does conquer all. Speaking from experience once you start communicating, the door is open to reveal what the problems are and that is where “You” come in, give them the stepping stones to work through things. Sometimes in some circumstances Divorce is the answer, even though it’s not an easy decision, it’s the right one and the Bible does recognize divorce as an option.

    • Conflicted says:

      Pastor Mark quoted bible passage 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 which says “A WIFE must not separate from her husband,,,but if she does she must remain married, or reconcile with her husband…” have a look at it…If you find info that backs up what you have written in your #1 comment please post!!

  12. Jusuf says:

    I have no comment about the famous name you mentioned, especially when we compared 2 verses on the bible : Luke 14:26 and Matthew 10:37-38. However, I knew that when someone already know how to do good, but not doing it … that person is sin. Anyone can make mistake in his life, I did a lot of mistakes and somehow when I prayed on my knees on different issue, I received miracle on that particular issue, but still at the same time I did not aware of or understood that my mistake was a sin. Now, since I know about marriage in God’s Kingdom, and aware of both verses in the bible, God helped me to understand about HIS Love and for me also to learn about have a meaning pray when “I say I love you GOD with all my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength by loving my wife, my children (the one I can see & touch without abusing them) and make sure that they also love HIM at least the same way as I love HIM.
    The future of ‘Faith in HIM” not depend on me, but depend on HE and my next generation to respond. My responsibility and should be the responsibility of church congregations to facilitate and to accomodate the next generations with good example of Faith in HIM.

    I pray that anyone who feel being offended by whatever is written on this blog, will not quitting from attending this church or any other church. Setting priority in life is the key.

  13. Just Wondering ~ says:

    I’m married to a man that has been divorced. When we got married, I knew better but my faith was extreemly weak. Since then (10 years ago), my relationship with Jesus has grown and I am nowhere in the same mind frame as I was then. When I recieved the conviction of my choices I repented of my sin and asked for forgiveness. But I don’t know where that leaves my marriage today. I’m a Christian, and he is not (not an easy existence – and I can probably write a book on the “don’ts” of that situation) but for now, my concern is whether or not my marriage is an abomination. I love my husband, and my family is my greatest gift – I am not sure how God see’s it. I will share that I know that God does hear my prayers, and He does sustain me through the hard times. Am I suposed to leave this marriage at this point? I’ve been struggling with this for a long time. When God forgives, what further action on our part does He require? The entire situation is a bit confusing – I hope I made some sense. I’m praying for my husband’s salvation and am leaning on the promise that “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes.” Romans 8:28. There is one thing for sure – I really doubt I’ll ever make the same mistake again! (a joke)

    • Mark Hughes says:

      Just Wondering
      You cannot unscramble eggs. We repent of our pasts and make the best of the marriage we are in. You need to stay in this marriage and God will indeed bless it. Keep praying for your husband.

  14. Bigdawg says:

    I cannot believe that Christians are defending the ‘right to divorce.’. Give your head a shake people, do you believe the whole bible or just the parts that make you feel good? Does this following verse sound familiar, (NLT) Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and acceptable.
    God wants us to be reconformed into His image, as we were in the beginning, by allowing the Word(Jesus) to rule our lives, but sometimes I think that some Of us would like to create God into their own image. How can we expect the Word to change us, if we keep changing the Word? What next does the bible speak against that we are going to say is okay in ‘special’ circumstances? If we continue to trivialize sin, then we also trivialize the work of the cross, and that, my friends is entering into the Dark Zone.
    The message of the gospel is the forgiveness and subsequent remission of sin, and there is forgiveness for all who call upon the name of the Lord and turn from their sin, even divorce. But we must admit that we’ve sinned and confess it to God -first. The trouble that some of us have is that we don’t want to admit that we’ve sinned, especially in cases like divorce. Another danger is that those who divorce and remarry and don’t confess that sin to God and receive His Forgiveness, also counsel others to divorce. And that cycle continues.
    We cannot pick the parts of the bible we agree with and ignore the others. The Word of God(not just the Red Letters either) became flesh and His Name is Jesus. What parts of Jesus don’t you like? Are we now judging God? Good luck with that.

  15. laurel says:

    Great message Sunday and great blogging on a unfavorable misunderstood subject. I am remarried. I was divorced twice. I was in two abusive marriages……and I agree with God’s law and what the Bible has to say abou t that.

    Really surprised and disappointed to hear Pat Robertson’s advice. Crazy enough it caught the attention of the secular world.

    “Can’t unscramble eggs.” That is a good one. You can burn them though.

    The Love and Respect course is just amazing and especially for those struggling.

    Thank you again for preaching and blogging the hard stuff.

  16. Tim Adshade says:

    I try everyday to find peace from the end of a 28 year marriage. Everywhere we look divorce is the normal or it seems to be. God has forgivien me and I have felt that through healing prayer. When I come across a verse in the Word on the divorce subject it always makes me cringe and the guilt feelings come back. I have remarried to a woman who has brought me back to God after a lifetime of not being close to Him. There is nothing I can do about my past. It is over and my life has to move forward. If I had known what I have learned in the last 3 years perhaps my marriage would not have ended. Divorce is a sin and Jesus lifted the pain of the sin off of me. I will never forget what got me to the pit of that sin. But thank God I don’t have to live with the pain. The only thing I can do is to let my children know that it was my failure to lead my family that got the results I did. I pray that Jesus will reveil himself through the leadership I’ve been getting from God through his Word and through the great teachers He puts in front of me. I hope that we are very careful to help those who need it not spread a message of no hope. Yes, divorce is a sin but many of us as parents set examples for the people around us. I told my ex wife that our divorce effects more than just her and I. While talking to my son over coffee a couple of days ago, he told me his mother has realized the same thing. Marriage takes three. I will continue to battle through the guilt even though I know Jesus has saved my life. Married couples having troubles..seek God! Divorce is the hardest thing I have ever gone through. Pastor Mark, I love your truth and enthusiasm but please be careful how you talk on this subject. Alot of us didn’t figure things out in time and we have to deal with our mistakes. Jesus has helped me sleep at nights without the sweats. Praise be to God!

  17. Withheld says:

    Alright, I’ve gotta weigh in on this one. When it comes to abuse in a Christian marriage, or any marriage for that matter, children learn what they live. The cycle of violence is perpetuated when a child grows up viewing one parent abusing the other as a “normal” part of life.

    If remarriage after divorce is so wrong, then why do we have DivorceCare at Church of the Rock? And…what about grace? Are all remarried and/or dating divorcees now condemned by Church of the Rock?

    Before I read this piece, I thought there was grace at Church of the Rock. Now, after this article, it seems like COTR is ready to line up all divorcees to either be stoned, or be branded with a scarlet letter.

    Maybe I need to do an edit of my Bible, y’know…get out the scissors and cut out all the passages that talk about grace, love, and forgiveness, because, based on this, they no longer seem to apply…

    • Mark Hughes says:

      Come on now… I did not say anything of the sort. We have a ministry called Divorcecare because many members are divorced and remarried and we are showering them with grace. Mercy and grace however does not change the truth.

      Ps 85:10 Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.

      • Tara says:

        my husband left 2 years ago and i am waiting on God’s timing to bring him back, like a prodigal son. how big is your God? big enough to heal illnesses but not marriages? the better question to hurting (or dead) marriages is “why WOULDN’T God heal your marriage?” i can’t think of a reason. He didn’t let hosea divorce, He was instructed to love and wait. but if we have divorce care in our church, why not have a class for those who are willing to fight and pray against their divorce? (not an attack, pastor mark, just a suggestion – i know how things are misread in blogs :) )

  18. Leah says:

    I think a lot of the divorce problems come from our lazy, instant gratification society. If we have to put our time, effort, and tears into anything we give up. Why should marriage be any different? It’s great and easy to start with, but then the issue come up and it’s hard to deal with so we find the next “perfect” person. Disposable, like everything else. This is also why crime has risen, and quality has become so low. God knows and tries to teach us that if we want the good stuff, if we want to be happy and satisfied we have to WORK at it. But not many WANT to ( like sullen spoiled children )
    For the fight pickers, quit twisting words, and read everything before going off on your high horse. NO ONE said you had to stay in an abusive, cheating marriage, but to stay and work at the marriage that is not these things. And finally if your spouse is ailing, don’t dump them in a nursing home and run away. Be there for them, stand by them, visit them. Yes it hurts to see them like this, but it is the RIGHT thing to do.
    Thank you.

  19. Sally Y says:

    Well I for one was happy to see that Pat Robertson did at least make an attempt to apologize for his bad advice, as I do not find pleasure in when a man of God is found to be in the wrong. It does reflect badly on the whole body of Christ. At least he did address this episode of bad advice giving and did not shove it totally under the rug. I think he may have been thinking like a guy would think at the time he gave that advice…sorry guys! Some of us take longer to fully repent so it seems and he may need to reflect on his awhile longer!
    I like what my friend says that we should always practise the 3 R’s.. Reveal, to heal, Repent and Restore.
    Divorce is indeed a touchy subject but as one who ended up in this position I can say that no one wins with a divorce. It is heart ache for everyone concerned. And it is unfortunate that selfishness is at the core of all divorces. The charter of rights only adds to society’s thinking that it is my “right’ to be happy, all my needs met etc. And if you can’t meet my needs then I will divorce you and find someone who will. The sad thing is most people believe this lie only to find out later in the new relationship that there is really no one who can meet all their needs…only Jesus can be our all in all! it is wise to learn this now before it is too late….Jesus still is the only way to a happy fulfilled life whether you are married, dovorced or single. And the Bible is still the best manual to follow!

    • Mark Hughes says:

      Sally
      Unfortunately you are correct, it is a guy thing. 85% of men divorce their invalid wives but only 15% of women do the same. I am with Mother Thesesa on this one; “As long as there is a God in Heaven no one should ever have to die alone.” I cannot imagine a spiouse doing anything less than being by the side of their sick spouse…. even if it is 14 years.

  20. lesley says:

    I have been married and divorced twice, and I’m not proud of it. But I’m also not proud of the way I got married, both times – by a Justice of the Peace. The words used sounded more like a legal agreement than anything else, and looking back, I’m not surprised that both marriages failed. It was too easy to get married and too easy to get divorced.

