Divorce and Remarriage
Remnant Stance on Divorce and Remarriage
As we have read, in the beginning God created man and woman and He launched His glorious concept of marriage where the two will become one, and what God has put together let no man separate. Where there was no genuine marriage between the two, however, He allowed for divorce and remarriage. God himself divorced Israel, His Bride, for her unfaithfulness; God used the term "adultery," but this was adultery of the heart. This has long been debated, but I believe that when God gave Israel a long time to get things right and then finally divorced, He set the example for earthly marriages. Man is the one who has distorted the Scriptures, leaving oppressed people in burdensome situations, or if allowing divorce, have shamed those involved to an extent where they are once again oppressed. This is not the intent of God. When God divorced Israel, He then remarried, creating a new covenant with a forever faithful Bride.
God's Example of a Faithful Marriage
God made His first offer of marriage to His chosen people and sealed it with the Ten Commandments. Heartbreakingly, the people turned away and were repeatedly unfaithful with recurrent idolatry and adultery of the heart. This was described in the Book of Hosea, where God had Hosea marry a prostitute who left him time after time for other men, even bearing children from adultery. After this repeated and particularly appalling and disgusting rejection and disrespect, God warned that this Covenant marriage would end in a divorce. He spoke thru Jeremiah and was quoted by the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 8...
"The time is coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them," declares the Lord. "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the Lord. "I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. Hebrews 8:7-13
This is clear - the fault was not with the contract or the required Covenant itself; it was with the response of the people to this contract. What was obsolete and aging was the behavior of the people. Something had to change, for God had extended His hand only to be rebuffed time and time again, but His long-suffering was at an end. God started over with a new marriage contract, a forever-faithful Covenant with the new Bride of Christ. Humans can be faithful to a spouse; how much more so to their Creator? But there would be something very distinctly different - this Covenant would be for a new people, so not just any Gentile or Jew could enter into this new Covenant under Christ. They had to have an incredible quality...the quality of faithfulness - the faithful people. To be saved by faith would take on a whole new meaning. It cannot be mere intellectual knowledge. Faith does not mean saved by intellect. No, we are saved by faithfulness - by having no idolatry or adultery of the heart, no revolving doors, no flirting eyes, no looking to the left or the right. Only the faithful evermore could come to this new community, this New Covenant with God, created for those who have love written in their heart. Opening up the doors to any heart from any nation or any race, this Covenant contained words engraved deep in the hearts and minds that God would be their God. God has not changed and the words written on stone have not changed, but the people had to change and respond to this unbelievable opportunity of a proposal of marriage to the Heavens.
Breaking God's heart is what is obsolete. God is love; He is social and wants a people of His own. It is symbolic that God wants a wife - this marriage where you share everything. God is inviting the heart of man to walk with Him with no pride and in a faithful-evermore relationship.
The Meaning of a "Faithful Spouse"
The Remnant affirms the sanctity of marriage. A Remnant marriage by definition is one where a man and a woman are both believers; therefore, they have put God, Christ and His Church first. Both are idol free and truly believe in putting others above themselves, and as a result, they are never egocentric, always looking inward, and never projecting fault onto others, which creates a marriage that is full of peace, tranquility, love and respect. Unity and harmony are expected as God's will is first in both the husband's heart and the wife's heart.
The definition of a true Christian husband is a man who keeps his vows and responsibilities. Likewise, the definition of a Christian wife is one who keeps her vows and responsibilities. Both definitions are based on love and mutual consent. The man's vows define a husband's role, and the woman's vows define a wife's role. The definition of a husband in the Old Testament, which was continued into the New Testament, was specific. It is summed up in Ephesians 5:25-33 by the Apostle Paul, as we have read earlier...
