Monday, May 26, 2008

Husbands, God Hates Divorce… But He Also Hates…

Posted by Hannah at 10:46 AM




Portion of an article written by: By Kevin McCarthy

What am I getting at? I have personally known men – professing Christian men – who have treated their wives shabbily by intimidating them, domineering them, belittling them, dealing deceitfully with them, ordering them around like slaves, who have seemed to think their wives were their captives because, “God hates divorce.” Yes, God hates divorce, but he also hates these men and what they do. They seem to think that because the Bible tells the wife to submit to her husband, that automatically makes the husband “Dictator for Life” with a mandate for iron-fisted command. They might have heard somewhere that the husband has certain responsibilities towards his wife, but they certainly don’t act as if they have any idea what those responsibilities are, and they fail to see how the husband’s responsibilities actually make him the wife’s servant!



This is written to these men, who proudly proclaim that divorce is not an option (at least for the beleaguered wife) because “God hates divorce”. Do you deal treacherously with the wife and companion of covenant whom God has joined to you? Do you draw the line at divorce, and yet treat your wife like a bond slave or servant? Do you yell at her? Abase her? Threaten her verbally or physically? Do you use God’s Word as a cudgel and beat her with such proclamations as, “The wife must be submissive! You have no choice but to do everything I tell you to do!”? Do you “lord it over your wife”? And when she cannot take the abuse, do you remind her that “God hates divorce!”? God hates what you are doing right now!




Divorce isn’t the only thing that God hates, but some self-righteous men are perfectly willing to practice one or many of these things against their wives so long as they can shackle the poor woman to themselves by means of God’s hatred of divorce. It’s good to be concerned about avoiding things that God hates, but hypocritical to take a stand for something that benefits you while ignoring other things that are equally hated by God, and practicing them on a daily basis. It is hypocritical, also, to insist that the wife kowtow submissively at her husband’s feet, while completely disregarding his God-ordained responsibility to love his wife. “I DO love her!” you insist, but you lack understanding. The Bible is specific regarding not only THAT you love her, but HOW you love her as well. A husband is directed to love his wife AS CHRIST LOVES THE CHURCH!



Eph 5:24-33



25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; 26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.



Excuse me – HOW is the husband to love his wife? Like our Lord and Savior loves the Church! He is to sacrifice his own desires and needs (so-called) for his wife! He is to give his very life, if called-for, to protect his wife! He is to love her as Christ loves the Church, and do everything for her good rather than his own! He is to nourish and cherish her, at least as much as his own body. This is love, gentlemen! This is Agape love. It is the kind of love we should have for one another (Rom 13:8, Eph 4:2, 1 Thess 3:12, Heb 10:24, etc.). Agape love is the unique telltale of being a Christian (Jn 13:34); sacrificial love, here made especially poignant in the marriage relationship. And it is here connected with a mystery, and that mystery is in the fact that the Christian marriage is a reflection of the relationship Christ has with the Church. He is the bridegroom (Jn 3:29; Rev 18:23), and the Christian husband is to represent Him. The Church is the bride (Jn 3:29; Rev 18:23, 19:7), and the Christian wife is to represent the Church. Think about that, fellas, the next time you shout at your wife because dinner wasn’t ready on time or the laundry wasn’t done. Notice that the wife is not admonished to love the husband in this manner! She is submit and respect her husband, but the husband is to consider her more important than himself, to put her first, and to serve her through his love!



Have you heard this before? Do you know this, and yet refuse to (or claim you are unable to) obey your Lord? Are you sinning against your wife? Are you doing things that God hates, while hypocritically demanding submission and keeping her a prisoner by standing against divorce (God hates it!)? Divorce is not all God hates.



Here are some things that God says He hates, and yet many of these things occur in some “Christian” homes with regularity:



Prov 6:16-19



16 There are six things which the LORD hates,

Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:

17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,

And hands that shed innocent blood,

18 A heart that devises wicked plans,

Feet that run rapidly to evil,

19 A false witness who utters lies,

And one who spreads strife among brothers.



