Tuesday, September 20, 2011

a holy decision


The Holy Spirit has been teaching me how easily people deceive themselves when it comes to divorce. Mankind's quest to live a happy life causes many people (Christians included) to sinfully rationalize how God might make an exception to the rule for the sake of their comfort level. However, I fear that these rationalizations are simply convincing lies that we like to argue with hopes of an easier road - advancing what we THINK or FEEL is "right" rather than actually OBEYING what our Master says is holy.

Recently, I was visiting with a group of women. While many shared their backgrounds and life stories with me, one woman approached me and started discussing her marital history. Her story was this: She was married very young, but determined shortly thereafter that her husband was the wrong man to be married to for reasons she chose not to disclose. She quickly divorced him and later remarried a "nicer" man. Now, she is enjoying "a happy life" and a "normal" relationship. (That is how she worded it.) Her concern was this: Should she repent to God about the decision to divorce her first husband when she honestly felt that leaving him was the right thing to do?

After hearing this, many other women piped up to share their own stories regarding how they too divorced themselves out of difficult marriages. Suddenly, I found myself in a room filled with a parade of divorced women (Christian women) rationalizing why God would not have wanted any of them to have stayed married to their first spouse. Their husbands were men who ranged from dead beats, to alcoholics, to abusers, to two-timers/cheaters, to men that just didn't get them, etc. etc. etc....you name it. Each woman stood in agreement that surely God would approve, "They deserved better!" Each admitted that by divorcing their first mate, they were clearly happier today for making the decision... no regrets whatsoever.

Finally, the woman who first initiated the conversation wrapped up her argument by stating in agreed satisfaction, "Let's face it... now I'm able to serve Jesus better without all that messiness in my life. So, why repent for something that turned out well? Sure, God says He hates divorce, but why ask for forgiveness when divorce was really the best solution for my situation?"

Hmmm.

"God hates divorce, BUT..." But what? He hates it!

"So, why repent..." Wait... what? Did I hear that right? Why repent? REALLY???

Admittedly, I was speechless. What the heck has happened to our belief system that we somehow think that God's will for us has changed from scripture and does not involve any messiness or suffering through trials - especially in marriage? Furthermore, if God outright has said that He hates divorce, it is clearly NOT a "holy" decision when we go do exactly what He despises. No, this cannot be rationalized as a "right" decision - irrespective of how happy one may emotionally feel afterward. God would NEVER encourage His children to divorce. That is not a physical representation of His covenant love.

What concerns me most about this whole matter is the complete absence of regret or repentance that so many lack today after following through with such a decision. In fact, most people defend their decision to divorce at all cost. It's like we form these little clubs of "Why it was OK for so and so to get a divorce" and then seek the approval of others to secure our position on the matter. But I ask you this, are our hearts truly repentant hearts if we are quick to go against God's plan? Do we value His Word, His Way so little that we quickly embrace exactly what He hates?

Perhaps we have forgotten what our repentance really means. According to New Testament Greek, the word for repentance (metaneo) means a change of mind that results in a change of action. The Bible tells us that true repentance will result in our turning to God and what He loves... not away from Him! Acts 26:20 declares, “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.”

Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action. Not a change of scenery. Not a change of spouse. No, if we have accepted Jesus' way, we must change how we perceive and see things - even in our marriages. We must seek to recognize the sin that Satan uses to destroy our covenant relationship the same way God recognizes such sin. How do we do this? By loving our spouse to the level that Jesus loves us while sacrificially giving over our lives to God for His use - to bring Him glory. Do you choose to bring God glory by seeking divorce? I think not. In fact, I know not. For here is what He said:

“I hate divorce...” says the Lord God of Israel. "So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith." (Malachi 2:16)

Did you get that? Guard yourself in spirit and do not break faith! How do we guard our spirit? By embracing God's Word... by knowing what He says and repeating it to ward off the enemy... by following His commands to avoid sin. How do we keep our faith solid? By remaining in His presence and seeking His ways over our own... by literally abiding in Him and setting our sights on His ways.

Ladies, I know that many will not like reading this blog today. Many will disagree and argue against these passages because they simply want what they want. Many will promote a life of earthly happiness over a marriage of sacrifice and obedience. But heed my words... following Jesus is not about finding a self-serving form of happiness on this earth. Rather, God gives us specific trials so that we can become MORE like Jesus... not less. And what was Jesus' model? Well, Jesus surrendered His life over in order to fulfill the will of His Father. Jesus loved his bride (us) more than His own life and gave everything up so that we could be with Him intimately forever. Jesus lived as a humble servant and did what was necessary to restore our relationship with Him... even though we were deadbeat, sin addicts who abused His love and cheated by looking toward another selfish way of life. Jesus loved us enough to do everything possible to repair our broken relationship with God and restore us back home!

You and I both know that Jesus would not agree to divorce... no matter how difficult a relationship is strained. We are to be help mates to our husbands as Christ is to us. We are to sacrifice. To serve. To love. To be joyful. To be self controlled. To be patient and long-suffering like our Savior. (2 Peter 3:9)

Many examples of difficult experiences have been documented throughout scripture where God allowed his children to endure unimaginable trials and tests of faith. Some, like Joseph, were sold into slavery. Some, like Paul, were imprisoned. Some, like David, were hunted down. Some, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were sentenced to death. Did they give up or throw in the towel? No. Did they turn from God's plan and renounce their Savior's way? No. They sang and rejoiced and sought after God while trusting Him to see them through... mind you, through things we could not even imagine enduring!!! Most importantly, no matter what the earthly result of their trial - their deeds gave glory to their King! Their life was a repentant life - a changed life that only sought after God's way of doing things.

