Testimony of Lorne Matthews
My destructive choices were worse than burning money. I was in a ‘tender trap’ and it all FELT so good. My mind said it had to be of God! On the altar of selfish emotions, I was sacrificing my true wealth: my family.
On my 40th birthday, I recall feelings of anger, rejection, frustration, and not having the success I longed for. I bitterly concluded the hindering factor had to be my wife, Jimmie Ruth (Genesis 3:12). We had been married 18 years, but I now found our relationship dull and boring. We didn’t fight. There just wasn’t any emotional connection.
Our family started using the hair styling services of a woman in our church. One day I visited the shop in her home for a haircut. As she completed the job, she gently caressed me and this action sparked the fire of lust within me to become fully kindled. The iniquity I hid in my heart now erupted into a blazing fire. We met next day, determined to divorce our mates and continue this abundant life our sinful hearts craved.
I reached out to a high profile Christian counselor who was convinced God was setting me free from the bondage of my marriage and giving me someone more suited to my needs. This counselor encouraged me to move in with my new “flame” and learn from her. He used Bible verses like Mark 10:29-30 to convince me (Romans 7:8 and 11).
My new heartthrob easily obtained her divorce. However, I ran into a brick wall: a wife who believed, by the inspiration of God, that a covenant marriage meant, “until death do us part”. She refused to cooperate or sign anything. I tried to convince her that I was committing adultery and she had biblical grounds to divorce me. But Jimmie Ruth had already examined the so-called “Exception Clause” (Matthew 5:32 and 19:9). She concluded this was written to a Jewish culture with betrothal customs. (During the year of betrothal, if there was unfaithfulness, the betrothed could obtain a divorce). Joseph and Mary were such an example (Matthew 1:18-25). The Scriptures state: “except it be for fornication” (not adultery). Even though many Christian friends, out of sympathy for Jimmie Ruth, thought my adultery was grounds for divorce, she stood firm on her conviction: the covenant vows of marriage united us as “one flesh” until one of us died.
I blamed my wife for my adultery at this point; after all, if I could get a legal document of divorce in my hand, then my new relationship would cease to be adultery. Or would it? (Mark. 10:11-12, Luke 16:18)
The other woman and I moved in together. She helped soothe my conscience by telling me she heard “the voice of God”. I now know it was a form of control and manipulation, not God at all. “The voice” told us to move to Florida and we did! The “voice” in her often prophesied to me things which did come to pass. (Demons have power to deceive, so fulfillment of a prophesy is significant only if it agrees fully with the Word of God. Deuteronomy 13:1-5, II Thessalonians 2:9). The lack of righteousness in my heart gave power to the deception of sin working also in her.
She prophesied that a millionaire would come into our lives and provide everything we needed for a new life, a new marriage and a new ministry. And it happened! The millionaire placed into my hands keys to a new car, keys to a condo on an exquisite golf course and keys to a church which I would pastor (in spite of my adultery). He also financed Christian television programs for us at a well-known TV facility. I could involve any woman I chose to “marry”.
Still my wife continued faithful, praying a hedge of protection around me, and trusting in her God.
The youngest daughter of this woman lived with us. Each night I would tuck her in bed, pray with her and play the role of a “Christian” father while committing adultery with her mother (INSANITY!) Rom.7:22,23. At the same time, I had forsaken my own two children, Mark and Melody. I was worse than an infidel (I Timothy 5:8). I had misplaced my passion and was controlled by my emotions. My focus was inward and selfish, not on the Word of God nor my family (II Timothy 3:1-7).
One evening, this child prayed “Dear Jesus, make Jimmie Ruth so sick that she will sign the divorce papers so we can be a family.” Within hours of that prayer, my wife, who had been in perfect health, was rushed into emergency surgery. A large portion of her intestines had to be removed and she was not expected to live through the night. Still she clung faithfully to her covenant promise “until death do us part”.
The day following my wife’s surgery, this woman’s first-born teenage son, who had also been in perfect health, was rushed to another hospital across town. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The woman was convinced it was the work of a demon sent by my wife. However, she stubbornly refused to repent of her own sin (Revelation 2:18-23). Several months later, her son, a godly young man, died. She had prophesied that I would one day adopt him; his name would have been Jimmy Matthews (like my wife’s name)! The blinder’s covering the eyes of my spirit were being removed. I started seeing glimpses of the deception. The curse was being broken.
Gradually, I realized I had to start obeying the Word of God, not just what felt good to me. The softening of my heart (Matthew 19:8) caused me to turn toward Melody, my daughter, and her graduation (Malachi 4:5-6). On my arrival, I found she had lined our driveway with yellow ribbons to welcome her daddy home. I went to my son Mark and asked him to forgive me. He gave me a casual “sure” that probably matched the initial sureness of my repentance, but both have become more solid over these many years. My wife, by God’s mercy, was still standing where she had stood when she uttered those vows on December 28, 1962 – faithful to her God and to her covenant. The process started: I confessed, turned and forsook my sin and received God’s mercy (Proverbs 28:13).
On a cold winter’s day, I sought for the grave of that godly young son. Kneeling in the snow, I asked God why He did not take my life instead of his. The boy was innocent – I was the guilty one! Finally I found some comfort in the thought that he was now in God’s presence. Then the scripture came to me, “The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife.” (I Corinthians 7:14). My wife’s faithfulness kept me separated unto God, as well as to our children.
At the first, as we sought to restore our lives together, Jimmie Ruth and I did not have warm, “fuzzy”emotions; but in the fear of the Lord, we began rebuilding our marriage. Each began taking personal responsibility for our individual walk with God. We made an investment of putting effort behind right actions to each other, which will always lead to healed emotions over time.
The process has been long and painful, but I can honestly say, the results are well worth the effort. My daily life now swims in peace; and the joyful sounds of happy, healthy grandchildren are the fruit of God’s mercy added to my obedience. Our son and daughter have chosen to forgive and love their repentant dad. I have a place called “home” (the same one I tried to throw away!) and that home is filled with all precious and pleasant riches (Proverbs 24:3-4). I have a wife who loves me in a way few men will ever be loved: a wife who is willing even to die if necessary in order to be faithful and keep covenant. AND I ALMOST THREW IT ALL AWAY!
Precious ones, if the fires of bitterness and lust consume your life too, turn to Jesus! See the pure fire in His eyes. Turn from your selfishness (II Timothy 3:1-5). Receive the mercy and forgiveness Jesus Christ has provided when we confess and forsake our sin. Don’t be deceived: adulterers cannot inherit the kingdom of God (I Corinthians 6:9-10). The fires of greed, bitterness and lust will destroy life. The fires of faith, hope and love will purify life and produce true wealth. If you turn your heart fully toward the Lord Jesus Christ, you will know what perfect love is (I John 4:17-18).
Lorne H. Matthews
TO GET THE FULL IMPACT OF THIS TESTIMONY, PLEASE READ THE SUGGESTED SCRIPTURES IN THE KING JAMES VERSION OF THE BIBLE.
MARRIAGE – DOMINANT PERSONALITY
BY Jimmy Evans
When Karen and I first married, I had a very dominant personality. For several years, it killed our chances at intimacy. Our marriage nearly failed until we learned to disarm it.
Dominance means disproportionate control over the relationship. In a good marriage, the husband and wife share 50 percent of everything, from children to money to decision-making. In a dominant marriage, one person holds a bigger share.
People always marry according to their level of emotional health. Health marries health, and unhealthy marries unhealthy.
When Karen and I met, I was popular, confident, and had a raging ego. On the other side, Karen had very low self-esteem. I was emotionally unhealthy and so was she.
She needed a man with the self-confidence she lacked. I needed a woman who would accommodate my ego. We were a terrible, perfect match.
That happens often in dominant marriages: A very assertive woman marries a very passive man, or an unhealthily assertive man marries a passive woman. It’s rare that two dominant people marry each other, or two passive people marry.