1. Haughty eyes (The pride of position, lording it over another.)

2. A lying tongue

3. Hands that shed innocent blood

4. A heart that devises wicked plans

5. Feet that run rapidly to evil

6. A false witness

7. One who spreads strife among brothers



Ps 5:5



5 The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes;

Thou dost hate all who do iniquity.



8. All who do iniquity (sin) – Notice, He hates the person, and not just the sin!



Zech 8:17



17'Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,' declares the LORD. "



9. (Those) who devise evil (in their) heart against another

10. perjury



Mal 2:16



16 "For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the LORD of hosts. "



11. divorce

12. (wrongdoers)



Rev 2:6-7

6'Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.



13. the deeds of the Nicolaitans



[This one is especially interesting because it bears directly on our topic. “How?” you ask, “I looked it up and it’s talking about some ancient followers of some dude named Nicholas who was teaching stuff like Balaam.” That’s what you may find in many Bible dictionaries concerning the proper noun “Nicolaitans”, but the really interesting thing is that there is no need or warrant for the word to be a proper noun, transliterated from the Greek, rather than a compound word translated from the Greek. The translation would be something like conquerors of the people, or those who lord it over the people. In fact, if you abuse your headship within the home, if you “lord it over” your wife, give orders, treat her as a servant; if you do anything but lead by your example, with compassion, putting her first, YOU MAY BE A NICOLAITAN:





The word "Nicos" means "to elevate oneself above" and "Laos" means "the ordinary people" (the laity). Nicolaitans were people who elevated themselves above the ordinary people. In the book of Revelation (Ch.2:6,15) Jesus says that He despises this doctrine. (Pastor Boaz Gill - http://www.shaffaf.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Publication&id=31)

The root of the word Nicolaitans comes from Greek nikao, to conquer or overcome, and laos, which means people and which the word laity comes from. The two words together especially means the destruction of the people and refers to the earliest form of what we call a priestly order or clergy which later on in church history divided people and allowed for leadership other than those led by the spirit of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. A good translation of Nicolaitan would be "those who prevail over the people." (http://latter-rain.com/eschae/nicola.htm)

The name, Nicolaitanes, is a compound word which is composed of three Greek words, and which, because of being a proper noun, is transferred [transliterated] instead of being translated into English. As thus transferred, it is subject to the laws of Greek construction in regard to ellipsis, contraction and phonetics.

The Greek words used in its construction are first: "Nikos," of which we use the English equivalents instead of the Greek letters, as we shall also of the other two. Nikos is defined as "a conquest; victory; triumph; the conquered; and by implication, dominancy over the defeated." Another transferred [transliterated] name in which this term is used is "Nicopolis," i.e., Niko - conquest; polis city. Hence, the city of conquest, or city of victory. Also "Andro" -- "nikos;" a man of conquest, of victory.

The second term used in the name under consideration is "laos," -- people, another use of which is Nicolas, which is transferred and is composed of Nikoslaos and means one who is "victorious over the people," the letter "s" being, in both words, the nominative case ending, which is retained only at the end of the word to denote the case, while "a" short and "o" short are contracted into "a" long.

Laodiceans

Also, a still further transferred use of "laos" is found in the name Lao(s)diceans, compounded with dike or dice as the Greek "k" is the equivalent English "c." Thus, in the name Laodiceans, we have laos -- "people" and dice judgment, or vengeance, i.e., the people of my judgment, or of my vengeance. Also the Greek word la(ic)os means "laymen," of which laos is the root and stem, which selfsame word, with the "o" short contracted to "i", to which root and stem the plural definite article ton is joined to form laiton -- is a Greek phrase meaning "the laity."

The third and last word entering into the construction of the proper name Nicolaitanes is ton, in which omega, the long "o", is contracted into long "a", thus making the word "tan" which is the genitive case plural in all the genders of the definite article the. Therefore, we have, without the legal Greek construction, the English hyphenated word Nickos-laoston, but which, with its lawful elisions and contractions, becomes the English name: Nicolaitanes, the full meaning of which, in its native tongue and in its ecclesiastical setting, is that the bishops and prelates of the Church have gained a triumphal victory or conquest over the laiton -- the laity -- until they have been compelled to submit to the arbitrary dominion of men who have become that thing which God hates: "Lords over God's heritage." (Written by: J. H. Allen (author of Judah's Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright)}

God HATES the ones who “lord it over” their brothers and sisters! How can a husband ever justify lording it over his believing wife? He is in the position of headship because that is the role God has ordained for him , but headship does not equate with autocracy. Christians are not supposed to lead in this way!