So, just because your marriage may face challenges and variances of hardship, it is biblically an unwise conclusion to dissolve a holy covenant that was instituted by the Creator Himself. In short, it is NEVER healthier to seek what we want over what God wants. It is never good to sway from His truth because Satan has painted a picture of greener pastures promising earthly happiness. That's how we got into this sinful mess in the first place! (Remember Adam and Eve?)

Now, depending on circumstances that involve an individual's safety, a separation based on prayer and trust (with the hope of God being able to restore and renew) may be a necessary course of action in a complex marital trauma... and it may even run the course of one's lifetime. But divorce? No. Not when God clearly hates it. Not when God is blessing our lives with a holy trial to become MORE like Him! Rather than running away, consider such testing as PURE JOY...

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:2-5)

For those who have already been through divorce, whether self initiated or forced by a spouse... I challenge you to take ownership of your heart on this matter. Consider your involvement and pray about your willingness to surrender your spiritual eyes to look through His holy lens. Confess any sin where you held ownership that contributed to the broken marital covenant. Allow Christ to change your mind, soften your soul, strengthen your faith. Forgive and love your ex. And if possible, start seeking and praying for restoration and healing in Jesus' gracious Name. God is ready and able to renew so much if you only allow Him the opportunity... if you trust Him without limits... if you seek and obey Him at all cost.

I do not claim to be an expert at anything. I am merely a lover of Jesus and a follower of His word. He is my authority in all matters. So, I write this blog in love and obedience to my King. I write, because if we are to be honest about what God says on this matter of divorce... if we are to face the trials He puts us in for the purpose of making us more like Jesus... we must stop making excuses for sin and call a spade a spade. Divorce is man's solution. But marriage is God made. I have learned to always, ALWAYS choose God's way over man's!!! Let's acknowledge His holy way and be ready to account for our deeds. Let's live for His Name's sake - not our own.

Please ladies, let's stop trying to convince one another that divorce is acceptable in the eyes of the Lord. It is not. God HATES divorce. So let's make a holy decision to stand for what is right and base our choices on mirroring His sacrifice rather than advancing human selfishness.

Every day we follow Jesus - through every trial we face here on earth... it is one day's march closer to His perfect, healthy presence and eternal glory. I encourage you to always focus on Him. Follow Him. Strive to be holy like He is holy. You are new in Christ Jesus, ladies. Live like it. Encourage it. Depend on His eternal covenant and model it within your own marriage. No matter what, represent your King correctly... honorably... holy.

It won't be easy... but eternally, it will be worth it! I encourage every devoted woman to always turn to God... not away from Him!

Let she who has ears hear. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

Blessings!
Blog Post Written By Victoria Anderson

41 comments:

  1. yes i do agree God hates divorce,however He knows human nature too. No christian woman should be made to feel guilty about being divorced-its between them and God and He knows their heart. My ex husband walked out on me nearly 3 years ago for another woman and is divorcing me- am i not entitled to have a second chance at love now? I kept my vows and tried to save my marriage. I met a wonderful christian man 6 months ago and only God could have orchestrated our meeting. In your opinion am i wrong ?

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  2. I think taking such a judgmental stand on such a topic is wrong. My divorce was a surprise to me...Woke up one day and found the divorce papers on the table... I was devastated but he left me...and what if innocent children are being abused because of this marriage...It is for GOD to judge not man...I understand and respect your stand but life is too complicated for one to be so judgmental... I would rather walk in love and try to be supportive of people who are hurting instead of judging them... so I disagree with your approach on this matter...GOD is the only judge and GOD is love. Be supportive .... You are not in their shoes and I am sure you are not without sin...stop casting stones...be a reflection of GOD's love.

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  3. well said stacy- i absolutely agree 100 % with you. Its great to be happily married and i am very happy that you have that blessing,victoria. Unfortunately some of us need a second chane. Thank you God that you loved me enough to give me that chance. God bless you stacy and trust god to give you joy again-he will x

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  4. God hates divorce, he doesn't forbid it. There is a time and a place for a prayerfully contemplated divorce.

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  5. Christians are often accused of "judging" whenever they speak out against a sinful activity. However, that is not the meaning of the Scripture verses that state, "Do not judge." There is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise—with careful discernment (John 7:24). When Jesus told us not to judge (Matthew 7:1), He was telling us not to judge hypocritically. Matthew 7:2-5 declares, "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." What Jesus was condemning here was hypocritical, self-righteous judgments of others.

    In Matthew 7:2-5, Jesus warns against judging someone else for his sin when you yourself are sinning even worse. That is the kind of judging Jesus commanded us not to do. If a believer sees another believer sinning, it is his Christian duty to lovingly and respectfully confront the person with his sin (Matthew 18:15-17). This is not judging, but rather pointing out the truth in hope—and with the ultimate goal—of bringing repentance in the other person (James 5:20) and restoration to the fellowship. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). We are to proclaim what God's Word says about sin. 2 Timothy 4:2 instructs us, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction." We are to "judge" sin, but always with the goal of presenting the solution for sin and its consequences—the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

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  6. I don't think she is saying those things at all girls. I think Victoria is saying that being so non chalant so to speak about getting divorced and stepping out of God's will for your life is where we fall short as human beings not specifically women or men. I recently have gone through a divorce because I have made mistakes in my 22 years of marriage that my husband could not forgive me for and 2 months after our divorce was final he remarried. In Gods eyes he will always be my husband and God has made me a promise that He would restore everything that the locust has taken, that's in Job and I don't know when or how because my husband has hardened his heart to me and only God can change that and how we feel about our ex's or anything else. We are supposed to love like Jesus and forgive like Jesus. As far as your spouse divorcing you and you having a second chance there are some things we have no control over and being repentent asking for forgiveness whether or not we feel "we are to blame or not" remember we " are all sinners and we should repent everyday because the only perfect one came and died on the cross to save us from our sins.

