Christians out there please talk to me about divorce

(21 Posts)
happyhev Mon 15-Apr-13 19:45:13

There's a fantastic theologian by the name of Catherine Kroeger, who has done a lot of work in this area and has written a number of books, including 'women abuse and the bible', which are excellent in this area.

audioradio how is it going? How are you feeling? Have you found some resolution? Be nice to you?

audioradio how is it going? How are you feeling? Have you found some resolution? Be nice to you?

syl1985 Sat 06-Apr-13 03:35:01

No one is perfect and sometimes marriages just don't work.

But you've loved each other for some time. Very simple thinking: It should be possible to love each other again.

I do give marriage counseling.
Often the arguments and issues that creates the divorce are not really that bad, but create so much stress that the situation becomes unbearable.

For example:
There're always arguments about the shopping. You never seem to agree about the weekly shopping list.

Is it wrong for both partners to have their own opinion about what they'd like to see on the table for the coming week?

No, nothing wrong with that.
But if the disagreement about it, because arguments and you've these every single week. Then it becomes a very hard and difficult situation to live in.

In my experience these problems, although after a while they may appear to be so huge with the couple. With a bit of help these issues are very quickly and easily solved.

But I don't know what to do in your situation as I don't know you and I know very little about what has happened between you and your ex.

Think carefully about what you'd like and if needed find some help.

smile

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Wed 03-Apr-13 18:06:49

italian nice to see we don't always disagree, eh?

In this case I think we happen to agree for slightly different reasons, but the result is the same, so how we got there seems irrelevant.

Anyway, won't hijack the thread as I think there's more important issues at hand. smile

That is beautiful Supergreenuk.

supergreenuk Wed 03-Apr-13 14:28:28

God also forgives and has grace beyond measure. Pray for his guidance and I hope you have peace about the situation you are in.

I am divorced. I had a Terrible time with forgiveness. My old wedding dress had been put away and 10 years later I got it out to look at. It was covered in grubby marks from the day and colour marks from confetti. I think there was even coffee on it. Well I decided to wash that dress. We all know 10 year stains by any washing powder would not come out. Well they did. It was spotless. No mark. It was like new. It couldn't grasp it until I realised that God was telling me I was fully forgiven and spotlessly clean regarding my marriage failure. This is how much he loves us.

audioradio I think Jojo is making a lot of sense.

Sorry, when I said Oh my goodness I'm going to say it.... I aggree with Pedro!!! it was a bit of a joke to Pedro, because I have seen Pedro on lots of threads and we might not normally agree on stuff but in this case we seem to agree, which is great.

In fact everyone seems to be saying the same, look out for yourself and your welfare. It is not a bad thing to look out for yourself in this situation, it is a good thing.

all the best.

Jojobump1986 Wed 03-Apr-13 09:39:25

I don't think that 'God hates divorce' is entirely accurate. I think God hates the pain & suffering that comes from broken promises & shattered relationships. That is what He's trying to avoid, not someone's safety & peace of mind!

I also think that biblical divorce is a different thing to society's divorce. I suspect that if a relationship breaks down to the point where the couple are no longer living together within the context of their vows then God would not view them as still being 'married'. As Theregoes said, it's just paperwork. God wants people to stay together to avoid hurt, not for it to continue. My dad always said that once you consented to sex with someone you were in a relationship with, in God's eyes that meant you were married. If you follow that logic then there are an awful lot more people who have never been 'married' on paper but who are married or are now divorced in God's eyes. It's a little controversial because it could be used to justify sexual relationships outside of 'marriage' from society's point of view but personally I think God requires that we commit to each other in front of Him, not in front of a priest & 2 witnesses for the sake of record keeping!

The issue of re-marriage after a divorce is a whole different kettle of fish that I don't have the mental capacity to even muse about today!

I do believe the Bible is applicable for today, I just don't take it all literally. If you husband is not a Christian and he wants to leave then you do have a Bible verse that is especially for you.

I agree with Jojobump1986 1 Corinthians 7:15, which says in the NIV, "15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace."