Luke 22:25-30



25 And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called 'Benefactors.' 26 But not so with you, but let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. 27 For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table, or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. 28 And you are those who have stood by Me in My trials; 29 and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.



We are to love our wives as Christ loves the Church. All around us in this secular world, the god of this world (Satan 2 Cor 4:4) has blinded men’s eyes to true leadership, and perverted what headship really means. If you want to be a Christian leader, or head of a Christian home, you will “become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant.” As you love your wife in the same way Christ loves the Church, she will stand with you in your trials, and it may be a stretch from the above reference, but it seems to me you should reward her by treating her like royalty.



We husbands are specifically directed to love our wives in the same way that Christ loves the church. Do that, fellows, and you will turn away much anger and win even a “shrew” as Shakespeare imagined her. We are directed specifically to treat our wives as a “WEAKER VESSEL”. This doesn’t mean belittling her, taunting or teasing her: “I’m stronger than you, you wimp!” No! What it means is that your wife is not a man! If, when you’re “out with the boys”, you punch each other in the arm, tell crude jokes at each other’s expense, and make fun of each other when you think someone’s acting like a dork, that’s one thing (and there are a few issues here as well, but we won’t get into that now.). The problem is that a lot of guys (“Christian” guys!) treat their wives that way! They don’t take into account that God says men and women are different! When He says that that we are to treat our wives as weaker vessels, the context itself tells us what that means. God wants us to deal with them gently, and in an understanding way, to grant her honor as an equal and fellow heir in Christ. Furthermore, it is clear that if we don’t treat our wives in this way, we cannot expect God to answer our prayers:





You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)



Numerous references can be cited showing that we are to defend and strengthen the weak, rather than tearing them down (Ps 82:4; 1 Thess. 5:14, etc.) Rather than putting our wives down, as I have personally heard many times from professing Christian men, we are to build her up as a fellow Christian (1 Thess 5:11), and show her honor:



honor NT:5092

time (tee-may'); from NT:5099; a value, i.e. money paid, or (concretely and collectively) valuables; by analogy, esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself:

KJV - honour, precious, price, some.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)



We are to esteem our wives! They are precious!



Many are the “deeds of the flesh” in a marriage. What do I mean? Just look at the list:



Gal 5:19-21



19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.



In the world, marriage is the prime breeding ground for most of these things. Look at the list again if you think I’m wrong. Today’s marriages are rampant with these things, because the world has perverted marriage. Is that a surprise? If the Christian marriage is to reflect Christ and the Church, wouldn’t you expect it to be a target of the world, the flesh and the devil? Television and the movies promote immorality (KJV – Adultery), impurity and sensuality both outside and within marriage, and it is common for married men and women to be “on the prowl.” These are deeds of the flesh, and clearly sin, but so are the other items.



- enmity NT:2189 echthra (ekh'-thrah); feminine of NT:2190; hostility; by implication, a reason for opposition:

KJV - enmity, hatred.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)



- strife NT:2054 eris (er'-is); of uncertain affinity; a quarrel, i.e. (by implication) wrangling:

KJV - contention, debate, strife, variance.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)



- jealousy NT:2205 zelos (dzay'-los); from NT:2204; properly, heat, i.e. (figuratively) "zeal" (in a favorable sense, ardor; in an unfavorable one, jealousy, as of a husband [figuratively, of God], or an enemy, malice):

KJV - emulation, envy (-ing), fervent mind, indignation, jealousy, zeal.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)



- outbursts of anger NT:2372

thumos (thoo-mos'); from NT:2380; passion (as if breathing hard):

KJV - fierceness, indignation, wrath. Compare NT:5590.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)



- disputes NT:2052 eritheia

a courting distinction, a desire to put oneself forward, a partisan and factious spirit which does not disdain low arts; partisanship, factiousness: James 3:14,16

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)



- dissensions NT:1370 dichostsis (dee-khos-tas-ee'-ah); from a derivative of NT:1364 and NT:4714; disunion, i.e. (figuratively) dissension:

KJV - division, sedition.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)



- factions NT:139 hairesis, haireseoos, hee;

1. act of taking, capture

2. choosing, choice,

3. that which is chosen, a chosen course of thought and action

4. a body of men separating themselves from others and following their own tenets (a sect or party)

5. dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims: Gal 5:20; 1 Cor 11:19.

