BIBLE Q & A
Is divorce ever justified?
Question: My wife left me and would not come back. I did divorce her as she would not come back and refused to file herself. I want to consider getting married again. But the Bible says if I do I will be committing adultery against my ex-wife. I have met a nice Christian lady who wants to get married and have children, but I have not dated her because I am afraid about what Jesus said about it. God considers us still as one. From what I understand from reading the Bible the only way I could be married again is to reconcile with my ex-wife. I have read all the scriptures on divorce. Have I missed something or should I just stay single the rest of my life? RobFlan2@aol.com
Answer: Scripture says if the unbelieving depart, let him (her) depart; a brother or sister is not under bondage (bonds of marriage) in such a case. When she left and refused to return, she abandoned you.
The word "divorce" literally means "to separate from" -- she separated from you, by leaving -- so even though she didn't get the piece of paper, she divorced you. You just made what she did "legal" (with the piece of paper, like Moses said to do).
You are free to marry. Divorce is not the unforgivable sin. Scripture only says there's one unforgivable sin, and it's not divorce but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Don't let the enemy rob you of the blessing of God in your life.
Personally (and this is just my opinion), I also believe a similar situation exists when a man is so abusive to his wife that he forces her to leave. "...as much as lieth within you, strive to live peaceably with all men," Scripture says. The implication is that there are limitations (as much as lieth within you"). This scripture also clearly shows that we must "strive" for peace. But when one knows before God that he has made every effort possible, I believe he is free to leave. The same God who forgives the wayward, the prostitute, is merciful to the beaten wife who simply desires to live in peace and raise her children in a home free of fear and abuse.
There will be legalists who, like the Sabbath-enforcers of Jesus' day, attempt to impose condemnation on the innocent party, for the sake of the "law." However, Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, and mercy triumphs over judgment. Just as David's men were allowed to eat the shewbread in their time of need, though that was "legally" forbidden, there are exceptions (like helping your ox out of the ditch on the Sabbath, etc.). --Diane Dew
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