So, the topic for this post is whether it’s OK to get divorced.
I noticed a lot of people getting divorced these days in the church, and trying to justify why they are allowed to divorce and why they should be allowed to pursue remarriage. So I’m first going to quote from an article from Focus on the Family by Amy Tracy.
God is very clear, however, that He hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). He also says, “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:6). According to the New Testament, there are two justifications for divorce: infidelity (Matthew 5:32) and desertion (1 Corinthians 7:15).
Now, I had always taken the rule of Dr. Laura for this. She says that you can get divorced for adultery and abandonment (as above), but she allows allows for physical abuse and drug addiction. But it looks like the Bible is more strict than Dr. Laura, even.
Now with that Biblical standard in mind, take a look at this post about a woman who professes to be a Christian who is divorcing her husband for unhappiness, which I found on Sunshine Mary’s blog.
So how are we to understand women like Jenny Erickson, and the many other Christian women like her, who claim that despite thousands of years of Christian and Jewish tradition, despite the clear commands in Scripture not to separate from one’s husband, despite the commandments against adultery, nevertheless the Lord God Himself has made a special exemption just for her? Because He wants her to be happy, so if she needs to be a faithless woman who breaks her vows and becomes an adulteress, then hey it’s all good?
[…]After secretly filing for divorce from her husband, Mrs. Erickson’s pastor caught wind of the situation and attempted to discuss it with her. When she refused, the pastor went to her husband about the situation. Mrs. Erickson has since railed against her soon-to-be ex-husband and her now ex-Pastor because they actually had the nerve to call what she was doing a sin – which, according to the Bible, is is. Let’s read through a few quotes from Mrs. Erickson:
Thankfully, my faith in God is stronger than my fear of men, and I feel like I’m finally getting right with Him again after years of wandering in the wilderness.
[…]Here are a few more things that Mrs. Erickson claims:
It’s odd and strangely freeing to not know exactly where I’m going to be a year from now. I’ve always been the girl with The Plan. The Plan has changed every now and then, because hey, life requires adaptation, but right now there is No Plan other than love my girls like crazy, work hard enough to pay the bills, and rely totally and fully on God. I’m sure His Plan is better than My Plan anyway.
I needed a time-out for my marriage — possibly a permanent one. But every person that tells me I’m going against God’s will by separating from my husband drives me further away from wanting to reconcile with him.
Details aren’t needed. Leif is the father of my amazing children, and I want nothing more than to be his friend again someday, regardless of what happens in our marriage. But things have been very broken between us for a very long time, and it took every ounce of courage I had to take the step that went against everything my religious culture told me but somehow I knew God was telling me was right.
To be told that this beautiful, wonderful thing I have learned exists in my soul, this thing that gives me the strength to flip my life over when nothing else has worked, this thing that has made me braver than I thought possible, and made me rely on God more than I ever have in my entire life … to be told that this is a perversion of His plan for me?
These points must confuse a lot of women because I have heard these rationalizations used by many Christian women who are leaving or have left their husbands. Therefore, allow me to clear up the confusion that seems to be rampant (but it really isn’t confusion, it is willful disobedience), lest any of my sisters in Christ are considering following Mrs. Erickson’s example.
God’s plan for you will never include violating anything written in the Bible.
If you hear a voice whispering in your ear, Here’s the plan; what I want you to do is... and the plan includes going against clear commandments in God’s Word, then it is not God who is speaking to you. God’s plan for your life, sister, never includes you filing for divorce. Not ever, not under any circumstances, no matter what your husband has or has not done, no matter what you want, no matter what would make you happy.
So, I think we need to be really careful with spousal candidates who claim to be Christian – we need to make sure that they really are comfortable with being led and with the authority of the Bible to overrule their feelings. In fact, you can check to see if a person takes their faith seriously just by trying to lead them to take the Bible seriously. You just have to read the Bible and think about how to live it out in a marriage, and then talk to your spousal candidate about what you’ve discovered. You want to present to them your plans and your reasons for those plans, and explain what you need them to do in order to make the plan work. This is a great way to see if they know what marriage is really about and how they feel about what’s expected of them if they marry YOU.
Sometimes, it’s really obvious that the person is not a good candidate for marriage. If you tell them your plans and then complain about arrogance, ego and how your questions would turn off any woman, then you are dealing with someone who is going to divorce you. And they might have already divorced someone else – like Erickson. The name calling in response to you trying to to make the Bible have authority over the roles that you each play in the marriage is a sure sign of impending divorce. Basically, you have to beware of anyone who is feelings-driven instead of Scripture-driven and detect them early. There are things to do in a marriage that need to be done whether anyone feels like it or not. You can’t be married to someone who responds to rational discussion about plans and duties with verbal abuse.