- 1 Does God want you to stay in an unhappy marriage?
- 2 Would God tell you to leave a marriage?
- 3 What constitutes spiritual abuse?
What is the only reason for divorce in the Bible?
7 Verses about Divorce in the Bible – “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” – Matthew 5:32, NIV God created marriage as the perfect union between man and woman so they could raise a family.
- This is a covenant for life; and should not be entered into lightly, with divorce as an option.
- Divorce in the Bible is only considered under the only exceptional circumstance of sexual immorality.
- If either spouse remarries a person not divorced under this rule, or if they have not been divorced because of immoral behavior, then they will have committed adultery.
If you are unmarried and marry a man or woman who has not been divorced under the aforementioned rule, you will also have committed adultery. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” – Matthew 5:27-28, NIV That said, our bodies are temples of the Lord and should be respected as such. Extra-marital affairs are too common today. It’s too easy to divorce. People have forgotten God’s laws. As divorce in the Bible is frowned upon by God, marriage should be fought for relentlessly.
Christian counseling should be sought so that both parties can review what went wrong and undertake a journey toward recovering a relationship based on love and respect. It will help you see more clearly the path ahead, so your differences and recriminations can be resolved. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
– Ephesians 5:33, NIV According to Paul, husbands must treat their wives with care and show the same concern for them as they would for maintaining their own interests. Husbands should love their wives as themselves. Then they will have applied the Great Commandment (Matthew 22: 34-40) in a marriage-focused way.
Societies of the past have considered women inferior or less deserving of care than men. Likewise, women should be diligent in showing respect to their spouses. This will bring about mutual love and unity if wives submit to this concept of a Godly marriage, however “empowered” they may be. No doubt there were troubled marriages in Ephesian Christian society, but there are Godly solutions that still apply today.
Divorce in the Bible was as prevalent then as now, but following these simple rules of understanding and loving one another will keep you together. Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives. Peter then suggests that this includes wives, even if the husband is not a believer. Her respect and conduct toward her husband may finally convince him that Christ brought about that change. When it comes to divorce in the Bible, submission should not be seen as abject obedience.
You must obey God ahead of all human authority. Refuse to obey instructions that oppose God’s revealed will for us. I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery.
– Jeremiah 3:8, NIV God abhors adultery and here we see it illustrated in two of the tribes, Israel and Judah. Both had committed the sin of idolatry, but God considered Judah worse, as they had seen the bad example of Israel. Thus, the Lord caused them to be taken captive by their enemies and suffer accordingly.
Are we to suffer individually God’s wrath if we commit adultery in our own lives? Well, we won’t be taken into captivity, but we have become captive to that sin for which a price will be paid. Any divorce in the Bible has to be only when one or both partners have conducted an extra-marital affair. “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty.
– Malachi 2:16, NIV The Old Testament talks about “covering someone with your garment,” which is a metaphor for protection. Husbands must protect and provide for their wives. (Ezekiel 16:8). Malachi claims this was no longer happening and Israeli men were divorcing their Jewish wives to marry pagan women. The people of Israel were busy at this point rebuilding Jerusalem and the temple but under the control of the Persian Empire. This, no doubt in part, accounted for their behavior. They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name.
She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives. – Deuteronomy 22:19, NIV Moses is talking to the people of Israel on the Plains of Moab, shortly before they enter the Promised Land. God’s laws for marriage and divorce are part of this speech. Virginity was highly prized in marriages of the day, thus a wife who lied about it was likely to be stoned to death.
But a husband also faced a stiff fine if he falsely accused his wife of not being a virgin. The bride’s parents kept a blood-stained cloth from the consummation of the marriage as proof of their daughter’s virginity. All this sounds quite bizarre to us today, but marriages then were often conducted with young girls barely in their teens.
Therefore, divorce in the Bible was frowned upon by the elders. Looking at the above verses regarding divorce in the Bible, it’s easy to see our fallen world in a new light, whether we be Christians or not. It’s too easy to get divorced in this day and age. One must be certain of your partner’s faithfulness to you, no matter what happens, in today’s turbulent society.
Photos: “Broken Heart”, Courtesy of Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Open Bible”, Courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Hope”, Courtesy of Ronak Valobobhai, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Faith Can Move Mountains”, Courtesy of Rachel McDermott, Unsplash.com, CC0 License : Divorce in the Bible: 7 Scripture Verses for Dealing With Divorce
Does God want you to stay in an unhappy marriage?
Bible verses to encourage you in an unhappy marriage. – The principles in these Bible verses can help you choose to follow God no matter how unhappy you may feel in your marriage. When you choose to obey God despite your circumstances, you can find peace and hope to carry you through.
Remember that God provides for your true needs as a husband or wife. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. – Isaiah 54:5 No spouse can meet all our needs. We are imperfect human beings, and even at our best, we cannot perfectly fulfill every need of our spouses.
You likely have unmet needs in your marriage, and so does your spouse. However, this is not terrible news. God is waiting to fill your needs perfectly as your heavenly spouse. He created you, and he knows exactly what you need. When you go to him in prayer, asking him to fulfill your needs, he will provide for you through his loving presence and spiritual comfort. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
– Genesis 2:23-24 God designed marriage to last for life, a strong commitment that reflects God’s master design. His will for you is to stay married unless there is ongoing and unrepentant abuse or infidelity. You must renew your commitment to your spouse, even if you feel that you have an unhappy marriage.