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  7. Thank you Victoria to have spoken boldly on this topic. It is so hard yet so fundamental for the Body of Christ... whether we like it or not, we have to call a spade a spade! Stacy I am so sorry in what happened to you, but I think you guys did not understand what Victoria was trying to say. I think in my view, she is not being judgmental but truthful on what the Word of God says!!! When things are out of your hands, then turn them over to God who is able to change the unchangeable. I think as Christians we have to obey God's Word wholeheartedly not half way, either we are hot or we are cold, lukewarmness has no place in the Kingdom of God, He said He'll spit us out! sorry if i sound as well hard but I'm doing nothing but quote from Holy Scripture! Stacy I pray that the Lord will send His healing over your life, emotional, spiritual, physical and all that you have lost, and You will only turn to Him for comfort; and Victoria may the Lord continue to use you to speak the truth in Jesus Name. DW is a beautiful site and let's continue to help one another in this forum

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  8. Eternally, it is worth it...I think that is the one of the reason why someone like me must stay married... and because that is the will of God, not that if I have the choice I won't opt out, not to remarry but to peace of mind and being happy...but whatever I feel in my limited knowledge as being the best for me is still subjected to the Bible and the will of God for His children...if only in this world we have hope...so let's the love of God see women like me through in our marriages and know that God is there with us every step of the way and that it's not peculiar to us...

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  9. Tracey JohnstonTuesday, May 04, 2010

    Divorce is only a symptom of a deeper problem. What we should be praying for and working towards is a Church where hurting people are healed and made whole, lives, homes, marriages, thought processes are transformed into 'new creations', where 'orphans' are parented, where children, youth, men and women are discipled and nurtured by maturer Christians, where we give and accept accountability to each other, where we have good role models for Christian marriage and family, where we are journeying to become more Christ-like in everything we think, say and do.

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  10. I married young and spend four years of both physically and verbal abuse, i stayed in the marriage beacuse of my faith and finally after rendering me partially deaf and almost barren, my ex walked out on me and now you say this? May God have mercy on you!

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  11. this is good word...we act before we really think about our situation..all in the name of being 'happy'!

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  12. God's word also says how a man and a woman should treat each other. God does not want a woman to be under constant terror from a man. A husband is to love his wife as himself, as Christ loves the church. I have known women who were abused severely, emotionally and physically! God does not want a partner to be treated like that. He is about love and tenderness.Gentleness. I think if a man or a woman just have the seven year itch or just wanna have their freedom, no God does not want that.

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  13. No matter what view one takes on the issue of divorce, it is always wise to first seek God's word... remember Malachi 2:16? It shares the heart of God pertaining to the act of divorce: “I hate divorce, says the LORD God of Israel.”

    According to the Bible, marriage is a lifetime commitment. “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:6).

    That said, by no means am I naive to the fact that God realizes that since marriages involve two sinful human beings, divorces are going to occur. Even in the Old Testament, He laid down some laws in order to protect the rights of divorcees, especially women (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). However, it is important to note that Jesus pointed out that these laws were given because of the hardness of people’s hearts, not because they were God’s desire. (Matthew 19:8) Do we really want to have the hardness in our hearts dictating our steps... or God?

    Whether divorce and remarriage is "allowed" according to the Bible is not really the argument of my blog post. My argument is that God hates divorce. So as His devoted followers, we should strive to avoid what God hates at all cost and avoid promoting it as acceptable and ok.

    It is distressing that the divorce rate among professing Christians is nearly as high as that of the unbelieving world considering God's strong statement in Malachi. It is equally distressing that Christians seem more concerned about excusing/explaining why divorce is acceptable than standing against it to honor the holy institution created by our King. I cannot in good conscience endorse divorce when Christians have been called to mirror Jesus message of reconciliation and forgiveness in their lives. God's whole message is about love and restoration... never the dissolution of His eternal covenants. (Luke 11:4; Ephesians 4:32).

    I wrote this blog knowing full well that many would disagree with such a strong position to follow God's word on this complex topic. That is why the blog is entitled "a holy decision".

    Without getting into much detail, I know all too well - and daily experience the pain of separation and martial trouble. My mother is separated from my step-father due to abusiveness and has been living with Chuck and I for many years waiting on the Lord - trusting that He can do anything, even fix her marriage. Please do not think that I am unaware of the many trials that result from sin in this matter. I do believe that depending on circumstances that involve an individual's safety, a separation based on prayer and trust (with the hope of God being able to restore and renew) may be a necessary course of action in a complex marital trauma... and it may even run the course of one's lifetime. But divorce? No. I cannot promote divorce when God clearly states He hates it.

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  14. Wonderful, brilliant and refreshingly truthful blog today! Thank you. We need to be brutally honest with ourselves at times and that is not easy, especially when we know that we have not done the right thing. I have been divorced, my first husband made the decision to leave, I was not a Christian at the time, however, I know deep down that I played a part in our marriage break down even though I happily blamed it all on him. I am now remarried to a non-Christian man, happily Christian and happily married. However, I do need to be reminded from time to time how absolutely Holy my promise is that I have made to my new husband, I made a promise before & in the presence of my Lord and Savior to keep my marriage vows, and by jingies I'm going to keep my end of the deal this time, why, because I know that if I am faithful to my Father in Heaven how much more faithful he will be to me. He looks after me in all I do, I can't quote scripture, but I know that if you look deep into your heart you know what the truth is.... we just need to admit it. Well done for tackling such a difficult topic in todays ever increasing society which just wants to make excuses for doing things 'their way' and not Gods way.