    Now that I know better, I wouldn’t get married again anywhere but in the sight of God, and there would be a lot more thought and planning and COMMITMENT going into it. I think it is great that some churches have pre-marital counselling, to make sure that people are ready to make that commitment in the eyes of God, and to each other.

  21. someone says:

    Okay so ive got a quick question, my wife of four years approached me last wednesday and said that she wants a divorce, of curse i felt completely blinsided, as a christian it was never an option for me. My wife says that she is a christian, but she just cannot continue in the marriage. Now i have spent the last week in much prayer and thanking and praising god (instead of growing bitter and building resentment for my wife). There is not much i can do, i cant force my wife to love me or stay with. I told her that i am not giving up on the marriage, but she is. Now where does this leave me? all i can do at the moment is pray and lead with christian example when i do talk to her or see her. By the way before people start guessing wether or not i was abusive or cheated, i did not. But i did deprive her of intimacy something in which i have come to terms with and have asked forgiveness from both my wife and God. What can i do? it is not in my hands. So does this mean that if she goes through with divorce, am i to never seek out a christian mate and remarry? i am only 30 and would like to think that if this does turn out the way my wife would like it to, that i still have a chance to find happiness in marriage ( or better yet my wife comes around and decides to work this out). i would appreciate some feedback, or stories from anyone who has faced a similar situation in a christian lifestyle.

    • Tara says:

      please do not give up on her. i don’t want to go into talking about my spouse or your spouse on a public blog, but i have seen SO many changes in my current situation that were IMPOSSIBLE 2 years ago when mine left. people will give you timelines, exceptions to the rules, advice, etc. but it is my firm and solid belief that God will change your entire situation! He’s got no reason NOT to. He holds marriage in the highest regard. this is the “worse” part of “for better or worse”. do not give up praying for your wife. God will work on you during this time, but just trust Him, no one else.

      here’s a website that helped me (thanks annie!)
      http://www.rejoiceministries.org

      p.s. i am also a young married, so people told me over and over how i still had my chance to find someone else – no thanks.

      • Mark Hughes says:

        Someone
        There is much you can do and some of it (prayer) you have already begun.
        1) Take 100% responsibility (doesn’t matter who is to blame) for the problems in your marriage and determine that you will do whatever it takes.
        2) I can tell you that your wife has needs that you are not meeting. You need to discover what they are and start.
        3) Watch the movie ‘Fireproof’ (even better together).
        4) Get the ’40 day love dare’ and start the journey.
        5) Get into marriage counselling
        6) Join one of our marriage courses ‘Married for Life’ or ‘Love and Respect’
        7) Buy books on being a husband and how to meet your wife’s needs (lots at christian bookstores)
        8) Don’t ask me the question ‘Can I remarry’? This marriage is a long way from over, divorce just needs to NOT be an option. We are way to quick to start looking for a loop hole in the biblical divorce/remarriage teaching… This advice is for everyone reading!

      • Greetings @Mark … Great thread, love scrambled eggs analogy, and your 7 steps to recoup grounds on a failing marriage. Will pass along to others in need.

        Enjoy your T.V. ministry and hope to visit when in Winnipeg, someday ~ God willing.
        By then, hope to have my book published, in how Jesus walked me through the nightmare of divorce that included violence, and much more. Why some marriages don’t make it is like asking God why everyone we pray for to be healed isn’t. People die and and so does love between a couple who did not base the foundation of their marriage on Jesus being the corner stone. When not nourished and fed by God’s Word [seed] and Living Spirit [water], any form of passion withers and dies.

        The power of our Great Physician Jesus with His healing and restoration has blessed me over many years, beyond the understanding of myself and a number of doctors. Even though my husband of 22 years doesn’t see the great changes, I know from day to day what is happening in me. Just every day routine, minus majority of the pain I previously suffered with.

        I totally agree that a ‘Christian couple’ should never go to the alter of marriage and take ‘half heart’ vows before God, or have evil or malicious reasons for doing so. I could write a book on marriages I have attended that were destined for destruction, including my first – though that wasn’t our intentions. The more I prayed for God to mend it, the worst things got. When I told 2 different doctors that I married ’til death due us part’ they told me to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’, because it would be my funeral, at the rate he was pushing me towards the grave. He passed on, in 2004, and never did get over the fact that I found happiness in a second marriage, when he refused to marry the mother of his child that was conceived during our final separation. As a new mother, I use to babysit his first born, thinking she was a child of a friend of his mother. That marriage was full of deception, and the best that came of it was our children and grandchildren.

        I am glad I did not hear such a firm stand / message on divorce when I was going through mine. I grieved the divorce, even though it was from an abusive man who was an adulterer. He was the father of my children. I cried endlessly when I met my second husband, as I was confused about what the scriptures said and what God wanted me to do. God knew I needed a man, and would not be able to deal with upcoming events alone. I was also in doubt that I ever wanted to commit to another man, only to be betrayed and abused again. Would have ended up in prison on manslaughter charges, under such circumstances, as someone who has suffered from PTSD [former marriage / divorce / courts described as war zone by professionals I have dealt with] and Abused Wife Syndrome who has had a few head injuries, is many times worse then dealing with one suffering with an acute case of PMS. A bit of my sense of humor thrown in there. My husband is with me on his own free will, and if he wanted to leave I would be heart broken for a time, but know that it could be mended with Jesus.

        Because Jesus was always a breath away, and I know He walked with me [us] through everything, including the death of my eldest child / his step daughter, I believe He has Fireproofed my second – final one for me. We watched the movie and read the book a few years ago. Excellent ! Your mention of other books will be noted as future ‘must reads’

        I know that the feeling of stress to the point of fighting back on a bully / tyrant is not the thing to do, even though I strongly believe in ‘self defense / offense tactics. When a person is repeatedly abused / tormented / harassed, they have their breaking point, after they run out of forgiving 70 X 7.

        Even God has a breaking point, as written in numerous examples throughout scripture. When the shout is given for the blast of the trumpets, and Micheal and his army of angels sweep down upon the wickedness of this world, we will see who will stand faithful in that day. Not sure whether I’ll be here witnessing that glorious site, or riding in with them, as I have listened to many interpretations of those scriptures. Just try to live and serve in each day I am given to do so.

        Keep well, and God bless you and your loved ones, always.

  22. Just Wondering ~ says:

    Thank-you Pastor Mark for the advice. I read your response on the way to work this morning and it really did lift me up. I will keep praying for my husband’s salvation as it is extreemly important to me, and our children. Your words were extreemly helpful, and now I feel a lot less burdened. Thanks again.

  23. Betty says:

    Jesus I Praise You, for Pastor Mark & Kathy and everyone and everything, that make it Church of the Rock.

    My Dad’s Mom, had Alzheimer before she passed away and lived with my Mom & Dad at that time, for a while and we all had some very hard days and good days,even though she did not know who we were, all the time, we still loved her, because she was “still” our family member.
    I watched a great DVD,[by Billy Graham] some time ago, about this husband who had a wife that had Alzheimer,and it showed me, how important it is, to let Jesus live in and through us and that includes, LETTING JESUS LOVE other people through us, He is more Powerful and Bigger, then our biggest problem.

    Jesus said:”Love your neighbor as yourself”.
    And who is our neighbor? The one we come in contact with each day, and like Jesus does, love the people but hate the sin.
    When my brother was married for 23 years, they got divorced, and hurt everyone of my family,he is married again and we love his wife very much, because Jesus loves her first.

    To #21 someone says,I want to share this with you, ” 2/3 of our worries never happen,2/3 of our tears are wasted,four enemies, all start from the heart, Sorrow, Fear, Doubt & Discouragement.
    Jesus Has Forgiven us of ALL our sins, Past, Present and Future and we are living in the future of Jesus dying on the cross.” by Joseph Prince

    I have known Peter & Roxanne Youngren for many years and Jesus is working in a powerful way, through that Ministry.

  24. someone says:

    Thankyou Mark for the response, I can let you know how i am doing on that list:
    1)I wrote her a 4 page “confessional” telling her all that God had revealed to me and how awful she must have felt during the last 2 years(first 24 hrs after she had toldme i was in denial, after that i woke up feeling even more sick because God had helped me realize what i had deprived my wife of)
    2)I am aware of the needs that i was not meeting….communication and deep intimacy (i was not sharing my thoughts and deep concerns with her at all i bottled alot up to put on a “strong” guard, like i could handle all the stresses that were in our life and marriage,i.e.: i am a firefighter for the city and i see alot of horrible things instead of sharing and crying with her when i came home after seeing death or near death, i bottled it up and didnt talk to her about what i was feeling)… i wrote that in the “confession” letter to her and apologized for my sin to her. I just pray that she can soften her heart to God first , aswell as towards me.
    3&4) we watched the movie fireproof together when it had come out….we were both very happy in our marriage in that time, i dont think she will watch it with me again. She refuses to even go to church with me(to ChurchofRock) even as a friend. She says that she doesnt want to go to a church that ill be going to (as you can see my lack of communication/intimacy has really built up resentment in her toward me, one of the things that i have been praying that God would break down in her, aswell as softening her heart).
    5)she says its past going to counselling, when she has brought up these issues in the past i had denied that we had any issues(i put up a guard) and said that time and God would help us through them, untill 6 months ago, thats when i had a break through and started to initiate the things which i had deprived her of. When she had dropped the seperation/divorce bomb on me she said that i had changed everything she had asked me to, but she said it was to late.
    6)If she comes back to me we will for sure be getting counselling and joining a marriage course. before we were married we took the premarriage course at CofR, and agreed that we would never bring up the “D” word no matter how bad it got…. i never have and she just did one week ago, so that makes it even more shocking to me. I felt completely blindsided, not that i didnt deserve it though after some personal reflection about my sins toward her.
    7)Books im reading at this moment: Marriage on the rock, five love languages, What wives wish their husbands knew about women, and be ye transformed.
    But most of all ive been praying for my wife and myself. I know that i need to change and i feel i have, especially since God revealed to me the sins that i committed toward my wife in the marriage (lack of intimacy b/c of lack of communication).
    Thanks for your help and prayers.