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church - for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
So to love your wife as Christ loved the Church - this is an all-encompassing standard of excellence. Jewish law requires a husband to be mature and control himself physically, and it forbids any attractions outside the marriage. For the wife or the husband not to satisfy the spouse's emotional needs was grounds for divorce in Jewish law. The husband puts God and His Church first, and he demonstrates all the Fruits of the Spirit. As we have read, he must be kind, compassionate, humble and forgiving, which would make him a gentle man. Obviously, he must work and provide for his wife and his family or he would be considered an infidel. I Timothy 5:8 says... If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. The definition and strict adherence of "husband" from God thru Moses and the Prophets, Christ and the Apostles, has had a positive impact on all cultures and religions.
Before marriage these vows and roles are taught, then are publicly declared at a Remnant Covenant ceremony, and then upheld by the Shepherds and entire Church Body, holding people accountable. If any party is in breach of their Covenant or their Vows of Responsibility and refuses to repent and fulfill their vows, then there are grounds for divorce.
When you see a human being in distress you have an obligation to help him. Judaism mandates positive behavior, which is a unique innovation in law. In many legal systems it is not a crime to be a bystander. In Judaism, however, social consciousness is a legal obligation, as the Torah states, Do not stand by your neighbor's blood. Leviticus 19:16 Being a good person requires taking action - you are either part of the problem or part of the solution. The Jewish people teach a message that extends beyond family...that as a people, they should take care of the world around them. That is why they have always had obligations toward helping the poor and supporting the community, which became the basis for their social welfare programs. Being responsible also included being kind to animals and taking care of the environment. In Jewish law you cannot eat before your animals eat - you are not allowed to be cruel as Proverbs 12:10 states, A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.
Again, the husband is to love the wife, and the wife is to respect and love the husband. The wife is a helpmeet to her husband. Disagreements can be resolved quickly and peacefully by seeking God's will first and refocusing on the Covenant Vows that were taken at marriage. Remnant Leadership and wise Shepherds are always a good source for seeking out God's will and His Word about specific situations. This provides a lifelong and lasting environment where the God-fearing couple grows closer together every year. So by definition of a husband and wife, it was forbidden to be lazy, indulgent, self-centered, neglectful spouses, nor were they allowed to be controlling, manipulative, angry, raging people.
As we read in the previous chapter, there are many definitions of a husband's role. A husband supports and protects his wife, working hard to provide for his family's needs. He is honest and worthy of respect and sound in faith. A God-fearing man encourages his wife and has respect for her intellect and her gifts - always including the wife's gifts in managing the household. This union is not a dictatorship; it is a partnership. A Godly man is a companion, spending time with his wife and time with their children. Colossians 3 tells us that a husband should be gentle to his wife and never provoke or embitter his children. He is to bring happiness to his wife and provide for his family's spiritual needs. A Godly husband and father will take time to teach his children about the beautiful commands and Word of God.
Paul encourages two moral believers to be thankful and stay in their circumstances and to not divorce. If these two moral believers cannot learn the way of peace, they may separate and then get back together. They need to realize that they have found a rare situation of purity and morality and learn to look at the positives in their relationship by visiting some pagan marriage situations.
The Unbound Unbeliever
There is a difference between a "pagan/infidel" and an "unbeliever." In theory an unbeliever could actually have been a very moral spouse as described above and could possibly be a convert - one who does not mock God or the righteous. In studying the Scriptures, you will know that you are interpreting correctly when the request of God in the Old Covenant and New Covenant parallel and yet the requirement of man is corrected and redirected. In the Old Testament the Hebrews were warned to not intermarry with a pagan, a non-believer, because they would corrupt the community and corrupt the offspring. In isolated cases, there were pagan conversions, but when the community, in a broader sense, began intermingling and marrying a pagan society, the Jewish community's existence was in danger of extinction because of the strong persuasive influence of idolatry over monotheism. After the Jews returned to Jerusalem at the end of the Babylonian captivity, the men married pagans and had children. When Ezra found out, he begged God for forgiveness and then rectified the situation by divorce and separation from the foreign wives and their children - sending them all away and thus purifying God's people. I Corinthians 7:15 gives the related principle; Paul wrote... But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
Now, if someone converted to Christianity and their spouse did not - they were unequally yoked - and if the moral unbeliever wanted to stay and allow the spouse to fulfill every command and obligation to the Heavenly Father without persecution, including the raising of the children in the Lord, then Paul says stay together... How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? I Corinthians 7:16 This is the opportunity to practice all aspects of love with extending grace, using longsuffering, patience, thinking the best, with the intent to encourage each along this journey to the Heavens. With reverent submission, the stony heart can fall in love with God. When both are attending God's Church, the unbelievable power of the Spirit of God is available to convict.
