A case for a divorce.........

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Tater77, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Tater77

    Tater77
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    I have a very specific case to discuss.

    There are a lot of opinions about divorce among Christians. But my sister has come to me about it from a Biblical point of view. I am divided about what to tell her specifically.

    To get started let me tell a little about her situation. She has been married for about 10 years. He is not at all faithful to her and has cheated on her many times and still is actually. He is not a good husband or father for that matter. She is at home with their son while he is out getting drunk. He has not been physically abusive yet, but is highly emotionally abusive.

    Also one important note, he is NOT a believer but rather does not believe in God at all and believes in evolution. She is a believer.

    She is under the impression she should not get a divorce at all. She is not very literate in the Bible which I guess is why she asked me. I know its a bit "scribe" like on my part so I searched Scripture to find an answer for her. Here is what I came up with.

    Matthew 5:31-32

    31"It was said, 'WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE';

    32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.


    I'm understanding "except for the reason of unchastity" as a clause for a good reason for a divorce. After all in this case he cheats on her.

    Paul gives very specific details also.

    1 Corinthians 7
    10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband

    11(but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.

    12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her.

    13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away.

    14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.

    15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.


    Verse 15 there being the key for this situation in her case.

    I need some advice on this situation of hers. I cannot bring myself to tell her to stay in this unhealthy marriage that's breaking her down. This is my sister after all. But I need a good Biblical foundation to advise her on. We pray for her in my Sunday school class every week. I don't want to advertise her problem so I just raise my hand in service when asked if there are any unspoken prayer requests to remember.

    Any help would be much appreciated. :godisgood:
     
  2. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Here's a wonderful Biblical discussion of your sister's problem.

    http://www.gotquestions.org/grounds-for-divorce.html

    It's my personal opinion, based on scripture, that your sister has grounds for separation and possible divorce.

    However, her initial separation should be for restoration. If she tells him that she is separating from him and is seeking restoration of their marriage, HE MIGHT CHANGE! I think she should and could separate and seek God's deliverance for her husband. She should, separate from him and that TOXIC relationship, make spiritual intervention on her husband's behalf.

    If he stubbornly will not forsake his sexual immorality and will not turn his life over to Christ - then she has Biblical grounds for divorce. As a nonbeliever, HE can leave. The Bible says that if an unbeliever wants out of a marriage that the Christian partner should let them go.

    There are two other links inside the above one that discusses remarriage from a Biblical standpoint.

    The Old Testament, in Leviticus 20:10, says that if a man commits adultery with another man's wife, then they both are to be put to death.

    While we are not under the Law as New Testament Christians, the spirit of the law is many times even more important to us as Jesus taught us the Sermon on the Mount.

    You sister's husband is dead to her. Spiritually dead. Just as if he has been stoned.

    Just as if she is a spiritual widow.

    And she is free to separate, divorce, and remarry someone who is also Biblically eligible for marriage ....... BUT......

    Her FIRST order of the day is to seek restoration, albeit even if she has to separate from him, and to petition God for his salvation, deliverance, and submission to God.

    I'll be praying for her and for him.
     
    #2 Scarlett O., Jul 6, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2009
  3. TomMann

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    You are not going to find any easy answers. And I personally think this board is a poor place to come for advise unless you are looking for poor advise. One line of thought is "What God has joined together" and was God the joiner, or ourselves. Others will think of the welfare of the kids. Questions of the mental state of the abused, some feel obligated to stay entrenched out of a martyr syndrome. Fact is (and I understand I just stated you may get bad advise here, myself included) is to be supportive of your sister in whatever she decides to do. And I would included, perhaps, helping her to receive good Godly counseling (with emphasis on Godly). Everyone will probably have a differing view so I again state the ball is in her court and you should be sensitive to her right to choose and supportive in what she chooses.
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    Not knowing all the details but purely based on what is in the op I would counsel any women who came to me and I could verify this information to separate due to the emotional abuse and the womanizing. Abuse emotional or otherwise can be dangerous and all to often leads to the physical. The first thing to be concerned with is the safety of the mother and child.

    Then I would tell her to pray, fast, and wait. If he then wants to leave her so be it. Let him initiate and secure the divorce. But she also needs to know that God can both restore that relationship and soften that man's heart.

    It is vitally important to get away from any abuse. Love him and wait for him from a distance but do it in prayer and fasting. She really needs to go to her pastor.
     
  5. Tater77

    Tater77
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    Thank you Scarlett O , that is pretty much what I had in mind.

    They have tried countless times work things out in the past. He has promised to change and only does for a little while. Things are at the point now that I fully support her getting a divorce.

    He is the one who is going to leave the house since its her house anyhow. So I guess she will be the one to "let him leave". He said he was leaving her last week...........again.
     
  6. Jkdbuck76

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    We need to pray for your sister.

    Edit: and her husband.
    Edit: and their child.
     
  7. Tater77

    Tater77
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    Thank you, the more the better :godisgood:
     
  8. OldRegular

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    Scarlett O had a great post. However, my view is simple. Your sister has Biblical justifications for divorce. She also has practical reasons for divorce. So she should divorce this person before he harms her and the child further.
     
  9. Amy.G

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    ditto. Everyone's posts are very good.