    • Tara says:

      Your situation is so sad for me – it hits close to home in many ways. Just remember – NOTHING is impossible with God. NOTHING. Even if it looks impossible. My husband had a divorce date and everything and I was praying firm against it, knowing that it is not God’s will for a husband and wife to be separated and at the last minute he cancelled it. Just please know, God wants your wife home, too, and nothing will get in His way. Don’t set timelines, He’s got the perfect plan for you guys. He allowed this to happen for a reason and that reason is good for your marriage. Just keep going and never ever ever give up on your marriage. Don’t look at what appears to be happening. God sees what we don’t. Please check out that website I put above, it says way more than I ever could here.

  25. Timi says:

    Preaching the scriptures the way it is! Way to go Pastor Mark and yes, I hope peeps reading this blog would see that it isn’t a note of condemnation but a call to believers to live what the Bible says (going up the down stairs, hey?).

  26. Confused says:

    I am confused now – I too believe that God is a very forgiving God and I believe that exact point is preached a lot!! At the end of church services, people are welcome to front of the church or raise their hand, etc. to repent of their sins and ask Jesus into their heart BUT it sounds to me from the discussion here that if you are divorced – you are hooped anyway!

    • Mark Hughes says:

      Divorce is not the unpardonable sin. Of course God will forgive. But we must not use grace as an excuse to sin and say, “Well, I’ll just get a divorce, remarry and then repent.” That’s called blatant disobedience and not something I would want to stand before God someday and have to defend.

  27. Jasmine says:

    I’ve known Jesus since I was 13, and I had prayed to God that He would give me a husband who would understand me and take care of me. In the Indo-Canadian culture, it is still quite the norm to have an arranged marriage, which was my parents’ experience and my own. When they were looking for a potential suitor for me, I told them to find me a Christian husband. My husband and I have been married for 11 years now and the first year (the transition from my parents’ house to our own life together) was extremely difficult. We got into an argument about 6 weeks into the marriage (2 days after my birthday) and my husband left the house and tried to commit suicide…and then called me to let me know that he had drank the janitor’s cleaning fluid at his place of work. I quickly realized that even though his mother had claimed they had been Methodist from generations back, my husband did not have a relationship with Jesus.

    I had hoped that we would learn about each other and grow together through the years, but that didn’t happen and the disappointment was devastating to me emotionally and physically. I took a three month stress leave 4 months into our marriage because I was starting to have stomach issues, and prayed that God would help me persevere. It was around the same time that he finally confessed to me that he had filed for bankruptcy the year before, and we had no support from his family–not even a place to live, which the husband’s family is expected to provide. Even though my husband had nothing to his name and brought only debt into our marriage, I thought we could make it work if we just worked hard together. But the disconnect between us just grew. I wondered if it was something about me that just didn’t measure up, especially when I noticed him looking at other girls. He never did anything to reassure me or relieve me of any of my own insecurities. We have two children together, but no relationship with each other. We’ve attended counselling sessions for the past 1 and a half years, weekly parenting sessions for 4 months, he took and 8-week anger management class; and yet no change, no improvement. I’ve prayed for him and the children (7 years old and 4 years old), and I’ve asked God to reveal to me what He wants me to do here and how He wants me to be in this situation. Just recently, our counsellor said that his lack of social & emotional intelligence and his lack of empathy and his lack of connection are indicators of Asperger’s syndrome. It was a revelation for me, because that would explain his distance from me and his inability to have any meaningful relationships in his life. He is getting assessed for Asperger’s now, and I really struggled with the thought that I could live the rest of my life without having my own emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual needs met by my life partner. There is no intimacy between us of any kind.

    I just live every day waiting on the Lord now. The struggles in my life have just pushed me closer to Him, and made me appreciate my relationship with my children. It has made me realize that God is really all I need.

    Divorce is not an option.

  28. Betty says:

    Hey, someone!
    A prayer was said for you and your co-workers on 9-11-12, keep up the great job you are doing.

  29. Betty says:

    That should be 9-11-11 and not 12.

  30. Steve says:

    Something I admire about you Pastor Mark is that you are willing to stand for things you believe in even if it isn’t popular. There’s something really honorable about that. I like seeing Pastors that are willing to take flack for what they believe in and trust God for their support, not people.

  31. Terell Moquin says:

    FEWF! would take me hours to read all these comments. just wanna say that i thought it was a Good Honest Message and The Bible never taught to be timid and afraid of the human response to God’s word! Matter of fact said many would hate the truth… so guess its a blessing if people dont like the truth means your lining up with the Word of God! God Bless all of you and I Pray for God’s wisdom to be poured out on each situation. God’s Grace is sufficent for a repentant heart!

    Luke 14: 34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

    “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

    i believe many pastor’s have lost the “salt” – and that is the true Gospel… We’re lucky to have Pastors who are Salty ;)

  32. Karen says:

    I am so disappointed in your blog this week. I first started attending COTR just over two years ago, shortly after my husband and I separated after a marriage of almost 36 years.
    I attended the divorce care classes and I wonder now why I did after reading your blog. My husband has been living with another woman for the past two years but when I filed for divorce he contested it and it was eventually thrown out of court as the time limit on my petition had expired. I live in another country now where there are two categories…….married or single. I definitely do not feel married and list myself on application forms as single. I attend church regularly and am feeling the stigma of not being married and not being divorced as I live in a very small community. I never felt that way at COTR before, but now I am beginning to wonder….

    • Mark Hughes says:

      I have no idea what you are reading in the blog that is different than what we teach in Divorce Care or in Church. God loves divorcees and hates divorce. We treat every person equal (single, divorced, married) but work hard at keeping people married as that is God’s best. If a spouse commits adultery and leaves there may not be much you can do to save that marriage. that is why Jesus stated that person may remarry (but remember they need to remain faithful themselves.)
      Why do people think I make up the rules? Everybody needs to go read their bibles on the matter.

      • Tara says:

        i’ve wrestled with this for a long time now…how come in matthew jesus puts in the “except for fornication” part but not in mark or luke? i’ve read up on the subject as much as i can. some have concluded that since He was talking to a jewish audience “fornication” meant during their time of betrothel otherwise He would have said “adultery”…some have said that the translation to english actually should say “not even for fornication”…some say nothing.
        just wondering what you think pastor mark?
        this matthew verse just makes it too easy for satan to destroy our marriages. it’s the “go-to” verse and our “ticket” out of our marriages. people don’t dig deeper into why mark and luke don’t say that.

        • Mark Hughes says:

          I do not think it was a mistake in the translation since Matthew said it twice. He specifically uses the word fornication which refers to the sexual act not the word adultery. Remember Jesus said if you look at a woman with lust in your heart you are guilty of ‘adultery’. He did not want that to be the cause of a divorce. Sometimes fornication is translated whoring. So he has used the strongest word to say that a ‘faithful’ spouse does not have to remain married to a partner that is betraying and dishonoring them through sexual perversity.

  33. Sally Y says:

    I think it is a good thing that Church of the Rock states that divorce should not be an option and that every means to save the marriage should be undertaken. However if you have done all you can and your spouse goes through with the divorce, it does not mean that you, as the divorced person, has to live under condemnation. And even if you were the one who did the divorcing, God says if we repent of our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. We need to ask Him for forgiveness for our part in the divorce and for the actual divorce. Then we can live in peace with God and man.
    The Divorce Care course is a great way to begin to heal from the trauma of divorce and to learn that you can have a life again outside of being married. It means letting go of all the hurts, disappointments,resentments,unforgiveness hatred and malice caused by the rejection and it means chosing to walk in forgiveness of the departing spouse. If you chose to do this, then no root of bitterness will have a chance to take root in you and destroy you. You will be able to love again; even those who have despitefully used you. Gods best of course is always to remain in your marriage, but He does redeem the years the locust has stolen.
    I find it interesting that in the news today that Mexico wants to issue a 2 yr temporary marriage license and after at the end of those two yrs you are let out of your marriage contract. How convienent; because that is just about the time when a man or woman loses the intense passion in the physical relationship of marriage.

    • Patricia says:

      Sally Y –

      Thank you for what you wrote. I agree with you.

      That is rediculous what they are doing in Mexico. Maybe it is because the cost of divorce and abuse issues that they think this is the answer. This is not the answer either to an epidemic of the family unity. God is the answer to all things.

  34. Sheri Dmitrowicz says:

    I have many answers and questions on this topic.
    Preach it on the Pulpit Please.

  35. Ian Clark says:

    I think we’re all missing something here:
    The model:
    The Lord has not, is not, and will not divorce us because He is faithful. There are numerous instances in the Old Testament that Israel is likened to an harlot by placing faith in her lovers who, of course, abandon her when the chips go down. This is not the way of the Lord. We are called to perform works of governance and judgement in the future that is set before us, how can we know to judge or govern rightly if we don’t know how to be faithful? God showed his love for us in a way beyond fathoming in that while we were still sinners he gave His son for us. Ephesians 5:32
    Mark spoke of a woman who believed God was happy if we’re happy…this is not Biblical. God has our good in mind, not our happiness. If anyone doubts this they have failed to understand the book of Job, for one.
    The Enemy:
    Satan hates marriage. He will do anything he can to destroy any and every marriage. The angels are watching to learn of grace. We are the recipients of His grace. It is important to never forget “greater his He that is in you than he that is in the world.” The Lord is our refuge in times of trouble, our strong tower. The world is watching and the angels are watching, those of light and those of darkness. What we do and how we act in this life is important, but it is not eternal. The Lord is a God of relationship and He is faithful even when we are not. We are to learn this and turn to the Holy Spirit to accomplish this grace in us for “He who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” It is in times of trial and trouble that we come to know the lavish love the Lord pours on us. Job’s wife turned on the Lord, but Job was faithful to her, because as he said we know that our redeemer lives.
    My heart truly goes out to those in pain and anguish whether through violence or illness, but there is more going on here. This is what presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice really means.
    Jesus and the Apostles were crystal clear on marriage and Mark has the right of it. Pastor Charles Price once said that we are to treat errors of morality with compassion (divorcees) but errors of doctrine harshly (divorce.) I think that a discerning soul will find that Mark adheres to this as well.

  36. mother of "someone" says:

    Tara, on behalf of our son and our family, thanks so much for your time and thoughtfulness in giving some much appreciated encouragement, based on your own experience! God bless you! It means so much to us! We serve an awesome God, and we are trusting Him for a miracle that will also encourage others!