What causes dominance?
A strong personality. This is not necessarily a bad thing in itself, but when one person talks far more than the other—I was never at a loss for words—it can give that spouse more power than the other.
Fear. We fear being controlled, and so we become controllers ourselves. Some of the most controlling people I’ve ever met are people who were afraid. It made them into tyrants.
Iniquity and inner vows. Iniquity is a sin that passes from generation to generation. When you’re raised in a chauvinistic or sexist family, you tend to be bent in the same way as your parents. Family systems of male or female dominance will produce dominant men and women.
Inner vows are the opposite side of that coin. When we go through pain, we make ourselves promises to comfort ourselves. We say, “No one will ever treat me like that again” or “No woman will ever do that to me.” That prevents Jesus from being Lord over that area in our lives. It makes us unteachable.
Bitterness and unforgiveness. If we are unforgiving toward someone in our past, that past pain tends to be reflected in how we treat a spouse. Bitterness takes root, and husbands and wives get the worst of it.
What do you do if you’re being dominated in your marriage? Be honest and admit it, then stand up. Marriage is like a teeter-totter: When you move, it forces your partner to move, too. When you change, your marriage changes.
When Karen began to find healing from her emotional health, she started standing up to me. And I had to sit down. She stopped accommodating my ego and God used her to make me more humble.
Today, rather than passively letting me make all the decisions—and rather than me refusing to allow her any input—we make significant decisions together.
Once we had an equal marriage, we discovered that intimacy followed. We’ve never been the same. Is dominance destroying your marriage?
PROMISES FOR MY CHILDREN AND
Compiled by Jimmie-Ruth Matthews
Deuteronomy 4:40 Thou shalt keep therefore His statutes, and His commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, forever.
Deuteronomy 5:6,7,9,10,29 I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods before me … thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments … O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!
Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach (the Word) diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deuteronomy 12:28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord thy God.
Psalms 78:1-7 Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old; which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength, and His wonderful works that He hath done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should lmake them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.
Psalms 90;16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.
Psalms 102:28 The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.
Psalms 115:13-14 He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great. The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children.
Psalms 127:3-4 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth.
Psalms 115:13-14 He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great. The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children.
Psalms 127:3-4 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Psalms 128:3-4, 6 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive (an emblem of peace, prosperity and wealth. Known for its beauty, fruitfulness and usefulness) plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord … thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.
Proverbs 13:1, 22, 24 A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke … A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children … He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him, chasteneth him betimes.
Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
Proverbs 17:6 Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
Proverbs 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom but a child left to himelf bringeth his mother to shame.
Proverbs 29:17 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.
Isaiah 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders.
Isaiah 43:5-7 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory. I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.
Isaiah 49:25 … I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
Isaiah 54:13 (Amplified) And all your children shall be disciples – taught of the Lord and obedient to His will; and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of your children.
Isaiah 65:23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.
Jeremiah 2:9 I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your children’s children will I plead.
Jeremiah 30:10 … behold, I will save you from afar and your offspring from the land of their captivity.
Jeremiah 31:16-17 Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border.
Joel 1:3 (The Word of the Lord) … tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.
Joel 2:28 … I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.
Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and don’t prevent them. For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Matthew 25:40 Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Ephesians 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
PARENTS PRAYER FOR THEIR CHILDREN
FATHER, Because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17), I encourage faith to rise up in my heart as I speak the promises of Your Word over: (list names of children here):
Thank You for watching over Your Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12). Thank You for giving Your angels charge over my children to watch over them (Psalms 91:11). Fill me up with Your love so I can spill over and pour Your love out to each child. Give me an ear to hear what my children are truly saying when they talk to me. As I discipline them, may I do it firmly but not in anger. May I lovingly honor them as human beings and not strip them of their personal dignity by embarrassment and discipline in the presence of others.
Help me to be consistent in my standard of obedience. May we as parents be united on matters which pertain to discipline and not expect of our children what we do not expect of ourselves. I ask for a sense of urgency to teach my children the Word of God and to “flesh” out the Word before them each day. Make me sensitive to the responsibilities involved with each promise in Your Word.
I ask in Jesus Name that You would send forth labourers (Matthew 9:38)* who can reach our adult children and penetrate their lives in behalf of the Kingdom of God. Thank You for being a Father Who will never leave nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5) and who loves me with a perfect love.
I plead the blood of Jesus over my children for protection. Melt hardness of hearts (Mark 16:14 ) so that each of our children may yield to Your love and to Your Spirit and find You precious as their Lord and Saviour. Make Your will and direction for their lives clear and may all of our family be a source of pleasure and glory to you.
(used with permission by Judith Brumbaugh)
January 13, 2008
It was in the midst of a marital counseling session that the LORD “connected” His Word with a recent tragedy in Florida. Perhaps you heard on the news that there was a 70-car/truck pile-up on Interstate 4. Several people were killed and many were taken to emergency wards at hospitals. What caused all this? People lost their way because of a combination of early morning fog and smoke from a controlled burning of a field that got out of control. The blending of the two immediately, without warning it seems, TOTALLY blinded drivers. It was darker than dark and those traveling at speeds of 65 mph or more suddenly lost all sense of directions. Those stopped because they had already crashed into a vehicle in front of them knew they would or wouldn’t hear screeching brakes before another vehicle from behind would plow into them. It has been described as an unbelievable nightmare, as Hell on earth—darkness illuminated for some only by the fiery inferno of vehicles as exploding gasoline ignited them.
(Spiritual) Fog (of Deception) Paved a Route to Death
This flashback of the news media’s reporting of this terrible chain-reaction accident could be an analogy to what is happening to many marriages today. God is the creator of marriage (as recorded in Genesis 2:21-24) and has established the rules for living within the covenant “birthright” that rules over marriage. Through the miracle process encompassed in the covenant, the LORD took a rib out of Adam. From that God created Eve as a companion (“helpmeet”) for Adam. And everything was perfect—until … Adam and Eve choose to live in rebellion to God’s covenant standards. Deception came in the form of a lie from Satan who had previously rejected God’s principles and set up an alternate route for happiness—in the form of self-direction. Both Adam and Eve chose to believe that setting up their own “government” for living would give them more satisfaction than what God could provide in His Kingdom. Thus, all three of these “rebels” (Adam, Eve, and Satan) reacted in a like manner. They refused to look within themselves at their own rebellion. Instead of repenting (which is all that God wanted any of them to do), they hardened their hearts by blaming one another, and even God, for their “mutiny.” Blinded by the fog of their lust of the flesh, spiritual and physical death entered their lives.
“How,” you might ask, does this relate to the highway tragedy on I-4 in Orlando Florida? Study carefully Ephesians 5:21-33. It is here that we have a safe highway—a beautiful summary of God’s design for marriage—how we can live in unity through what He creates by His supernatural, invisible permanent joining of a man and woman in marriage as originally pictured in Adam and Eve. Sadly, however, marriage partners are choosing to establish their own standards for success in marriage, just as Adam and Eve did. They are trying to “drive” their marital relationships while blinded—blinded to the principles underlying what God designed for marriage because they either don’t know what His Word says, or they know and refuse to follow His guidelines. This has created many tragic “crashes”—divorces that seem almost unstoppable.
To make matters even worse, the government has come in to try to fix spiritually based marital discord with its own form of “controlled burn” known as No-fault Divorce, which it designed as a fix for what it considered to be dead relationships. The government may have intended one thing, but its “controlled burn” has gotten out of control with the result being a blinding fog so thick that few are able to avoid fatally crashing their marriage relationships. Spouses are deceived into thinking that the answer to hurting relationships is the government’s easy way out through No-fault Divorce instead of God’s remedy of reconciliation.
