Commitment

A good friend from my grade school days has been going through some marriage trauma. She recently gave birth and her dh of less than two years is filing for divorce. Long story. Aren’t they all? Sigh.

She called me the other night wanting straight talk, and I told her according to my understanding, if her dh divorced her, she wouldn’t be free to remarry till he remarried someone else or died. (Matthew 5:31-32)

My “verdict” was like delivering a death sentence. She’s fairly sure he won’t ever remarry, having once been burned. She’s not even sure he was a Christian to begin with.

You all know how I feel about “choices” and that marriage vows have to mean something. You have to enter into it with no “back door escape clause”…God’s ways may seem unfair, and harsh, but they’re for our good. However, my heart hurts for my friend.

I found this blog entry on commitment and marriage the other day, and wanted to share it here. Minuteman and his wife Candy, of Keeping the Home, have great blogs.

I just love reading husband/wife blogs. I’ve got another set for you later this week…

Commitment isn’t for the faint of heart. The truth is, most couples are incompatible in the beginning. God’s ways aren’t always our ways, but once you marry that person, they become Mr. or Mrs. Right…

Here are some scriptures regarding this topic (thanks Dad and Mom for your help with these):

Malachi 2:16, “For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce for it covers one’s garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. ‘Therefore, take heed to your spirit that you do not deal treacherously’.” (Use the link to read the verses in context.)

1 Corinthians 7:15, “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. (This verse leaves room for argument, but in light of Matthew 5:31, I don’t think the innocent spouse is up for remarriage…and reading Matthew 5:31-48 with a hard marriage in mind, well, it’s kind of a tough message.)

Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (and the next verse, 5, is meaningful for those wanting to persist in a hard marriage) “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have for he hath said, ‘I will never leave thee, I will never forsake thee’.”

And ponder this:

Isaiah 29:13, “Therefore the Lord said, ‘Inasmuch as these people draw near to me with their mouths, and honor me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from me., and their fear toward me is taught by the commandment of men’.” (easy to take a pastor’s word for it, but make sure it aligns with the Bible)

Matthew 15:8, 19, and 20, “These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man…”

For out of the heart proceed…adulteries… Being married is being one, it’s a sacred trust. You can’t allow your heart to wander, it’s the same as committing adultery. Different consequences, but faithlessness all the same.

I always like to recommend Restore Ministries to those in hurtful relationships, marriage or otherwise. You’ll find encouragement and testimonies from those who’ve fought the fight and endured, wanting God’s best for their lives.

Remember Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Besides the Bible, get your hands on a copy of Created to Be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl. Read it before you get married, if possible! I’d been married 12 years before reading it, and my eyes were opened and convicted!

Anybody want to chime in on this topic? Feel free.

9 thoughts on “Commitment”

  1. These are hard questions– even harder is the one “should I submit when he does X to me, or doesn’t fulfill his part?” It’s a sad age that we’ve come to expect an easy escape route and we’ve lost the importance of marriage.

    Thanks for the scripture Mary, and I pray that you can help your friend in this difficult time.

  2. Oh dear. We do not know the details. We are not supposed to judge. But what a typical problem – leaving your wife and your newborn baby… How “responsible”, isn’t it?
    Is there no way they can patch it up somehow? This is heart-breaking, and so common, unfortunately.
    I may say many things about my dh being an unbeliever, but there is something very noble and honorable about him: the day he found out I was pregnant with our first son, he promised me on his knees that he would never leave this marriage (and things were pretty rough at the time).
    I will keep your friend in my prayers, Mary.

  3. That’s hard, I can’t tell you how many times in my marriage dh and I have just about thrown in the towel. I’ll be praying for your friend.

  4. Mary I have been married twice and on my 2nd marriage and in the case of my first marriage, if I hadn’t left, he would have killed me. There were times he was very close, in fact at one point held a knife at my throat. I do not believe God would have wanted me to stay and I am thankful I did.

    On my 2nd marriage, it isn’t pretty and there are times I do want to leave, very badly, I might add.

    A line has to be drawn somewhere, God made it very clear how husband’s are to treat their wives and vice-versa. We are not to be their punching bags, or emotional punching bags.

    Sorry, I could go on and on with this.

    Your friend is in my prayers.

  5. What an awful place to be in! My friend’s husband just left her after 15 years of marriage and with two kids. I’m torn on the interpretation of getting remarried, and wonder how so many remarried Christians reconcile the adultery scritpture you mentioned.

    BTW, like your new look!

  6. Leticia, after I’d written this post and published it, I got offline and thought, hm, I didn’t say anything about the circumstances of life-threatening violence, etc. Of course, women in these situations have to find sanctuary. I’m thankful that you escaped in one piece. I do pray that things turn around for you in your second marriage.

    God did make it very clear how husbands are supposed to treat their wives, but He created us all with free will, and we sure don’t live up to His perfect will. MInTheGap said it well, in his comment, “should I submit when he does X to me, or doesn’t fulfill his part?” I think statistics on divorce would show fewer relationships disintigrating over physical violence than they would over things that can be forgiven. I’m not saying it’s easy.

    Gina, I’m sorry about your friend. I think if honest, we’d all admit we’re torn about the scripture on adultery. It seems so unfair to be labeled an aduteress when your husband is the one to divorce you (on no grounds).

  7. Thank you for being willing to tackle this difficult question. I guess I should say up front that I am divorced and re-married, but I was saved after all that.

    From what you have said about your friend’s situation, and my re-examination of the Scripture references you listed, I certainly hope that your friend and her husband are able to reconcile. I might be inclined to consider her free to re-marry, however, if her husband were to enter into a relationship that resembled marriage in every way but the legal. That seems to be the way so many people go now and, if he never was really a Christian, is a distinct possibility.

  8. Rebecca, thanks for the thoughtful comment. I hadn’t thought about his future promiscuity being like an “out” for her. Like you, I do hope they do all they can to make it work.

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