    • Tara says:

      Thank YOU – your comment encourages ME :)
      I feel sooooo passionately about this topic! Don’t ever give up on that marriage. There are even mothers on that website who are the only ones praying for the marriage and THAT was enough for God! Often we give up cause it seems to take too long, but God’s plans don’t work on our timelines. I believe that if we just set aside the “which verse says what” mentality and just asked God what He wants us to do, many more marriages would be on the way to being healed. The greatest examples of people with faith back in the day didn’t even have scripture, they just listened carefully.
      Sorry I could go on and on…just like to get as much in while the blog is on this topic :)

      Bottom line is: satan wants our marriages destroyed and dead – are we going to hand them over to him?

      • someone says:

        Tara,
        Thankyou so much for the website link, it is truly helping me through this very very difficult situation. It is so very hard to stand when things look so bleak, but im trying to stay focused on God and what he would have me do. All i can do is pray for a miracle! Its hard when i am at work aswell as with friends, most(in fact all of them) are not christian s so i constantly have to filter out all of the negative talk and how i should move on. I know they are doing what friends do, that is they are biased towards me even though i tell them it is my fault. I am very lonely sometimes and alot reminds me of my wife, i know satan is attacking me which is kind of encouraging and a compliment because i must be a threat to his reign here on earth. Any ways thanks again for that link to charlynes site. i hope all is well with you and will continue to pray for all of us “standers” and their prodigals.

  37. Cesc Fabregas says:

    A big Thank you to Pastor Mark for standing up for the truth, especially concerning topics and issues that some preachers don’t have the guts to address. Thanks for your messages and your blogs. Keep up the good work and may God continue to bless you. Big Ups!!

  38. Conflicted says:

    An anonymous reply stated when there is infidelity in a marriage the “innocent” spouse may divorce and remarry. A specific gender is not named. According to Pastor Marks bible passages backing up this issue, if the wife leaves her spouse she must REMAIN UNMARRIED or else reconcile with her spouse. Would anonymous please provide bible passages to back up their comments.

  39. Phil says:

    In the news Monday Mexico has proposed “trial” or a defined term for marriages. They are proposing 2 year term marriages at which point the marriage would automatically end unless agreed by both parties to extend this arrangement. I am always astounded as to how low society can sink. However, I have written an advertisement for this new definition of marriage – “Since marriage and divorce are so expensive, let us cheapen the experience”. Sarcasm aside, I hope this trend (it already existed in Islamic cultures before Mexico) stops now!

  40. anonymous says:

    I recently divorced and now I feel free! I tried for years to make everything right in my marriage but it was not reciprocated by my husband. I had been married to him for just about 13 years and had nursed him through his sicknesses and hospitalization periods, through his bouts with drinking, drugs, and paranoia.
    When I would end up with a cold or illness of some sort, there was no support from him. I would be told that there was nothing wrong with me, I only wanted sympathy!
    I got to the point where I no longer had confidence in myself to do anything let alone run a household on the meager pension I was receiving from the gov’t.
    And did I mention, he seemed to think he only had to work when it suited his needs?
    I finally went to work and started to regain some self respect for myself, and started to regain some of the confidence in myself that I had lost.
    I started to see light at the end of the tunnel & some hope for a happier future for myself, which I was in dire need of.
    I found myself catching up on debts which were in my name, and not made by myself, but owed by him.
    I put him through classes which he passed and were never put to use.
    How much can one person take, and not feel just a bit let down in a marriage? For better or worse? How much worse can a marriage get when it is so one sided?!
    And yes I decided to end it. And yes, I did go against what the good book says. But like I said how many times can you be pooped on and not feel like you are buried under the pile?
    I feel like I have regained my sanity, although at a very huge financial cost to ME, as he entered the relationship with nothing and left smelling like a rose!
    But as you said in your “Blast from the Past” trip, forgiveness is a must if you want to be free. So it seems I must forgive and let go of that burden, or it will hold me to the ground like a ball & chain.
    I was forever being accused of cheating, lying, and the verbal abuse, and the name calling had such a detrimental affect, I would stay in my house for weeks at a time without leaving, for fear it was written all over my face.
    I do fully agree in the commitment of marriage, but once the love is gone & contempt and hate set in how does one ever patch that up?
    I do sincerely feel as I will enter heavens gate when the time comes, as I am a believer that our God is a forgiving God….just saying!

  41. Sally Y says:

    Re: Anonymous: It is unfortunate that your marriage did end in divorce, and yes I too also believe that God forgives us; and I also believe that the Lord does not want us to be abused. Leaving your spouse, may have helped him see the light and change but then again it may not have.
    The fact it is you can not allow yourself to be abused. Now whether you did or did not do the right thing by divorcing (and I would err on the not side), the fact is that this is all behind you now and you have to get on with your life. And after confessing the sin of divorce and your part in it, just continue to live your life as unto the Lord and to the best of your ability!
    If we are faithful and just to confess out sing He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin. God is so good!

  42. Jasmine says:

    I frequently wonder how the tension within the home between the spouses affects the children. It’s difficult when one spouse is completely emotionally disengaged and aloof most of the time and only displays anger the rest of the time…anger that is taken out on the children because they’re an easier target and they can’t fight back.

    I end up questioning myself as their parent because my role is to protect them when they’re so young (7 & 4); but by staying in the relationship, I allow them to be the innocent victims who are caught in the crossfire.

    How can I deal with a spouse who exhibits no remorse for causing emotional and physical pain to his children?

    I tried getting the Ministry of Children and Family Development involved, but they closed the file after only one interview.

    Sometimes I feel like I’ve failed my children because I decided to continue in a hostile relationship that may hinder their social and emotional development.

  43. Betty says:

    Jasmine
    “Who is standing beside you?
    Imagine Jesus standing beside you, when you pray”. by Joseph Prince

    There have been days, when I had a hard time, I prayed, Jesus In Your Powerful Name, Satan get out of this [where I was at that time], you do not belong in here and Jesus In Your Powerful Name,Satan get out of [your husbands name], you do not belong in him and Jesus never fails, He helps me every time,I ask Him for help .

  44. Eli says:

    Who needs to imagine if it’s true. Believe! Because it is true!

  45. Betty says:

    Jesus is here, but “Imagine Jesus standing beside you [as a person ], when you pray.”

  46. ron says:

    dear Mark: thanx for this article…it speaks to my heart ( which is heavy with sadness @ the moment ) over my wife’s continued threats of divorce.we have been married for just under 8 years and have struggled most of them with one issue or another throughout…however …just befor we married i was informed of abuse issues in her back ground…she was still living with her parents and trying to deal with panic attacks and other issues related to her abuse…
    we discussed our living accomidations post married …but she refused to leave the town her mom lived in ( i now know she was extremely co-dependant ) so we stayed.
    right after we moved into our new place …she started to have flashbacks to the abuse….and only within the last 2 years has found counselling for it…the problem i now face is that her family knows little or none of this…and they are in agreement that 100% of our marrital difficulties are my fault/s …and that a divorce would cause her …and our 2 children to be happier…and more content
    she’s also convinced a so called Christian counsellor that i represent the sum of our problems …and that divorce is her only option…and …all this befor attempting a marital counselling session…
    intrestingly…the 2 counsellors that i’ve seen have said divorce isn’t good…and that it takes 2 people to have troubles like we do….
    i’m willing to do whatever is neccessary so my children don’t have to suffer forever…and so she can feel safe and free in our marriage
    i’m open to suggestions…
    thanx and may God richly bless you

  47. Steve says:

    I’ve had the same issues in my marriage Ron. Well not exactly, but I know what you’re saying here.
    The way my marriage got better was by me letting go of my pride and wanting to be right. To surrender my wanting to show her how wrong she was and loving her. That was where I learned how wrong I was.
    I never had one person on my side either. I soon realised all I could do to help the situation was to love unconditionally. Isn’t that what we all want deep down? For someone to see past all of our hang ups and just love us? Well it will never happen unless someone starts doing it. And if nobody does it, it just won’t happen. Believe me, things get better if we love unconditionally. She wants to know you love her even if she has these problems and when she sees that, I’ll bet things will get better. God bless.

    • ron says:

      Thanx Steve…i appreciate that focus…and i believe i’ve heard God challenging me the same way…to love her as Christ Loved me first…and that Nothing is too big or too hard for God…( and He is a Heart Specialist!…just ask Pharo)
      i have decided to set her free…so she can make her own choice on how to pursue the help we need…and i’m willing to put in the effort to save our relationship….and i’ve asked her to do the same….now i hope with God’s help & blessing we can get to the hard work of facing the scary parts and have a marriage that not only honors God …but is a joy to be in.

  48. Steve says:

    One more word of advice. Don’t ask her to do anything. Just keep asking God to show you where she is hurt.
    If she is causing you alot of pain, ask the Lord to reveal to you how horrible she feels and where she feels she is unlovable. Don’t worry about you’re pain. Let it go. Then love her in that area. If you do this, I gaurantee she will be loving you like never before.

  49. Bruce Klekta says:

    1st: Thanks Mark. Great post. I appreciate both your willingness and obedience to address controversial issues. Keep up the great work.

    2nd: Ron & Steve # 46, 47 & 48 – Great advice Steve. Ron in my case my wife had to stand for our marriage for nine long years. She literally wore out a Bible through those hard years. Yet she shares that whenever she would complain to God about what kind of a husband I was (or was not) God would always challenge her as to what she as a godly Christian wife should be doing and what her heart attitude was.

    Her consistent (for the most part) Christ like attitude is what ultimately softened my heart. No matter what kind of a bozo I was she made it her business to be there for me. She not only supported me but she respected me in some very foolish business ventures, some of which cost us a lot of money. She consistently (for the most part) was a great: mother to our children; homemaker; cook; lover; spiritual pillar in our home and our relationship. She learnt to do that all (for the most part) without condemning me or hitting me over the head with the Bible.

    Today we have been married over 48 years and are one another’s absolute best friends (for the most part). God in His grace and mercy has used us over the last 18 years to help many others strengthen their marriages.

    PS: If there are sceptics reading this and thinking it would be impossible to consistently do right for nine long years like my wife did, you need to know that while for the most part she was very nice to me (her carnal, selfish, demanding, self-willed husband) on occasion she would really bare her heart before her gentle loving heavenly Father. She tells me that in her private prayer closet (often that was a field – we lived on a farm for many years) she would throw temper tantrums and yell at God. At the time I knew none of this.