But what about the opposite situation? What if the unbeliever is a pathological antagonist, always mocking the Church and the Saints? What if the unbeliever does not allow the spouse to fulfill the commands of the Heavenly Father? What if they have an aversion to being around any Saints at all? What if this unbeliever uses anger to control the spouse and children, or the unbeliever grows increasingly immoral? In this situation the believer has grounds for divorce due to abuse, oppression and persecution.
God is a God of peace and is building a New Jerusalem. Remember, "Jeru" means city and "Salem" means peace...City of Peace. This pruning is all a part of protecting God's dream of a Bride that has a whole heart for God. Any marriage situations in question should be brought before the wise and sage Church Shepherds. There have been occasions where those who have previously mocked God's Church have been converted and are now strong examples of loving God wholeheartedly; but when each year gets worse and the situation becomes increasingly demonic, it is time to seek Godly wisdom. What happens in marriage situations with mockers of God's religious system is that they will use the very system that they mock to keep their spouse oppressed under their use and abuse. It is ironic that they uphold nothing else of the law. (To see the definition of the God-fearing husband and wife, please see The Christian Wife and A Christian Husband.)
Legalism Versus God's Truth
Scripture clearly relays God's intent for marriage to be between two God-fearing believers. Marriage is intended to reflect our heart to God...the Bride of Christ...and therefore marriage would be for life and be forever. Jesus described the relationship between husband and wife in this manner in Matthew 19:6...They are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. When Jesus had a trick question from the pharisees, who were always challenging him to see if he was following Moses or not, Jesus skillfully answered by taking it to a pre-Mosaic time - in the beginning, God joined God-fearing men and women together intending for them to be "one flesh" for life.
I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery. Matthew 19:9 This Scripture has been debated over the centuries, and some Bible translations interpret Jesus to mean only sexual sins. The other half of the translators render this to be broader unfaithfulness to the marriage contract; it is any violation of God's intentions for a lasting, faithful "one-flesh" union and any breach of the definition and/or vows of a husband or a wife. This could include any of the above-discussed responsibilities and obviously include rage, malice, anger, folly, envy, slander, arrogance, theft, lewdness, drunkenness, heartlessness, deceit or other traits found in Matthew 7:21-22, Romans 1:29-32, I Corinthians 6:9-10, Ephesians 5:3-5 and Colossians 3:4-10, which are clearly sins of the flesh that define an immoral unbeliever or a pagan. Galatians 5:19-21 says...The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. These are all signs of someone living according to the sinful nature. Spouses in these situations are not bound and are free to remarry. To abuse one's spouse verbally violates that one-flesh union and neglects the Covenant vows. Committing cruelty against the spouse - such as using anger in order to make them conform, cower, shrink back - or showing rage toward offspring is unacceptable. God is peaceful and we are to live in peace. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Romans 14:19
Again, in Matthew 19, Jesus was addressing two moral, non-mocking Saints, and they were not to use divorce casually just to remarry another woman. Jesus was clearly referring to casually exchanging one wife for a different one, which was prevalent at the time of Christ and has been prevalent since the beginning. Note the translations below for Matthew 19:
New Living Translation
And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery - unless his wife has been unfaithful.
New American Standard Bible
And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.
Now I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another commits adultery.
Webster's Bible Translation
And I say to you, Whoever shall put away his wife, except for lewdness, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoever marrieth her who is put away, committeth adultery.
Weymouth New Testament
And I tell you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except her unfaithfulness, and marries another woman, commits adultery.