May we do with marriage what the officials involved in the I-4 chain-reaction tragedy failed to do on the interstate: block the road to stop cars from driving into the blinding fog. This can only be done by helping those in wounded relationships to call out to God instead of to attorneys and the judicial system. We need a mass exodus from the No-fault Divorce highway that leads to fractured family relationships and life-long injuries. We need emergency vehicles to rush in with transfusions of God’s Word in order to rehabilitate marriages by teaching couples how to adapt Biblical principles for marriage that can transform wounded relationships into ones of joy, peace, and blessings.
If your marriage isn’t working, if there is conflict, lack of communication, anger, bitterness and strife, start by focusing on the section of Ephesians 5 below. Pray and fast. Please let us know if we can pray and/or counsel with you and your spouse.
God’s Marriage Manual
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Ephesians 5:21-22
In Christ’s Service,
Judith Brumbaugh, President, Founder;
Restoration of the Family, Inc.
PO Box 621342 Oviedo FL 32762-1342
RFI is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt corporation. Donations may be deducted as defined by the Internal Revenue Code.
Father, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ Who was crucified, who was buried, who rose again and who is alive at this very moment.
Thank you that I can give thanks in EVERYTHING for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning me. I Thess. 5:18.
Praise You, Jesus, that I am a prisoner of hope (Zechariah 9:12), not a prisoner of my circumstances. “Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee.”
Thank you that God’s Word says in Song of Solomon 8:6 that love is as strong as death. Nothing but death will break the marriage covenant I made with my mate.
Praise You that since I know my marriage is healed, I will disregard the symptoms and walk beyond my sight...faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb. 11:1)
Because I do choose my own emotions, I praise You, Father that I choose hope, not hopelessness. I choose victory, not defeat. I choose life not death. I choose love not fear; joy not despair.
Holy Spirit, I thank You that from glory to glory You’re changing me. II Cor. 3:18.
Father, I ask You to place a wall of fire around my mate and place Your glory within his midst. Zechariah 2:5. Thank You!
Thank you Lord for the hedge of protection that Job prayed around him, his house and all that he had on every side (Job 1:10). With this hedge, Satan was not able to take anyone in Job’s family captive at his will. Thank you that this “hedge” around an unfaithful partner causes his/her lovers to lose interest.
I base my prayer on Your Word (Matthew 19:6)which commands that what You have joined together, let not man put asunder. (Hosea 2:5-7). Thank You Satan is not in control, he even has to get clearance from God for whatever he does, and his actions become God’s dealings in love. Father, You are looking for an intercessor to make up a “hedge” of protection…that You should not destroy. (Ez. 22:30). Thank You that this hedge can cause troubles that will prompt a return and as Hosea’s wife said…“I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.” (Hosea 2:6-16)
We know that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. (II Cor. 10:4-5). As we bind Satan and build a hedge of thorns of protection around Mark, we proceed to “cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and we bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (II Cor. 10:5)
Thank You, Jesus that You are building Your resources in me to be able to receive Your blessings.
Thank You that whatever finances You send to me, it is enough!!!! Thank You that with Your help, I won’t say it, I’ll pray it. Thank you that in covenant relationship, I give You everything that I have, I don’t withhold anything that is me – in return as my covenant Brother, You promise to supply all my need according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
Praise You, Jesus that my mate HEARS You, and according to Psalms 83:16, I pray You will “cover their face with shame, so that they will seek Your name.”
Thank You that I KNOW that someday I will praise Your Name that you allowed me to go through this.
Father, line me up with Your Word. I plead the blood of Jesus that cleanses from all sin, sorrow, and sickness on my entire household.
I know that deception is the fruit of leaning on my own understanding, so praise and thank You Lord, I can stand on Proverbs 3:5,6. (Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.) Since the Lord is
directing my path, why do I wonder what happens along the way?
Habakkuk 2:3 says that” the vision awaits an appointed time…at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Thank You Jesus that You are never late.
Genesis 50:20 tells about the things that were meant for harm to Joseph, but because he chose to forgive and walk in obedience , You God were able to turn that thing around to be used for good. I thank You Father, that You shape every circumstance for my good…..and I know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to Your purpose. (Romans 8:28)
GOD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS WORD!
I AM STANDING FOR THE HEALING OF MY MARRIAGE! . . . I will not give up, give in, give out or give over ’til that healing takes place. I made a vow, I said the words, I gave the pledge, I gave a ring, I took a ring, I gave myself, I trusted GOD, and said the words, and meant the words…in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in good times and in bad . . . so I am standing NOW, and will not sit down, let down, slow down, calm down, fall down, look down, or be down ’til the breakdown is torn down!
I refuse to put my eyes on outward circumstances, or listen to prophets of doom, or buy into what is trendy, wordly, popular, convenient, easy, quick, thrifty, or advantageous . . nor will I settle for a cheap imitation of God’s real thing, nor will I seek to lower God’s standard, twist God’s will, re-write God’s Word, violate God’s covenant, or accept what God hates, namely divorce!
In a world of filth, I will stay pure; surrounded by lies, I will speak the truth; where hopelessness abounds, I will hope in God: where revenge is easier, I will bless instead of curse and where the odds are stacked against me, I will trust in God’s faithfulness.
I am a STANDER, and I will not acquiesce, compromise, quarrel or quit . . . I have made the choice, set my face, entered the race, believed the Word, and trusted God for all the outcome.
I will allow neither the reaction of my spouse, nor the urging of my friends, nor the advice of my loved ones, nor economic hardship, nor the prompting of the devil to make me let up, slow up, blow up, or give up ’til my marriage is healed!
I never expected it to happen to me, therefore I was not prepared for the rejection and devastation involved. Death could never be so painful. Alone! I had to either sink or swim…I chose to swim! Life would continue with or without a mate (thank God our marriage has been restored and healing for many years). Those two years I experienced alone made me realize how very dysfunctional and unscriptural our ‘Christian marriage’ had become over the previous eighteen years.
The initial shock of being rejected is overwhelming. I, supposedly the ‘together woman’, suddenly felt paralyzed, unable to function or make decisions. The pain goes untouched by books or man’s theories. However, God sustained me as I walked through the process day-by-day. If you are in a similar trauma, I trust you can benefit from some of the things I and others have learned the hard way.
WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
DON’T GIVE IN TO DIVORCE. Emotions are subject to change and the pain of rejection may not be as great as the pain of ending it all, especially when children are involved. If necessary, find an attorney who will join in your stand for reconciliation, but also be able to advise you from a legal standpoint what to do with papers you could possibly receive, what you should sign or not sign, etc. Even though divorce can be granted eventually in most states without your cooperation, delays can be effective in many cases. “Time” can be a great friend.
DAILY JOURNALING. Keep a confidential notebook. As I read the Bible each day, I asked God to give me one thought which communicated to me that day. The amount read is not the issue. My thinking processes are greatly hampered by the emotional pain. Often three verses is more than enough for me to meditate on. The key thought written on an index card goes with me throughout the day. Sometimes I will memorize that verse. After writing the one thought (GOD’S COMMUNICATION TO ME) in my journal, I write a prayer (MY COMMUNICATION BACK TO GOD), specifically about this verse. As I meditate, I get in touch with what my emotional feelings are NOW. I write that emotion down. God has never been shocked or embarrassed with what I feel. The weakest part of me touches the heart of God most. God chooses to use my weakness in a special way as He pours His strength in. As I allow those feelings to surface, I am not stuffing them in an emotional trunk to come back and haunt me later. I take those feelings to the cross and present them to the One who is most touched by them (Heb. 4:15).
Journaling is the greatest tool I have found for developing intimacy with Christ and for personal healing, therapy, growth and honesty with myself and before God. I can openly reveal everything to Him – and He still loves me!
BIBLE STUDY. I need to establish a Biblical belief system about such issues as divorce, remarriage, restoration, etc. A few isolated verses, quoted incorrectly or out of context, are not beneficial. A study of Hebrew culture regarding weddings, marriage, etc. gives new meaning to often misused Scriptures in our western culture. Strong’s Concordance number system is helpful to find Hebrew/Greek word meanings. Instead of looking for Scriptures to prove it is o.k. to get out of my marriage, I search for Scriptural reasons to stay in the marriage. These Scriptures will also impact our children’s lives as well.
