When Divorce is an Option

Chapter Ten. The Day Adam Died; Encouragement for Women

Last week the Baptist Blogger shared previous audio clips in which Paige Patterson, the president of the Southern Baptist Southwestern Seminary said a Christian woman should stay in an abusive marriage and submit to her husband instead of getting a divorce. His statements have outraged women ministers across the U.S and rightly so. Perhaps you’ve seen the response from Beth Moore on social media where she proclaims, “Wives, do not submit to abuse.” She and I differ on many things, but on this, I agree 100%.

I’ve been asked by many women if they could divorce their abusive husband. My answer is and has always been yes. Women were created in God’s image. Daughters of the King are the apple of God’s eye and woe to them that harm us. God hates abuse in any form. For years abusive men have twisted scripture to keep their wives prisoners in deadly marriages. Church leadership has wrongly advised women to place their lives and their children’s lives in danger.

Thank God, the truth will set them free. The Bible is absolute truth. There are at least 4 different scriptural references in the Bible to support the divorcing of an abusive spouse. Chapter Eleven of The Day Adam Died examines these scriptures and discusses them in depth. Since the goal of writing this book is to help women realize who they were created to be, and their value to God, I’m posting the entire chapter on my blog. I hope you will read it and share it. Hopefully, a precious woman of God will realize that she doesn’t have to stay in an abusive marriage.

The Day Adam Died

 

Chapter Ten
Divorce

When a certain, young lady entered a rehab program, she was having an affair with a married man. During my Bible class, I could tell she loved this man very much. However, once she was born again, she was convicted of her relationship. Yet, she had a preconceived notion that because they had committed adultery, it was alright with God that he divorce his current wife and marry her.

Many people do this. They twist scripture and remove the context in which it is given to justify their sinful life. Please, don’t do this. Adultery isn’t a get out of marriage free card.

In some instances, adultery can and should be forgiven. We all make mistakes. If your spouse is genuinely sorry for breaking the sacred vows of marriage, you should try to reconcile. However, if you married him thinking he was a faithful man and turns out he is a habitual cheater, then yes, divorce is an option.

Many people erroneously believe adultery is the only biblical reason for divorce. However, that isn’t what Jesus said.1 When Jesus was talking to the men of Israel, they asked Him a question He had already answered.2 His answer did not change.

In the culture at that time, if a man married a woman and was displeased with her, he could give her a bill of divorcement and send her back to her father’s house. Here, they are asking Jesus to approve this practice.

He doesn’t. Instead, He tells them the only way they can divorce a new wife is if after they marry her, they realize she has fornicated or had sex before their marriage. The only two ways they can know she is guilty of this sin is if she is pregnant or if she isn’t a virgin on their wedding night.

Jesus is telling them, if you married her thinking she is a virgin, but after the wedding, you realize you have been deceived, divorce is an option.3 If he divorced her for any other reason, he causes her to commit adultery. If she remarries and the man who marries her would also be committing adultery.

When we apply this passage of scripture to our lives, we can say if you married him thinking he was a good man, but shortly after the wedding realize he endangers you or your bloodline, divorce is an option. In other words, if you married him believing he would protect and provide for you and your children, but soon discover he is abusive, divorce is an option.

I have prayed with many abused wives with husbands that seem to be godly men. Yet, bruises and tears don’t lie. Some of these men have twisted scripture to force their wives into submitting to horrible and deadly situations. Most of these manipulators use the same tactic. They tell their wife she can’t leave because he hasn’t committed adultery. They tell her, if she leaves him, she is outside the will of God. They say if she leaves, she will go to hell. They convince her Jesus wants her to endure the abuse. And some wrongly believe it is the husband’s responsibility to discipline his wife.

Most of the ministers I know express an opinion that a woman shouldn’t stay in an abusive marriage. I am of the same opinion, and scripture agrees.

If your salvation is in danger, you have a God-given right to protect it.4 Even if you must change your environment, your friends, or your family.

When Jesus talked about hell, He gave some disturbing commandments. He said if your hand or foot will cause you to go to hell, you should cut them off. He also said if your eye offends you, pluck it out and cast it far from you.5 This principle can be applied to your head or your husband. If staying in your marriage will send you to hell, cast it from you.

I have known many women who have successfully completed a drug and alcohol program. They gave their lives to Jesus and He washed them in His sacrificial blood. They were reconnected to God. They were alive in Christ. Until, they reunited with their husband, and their husband and his sin led them down a path of destruction.

God instructed His people to kill everyone who tempted them to worship anything other than God Himself.6 We shouldn’t physically murder, but we should divorce ourselves from anyone who tempts us to worship anything other than God. This includes our husbands. If your husband is tempting you to disobey God, you can spiritually cut off your head by divorcing him.

God knew you before you were in your mother’s womb.7 Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost.8 Your body is used to glorify God. Your husband is commanded to love you as Christ loves His church. Your husband should love your body. Love isn’t abusive.

Zechariah prophesies to the daughters of Zion, but his prophetic book can also be applied to the daughters of the King. You are the apple of God’s eye. Anyone who hurts you is subject to God’s wrath. And you are instructed to deliver yourself.9

If your husband abuses you, you may deliver yourself from him by divorcing him and removing yourself from danger. This also applies if your husband abuses your children.

