He's demanding I sign the papers. What should I do?
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I am not knowlegable on divorce matters from a legal standpoint, but share my views on a moral basis. Keep in mind I also do not know the circumstances behind his requesting the divorce. We all know from a Biblical perspective God hates divorce. Moses allowed divorce, with certain restrictions. But Jesus, the authority on our faith, gave us his instruction which is recorded in scripture. The disciples echoed his sentiment in the epistles. My advice would be to refrain from signing the papers as long as possible. I believe this would be the most responsible thing to do for your family. In time your husband may come to see the value of his vows. Meanwhile, you may be separated, but stay true to your vows no matter what. This means do not date on a romantic basis. Sure you may certainly have male friends, but stay faithful to your vows. In the event sexual immorality has occurred this would be grounds for divorce on the part of the other party. Yet either side has the option to forgive and the couple may choose to stay together. You cannot control your husband's heart or actions, but you have the power to influence. Examine your own heart and see if by chance you have done things to contribute to his wanting a divorce. Now I do not know the circumstances but my guess is that you have both contributed to disputes in the relationship. No matter what, take the high road and humble yourself to apologize for any part you may have played. This is NOT to say you are the blame. Also, be careful never to undermine his authority as husband. Try your very best to hold off on signing the papers and let God and time work the situation out. Then in the end, whatever happens your conscience will be clear and you will know you have done your best according to the vow "for better or for worst" as well as the holy teaching of Jesus and the epistles. As the scriptures says, "Let patience have her perfect work."
We know God hates divorce. He hates it because it always involves unfaithfulness to the solemn covenant of marriage that two partners have entered into before Him, and because it brings harmful consequences to those partners and their children. (Mal. 2:14-16). Divorce in the Scripture is permitted only because of man’s sin. Since divorce is only a concession to man’s sin and is not part of God’s original plan for marriage, all believers should hate divorce as God does and pursue it only when there is no other recourse. With God’s help, a marriage can survive the worst sins. I am not sure what is your case but let's go further on seeking God's guidance in the scripture. In Matthew 19:3-9, Christ teaches clearly that divorce is an accommodation to man’s sin that violates God’s original purpose for the intimate unity and permanence of the marriage bond (Gen. 2:24). He taught that God’s law allowed divorce only because of “hardness of heart” (Could this be your case?) Now in (Matt. 19:8). Legal divorce was a concession for the faithful partner due to the sexual sin or abandonment by the sinning partner, so that the faithful partner was no longer bound to the marriage (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; 1 Cor. 7:12-15). Although Jesus did say that divorce is permitted in some situations, we must remember that His primary point in this discourse is to correct the Jews’ idea that they could divorce one another “for any cause at all” (Matt. 19:3), and to show them the gravity of pursuing a sinful divorce. Therefore, the believer should never consider divorce except in specific circumstances and even in those circumstances it should only be pursued reluctantly because there is no other recourse. Now The Grounds for Divorce: The only New Testament grounds for divorce are sexual sin or desertion by an unbeliever. The first is found in Jesus’ use of the Greek word porneia (Matt. 5:32; 19:9). This is a general term that encompasses sexual sin such as adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, and incest. When one partner violates the unity and intimacy of a marriage by sexual sin—and forsakes his or her covenant obligation—the faithful partner is placed in an extremely difficult situation. After all means are exhausted to bring the sinning partner to repentance, the Bible permits release for the faithful partner through divorce (Matt. 5:32; 1 Cor. 7:15). The second reason for permitting a divorce is in cases where an unbelieving mate does not desire to live with his or her believing spouse (1 Cor. 7:12-15). Because “God has called us to peace” (v. 15), divorce is allowed and may be preferable in such situations. When an unbeliever desires to leave, trying to keep him or her in the marriage may only create greater tension and conflict. Also, if the unbeliever leaves the marital relationship permanently but is not willing to file for divorce, perhaps because of lifestyle, irresponsibility, or to avoid monetary obligations, then the believer is in an impossible situation of having legal and moral obligations that he or she cannot fulfill. Because “the brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases” (1 Cor. 7:15) and is therefore no longer obligated to remain married, the believer may file for divorce without fearing the displeasure of God. The leadership in your local church should be also helpful to single believers who have been divorced to understand their situation biblically, especially in cases where the appropriate application of biblical teaching does not seem clear. Ask them about Pre-conversion Divorce. According to 1 Corinthians 7:20-27, there is nothing in salvation that demands a particular social or marital status. The Apostle Paul, therefore, instructs believers to recognize that God providentially allows the circumstances they find themselves in when they come to Christ. God Bless!
If a spouse falls out of love with you, or falls in love with someone else, there usually nothing you can do. You should try to protect your children's interests, and your own by seeking a good divorce lawyer. There are many lawyers who are also Christians and may be sympathetic. Your children have a right to support til age 18, and you will need it if you don't have a full-time career. You could suggest a legal separation to your spouse, but depending on the state laws, both parties may have to agree. Since you did not initiate the divorce, I don't think any Christian has a right to blame you. This is something that was beyond your control. Remember that Christ was ultimately betrayed by one of the 12 people closest to him, and so should understand your pain at your husband's betrayal.
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