BUT I do not usually like to go by this passage says this and this passage says that, this verse is for you, type of thing. I take the message of God as a whole and I believe it is one of peace.

I agree that speaking to a counsellor would help.

I also think you should join some group of Christians and get support for you. I know you say 'shyness' but I really think you should work on that, that is something I am sure God would like to set you free from.

Yes audioradio submitting to a violent husband would be mad, it would make a mockery of God's love. The Bible talks about submitting to each other, but that is (I belive) assuming that each other are not being violent.

The only reason for getting divorced in Bible times I think would have been to get married again, so why would remarriage be wrong? I know the church has struggled with this one, or rather certain branches of the church have struiggled with it. Wanting to be married is a natural state I think, it is not good for us to be alone unless we feel called to singleness. But if you marry someone and they treat you badly and cruelly should that mean you are stuck together for life and should it mean if they do choose to leave you or abandon you or you do escape then should that mean you can't ever marry again? I don't think that makes sense. As I said before I think all the laws about divorce etc are meant to be for peole's protection. Who would be protected by stopping a free woman from marrying someone who is free to marry them? This is just my opinion you are free to disagree.

Oh my goodness I'm going to say it.... I aggree with Pedro!!!

Looks like we all think your safety is the most important thing and dare I say it we think you deserve to be happy.

If you believe in God do you not think he wants you to be both safe and happy? I don;t believe God judges us so harshly, don't jugde God so harshly either, I do not believe he wants you to suffer.

All the best and please do find some support in real life, a support group, a small friendly church (read the webiste to see what they belive and pop along to a meeting or service that will be small - the evening ones are often smaller or midweek as opposed to Sunday mornings - assuming you can take the children etc if you have any). Whatever you do, please think of you and please get some support.

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Wed 03-Apr-13 08:57:06

Too many people stay in violent relationships for various reasons. One of them being religious. Don't let your religion get in the way of your safety, please.

The idea that divorce is not allowed is a religious ideal to promote the sanctity of marriage and the vows you take, but sometimes people make mistakes. Don't just end a marriage for the hell of it, but clearly if there's a real issue you are better off getting out before something more serious happens.

ThereGoesTheYear Wed 03-Apr-13 01:46:16

And I agree with Maryz in that I'm sure God is a lot kinder than you'd be led to believe from looking at the church's rule books.

ThereGoesTheYear Wed 03-Apr-13 01:44:55

A man who has abused you has already broken his marriage vows. You don't have to wait for him to divorce you - that's just the paperwork, so who divorces whom is irrelevant.
I can only speak about the Catholic Church (who seem to be the most rigid about these things anyway), but divorce isn't an issue; remarriage is. And in a case like yours, the RC church might well annul on the grounds that he's such an arsehole <technical theological term> that he was incapable of entering into a marriage in the first place.

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Wed 03-Apr-13 01:35:49

I think it probably works the other way around as well "a woman who marries a divorced man sins" - I think it is to do with the fact that you can't remake promises or something?

I am a great believer in thinking "What would Jesus do" type of thoughts.

So if Jesus was alive now, would he do any of the woman-squishing things? Would he condemn women taking their children away from abusive men? Or vice versa? Would he condemn loving couples because they happened to be homosexual.

Of course he wouldn't.

So, imo, you can rewrite the bible in your head, taking today's values into account.

audioradio Wed 03-Apr-13 01:28:21

Thank you JOJO and MARYZ!! Very helpful.
JoJO, That might just be the get out clause I was looking for. Although that means that DH has be the one to initiate the divorce, hopefully he's not playing games. You know, I smetimes wish that the Bible was not so "bibly" you know, forgive seventy seven times seven blah blah , wives submit to your husbands which would be insane if applied in my case no?.

Maryz , very interesting regarding remarriage. "A man who marries a divorced woman sins", Nice one huh? Are women redundant once divorced?

Thank you again for the insights

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Wed 03-Apr-13 00:50:04

I am coming to this from a moral point of view, rather than completely religious, and the way I look at it is that God (as in the benign God I was taught to believe in by my parents, as opposed to the vengeful God the nuns tried to ram into me) would not want you to be unhappy, or to bring your children up in an abusive home.