These translators understood the correct interpretation of "adultery." Unfaithfulness comes in many forms, but it is basically the breach of any of the vows that have been made before God. Keep in mind God divorced His unfaithful Jerusalem and remarried the faithful New Jerusalem - a community that followed the footsteps of Christ. May the teachings of Christ and God become clear...that God Himself called Israel "adulterous," and that is impossible to be taken literally - therefore, unfaithfulness or adultery is when the heart of the offender turns away from any of the vows as stated above.
Many times the spouse is in love with themselves and the whole world centers around self so that the two never became one. No doubt, today, one way the oppressed spouse is abused is when the other spouse makes all decisions to indulge only themselves. These people control with anger, never considering the pain of their helpmeet - only worshiping self and so self-centric that they were never able to be "one flesh," and therefore, the abused spouse is forced into just focusing on the narcissist...with no needs met of their own. In such cases, that is not a marriage.
Liberty and Peace for the Oppressed
When God remarried He painted the picture of marriage that He had intended all along. Indeed, God's own marriage actions of divorce and remarriage showed mankind His full plan, revealing the Bride of Christ - the removal of the impure and the embracing of the pure, creating a delightful community. Again, this misunderstood passage from Matthew 19 is about casually exchanging your spouse for a different one, and this is forbidden. You cannot just want another spouse, simply divorce and easily marry another person. With this in mind, it explains the long-debated and legalistic approach to divorce and remarriage. God remarried to obtain holiness and true love and faithfulness - a beautiful relationship where everything was perfect, growing in love every day with each other, versus one spouse growing in love with themselves more and more with ever-increasing demands. The main rule for the divorced was to either be celibate, giving all service to the Lord, or to remarry an idol-free, God-fearing, "God-first" Saint.
The Bible teaches that of all the lawful things, divorce is the most hated by the Heavenly Father. This would be referring to the divorce of two idol-free believers inside the Church. But as we have seen, it was allowed with pagans, abusers, adulterers, etc., because God hates abuse, wants the children to become believers in love with Him, and wants the Peaceful City. Christ allowed divorce in these situations but taught that it should never be done when your heart is being given to another - the very thing that brings darkness into the Church and is worthy of the fires of Hell. Anyone who has lived in the past few generations has been adversely affected by this legalistic interpretation. In this world of legalism, when shepherds and Bible translators misinterpreted God and villainized "divorce," it brought shame where God never intended shame to be and left victims in oppression and riddled the church with symbolic violence. This wrong has to be righted, and every marriage in God's True Church should be absolutely beautiful, peaceful and noble.
The Early Christians understood this non-legalistic approach and divorced as needed. However, after Constantine and the birth of Roman Catholicism, a man-made strict approach was instituted: zero divorce. Even in situations of sin or adultery, marriage became basically undissolvable. (While the Catholics will not divorce, they will, in very limited circumstances, allow an annulment of the marriage.) This demonic approach led to great abuse of both men and women, inciting pagan unbelievers to take advantage of this oppressive arrangement. This has brought great grief to the abused and to the Heavenly Father, no doubt. Many other denominations also wrongly hold a similar legalistic stance, which has only encouraged more sin of just "living together" without lawful marriage at all.
Legalism is devastating to the soul. The school of Beth Shammai (a school of thought founded by a Jewish scholar from the first century) held for "marital unfaithfulness" to mean whoredom or literal adultery in the Hebrew; but the school of Beth Hillel (a competing school of a thought founded by scholar from the same era as Shammai) maintained that it signified any defection or any bad temper that made the spouse's life uncomfortable, saying essentially, "Any of the latter a good man might bear with; but it appears that Moses permitted the offended husband to put away the wife on these accounts, merely to save her from cruel usage."
The Jews have long allowed divorce because they value marriage and the sanctity of this relationship so highly and do not look kindly on mistreatment of either party. It is a sacred union and commitment. The International Academy of Family Lawyers describes it by saying "Jewish marriage is not a creature of the state, and no state action, no state involvement, nor state ceremony is mandated." Orthodox and Conservative Jews do not recognize a civil divorce. A marriage can only be dissolved by a sefer k'ritut (or a scroll of cutting off), which is often called a "get" today. This document does not state the reason for the divorce. It simply allows the parties to remarry. It is even considered a "mitzvah," a sacred obligation, to divorce when it is the only alternative in order to be sure that marriage remains a holy, sacred covenant relationship.
