If you have an income, are healthy, and your wife wants a baby and is healthy, there probably isn’t a valid excuse to delay children

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If you have an income, are healthy, and your wife wants a baby and is healthy, there probably isn’t a valid excuse to delay children

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What if

the couple tries real hard (sorry can't get more vivid this place is rated G) and God says no.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

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Really Creepy

This is really creepy. It starts off being oddly specific in a 1950s way - working husband with wife who wants children. Then it puts a lot of very specific words and feelings into the wife's mouth that an essayist probably shouldn't. It has a creepy patriarchal edge - the wife can't tell the husband what she's feeling because she "respects" him. Then the passive-aggressive gets turned on males: "I really hope that your lack of response to your wife comes from a lack of understanding her and her situation. I really hope it’s not a lack of maturity or biblical thinking or love that’s behind this delay."

There are so many weird rhetorical moves and odd assumptions about gender and how married couples relate that this is just icky.

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Creepy, Icky, Freakish

Charlie wrote:

This is really creepy.

'I really hope that your lack of response to your wife comes from a lack of understanding her and her situation. I really hope it’s not a lack of maturity or biblical thinking or love that’s behind this delay.'

...this is just icky.

Creepy, icky -- I would've used the word "freakish"...

Love the last paragraph and the assumptions contained therein, as though couples without children (or with a low number - say, "sub-Duggar") are sitting around thinking, "Well, we could have a baby, but -- BMW is introducing a new 4 series next year..."

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+1 for Obviousness

“Wants” might not be the right word; it might make her desire seem less serious. Did you know that your wife spends a lot of time crying about this – when you’re not around, because she doesn’t want to upset you or disrespect you? She calls her friends up when she needs to talk about this and they do their best to comfort her, but it’s really not much. She avoids the baby section of the grocery store because one time she went through it and ended up sobbing in the parking lot without the groceries. She is not being a suck. She is suffering.

Well, the author at least gets points for being transparently manipulative.  That ought to count for something...but I'm not sure what.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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Disagree

Sadly, this is the exact situation my sister is going through. She has been married for almost 7 years. No children. For a while now, she has been thinking about and desiring to have children. But when she talks to her husband, he comes up with excuses for why they shouldn't have any right now. He claims they can't afford it. Though both of them are teachers and live in Colorado Springs, and didn't pay too much for their house. 

I feel bad for her because I know he probably just doesn't want any kids. She is 31 years old, so she still has time. But I wonder if that is a valid reason for divorce. If you marry someone, and then later you find out they don't want to have children, are they not denying you something that is your right, according to the Bible?

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Christian,   No its not a

Christian,

 

No its not a valid reason for divorce. 

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Catholic Ethics

According to Catholic canon law, one can get an annulment if the other spouse is unwilling to have children. Protestants have varied approaches to this. Depriving a spouse of children used to be considered a very serious offense. Part of the optional approach to children was softening that line. I'm torn, b/c I don't agree with Catholics that procreation is the primary justification for marriage, but I do tend to think that such a fundamental disagreement about the purpose of marriage could be a reason to dissolve a relationship. 

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Christian

Divorce is a concession to sinful people, and the only Biblical grounds are adultery. I would encourage your sister to seek counsel from her Pastor; I think this is an issue that needs to be addressed by him. It is a heart-wrenching situation.

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Il. He blogs here

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Charlie wrote: According to

Charlie wrote:

According to Catholic canon law, one can get an annulment if the other spouse is unwilling to have children. Protestants have varied approaches to this. Depriving a spouse of children used to be considered a very serious offense. Part of the optional approach to children was softening that line. I'm torn, b/c I don't agree with Catholics that procreation is the primary justification for marriage, but I do tend to think that such a fundamental disagreement about the purpose of marriage could be a reason to dissolve a relationship. 

It seems it would be a biblical reason to avoid a marriage relationship, but not to dissolve one.

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TylerR wrote: Divorce is a

TylerR wrote:

Divorce is a concession to sinful people, and the only Biblical grounds are adultery. I would encourage your sister to seek counsel from her Pastor; I think this is an issue that needs to be addressed by him. It is a heart-wrenching situation.

Where does the bible teach that adultery is a biblical basis for divorce?

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Chip

Mt 19:9. Obviously, reconciliation is the goal and adultery is not a trump card (e.g. "Yes, she cheated and now I'm outta here!").

 

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Tyler, what Christian has the

Tyler, what Christian has the right to have a hard heart?

Failure to have children is not grounds for marriage.  Children neither make nor break the marriage covenant, which is to be picture of Christ and the church.  The marriage relationship trumps the parent/child relationship.

One might wonder why she married this guy with such an obvious character flaw, but many men just refuse to grow up and take responsibility.  They want the sex without the responsibility.

