question regarding just cause for divorce

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by btstarcher, Mar 25, 2007.

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  1. btstarcher

    btstarcher
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    I have a question regarding biblical grounds for divorce. My wife has filed for divorce after being married for almost 6 years. She has told me that she knows that it is wrong, but she just can't stand me any more. Her problem with me began after we had been married for about 6 months. I started looking at pornography. I have since been to therapy and talked with my pastor, and the problem has not resurfaced in quite some time, but it took a long time to beat. Praise the lord, anything is possible through prayer! Unfortunately she has never trusted me on this issue, and I had some problems at work and with financial responsibility, so she hardened her heart and refuses to try to work things out. She says she tried, but 2 counseling sessions with a therapist she didn't like don't count in my book. She actually told me that she didn't want to use her hard-earned vacation days on fixing a marriage the never wanted! Anyway, what I'm wondering is whether or not looking at dirty pictures constitutes fornication, or that it gives her the right to ask for a divorce.
     
  2. His Blood Spoke My Name

    His Blood Spoke My Name
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    Jesus said whosever looks at a woman to lust after her in his heart committeth adultery.

    You were guilty of adultery. If you have turned from that sin, if you have received forgiveness for that sin, it is as if the sin never happened in the Lord's eyes. Unfortunately, many do not see as the Lord sees. Many do not forget hurts against them.
     
  3. tinytim

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    Good answer
     
  4. TaterTot

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    Who hasnt at least done that at in their hearts if not with their eyes? I would venture to say that 99% of people are guilty as well.

    I am certainly not saying porn is ok or has anything good in it, but I have never met a man who hasnt seen it at least once. I would not divorce my husband over that issue, but I know some who feel it is just as hurtful as an affair. I will pray for restoration of your marriage.
     
  5. menageriekeeper

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    From a woman's perspective:

    You were indeed guilty of adultry. Absolutely, positively guilty.

    The fact that you have to ask tells me that you aren't ready to accept that, and probably haven't actually stopped. And probably your wife who knows you much better than a single paragraph on a message board can tell me, believes what I believe.

    Pornography is an insidious sin that will destroy a marriage even if you never physically touch another woman. It will cause problems in your intimate relation with your wife because the thought will come to her that you are imagining being with one of "those" women. It will cause financial problems when you spend money on pornographic material that could have been better spent on other things or saved for the inevitable crisis that will come. It will cause trust problems, deep, deep, trust problems that may never fully heal when she finds out that you have been doing all this behind her back and refuse to stop because you have been blinded by Satan into thinking that this enhances your pleasure.

    You are in deep and have only climbed to the edge of the pit by acknowledging that you have indeed been looking at images not honoring to God. But I hear a giant sucking noise behind you when you ask if you are committing adultry, because I can hear you trying to justify your behavior and that is the first step toward sliding back into the pit.

    If you have any hope of winning back your wife, it won't be by justifying your behavior. It will be by accepting the responsibility for what you have done and not trying to lay blame anywhere else. If she says she never wanted to be married in the first place and is using this as an excuse get out of it, then you have way more problems in your marriage then just adultry and you and she both need to examine and fix your relationship with God first and then you can start working again on your marriage.
     
  6. TaterTot

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    But MK, he says he has stopped. Shouldnt we try to let him do that? I havent been affected by this problem personally, and maybe that is why I say I wouldnt divorce over it. But I do believe in grace, and so many times we classify certain sins as ones that people cant move past. I am sure trust issues will remain for many years, but if I were the one in the "pit" I would hope for a little grace.
     
  7. PastorSBC1303

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    Woah. You don't know this about this guy. It is not your place to make such harsh assumptions.

    I agree with Tater. It is not right at all, but it seems the guy is wanting to make things right and doing the right things. He does not need to be stepped on, but encouraged and prayed for.
     
  8. menageriekeeper

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    No I don't know him and said so in the very part of my post that you PastorSBC quoted.

    I do have experience in this area and I have heard all the excuses. I did not say they should divorce and didn't comment on that at all. Instead I gave what I hoped was a warning on what his wife was probably feeling, and what his post led me to believe.

    There is an excellent book on this subject called "An Affair of the Mind", which describes the impact pornography can have on a marriage. The book is published by Tyndale. The first link is for an excerpt, the second is for purchasing info(note: I do not endorse this site, it is simply one of many which carry this book) I recommend that any who do not have personal experience in this area read it.

    http://www.beliefnet.com/story/22/story_2218_1.html
    http://www.christiananswers.net/catalog/bk-affair.html

    Those of us who do have experience in this area know that this is not something to be taken more lightly than an actual affair. This country truely has no understanding of the impact of pornography on a man, his brain, or his wife and until one experiences it for themselves it is like trying to describe the impact of cancer on one physical being.