(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)



- envying NT:5355 phthonos (fthon'-os); probably akin to the base of NT:5351; ill-will (as detraction), i.e. jealousy (spite):

KJV - envy.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)



- drunkenness NT:3178 methe (meth'-ay); apparently a primary word; an intoxicant, i.e. (by implication) intoxication:

KJV - drunkenness.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)



- carousing NT:2970 komos (ko'-mos); from NT:2749; a carousal (as if letting loose):

KJV - revelling, rioting.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)



This sounds almost like vignettes from a modern marriage, doesn’t it? Many elements of the above creep into supposedly Christian homes as well, and much to their detriment. Doesn’t it give you pause when the Word says about such things that, “I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”? Emphasis is due here: THOSE WHO PRACTICE SUCH THINGS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD! Yes, “practice” is in the present tense, a continuous action, and probably is referring to the unsaved, but then, if you’re continuously practicing such things, can you possibly be saved? “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:9). The one who continually practices sin as a pattern of life is not born of God – is not saved. That person has a mere intellectual belief and is fooling himself. If, as a pattern of life, you treat your wife in this way, sinning against her continually, then you must question whether or not you are of the family of God at all.



The opposite of the deeds of the flesh is the fruit of the Spirit, gentlemen. These actions are the result of the indwelling Holy Spirit working within us, perfecting us (Phil 1:8):



Gal 5:22-24



22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.



This is how we should be acting, with our wives and our brothers and sisters in Christ. Those who belong to Him have crucified the flesh.



crucified NT:4717 stauroo (stow-ro'-o); from NT:4716; to impale on the cross; figuratively, to extinguish (subdue) passion or selfishness:

KJV - crucify.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)



Our flesh, our old nature is still there, but it has been subdued, and those who say they try to do the right thing with their wives, but cannot are either dead wrong or else dead in their trespasses and sins.



Yes, God hates divorce, but there are a lot of things that you can do while staying married that God will equally hate. By all means heed God’s Word regarding the dissolution of a marriage, but do not neglect His word in the living out of your marriage every day.


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17 comments:

Gabrielle on 10:24 AM said...

I think it's really great that you're telling people about the relationship between domestic violence and faith. I work at a shelter for battered women and it's so sad to see and hear the stories of how these women feel that God is angry with them for seeking shelter because there husbands have told them so. Faith should never be used as a threat.

Hannah on 10:51 AM said...

Gabrielle - I agree with you!

The husbands aren't the only ones telling these people to stay away from shelters and safety I'm afraid! The churches at times do this as well.

I try to remember they may do it more out of ignorance than control, but I'm sure in some cases that may not be the case.

Thank you for stopping by, and and acknowledging the blog!

Thank you most of all for all your good work as well!

Anonymous said...

Yes, the leadership of the husband in the marriage is more about his responsibilities than any honors that come from his spiritual position. In fact, he is to be the spiritual head of the household and if he is being abusive, he is not fulfilling that leadership at all. Emotional abuse often becomes physical abuse, and people often say the former is worse than the latter. Certainly in the case of an unequally yoked marriage where the woman is a Christian and the man is not, if there is emotional OR physical abuse, I believe divorce is okay. It becomes a little more dicey in the case of a Christian marriage, but even in that case in circumstances of physical abuse, I believe divorce is a Godly option. God may hate divorce, but He allows it, and He certainly does not want any child of his to endure physical abuse simply because "God hates divorce." If it is a Christian marriage and there is severe emotional abuse, I believe God will excuse a divorce if that is what the woman wants, especially if attempts have been made by her to wake her husband up to his responsibiilties of true leadership and he has refused to listen. Emotional abuse can often turn into physical abuse, and I don't believe Christian women are expected to wait around for that to happen.

