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The only Biblical grounds for divorce is fornication, not adultery, as in the case with Mary and Joseph. Joseph would have been free to because she was found to have been with someone before their marriage. But even in that case The Lord reconciled that which could have turned out very bad for Mary. And if someone has a living covenant spouse, they should divorce their adulterous partner and be willing to either remain single or be reconciled to the wife / husband of their youth. But only if it is covenant for both, neither have living spouses. Say for instance jack and Susan marry at 19 and Susan cheats and jack divorces her, thinking he is Biblically allowed to, and he goes and married Rachel. He and Rachel are in adultery and Jack needs to repent, true repentance is apologizing to God and stopping what your are sinning, therefore divorcing Rachel and asking The Lord and trusting HIM for restoration with Susan or the peace to remain single. Even the so called innocent spouse will be called an adulterer and them that married them and adulterers will not inherit the Kingdom. Continual adultery is a lifestyle sin, as is homosexuality, and in the same verse it says they will not inherit the Kingdom either, they cannot say they repent and continue being with people of the same sex and be truly forgiven, they need to stop and ask God for forgiveness and HIS help to stop the sinful lifestyle. And it grieves me as my brother is entrapped in the homosexual lifestyle and I pray he repents, and 4 years ago my covenant husband left us and has since fake married his adulterous partner, I have been told many times I am free to remarry and God wants me happy. But what I have seen is God wants me to seek HIM and He will provide as He promises. He has not failed, but I am to seek Him and be praying for my prodigal spouse to leave the adultery, turn back to Christ and be ready, expectant and believing for the restoration of our marriage and family in spite of what path he chose. As God has and is doing for us, we sin against Him over and over but He has His arms wide open waiting for His own to come back to Him.
Apparently biblical references to divorce are only a 'guideline' for Christians since the divorce rate for them mirrors non Christians. Jesus and Paul both speak to the Godly standard. But when love is not present, neglect and violence are, when substance, spousal or child abuse is in the home, then Jesus and Paul are not speaking to that environment. The marriage or home has lost the environment they speak to. And when repeated attempts at counseling or remedies fail, I understand why divorce happens even in the "best of homes." My years of pastoral experience has witnessed these. Not condoning it just stating how Christians can come to the conclusion that divorce is an option or may pursue that course.
My heart goes out to any women that their husbands treat them like that. In our age we forgive the sinner and treat the victim as the sinner. Many women are deceived into believing that their husband is a Christian when he is not. My daughter was a victim of such a case. He left her and moved into his own place but would come back and expect her to live like his wife after telling her he was living in sin with other women and throw it in her face. He would not pay the bills or even feed his family. The bible says a man that does not take care of his family is worse than an infidel. She finally had all she could stand and divorced him. She has not remarried and I doubt she ever will. She has been burnt so bad it has taken her a while to get over the hatred that she had in her heart over this. He did not want the divorce, as he could not torment her anymore. He did remarry and that ended in his second wife divorcing him also. I think there will be a much hotter place in hell for men that treat women this way. And also for the lesbian judge that hated Christians and my daughter got nothing in the divorce. At the time she did not care she was so glad to be out of her abusing husband. Her three boys that were living at home at the time will probably never get over a father that hated them. I think for the most part they have forgiven him, but I am afraid it will stay with them for life. I personally believe that if my daughter does remarry that she would not be living in adultery, but that is between her and the Lord. It has been really hard on all of us as her and the three boys came to live with us off and on over a two-year period while they got back on their feet. My personal cost was around $25,000 dollars. I praise the Lord we had the money to help them. Through all of this my daughter and her three boys have kept the faith, and still believe God will provide for them. They are all working now and struggling. I need to pray more for them and I try to help as much as I can. May God be merciful to those that are in a bad marriage. Both men and women. As I said, my heart goes out. That old serpent the devil is still going about, “as a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour.” And I still pray, as does my daughter that her ex will come to the Lord. It is the only way to keep from hating him. But I do not believe that she should ever remarry him no matter what. The bible does not say much about David’s wives when he sinned with Bathsheba as I remember, but David did repent. I would imagine they pretty much shunned him for a while. And David’s sin also cost him. All sin has a reward. Even though we live in this fallen world we still reap what we sow. I can only thank God for saving me from this kind of person that would treat my wife like this. And I know in my heart it is only his saving me that I am not worse than all of them. A sinner yes, but saved from the wrath to come. May God be merciful to my own sinful nature. It makes us all understand why God hates sin so much.