    I hate I sounded harsh, but this is a harsh subject and clear light needs to be thrown on it. If not us who know a better Way than who?
     
  9. btstarcher

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    You post may have been valid about 2 years ago, but I am past that now.

    On the first point, of course I know that it is adultery, and that I am guilty; that was the first step in the recovery process. The main problem with your reasoning is that you seem to think that I am excusing my behavior; I am not. I have seen the harm it caused my wife, and that was the last thing I wanted; I learned the hard way that problems like that cannot be taken on alone. Only when I sought help and tried to understand the nature of the problem (mine stemming from a deep depression) did it become apparent that it may never go away, that the urge would always be there; the difference now is that I don't have to give in to the urges. My question is concerning the right to divorce; I am not seeking condonation for my actions, but rather I am asking whether those actions give my wife scriptural grounds for divorce. I thought that fornication must include intimacy, and that requires 2 people. For instance, if I were having conversations of a sexual nature with another woman, THAT would cross the line.
     
    #9 btstarcher, Mar 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2007
  10. menageriekeeper

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    Unfortunately, you can't decide for you wife what she believes. If she believes she has grounds for divorce, simply arguing with her that she doesn't isn't going to stop her.

    Read the last paragraph of my first post carefully:

    I know no more than what you tell me and in your first post you said she claims she never wanted to be married in the first place. That is where you must begin in repairing your marriage. The pornography may just be the last straw on the camels back.

    But you can't work on your marriage until your relationship with God is repaired and on solid ground.
     
  11. Amy.G

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    I think your wife does have scriptural grounds for divorce. Even tho you did not commit 'physical adultery', you were engaged in a lustful relationship which consumed your mind (and heart) and caused the same damage as an actual affair. Jesus said that to look at a woman and lust is the same as adultery. This tells me it's not just about the physical act, but an issue of sin in the heart.

    If you and your wife could work this out and stay together, that would be best. But, she does have grounds to divorce you without her committing a sin.
    IMHO.
     
  12. annsni

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    Having "scriptural grounds for divorce" is a really sticky term because, although someone might have the "grounds" for divorce, the question is whether or not that is what is right. If you are being totally honest, and are no longer looking at pornography and have repented of that sin, I think that you are no longer an adulterer and therefore there are no longer grounds for divorce. One friend of mine found out that her husband had an affair - a one-time thing, but an affair none the less. She decided that it was not right to divorce him since it was a fall - and not a habitual thing that he was doing - but there were great conditions that she set up for him to be able to stay with her (accountability in all things - including his cell phone bill and all e-mails going to an accountability partner who he met with a few times a week). I think that, although she had "biblical grounds", that she did the right thing because there's been restoration in their marriage and a they have now been able to counsel others who are in the same situation.

    Then another friend of mine had what I would call screaming scriptural grounds for divorce (let's just say that he committed just about every sexual sin that's in the Bible) and it wasn't until she was sure that his "repenting" of it was false and that he continued in this sin - AND was about to bring his children into it that our pastor physically took her from her house and straight to her lawyers office. She had solid Biblical grounds - and it was the right thing to do to divorce him. God has cared for her throughout her entire marriage and since then - even protecting her from diseases that he had because of her constantly being on antibiotics for "sinus infections" that never seemed to go away. As soon as he was out of her home, her sinus infections went away and she's not had them back since this happened - 6 years ago!

    So, while the Bible does give a reason for divorce, it doesn't mean that every instance of adultery SHOULD end in divorce. It honestly sounds like either your wife has been hurt more than you know - and she's not willing to/is afraid to be hurt again OR she was looking for a way out anyway and you just gave her the "acceptable" reason so that she can do this and still be thought of as a good "Christian". I'm not sure which since I don't know you, your wife or your circumstances.

    I'm sorry that you're going through this. Pornography hurts way more than people think.
     
  13. His Blood Spoke My Name

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    The Bible calls it sin, my friend. Let's lay the ax to the root, not the leaves... leaves grow back.

    Have you truly given this over to the Lord? You said you went to a therapist, let me tell you, a therapist will try to help you conquer these things through the world's ways.. mainly self-esteem and self-will.