GOOD PERSONAL APPEARANCE. I need to be able to look in the mirror and like that person I see. If I don’t like ME, why should I expect my husband to like ME? Bathing, dressing neatly and using proper make-up lifts my spirit; lying around the house all day in a bath robe feeds depression. Someone has rejected me, but that does not prove anything! However, I must be careful not to reject myself. I am precious in God’s sight; He paid a tremendous price for me. There is great value in me because I am a creation of God. (Ps. 139:13-18). I have intrinsic value with or without a mate.
GOOD EATING HABITS. The appetite may go one of two directions; neither extreme is healthy! As I structure my eating to a definite schedule, including lots of vegetables and fruits, I am pouring nutrition into a body that is being depleted of much strength via the emotions. I am in a warfare and this soldier must equip herself in every area of life.
Eating can also become a source of comfort, which often results in an overweight condition. I need to set boundaries of what and when I eat.
PHYSICAL EXERCISE. Walking is a great time to pray, plus getting the benefits of the exercise. Anger is an energy. If I do not use that energy in a positive way, I will end up being destructive with my anger. Upper body exercises relieve headaches and tension in the shoulder and neck areas. Punching in mid-air, or at a pillow will relieve much stress. Vicious house-cleaning is a great way to use up this energy as well; the end results are wonderful!
PROPER REST. If I do not get enough sleep, I will not be strong enough for the battle emotionally or spiritually. The whole body works together. I can also ‘escape’ with too much sleep. Depression says “pull the covers over my head and wallow in my misery”. A pity party is a lonely event – only one person ever shows up! “He giveth His beloved sleep” (Ps. 127:2) written on an index card is the last thing I read each night as I turn off the bed light.
DECISIONS. I need to avoid major decisions until the dust settles. Purchasing major items, job changes, selling my home, etc. would be treated in a different manner without the pain.
ESTABLISH CREDIT IN MY OWN NAME. Previous good standing ‘joint accounts’ leave me as a ‘nobody’ now. My name as an individual is not acceptable. Alone, no secure employment, I represent nothing but risk! More rejection, feeding my already intense anger. I need to establish credit, not to go in debt, but to establish myself as an individual for business purposes.
WHAT IS THE NEXT THING I NEED TO DO? Dirty dishes in the sink? That’s the next thing that needs to be done. Life goes on. I must allow myself to continue to function as a human being, while at the same time processing the pain and circumstances of my daily life.
PUT A GUARD ON MY MOUTH. Everytime I speak …LIFE or DEATHcomes out (Proverbs 18:21). Boundaries on my mouth will save me a lot of regrets. I will focus on the positive things about my mate to the children. I will pray the “Spirit of Elijah” on my family, (turning the heart of the fathers back to the children and the hearts of the children to the father. Malachi 4:6). If at all possible, my children need to have a relationship with their earthly father. The relationship with their heavenly Father will be greatly affected by the earthly father/child relationship.
REACH OUT TO OTHER HURTING PEOPLE. As I focus on others, I am made aware my situation is not the worst thing happening in the world. Doing hospital volunteer work, visiting a children’’ home, calling a sick friend, etc., will pour healing into me.
ONE CONFIDANT FRIEND. Geneva was there for me, any hour of the day or night. She was an open ‘container’ to receive all the garbage I dumped on her! After I unloaded, she always came back with “yes, but…” and proceeded with something positive or an admonition from the Word of God to help me balance my emotional turmoil. I do not need someone to jump on my bandwagon – I need someone who is stronger than me at this point.
I am not obligated to share my circumstances with every individual I meet. The less I share with close relatives, the better. They are too involved emotionally to actually be that much help and the more they know, the harder it may be for them to forgive and accept restoration.
PERSONAL PLEASURE GOALS. Every week I need something special to look forward to – this will keep me going! A trip to the beauty shop, an afternoon at the park, etc., something which will pleasure me. I AM WORTH IT! I need short term and long term goals to keep me focused.
GOOD BOOKS AND TAPES. Not every Christian book on marriage will encourage me toward reconciliation! I need to minister to my spirit man, and to my faith (things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1)
SELF EXAMINATION. “God, show me how I have contributed to the dysfunction and breakdown of our relationship.” SELF CONTROL, not husband control, is a fruit of the Holy Spirit I cannot control my mate. At this moment, I take my hands off of trying to make him into what I want him to be. I can only control ME. I am not responsible for my husbands actions, but I am responsible for my RE-actions! I can become what God wants me to be. I will not dump false guilt on myself, but if I as a woman have not functioned as a wife or homemaker, I will start the process to correct any lack. “Pride” says I am right the way I am; “Humility” says I will focus on me and I will change ME (not my mate).
LOCAL CHURCH. If I isolate and hide in my pain, I rob the Body of Christ in many ways. As they are able to minister and encourage me and see the victory, they share the joy of the grace of God in my life. I need the Body very much, but they also need me. (The weakest member of the Body is the most necessary, I Cor. 12:22). I will commit myself to regular involvement with a local body of believers.
IMAGINATIONS. I will cast down all imaginations (II Cor. 10:5) which have no foundation for reality, and probably will never happen. Projecting too far in the future and dwelling on the “what if’s” can be mentally destructive to me. God never gives His “grace” in advance, but the moment I need it, His grace will be sufficient to cover me in all my circumstances.
by Jimmie Ruth Matthews
Augustine believed and taught that marriage was indissolvable until death and this was the earthly picture given of the heavenly reality of Christ’s relationship to the church, therefore no remarriage was allowed if one did suffer a divorce.
Thomas Aquinas taught that the mystery of marriage was one of seven sacraments, a means by which God transmitted grace into a believer’s life. Luther and Erasmus both reacted to this teaching because of Luther’s strong understanding of justification by faith. They wanted to rid the church of the sacramental system. In so doing, they over-reacted to changing the existing marriage laws and teachings.
Erasmus publishes the first Greek New Testament.
Erasmus writes a new interpretation on marriage, divorce and remarriage in his Annotations on I Corinthians 7. It was a theological, homiletical interpretation, not exegetical (inviting human reasoning instead of letting the text speak for itself)! It contained humanistic overtones (putting man’s need for happiness in front of obedience to God). Erasmus taught that love should come before any law on marriage and held that it was not loving of the church to insist that couples be made to continue in unhappy relationships. The church should deliver those who suffer in bad marriages.
The two new revolutionary propositions were:
1. It should be permissible to dissolve certain marriages.
2. The ‘innocent party’ should be allowed to remarry.
These two views were considered heretical by the theologians of the day.
King Henry VIII wanted to divorce his wife Catherine and marry Ann Boleyn. He popularized Erasmus’s new views on divorce and remarriage and eventually broke away from the Catholic Church due to his desire to divorce and remarry. He started the Church of England, now known as the Episcopal Church.
Council of Trent. Catholic Church meets to renounce the exegetical results of Erasmus’s studies and of the reformers as well. The Catholic Church held to two types of divorce:
1. Separation of bed and board (still one flesh till death).
2. Annulment – insisting that the marriage had been unlawfully contracted to begin with.
Westminister Confession: official Protestant Reformation statement of new doctrines.
The Protestant Reformers latched onto Erasmus’s interepretation of the marriage and divorce tests. Luther added the thinking that since in the Old Testament adulterers were stoned, he reasoned that the modern adulterer could be considered as “dead” which would free the other party to remarry.
From this point on, we have our modern-day teaching that adultery (and now “desertion” and even “irreconcilable differences”) can break one-flesh and all parties are free to remarry. This teaching has destroyed the family as God designed and planned it to be. For 1650 years, there was no remarriage, now look at the state of marriage in modern times after only 350 years of a false teaching! The church is responsible for this lie in the earth. May God remove the blindness and bring a deep repentance.