    I share this PS with you to encourage you. Don’t give up. Stand and having done all stand.

    The (for the most part) comment I have inserted several times is to communicate that while my wife is an awesome gal even she is not perfect so don’t let the devil blind side you that unless you are perfect there is no use even trying. Our God makes it His business to use us imperfect humans to bring hope to the world we live in. So again I encourage you – stand for righteousness and having done all stand.

  50. Sally Y says:

    Thanks Bruce for sharing your story. It is a real encouragement to those who are struggling in their marriages and it is wonderful to see what God can do if we are willing and able to let Him work in us!

  51. Steve says:

    Thanks Bruce,
    yes I think we all need to throw an insane rant at God every now and then. He can take it.
    People who are honest like you are a breath of fresh air.

  52. Corinne says:

    Oh where to begin. I would have given my life for Bruce’s story to have been mine. In fact I almost did (die that is). I married my high school sweetheart at 19. I supported him through college and job/business dealings. I had three children, fostered 26, and adopted one. I too came from an abusive childhood. And my husband was emotionally abusive through all of our marriage. But I continued to trust my heavenly Father and prayed for my husband. Then one day while having my quiet time, the phone rang. It was his “girlfriend” sobbing. She told me all the details of their affair and how he had infected her with HIV. When I was able to breath I went into his home office to confront him. He sat there humped over his desk for he had just received her news also. There is so much more to this story. I had only ever been with my husband. Though I am not perfect either, I believed in my vows also. I tried to be a Godly wife. I believed God had given me my marriage and I would fight for it. But after finding his ad on craigs list for a male partner for the evening inclusive of nude pics I knew God was showing me it was time to wipe off my feet and walk away. To protect my children and myself. I so didn’t want to. After 38 years with this man, I have to heal and move on. It is important that we do not clump all those divorced in one “package”. God knows the devastation unfaithfulness causes to not only the heart but the spirit. It is not for us to judge but to love. I agree we must prepare the saints and rebuke selfishness and hold to God’s standards. But we must love one another. This is what will bring about many more stories like Bruce’s.

    • Patricia says:

      I am glad that God showed you this and that you have not walked away or became angry at God for what had happened. You are his and are walking in great faith.

      I thank you for sharing your testimony with us all Corinne. I pray that you receive much happiness and blessings in your life for your faithfulness and trust you put in the Lord.

    • Anon says:

      Good for you, Corinne! Read my story below. It is not ours to judge. and we should not all be lumped together.

  53. Eva says:

    Thank you for preaching the word of God. God bless you!

  54. Bruce Klekta says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Corinne. Your “ I agree we must prepare the saints and rebuke selfishness and hold to God’s standards” comment is right on.

    For far too long the “official” decree from much of the church was that divorce was unacceptable no matter what the individual circumstances were. It was all about the letter of the law period. That was and is totally legalistic and completely wrong.

    Today in much of the church as Mark articulates in his post the pendulum has swung to the other extreme. Rather than taking a Biblical stand that is seasoned with grace and mercy we have abdicated to the world’s permissive standards of: “I’m okay – your okay”. “If it makes you feel good and you are not hurting anyone it is okay.” What a vague confusing message the world is getting from the church.

    I pray we grow in our ability to hold up God’s standards. And yes all we say and do must be motivated by mercy and grace.

  55. Steve says:

    Corinne, I am so sorry for what happened to you. What you went through is horrific! If you were my sister or mother, I would’ve said divorce that man now! In fact I have had similar things happen to people I know, and I told them that same thing. God has grace for horrible situations.
    I pray God would bring supernatural healing to your heart and show you what a real husband should be. I pray also that God gives you a good man who loves you like God does.

  56. G says:

    I feel so completely sad and lonely to think I must spend the rest of my life alone because I am divorced. I am the rock that my friends come to in grief, struggle and difficult times but the thought of being alone for the rest of my life brings tears to my eyes.
    My wife was not pure when I married her but I was not aware of this. I left for other reasons during a prolonged period of being turned away from God. I have returned to God but long for the intimacy of a loving wife whom I can share my life with. But I am now told that this is impossible for me and that I must be left to struggle with loneliness and and emptiness in my heart that God has to this point failed to fill. Sure, I agree that God can meet all needs but I cannot help but feel heartbreaking sorrow at knowing I have no choice but to spend the rest of my life being single.
    I can think of no other sadness greater than this.

  57. Bruce Klekta says:

    To all the folks that feel so completely sad and lonely thinking that you must spend the rest of your life alone because you are divorced.

    I would encourage each one of you to get into a good solid Bible based church and get connected with two or three solid mature Christians that will speak the truth to you in love. Don’t surround yourself with people that are so mercy motivated they will just tickle your ears telling you what you want to hear. But rather surround yourself with real friends that will listen – really listen to your story. That will get to know your whole story. That will make it their business to verify your story. That will get to know your heart. That will seek to get the mind of the Lord for your situation. That will gently speak the truth to you, not sugar coated fluffy spiritual sounding stuff but rather Bible based truth.

    I know of some people whom God has greatly blessed with a new marriage, sometimes to their former spouse and sometimes a new spouse. But always first there has been a purifying process. I share this with you to give you hope if you are in a seemingly impossible situation. Don’t take this as an easy out and a license to do whatever is right in your own eyes.

  58. selene says:

    pastor mark; I fully agree with you but what happens when a christian person waits for 15 years for the husband to becomme a christian and he never does? nor does he show interest in being one? that is besides mistreating my son whom I had in my first marriage. he was told by our pastor to spend at least 10 minutes reading the bible and to pray every day i f he wants his marriage to work and he still does not get it. do I have to remain with him?

    • sarah says:

      this is why divorce is so messy. you hear so many stories about stepfathers mistreating their stepsons. this is why you DONT remarry!

  59. Steve says:

    I pray that prayer for Corinne if it’s God’s will. If not, I pray Christ be the husband you need in your time of pain and heartache. Jesus loves you so much and wants to heal the hurts only He can heal. Don’t trust in a man, trust in Jesus. He’s way better than any of us.

  60. Anon says:

    I cannot believe I used to attend this church after reading this… I am divorced from an abusive spouse. I prayed long and hard about that decision and felt peace in that decision.

    Their vow to love, honor and cherish was broken the first time they laid a hand on me. And I still stayed a long time in hopes they would change. I tried to ‘save’ them. In the end, I was freed from the constant abuse. Desperately in pain for leaving my marriage but not guilty for breaking my vows. I loved them. In some way, I still do. It is not a bond easily broken. I still pray all the time that they too will be healed.

    I also struggled with the idea of remarrying and had for a long time resolved to stay single. But after time had passed, every time I saw an add for a particular dating site, there was a strong nudge on my heart to sign up. I resisted for a long time and finally listened. Found a wonderful mate, am remarried, and have 2 beautiful children.

    I am in a church that understands that though divorce is not the first option, it is sometimes necessary. You said it yourself, God hates divorce. It doesn’t say he disallows for it. It’s like your child choosing a path you know will hurt and you hate it. But you know they need to go through it to get out of an even worse situation.

    What I learned through the whole thing is that we as Christians need to see people for their pain, not their circumstances. I used to be the first to judge those I knew as Christians who I now heard were divorced. But until I knew the circumstance, I had no right to judge. And when I did know the circumstance, I didn’t want to judge. There was much pain that needed compassion and understanding.

    It’s easy for you to stand up there and condemn us all, but until you’ve walked in our shoes…

  61. Steve says:

    I can understand your point of view Anon. I know that God hates sin, He hates divorce, but He also has grace for us. We are all guilty under the law. We have all fallen short of God’s standards.
    God wants us to follow His commands, yet we are to have mercy, because we are all infallible in our flesh. We’re all just a bunch of sinners saved by His grace.
    At the same time, Pastor Mark is standing on what the Lord has commanded us to live by. We are to live in obedience, and part of being obedient is to extend mercy like Jesus did.
    So, Pastor Mark has to preach what God says in his word. But we as Christians also have to extend mercy to others who need mercy, because one day we will need that mercy as well. Lord help me to be merciful like You.

  62. Steve says:

    We are all fallible in our flesh not infallible. There’s proof right there.

  63. Evelyn Bennett says:

    Ever since I was a child I believed that divorce was wrong.

    Being a child of divorced parents it is not a pleasant experience to be used as a pawn to get their personal desires met.

    I always knew when I decided to get married I would not get a divorce. I have even been approached to live with men. I was not fooled. Where is the committment? I am only there to please his physical needs not emotional or spiritual.

    Getting a divorce does affect your mental health. Are you truly content with who you are afterwards?

  64. Cathy McLean says:

    Dear Pastor Mark,
    Read your blog and generally agreed, God hates divorce but as a divorced (and now happily remarried)person I know that He loves me. The scripture in Matt 19 on divorce begins with Moses, because of the hardness of peoples hearts permitted divorce. Unfortunately the condition of the hardness of people’s hearts has not gotten better since the time of Moses. (Could even be worse?) It is a hard hearted person that can have an affair, multiple affairs or beat their spouse. Only Jesus can replace a heart of stone with a heart of flesh and that is what needs to take place on both spouse parts for a bad marriage to be saved. Good advice generally in the blog but don’t forget that each circumstance of bad marriage must be considered on it’s own merits. When I give advice to others on the topic of divorce I always consider, “How hard are the hearts we are dealing with here and can these both of these people allow God’s love make a difference?”

  65. Tara says:

    First of all, it’s not up to us to say how hard a person’s heart is. Only God knows that.
    Second of all, many responses here have an underlying theme of “this is impossible…even God can’t bring my spouse back…their heart is too hard…their addiction is too severe…He may have healed millions of other marriages, but mine is different, mine is impossible…etc.”

    Last time I checked the Bible said “NOTHING is impossible with God”. And for us to think that we found something that is impossible for Him to do is very arrogant on our part.

    We cheat on God, “abuse” Him, lie to Him, ditch Him completely, abandon Him, become addicted to other things, idolize other things and He NEVER gives up on us. We should do the same for our spouses.

    If your spouse is cheating on you, abusing you, or if they walk out, I know there’s nothing you can physically do to stop them. But you should NEVER EVER EVER stop praying for their souls and for your marriage that you committed to for better OR WORSE. It’s a covenant that God holds highly and He does not look down on us and say “geez…that’s too hard for me. Just give up on them.”