There is a great debate in the church concerning remarriage after divorce. When you divorce your husband, you are spiritually cutting off your own head. Your married body has died. Your head or your husband is also spiritually dead.10

Remarriage is possible after divorce. However, there are ministers who believe your husband must be physically dead before you can remarry. This is something you must consult your Savior about. He knows what is best for your life. If He gives you a husband, accept Him. If God calls you to stay single, enjoy your freedom.

Please don’t let the opinions of man, keep you from accepting the blessings God has for you. But please, don’t let loneliness keep you from the perfect will of God.

Before you make any decision on this scale, I recommend you not only pray but commit yourself to some type of fast. Try everything in your power to repair or restore your marriage. Too many people use lame excuses to marry and remarry. This is not the will of God for you. Remember what happened to the people who did this in Noah’s day. Marriage is more than a commitment between two people. It is a three-fold covenant. It caused God great pain when the male and female ADAM were separated. Just as divorce causes Him pain today.


1 Matthew 19:3-9

2 Matthew 5

3 Deuteronomy 22

4 Hebrews 2:3-4

5 Matthew 18:8-9

6 Deuteronomy 13

7 Jeremiah 1:5

8 I Corinthians 6:19

9 Zechariah 2:7-9

10 I Corinthians 7:39

 

A Safe Place

Prayer is a safe place.

When I was a little girl, I had a secret place. A place I could go where no one could find me. To get there, I’d have to crawl on my belly through dirt, dust, and spider webs.

I’d get dirty.
It was a scary, dark journey.
But once I got there, I could stand.
I could see.
It was cool but not cold.
It was warm but not stifling hot.
It was perfect.
It was special.
It was mine.
It was sacred.

Once I found this place, I could escape the pain of reality.
I could breathe without fear of judgment.

This place reminds me of prayer. There is secret, safe place at the foot of the cross. Sometimes, you must belly crawl through the cobwebs of your mind before you get there. Yet, it is worth it when you reach The Throne Room of Grace.

Finding time to pray is a struggle. The enemy will often steal that sacred time with distractions or diversions. But even if you have to claw your way, carve out a time for prayer. It will be worth it. When you get there, you’ll be able to stand against anything.

We are invited by God to boldly go before His throne.

You can escape the pain of reality.

You can breathe in God’s presence without the fear of judgment.

Prayer is a safe place.

Testimony Tuesday with Shelby Scarborough

Shelby is the house mom of what I call The Taylor House-one of the campuses for women at The Mission of Hope. I know you will be encouraged by her story of salvation, and the effect it had on her unsaved mother.

Testimony Tuesday with Shelby Scarborough

I grew up in the “party scene”. My parents were divorced and my mom was in an active addiction to prescription pills. So, I played the role of a mother to my two younger siblings.

At the age of 16, my mom and her friends gave me ecstasy for the first time. That turned into something we did on a regular basis.

Eventually, I was smoking marijuana and doing pills every single day. Before long, I was completely sold out to drugs and doing whatever I could to get what I needed.

I was arrested and charged with robbery in the 1st degree at 19 years old. My drug addiction had taken over. I was placed on probation and during that time I violated on 3 different occasions.

I went to court on April 29, 2015 fully expecting to receive my 10-year prison sentence, not knowing God had a different plan.

That day, I entered the Haven of Hope and was saved only 6 days later. Today, I am not only sober. I am redeemed!

God has delivered me from a life of death and destruction. He has shown me a love that only He could provide. He has brought me back to life.

Almost a year after I received Christ as my savior, my mother entered the Haven of Hope in Fruitdale and received Jesus into her heart as well. Today, we are both saved and set free.

Our story is a story of redemption. The greatest part is that He isn’t finished yet.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: ~ Philippians 1:6 KJV

Testimony Tuesday with Jessica Waddill

Meet Jessica Waddill. Jessica began her walk with the Lord at an early age, but through a turn of events out of her control her path took a dark turn until Jessica lost her way completely to addiction. But Jesus Christ, the light of the world, answered her cry and led her out into the light.

As a child and even through most of my early teenage years, I went to church with my family. My mom took us every time the doors were open. I knew about God and could quote John 3:16 and a few more well-known scriptures. I had plenty of religion.
Then in my senior year of high school, I had surgery to have a brain tumor removed and was introduced to pain pills. Having to go through all of that at such an early age caused me to take on a  victim mentality, and my pain pills allowed me to indulge in my self-pity.

For the next several years, my life was surrounded in darkness. The darkness was pierced with several  bright moments. I got married. I  had a baby girl and and a few years later a son, but even though I had several reasons to change how I was living, I couldn’t see past my own selfishness.

The truth was I had  underlying hurt, anger, and bitterness and rejection on the inside of me and I didn’t want to deal with it. I was insecure, and needed to feel loved. For awhile it was just easier to take a pill and make all the hurt disappear and make everything everyone else’s fault.

But that only lasted for so long. Then reality hit me in the face and I had to accept that it was MY fault. I hated myself. I hated who I had become.

Separated from my husband, my children, and the rest of my family, I found myself crying out to the Lord. And he heard me. A couple of days later I was brought to Wings of Life Recovery and began my road back to Jesus. That was fifteen months ago. I now have a relationship with the Lord that I had been seeking for my whole life and didn’t know it. I have a love for Him that grows stronger each day. My relationship with my family and my children has been restored. God has given me a heart for the broken so along with running the transportation department here, I encourage other women that come in broken that there is hope. We serve an amazing God!

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. ~ Jeremiah 29:11-13