An early church father, taught that marriage was indissolvable till death, therefore remarriage, in the event of a divorce, was out of the question.
For the first 500 years, this was the early church position and essentially was an undisputed teaching.
1250 Thomas Aquinas
Incorporated marriage as one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church. Catholics believe that sacraments are a means by which God transmits His grace into a believer’s life.
Protestants believe that God transmits His grace to us primarily through faith, therefore during the Reformation, Luther and Erasmus reacted to marriage as a sacrament as they taught justification by faith, not by sacraments.
However, in their zeal to dismantle the sacramental system, Luther and Erasmus went too far in dismantling what had been essentially taught in the church for 1500 years: that marriage was for life and remarriage, apart from the death of a spouse, was considered as adultery.
1516 Erasmus publishes first Greek New Testament
Raised in the monasteries and the universities, he was an early friend of the Reformation and of Martin Luther, whom later was denounced as a heretic because he mixed humanistic philosophies in his New Testatment teachings. He was respected because he published the first Greek New Testament which the Reformers all used in their study of scripture. Because they respected his ability to translate Greek, they bought into some of his expositions on scripture as well, one of which was his new teaching on marriage and divorce.
1519 Erasmus introduces teachings on divorce and remarriage
Three years later, Erasmus introduces his understanding of the divorce and remarriage texts in his writings called, “Annotation on I Corinthians 7″. He taught that love should come before any law on marriage and that it was not loving for the church to insist that people stay in bad marriages. In fact, he believed it was the Church’s responsibility to deliver people from unhappy marriages.
He promoted two revolutionary propositions:
1. Certain marriages should be given permission to be dissolved.
2. Those involved should be able to remarry.
Both of these ideas were considered heretical to the theologians of that day.
1500’s Luther’s teachings.
Luther introduced the idea that since O.T. adulterers were stoned, then adulterers under the NT were to be considered as good as dead. All the reformers were influenced by Erasmus (The Father of Humanism). They respected him for his work on the Greek text and in coming against the Catholic Church.
1532 King Henry VII
Supported and popularized Erasmus’s teaching because he wanted to divorce his wife Catherine and marry Ann Bolyn.
1550 Council of Trent
Catholic church officially rejects the reformers new views on marriage and divorce.
1648 Westminister Confession
Protestant church officially adopts new teaching that adultery and desertion dissolves one flesh (not death) and that the innocent parties can remarry.
1650 years of no remarriage.
Last 350 years, new teaching as a result of Erasmus and Luther. Now 60% of marriages end in divorce and second and third marriages are common in society. The breakdown of the family is greater than ever and the shocking truth is this: the evangelical church of the reformation that made an interpretation mistake and is responsible for the erroneous teaching we now have in the church on marriage and divorce. Marriage and family has become a disaster in modern-day society. The world no longer has any standard to measure it’s behavior by. We are truly salt that has lost its flavor…..God must and will judge this!
Submitted by: Carol Nendel
Author of Divorce, Remarriage, & the Falling Away
GOD PUTS HIS OWN … with the people and in the places which will tend most to develop the spiritual ‘graces’.
HE PUTS ONE WHO IS ORDERLY … with one who is untidy, that both may learn lessons. Often our environment is but an answer to our prayers.
HE PUTS ONE WHO IS QUICK WITH ONE WHO IS SLOW AND ONE WHO IS QUIET WITH ONE WHO IS TALKATIVE … that the one who is quick may be patient with the one who is slow, and the one who is quiet may be patient with the one who is talkative.
WE PRAY FOR GENTLENESS … and there comes a perfect storm of temptation to yield to harshness and irritability.
WE PRAY FOR SUBMISSION … and God sends suffering, for we learn obedience by the things that we suffer (Hebrews 5:8)
WE PRAY FOR PATIENCE … and God sends those who tax us to the utmost, for “tribulation worketh patience”. (Romans 5:3)
WE PRAY FOR VICTORY … and the things of the world sweep down upon us in a storm of temptation, for ‘this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (I John 5:4, 4:4)
WE PRAY FOR UNION WITH CHRIST … and God severs natural ties and lets our best friends misunderestand or become indifferent to us. (John 15:2)
WE PRAY FOR QUIETNESS … and everything within and around is confusion, that we may learn when He giveth quietness, no one can make trouble (Job 34:29)
WE PRAY FOR HUMILITY AND STRENGTH … and some messenger of satan torments us until we lie in the dust, crying to God for its removal (II Corinthians 12:7-8).
WE ASK TO FOLLOW JESUS … and He separates us from home and kindred, for He Himself said Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:33)
WE PRAY FOR THE LAMB-LIFE … and are given a portion of lowly service, or we are injured and must seek no redress, for He was led as a lamb to the slaughter and opened not His mouth (Isaiah 53:7)
WE PRAY FOR MORE LOVE … and God sends peculiar suffering and puts us with apparently unlovely persons and lets them say things to rasp nerves, lacerate the heart, and sting the conscience, for Love suffereth long and is kind; love is not impolite; love is not provoked; love bears; love believes, hopes and endures; love never faileth (I Corinthians 13:4-8; John 15:9-10)
WE PRAY TO BE USEFUL TO HIM … and He sends pain and suffering that He might have the preeminence even in the dark chamber.
WE PRAY FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE … and He sends numberless interruptions and frustrations to teach patience and humility.
WE PRAY FOR AN ORDERED DAY … and everything goes awry. Our times are in His hands!
WE PRAY FOR UNSELFISHNESS … and God gives opportunities to sacrifice ourselves by thinking on the things of others (Philippians 2:4).
WE PRAY FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND CLEAR MINDS … and there comes a stammering tongue, a dull mind and memory, reminding us that God hath chosen the foolish things…to confound the wise (I Corinthians 1:27).
…BUT NONE OF THESE THINGS MOVE ME!
…..OR DO THEY?
by John Piper
I have recently come to conclusion that the exception clause in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 is not intended to provide a loophole for divorce and remarriage when one of the partners commits adultery.
I began , first of all, by being troubled that the absolute form of Jesus’ denunciation of divorce and remarriage in Mark 10:11,12 (“And he said to them, ‘whosoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another she commits adultery against him’) and Luke 16:18 (“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”) is not preserved by Matthew, if in fact his exception clause is a loophole for divorce and remarriage. I was bothered by the simple assumption that so many writers make that Matthew is simply making explicit something that would have been implicitly understood by the hearers of Jesus or the readers of Mark 10 and Luke 16. Would they really have assumed that the absolute statements included exceptions? I have very strong doubts and therefore my inclination is to inquire whether or not in fact Matthew’s exception clause conforms to the absoluteness of Mark and Luke.
The second thing that began to disturb me was the question, Why does Matthew use the word porneia instead of the wordmoicheia which means adultery? Almost all commentators seem to make the simple assumption again that porneia means adultery in this context. Even though the question nags at me why Matthew should not use the word for adultery, if that is in fact what he meant. Then I noticed something very interesting. The only other place besides Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 where Matthew uses the word porneia is in 15:19 where it is usedalongside of moicheia. Therefore, the primary contextual evidence for Matthew’s usage is that he conceives of porneia as something different than adultery. Could this mean, then, that Matthew conceives of porneia in its normal sense of fornication rather than adultery?
The next clue in my search for an explanation came when I stumbled upon the use of porneia in John 8:41 where the Jewish leaders indirectly accuse Jesus of being born of porneia. In other words, since they don’t accept the virgin birth, they assume that Mary had committed fornication and Jesus was the result of this act. On the basis of that clue, I went back to study Matthew’s record of Jesus’ birth in Matthew 1:18-20. This was extremely enlightening.