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I don't know

I don't know if my sister ever talked to her husband about children before they got engaged. It is possible they did, and he lied to her about whether he wished to have children. It is also possible that she naively assumed that he would want children. Or maybe she was afraid to ask.

I know that sometimes when we date we are afraid to bring up certain topics for fear of finding out the answer.

I know that the times I have gone on dates, I have been guilty of not asking important questions, such as "how many boyfriends have you had", "would you like to have children one day?", or the hardest one of all... "are you a virgin?".

I guess I am afraid of what I might hear. I know the type of person I am, and I know I would begin to form mental pictures in my head and not be able to see the person the same way.

 

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I always cover the Children

I always cover the Children question in premarital counseling.    She should have known before they were married.  Very sad that he did not tell her. 

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Not the point

Rob Fall wrote:

the couple tries real hard (sorry can't get more vivid this place is rated G) and God says no.

The author does seem to be addressing those husbands who have taken intentional measures to prevent pregnancy.

I do think some of you might have somewhat of a point in your observations about tone and such, but at the same time, there are plenty of professing believers who, right or wrong, live in what you might deem a more antiquated approach.

Regardless, the intentional delay of children for very long after a marriage begins seems at best unwise. What one might lack in finances or material preparedness is easily overcome with any kind of resourcefulness, and youthful energy and stamina is a decided benefit when raising an infant the first time (not that life experience can't also be an asset). 

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Maturity

A couple who think they 'aren't ready' to have kids probably shouldn't get married. After all, 'accidents' happen. 

I've personally known one couple in a similar situation, where the wife wanted kids and he didn't. He finally agreed to children, but told her they were her responsibility since he didn't want them. He's a preacher, by the way. :/ So I don't doubt that this kind of husband and wife dynamic exists.

Personally, if I was in the situation of desiring children with a man who didn't, I'd just deal with it. Yeah, I might be upset, but if I committed to marriage with such a man, I believe it's my responsibility to deal with it. I would think it a nightmare to bring kids into this world with a father who was reluctant to have them. I'm not talking the natural 'fears' of the huge responsibility of parenthood, but someone who, as the article describes, simply doesn't want kids for selfish (freedom, money, immaturity) reasons. This marital divide definitely requires counseling, but even so, I don't know that I'd ever trust the man enough to bring kids into the world with him. The implications of bearing children with a reluctant and uninvolved father are staggering, IMO.

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TylerR wrote: Mt 19:9.

TylerR wrote:

Mt 19:9. Obviously, reconciliation is the goal and adultery is not a trump card (e.g. "Yes, she cheated and now I'm outta here!").

 

I assumed you were talking about Matthew, since Matthew 5 and 19 contain the only explicit clauses permitting divorce. However, in both cases, twice in chapter 5 and once in chapter 19, Jesus actually uses the term for adultery, just not in the exception clause - if you divorce outside of the exception clause, you cause adultery. Whatever the exception clause is specifically referencing, it seems to be textually clear that it is not adultery. A useful book I was given years ago by my pastor is called The Divorce Myth by J. Carl Laney. You may not come to the exact same conclusions as the author (I did not) but it does a good job of working through the issue from scripture. 

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such conflicted feelings

doesn't it raise that?

Just my personal experience, but I think that the desire for a child is probably the strongest desire many women will ever experience, even more than the desire to marry. This is why infertility is so excruciating.

There are exceptions to this, and I know one personally Biggrin

To send some kindness toward the author (and I have no idea who this is), I think she's addressing a very particular type of situation--a man doesn't want kids for apparently selfish reasons. She's not addressing every reason for childlessness known to mankind.

And it's true that statistically, conceiving after 35 (or 40? I forget which) is much, much harder.

I honestly don't agree that motherhood is a calling. That kind of irks me. I just think it's the normal state, esp for the married. We don't have to answer the feminists by somehow ultra-glorifying it.

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rogercarlson wrote: I always

rogercarlson wrote:

I always cover the Children question in premarital counseling.    She should have known before they were married.  Very sad that he did not tell her. 

I have also Roger. I agree that it is sad she did not know this before hand, though perhaps the husband has changed his mind over time. Either way, very sad. However, not an excuse for divorce.

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Puritans

i was recently perusing a book on Puritans, and infertility/childlessness was a reason they allowed for divorce. It was interesting to read what they allowed divorce for!

Neither here nor there just a factoid from respected Christians in the past.

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I have never seen that before

I have never seen that before Anne. Could you pass along the reference so I can do some more reading myself?

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Well, I still think that

Well, I still think that choosing not to give your spouse any children, when the spouse wants them, is a great evil. It is denying your spouse one of the greatest blessings there is in life.

I remember the story in the Bible of the woman who lost her husband and was childless. Her brother in law was then required to have sexual relations with her to give her a child. But when the brother in law slept with her, he wasted his semen on the ground, because he did not want to share his inheritance with this woman's child. What did God do? He struck that man dead.