Gary Thomas, the author of Sacred Marriage, has shown research that most couples who say they are unhappy in their marriages are much happier five years later if they commit to staying married. So, there is hope for you if you make that commitment to your spouse to be one flesh for life.
Remember that spiritual battles are ongoing. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. – Ephesians 6:11 You have a spiritual enemy, Satan, who is doing everything he can to destroy your marriage. He will plant seeds of discontent, grumbling, criticism, and more to disrupt the unity between you and your spouse.
These seeds will sprout into ongoing spiritual battles that on the surface just look like arguments or withdrawal between you and your spouse. But you can fight back with the principles in Ephesians 6:11-18. When you feel unhappiness creeping into your marriage, turn to this passage and ask God for help. However, you have the responsibility to guard your heart. When you constantly focus on the unhappiness in your marriage, your heart will be discouraged and more open to temptation. But you can identify your weak spots and cover them with prayer and practical tips.
A Christian counselor can also advise you on how to guard your heart in an unhappy marriage. Make prayer a high priority. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. – Romans 12:12 You can turn to God in prayer every time you feel unhappy with your marriage. Pour out all your feelings because he can handle all of them.
He will affirm you and strengthen you even when you are struggling. You can ask him to guide your thoughts, words, and actions toward your spouse. You can also choose to rejoice in the confident hope that God is available to help you at all times of the day.
Ask God to give you patience in the troubles of your marriage, and don’t stop praying no matter how you feel. Choose to be loving. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. – 1 Corinthians 13:7 It only takes one person to change an unhappy marriage. You can be loving toward your spouse no matter how they treat you.
Your commitment, faith, hope, and endurance will serve as a good example, and your spouse may return the loving feelings when they see you showing them. Put on an attitude of gratitude. Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. You can keep a gratitude journal of a few things every day for which you are thankful. This practice has been proven to uplift your attitude, so why not try it? Take responsibility for your part. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! – Psalm 139:23-24 All of us have made mistakes in our marriage that added to the unhappiness.
You can ask God to search you and test you, and to point out anything offensive to him in your marriage. He will gently correct you, showing you where you need to take responsibility for your part. You may need to confess your sins to your spouse, which can bring healing and wholeness to your marriage.
God will reward you for having a humble, teachable spirit. Make forgiveness a regular rhythm. Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Is a sexless marriage biblical grounds for divorce?
by Patsy Rae Dawson ~ “I didn’t take a vow of chastity,” wrote one of the respondents to my Sexless Marriages Self-Assessment Survey, It turns out that nearly everyone’s marriage vows included a pledge to engage in frequent, quality sex. This corresponds with the Bible’s teaching regarding sexless marriages and divorce.
You don’t remember promising to have frequent, quality sex? More importantly, you don’t remember your spouse pledging to love you sexually? Then tune in to the podcast of Bonnie Kaye interviewing me about marriage vows and Biblical divorce in the case of sexless marriages: https://patsyraedawson.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/bonnielkaye_2018_01_22_bonnie-kayes-straight-wives-talk-show-with-patsy-rae-dawson-christian-coach-2.mp3 Here’s quotes and links I gave during the podcast plus additional material: Marriage Vows “I, _, take you, _, to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_vows ).
Examples of modern wedding vows: http://www.weddedyourway.com/traditional-i-do-vows.html The Jews Divorced Sexless Spouses The Jews granted a divorce if the husband was not providing food and clothing or reduced the number of times he gave his wife sexual love (Exodus 21:7-11). While women couldn’t divorce their husbands directly, they took their dead-bedroom complaints to the Jewish elders who pressured their husband into granting them a divorce. To help settle these cases, the priests regulated how much food, clothing, and lovemaking had to be provided before they granted a divorce.
Unemployed—every day Workers—2xweek Ass drivers—1xweek Camel drivers—1×30 days Sailors—1×6 months Scribes—1×30 days
The Jews recognized frequent, quality sex as part of their marriage vows and thus a duty of marriage. (David Instone-Brewer, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible, The Social and Literary Context 55, 106.) One of my Embarrass the Alligator Newsletter subscribers emailed, “This almost makes me wish I was unemployed.” I replied, “And it makes a lot of women wish they had the money to be a sugar mama!” The Jews Issued Daily Fines for Avoiding Sex I didn’t talk about this on the podcast: A man or a woman who refused “conjugal rights” was considered “rebellious” and issued a fine for every day they abstained from lovemaking.
The woman paid from her dowry with coins she had sown into her garments to take with her if she were divorced. The man’s fine was an increase in his wife’s dowry paid directly to her. The Jews didn’t force conjugal rights—no marital rape. The couple was expected to give themselves lovingly and cheerfully in obedience to their marriage vows (Instone-Brewer 107).
The New Testament Law of Compatibility Was Written in This Jewish Context 1 Corinthians 7:2-5: “But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” “Have” means “1.
have, hold; 2. own, possess” (Thayer 268). “Own” means “pertaining to one’s self, one’s own, what is one’s own as opposed to belonging to another, a person who may be said to belong to one, above all others” (Thayer 296 – 297). “Duty” means “1. to deliver, relinquish what is one’s own; to give away for one’s own profit what is one’s own.2. Likewise, 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 is remarkably similar to the Jewish views regarding marital duties. Historical documents show that fines and divorce for sexless marriages continued at least through the first century A.D. The Apostle Paul, “a Pharisee of Pharisees” before becoming a Christian, would have known these Jewish views of sexless marriages (Acts 23:6).