    Only when it is given over to Christ can it truly be conquered. When Christ removes something from someone's life, it remains taken away. It is not always there to tempt you to fall to it again.

    Christ removes sin and casts it far away, as far as the east is from the west never to be remembered against them anymore.

    If you have the thought that it is always there, then you have not truly given it over to God. Give it to God and leave it.
     
  14. PastorSBC1303

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    Just because you said that does not give you the right to make such harsh statements on here regarding him. Why would the man get on here and lie about stuff to a group of strangers? That makes no sense.

    Also, you having experience in this area does not give you that right either. Your experience does not make you an authority to judge anothers struggle and situation. Answer the guys question, share your views, but you have no right to make harsh broad statements even going so far as to say:

    It is no wonder they say that we as Christians are the only group who steps on our wounded.

    Pray for him. Answer his questions. Share Scripture. But there is no call to crucify him and make harsh generalizations that do not solve anything.
     
  15. TaterTot

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    He did insinuate that he was able to move past through the Lord's help.

    Yall are sounding as if you want to crucify him for what he did. Let him move past it if he truly can. We have no reason to believe that he hasnt been able to move on. Only he and the Lord know that, and I dont think he would have come to an open board like this to ask his question if he were still participating in that sin.

    If the wife was sorry she married him in the first place, maybe there is more than some pornography that is at the root of the issue. I am not saying she pushed him there, he certainly chose to go, but when one part of the family system is sick, all are affected.

    I still dont think that looking at dirty pictures is cause for divorce, which is the OP, even though its certainly and completely ungodly. If that is, then we should all be divorced, because no one is completely pure and righteous. AS a matter of fact, our righteousness is the same as filthy rags (and most of you prob know that that really refers to).

    If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? Psalm 130:3
     
  16. DeeJay

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    Almost every man, if not every, has looked at another woman with lust. This would mean that almost every woman, if not every, has biblical grounds for a divorce.

    Since you have given up your sin of looking at porn and are continualy working on that problem. I must think that you have other problems in your marrage. The porn in the begining or your marrage may just be what started the issues and others built up around it.

    Check out some books by Gary Smalley for some advice about working on other problems. Prove to your wife, thru your actions, that even though you have made mistakes you are willing to provide her what she needs in your marraige. Even if she leaves you continue to prove that you commited to the relationship.
     
  17. StefanM

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    Indeed. I am definitely wary of saying that lust, though sinful, is sufficient reason for divorce.

    It seems to me that Jesus' identification of lust as a form of mental/heart adultery was not intended to expand the justification for divorce. IMO, he said these words to point out the hypocrisy of someone condemning an adulterer for having sex with someone other than his spouse when lusting similarly in one's heart.

    My 21st century paraphrase...

    "Don't act so high and mighty. You think you're better than this adulterer here? Let me tell you what. Don't act so spiritual when inside you know that you want to do the very same thing, but maybe you're just afraid of getting caught."

    I don't think Jesus would use a mathematical formula to say that lust = adultery, adultery = grounds for divorce, therefore lust = grounds for divorce.

    I don't believe that Jesus intended to make an absolute statement of equality that lust= adultery in every aspect. They are both sinful and harmful. They are both a violation of God's design. But one of them involves another party while one does not. One involves the physical act while one does not. IMO, Physical adultery is generally perceived as more brazen than mental adultery. It certainly requires more effort to undertake and to conceal.

    And, for the major reason I think that physical adultery is not 100% identical to mental adultery....

    I can see the rationalization here: if adultery is no different that lusting, why not just commit the act if you've lusted?
     
  18. TaterTot

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    well said.....
     
  19. His Blood Spoke My Name

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    Actually, he did not say he gave it up, only that he has not viewed it in two years and it is always there. If Christ takes it away, it will not be there.

    Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.
     
  20. annsni

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    I'm not sure I wholly agree with you with this. I know that when my mom became a Christian, she prayed that God would take away her need to smoke - and He did. She said that if she ever felt like smoking again, she'd go ahead and do it but she never did.

    Then again, I know of people who have had the same or similar addictions and have, with the Holy Spirit's help, overcome that addiction, but it's still always there tempting them. I think of it as similar to Paul's thorn in his side. Some people will always struggle with something - but as they get more and more away from it, they will struggle with it less, but it is not completely gone. God CAN take away the feelings and urges but I don't think He always does. I don't know why but then again, I don't tend to question Him. LOL!
     
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