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it's this book:
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I am honestly amazed anyone

I am honestly amazed anyone looks at the puritans as these great models of christianity.  Thanks for posting Anne.  This is more reason to reject their nonsense.

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Chip

Matthew 19:9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.

 

Can you please elaborate a little more. As I read the above verse, the "exception clause" is that the other spouse has committed sexual immorality (ie adultery). How are you reading it?

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Mark_Smith wrote: Matthew

Mark_Smith wrote:

Matthew 19:9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.

 

Can you please elaborate a little more. As I read the above verse, the "exception clause" is that the other spouse has committed sexual immorality (ie adultery). How are you reading it?

Mark,

Your bolding makes my point - two different words are used and adultery is not used in the exception clause. The word translated sexual immorality is porneia; the word translated adultery is moichao. The second specifically means intercourse with another's spouse - adultery. The first is a much different term loosely referring to inappropriate sexual conduct. I think there is a reason why an "exception clause" is only included in Matthew and why Jesus gives this exception clause in almost the same breath that He affirms marriage to be a life-long, indissoluble relationship. 

 

Give the book a read; it's not a huge volume. I think you would find it interesting even if you don't come to agreement.

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tease tease

Just give us the upshot.  Infidelity during Jewish betrothal period or what??

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DavidO wrote: Just give us

DavidO wrote:

Just give us the upshot.  Infidelity during Jewish betrothal period or what??

That's what Laney concludes, though he does offer three (I think) possible solutions. I personally think it's more a matter of God's rejection of an illegitimate marriage, one that God never recognized as a real marriage in the first place - like a marriage between a brother and a sister. These two could have a ceremony, live together, have children and be accepted by their friends and family, but they are really never a husband and wife from God's perspective. Gay marriage today would be the same. A gay couple who have a marriage ceremony would be justified in later dissolving the relationship if one (or both) gets saved and realizes their sin.

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Chip are talking the

Chip are talking the Ryrie/Laney position? That is something I need to read up on.

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It appears so...

Laney offers more than one possible conclusion, and memory indicates he leans toward the unfaithful betrothal explanation. I am more inclined to his second suggestion of the illegitimate marriage. I have done little reading of what Ryrie wrote specifically on divorce and remarriage, though I did peruse this article recently, and my brief scan suggests he also supports the illegitimate marriage understanding (see page 189 in particular).

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why Matthew?

Chip,
I am curious if you think there is a reason that Matthew included the "exception clause" and neither of the other synoptics did? Does that have any impact on how one might understand Jesus' meaning?

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It appears each of the

It appears each of the gospels has a particular audience in mind which slightly shifts the focus from one to the other. Matthew appears to be directed particularly toward a Jewish audience. If that is true, then the clauses appearance only in Matthew likely has roots somehow in a Jewish cultural understanding. 

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And it is significant that

And it is significant that Matthew, who is the only one who mentions the exception clause, is the only one who mentions Joseph was intending to divorce Mary during their betrothal, and calls him a "just man" for wanting to do so.

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So to make a long story short

is the position of Laney that there is no "legitimate" divorce since we don't have a formal betrothal period in our culture?

 

If that is the case, what would you recommend to a woman, say mother of 2, whose husband suddenly went off the deep end and developed a gambling and meth addiction, and is visiting prostitutes, and is therefore completely destroying the family. Can she seek a divorce to protect herself and her kids physically and financially under this Laney system? I assume she has sought counsel with her pastor and maybe professional marriage counseling all to no avail.

 

I have seen the above scenario twice with small detail differences! What is your advice?

 

I guess what I am asking is can a person seek a divorce for physical protection and health of themselves and children under the proviso of not getting remarried...or are they free to marry again? I realize there are plenty of books one could read, but nothing like a live discussion!

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Greg Long wrote: And it is

Greg Long wrote:

And it is significant that Matthew, who is the only one who mentions the exception clause, is the only one who mentions Joseph was intending to divorce Mary during their betrothal, and calls him a "just man" for wanting to do so.

Actually, Greg, the text describes Joseph as a "a just man and unwilling to put her to shame" (ESV) who "resolved to divorce her quietly".  It doesn't actually comment on whether or not he was right to divorce her.  After all, he was supposed to follow OT law and announce her as an adulteress to be stoned, if I remember correctly.

Hairsplitting?  Maybe, but I read that as a description of his character and not as an endorsement of the potential divorce.

Someone mentioned 1 Cor 7 and the conjugal rights passage in the context of if a person can divorce their spouse over kids - It should be noted that the withholding of conjugal rights (NOT the withholding of children) is described there.   To argue that a person can get a Scripturally permissible divorce because a spouse won't give the other children goes quite a bit further than that passage goes.