    Will say a prayer for your sister's (and children's) safety, and peace and comfort from the Lord.

    What a terrible situation. But God can heal all things.
     
  10. Doeroftheword

    Doeroftheword
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    A girl marries a man but after a while it get to where its not a relationship and they sleep in the same bed. They are only living together due to Him being sick shes still with Him. If she doesn't love Him and meets someone else is it adultery?
     
  11. Amy.G

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    Yes...................
     
  12. Scarlett O.

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    I started to say that if she sleeps with Mr. Someone Else, then yes, she is committing adultery. Then I remembered the words of Jesus when He said, "If you have looked at someone and lusted after him or her, then you have committed adultery in your heart" Matthew 5:28

    So I'm rewording my answer to say, yes, even if she has simply yearned to have sex with him, but never even told him ..... then she has committed adultery.

    The Bible makes no allowances for divorce merely because one has gotten bored, fallen out of love, cares for his/her spouse on in a brotherly/sisterly way, has only a platonic relationship, or meets the man/woman of his/her dreams after marrying someone else.

    The world does. The world accepts ANY reason for divorce and even encourages divorces for the flimsiest of reasons. But we are not to be "in" the world.
     
    #12 Scarlett O., Jul 6, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2009
  13. gb93433

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    I agree with Revmitchell. If she does not separate the authorities may consider the situation child abuse. Just because the children are not being physically abused or the wife is not being physically abused does not mean it is not considered child abuse because the situation may be deemed an abusive situation. It seems that he does not understand the importance of gettting help and he must be forced to realize it and take responsibility for his own actions. As long as she allows herself to aid the situation by not forcing him to make decisions to get help and stay sober it is doubtful he will get help nor have much respect for her. Many an abuser and drunk has been forced to get help at the insistance of a strong wife and he credits her with saving their marriage ands his life.

    One of my relatives was into pornography and when his wife insisted that he get help or she would leave, he got help. During that time he also received Christ. He now leads a ministry working with men who have troubles with addictions.
     
  14. queenbee

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    This is a good thread and timely - I just finished speaking & praying with a co-worker yesterday on this same subject of divorce. She - a believer; he - the unbeliever. They've been married for many, many years, but the relationship has petered out. Frankly, she's endured a lot of emotional abuse over the years and abandonment The relationship is quite simply, emotionally bankrupt. Short of a miracle and God's intervention, she doesn't see any way that he will willingly change. She has sought professional Godly counselling (I've encouraged her to continue with this) and has done a lot of praying over this (& him), and soul-searching. She is at the point where yesterday, she asked what I thought of her encouraging him to sell the family home (his idea), separating, treating him with dignity to maintain as respectful a relationship as possible and moving into her own small apt. (she doesn't plan to divorce him - she wants to follow God's commands). She simply believes that God wants more for her than this relationship is offering & perhaps can do more without her in the picture. She even thought up what I thought was a brilliant idea - buying adjoining apt units so that kids and grandkids could stay with either/or when they come to visit. She'd even be willing to have her husband come over for dinner once a week, if he'd like, under such an arrangement.
    What do the rest of you think??
     
  15. Jim1999

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    Modernity has brought many changes to a marital relationship. I think that many to-day will change along with it. I am not promoting divorcement, but looking back to the lack of counselling before marriage between unequally yolked people.

    On the other hand, I do know of a Jewish woman who found Christ as Saviour. For many years, she continued to be her husband's mate. She even continued going to Synagogue and to the Baptist Church. Some twenty or so years later he actually came to the church seeking to know Christ. Their son went on to attend Bible School and become a pastor. Would to God that all situations worked out this way. The thing is, she remained faithful to her marital commitment, and God honoured that.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  16. Aaron

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    Out of honor for God and His Word, she should separate herself from the adulterous man. Unless they were both unbelievers when they were married, it's difficult to invoke vs 15.
     
  17. IveyLeaguer

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    Very nicely done.

    ~~~
     
  18. Gina B

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    Tater, before I comment at all on the divorce thing, let me comment on the staying in the same home thing.

    It's high time she high tailed it out of there. What he is doing is abusive to the children. Scripture does not demand that we stay in dangerous situations, but scripture does demand that we protect and provide for our children.

    Alcoholics are notorious for being unstable. They need to be protected from someone who is going through an addiction.

    Whether or not she decides to file for divorce, she needs to be made aware that she has no obligation to stay in the same home and if she does stay, she needs to put the kids elsewhere...in a more stable and safe environment.

    As far as divorce, I agree with Scarlet and did the same thing with my marriage. Separated to keep myself and my children safe, with the idea of reconciliation, and when that didn't happen (I think it was a couple years) we were divorced. He was an unbeliever. I was too at the time of our marriage.

    I believe I did everything according to scripture. I sought a LOT of advice and did a lot of studying. There were multiple opinions from multiple counselors. It pretty much just confused me until I sat down with my Bible and spent a lot of time in prayer to figure out what was right for my family.

    Please encourage your sister to study and pray! There are a host of opinions out there, but what it comes down to is what the Bible says, coupled with where she is led spiritually after spending much time in study and prayer.
     
  19. Gershom

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    If there has been sexual immorality, she has biblical grounds for divorce. Sorry for the situation.
     

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