Marriage is the singular human experience that can bring us very close to heaven or hell, while we're still on the earth.
You asked for the views of the Bible and the church, as if to suggest that there is the probability of some difference(s) between them.
The Bible is the basis for the every position of the church, and the church would be removing itself from its foundation, if it developed any position that is extra biblical.
To have a divorce, there must first be a properly constituted marriage. Of the nine pillars that support a marriage, three are non-negotiable. These three; viz:- State sanction, at least two witnesses and consummation are critical (legal, social and physical dimensions). That is how the original marriage was constructed.
When God said, in Matt.19:6, "Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder", He was warning against the very genesis of societal woes; the demise of the family.
Jesus repealed the law of Moses (Duet 24 :1-4) in verses 8&9 of Matt 19, making it abundantly clear that God's original plan, in no way included separation (moichia- to put a wedge between), and 'excuses' divorce on the singular ground of fornication (pornea - any form of sexual misconduct) See also Mark 10: 2-12; Matt 5: 31&32; Rom 7: 1-3.
Marriage is the physical replica of our spiritual relationship with God. How many times we are unfaithful to Him, how many times we go awhoring,(spiritual fornication) yet God, the stubborn lover, through the Hosea Motiff, shows us how to forgive, retrieve and reconcile. Yes, it does sound crazy, but it is still God's way.
We have become so 'modern, enlightened and liberal', that we think that we are smarter than God. We created this problem by our selfishness and unwillingness to forgive (the hardness of our hearts), but God offers us His solution; love and mercy.
We think that it is easier to abandon the sinking ship and start over, huh. But what of all the toxic baggage of unresolved crushed emotions, etc, that we carry into our new situations? No wonder that so many more second marriages end in the failure.
When God constructed the house called marriage, He designed it with only door, an entrance. There was no push bar on the inside to facilitate an emergency exit. Divorce is of human invention, a consequence of sin. God hates it (Mal 2:16)
So what do we do when we find ourselves in a 'bad marriage', one that's sending us to hell, on a one way ticket, but does not involve sexual infidelity? We take our que from god. We pursue with unrelenting affection. If/when it involves any form of abuse that threatens our wellbeing, in one way or another, we seek shelter, not revenge. Sometimes this results in the 'last resort' of separation (even legal separation when the spouse is involved in activities that may have legal implications for the family).
The issue of remarriage is not quite open and shut. There are some who have opted to divorce and remarry on some very questionable grounds, and opine that it's between them and God. Others are in clear violation of the expressed will of God. We rationalize that the 'innocent spouse' is entitled to remarry.But how do we define innocent, by identifying the one who 'stayed at home', but may have 'contributed' to the other 'going outside'. ( I'm not attempting to justify the sin, just suggesting that very often they are equally responsible for the breakdown).
The bible offers sexual infidelity and death of a spouse as the only opportunities for remarriage. The state throws the door wide open and allows divorce and remarriage for no good (biblical) reason-: no fault. the CHRISTIAN will seek to follow God's prescription as closely as possible, since this is the best chance of experiencing joy, now and in the hereafter.
No amount of spousal abuse can form the basis of an christian seeking a divorce, simply because the BIBLE gives no such permission.
"No amount of spousal abuse can form the basis of an christian seeking a divorce, simply because the BIBLE gives no such permission"
Well said. But there is no prohibition for separation. If there is abuse ... one does not need to be living in it. But, of course you need to remain married and work towards a better relationship if that is possible. Prayer is vital. One can be married but not living together. But yet never give up on the marriage.
Even if there are Biblical reasons for divorce ... that does not mean that God desires one to divorce. God hates divorce. He gave it to us not because it was HIS will ... but because He knows we are weak.
Samuel , you sentiments were definitely well delivered, I just wanted to point out one thing quickly before I head out to church.
You speak of forgiveness and selfishness, two emontions I really struggled with during the difficult periods of my marriage. Most of us, I am sure want our actions to please God and we are willing to be servants to God by working through trails but I tell you this. God is an encourage, the Bible demonstrates that he wants what is good for us but the challenging part is knowing how to apply the word to our lifes.
It took me a long time to remove the hurt and frustrastion of being a women 'scorned' for lack of better words. To be at a point where i could really say i had a clean heart that God will be able to really recognize Gods response to my prays. I tell you I pray with a disserning heart for God to reveal the path that he has in store for us. Which for anyone contemplating Divorce this is an important step. Because God is powerful and he can heal even the worst marriage.
In my case, my husband cheated, we seperated he enjoyed his singlehood for a few months with women, become bored or it requested for us to work on our marriage, promised the moons and stars for our new life moving forward, and yes, I took him back, I forgave, what I am now realizing a year and a half later, I could have forgiven him but I did not have to continue to be married to him. His infidelity lives on, the porn, the attitude, he still wants his marriage, which in the beginning made it hard for me to understand what I should do as a wife and as a woman of God.
But, through pray and stillness, i feel I am making the right decision in moving forward to filing for a divorce. I know i serve an encouraging God and i know he would want more for me in this life than bring my kids up in a toxic home environment which is what I would be providing for them if I stay married. In regards to remarrying, while this is not on my mind at the stage in my life, you guys have given great insights and it sounds like biblically speaking we are able to remarry.
i know of many stories of women who worked with cheating husbands and vice versa, but each of us need to remember at the end of the day all books will be opened. We need to be comfortable with what our book will say. What decision will allow you to live best for Christ?
I'm sure that I do not come close to knowing what you have and continue to experience, in your marital misfortunes. However, I'm sure that someone who can provide relief to your plight, is currently engineering the circumstances of your experience to bring healing and restoration to you and yours.
I have seen so much distress resulting from the breakdown of the family. It is always up to the individual's discretion, as to the direction/choices they will make regarding what they do with their lives. After all, they are the ones who will live with the consequences of those choices.
If one is physically ill, one seeks the services of a physician. If one is socially ill, one should seek the help of a professional with expertise in that discipline. As the society has grown more complex, over time, so too has the basic unit(s), marriage and the family.Our skills in maintaining and preserving the family have not grown commensurate with he challenges of the 'white water environment' that we are compelled to operate in.
With a very diversified portfolio of interests, competing with our marriages, for the commitment and rescourses, it should surprise no one that some people are making choices that militate against the best interest of the most important institution that exist on the earth.
Apart from seeking the help of God, there are human partners who may be able to help us cope or even find solutions to our challenges. So let us continue to pray, seek godly counsel, participate in support groups, make efforts to grow daily, love and bless the 'villain spouse',and leave divorce as the absolute last resort.
god bless you through your difficulties and help you tofind true character by the many choices that will be made.
I am not clear what you are saying, but you are right I know something great is being engineering for me, all of us. We all aim to please God and and God knows our heart and he knows our suffering and he has always taken care so I know I could trust in HIM and HIS guidance and HIS direction. He is an encourager, and I know the DEVIL and how he works to make others feel, so for this I thank GOD that he is my strength, my redeemer, my safe place in trouble and my only JUDGE.
No second marriage? What about if the spouse dies? Biblically, the living spouse is free to remarry. A fwidower, praying for guidance for his next bride, because he has a daughter who has become a terminal cancer case, and the man must find a wife AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. This man one day had a cell phone call from an old lady friend of more than 40 years no communication, she pops back into his life, but she is a divorcee. Her husband has remarried. So he prays for signs of the Lord, and it pointed to that former lady friend who had popped back into his life. She agrres to his proposal of marriage, they were married, and about a month later the daughter dies of cancer. Any reaction to this case?