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  15. Victoria, I agree with you that God hates divorce! and I also agree that we do have to repent of any sin that goes against Him. But I also believe that God is merciful and as with all sin is just to forgive. My husband walked out on not only me but our two daughters...one being born just 18 months before with multiple birth defects...his reasons were he didn't sign up for all of the problems we were going to face and have faced (13 major surg. and one on the way)...My girls and I lived for 5 years waiting on reconciliation and while I prayed and fasted for my marriage, he moved on to another woman without children and then divorced me. So, all this to say, while I was and at times am still heartbroken over my failed marriage, I have turned to God for healing and forgiveness! He is my husband and my provider...and until He decides for me that it's ok to remarry, I will continue to serve Him and rely on Him!!! Thank you for speaking truth into our lives, but also remember that sin is sin, and Jesus died, and rose again, and lives today to forgive ALL sin! Love you much!

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  16. As I do respect what you wrote and totally agree on God's feeling for divorce, etc. as a divorced Christian, I have to voice my opinion.

    You were throwing around scriptures like the candy out of a broken pinata. Believe me, I know what the Bible says about divorce, which is why I lived in hell with my ex-husband for over 11 years - not wanting to be disobedient to God...and in the end, I still answered to God for my behavior and have to deal with the grief and despair of my situation.

    Before you begin casting more stones, let me give you a little background - the first time I caught him cheating I was 7 months pregnant with my son (married for about 1 1/2 yrs). Almost the entire 11 yr marriage was riddled with his addiction to internet porn, our income wasted on his "adventures" with other women (bills never being paid - always wondering if the lights would be on when I came home, etc.) oh - and lets not forget the abuse - and not only from him but his extended family did a pretty good job of emotional and verbal abuse (and his father hit me once, as well).

    Although I know it takes 2 to make things work (or not) I will sit here and tell you that I tried - and forgave - for many years - and prayed that he would turn his inward heart to God and love God, himself and us enough to choose his family instead of this downward-spiraling lifestyle. It never happened. In the end, I didn't divorce him either - he divorced me so that he could be with one of my "friends" from church.

    In the end, the experience turned my once tender heart, into a bitter one towards him and I was no longer the wife I wanted to be because of the hurt and pain. I responded to his actions with disgust and hate in my heart toward him and I had to answer to God for my part of it. But let's not forget that "Man" (the church) has made sure that I answer for it as well.

    You see, my ex-husband was an associate pastor and while in the throws of divorce, I finally got the nerve to go to the sr. pastor of our church and let him know what was going on, and he kicked my son and I out of church - all the while declaring that "Brother J could not possibly have done those things, etc." and at that point, the strong influence of the small town that we lived in (that my ex was raised in) became even smaller and my son and I were not welcome anywhere.

    My restraining order against him also proved to be futile, so after the last attempt on my life, I (legally) RAN away almost 2,000 miles to my home town to get us safe (and it has taken almost 5 years for his "long distance" abuse to subside). And there, I was welcomed into church and ministered to. However, I was also given a "scarlet letter D" to wear for my shame that I was divorced - and was not allowed to do any ministry (and I am not talking about an official staff position - I am talking about not even helping in VBS, make a meal for anyone, etc.) AND...if I was stupid enough to even think about remarriage (which was the last thing on my mind) there was no way in the world that the church was going to allow that to happen because of my Scarlet D; I didn't deserve it. So once again, I had to "pay the price" for my ex-husband's decisions (along with the $21,964 worth of debt that he left me in, etc.) You can say what you want, but I thank God every day that he chose to save me and my son out of that situation and we have a chance at a healthy, SAFE life now (and after years of wonderful Christian counseling, I am confident that my son and I are able to move past our past into the bright future that God has for us).

    So next time you have to run to protect your life and that of your children from the very person you have committed to spend the rest of your life with, then you can sit in judgment of someone like me, someone who wears the Scarlet Letter D. You will be standing alone, as I know that GOD does not judge me like that. God hates divorce...but He loves me.

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  17. what about Matthew 5:32 divorcing because of sexual immorality

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  18. The controversy over whether divorce and remarriage is allowed according to the Bible revolves primarily around Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9. The phrase “except for marital unfaithfulness” is the only thing in Scripture that possibly gives God’s permission for divorce and remarriage. Many interpreters understand this “exception clause” as referring to “marital unfaithfulness” during the “betrothal” period. In Jewish custom, a man and a woman were considered married even while they were still engaged or “betrothed.” According to this view, immorality during this “betrothal” period would then be the only valid reason for a divorce.

    However, the Greek word translated “marital unfaithfulness” is a word which can mean any form of sexual immorality. It can mean fornication, prostitution, adultery, etc. Jesus is possibly saying that divorce is permissible if sexual immorality is committed. Sexual relations are an integral part of the marital bond: “the two will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Ephesians 5:31). Therefore, any breaking of that bond by sexual relations outside of marriage might be a permissible reason for divorce. If so, Jesus also has remarriage in mind in this passage. The phrase “and marries another” (Matthew 19:9) indicates that divorce and remarriage are allowed in an instance of the exception clause, whatever it is interpreted to be. It is important to note that only the innocent party is allowed to remarry. Although it is not stated in the text, the allowance for remarriage after a divorce is God’s mercy for the one who was sinned against, not for the one who committed the sexual immorality. There may be instances where the “guilty party” is allowed to remarry, but it is not taught in this text.

    Some understand 1 Corinthians 7:15 as another “exception,” allowing remarriage if an unbelieving spouse divorces a believer. However, the context does not mention remarriage, but only says a believer is not bound to continue a marriage if an unbelieving spouse wants to leave. Others claim that abuse (spousal or child) is a valid reason for divorce even though it is not listed as such in the Bible. While this may very well be the case, it is never wise to presume upon the Word of God.