We all know adultery by either partner is a valid Bibical reason to seek divorce (if desired), but emotional and/or physical abuse is almost a TYPE of adultery in that the husband (or wife) is in essense "making a mistress out of" their ego. They have broken the contract, covenant, bond that originated the marriage by their obscene and nonrepentant behavior.

Hannah on 6:10 PM said...

Sadly, I don't think anyone wants out of the marriage...but at times it about survival. I don't think people look at it that way - sigh!

Thank you so much for coming and for your comment!

Anonymous said...

Hannah, I do think that the message of Malachi 2:16 being misinterpreted to "God hates divorce", when it really should say "he who hates and divorces covers his garment with violence", needs much more broadcasting, or else Christians, men and women alike, cling to that one verse to justify the permanence of marriage at all cost.

Not Under Bondage by Barbara Roberts has an excellent analysis of this passage of scripture. And it debunks all the other divorce myths propagated by your average evangelical churchgoer.

Actually, when you think about it, why would God be so defensive about an institution? Since when has He been the type to put an institution above the welfare of individuals? Doesn't sound like God, so I don't know why people just accept such misconceptions.

Hannah on 1:05 PM said...

God speaks out strongly against evil attitudes, and the spirit of contempt towards their family. He confronts the attitude and spirit directly, because I feel he knows how it harms everyone involved. God allows those that reject his rebuke the consequences of that refusal.

Sadly, mankind is scared to do just that. They seem to be more concerned with marriage stats within the church, and how divorce would look to the world. The entire principal that God speaks about is completely lost with their doctrine.

Everyone knows that not all will accept Jesus as their Savior. They can't seem to acknowledge that not all are capable of approaching the institution of marriage as God intended though. They can see that people will reject the most important thing, but can't accept rejection of lessor aspects of life.

I just don't get that personally.

Anonymous said...

This article has hit home. My husband, who has been a Christian for 11 years, belongs to a legalisitc church and their interpritation of submition is the women is to obey and do what the man says. What is a person to do when their husband emotionally abuses them? I miss the person I married. He neglects his children and is full of hatred towards me - but he is not in the wrong, I am because I don't submit to him. He has called me names and play mind games where he acts lovingly and then the next day hes unkind. I don't want to spend the rest of my life like this, but I don't want to leave him either.

Hannah on 3:19 PM said...

I'm so sorry Anonymous 7. Please reach out for help OUTSIDE that church. You need support, and it is out there for you. Focus Ministries is faith based, or you can contact your local domestic violence shelter. They will take you seriously!

My prayers are with you all.

Swen on 3:38 PM said...

What happens when it's the woman doing these things? Is physical/verbal abuse grounds for divorce in God's eyes?

Hannah on 12:06 AM said...

Swen: I do not believe at all that gender makes a hill of beans difference.

Abuse is hurtful and damaging no matter whom is the target.

It needs to be addressed and dealt with. Why would it matter to God the gender? NEVER!

I do have resources that are geared towards men in my link section - abused men. I believe that is what you are asking.

Swen on 9:56 PM said...

Thank you for the reply. How does the bible justify divorce in an abusive relationship? It seems to me the only grounds for divorce is fornication. Matthew 5:32 KJV

I don't believe it's safe to remain in an abusive relationship and I don't believe God thinks it's safe either. But I also wouldn't want to be the one responsible for causing my wife to commit adultery after I have divorced her for something other than fornication. The only possible solution that I can see is seperation for a while to see if things will get better. After this if they don't get better I wouldn't know what to do? I would be at a loss. I would probably live seperated from her, but then what kind of a marriage is that? Where can you go from there? What can you do besides sit there and wait for your spouse change?

Hannah on 8:51 AM said...

Swen - We can't be responsible for another adult's sins. We can only be responsible for our own. God does see past the 'they made me do it' excuse.