The decision of divorce should never be done quickly, and Godly leaders can guide the believer thru these troubled waters. If abuse continues and the peace does not come, then this is grounds for divorce based on both abuse and persecution. In addition, if the unbeliever hates the light and loves the darkness, and they are increasingly gravitating to the dark and not the light, and they want to leave, let them. In I Corinthians 7:16, How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Paul refers to an unbeliever voluntarily leaving, referring to a moral unbeliever. When the unbeliever is immoral, there is no legalism here. Keep in mind the real initiator of this dissolution is the one who is in breach of their vows, the abuser, the one who refused year after year to lay their life down for their spouse as God did for the Church...the one who made no effort to be "one flesh" or have the same mind (in other words, their actions have indicated that they have no intention to be part of a HOLY marriage). If it is possible, do everything in peace. This is not about divorce and remarriage but a much bigger picture. The whole purpose behind all of God's laws and direction is to build the City of Peace. God is a God of peace...Jerusalem, an eternal City of Peace, Zion.
Another issue to address is staying together because "Who knows if you will convert someone?" There are many criteria that need to be considered if you are to stay, such as deciding what is best for the children, as the non-repentant pagan lifestyle of one spouse is highly tempting and could draw the children in. Other criteria is how long has the Saintly spouse been making an effort to have reverent submission and be respectful? How many years have they been trying? How perfect is the Saint? Finally, what is the real potential for conversion? The potential can be evaluated...does the nonbeliever despise the Scriptures, the Jews and the Remnant of Believers, and are they an enemy or antagonist to the Church? Is there rage in their words and actions? Are there demons present? Do they seem to change quickly in and out of rage, never acknowledging afterward that the rage even occurred? Again, Godly leaders can help determine all this.
Honoring the Covenant
The marriage institution is from God and is to be most beautiful and symbolic. Two converts who have devoted themselves to God are an honor to this Covenant, for it is God's will and also is symbolic of God's marriage to His bride - the New Jerusalem. The New Covenant that we are representing, as we addressed earlier, always painted a picture of a beautiful marriage. But in the end, it is about the purity of the Body of Christ, and that is key.
Again, Ezra and Nehemiah had the Jews who married pagan women and had children send them all back. Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law. Ezra 10:3
Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19, Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. That had been a law all along from Deuteronomy. So now you have not missed what was taught from the Old Testament to the New Testament. This cannot be in contradiction to what Jesus taught.
Just as the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath, marriage was made for MAN and WOMAN, not man and woman for marriage. Again, when the pharisees were trying to trap Jesus, they were attempting to trap him on the basis that he was not following Moses. They wanted to make sure the crowd saw that Jesus was not obeying Moses so that they could pull his following away from him. In several Scriptures, Jesus would be persecuted for healing a man or woman on the Sabbath. Essentially, what the pharisees were saying was, "Why are you helping a human in need who is oppressed, crippled, lame and blind on a Sabbath? We are here to serve the Sabbath; we are not here to serve the person." Jesus responded by saying, If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out? Luke 14:5 Not only would he help, but he would come to their aid quickly... And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. Luke 18:7-8
What are we doing when we leave ANY human being oppressed in order to serve an institution? Man was not made to serve the marriage where there is never the word "divorce," doing everything they can to avoid it. This would be serving the system. In addition, the religious institutions do not want increased divorce statistics, so they send the member back into their difficult, oppressive situation. Bottom line, you have spouses being abused and children being oppressed, yet people are overlooking it and allowing it.
