Are There Exceptions for Divorce?

The most frequently asked questions to Ask Roger revolve around the subject of divorce. While marriages fall apart for a wide variety of reasons, the problems surrounding the divorce itself are consistently the same.

I have chosen three recent letters and have condensed my personal answers to each questioner. I think that it is helpful for us to get a sense of the horror of the activities that lead to divorce.

I chose these three particular letters in order to answer some divorce questions that I have not addressed in previous Ask Rogers. Incidentally, I have intentionally left the grammar and spelling in each letter in order for us to get a better feel for the emotions and pain in the heart and life of the writer.

 

This first letter is from a hurting mother who has filed for divorce and wants to know if she has done the right thing.

 

Dear Roger,

One month after i got married to the father of my two youngest children i found out he was having an affair. i forgave him and wanted my married to work, but every day it was something new phones calls, not coming home and then he just didn't want me any more we separated into different houses i offered marriage counseling, church and a host of other things but he wanted nothing. he moved another women into his home and i tried and wanted my marriage to work. after about six months of rejection i filed for divorce as of May 11th our divorce will be finial in mans eyes. my question is in references to Matthew 19: 3-11 can i re-marry? will i commit adultery? will any future marriage be cursed? did i do the right thing?

A Hurting Wife

 

Dear Hurting Wife, 

Yes, you did the right thing. Let me give you several reasons why. 

The best validation for your divorce is what Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:25-33 about the responsibilities of a husband:

 

Your husband doesn’t come close to fulfilling his God-ordained role as a husband. He has broken the marriage vows by chasing after other women. He has rejected you. He has sinned and committed adultery. You have not. According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 7, if he wanted out of the marriage, it is right for you to let him go. Since your divorce is right before God, the Bible says that you may remarry.

 

The Bible has many other guidelines for understanding how to respond when a marriage fails. In addition to Jesusteaching in Matthew 19. You can search on Ask Roger for some of my other discussions about the grounds for divorce. I give a more detailed analysis and summation of the guidelines in several other Ask Rogers.

 

Another example bolstering your divorce filing is what God says in Malachi 2:16: "I hate divorce ," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment," says the LORD Almighty. The phrase, “and I hate a man's covering himself with violence,” can also be translated, “and I hate a man beating his wife. Any husband who physically abuses his wife has broken his marriage vows.

 

In summary, N, you can remarry. You will not be committing adultery. Any future marriage will not be cursed. You did the right thing.

 

Remember how Jesus gave a second chance to the woman whose life didn’t turn out so well (John 8:1-12). He helped her to pick up the pieces of her broken life and start over again.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus can and will help you pick up the pieces and that you can have your best days ahead for you.

 

Love, Roger

  

This next letter deals with an issue that I encounter frequently. One partner or the other has remarried without grounds for divorce. Now he or she becomes a Christian and realizes that he or she had no Biblical grounds for divorce. They wonder if they must divorce their new wife in order to return to the old one. After all, they never should have divorced the first husband or wife in the first place.

  

Dear Roger,

R.A. Torrey … taught that if one had already remarried that their was no need to divorce again to make it right. I'm just wondering if it is a pick and choose thing?? I know that God hates divorce....trust me I KNOW!!!! But the problems are what to do now if the divorce was in the past.

Sincerely L

 

Dear L,

You ask an intriguing question; however, the answer is simple. We are not to divorce a second spouse in order to reconcile and remarry a previous spouse whom we divorced without Biblical grounds.

 

The reason is simple. Two wrongs don’t make it right. God hates divorce. Don’t have another one (Malachi 2:16)!

Sincerely, Roger

  

This final letter is from a mother who is in dire straits with two children and an alcohol drinking husband who is beating on her during his drunken stupors. She needs to get as far away from him as she possibly can; unfortunately, like so many women, it sounds like she doesn’t really have the resources to make it financially without him. She has few options and her letter will break your heart.

 

Dear Roger,

 

I'am 23 years old,and i got married when i was 19. i been married 5 years now. i got 2 kids... as of right now my husband is pass out .he was drunk and he came home and pick a fight and when i told him i just want to sleep he punch me and grap my hair ans says i don't care about him just because i didn't want to talk to him...i really don't know what to do.. i love my two daughter so much..i don't want them to be grow up and see that they don't have their parent toghter..Please Pray for me and my daughters...today is sunday i suppose to go to the church,but i can't my eyes can't open cause i been crying all night..Please help me pray for me and my daughter....

  

Dear M,

One thing I can do is to pray for you, your children and your husband. I pray that Jesus can bring peace and wholeness to your entire family.

 

I am so sorry that this is happening to you. Jesus never intended for anyone to suffer like you have suffered at the hands of your own husband. I am going to give you the Bible directive for how a husband ought to behave in a marriage. Paul proclaimed that a husband is to love his wife: He is to lay down his life for his wife just as Jesus sacrificed his life for His church.

 

(Dear Reader, at this point I wrote out Ephesians 5:25-33 for her about a husband loving his wife as Christ loved the Church.)

 

Any husband who fails to love his wife like Jesus—and especially one who hits his wife has literally broken his marriage vows before God. Perhaps, at just the right time, you can share this teaching with you husband. I will pray that when you do, his heart will break and he will forever change his attitude and behaviors against you.

 

Most men who hit their wives begin to do it again and again and again. Most of them, when they sober up, are “O-so-sorry” for what they have done. They often beg and plead for forgiveness and promise that they will never do it again. Don’t trust him. It may be time for you to work out some sort of plan to protect yourself and your daughters from physical harm. Usually, physical abuse increases until the wife really gets hurt. Protect yourself.

 

Jesus Christ can work great miracles in people’s lives and I will pray for your husband to get right with Jesus and have the divine and personal strength to sober up and be the husband and man of God that Jesus designed him to be.

 

Finally, I will pray for your husband to stop hitting you and for you to protect yourself and your children from any abusive behaviors as well. I pray that as his heart and behaviors change, you will have a great future and many good days ahead’

 

God bless you,

Love, Roger

 

A failed marriage is an awful thing. The ripples of pain flow outward in ever widening circles just as a stone tossed into the middle of a quiet pond sends ripples out in all directions.

 

When I talk to high school and college kids on the subject of marriage I ask them to raise their hands if they intend to get married some day. Most all hands go up. Then, I encourage them to look at everyone else in the group; one of every two persons in the room will be divorced at least once. I have never yet married anyone who intended to be in the divorced group—but half of all people tragically end up there any way.

 

So, make having a successful marriage a top priority in your life. You want to be rocking on the front porch some day in retirement with your very best friend—the love of your life. That will be sweet.

 

Love, Roger

Comments + add a comment