    Sometimes lost in the debate over the exception clause is the fact that whatever “marital unfaithfulness” means, it is an allowance for divorce, not a requirement for it. Even when adultery is committed, a couple can, through God’s grace, learn to forgive and begin rebuilding their marriage. God has forgiven us of so much more. Surely we can follow His example and even forgive the sin of adultery (Ephesians 4:32). However, in many instances, a spouse is unrepentant and continues in sexual immorality. That is where Matthew 19:9 can possibly be applied. Many also look to quickly remarry after a divorce when God might desire them to remain single. God sometimes calls people to be single so that their attention is not divided (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). Remarriage after a divorce may be an option in some circumstances, but that does not mean it is the only option.

    Irrespective, reconciliation and forgiveness are to be marks of a believer’s life (Luke 11:4; Ephesians 4:32), and we should always look to Jesus as our role model in these matters. His ways are good and right.

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  19. Well I was married for 22 years thru abuse and he left me for a man. He had been sleeping with men on and off thru our marriage and I had no clue. I am lucky that he didn't give me some disease. I prayed and prayed and this is what happened so am I going to be condemed that my x-husband is openly gay and how could we stay married. Tell me this....

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  20. Thank you for sharing this on this HOT topic again Victoria. It shows how people want things both ways - we want more of God's blessings and promises -but yet aren't willing to give Him total obedience. Either we believe His Word to be true or we don't. No "fence sitting". God's words are not just suggestions, there is no compromise with sin. His Word is very clear on divorce. My husband is a pastor, and requires couples that ask him to preform their weddings to go through many hours of counseling with him. He uses scripture as his guide to deal with many of the problems that life throws at you. He tries to give couples Godly advice with scriptural guidelines before marriage begins - to encourage people to really know who they are going to spend their lives with. To go into marriage with their eyes wide open to the good points as well as the faults in their prospective mates. Life is hard and marriage is harder - obedience to His Word is key for everyone involved.

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  21. I have been divorced for 5 years and remarried for 3. I still struggle with seeking forgiveness for my divorce and how that affects not just me but my husband as well. Both my ex and I were equally to blame for our relationship failing and I pray that God will see my heart and know that I am truly repentant about breaking the covenant I made.

    In today's society it's much easier to make excuses and try to explain away our choices, rather than accept our responsibility in them. I agonized over the divorce and still seek forgiveness for it. I know that I have grown as a Christian since then, however that does not mean I think that God condoned my decision. My growing faith has made me even more aware of the fact that my divorce hurt and disappointed God.

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  22. While this has been controversial indeed, there are a few items here that should be reiterated. It is the act of divorce being discussed, not individuals--and it is the person's reactions. There was an indifference shown in some women's reactions: "God wouldn't want me to repent." Well, I understand both sides of this. . .I nearly divorced my husband (outside voices were encouraging and I was weak), but he stepped up and never stopped loving me and we've been together 21 years now. His sister's first husband cheated on her, and in the end they divorced. She is now married with children from the second marriage. Who am I to judge her heart or her ex-husband's? Personally, I feel that there are some instances where "justification" is enough to remove a woman from a very bad situation.
    I am getting the feeling from this post that the concern is more about the attitude of "if I don't like him/her I'll just get a divorce" that is prevalent in this world. Such a decision is extremely serious and takes prayer and Godly direction.

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  23. Although I understand completely where you are coming from in the article I would like to add some thoughts based on experience. You need to realize that women who have been through broken marriages (and thus broken hearts) do not owe anyone an explanation of how this happened or why. Thus it is presumptive to assume that most women are 'non-chalant' about their divorces. My story is so long and so horribly painful...I choose not to share it with most people. It does not help anyone and only serves to bring up terrible pain for me. I probably appear to be non-chalant when in fact, I simply choose not to dredge up the past and dwell on things that might make me bitter. Also, many moms have had to learn how to not speak ill of their ex-husbands...first as protection to their children's hearts and second as obedience to God to not spread evil about someone else (even if it is true).

    The Word makes it very clear that if an unbelieving spouse decides to leave or if there is infidelity that divorce is acceptable. It may be a tragedy and God may hate it but so do the people enduring it. I have yet to meet someone who 'likes' divorce. It is probably worse than losing a spouse in death. The pain of being rejected that completely is almost unbearable. Divorce is terrible...and if you were best friends with all the women who endured it you would probably realize that they hate it more than you. They don't feel comfortable telling someone they don't know very well how it all happened.....I lived in utter shame for so long....I still struggle with that. I know there are some cases where people divorce for selfish and ungodly reasons...and in that you are right. But I believe that most people try a lot harder than you realize. I stayed with my husband for more than 20 years and will not write here all the terrible things we went through at the end...I never lost hope that somehow we would be restored but eventually my husband lost interest.There are so many sins we could talk about. This one is not the 'unforgivable' one.....and I don't believe I 'sinned' ...I prayed, I cried, I tried, I begged, I tried some more...and I would venture that that is the case with MOST women. If anyone were to read my old blog they would wonder what happened...as did I. The shock of my life.....

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  24. At the end of may last year i found out that my husband had been cheating on me with my best friend.
    My first instinct was to walk away, but i heard a voice behind me say, you must stay and give this man a second chance.
    As hard as it has been for the last year, we are making progress.
    I myself do not believe in divorce, but do think if the relationship is abusive, you shouldn't have to stay and put up with that.

    It is hard sometimes to get through things and yes he was unfaithful and it will take a long time to learn to trust him again, with that being said i still would not stay in an abusive relationship.

    Some of these women had cause to leave thier marriages and i respect them for standing up for thier rights as human beings.