To stay married in any and every circumstance has never been what God, Christ, Moses or any of the Prophets taught, but there are sects of Christianity that have been cruel and left abused people in horrible marriage situations that are oppressive. This is the guilt of that leadership, and the leaders will be answerable to God. Moses allowed divorce, and Christ knew it was allowed when he answered the Jews, who by that point were divorcing their wives if they burnt their toast. No one was more sympathetic to the oppressed, the downhearted, or the abused than Jesus Christ. Christ was neither condemning nor judgmental when he talked to the woman at the well who had five husbands and the one she was living with was not her husband, but he was gentle and he led her to righteousness. May the next generation know that marriage between two Saints is the most beautiful institution, but when unfaithfulness (that comes in many forms) occurs, it can be the most abusive and devastating circumstance in the world, and in many cases worse than a prison because the oppression is done in private. Many spouses neither report nor leave the situation due to fears of safety and/or not having the financial resources needed to live on. The Church was intended to intervene and save the oppressed. God is a God of peace, and with no shame, God dismissed Israel whom He had led by her hand and had done all He could for her. But when her heart was more in love with the world and self, He dismissed her, and then He made a new Covenant with a new Bride. How dare legalistic people make a rule and put burdens on people's backs greater than they can bear! That is altogether unlike the phenomenally awesome, stunning, marvelous, loving God that I know.
What God has Made Clean is Clean
In the Book of Acts, the Apostle Paul relays the following...
About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat." "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean." The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven." Acts 10:9-16
God has spoken...the Remnant has been used by God to continue in the path of Jesus Christ, who laid his life down to confront the legalism and man-made rules of the pharisees. May this true interpretation of the Word end the strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit and the synthetic precepts which state that we are to stay in oppressive situations under any and every circumstance. May divorce be a last resort. When the situation falls under God's parameters, may we follow the footsteps of our God where He was longsuffering with Israel, forgiving and making multiple attempts. But if a marriage is no longer a marriage, if the vows are no longer kept, and if after seeking God wholeheartedly, you know that God is leading this...you approach this with much prayer and soul-searching, asking God for peace and grace to represent Him well as you separate with kindness (not appearing as self-serving, but continually portraying concern for the other person). Both sides' needs are thoroughly considered. Christ had a strong message, and his words have held many flippant, selfish people together and done the world a tremendous service. God used all circumstances to help test the heart. However, Christ was the first to rescue the brokenhearted. It is in knowing Christ and knowing God that you can interpret the Scriptures and the will of the Father.
Divorce is allowed in circumstances, but it must be for the pure Church and not for merely selfish reasons. There are those rare times that you are divorced and then remarried - not because you do not value marriage but because you DO value purity in God's marriage vows...to set an example that you DO value His Holy Covenant...you DO believe in commitment and building strong families. But most of all, you DO believe in building Zion, you DO believe in building the New Jerusalem, you DO believe in building the City of Peace. Just as there is no judgment and only empathy/sympathy toward God for His own marriage problems and His divorce, and just as there is respect, joy and elation for His beautiful selection of a pure Bride for His second marriage, there should be no judgment toward Saints as they strive to help build a pure Church.
Many people have stayed far too long in abusive situations where the spouse is not meeting the needs or keeping their vows before God, all because of legalistic interpretations. They are serving the institution versus serving what the institution was made for, which is to provide a beautiful environment to live in. God has always intended something beautiful. This is no different than people living in the man-made rules of dieting and never being able to be set free. We have, as a Remnant, been groundbreakers in all legalism. This is the final frontier. Let us confront these old pharisaical, heartbreaking, oppressive situations with the Truth.
May Jerusalem be as it should - the City of Peace, the happiest place on Earth, superior to any civilization that has ever existed. In Isaiah 65, God speaks of a city... Behold, I will create a new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. Isaiah 65:17-19 May God's people forever be attentive to the cries and the tears of God's hurting Lambs, and may everyone support and help those who are persecuted and downtrodden. May everyone pray for the captives to be released, for the oppressed to be set free, for the prison doors to open, as in the Year of the Lord's Favor. God, the beautiful Heavenly Architect with the biggest heart, is building the most awesome structures into a perfectly peaceful City of Peace, a City that has no tears.
Copyright 2003 Remnant Fellowship and Gwen Shamblin