After my post on divorce, where I advocated forgiveness even when divorce is a biblical option, (Read that post here: https://tobilobaajayi.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/is-divorce-really-the-answer/) I got a lot of questions and opinions that sent me to my knees and back to the word.
I realized that majority of us consciously or unconsciously believe that there are certain lines in marriage that once crossed there’s no coming back from. I was told that even Jesus must have recognized that possibility-he allows divorce on the condition of adultery.
I have to say, that argument was quite convincing to my human mind. I mean it makes sense. But I have come to realize that a concession does not always mean agreement.
I know a lot of people will disagree with some or all of the things I’m about to say; that’s fine. I’m going to go ahead and obey God anyway. My discoveries of late are below:
Divorce was never part of God’s plan when He created marriage. It was a man made concession because human beings became too hard hearted and refused to offer forgiveness when they were wronged by their spouses.
When Jesus gave the concession, He allowed only one ground for divorce-adultery; and then followed it up with a condition that essentially translates to celibacy unless you reconciled with your spouse.
You see the reason for that condition continued to baffle me because I felt that God was asking too much. I essentially found myself asking ‘If you would allow them to divorce, why would you tell them to stay unmarried after a divorce?’
I have now realised that as with everything God does, that condition was put there to help us see that no matter how much we think we know, His plan is ultimately and always better.
Am I saying that spouses do not do unspeakable things to each other in marriage? Of course not, I’ve heard and seen certain things done to people in the name of marriage-(flagrant adultery, physical abuse, emotional abuse…) the list goes on
If I were to judge some of these things by human intellect, crucifixion would be too good a punishment for some of these perpetrators.
But like I said, God’s so much smarter than I am.
So what should the Christian response be in the cases above and others like them?
These are my practical thoughts after lots of studying and asking.
If you’re married to a serial adulterer, Please move out of the house before you get a disease, Keep praying for him/her and if possible, still do other ‘marital’ duties. Prayer not only has the power to completely transform your husband/wife, it ensures that it is impossible for you to hate him/her.
If you’re in a physically/emotionally abusive marriage, Get out of there before you get yourself killed. Keep praying for him/her from where ever you are. If he/she is the stalker type, fly under the radar please. Your life is very important
However, do not stop praying for him.
If your marriage was founded on deceit, (or they jazzed you like they say where I come from), and the truth comes out, Take some time away if you must but while you are away Pray! Pray!! And Pray!!! Then, you will be able to forgive him/her and continue the marriage.
God created marriages to last, no matter the problems it may encounter on its way.
Marriage God’s way takes work. A good marriage is not going to fall out of heaven no matter how ‘spiritual’ you are or how many principles you follow. You are going to have to work at it.
By the way, after I finished this study I ‘almost’ agree with the disciples.( emphasis on almost)
If you don’t have a problem ‘working out your salvation’…. (as free as it is) why do you thinking bailing out of your marriage when it has challenges is the only solution?
One last thing to address before I finish, I’ve heard people advice women especially to stay in a house where they are being abused just so that another woman does not take their place.
I beg you, don’t do that! If he marries another woman, is that the end of the story in God’s books? I don’t think so. I’ve seen God bring marriages back from worse- and it was not because they stayed and took the abuse.
None of the above situations (as bad as they are) has divorce as the ONLY option. Separation with the intention to reconcile in God’s time is a very viable option too.
The summary of this epistle, No marriage is beyond saving. NO MARRIAGE!
Is it going to be easy? Absolutely not!
But doing things God’s way, as hard as they may be will always be worth it.
This is now my firm belief.
Instead of heading to the courts, why don’t we head to the cross?
I’m almost afraid to ask but:
Who’s with me?