Additionally, David Instone-Brewer and “a few others have also pointed out the affirmation of the grounds for divorce in Exodus 21:10-11 by the use of that text in 1 Corinthians 7:3 ” (292). Paul addressed 1 Corinthians 7 to Gentile Christians who weren’t familiar with the Jewish right to divorce in cases of sexless marriages.
Before becoming Christians, the Gentiles worshiped both prostitutes and virgins. They couldn’t fall back on generations of healthy sexual conduct modeled for them by their parents, who may have frequented these idolatrous temples. Bonnie asked why Christians have such a problem with sex and divorce in cases of sexless marriages.
I referred to the free chapter ” Victims of Victorian Morals ” from my book God’s People Make the Best Lovers Most Christians today also come from a Gentile background where we still don’t have generations of loving mothers and fathers to teach us proper attitudes toward lovemaking. I recommended my article ” 3 Reasons God Wants You to Love and Enjoy Passionate Sex,” Frequent, Quality Lovemaking Is a Duty of Marriage I discussed on the podcast what the test is to determine if we’re enjoying enough lovemaking in our marriage.
Below is additional material from my book God’s People Make the Best Lovers : Neither Person Can Satisfy Self I Cor.7:4: “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” “Authority over” means “to have power or authority, use power; to be master of any one, exercise authority over one, to be brought under the power of any one” (Thayer 225).
- Often husbands and wives selfishly use this passage on each other by saying, “Your body belongs to me and I have the right to say what happens sexually.
- I have authority over your body.” This attitude conveys the opposite of what Paul said.
- This verse contains two ellipses—two “not – but” constructions with a common verb.
An ellipsis, a common Greek word combination, shows a relationship between two things that are both true, but it places the emphasis on the second over the first. In other words, the wife has authority over her own body, but the husband exercises greater authority over her body.
Yet the husband’s authority is not to tell the wife what to do with her body. Rather, the husband exercises his authority by giving his wife’s body sexual satisfaction in keeping with the context of the passage “because of immoralities.” Thus, the wife possesses some authority or ability to satisfy her own sexual desires through masturbation.
However, the verses emphasizes her husband’s power to satisfy her in comparison to her own ability—he exerts much more power to satisfy her by making a vaginal orgasm possible. In fact, once a woman tastes of a vaginal orgasm, masturbation seems empty and worthless. The husband, likewise, exercises limited power to relieve his sexual urges in comparison to his wife’s power to satisfy his masculine desires. The Redbook survey of 40,000 men found that the most happily married men didn’t enjoy masturbation nearly as much as making love with their wives.
- Consequently, a husband does not possess the necessary body parts to fully satisfy himself— only his wife can give him the very best sexual thrills.
- While both the husband and the wife depend on the other for sexual ecstasy, both find their greatest pleasure in the other’s satisfaction.
- The wife delights in seeing her husband’s enjoyment of her charms.
Likewise, the husband finds great pleasure in giving supreme happiness to his wife. Many of the men in the Redbook survey said the best lovemaking occurred when their wife obviously experienced her best times (Carol Tavris, “The Sex Lives of Happy Men,” Part II, Redbook, 195, 7).
- Thus, when we understand the Old Testament context of marital sexual duty and Biblical divorce in 1 Corinthians 7, we can see that our vows “to have and to hold” carry with them an understood duty of frequent, quality sex.
- God doesn’t trap anyone in a loveless, sexless marriage, but provides many ways of escape including divorce.
The Jews used the right to divorce a sexless spouse and daily fines to try to prod a couple into loving each other sexually. When that didn’t work, God-approved Biblical divorce was another remedy. Patsy Rae Dawson is a Christian marriage, sex, and divorce coach,
Is it a sin to divorce and remarry?
Biblical Grounds for Remarriage – Whether a Christian who has divorced their mate on biblical grounds is free to remarry is a question of scripture. Their spiritual status has not changed in any way in the eyes of the Lord or the church.
Jesus gives permission for someone to remarry when adultery has taken place. “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” 9 Here, the phrase “and marries another” raises the issue of remarriage. Jesus states that divorcing a mate on the grounds of immorality frees the offended mate to remarry without committing adultery. Paul upholds the idea of permanency in marriage 10, whether it be to a believer or unbeliever, yet gives permission for a believing mate to separate if deserted by an unbeliever. Paul states, “Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or sister is not under bondage (no longer bound) in such cases, but God has called us to peace.” 11 According to Paul, because desertion severs the marital bonds an abandoned believer is not commanded to stay in this marriage. An implication of the marriage bonds being severed is that remarriage is possible, but we must acknowledge that remarriage is not specifically addressed by Paul in this passage.
So, based on the above passages, remarriage following a biblical divorce for adultery seems explicitly permitted by Christ, and remarriage following a biblical divorce for abandonment by a non-believing spouse may be permitted as an implication of the teaching of Paul.
- The elders recognize that among orthodox evangelical churches there are conflicting interpretations of scripture concerning the possibility of remarriage in the case of biblical divorces.