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  25. I understand all of this but I choose to ignore all red flags and counsel of a pastor not to get married. I told my now husband, that we should wait to get married, he said he wouldnt and would leave me if I didnt marry him that October. So I did. I wish I could have listened to everyone and the answers to my prayers at that time. I was weak in faith just started attending church and let my flesh decide for me. He was unfaithful just that same year while dating. I didnt want to loose him again. I have been abused when younger, physically, emotionally and mentally. I dint know how broken I was until recently, about two years after we married. I would pick men that did the same thing I grow up in becuase I thought it was normal in a weird way I guess. So we married Oct 10, 2007. He moved out January 2008. It lasted 3 1/2 months. I had just started attending church more and got baptized in July 2008. Me and Jim still talked and hung out but the manipulation, emtional and verbal abuse continued. I sat in church for almost two years waitingf for him to change and nothing. My love eventually died. I am a child of God and dont deserve to be treated that way. Finally in beginning Sept 2009 I had enough. He started calling me names again and being mean and I was done. I filed for divorce April 2010. I am not lloking for anyone. I still have alot to work on so I know how to be a woman of God. Im still broken and dont want to pick someone else who is broken. I have had bad relationships all my life and really dont believe I will ever be with someone again. I am thankful me and him dont have any kids together. I do let him see me youngest because they did bond, due to Caleb being 1 when they met. It is hard though because it gives him an avenue to me. He still plays games and manipulates and brought into church. He has befriended people I was hanging with and has isolated me from them. Just a mess right now. He says he has changed but everytime I talk with him he is always degrading me and verbally being mean. Saying I have an evil heart, and the church doesnt want me there because I am getting divorced, one of us have to leave. I sleep around and on and on. I know see why God didnt want me to marry him and if I would have lisstened I could have saved myself all of this trouble. He was trying to protect me. He knew this would happen. I have a peace about doing this. I am so depressed otherwise. I need to be free from this..It is not healthy for me in which is not healthy for my kids. I know that I should not remarry becuase it wouuld be adultry unless he moved on first and have no problem with that. Thanks for posting blog for me DW. I hope you see my blog

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  26. Okay, on the whole "flogging" the writer for voicing opinions on Divorce... I think we all know that we have ALL have opinions. Yes, there are certain situations that may warrant.... she said God HATES it that was IT. My opinion... if you are "UNEQUALLY YOLKED" - DONT MARRY THAT PERSON!

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  27. What causes divorce in the first place? at the time of getting married, do we prayerfully ask for the will of God for this partner so that in case of trouble in the future, we will prayerfully ask God to intervene for us, i believe this is the first step in marriage to avoid these messes.God really bless you my sisters.

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  28. Very well put! Thank you dear Sister. I have a divorce in my past and it took God several years to show me that I needed to confess my part in it as sin. I'm sure you will get a multitude of negative comments; but take heart ... God's spokespersons were never cheered among the multitudes when He gave them an unpopular topic to preach. You're in my prayers.

    May the Lord bless you.

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  29. Alicia here, ok ladies I can not quote the Bible like some can....but I know enough to know that Victoria is right on....the problem today and for so long....is that the church has a watered down version of the ways of our beloved Jesus....no long is Hell and Brimstone preached or taught....we are taught it is ok Jesus will forgive....giving a worldy licence to sin....ladies do not get me wrong....I am divorced time 3....yes there was abuse physical and mental...and cheating....I married young to get away from home looking for the love I did not get as a child....I tried to make the marriage work and in the end had to make a choice between staying married and loosing my boys or getting a divorce and keeping my boys....not what Jesus wanted for any of us...and I had outside influences for and against....second husband cheated on me with my ex-sister-in-law....yes it ended up he kicked me out....then the third husband was cheating as well on his so called work related travel....but the bottom line is as for me and no one else....I played a part in all three....because I am the only factor in all three....I was not without sin....I did not respect my husband as it states in the Bible...it says for women to respect their husbands and husbands to love their wives....in my childhood years I never saw that played out as instructed in the word....you even now can see men not being respected....because we are afraid he will be all puffed up and missuse us....well yes that can happen....but Jesus is the only way....what Victoria has blogged on today needs to be addressed in every pulpit on earth....we do not need the watered down version any more....just so we feel good....it is all about pomp and fluff now days....I have been forgiven by my Lord and Savior for my past....but I tell you satan uses that to try and get a foot hold into my life now...we can not forgive ourselves....because of guilt....this time this earth this people need to be spoken to in this manner that has been used by Jesus thru his faithful servant Victoria.....in following my Jesus I can only pray that he can use me....I have a lot more to learn about relationships....but thru Jesus and his word I can learn his way and not the worlds way....the worlds way is on and in everything.....tv, comupter, music, books etc...how much of the way of Jesus do you see, hear or think on a daily basis....Jesus is my Savior and King.....God Bless everyone of you...thank you Victoria....

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  30. It is sad that christians are the first to shoot their wounded instead of tossing them on our backs, carrying them out of enemy lines and nursing them back to health. We all fall short every day. None of us are without sin. I know Im not! I loose my temper at the little old lady who is driving 10 miles an hour down the road infront of me when I have somewhere to be, I mumble under my breathe at the person who has a million items in the 10 item only checkout lane ahead of me, I respond overly harsh at my teenagers a lot of times. We all have different views on divorce and second marriages clearly. We are also all different denominations with different beliefs. We are however the CHURCH. The church shouldnt be seperated. If we are how can we work together to fulfill the great commission? Is God saddened by divorce? Of course! Divorce leaves scares and hurt. I believe though that God is more saddned by us focusing on things like this instead of asking each other..what can we do to reach a lost and dieing world?? What can we do to let people know that there is NOTHING you have done that the grace of God cannot cover. How can we let someone know that they can not slip far enough that His grace cannot reach them. That is all that matters. Thats what should be debated. Thats what we should be concerned with. Nothing else matters. When a person comes to Christ, He works in them, He convicts them if needed. Its not our job. Our job is to point the way and love unconditionally. My prayer each morning is from the words of a popular song. "Heal my heart and make it clean
    Open up my eyes to the things unseen.Show me how to love
    like you have loved me. Break my heart for what breaks yours
    Everything I am for Your kingdom's cause as I walk from earth into eternity. I pray that will be yours also. I love you all as sisters in Christ!