The bible speaks of things that God hates. There are also passages that if a Christ Follower refuses to stop that we aren't even to eat with them. I think divorce/separation is something between you and God. I do strongly believe that the leading of the Holy Spirit will show you the path. I do believe each and every circumstance is custom. There is no cookie cutter solution, although it would make it easier wouldn't it? (giggles)

I realize people take parts of the bible literally, but we also need to feel, live, and encompass the spirit of Him. I do believe there is a difference. The fact that people struggle with what to do with an abusive person? Some even try to sweep it under the rug? It shows they do not understand the spirit of what God is trying to show them. OR they fear stepping out the 'crowds' opinion of scripture.

I know most people when they separate find support and counseling separately from their spouse. Its a time of self reflection. The abusive party is also responsible for doing this as well. Sadly, if they are NOT ready to heal themselves? They may do that just to say they did, and not for the correct reasons. Personally? I think it is fear. IMO.

Separation - what kind of marriage is that? Hmm. What kind of marriage is staying as well.

You need to listen to God's leading. He is the only one that can answer that question.

We need to be faithful, and strong enough to follow it. We may never know his reasons. At times the spouse returns, and sadly at times just as Jesus did - its time to walk away. Wipe the dust from your feet.

Swen on 11:48 AM said...

Hi Hannah, thanks again for the reply. I greatly appreciate your words. You said that we can't be responsible for another adults sins. In Matthew 5:32 KJV it says "...whosoever shall put away his wife saving for the cause of fornication causeth her to commit adultery..." I looked up the word "cause" in the dictionary and it said "the one, such as a person, event or condition, that is responsible for an action or result." It seems to me that Jesus is saying there is a way we can be responsible for another adults sins. Do you see what this is saying? Or is there something you see I am missing?

My question from here is, why does the bible not address the issue of divorce because of abuse specifically? If God hates strife, but we can't divorce because He hates that too, then it seems like a lose lose situation. Why would God allow us to remain in a lose lose situation? Especially since there is no guarantee the abuser is going to change? I don't want to remain in an abusive marriage. All I can see doing from here is seperating for a time. I am praying about it.

I do see what you are saying about God seeing past the "they made me do it" excuse. That is a huge one. I also totally understand that staying together in strife instead of seperating is no marriage either. I understand I cannot change my spouse and at this point I need to think about my own safety and well-being.

Hannah on 12:50 PM said...

Welcome Back Swen!

There is a difference between 'putting away' and divorcing within the Jewish culture. I realize not many people like to speak about that, but it is what it is.

When a Jewish women was 'put away' she was also called a chained woman. (I can't remember the Jewish term for it right now) She was still chained to her husband, due to no divorce papers. When I looked into this? I was surprised to find that this still is an issue the rabbi's today. You see within the Jewish culture only men can give divorce papers, and if they man doesn't wish to? She is stuck. Legal papers from the court don't count in other words.

If a man 'put away' his wife she was still married, and if you keep reading they speak about giving her a divorce - not just put away. Put the divorce papers in her hand and send her off. At this point she will no longer chained to him, and in the eyes of the Jewish she is free to remarry.

I honestly had never really knew about this, and it certainly was never taught. It made me personally look at the duet passage differently as well. He put away the wife of his youth, and in the eyes of God that is treating her with contempt.

Now do I think this can happen the other way around in a fashion with men? I'm not Jewish, but I get the principal the bible is speaking about. You may not agree, and that's fine okay? If I view this as a principal God is speaking about? Yes, to me it can happen to either partner. Being abusive is a form of contempt, and they are putting away their role that God has intended for marriage.

You have to wonder if the man put away his wife for adultery? if it wasn't done so she couldn't marry him. WHO KNOWS, but I did think about that out of curiosity sake. She was not allowed to remarry if she was put away - only if she had the divorce papers.

Now this may be something we will disagree with, and so I wanted to mention this from my own viewpoint of that passage.

Hannah on 12:55 PM said...

The bible may not use the 'word' abuse, but it does speak of actions we would term abusive today.

