I was going to write a parody on a ridiculous post: 10 Women Christian Men Should Not Marry. But as I read through some of the many comments it garnered, I decided to go a different route.
Most of the comments zeroed in on #2 – the divorcee. I have something to say about that, too. And since comments are closed on the post, I’ll weigh in here:
My first husband divorced me after six years of marriage. We had a two year old. His reason for leaving us? He didn’t want to be married anymore and God wanted him to be happy. “No,” I said, “God wants you to be a man of integrity, a promise-keeper.” But with no-fault I had no say.
I lamented that my life was irreparably ruined. Sin was foisted upon me and there was nothing I could do about it. And then my friend, to whom I was lamenting, simply said, “God can forgive sin.” Whoa! What? My life isn’t over? It still felt over.
For years I did not date because I was not sure Scripture allowed me to remarry, so what was the point? But God showed me through Scripture that He held my ex-husband accountable, not me. He also showed me that He likes marriage, it was His idea and He would prefer that I rear my daughter in the context of one. How will she know what a good marriage looks like if I don’t model one?
So I began to open up to the idea.
About that time a male friend mentioned that he would never marry a divorced woman. Damaged goods and all. I told him he might miss out on someone really great. Someone like me.
When I married my first husband, I did not believe in divorce. My parents were divorced and I knew the pain it causes. Life with him was not easy but I was committed to sticking it out. My commitment to the long haul was tested and true.
My first husband, who grew up in a Christian home with parents whose marriage lasted until death did they part, also had his commitment tested. His commitment failed.
On paper he looked like a solid investment – reared in a Christian home, parents still married.
On paper I looked like a risky investment – reared in a non-Christian home, parents divorced.
And yet his commitment failed and mine did not.
You never know for sure what will come out of a person until marriage squeezes them. My friend who would never marry a divorced woman is still single these many years later. If he does find someone to marry, someone who looks good on paper, it is still a gamble. I think he will have a greater guarantee of success if he marries someone whose commitment to marriage has been tested and proved solid.
The pastor who wrote the post, the one I yesterday called vile, evil or sorely misguided, once again played fast and loose with the Scriptures. The examples are many. I pulled this one from the comment section:
Andy, I live in New York State where gay marriage is legal. What happens if you get saved after a gay marriage? Well, you must immediately leave the gay marriage and cease from the sin of homosexuality.
Same thing here. What happens if you get saved after a 2nd marriage? Well, now that you know it’s adultery, you immediately forsake the 2nd “marriage” and cease from the sin of adultery.
“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
What? Two wrongs make a right? Repent from the sin of divorce by committing the sin of divorce?
And don’t go misinterpreting Jesus’s words. The woman was not married to the man with whom she was committing adultery.
If I could, I would ask that pastor what he would do with David. David clearly committed adultery with Bathsheba, then married her. When Nathan finally confronted him, marrying Bathsheba was not on God’s list of grievances:
Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 2 Samuel 12:9
Yes, God hates divorce. Not for the sake of hating it but because it hurts people. He also hates judgment and gossip and slander and lies and haughty eyes because those things hurt people, too. They hurt the people He loves. Of course He does.
I’ll give Jesus the final word:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” both from Matthew 23