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  31. The thing that highly concerns me about this post is that there will be women in abusive marriages who will think they have to stay in the abusive marriage because it's against God's word to leave. Those women's lives are in extreme danger, and to not acknowledge that God WOULD rather them be SAFE and divorced rather than UNSAFE and married is a grave mistake and will, I fear, cause the deaths of many sincere, God-fearing women. In which case, their blood will be on the hands of those who chose to place Biblical "requirements" above the safety of the woman and/or children.

    And those who tell them they can't leave, they can't divorce this abusive man, do not truly understand the love of God and what it means to commit adultery. It's not just about having an extra-marital sexual relationship. There are far more things that can occur for a marriage to be broken by adultery. If we look at the example of the Israelites and what they did when we are told they adulterated their relationship with God, we can better understand that.

    I believe instead of judging people who divorce, we need to show them the love of God in how we respond to them. Given this entry, it is clear the love of God was not shown to divorcees. What is the worst sin: divorcing against Biblical allowance, or not showing the love of God to someone who has sinned?

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  32. Well I believe the main problem is that most marriage's that end in divorce, God did not join together in the first place. People are very rebellious when it comes to choosing a mate! Many Christians are not choosing Christian mates and many who claim to be Christian's are not. When choosing a mate don't igorn the signs and don't convice yourself they will or you can change them. If a man ask you to move in with or for that matter have sex with him out of wedlock, then he isn't a praticing Christian! Choose well whom you join as one with and ask God to lead to the Christian man he wants you to be with.

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  33. It has been interesting today to witness the reactions of people and how they angrily respond to the parts of God's word that they don't like to hear. It makes me think of how I too can make up my own excuses and get venomous over matters I don't want to submit/repent to God on. He is such a patient Master, isn't He? Thank you, Lord!!!

    We must continue to pray for those who struggle obey God's plan in this (and all) areas. Our excuses and desires for something to be acceptable or not will never change God's absolute unchanging word - no matter how mad we may get. We are indeed all sinners and Satan will come at us where He can cause the most damage. Because marriage is so fundamental in God's original plan, it is no wonder to me why the enemy is on full attack regarding it's institution and our willingness to uphold it. Thankfully... graciously... God still can use each of us for His glory. Our sin is not the end of the story if we give it over our lives to Him in repentance... He wants to forgive us, to change us, to bless us beyond measure. We serve such a wonderful Father. I'm overwhelmed by His love every single day. Thank you everyone for your comments. I pray that God will work in each of our hearts and remove any veil of sin from our eyes so that we see only His way and not our own.

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  34. I really believe that if "the children of God" would realize that a true child of God does not sin, then maybe they would understand the rest of what God wants from us. When we are born again, Jesus makes in us a new heart. The old sinful nature that we were born with because of Adam is impaled on the cross with Jesus.Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth, we should not serve sin. And 1 John is also for the child of God.1John 3:5-6 And ye know that he(God) was manifested to take away our sins and in him is no sin.6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not:whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.1John 3:8 He that commiteth sin is of the devil;for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might DESTROY the works(SIN)of the devil.vs.9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. It's plain to me in the scriptures that Jesus came to put the law in our hearts. We don't have to worry about sinning in our lives because it's no longer in our nature to do so. We have the will of God in our hearts when we give ourselves to Jesus. It states clearly that He was manifested to take away our sin. Jesus not only paid the penalty he was a remedy to the sin problem that Adam caused in the first place. Matthew 11:28 Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. This means rest, not struggle with sin. If the son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.Free from sin!! Isn't that glorious? Now, I'm not saying that people can't turn away from God, because they certainly can. You'll find proof of that in James1: 14-15 which also tells us that we are not "once saved always saved". 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed.15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. I know this blog is about whether or not it's sinful to get a divorce and I have to say that I agree with Victoria on this subject. But, I just pray that people will see the true gospel of Jesus and know that if we give our whole life to Him and believe what He tells us is truth, then we will all have His joy and peace and forgiving each other will come naturally to us as it does to our Dear Lord and Savior. We don't have to struggle with sin if we are truly children of God!!

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  35. I totally agree with you-----in certain aspects. My husband and I both said when we got married (at 18) that we would not get a divorce. Period.
    HOWEVER, my mom was an abused woman. She was fretfully abused by my father. I DO NOT think in any way that God would want my mother to still be in that. NEVER. There was a time he was in prison and she had her chance to grab me and make her mistake. I know what God's word says, but I also know that He knows the heart of the situation and of the person. My mom has now been married to my dad (my stepdad who adopted me) for 28 years and they are still so deeply in love...I know that God has blessed their marriage.

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  36. To all who have responded with accusations directly at my understanding of abuse, etc...

    Please don't assume things about me merely because I am bold to quote God's word. I grew up under an abusive marriage when my mother remarried my step-father (years after my father passed away). Trust me when I tell you, I know ALL about abuse and trials in marriage. It is part of my daily life even today as my mother now lives with Chuck and I (for her own safety) while she waits on the Lord in faith. The fact of the matter is that your issue isn't about me... it's about what God says. It is about pleasing our Father. It is about living as models of Jesus.