For example, look at James 3. It speaks of the damage of the tongue - words that can be used to hurt. It doesn't say abuse, but it sure does speak of a type of abuse we speak of today. Its talking about a pattern of behavior, and not just being poop one day. lol what I mean is we can all be jerks at one time or another, but for some? Its a lifestyle. I'm not saying its better to be a jerk one day compared to lifestyle. Pattern of behavior just continues to damage, and the chances of true repentance from such a person? WELL that could be a toughie!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for tbhis. I just received the final divorce papers and I have so struggled with whether I have gone against GodKs wishes. My husband has been a verbally abusive alcoholic for the vast majority of our 30 yr marriage. I lied and hbid bills to spare us (the 3 boys, now men and me) from his anger. I must also admit to spending more because money was what mattered most and it was a way to get back at him. We had the money and I didn't realize at the time that that was my motivatiob but it was. I struggle with what is enabling and what is saving my sanity. After such a long time fighting the alcohol demon and trying everything I could, I threw in the towel. He has spent a year in a Christian rehab which gave me such high hopes and definitely brought God back into our house. A Month after graduating he drank unbeknowst to me. Then had two fullfeldged relapses and went back to the rehab. I'm proud of hi8m but what we had been doing wasn't working and I knew nothing else. I've prayed and prayed and hopefully I haven't let God down too much. I forgive my now ex and will always lo ve him but I am not good for hbim either. I couldn't do anything to help rid him of the alcohol. I needed to show my boys that you don't treat women like that and that is okay to say enough. I ask God to forgive me of my many sins including divorce. Thanks for your blog and support.

Hannah on 9:10 AM said...

Anonymous 16: I can't help but sense a grain of blame you are handing yourself for this. All we can do is support a person in rehab, but most of the work has to be done from them alone. That support at times depends on what we are capable of at the time as well. Nonetheless, it still comes down to the person doing the work. Granted it isn't easy, but they have to do it.

There is a group called, 'Al-Anon'. Its for the spouses of alcoholics, and they also have a separate group for kids. I have a friend that attended those groups - with her boys - and they helped them all in so many ways. It helped put some things in prospective without making the person look evil - if you know what I mean. Its nice to have a place to touch base with that can help walk you through this journey, and know they realize where you are at.

Celebrate Recovery is another group that you may find in local churches - it has a Christian theme. Keep in mind you don't have to agree with all of it. Its there to be a tool, and use what its clear - and dump the other stuff. Most of it is support - which we all need in this time.


God is always in our home, and in our hearts. I realize at times we feel his presence isn't there due to circumstances, but he saw everything. I know for many when they finally have some time to ease up a bit they recognize his being there. They have time to feel it. You read so many stories like that - its almost as if you finally have to time to calm down enough to realize his presence. Why? Your environment is calm enough now to realize it.

Keep in mind we all sin - everyday. At times we do things out of fear as well, and God knows the difference. If you have asked God for forgiveness with the right heart he has given to you. Now you need to learn to forgive yourself. Its strange to realize that we human's struggle with that aspect more than God does ya know? I know for myself at times I struggled with this aspect - of forgiving myself - and projected that struggle to God thinking it was due to him NOT forgiving me. Yet that is NOT what bible states, and when I grew a bit more it was awesome feeling. That unconditional love that no one can hand us. God was pleased that I allowed myself some peace of mind finally. You can have that also!

The bible states that when a believer refuses to let go of their sin we are to leave after a series of events. Allow them their sin if you will. I think at that point it turns into their journey of decision. They either do the hard work, or they choose not to.

I have found most don't have an issue with this concept from the bible, unless it comes to a spouse. We can pray for them, and we don't need to seek revenge. We can allow God to do what he must. It's not an easy step after all those years, because we are so used to them being in our lifes in a certain way. lol can't name a human that loves change! Some aspects are fine, and others we struggle with.

Don't be so hard on yourself, and realize that its God's time to take the wheel for both you and your family. He wants to do that for us, and all we have to do is open our hearts to allow it. I have found reading the entire chapter of Duet - about the hate divorce - helped me realize there is more to what God was saying than what we are being taught. I also found James 3 very validating as far as verbal and emotional abuse. God acknowledges that the tongue can be used as a tool for evil.

My prayers are with you. Please don't spend to much time with guilt and shame. God wouldn't wish you to. He loves you after all!

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