In these verses, Joseph and Mary are referred to each other as husband (aner) and wife (gunaika). Yet they are described as only being betrothed to each other. This is probably owing to the fact that the words for husband and wife are simply man and woman and to the fact that betrothal was a much more significant commitment then than engagement is today. In verse 19 Joseph resolves “to divorce” Mary. The word for divorce is the same as the word in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9. But most important of all, Matthew says that Joseph was “just” in making the decision to divorce Mary, presumably on account of herporneia, fornication. Therefore, as Matthew proceeded to construct the narrative of his gospel, he finds himself in chapter 5 and then later in chapter 19, in a difficult situation. He has before him the absolute sayings of Jesus that if a man divorces his wife and marries another, he commits adultery, that is, he commits a grave injustice. Nevertheless, the one divorce that Matthew has contemplated with his readers in chapter 1 has been described by him as a “just” possibility. Therefore, in order to avoid the jarring inconsistency between what he has said about Joseph and what Jesus says about divorce, Matthew inserts the exception clause in order to exonerate Joseph and show that the kind of divorce that one might pursue during a betrothal on account of fornication, is not included in what Jesus has said. This interpretation of the exception clause has several advantages: 1) It does not force Matthew to contradict the plain, absolute meaning of Mark and Luke. 2) It provides an explanation for why the word porneia is used in Matthew’s exception clause instead of moicheia. 3) It squares with Matthew’s own use of porenia for fornication in Matthew 15:19. 4) From a redaction-critical standpoint, it is very astute edition which promotes the truth of Jesus’ own absolute command and the rightness of Joseph’s intention in resolving to divorce his betrothed Mary.
There is one more piece of evidence. It is usually assumed by evangelicals that when Jesus said the absolute form of his command, in Luke 18 for example, he was assuming that divorce on account of adultery was taken for granted and that a spouse had the right to remarry when divorced in this way. But there is very strong evidence in Luke 16:18 that Jesus did not assume this, but in fact contemplated the possibility of an exception clause and rejected it. Luke 16:18 says, “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.” What is the situation of the woman in the second half of this verse? It seems to me that if we take the verse as a unity (and I can see no reason not to), the situation is that a man has divorced his wife and married another. That is, he has deserted his wife and illegitimately gone off with another and formed a new marital relationship. He has committed adultery against his first wife and left her “divorced”. If the traditional view of Matthew’s exception clause is correct, then this woman is free to remarry. But Jesus says just the opposite in the last half of Luke 16:18. He says that the woman who was divorced is not a candidate for remarriage because if a man marries her, he commits adultery. The only way to escape from this implication is to say that the two halves of the verse don’t have anything to do with each other. But against that assumption is the active voice of the word “divorce” in 18a and the passive voice of the word “divorce” in 18b. In other words, the verse pictures a man divorcing in 18a and a woman divorced in 18b and it seems to me completely unnatural to think of this woman divorced in 18a and I 18b as two different women. The force of this argument has been felt by the translators of the NIV in Matthew 5:32. They translate “anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness (sic!) causes her to commit adultery, and anyone who marries a woman so divorced commits adultery.” The fact that they insert the word “so” shows that they think of the woman in the second half of the verse as the same woman in the first half of the verse. But when they get to Luke 16:18, they simply translate, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Why don’t they use the word “so” in Luke 16:18? I think the reason is that as soon as they do, it will show that Jesus did consider the situation of an exception clause on the ground of adultery and rejected it. This is in fact the case.
This is what I have taught to my church and I see no warrant for anything different in I Corinthians 7.
Copyright 1998 John Piper. Used by permission.
COVENANT MARRIAGE is a “ONE FLESH” RELATIONSHIP
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Matthew 19:5,6 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain (NEVER AGAIN TWO), but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Mark 10:8-9 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain (NEVER AGAIN TWO), but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh (A NEW ‘BEING’ CREATED BY GOD – “ONE FLESH”)
Malachi 2:16 “For I hate divorce” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and (I also hate) him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”
Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication and shall marry another, commiteth adultery, and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Matthew 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall putaway his wife, saving for the cause of fornication*, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
Mark 10:11-12 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
BIBLICAL COUNSEL IF DIVORCE HAPPENS:
I Corinthians 7:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
I Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace…(v.39) The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to who she will; only in the Lord.
Romans 7:2,3 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
“WHOSOEVER” Refers to All Mankind (Saved and Unsaved)
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Matthew 5:31-32 It hath been said WHOSOEVER shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I (Jesus) 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.
Matthew 19:9 And I (Jesus) say unto you, WHOSOEVER shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication*, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and WHOSO marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Mark 10:11 And He (Jesus) saith unto them, WHOSOEVER shall put away his wife, and marry another, commiteth adultery against her
Luke 16:18 WHOSOEVER putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and WHOSOEVER marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
“ADULTERERS” DEFILE THEIR BODY… ’THIS’ GOD WILL JUDGE:
Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
“ADULTERERS” IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD
I Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.
Proverbs 7:1-2 My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
I John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso CONFESSETH and FORSAKETH them shall have mercy.
Proverbs 16:6 By MERCY and TRUTH iniquity is purged: and by THE FEAR OF THE LORD men depart from evil.
Proverbs 21:21 He that followeth after RIGHTEOUSNESS and MERCY findeth life, righteousness, and honor.
GOD’S CALL TO THE CHURCH:
Mark 8:34-38 And when he (Jesus) had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he (Jesus) said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of Man be ashmed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
“fornication” – sexual intercourse between unmarried persons. (Webster’s New American Edition Encyclopedia of Dictionaries)
“adultery” – The sexual intercourse of two persons, either of whom is married to a third person; unchastity; unfaithfulness. (Britannica World Language Dictionary).
There is no verse in the Bible which indicates adultery as a Biblical reason for divorce. Many of the new, contemporary translations have chosen to use the word “adultery”, but this was not true in the original.
Scripture Quotes: King James Version and The International Inductive Study Bible.
By Jimmie Ruth Matthews
Covenant tennis shoe slogan: Just keep it.
Covenant connects us to the unwavering faithfulness of God.
Half a promise is no promise at all. A conditional covenant is oxymoron.
Covenant is an all or none kind of thing.
Covenant is the essence of integrity.
It weathers the storm.
It tears down anything in its path to completion.
It chooses God’s way over man’s.
Covenant is a commitment from God’s heart to ours
It has hope as its sustaining source.
It becomes dead to self in order to deliver on a promise.
It realizes the last will be first in the kingdom of God.
Covenant does not compromise itself.
It honors a vow the same as God honors His.
It is not conditioned on the other party’s actions.
Covenant is a vow that is never completely paid.
To let go doesn’t mean to STOP CARING;
… it means I can’t DO IT for someone else.
To let go is not to CUT MYSELF OFF;
… it’s the realization that I can’t CONTROL another
To let go is not to ENABLE;
… but to allow learning from natural CONSEQUENCES.
To let go is to admit POWERLESSNESS, which means,
the OUTCOME is not in MY hands.
To let go is not to try to CHANGE or BLAME another,
… I can only change MYSELF.
To let go is not to CARE FOR … but to care ABOUT.
To let go is not to FIX … but to be SUPPORTIVE.
To let go is not to JUDGE,
… but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the MIDDLE, arranging all the outcomes,
… but to ALLOW other to EFFECT their own outcomes.
To let go is not to be PROTECTIVE;
… it is to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to DENY … but to ACCEPT.
To let go is not to NAG, scold or argue,
… but to search out MY OWN shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to ADJUST everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes … and to cherish the moment.
To let go is not to CRITICIZE and REGULATE anyone,
… but to become the best I can be.
To let go is not to REGRET the past,
… but to GROW and live for the future.
To let go is to FEAR LESS,
TRUST in Christ more,
… and freely give the love He’s given to me.
By Dr. Thomas M. Strouse
(reprinted by permission)
The major social unit of society, the family, is being devastated by social aberrations such as divorce. God has a clear plan for families as set forth in the Bible. For the American society to be strengthened, Christians need to know and need to obey the Bible teaching with regard to marriage and divorce. This essay will show what the Bible says about marriage, what Christ says about divorce and what Paul says about divorce and remarriage.