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  37. You know to actually get death threats is incomprehensible! I do agree with her on this point,I also believe there are some special circumstances. If your spouse divorced you, then you have nothing to worry about don't you? I believe this has to do with how our society is so willing to walk away from a marriage because they are having a rough time. I have gotten a divorce, if I had not I believe I would be dead.That marriage was so abusive, that for my and my youngest son's safety we had to leave and make it legal. All that said I had to repent to the Lord for getting myself in the situation and for getting a divorce. Stop taking offense and think about this for a second. Even if you did get a divorce that is what grace is for. Look deep into your spirit and ask if you need to repent. Have you stopped to look at the things in the Bible that tell us how to live? It is there to protect us, not to cause a huge confrontation. Think about it. What does divorce cause? I had a counselor tell me one time that divorce is worse than losing a spouse in death, because you still have to deal with that person. That does not include what it does to the children! It is a ripping of the spirit because you were as one. I have been married to my current husband for almost 20 years now and we are incredibly happy with each other. We have had a hard time at times, but we also made the vow that divorce is not an option. I believe the Lord put us together and we are equally yoked. But let me tell you who the true victims of my first marriage and divorce are, my boys. One had to go with his dad, and one stayed with me. We were very dysfunctional. The children have to live with our mistakes even though I am forgiven by the Father,that is a consequence. So before you take offense to this blog sit and pray to our Father and search yourself. There is Grace and God can make all things that are bad into good, there are still flesh consequences. God Bless all of you that read this blog and I pray for your safety.

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  38. Victoria,
    You are awesome! To the "anonymous" that wrote "I really believe that if "the children of God" would realize that a true child of God does not sin" I so do not agree with that. My understanding is this, we are all sinners and we all fall short, however we must stop and repent right then. Repentance means learning and hearing from God and trying consciencely not to make that same mistake again! I have sinned and the Lord has forgiven me every time I have repented. The Lord is with me and shows me everyday and every second where he is. The so totally amazing thing about our Father is that he forgives us just like Jesus forgave the lady who committed adultery and was going to be stoned. So everyone take a deep breath and listen to the Lord speak to you in your spirit and through the Word.

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  39. Wow! Victoria...you and I have had this same conversation in the past! You may not recall it...but I will never forget it! Talk about condemnation!!! My choises are my own. My decisions are my own. I am accountable for them. No one else. I will stand before my Lord and Savior and will be judged by Him...not the world! Praise God! I can tell you that I clearly heard the voice of God when I cried out in to the darkness night after night...month after month...year after year. Did He tell me to divorce? "No!" He told me to seperate myself from the sin of my marriage. So I did just that! My husband is called to preach! However, the plan of the enemy was to stop his calling, as is always his plan. My husband used scripture to manipulate me! His manipulation ultimately lead me right in to the arms of God...which is where I needed to be! I studied the scriptures on divorce...until I could quote them in my sleep. I chose, knowing full well God's desire to heal my marriage, to leave my husband. His adultry, and drug abuse lead to my not only contracting numerous STD's, I also faced a termnal diagnosis of Cancer. During which time, as his wife...I was forbidden to refuse intimacy with him which ultimately lead to yet another STD while undergoing radiation treatments after surgery for cancer. I stand before you healed...praise God! Healed of cancer, and yeilded to all that God has called me to do. My testimony, and the testimonies of the women who defend thier decision to divorce for what ever reason brings glory to God. I survived 17 years of sexual abuse and rape as a child with God by my side! I survived, praise God sickness and a disease that had I not had faith in healing, would have inevitably killed me. I too have a purpose! Does God heal...without a doubt! Can he restore...without a doubt! Is it His will to divorce...never! I give God praise for continued growth in Him! Wisdom, revelation...change! I am not the same woman today that I was before divorce. Would I do it again...no! No because it is not His will...nor was it mine to end my marriage. I still love my husband...I thank God for placing him in my life because it was his actions that lead me to the truth of who God is, and who I am in Christ! He lead me to the bible...which before had only sat on a shelf in my home gathering dust. His actions drove me to study to show myself approved. Although the motivation behind my studying was not biblically sound because I was trying to learn the scripture to prove to my husband that I too had value, ultimately the end result was a part of God's plan. Certain that the 'debate' will go on, I would just like to say that the God I serve loves me, beyond measure. I have repented, and pray that along with my other multitudes of sin, that He has forgiven me. I stand alone, single in the worldly sense because I made a decision to serve God without the distraction of someone elses clouded decisions. My 'head' failed me! My husband chose the world over the truth of God's word. He preferred crack, alcohol and sexual adultry over our covenented marriage. I have children, grand children whom I pray see the truth of who God is in me. I also pray that my grand daughters see strength in me. Strength that is freely given to me by God to stand! Stand even when others would fall. Faith to move mountains...to walk on water! Faith that marriage, that love...1 Corin 13 love, does exist! As I look into my destiny, knowing that I will be used...knowing that I am chosen, I do so as a divorced woman. Still anointed...still chosen...still filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and called to heal the sick! Victoria...share the truth of His word! Stand strong in your understanding, you interpritation of the bible! Stand strong in faith that you are doing what God has called you to do. Your teaching, prayers and outreach is powerfully anointed by God. I believe though, and am unaffriad to say, that though divorced...I too will do "greater things than these!" Blessings and love in Christ! RS

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  40. Hello Sisters in Christ,
    I have been extremely encouraged by this blog, its previous posts, and today's post. While I have experienced marital difficulties, I was encouraged to have been reminded of James 1:2-5. God is doing a work, and I am thankful that He is doing anything at all in my life. These trials come not only in marriage, but in many other parts of life. I hope that you are encouraged in the midst of your trials and are reminded that God is maturing you and working to make you complete.

    May you have a blessed day! And thanks for the encouragement, Victoria! :)

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  41. as everything in the bible, divorce too is such a personal matter.
    I think it has time and purpose, IF needed.

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