    I’m not saying this stuff to condemn the people who are divorced, I’m saying it to enourage those who are in my situation and may need a little encouragement to just pray, endure and wait for God’s timing.

  66. Jana says:

    I got a divorse and am proud of it… ok, so maybe not proud.. but it was the best choice I ever made.

    It wasn’t that I didn’t try to make things work, I tried talking to the priest, talking to him, councilling, and even just trying to ignore the cheating and abuse but when he tried something to/infront of our kids something inside me snapped. It’s one thing to hurt an adult but a child, no way! That is my dealbreaker.

    I decided then to get a divorse and better my family and myself… and I did, I graduated highschool (again) and Red River with Honors and got the job of my dreams.

    I am now married to a great guy who is helping the kids to see what a true marriage should be… that you treat each other with respect, hugs/kisses should be shared and not earned, that when things get hard you work together to solve the problem not just walk away or “beat” the answer you want to hear into the person.

    Sure I should have known or listened to the signs (ie. him comming to the wedding stoned, forgetting to say his vows or even that my ring didn’t fit)but I didn’t and I take full responsibility for not listning.

    One of the reasons I left my past church was because the priest personally told me that because I was abused and cheated on it was my fault and that God won’t like me because I got a divorse…. humm, well I think that God MIGHT still like me BECAUSE I got a divorse as I truly believe that this new relationship mirrors to my kids and even to me what God/Jesus was trying to teach us about loving relationships & marriage.

    That being said… one should not just get a divorse when things aren’t going your way or seem hard, as it is REALLY hard to go through a divorse esp. when kids are involved. BUT, if there are genuine concerns for your families well being I don’t think God is going to hate you for getting a divorse, He just might not like it.

    • anonymous 2 says:

      being cheated on is the biblical reason for divorce. Pretty much God gave permission for you to have a divorce as soon as he cheated.

      However, why would you do anything that God might “just not like it” … Where is your fear of God? He died for you, how can you be okay with just slightly upsetting Him. In God’s eyes NO SIN is worse than the other. Doing something “he just might not like” breaks His heart. Are your priorities on you or on Him?

  67. Wade says:

    Ephesians 5:31-32
    “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery but I am talking about Christ and the church.
    The Apostle Paul in all the wisdom he received from the Lord did not understand the mystery regarding the joining of husband and wife as one flesh and yet you think man is able to separate the one flesh union with his signature on a divorce paper.

    God mysteriously joins husband and wife as one flesh but you think man can easily separate it.
    Is that why you go to church to get married and to a Judge to get divorced.

    Malachi 2:16
    “ For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. “ Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.”

    Moses allowed for divorce but God never did.

    The word Jesus uses in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 is porneia, which means fornication or sexual immorality and not marital unfaithfulness and should not be interpreted as marital unfaithfulness.

    Matthew 5:32
    But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
    Matthew writes this to the Jews but Mark and Luke do not have this exception in there because they write to the gentiles.
    The reason Matthew has this exception in here is because the Jews have a custom that during the betrothal, before the marriage, the man and woman are called husband and wife and that is why Joseph is called Mary’s husband and Mary is called Joseph’s betrothed wife even though they are not yet married. This betrothal is so binding that the only way this betrothal can be separated is by a certificate of divorce and the only reason for a certificate of divorce is if one of them commits fornication and cheats on the other. This is why, when Joseph found out that Mary was with child, Joseph thought Mary had cheated on him and Joseph wanted to divorce her quietly and not expose her to a public disgrace.
    This all happened before they are married and this is the only time God allows for divorce. Moses allowed it after the marriage but God never did and Jesus affirms that by saying “from the beginning it was not so.” Matthew 19:8-10. This is why the disciples say “if such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

    Do you really think that The Perfectly True, Righteous, Just, and Holy GOD would consent to a divorce that He hates and only after someone has committed the abominable sin of adultery, then you think God is O.K. with it.
    Start studying the bible with the fear of God instead of your own personal feelings and your self justifications.

    God’s love, mercy and compassion is telling people the truth so they can repent from their divorce and remarriage, and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and turn away from their adulterous life style because those who practice adultery will not inherit the kingdom of God. This means those who have become Christians and begin to live in adultery.
    Satan’s definition of love, mercy and compassion is not to tell people the truth and accept divorce and remarriage, same sex marriage, getting shacked up and any other life style because we are to show man’s version of love, mercy and compassion even though these people are headed for the lake of fire and brimstone and they need to repent and turn back to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin and for restoration. God wants us to be obedient and not just happy.

    STOP using humanistic reasoning to explain everything and start believing what The LORD GOD JEHOVAH has said.

    Romans 2:11
    For there is no partiality with God.
    This means all of us and if you are living in adultery or any other sinful lifestyle, you will be judged according to what the word of God says and not what you want it to say.

    Psalm 111:10
    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.

    Psalm 89:7
    God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.

    Philippians 2:12
    Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

    Psalm 103:11
    For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;

    James 4:6
    But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “ God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
    If you have a desperation for truth and the fear of the LORD and search for truth with all your heart, you will find it. But if you want to find loop holes, Satan will help you find them and to justify them.

    Their is a book out by Joseph Webb called “Till Death Do Us Part” and if you have a desire for truth you should read it but if you don’t want truth, you will not like this book.

  68. Kay says:

    Wade, I have read the book by Joseph Webb, “Till Death Do Us Part”. And I absolutely agree with it. It is as you said, if one is earnestly seeking the truth on this subject, this book will get you thinking. But if you are enjoying your comfort zone, stay away!!

    Another book by Webb, “Divorce & Remarriage – The Trojan Horse within the Church” shows how, over the centuries, the church has changed its viewpoint.

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  72. theresa says:

    Most marriages are a farce nowadays anyways. It’s back to the hitler days of making the cutest kid or most intelligent kid or cutest couple or most status quo couple. And one church i attended men followed me around the church who were married. I wanted to do the right thing and kick them in the nuts.

  73. patti says:

    Hi Pastor Mark. Good article on this problem. One of the biggest problems I see with pastors, on television or not these days is that they are too concerned with having people like them and approve of them and not enough concerned with God’s approval.

    With regard to Patricia’s comments on abuse, I have some things to say. One of my earliest memories is of finding my mother alone with one of my dad’s brothers in a compromising situation. Thinking I was doing the right thing ,I ran to my dad to tell him expecting him to be the leader of our family and put things right. His solution was to put me outside of the house and then lay a savage beating on my mother that included a sexual assault. I remember his eagerness to get me outside so he could go inside and wreak revenge on her; a revenge that included all his pent up rage against his own mother whom he hated.

    Their marriage was abusive. He was adulterous and cheated on my mother repeatedly. Both were victims of severe abuse in childhood. The trouble though is that people call it abuse when they should be calling it sin.

    Those who focus on abuse are focused only on their own pain and how it is making them miserable, how wrong it is, how it destroys children etc, which is true but leaves out the biggest part of the picture.

    Why is is wrong? Becuse it ruins our happiness? No, because it destroys what God created and warps His image in the process. Those who focus on God are focused on how evil it is to violate another human being made in the image of God and rightly call it sin. A crime against man is a crime against God.

    My parents marriage eventually ended in divorce. I lived with my mom and then my dad. The years after the divorce left us unprotected from every predatory person around. We had a welfare offical who was harassing my mom. A landlord that would try to get in the house. Remove the head of the house and you remove the protective authority structure. Even when the authority is not functioning properly, it still can afford some protection. Now we had none.

    The years with dad were four years of fear and walkikng on eggshells all the time. He was angry and explosive. He would actually look for excuses to erupt. Project blame onto three helpless little girls. Pick our dinner up and slam it into the wall while we were eating. I still remember sitting at the table watching the food falling out of my sister’s mouth while she tried so hard not to cry and he yelled and screamed that if we wanted something to cry about he would give it to us. Here he was abusing and terrorizing his own children and we weren’t even allowed to cry.

    The divorce removed one kind of serious threat to our safety and security and handed us several new threats. At that time, the word “divorcee” was synomomous with the word ” whore” and so the church, whenI got involved with it, treated my mother like dirt and shunned us as unclean illegitimate children. My father got off scott free. A pastor told my mother to go back to her husband even after my mother had explained to him that her husband had remarried twice! He ignored scripture, ignored mercy, ignroned reality in preference of hiding out in his ivory pulpit from the reality of sin and destruction in people’s lives.

    The church was not meant to provide a place for saints to hide from the reality of sin. It should be a muster point in the battle, not a christain retreat center.

    I do find it kind of incomprehensible that adultery is grounds for divorce but beating your wife and kids is not. Both are a violation of the covenant to love, honor and cherish one another. The only guess i have to offer is that is adultery ruptures the marriage on a physical, spiritual, mental, enmotional and sexual level. Not that abuse doesn’t create similar ruptures. But the bible says that of all sins, we should flee sexual immorality, which gives a hint as to why adultery is worse than abuse.

    Those who are quick to use that escape clause though, have clearly not read the book of Hosea.

    Let me tell you what I think is missing. The church actually following the bible. The church should intervene in situations like ours. If its a christian who is abusing his wife, church discipline should come into play. If he will not admit his sin and get help, then he is to be declared an unbeliever. At that point he will make one of two choices. He will actively choose to address the problem or he will rebel and depart. If the church actually did the bible, alot of these miserable situations could be brought to a head within a short time rather than be allowed to go on for years and years. God’s word is very practical and matter of fact about what to do in cases like this.

    If its a non christian the church can and should intervene. The law is being broken both of man and of God. This takes courage, boldness and character often missing. I’ve seen pastors who are cowardly and prefer to cover their own rear ends by blaming a woman who comes to them for help with an abusive infidel of a husband, for the beatings they recieve and told the problem is their lack of submission. How convenient and what a dereliction of duty. It may be in some cases but its no excuse for violence.

    How I wish there had been men of God who got involved in my parent’s marriage way back then. My dad, beaten by his mother, abused and violated by his brothers and abandoned by his father, needed a man of God in his life who would love him purely and cleanly and not give up on him, using both mercy and accountablity. My mom, abused by a relative with a problem with sadism and perversion, needed a godly woman and man in her life. They needed saving, not discarding.