THE BIBLE AND MARRIAGE
God instituted marriage with the first man and woman, Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:20-24). The Bible formula for marriage is Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (vs. 24). There are three factors delineated for a marriage union”
The “leaving” delineates the social factor.
The “cleaving” delineates the spiritual factor
The “weaving” delineates the sexual factor
All three factors are necessary to constitute a Biblical marriage. The social factor involves a public awareness that the couple is married. This awareness is usually conveyed by a public ceremony or document. The spiritual factor involves a unity of mind and heart on the major matters of life. The sexual factor involves an intimate relationship which is monogamous and permanent. These factors are foundational and prerequisite for strong family units for any society. It is true that some Bible characters violated God’s plan for marriage and were polygamous, but God’s plan is nevertheless binding for all who desire the Lord’s blessing for strong families. In the New Testament, Christ reaffirmed this marriage formula for His audience (Matthew 19:4-6).
CHRIST AND DIVORCE
When questioned by the major religious leaders of His day concerning the popular plan for divorce, the Lord Jesus Christ re-affirmed the Bible plan for marriage by citing Genesis 2:24 (Mt. 19:4-6; Mk.10:11, 12; Luke 16:18). The Pharisees attempted to force Christ to choose between the two popular plans for divorce, the Hillel position which was very liberal (divorce for anything) and Shammai position which was very conservative (divorce for infidelity). Christ did not concede to either position, but rather He cited the teaching given to Adam and Eve and declared What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder (literally this verse means “stop severing what God has permanently put together”) in Matthew 19:16. Furthermore, the Lord said Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. (Matthew 19:9).
This verse has already been interpreted by Matthew in his first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 1:18-25). The Jews had the custom of betrothal for approximately one year before the wedding. This meant that the Jewish man and woman entered into a betrothal covenant (Malachi 2:14) which could only be broken by divorce for unfaithfulness. The classic example of this is Joseph and Mary; Joseph thought Mary had committed fornication and had become pregnant and consesquently he was going to divorce her (“put her away privily”) during the betrothal period and before Joseph and Mary had become married through physical consummation. Although Joseph and Mary knew by divine revelation that Jesus was the virgin born Son of God, the Lord Jesus lived with the stigma of being a child of fornication (John 8:41).
Christ’s answer to the Pharisees was two-fold:
Marriage was for life
Divorce was only for the betrothal period (Luke 16:18)
The Bible allows for divorce only before physical consummation and not after physical consummation (i.e., not after marriage).
PAUL AND DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE
The Corinthian church wrote the Apostle Paul about some questions they had about the married state. Paul’s answers include what Christ said about marriage and additional apostolic teaching as well (I Corinthians 7:1-40). Paul’s clearest statement is but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife (v. 11). In this context, the Apostle allows for temporary separation and no remarriage. Furthermore, the goal of all marital conflicts is reconciliation, and divorce is never an option for Christians. Paul makes it clear that remarriage is only possible when the marriage union is dissolved by death: The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth: but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to who she will; only in the Lord. (v. 40).
Some misunderstand Paul, thinking that he is allowing for divorce when he states art thou loosed from a wife (v.28). The “loosed” is a perfect verb and refers to the permanent state of bachelorhood. All Paul is stating is that in a time of persecution (“present distress,” v. 26) bachelors should remain unmarried.
The Bible is God’s guide for mankind in general and especially for Christians. The Bible teaches that marriage is permanent and monogamous. The Bible teaches that divorce is only for the betrothal period prior to physical consummation. The Bible teaches that reconciliation, not divorce is the solution to marital difficulties, and that remarriage is only allowable when the marriage union has been broken by death. May Christians and mankind follow the Bible’s guidance for strong family units by realizing marriage is for life and that the Lord God of Israel hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).
(Used by permission)
Dr. Thomas M. Strouse, Dean
Emmanuel Baptist Theological Seminary
296 New Britain Avenue
Newington, CT. 06111
“I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge…that I should not destroy…” (Ez.22:30)
A certain man discovered that his wife was secretly seeing another man. She would meet him on business trips and spend long hours after work with him. For months she had neglected her home responsibilities, such as making any meals for her husband.
He learned about the “hedge of thorns” that he could claim in prayer for his wife, and one day he used it. That evening when he got home from work, his wife was in the kitchen making their first meal in four months!
A wife learned that her husband was spending time with a younger woman. She learned further that he was planning to leave her and marry this younger woman. She was told how to pray for a “hedge of thorns” around her husband. The next evening he received a phone call from the young woman telling him that she wanted to break off their relationship.
The wife of a young pastor left him and began working in a bar. She was planning to marry the barkeeper. The grieving husband learned how to pray for a “hedge of thorns” around his wife, and three days later, his wife called him up and was ready to return home.
These are only a few of the many illustrations which Christians are experiencing as a result of building a “hedge of thorns” or “hedge of protection” around their loved ones. However, there is far more to the story than just praying a certain prayer.
The Scriptural basis for the “hedge of thorns” is found in several passages. First of all, God looks for an intercessor to make up a “hedge” of protection. (Ez.22:30). Job is an example of such a man in the O.T. (Job 1:5-12)
He prayed for God’s protection over his family – including his sons and daughters whom he feared cursed God in their hearts. The result was that God “made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that He had on every side”.
By building a “hedge” around an unfaithful partner, his/her “lovers” lose interest and Satan is no more able to take your partner captive “at his will”. Satan must get clearance from God for whatever he does, and his actions become God’s dealings in love. II Timothy 2:25-26; II Corinthians 12:7; Job 1:5-10)
A further illustration of the hedge is found in Hosea. God promised to make a hedge of thorns around Hosea’s adulterous wife so that her lovers would lose interest in her. (Hosea 2:6-7)
After God built a hedge of thorns around Hosea’s unfaithful wife, and her lovers left her, she decided to return to her husband. However, if she was to remain under his authority and protection, there were several things that he had to do. These are listed in Hosea 2:14-16.
The NT counterpart to this truth is illustrated in Christ’s interecession for Peter (Lk.22:31-38) and for his disciples (John 17:12 – the hedge of prayer – none lost but the son of perdition). It is also illustrated in Paul’s prayer for those under his spiritual care.
The basic teaching of Scripture on the hedge is found in II Cor. 10:4-5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.”
This emphasizes the fact that Satan is able to have powerful holds on our mind, will, and emotions, but that through God we can and must pull them down.
The purpose of “binding Satan” (Matt.12:29) and building a “hedge of protection” around your partner is so that you can proceed “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
There are a number of cases in which a husband or wife build a “hedge of thorns” around an unfaithful partner through prayer, saw the return of that partner, and then failed to follow up on the victory. Soon Satan regained a foothold in that partner’s life. Thus, the following steps are very essential.
1. MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE A GENUINE CHRISTIAN.
God only hears the prayers of His own children. We become a child of God only through putting our full faith and trust for salvation in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, in dying for us and being raised from the dead.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…” (Titus 3:5).
“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
2. CLEANSE YOUR LIFE OF ALL SIN
God delighted in building a hedge of protection around Job and all his family and possessions, because Job was “a perfect and an unpright man, one that feareth God, and…(hateth) evil,”
We can claim the righteousness of Christ as Christians by confessing our sins and cleansing our mind, life, and home of anything that grieves the Spirit of God and hinders His work in our life.