- As such, we do not assert that any particular interpretation is binding upon the consciences of our members.
- At the same time, the Elders urge every member who is contemplating remarriage, an act which will likely cut off any possibility of reconciling with a former spouse, to patiently wrestle with this possible step through prayer and study of these scriptures, seeking God’s wisdom and direction and the counsel of pastors and elders.
In this process, the Lord may affirm a life of singleness in His service which He commends as a good thing and empowers some individuals to enjoy, or He may provide the peace that remarriage is what is best. Ultimately, if an offended mate chooses, in consultation with and the concurrence of the elders, to pursue either singleness or biblical remarriage, the church and its Elders commit to fully embrace, love and support them in that pursuit.
This includes our pastors officiating at weddings of those pursuing a remarriage following a biblical divorce. But it is our conviction, however, based on the clear teachings of Jesus, that remarriage is not permitted in the case of an unbiblical divorce due to the continuation of the bonds of marriage in the eyes of God.
Yet, while remarriage following an unbiblical divorce is a sin, it is not a special category of sin that is beyond God’s merciful grace. Those in an unbiblical marriage should not compound their error by divorcing their spouse, but should instead confess and repent of their sin and bear fruit in their lives in keeping with that repentance.
What does God say about one sided marriage?
One-Sided Marriage: What Do I Do? Dear CMR, What if in a marriage, only one person wants to stay in the marriage and is working and fighting for the relationship to continue? What would you say to them?
- A Desperate Friend
- Dear Desperate,
That is a great question. Thank you for asking. If only one person is fighting for a marriage then the marriage cannot be saved because you two have become one (Gen.2:24). It will be as fruitless as trying to walk with only half of your body. However, all hope is not lost. There are many things that you can do to re-engage your spouse so that you can work together on your marriage.
- Walk in the Spirit – Even before you engage your spouse, the Holy Spirit should be invited into your process so that you are never truly alone. Remember that you can do nothing without the empowering of the Holy Spirit. (I often have to remind myself of this truth because I am so used to tackling problems with a solo mindset.) However, it is through Him that we are able to do the things necessary for reconnection like showing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, especially in times of trial.
- Seek to honor God first and foremost – “hatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Cor.10:31b). It can be really easy to become self-focused when we feel alone and hurt by our spouse. (Can I hear an amen?!) However, marriage is not meant to be self-serving but an avenue through which we can honor and proclaim the greatness of an all deserving God. Many times this requires sacrifice, a sacrifice that would be impossible without first having an awareness of and satisfaction in God’s greatness.
- Practice selfless love as Christ modeled – Christ consistently modeled selfless love and Paul urges us to be imitators of Him (Eph.5:2). Husbands are explicitly admonished to selflessly love their wives (Eph.5:25-27) and we all have been called to love one another as Christ loved (John 13:34-35). One of the things that helps me to be more selfless, when I actually do it, is thinking about how selflessly Christ loved me despite my unfaithfulness towards him. In times of strife, we need to reorient our hearts to strive to be imitators of Christ’s love.
- Pray – Pray for your marriage (including acknowledging God’s greatness and ability to solve any problem, sharing your pain and fears to God, and thanking God for what he has provided and for his sovereign action Phil.4:6-7). Pray for wisdom in how to address the trial (doing so will allow you to cooperate with God’s will, James 1:5). Pray for empowerment from the Holy Spirit to produce good fruits in you (which not only bring glory to God but it opposes the fleshly tendencies that would only further exacerbate the situation, Gal.5).
- Reflect on your contribution to the disconnect – This one burns for me, but I say.let it burn. Marital disconnect usually is co-created. Contributions to the disconnect could be anything from blatant actions or subtle inaction, aggressively demanding to passively withdrawing, enabling the other person to seek selfish desires. When you take the time to humbly reflect on your part you can be better able to make changes and to understand things from your spouse’s perspective.
- Remain available and avoid chasing – Often what can look like a spouse giving up is actually withdrawal (an effort to self-protect and to avoid further damaging the relationship). There is a huge temptation with a withdrawn spouse to start to pursue them more aggressively (complaining, criticizing, or making demands), however, this will further push your spouse away. Instead, try to communicate that you are available to them by offering a gentle response to his or her complaints or defensiveness and through inquiring about his or her needs in the marriage. This is a TOUGH one. (See Dr. Sue Johnson’s book Hold Me Tight for more).
- Notice the small steps – We remember what we pay attention to. Look for the small things that your spouse may intentionally (or unintentionally) be doing that make you feel a little bit more loved or respected and then acknowledge it. I can take the power of acknowledgment and gratitude for granted (and I know I am not alone in that). However, in the times I have taken notice and expressed gratitude, my spouse was more empowered and I benefited from an increase in something that was desirable to me.
I realize that all of these suggestions are easier said than done, and I confess that I can improve greatly in every one of these areas. Nevertheless, I believe that striving to do these things will help to unlock a disengaged or defeated spouse so that you can both fight for the marriage together. Dr. Aundrea Paxton graduated with her Psy.D. in clinical psychology from Rosemead School of Psychology. Currently, she serves as staff psychologist at the Biola Counseling Center and special appointment faculty for Biola University. Aundrea and her husband Kerry are both Southern California natives and have a passion for encouraging and supporting the development of healthy relationships and families.