    Both became all kinds of sinful things as aresult of their reactions to the abuse they suffered and it would not have been an easy road to help them. Where was the church? Its too late because my parents are now dead. Both died early deaths. Sometimes I think because they grieved themselves to death in a way although it was never outwardly obvious.

    When I got invovled in the church, it was well on its way to becoming less and less biblical and more and more expereince and emotion oriented so I rarely got to see a life lived truly biblically, rarely saw professing christians examine their own hearts and immediately admit sin when needed or take responsibilty when necessary. I’ve had one pastor who dumped his wife and stole the wife of an elder and is now married to her. Two pastors who were manipulative people pleasers whose behind the scenes game playing and inabilty to admit their own obvious issues resulted in an outward form of godliness that was rotten and deceptive at core. Its frustrating when the shepherds rule by their own authority and the people are just fine with it.

    At some point we the church have departed from truth ande corrupted ourselves with the world.

    Do I think divorce is the answer. No. I think the greater problem is that we have no greater vision than our own happiness. We pray for rain but don’t bring umbrellas betraying our lack of real belief that God will actually show up. Even when we are concerned with someone else’s sin, its usually becuse of how it is interferring with our abilty to have a peaceful and enjoyable life with no flies in the ointment. NOt because we are zealous for the kingdom and for souls. that is where the problem lies I think. Sorry for the long post but I had to respond to the abuse bit.

    Mark I clearly understand that you are saying ” remove yourself from an abusive situation but pursue God’s will and work, not your own happiness via divorce”. Not stay and be abused. Thanks for a good post

  74. John says:

    Wow Pastor Mark … I guess Peter Youngren wont be preaching at your church soon!. Thanks for being so honest.

    But why do these “ministers” still “minister” and people still follow these people.

    I once heard an associate of PY say … I got out of being an evangelist and now I am a pastor … Canada is a grave yard for evangelist’s. He has a nice home travels all over and has a fair size flock who pays the bills … nice life … Is this what it is coming to?

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  77. anonymous with love says:

    I have often contemplated this issue of pulpit ministers with divorce being a chapter in their lives and here are my views.

    Being the son of a divorced pastor I am confident that God does forgive and restores he did with my dad, these things are for God to resolve in the ministers’ hearts.

    The gifts are without repentance so it means that once God gives gifts to the minister God doesn’t take the gifts back. (be it a pulpit minister or any christian who asks for gifts).

    I have noticed that sometimes pride plays a big part in the issue because the minister will see that God is still healing and performing miracles and people are still coming to Christ even when they are in the messy business, during or after the divorce, and so in their own minds it somehow validates that the results they are seeing are translated as “Wow God is still using me, That means that God approves of this detour and of the change of direction that I am making in my life.

    A ministers pride can get to the point of actually telling their spouse “I’m the man (or) woman of God with the anointing!!!, Watch how you speak with God’s anointed!!!”… (for example), when in their hearts perhaps a bit of the wim of adventure is nipping at them with, What if…? imaginations”.

    I cannot put myself to judge names since the same measure would be applied to me if I were in the same boat and I have never married so things I deal with are in the battlefield of the single christian life, nevertheless I will speak in general terms looking from the outside in.

    I can tell you that I rather put my financial seed in the pocket of a younger or older family member or even a personal friend that I personally know is living for God and that God may be raising up, than to continue giving it to a far away minister that I don’t know is still walking the straight and narrow.

    What I mean is that some people don’t realize that God wants to raise their kid, brother, sister, cousin, nephew, niece, a friend’s kid to be an awesome minister or worship leader and we don’t even take the time to see if they would like to learn an instrument (and so buy them one) for them to glorify God, or even pay for the teen to go to a teen revival meeting at a camp. We sometimes wonder why our kids are so entangled and it is because we are so focused on the work, work, work and pleasentries of other ministries far and wide and all that this entails.
    I think that we miss out on helping to encourage a new generation of ministers that will be focused on worshiping God in spirit and in truth.

    The Lord is still using my father in an awesome way, the divorce that happened with my parents happened about 25 years ago, my mom just passed away to be with The Lord exacly 2 months ago, however what makes me think is that dad missed all of those wonderful years of being more with us and with the most wonderful wife and mother to his kids that God originally gave him. In my mind he missed out on so much that preaching and ministering (although is an awesome thing for God’s kingdom) will never, ever replace the family unit. Why? because the family unit is ministry #1 (without it ministers are fooling themselves to think that they can replace it by finding another pastor’s wife, evangelist wife, prophet’s wife, Apostol’s wife, teacher’s wife. I know that there are exceptions to the rule because of uncontrolable circumstances in relationships, but if it was a wim thing do not fool yourselves ministers, your ministry will never be as good as it could have been.

    When God shows us our life story back I wonder if ministers will be shown a glimpse of how much more they could have accomplished if they would have kept their focus on ministry #1 (family) church is #2 again don’t fool yourselves reading bible verses that say that if you forsake family for Christ (that is talking about another thing entirely)

  78. anonymous with love says:

    I think a lot of preachers kids (if they stay withing biblical grounds and don’t speak with a rebellious mindset can help to set the record straight on this issue; no one knows what’s cooking in the pot but the one who stirs it, and PK’s (preachers’ kids) have been silent for way too long.

  79. It appears u truly understand a great deal regarding this specific
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  80. karen says:

    Please read the link above on divorce,i believe God don’t hate divorce.

  81. Barbara says:

    God loves people. Our hearts matter more than anything else. He does not want us living in an evil situation. I think that the “Christian world” has put marriage above God Himself, and we have to ask the motivation for this. God, Himself, gave a certificate of divorce to HIS wife, Isra-el, who was consistently adulterous. See Jer.3:8. God hates divorce, which means that He hates tearing apart. Of course He does, but the abusive and/or adulterous husband is no husband at all. You must also consider the whole topic of being a covenant-breaker. That non-husband husband, for example, broke covenant long ago, before she finally left. Who really left, is the question. “Until death do us part” should be a spiritual question also, not just physical death. A covenant breaker causes death to the relationship, on all levels. It only takes one to break things up. It takes two to make a vibrant relationship. To be legalistic and “make” people stay in an ungodly “marriange” is from hell itself. Each and every story is different, unique and receives different advice from the Lord, Who knows all things. We should shun judging others like the plague. Remember Jesus with the adulterous woman.
    So many Christians do the “you have to stay with him” thing, when they know there is serious trouble, seeming to be heartless; AND I think deep down they know that they themselves fall far short of loving their wives as Christ loves the church. It ends up being self protection. Why do you religious people wait until the woman is dead to realize you should helped her? You never believed her. You were hood-winked by the so-called “Christian” man, and by your false notions of scripture. What you don’t realize, is that now her blood is on your hands. We have been so deceived. We have become legalistic and no longer loving or understanding. We have denied or grieved the Holy Spirit, who gives us discernment in all matters, and leads us in how to help one another. Love your neighbor, as yourself, is our commandment from the Lord. Love.

  82. Belin says:

    I believe in Mariage and divorce to me is not an option. I also strongly believe there is no unanswered prayers.

    Unfortunately I got married to an abusive man who cheated even with my brother’s wife and finally got some of his girlfriends pregnant and asked a divorce. Through all these I was praying and fasting waiting for God to arrest him as he did for Saul to no avail. All through our marriage I was not allow to deal with finance and all my income went into his bank account and I had no access to money but still I prayed on for a miracle.

    Attempt to resolve this issue failed and he would not even want to talk to any church leader. He divorced me and moved on. The marriage I cherished so much came crumbling under my feet being the first to divorced in my family history. Still I prayed on, left behind with my kid. I used to preach but can’t stand the chance to preach as a divorcee.How can I preach to people against divorce when I am divorce myself. Lesson learned “It takes two to keep a relationship/marriage”

    4 year after I just meet this man who wants to marry me. I have always loved to have a large family but could’t stand a chance with my Ex. I don`t want to go contrary to the bible and the only thing I wish now is HEAVEN AT LAST. Please help solve this puzzle, I need help please!!!

  83. David says:

    With regards to “abuse”, you should not let yourself be subject to it. God doesn’t take pleasure in your destruction. When David was a young boy under King Saul’s leadership, Saul wanted to peg David to the wall out of jealousy. David ran for his life. Yet David always honored King Saul throughout his many years of running. He maintained a good attitude. But he did not use Saul’s wicked behavior as an excuse to dishonor him. Nor did he play Mr. Religious by “submitting” to King Saul’s abuse.
    That being said, a spouse SHOULD separate when there is clear abuse. She should not divorce, because the one is bound to the other as long as he/she is still alive (1 Cor 7:39). So if one separates, it should not be with the intention of running to another persons arms but for the purpose of future reconciliation. That is why Paul says that if you separate, you must remain single or otherwise be reconciled to your spouse (1 Cor 7:11).
    We know that God permits divorce in the case of unfaithfulness because we become so hardened of heart towards our spouse when they cheat on us that we “cannot” take them back after what they did. You may go ahead and divorce, and Christ won’t condemn you for it. But it is not his desire and it displeases him. What he’s joined together, let ‘no one’ separate. That includes you. Why settle for defeat? Why accept division?

    Do you think there is any hope for your marriage even after unfaithfulness or abuse? Yes, but not the type of hope that is unsure. What I mean is that the one who is willing to stand for the restoration of his marriage in faith, knowing that God WILL restore the relationship no matter how bad it gets, WILL find its restoration guaranteed. It does not depend on your spouse’s will. If God can “direct the heart [will] of the king where he pleases” (prov 21:1 KJV) he can do the same with your spouse.

    I am a living witness to that as I have experienced it all. faith and marriage ministries(.org) is a website for many who are currently standing for the restoration and are supported by those who have found restoration and by godly faith-filled teaching.

    If your aim is righteousness and reconciliation, you will find it but it will not be easy (Gal 6:9). If it is happiness and comfort, you will re-interpret God’s word to suit your desire and justify yourself.

  84. Margaret Swindells says:

    I agree 1000 percent with what you said about divorce.If God cannot heal your marriage how can the world believe that all things are possible with Him. How can they believe that God can perform miracles if He can’t perform one in saving your marriage. And yes, I believe if you leave your spouse, you are not free to marry someone else. How can you marry someone else if your marriage(s) didn’t work out? Something is seriously wrong here. If anyone has a problem with this, speak to God.

