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.