Will God get me out of a bad marriage?
Restoring your relationship – If you are in a bad marriage, the answer is not to dissolve the relationship, but it is to restore your relationship the way God has restored our relationship with Him through Christ. Stick through the hard times and work on the tough issues.
- Look at yourself. No one is perfect (Romans 3:10). It’s easy to see the mistakes and annoyances that our spouses have. It’s much harder to look inward and identify the ways we contributed to the problems. Think through your marriage and seek the areas where you said or did something wrong. Then ask forgiveness from your spouse. You will be amazed how this small step could eventually turn your bad marriage into a good one.
- Identify your real enemy. At FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway, we are reminded that our spouses are not the enemy – Satan is. Ephesians 6:12 says, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” One of his greatest weapons is to trick you into blaming someone else, usually your spouse, for problems. When you start to bicker and quarrel, remember that your true enemy is the one who seeks to destroy your marriage.
- Meditate on God’s Word daily. The proper way to battle Satan is with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). You won’t know how to use a sword if you’ve never handled one. The same is true for God’s Word – you won’t know how to wield its power if you don’t read and study. When Satan attacks, the Word of God will give you wisdom and the power to withstand his fiery darts. Not only is God’s Word a weapon, it is also a guide for life. There are dozens of Scriptures regarding wisdom in everyday living – conflict resolution, handling money, roles of husbands and wives, parenting. You can find the answers you need if you will only look for them. Supplement your reading with Christian authors who can help you understand biblical concepts.
- Appreciate your spouse. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Perhaps you’ve forgotten that your spouse has good qualities. At one time you were attracted to him or her in some way. What were those things that made you fall in love? Once you’ve thought of something, verbalize it or put it in a letter. You’ll be amazed at what a kind word can do for your relationship.
- Pray for your spouse. It’s difficult to harbor bitterness against someone when you’re praying for that person. The more you pray, the more God will change your heart, and you will see a dramatic difference in your attitude. If possible, begin praying together. In his book Two Hearts Praying as One, Dennis Rainey says, “When you pray together, you multiply your joys, divide your sorrows, add to your experiences with God together, and help subtract your haunting past from your life.”
Finally, take action to restore your marriage. What makes a marriage good is hard work and a resolve to stay married. No matter how easy it seems for other people, no marriage can work automatically. Don’t let Satan fool you into thinking that no one else experiences problems or that yours aren’t solvable.
- Attend a Weekend to Remember
- Read articles from Christian marriage websites
- Read books and materials from Christian marriage experts, and then apply these biblical principles to your life.
Pursue all avenues of reconciliation before divorce: professional Christian counseling, intervention with your pastor, and personal forgiveness. Read ” Finding a Christian Counselor ” to help you find the assistance you need. There’s no secret formula to dealing with a difficult marriage.
Just because you are suffering now, don’t give up on the blessing that God is using to mold you and your spouse into His image. It may not seem like a good marriage at this time, but wait and see what God has in store for you I’m willing to bet you’ll be glad you did. Editor’s note added on June 30, 2014: As the author states early in this article, her intent is to address unhappy marriages in which there is no unrepentant adultery, abandonment, or repeated physical abuse.
As she writes, “They were simply struggling with what most marriages deal with: miscommunication, financial disagreements, selfish attitudes – the things often excused as ‘irreconcilable differences.'” These are the conditions in most problem marriages – and our desire is to encourage these couples to seek reconciliation.
Would God tell you to leave a marriage?
3 Things God Will Not Do in Your Marriage I think most people who live on this earth as Christians desire to conduct their marriages according to the principles set forth by God, and I think that’s great. The Bible is full of instructions and guidelines to help point you in the right direction for a happy, Holy union.
The question is, though, do we always get it right? Absolutely not. As fallible humans we will fall short, and God gets that. The goal for wives is to strive to be a Proberbs 31 woman, or for husbands to treat your wife as Christ treats the church. We all need practice, and that’s fine. But there are some instances that just absolutely go against scripture.
These things we must not do if we really want a marriage that honors the Lord. It’s easy when you fall to call it God’s will, or to imagine God’s hand at work in your life when you crumple under sin. There are some things, no matter how much God loves you and directs your life, that you cannot do in His name.
- Although the Lord has power over your life He will not do these things in your marriage.1.
- God will not lead you to adultery.
- So say you’re unhappy in your marriage.
- Then suddenly you meet this nice fella (or lady) at work.
- He’s a wonderful Christian, a great listener, and really seems to care about your feelings.
Unlike your husband. You start eating lunch together, spending time pouring out your heart on break, and the next thing you know you’re having romantic feelings. This person is so right for you! It must be God! God has placed this perfect person in your path! No.
- No, no, no.
- If you are married God will not place an opportunity if front of you to tarnish the union you have sworn to in His name.
- When He says what I have put together, let no man separate; He means just that.2.
- God will not lead you away from your spouse.
- Perhaps you and your spouse have ended up on two different planes.
Maybe you started the marriage on the same page, but now you are different. It’s possible you have deepened your relationship with the Lord, and your spouse has not. In that clash of differing spiritual/relational levels there is strife in your marriage.
God does not lead you to divorce, and while it is important to be equally yoked, the Lord does not favor the severing of marriage. One flesh isn’t something to take lightly, so when differences and difficulties arise divorce is not the right answer. I will never claim to be perfect, nor will I hide my past.