The law for divorce is misunderstood because of two words being translated as divorce. One word means a certificate was given and the woman was sent away, making it a lawful divorce. The other word means the woman was sent away without a certificate, making it an unlawful divorce, witch God hates. Use a concordance to see which word is being used. Doing so will make all the divorce passages, old and new testament, fit together and be easy to understand. Also in Matt.5:32 the woman that commits unchastity causes herself to commit adultery before she was sent away. Jesus did not change the law for divorce.
So jesus says, "32But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery". The key word here is fornication. The Greek word is "pornia", and because of the shallowness of the Greek language, this and many other words can be used for many different contexts. So this is why the king James uses the English translation of fornication. Other bibles say "sexual immorality", or some really bad translations say "adultery". Adultery is completely wrong and some Christians even belive that fornication and adultery are the same thing they are most definetly not. Fornication can only be committed by a person that has never been married (in the definition jesus gave and God's law gives). Adultery can only be committed by a married person or a person married sleeping with an unmarried person is still adultery. So how do we know what the Greek word pornia means in this context of divorce? Is it adultery? Fornication? Or sexual immorality? (whatever that means). Well, we have to be consistent from the old to the new. The definition of adultery given by Jesus himself, was a person that has sex with another who's not their spouse and a person who divorces and is remarried. So in mat 5:32 Jesus is now telling us that there are grounds for divorce. The correct word used for pornia in mat 5:32 is fornication. This means Jesus is telling us only those that are unmarried are allowed to divorce. This is saying that only those engaged are allowed to divorce to break off the engagement. In God's laws, there is no divorce for the married. If a person was unfaithful during the engagement period, the other person they were engaged to was allowed to break that off but a divorce certificate was required. This was the same issue Joseph had when he thought Mary had been unfaithful. The Bible tells us that they were not married nor living together but Joseph still needed a divorce. Later when Mary and Joseph went to, Bethlehem the bible tells us that Mary was his espoused wife they were still not married. This was the divorce Jesus was talking about. The law states that if a married person was unfaithful in the marriage, they were to be killed by stoning to death. This initial act of sin had to be evidenced by 2 or 3 witness. The law for fornication was that if a man slept with an unmarried and unengaged woman, he had to ask the girl's father for her hand in marriage. The father had the right to say no and the guy had to give a certain amount in silver for taking the girls virginity away. The two (fornication and adultery) never cross over. For example, you would never be stoned to death for fornication and you could never divorce for adultery The Bible also says all adulterers and fornicators will not enter and in Heb 12:16_17. Just like the woman caught in adultery was not given the option of divorce. She did commit the act, Jesus told her never to do it again, He does not lie. But in that situation, that woman had repented through and through. The only factor needed for grace to be bestowed upon a person is real and true repentance. The issue now was the witnesses upholding the charge. So Jesus removed them one by one through the power of the Holy Spirit (who came to convict men of their sins), and they left. The law was not broken, the woman was shown grace for truly deciding never to do this again and realising what a fool she was. People say God divorced Israel in the old testament. Well this was while God had promised to make her His wife but once again, that was only the engaged period of salvation. There has been no marriage in heaven yet. We are all still waiting. So the other argument people give is from Paul in Corinthians. Where he says that a man may leave an unbelieving wife. Well when we look at the Greek, what it translates to is mat 5:32. It says that an unfaithful "engaged wife
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