“…Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:14)
3. BUILD A “HEDGE OF THORNS” BY PRAYER
The following prayer is an example of building a hedge of thorns around an unfaithful marriage partner:
“Heavenly Father, I ask You in the name and through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, to build a “hedge of thorns” around my partner. I pray that through this hedge, any other lover will lose interest and depart. I base this prayer on Your Word which commands that what You have joined together, let not man put asunder.” ((Matthew 19:6)
4. RESTORE A SPIRIT OF ONENESS
Follow through on your prayer by getting alone with your partner (…”I will allure her and bring her into the wilderness..”), using gentle, kind, and loving words (“…speak comfortably unto her…”_, committing yourself to your partner’s needs and visualizing hope (“I will give her her vineyards…for a door of hope”), restoring your partner’s happiness (“…and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth…”), and restoring a spirit of deep friendship (“…thou shalt call me ish (my husband) and shalt call me no more baali (my lord)). (Hosea 2:14-16)
5. CAST DOWN WRONG REASONINGS
In the spirit of friendship and fellowship, cast down false reasonings in the mind of your partner by wisely using God’s Word. Together, bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (I Cor. 10:4-5)
Gomer was the wife of the prophet Hosea.
She was an adulterous wife.
In this account, God gives us a graphic illustration of how the “hedge of thorns” works
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PUT A “HEDGE OF THORNS” AROUND AN UNFAITHFUL PARTNER?
1. He/she will lose direction.
“…I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.”
2. Any other “lovers” will leave.
“…she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them.”
3. Troubles will prompt a return
“…then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband: for then was it better with me than now.”
A “hedge will be ineffective if you have not resolved all past offenses, or if you do not follow through with Scriptural steps of actions.
THE PRAYER FOR A “HEDGE” INVOLVES THREE PARTS
1. YOUR SPIRITUAL ‘CREDENTIALS’
We are able to approach a holy God through the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ’s death and resurrection have already defeated Satan’s power. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Cor. 15:57)
2. YOUR REQUEST
When we pray, we must be specific; the more precise we are in our prayer, the more able we are to judge its Scriptural basis and the more alert we will be in seeing His answer to it. “…Ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2)
3. YOUR SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY
Every request must be based on the will of God as revealed in His Word. God’s Word is the sword of the Spirit (Ep.6:17). Christians are able to overcome Satan “..by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony.” (Rev. 12:11).
GOD GIVES FIVE STEPS TO WIN BACK A WAYWARD PARTNER
1. Allure him/her away from ungodly influences.
2. Speak gently and lovingly.
3. Reestablish responsibility and by it restore hope.
4. Cause him/her to sing for joy.
5. Build an intimate friendship.
From Bill Gothard Ministries
By Jimmie Ruth Matthews
(WRITTEN FROM A WIFE’S PERSPECTIVE)
When faced with this kind of decision in my own life, Christian friends irritated me with statements like this: “YOU HAVE BIBLICAL REASONS TO GET A DIVORCE.” I did not want a divorce. Thank God for His grace which helped me find Biblical reasons to try and keep the marriage. The ‘anesthetic’ of divorce is only a temporary relief! Divorce most often continues, rather than stopping the pain. Divorce never ends!
The reward Lorne and I received for choosing to stay in a non-feeling relationship and going through the pain of change has brought us as a couple through a tremendous growth process. Getting professional help and staying committed to our covenant vows allowed us the opportunity to receive individual healing of childhood wounds as well as seeing our marriage restored and healed. “Feelings” have grown beyond all our expectations. We enjoy a deep abiding intimacy in our relationship and never cease to amaze at the daily rewards of choosing to stay together until DEATH parts us!
I have a Biblical, God-ordained responsibility to love him as my HUSBAND:
Malachi 2:16 …the Lord…saith that he hateth “putting away” (Hebrew: to send away, to let loose).
Mark 10:12 …if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Romans 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband, is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth…
I Corinthians 7:10-11 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord. Let not the wife depart from her husband…but and if she depart, let her (1) remain unmarried, or (2) be reconciled to her husband (these are the only two choices given in the Bible).
I Corinthians 7:13-14 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife…(v.15)…but if the unbelieving depart, let him “depart” (Greek: to give space)…nothing is said about divorce.
Ephesians 5:33 (Amp.) …let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband – that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.
I Peter 3:7 The husband will not get his prayers answered if he does not regard his wife as a joint heir of the grace of God together with her.
I have responsibility to all peoples: marriage is a typology of Jesus’ relationship with His church (Ephesians 5:21-33). Divorce distorts and perverts this picture of God’s love and faithfulness.
If I cannot love him as my husband, and we both know Christ as Saviour, I have a responsibility to love him as a BROTHER in Christ.
I Corinthians 6:5-8 (abbreviated) …I speak to your shame…brother goes to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers…ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
James 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and ‘destitute’ (Greek: to leave, to fail or be absent; be wanting, lack) of daily food…(I have a responsibility to minister to the need of that brother/sister in Christ.
I John 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
I John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
I John 3:14-15 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer; and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
I John 4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.
I John 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death
If I cannot love him as a husband or a brother, I am obligated to love him as a FRIEND:
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times.
If I cannot love him as a husband, as a ‘brother’, or as a friend, I have a responsibility to love him as my NEIGHBOR:
Luke 10:29 Who is my neighbor? (the Good Samaritan story follows describing the characteristics of this neighbour: one who fell among thieves, robbed of everything good, stripped of everything precious, wounded and left half dead….
Proverbs 3:29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour….
Proverbs 14:21 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth…
Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive…when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.
Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour…
Romans 15:2-3 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not Himself…
Galations 6:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another.
James 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well…
If I cannot love him as my husband, brother, friend or neighbor, I must love him, even if I perceive him as an ENEMY:
Proverbs 25:21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink; for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.
(This is not a revengeful act, rather the opposite. On the Day of Atonement, the high priest took his censer and filled it with ‘coals of fire’ from off the altar and then put incense on the coals. The aroma was a sweet-smelling fragrance and the cloud of it covered the mercy-seat and was acceptable to God for atonement).
Mark 11:25 (Amp.) And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against any one, forgive him and let it drop – leave it, let it go – in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your own failings and shortcomings and let them drop.
Luke 6:27-28 …I say unto you which hear,
Love your enemies,
Do good to them which hate you,
Bless them that curse you, and
Pray for them which despitefully use you.
While having a heart of compassion for those who have been the victims of divorce, the time has come for the Body of Christ to lift the standard of the Word of God regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage before our society is destroyed under our own roofs.
© 2014 LORNE MATTHEWS EVANGELISTIC ASSOC. Inc.
We live in a world that takes a heavy toll on our self-esteem. That’s why it’s important for couples to take deliberate steps to do things differently. Here are 10 ways you can bolster each other’s self-image by becoming one another’s biggest cheerleader. These suggestions work best when each of you are focused on helping your spouse gain a greater degree of self-confidence.
Even though you’ve said it before, taking time regularly to reaffirm your full, unconditional love for and acceptance of your spouse.
Never offer critcisms or make negative comments about your spouse in front of other people. In public, be your spouse’s biggest fan. Save your criticisms for times when the two of you are alone.
Eliminate all put-downs and cynicism from your humor.
Remind your spouse of his or her positive inner qualities. No one is totally objective about their own strengths, and it’s even harder to remember those qualities when our self-esteem is battered by outside forces.
Don’t expect perfection from your mate. Give your spouse room to be “imperfect.” And if your partner tends to set unrealistically high standards, encourage him or her to be more realistic. Help your spouse affirm his or her strengths, rather than concentrating on his or her failures. Remember: Perfectionism is a dangerous trap.
When others offer criticisms, help your spouse determine which of these are legitimate and which ones totally miss the mark. Encourage an attitude of forgiveness toward those who have been ukind or unfair.
Don’t let your spouse neglect his or her own needs. Rearrange your time — and, if necessary, your financial priorities–to allow your spouse personal time to pursue a hobby or an outside interest that makes him or her feel good.
Let your spouse’s past mistakes and failures stay in the past; don’t bring them up for discussion again.
Emphasize the fact that we are all created by God; and remind your spouse of his tenderness and forgiveness toward us. Eliminate the false idea of a God who judges us without mercy.
Pray together about any problem areas or recurring difficulties.