I have suffered the scars and shame of divorce. I was not following close to Jesus at that time, and when my ex-husband told me he didn’t want to be married anymore I accepted that with little fight. God came and helped me through the aftermath of my broken marriage, but He didn’t lead me to divorce.
I am so happy with my current husband. Happier than I have ever been. I can’t imagine a life apart from him, but I don’t think it was God’s will for me to get divorced. For that matter, though, I don’t think it was His will for that first marriage to happen. Hindsight is 20/20. But I digress. The point is, God doesn’t condone divorce.
Can He forgive someone who has suffered through divorce? I believe so. I believe God forgives all His children who come in honest repentance and turn from their sinful ways. Can He heal someone after divorce? Absolutely! I’m living proof. But does God lead you away from your spouse? No.
Never. That’s not God. I’m sorry.3. God will not change your spouse for you. This is a hard concept to accept. It’s always what we cling to when marriage gets hard. When our spouse is difficult and calling it quits is on the forefront of our minds we hold tight to the old adage that God can change their heart for us.
And He can. But He won’t. Let me clarify. God will not change your spouse for you. But He will change your spouse for His glory. What I mean is this. Many, many times when we are at odds with our spouse we pray in a certain way.
We pray, “God, make my husband be more attentive to me.”Or, “God, make my husband be a better provider.””Notice me more.””Compliment me.””Get a better job.”Maybe even, “get off his lazy butt.”
What do all these pleas have in common? Me, me, me. Listen, God loves you. God wants you to have a happy marriage, and to have a spouse who treats you like you deserve to be treated. In fact, He commands such treatment in His word. But God wants you to treat your spouse as they deserve also, and that starts with desiring the best for them.
You must desire change for your spouse not simply for yourself, but for their benefit. You should desire that your spouse grow closer with the Lord not so that your life will be easier, but so that their life will prove more abundant. Your job is to desire God’s best for your spouse, not desire how God can make the relationship best for you.
By all means, pray for your marriage. Pray without ceasing. Just understand that while God does want to please you and answer your prayers, that He wants most for your heart to be right. He honors selfless prayer. He honors marriage. He honors growing His relationship with you and your spouse collectively while also strengthening the bonds of marriage.
So in essence God can change hearts, and He can turn your spouse’s heart towards Him, and in that change them. But He’s not simply changing them for you. Understand that. The good news is that while God may not do these three things in your marriage, there’s plenty of great things that He can do! When hope seems lost, Christ can.
When your marriage seems to be failing, God can heal it. Keep your eyes on Him, trust in His promises, and align your personal walk to one that honors both Him and your marriage. *In this post I write mostly from a wife’s point of view. This isn’t to say the husband is the only party ever who is far from the Lord, or that only wives cheat.
I wrote from the gender perspective most comfortable to me. My own. The situations are interchangeable. Also this friendly advice is meant for general purpose only. I cannot speak to spousal abuse issues, nor am I a certified marriage counselor. I’m just a woman who loves her husband and Jesus, and likes to share about both.
: 3 Things God Will Not Do in Your Marriage
What is God’s punishment for infidelity?
Jonathan Willis ( For the first, introductory post in the series, click here ) The Seventh Commandment, ‘Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery’, was one of the most commented upon in the whole Decalogue. ‘Adultery’ was quickly expanded by Protestant authors to include all forms of ‘uncleanness’, in thought, word and deed, alone and with other humans and creatures, both in and outside of wedlock.
Fornication, buggery, masturbation and bestiality were some of the headline crimes, but authors also sought to proscribe all ‘occasions’ and ‘enticements’ to sins of the flesh, including mixed dancing, excess consumption of food and alcohol, as well as lewd pictures, cosmetics, alluring gestures and coquettish glances.
In contrast to such filthy living, the commandment enjoined chastity, both in and out of marriage: ‘immoderate use of the marital bed’ was as much a sin as pre- and extra-marital sex. In this post, however, I want to focus on one particular aspect of the Seventh Commandment which attracted a great deal of attention during the long sixteenth century – how crimes of the flesh ought to be punished.
It did not fail to escape the attention of a range of (mostly clerical) authors, that whilst murderers and thieves might face execution by the secular authorities for their actions, the most the church courts could do to adulterers was issue a harsh fine or a stern penance. Was not adultery also a breach of God’s law, and was the breach of every single commandment not a serious offence in the eyes of the Lord? The Old Testament had known how to deal with such crimes.
Leviticus 20:10 threatened that ‘the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death’, while Deuteronomy 22:22 thundered, if a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then both of them shall die’. It has long been known that, during the Interregnum, the Puritan government issued, on 10 May 1650, an ‘Act for suppressing the detestable sins of Incest, Adultery, and Fornication’. This act made the sin of adultery into a capital criminal offence, punishable by death.
- Eith Thomas has explained that the act was almost a ‘dead letter’ from the moment it was passed – the harshest sentences were ‘scarcely ever imposed’ and the act lapsed in 1660 and was not renewed.
- What is less often remarked upon is that this was not simply a Civil War-era expression of unfettered radical puritanism, but the realisation of a much longer campaign of agitation and attempted legal reform.
