IS DIVORCE A SIN?

 

Cape Town-20130919-01088

I posted a blog on “The promise to never divorce”.  A friend of mine responded to that blog and I posted her response “The other side of divorce”.  The links to these blogs are below.

http://godspromisebook.blogspot.com/2014/04/noelene-curryspassion-in-life-is-for.html

http://godspromisebook.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-other-side-of-divorce.html

In response to these posts another friend sent me an email commenting on what we had written.  He has been happily married to the same woman for many, many years and I asked him if I could share his email and my response to it.  He very graciously agreed that I could.

I found what he wrote moving and insightful and feel he expresses and captures the pain of divorce in a very real way.

HIS EMAIL IN RESPONSE TO  ‘THE OTHER SIDE OF DIVORCE’ AND ‘THE PROMISE TO NEVER DIVORCE’:

This is a very good perspective from somebody who has been through the agonising road of divorce. Thanks for sharing. Only one comment from a non writer but I feel this needs to be said, given the comments about having sinned when divorced. So here goes:

Whether we have sinned or not is only for God to judge, not man.

Firstly let me say that I firmly believe and hold onto the ideal that when one marries, it is for life. For better or worse. That is my belief and I am very grateful that I have married a stunning woman who shares this ideal.

But in many cases, the pain and suffering that people go through in a failed marriage, and the people around them, is a huge burden to carry, and as this person puts it, more harmful than separation. To call it sinful in those cases to divorce is not our call to make. God knows the heart. He knows the person. He knows the circumstances. He loved us into life, he loves us through life and he guides our thoughts and deeds if we let him. Too many people live with tremendous guilt when they get divorced and find it difficult to reconcile this with what they have been taught in catechism. And victims of abuse in marriage and unfaithfulness live with enough of a burden. To have to also deal with getting out of that marriage being labelled sinful is probably even a tougher form of internal abuse caused by the turmoil between what their faith tells them and their situation. The two together are two big reasons abused people cannot bring themselves to getting out of an abusive situation, or leave it too late.

So to people in those situations I say. Be close to God. Live a life guided by His teaching as best you can. When things are tough, confide in Him. When things are going well, thank Him. And when things go wrong, ask Him for guidance, listen to His answer and trust in Him. And the decisions you take when you truly believe they are guided by Him will not leave you wanting. Let Him be the ultimate judge as to how you have lived your life, not man.

MY RESPONSE:

I just want to say that neither my friend or I would ever presume to judge anyone about divorce.  We are far from perfect ourselves and that verse “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”  (Romans 3:23) applies to me on a regular basis!

When I say that divorce is a sin,  I am stating a fact – not judging.  I realise that we can spend a long time discussing the semantics of ‘judgement’ versus ‘factual’ but I will try and explain what I mean.  God Himself calls it a sin.  That is a fact.
In Malachi 2:16 God says “I hate divorce”
When we get married we vow before God not to get divorced “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder”.  This is a promise that we make to God – breaking that promise is a sin.
Lying, stealing, cheating, murder are sins.  When we say someone has lied, which is a sin, we are not judging – we are stating a fact.  Again we could argue about semantics here!

This is why it is so liberating when God says He will forgive us our sins (when we say sorry to him for breaking our vows of marriage that we made before Him and to Him) and will remember them no more.
There is healing and freedom and a future after a divorce and we don’t have to ‘carry’ that pain and  hurt and guilt with us if we believe in Jesus Christ. (after a grieving process of course).

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”.  (Matthew 7:1 & 2)

Advertisements

IF ANYONE IS LOOKING FOR ME, I AM ON THE UPPER ROAD!

Bucket-Road-6

I’m going by the upper road, for that still holds the sun

I’m climbing through night’s pastures where the starry rivers run;

If you should think to seek me in my old dark abode,

You’ll find this writing on the door,

“She’s on the Upper Road.” (selected)

We sit and weep in vain, while the voice of the Almighty tells us to never stop moving upward and onward. (Streams in the Desert)”

God is in Heaven and all is well with my world. I am walking on the Upper Road and before I turn to the right or the left I will stop and listen for God’s voice, saying “This is the way; walk in it”. (Isaiah 30:21)

Tomorrow I will continue my journey upward in the knowledge that it is through the trials, the hardships, the pain, the disappointments, the joy, the happiness, the blessings – that it is through all these things I am growing into a woman God can be proud of and rejoice over.

It is because of my past – the good past and the not so good past – that I have searched my soul and assessed my character and realized that I needed to change. I have more empathy towards others and judge far less. I am able to forgive easier (especially myself), I am able to write about His faithfulness. I am able to love deeper because the hurt and pain have somehow shaped me into a more caring person.

I have witnessed that He is a God who still performs miracles, that He is a God with the most wonderful sense of humor. I am able to be more open and honest with others. AND it is because of this past that I am able to look forward to the future with joy and hope and courage because my future is encompassed by Him.

Today, I just want to thank God for me and for you!

MIXED MARRIAGES and God’s Family!!

IMG-20140523-WA000

In Psalm 127 it says “children are a gift from the Lord – they are a blessing”.  In spiritual terms a gift means any endowment that comes through God’s grace.

This means that each one of us started our lives as a blessing.  God had a purpose and a plan for each one of us before we were even born.  And yet, most of us fall so far short of what God had planned for our lives.  I am the daughter of an Almighty God.  We are all children of an Almighty God.  We need to start behaving like God’s children. In Psalm 127 it says “children are a gift from the Lord – they are a blessing”.  In spiritual terms a gift means any endowment that comes through God’s grace.

Once you accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour you become a member of God’s family. Ephesians 1:5 tells us that God predestined us to be adopted as His sons and daughters through Jesus Christ.

So whether you like it or not you are part of God’s family and there are going to be some members in the family that you are just not going to like!  You won’t get on with all the members and at times may feel frustrated and angry and hurt by the members of this family.  But, on the other hand, there will be some members that you will love dearly and who will care for you and love you in return – basically it is the same as living in any earthly family!  Just as we cannot chose what family we will be born into physically we also cannot choose the members in God’s family.

The fact that as believers we all belong to one family was brought forcibly to my attention recently.  I have a friend whose son is a Believer and who joined an internet Christian dating agency.  He met this lovely lady from the Philippines on line and they started chatting and then skyping each other.  The relationship developed over cyberspace and eventually he flew over to the Philippines to meet this lady and her family.  Her family and her are also believers.

The couple decided to get married and my friend asked me to pray for them.  Both families were struggling with the fact that the couple came from different cultures, spoke different languages and knew so little of each other’s lives.  The only common ground they really had was Jesus Christ.  As  I was praying for them one morning I came across the following verses in
Ephesians (2: 19 – 22) “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone.  In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.”

If we are believers we are not foreigners to each other.  We are all part of God’s family and with Christ as the cornerstone of our relationships we will overcome any difficulties and challenges that we may have with each other as long as we continue to pray together and worship our Lord together.  God calls us to live in one family by His Holy Spirit.

The following video is about five minutes long.  If you have the time – sit back, listen to the words, relax and enjoy it!  To me this video sums up what the Family of God is all about.  It does not matter whether you are white or black, Chinese or Indian, a Zulu or a Xhosa etc, whether you are male or female, whether you are disabled or not – if you are a believer in Jesus Christ you are joined together with all other Believers no matter who you are or where you are in the world!

The title of the song is “Stand by me” and God, Himself, has promised to stand by us always.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1276623088715&set=vb.1624134122&type=2&theater  (face book)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cI_0Hyn57Lk  (you tube)