  85. Brian says:

    A book I am reading is “Discovering the Mind of a Woman” .

  86. Completely Confused says:

    Here is my story, if you can help, wonderful, please tell me. This divorce mess has got to stop! Better yet, getting married without understanding the full ramifications of that choice has got to stop and churches need to refuse marriages to those not suited, at the time, to it and need to offer council on why to those whose wedding/marriage are rejected. We have to stop playing “nice” with people at the cost of our families and our souls!

    I was married, the first time, at 19, in a courthouse, to a
    man
    who
    was not the father of my two children. We both cheated and
    neither were
    “born again” believers. We divorced, and I married another
    man, in a
    church,
    though I knew I didn’t really love him. I had gotten
    pregnant and it was
    supposedly the “thing to do” in that situation. I
    cheated, we
    divorced…my
    choice.
    I have “believed” in God and Jesus Christ, my whole life,
    but I think it
    was only at this point, AFTER the second divorce, that I
    asked Jesus into
    my
    life “for real”; though I did not actually start LIVING
    a Christian life,
    as
    I had no idea what that really meant. I knew I needed
    Jesus, I knew I was
    a
    sinner and I knew my life was a mess and I didn’t like
    it. So, there I
    was,
    three kids out of wedlock, two divorces and a lifestyle of
    sex, drugs and
    every sin…and in it, to my great shame, I did continue to
    abide.
    A while later, I started being convicted of the
    “divorce = no new
    marriage” and actually spoke to a minister about this. I
    was convinced
    that
    this was a message to me, from God. That was all good and
    acceptable to
    me
    as I was technically single and didn’t WANT to be
    married. Then, about a
    year later, give or take, I met a man…
    I thought, okay, I’ll get serious about this “Christian
    walk” and I’ll
    ask
    this man if he is agreeable to living a godly life and both
    of us getting
    baptized. If he will, we will get married and live a holy
    life for God. I
    reasoned: baptism will wash away my past and all my sins
    will be forgiven
    by
    confession and real commitment to the Christian life; I
    will be a new
    creation…right? After all, I had NEVER been baptized in
    the name of
    Jesus.
    (I confess that I was looking for a loophole.) So, the very
    day of our
    church wedding, we were both baptized in the name of Jesus
    and then on to
    the church to join ourselves in “marriage” we went. Believe
    it or not, as
    the church doors opened, for our exit from church, after
    the preacher
    “joined us before God and man” hundreds of little pink
    blossom petals
    blew on a warm and gentle breeze right into the church and
    down the aisle
    before
    us. Had God’s nature strewn its perfume, beauty and life
    before us in a
    feast for the senses? Was our marriage acceptable and
    sanctified?
    So, the marriage was insane for years, two very
    hard-headed, divorced,
    insecure and untrusting people (and untrustworthy
    adulterers) trying to
    live
    together in a forever covenant of commitment to each other.
    We were
    verbally
    and physically aggressive, belligerent and cruel. We once
    broke every
    glass
    thing we owned, from mirrors to glasses. Whew! Not fun.
    Sure, we’d
    sometimes
    read a Bible or go to church but mostly we drank too hard
    on Saturday to
    make it to church on Sunday even if we had wanted to go. I
    did read less
    secular books and a lot more Christian stuff. We’d even
    say prayers near
    religiously before meals and before bed. All this time we
    are drinking
    and
    partying and running around just like the old us. Yet, we
    were supposed
    to
    be new and I began praying that we would have our “own”
    child and our
    marriage would become holy. We had 4 children between us,
    but none that
    came
    from our union. I prayed and prayed. Our behavior improved
    after
    awhile, we were much mellower, and less likely to have
    explosive battles
    of
    the will; but no child.
    After a few more years, aka: after I quit
    partying/drinking all the
    time,
    (…yes, I realize I was STILL not living a Christian life)
    I began to be
    convicted by the “don’t marry again” verses. I was so
    stressed out and
    confused as I’d read them. I’d cringe and get nervous
    when I knew a verse
    on
    this topic was coming up in my reading. Sometimes I’d
    skip them
    altogether.
    I’d say; “yes, God, I hear You. I know I ignored You
    and disobeyed You
    but
    what do You want me to do about it? It seems a little too
    late now!”
    Stress,
    guilt, condemnation and depression billowed over me and
    suffocated my
    life…I
    was seriously stuck. Through this, God led me to be drink
    free and to
    rely
    on Him, not alcohol, to cope with this life.
    Finally, and I mean after years of this stress,
    conviction and strain;
    “finally” I came clean to God about how I had deliberately
    and willfully
    disobeyed Him. I really HUMBLED my heart and my life before
    Him and His
    righteousness. I truly repented of what I had done to
    manipulate the Word
    to
    get “my way”. I confessed that God is always right, I
    confessed that I
    had
    heard Him, that I blatantly sinned against Him and I was
    completely wrong
    and I had acted in evilness of heart. I begged forgiveness.
    I honestly
    said
    I would do whatever God wanted me to do if He’d just show
    me. And
    mercifully, I felt a huge weight lifted off of me. I felt
    freed and more
    importantly, I felt close to God.
    There was no more condemnation over any of those verses.
    I was forgiven
    and
    free…and I thought I had my answer about what I needed to
    do. I suddenly
    believed that all I had needed to do all along was humble
    myself before
    God
    and repent of being disobedient. I figured that the hard
    times of this
    marriage was the reason God had tried to stop me and that I
    had to live
    with
    it now and try to make the best of it.
    I got pregnant about two years later. We finally had
    “our” family.
    And…then things between us got worse again.
    Now, due to things like a dead, or pretty nearly dead,
    sex life (due to
    lack of interest; mostly on my part, simple tiredness; on
    both parts and
    actual medical issues; also on my part), a total lack of
    emotional
    intimacy
    and seemingly unanswered prayers for a better marriage that
    glorifies God
    and brings us joy, disinterest has manifest in all areas
    and we live
    basically like roommates who fight if we discuss our
    relationship with
    one
    another or our relationship(s) with God. Yet, we rarely
    fight, we just
    live
    alone; together. And I have begun to be bombarded with the
    idea that we
    should not be married and those same verses of adultery
    have begun to
    convict me again!
    We have two kids together since my coming clean with God
    and repenting
    of
    my behavior. Just a few short years after that confessing
    and repenting
    time
    and the peace I had felt over the situation, we were
    blessed with
    offspring.
    I have also been studying, praying, seeking and, I thought,
    finding
    myself
    closer to God like never before.
    I am so confused; why is it that I feel these things
    again? I’ve read
    those
    verses dozens of times since repenting and felt NO
    condemnation at all!
    I’ve
    been consistently and daily studying and reading God’s
    Word in a way I
    never
    had in my whole life. In these last few days, I keep asking
    or thinking
    that
    to divorce will cause hurt and hardship to us, our
    children, our families
    and our friends. What could it possible heal or solve?
    We’ve been
    together
    for 12 years! To live together in celibacy seems
    impossible, for my
    husband’s sanity especially, even though sex is rare now,
    we do still
    have
    it. That choice would likely cause more stress and strain
    in our
    household
    and a whole other kind of negative environment.
    So, here I am, knowing that what I really want most of
    all to do as God
    wills for me (because as we can see, my way STINKS!). Yet,
    I want and
    need
    to be 100% sure that I am actually sure of WHAT it is
    exactly that God
    wants
    me to do. I know God will provide if He calls me out, but I
    have two
    toddlers and nowhere to go, no family to go to, no friends
    to go to, no
    home
    of my own to go to. Am I supposed to leave my children
    too? I KNOW I
    have
    put myself here; I just need to know for sure if I am to
    cease from
    sexual
    relations with my husband and live celibate, leave my
    husband, leave my
    whole family or continue in this marriage, serving and
    abiding in Christ
    as
    servant, mother and wife.
    The last time we had sex, I read some of my Bible afterward
    and I
    happened
    to see Phinehas’ name in my OT reading; I knew
    immediately that he was
    counted righteous for killing a couple because the man had
    not “put away”
    his unlawful “wife”(?). Then Hebrews 13:4 followed
    Phinehas for my NT;
    “…adulterers God will judge.” This is the kind of
    thing that has been
    popping up over the last week or so and making me feel
    uncomfortable.
    Am I crazy or would it have made more sense to keep on
    convicting me of
    guilt until we separated BEFORE the kids? Okay, that’s
    not the question;
    the
    question is, as you read this, after you read this, has God
    put anything
    on
    your heart about the situation? Do you have a word in
    season one way or
    the
    other? If you haven’t truly felt the Spirit move you,
    please do not reply
    with simply an opinion, I seriously need help. Thank
    you.

    • Fred says:

      Hi Completely Confused (poster above),

      The fact that those verses you refer to keep coming back to you means that God is trying to get your attention. I don’t think the confusion is coming from the verses themselves, as the verses on marriage you refer to are simple to understand but in light of opinions of pastors, commentaries on the internet, actions of other Christians, you start to second guess yourself as to what to do. I think what you’re coming to understand is that no matter what the Christian world is saying and doing around you, you need to follow God’s word exactly as written. In research that I’ve done, due to my own personal separation, that many if not most Christians believe that divorce and remarriage is acceptable before God. So even though God is crystal clear in his word this this is not the case, I was also left confused since it contradicted the opinion of the Christian majority. Since having studied further, I am now of the solid belief that God only allows each of us one marriage in our lifetimes and if it doesn’t work out, then that’s it. Also the only legitimate marriage is between 2 never-before-married-persons. Only death can break a marriage covenant, not divorce. For that reason, only widowed persons can remarry since their previous spouses have passed away. A divorce dissolves marriage before men but not before God – reason why divorces are completed before a judge and not in a church before God. A divorced person is still married before God which is why God calls it adultery when a divorced person remarries. I pray that you would have the courage to do exactly what God says, also validated by the Holy Spirit in your heart, and let all of the consequences of doing the right thing (ending the adulterous marriage) with God. When people ask why you left your 3rd husband you can tell them that you had to obey God first. And God blesses those that are obedient to his word. Two websites that I’ve found helpful are marriagedivorce.com and rejoiceministries.org.

      God bless you in your difficult trial and may his peace and understanding overflow in your life as you continue to walk in his will.

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