Probably the longest and most passionate case for introducing the death penalty for adultery came from the pen of the prolific evangelical author and translator George Joye. Joye’s 1549 treatise A contrarye (to a certayne manis) consultacion: that adulterers ought to be punished wyth deathe was a vernacular response to a Latin treatise published a year earlier by John Foxe, in which the future martyrologist made a humane argument for the merciful treatment of adulterers (along the lines of hate the sinner, love the sin). Joye approvingly cited the Decades or sermons of Heinrich Bullinger, dedicated to the English King Edward VI, in which the Swiss reformer ‘affirms death as the punishment for adultery, neither abrogated nor changed’. Joye had also, in the 1520s, translated the Strassburg reformer Martin Bucer’s Latin psalter into English; Bucer’s Latin treatise De Regno Christi also argued at length that those found guilty of adultery ought to be executed.
Against the charge that the death penalty for adultery had been abrogated by the new law brought by the coming of Christ, Joye answered, why abrogate the punishment for adultery and not those for crimes such as theft and murder? Magistrates had been given the sword and sceptre to punish wrongdoers according to God’s word and commandment: ‘for whom the worde can not refrayne, God hath ordyned the swerde to repress’.
Thomas Cranmer’s (abortive) Edwardian attempt to reform English Canon Law, the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum, also mentioned how ‘the wickedness of adultery’ was ‘specifically attacked by one of the Ten Commandments’ and was punishable by death under the old law.
Cranmer’s new proposed sentencing guidelines fell short of execution, but did suggest penalties of perpetual banishment or life imprisonment, alongside transferral of goods and property from the guilty party to the innocent. While Cranmer’s proposed legal reforms never took effect, they do reflect the extent to which the morality of the Ten Commandments came to shape the debate about key social, ethical and legal issues, such as adultery, during the course of the English reformation.
‘Table of acts: 1650′, in Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660, ed. C H Firth and R S Rait (London, 1911), pp. lxxvi-lxxxii. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/acts-ordinances-interregnum/lxxvi-lxxxii, Keith Thomas, ‘The Puritans and Adultery – The Act of 1650 Reconsidered’, in Donald Pennington and Keith Thomas (eds), Puritans and Revolutionaries: Essays in Seventeenth Century History Presented to Christopher Hill (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978), pp.258.
Foxe, John, De non plectendis ulteris consultatio Ioannis Foxi (London, 1548) STC2: 11235. Joye, George, A contrarye (to a certayne manis) consultacion: that adulterers ought to be punyshed wyth deathe (London, 1549), STC2: 14822, sigs. Aii v -Aiii r, Tudor Church Reform: The Henrician Canons of 1535 and the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum, ed.
Gerald Bray (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2000), p.265.
What sin is unforgivable?
Independent Baptism – According to Independent Baptist minister Robert Breaker, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is no longer possible for anyone to commit in the modern day. This is because Jesus is no longer performing His miracles physically on Earth as He did during His earthly ministry,
What is the unforgivable sin in the Bible?
Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit – Mark gives us some help for interpretation by noting that “He said this because they were saying, ‘He has an impure spirit'” ( Mark 3:30 ). Jesus has been healing the sick and casting out demons in the power the Holy Spirit ( Matthew 12:28 ; Luke 11:20 ).
- Yet the religious leaders attribute the work of the Spirit to Satan ( Mark 3:22 ).
- In other words, they look right into the light and then turn to the darkness.
- The key to the unpardonable sin, then, seems to lie in the role of the Holy Spirit, which is to reveal God and draw people to the truth.
- Anyone who rejects the work of the Spirit in their life is essentially rejecting any hope of salvation ( John 16:8 ; 1 Corinthians 2:14 ).
And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come ( Matthew 12:31–32 ).
When should a wife not submit to her husband?
4. When his leadership would enable her husband’s sin or abuse. – Love does not tolerate sin. Sin dehumanizes and repentance is fundamentally humanizing. Husband’s might tell their wives “not to tell” someone about his addictions or they might repeatedly act in anti-christ ways by being demeaning, intimidating, pridefulness or degrading.
We don’t want to be in the habit of enabling sin in general, but, in particular, Christians have biblical justification to take action, resit, and flee when sinfulness manifests as abuse: physical, spiritual, or emotional, “The prudent sees danger and hides oneself” (Proverbs 22:3). “David (1 Sam 18:11; 19:10; 23:14), Elijah (1 Kings 19), Jesus (John 7:1; 8:59), and Paul (Acts 9:22-25; 14:5; 17:8-10) all fled from avoidable assaults by kings, priests, and other authorities”(5).
Not yielding might look like fleeing, hiding, filing assault charges, calling 911, or calling on pastors to exercise church discipline. The immediate and preeminent priority in these situations is safety. Wives have warrant to get space from abusers: “The sixth commandment would mandate that kind of self-defense” (6).Not yielding to abuse is ultimately loving to the abuser.
- Abusers are dehumanizing themselves and need to stop both for the sake of the abused and for their own sake; unrepentant people will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
- The pain that results from real consequences can awaken the abuser, who has been minimizing his behavior, to the reality of what he is doing.
People tend to not change until the pain of not changing increases. Husbands whose wives have separated because of their abuse or infidelity should receive the pain and the shame that comes from being separated as a gift – the discipline of the Lord (Hebrews 12:5).
What does the Bible say about emotional abandonment in marriage?