I don't believe divorce is in any way against the teaching of any Christian Church. I do think that remarriage might be more of a problem, but that is my own personal belief, and quite possibly theologically wrong.

I do think that if this is bothering you, you should talk to a clergyman/woman about it. I think they would put your mind at rest. You haven't broken any vows, you have done your best to live within the rules of the promises you made. Your husband has broken his promises, which I believe releases you from yours.

Jojobump1986 Wed 03-Apr-13 00:43:26

The bible is frustratingly silent sometimes! I struggle to believe that God would want someone to stay with an abusive partner just for the sake of it.

1 Corinthians 7:15 says "However, if the one who is not a believer wishes to leave the Christian partner, let it be so. In such cases the Christian partner, whether husband or wife, is free to act. God has called you to live in peace."
Personally, I would interpret the abusers actions as them opting out of the loving, respectful relationship that God designed marriage to be.

I think that matters that aren't explicitly explained in the bible are open to personal interpretation, depending on the individual circumstances. The most important thing here is that you feel you're doing the right thing & that you are at peace with that.

I believe that sometimes we make decisions that aren't what God wants I'm not suggesting this is one of those times but that God is gracious & loving & won't condemn us for making what we believe to be the right choice in a grey area. I think sometimes it's necessary to take a leap of faith & trust the Holy Spirit to guide us.

That's just my opinion. I'm not a scholar, nor do I possess any deep wisdom! Do you have anyone in real life that you could discuss this with? Maybe a vicar/pastor/priest? Or perhaps you could contact a Christian counselling service who could talk it through with you?

audioradio Wed 03-Apr-13 00:35:28

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Italian, I really appreciate.
I do not have anyone to speak to in real life and don't really go to church. Pathological shyness you see. Anyway, I have been looking to end the relationship for a while but technicalities here and there meant I didn't. Anyway, I have been handed freedom on a plate but my conscience is in turmoil. Unlike you I believe the Bible is timeless and is appplicable today just as it was yesterday unless ofcourse I want to change it to suit my needs here and now. I definately don't want the relationship to continue but a part of me jerks at 'God Hates Divorce'. Is there a middle ground?

audioradio I am sorry to hear your marriage is in this situation and sorry you are so unhappy. I am especially sorry your husband has been physically violent and feel this is something you need to think seriously about in relation to the prospects for the future.

I am afraid I do not know what an EA is.

I cannot advise you at all and would suggest you talk to someone in real life who can advise you about what would be best for you.

I can only talk about your situation in very general terms as I don't know anything about any underlying problems.

If your husband has been violent, I would say this really does need to be addressed and your safety is of great importance.

You don't mention any children and obviously if there are children in the home you need to think of their safety and the danger for them if your husband has been physically violent.

I would also say that counselling would be very helpful for you either on your own or as a couple. Whatever would be best for you as an individual is something you need to work out.

Are you part of a church or Christian community? Can you get some advice from those close to you who know you and your situation?

I do not feel anyone should be obliged to stay with a partner who is violent to them.

I am a Christian and my understanding is that the Bible talks about marriage in a very different era, when men might divorce a wife and leave her destitute. I think God's feelings about divorce stem from a desire for protection and care for people. Leaving you in a dangerous marriage situation is not the same as wanting to protect someone from simply being cast aside. I really think you need to think about the bigger picture. I believe God loves you and is on your side. I have no idea what would be right for your future but I did not want to leave your post without replying.

If your husband wants to make your marriage work and is able to address the violence and you feel safe in the marriage it may be that a skilled counsellor can help you to work through things, but your safety is paramount, in my humble opinion and as I say I think you need help and guidance from someone who knows you situation in real life.

All best wishes for your future.

audioradio Tue 02-Apr-13 23:29:48

Background info, my DH and I are separated and divorce is in the cards. However, I am a christian and divorce is something that goes against my principles and that of God according to the Bible. There hasn't been any infidelity in my marriage but my DH is an EA and has at some point been physically violent. Talk to me christian MNtters

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