Is Emotional or Spiritual Abandonment Grounds For Divorce? — The Parkway Church In 1 Corinthians 7:15, Paul writes that abandonment provides biblical grounds for divorce. But what exactly constitutes abandonment in Paul’s context? Is it solely physical desertion, or could it also refer to things like emotional, spiritual, or mental abandonment? As we did with, we want to acknowledge that we’re stepping right into the middle of a tense debate dividing churches and denominations.
- We do not wish to simply add more noise to this debate; rather, this question deserves a careful and considered response from Scripture.
- With this in mind, our aim is to provide a concise examination of Paul’s charge in 1 Corinthians 7:10-16, to determine what abandonment is and is not— so that, ultimately, we can understand what is and is not grounds for divorce.
Let’s begin with a look at the text in question: 10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband.
Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? ( 1 Corinthians 7:10–16) Paul says that if an unbelieving partner separates from (abandons) his/her spouse, the believing husband/wife is not bound to that partner.
But, what is Paul talking about specifically? And how should this text be applied today? Traditionally, abandonment has been understood to refer to the actual, physical leaving or separation of a spouse or an actual appeal for divorce from the unbelieving spouse.
That said, there is a growing chorus of those who would claim that abandonment in this context might also refer to an emotional, psychological, financial, sexual, or spiritual “abandonment” where the unbeliever remains physically and legally unseparated from their spouse but has abandoned the marriage in one or more of these spousal roles or responsibilities.
So, which is it? Let us first be clear: emotional or spiritual abandonment is awful. We grieve with the brother or sister experiencing any of the aforementioned circumstances and desire for them to experience hope and healing in the midst of their suffering.
What is the sin of withholding?
THE SIN OF WITHHOLDING Let’s just walk through a Soul Refiner open door. If you are withholding intimacy from your spouse, you are an Intimacy Anorexic and your anorexia is your choice. All of us really need to deal with the old hurts. This requires recognizing the old hurts and rejecting living a life in the victim state.
Talk to God about the locked doors and ask for His power to heal you. The Soul Refiner program has counselors available, along with counselors through Faith Bible Church and marriage mentors to talk with. Get started healing by becoming responsible for the changes you can make. Look at the consequences of Cain in Genesis 4:4-9.
Incredibly, Dr. Doug Weiss, creator of Soul Refiner states, “with intimacy anorexia, it’s not the anorexic that’s in pain, it’s the spouse.” The IA believes it is better for their spouse to be in pain rather than the IA to be in pain. The sin of withholding is a path of moving from a relationship with our spouse to just making them an object.
The IA withholds to harm their spouse. Stealthily or unknowingly they can discard them, replace them, objectify them, disregard their emotions and violate their boundaries. The path of Cain starts with individual value and relationship and finishes with “you have no value and I don’t have to follow any rules.” Abel was innocent yet was murdered by Cain.
So even in marriage, the sin of withholding is potentially “crouching at the door.” Awaken with clarity to your sin. With a prayer talk with your spouse. Reject your victimhood, and state the facts to your spouse: “You have value. There are rules. As an IA, I need to be responsible for my actions and ‘stop throwing you under the bus.” Ask for forgiveness and start a plan of reconciliation.
- With prayer and specific steps of building a relationship with God and then with your spouse, there is healing.
- God is here! He can restore.
- Hopeless to He-Can-Fix-It.
- God beyond me, resurrect me.
- Now IA, build up your spouse that God wants to see.
- Session 3 puts a decision in your path.
- The choice of victim leads to destruction.
The choice of an intimate relationship with God and then giving to your spouse leads to healing. Hope to see you at Faith Bible Church’s Soul Refiner course in January 2021. : THE SIN OF WITHHOLDING
What constitutes spiritual abuse?
Spiritual abuse is sometimes called religious abuse It happens when someone uses spiritual or religious beliefs to hurt, scare or control you Spiritual abuse can be a form of If you or someone you know is experiencing spiritual abuse, you can contact 1800RESPECT on or through the online chat.
Spiritual abuse happens when someone uses spiritual or religious beliefs to hurt, scare or control you. It can involve someone forcing you or your children to participate in spiritual or religious practices when you don’t want to. It can also involve someone refusing to allow you to participate in spiritual or religious practices that are important to you.
Stopping you from practising your religious or spiritual beliefs Forcing you to raise your children according to spiritual beliefs you don’t agree with Forcing you to participate in religious practices that you don’t want to participate in Using religious or spiritual leaders or teachings to:
Force you to stay in relationship or marriage Excuse violence and abuse Blame your for violence and abuse Encourage you to accept violence and abuse Stop you or your children from getting medical or health care Force or pressure you into a marriage you don’t want
Stopping you from returning home to Country Shaming or insulting your religious or spiritual beliefs.
Spiritual abuse can be a form of domestic and family violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing spiritual abuse it is OK to ask for help. It can involve someone forcing you or your children to participate in spiritual or religious practices when you don’t want to.
Boyfriends, girlfriends, partners, husbands or wives Ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, ex-partners, ex-husbands or ex-wives Carers or paid support workers Parents, guardians or other family members Adult children Other people you live with or see often, whether inside or outside the home.
None of these people has the right to stop you from following your religious or spiritual beliefs, or force you to follow theirs. : Spiritual abuse