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Betrothal View

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Laney offers more than one possible conclusion, and memory indicates he leans toward the unfaithful betrothal explanation. I am more inclined to his second suggestion of the illegitimate marriage. I have done little reading of what Ryrie wrote specifically on divorce and remarriage, though I did peruse (Ryrie's "Biblical Teaching on Divorce and Remarriage") article recently, and my brief scan suggests he also supports the illegitimate marriage understanding (see page 189 in particular).

My former pastor preached a sermon advocating the Betrothal View (which I was unfamiliar with).

From Ryrie's book (p.187)

Ryrie wrote:
The betrothal view builds on the fact that in Judaism a betrothed or engaged couple were considered "husband" and "wife." Jewish betrothal was a legal contract which could only be broken by formal divorce or by death. If the betrothed proved unfaithful during the period of betrothal or was discovered on the first night not to be a virgin, then the contract could be broken. This is why Joseph was going to divorce Mary when he discovered that she was pregnant (Matt 1:19).

According to this view, then, porneia means premarital sexual intercourse (possibly John 8:41), and the exception then permits breaking the marriage contract with divorce when unfaithfulness is discovered during the betrothal period. The inclusion of the exception clause in Matthew's gospel only is explained as appropriate to the Jewish makeup of the audience that would have originally read the gospel. Isaksson points out that this is actually not a divorce, but "it was a matter of cancelling an unfulfilled contract of sale, because one of the parties had tricked the other as to the nature of the goods, when the price was fixed.” This was an exception Jesus had to make if he did not want to side with the swindler instead of the person swindled. Because the marriage would not have been consummated, if unfaithfulness was discovered during the year-long betrothal period, the man would be free to marry someone else.

From David W Jones The Betrothal View of Divorce and Remarriage

Jones wrote:
(p.69) Advocates of this view, then, believe that the Bible prohibits marriage partners from actively seeking a divorce, since the exception clause refers to a nuptial custom not followed today.

(p.73) …by showing that the clause does not constitute an actual exception, thereby making the Matthean divorce pericopes compatible with other biblical passages that seemingly prohibit the practice of divorce and remarriage. Advocates of the betrothal view adopt this latter approach, holding that the exception clause refers to a facet of the Jewish practice of betrothal.

(p.77) An appeal to the Jewish context of Matthew's Gospel is made by the majority of advocates of the betrothal view.

(Jones article and a host of other articles on marriage are available at Wise Reaction)

From my perspective, it appears that this view works too hard to make the Matthean exception clause fit with the passages that prohibit remarriage after divorce. The premise seems to be that there can be no exception, so what appears to be an exception in Matthew, must be explained some other way. Admittedly, my perspective is conditioned on my first hearing the view expressed. My pastor used the word 'misunderstood' implying that the plain reading of the passage was incorrect, but didn't give a full explanation of his view, not even identifying it by name. I recognized it as his view when reading articles advocating the view.

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I don't like that betrothal

I don't like that betrothal view. Let's just say all churches began to teach that view of marriage. If you say that there is no legitimate reason for someone to divorce their spouse, wouldn't that make it more enticing for some people to practice adultery, knowing that the spouse cannot leave the marriage? Unless the person also wishes to commit adultery by getting a divorce, he/she has no choice but to put up with the spouse's unfaithful ways.

 

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Luke and Mark do not include

Luke and Mark do not include the exception clause.  Why is it that only Matthew does?  Matthew is the only one to mention Joseph and Mary.

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And it is significant that

And it is significant that Matthew, who is the only one who mentions the exception clause, is the only one who mentions Joseph was intending to divorce Mary during their betrothal, and calls him a "just man" for wanting to do so.

Just to be clear, Matthew does not call him a just man for wanting to do so, but called him a just man, which led to his desire to terminate the engagement. It probably wasn't that his justness followed his desire, but that his justness led to his desire. He was well within "justness" to be willing to stay in the relationship (and in fact, that's what he did and remained just).

There are several problems with the betrothal view,

First, it doesn't address the question asked since the Pharisees were not asking about betrothal but about marriage. While it is true that betrothal required a divorce, it wasn't marriage; it still required marriage. Furthermore, this position leads to the rather odd conclusion that the only way to break a betrothal was on account of sexual infidelity.

Second, the betrothal view places a higher value on sexual fidelity prior to marriage than it does during marriage. So one could pursue a divorce if the sexual faithfulness was prior to the marriage but not if it was during the marriage. If betrothal was the same kind of commitment as marriage (as some argue), then this makes no sense at all. If it was a different kind of commitment, then the whole view falls apart anyway.

Third, it uses the same word in the same verse to refer to both a married woman and an unmarried woman, something that is grammatically (almost) impossible (at least without making mincemeat of language itself). These is a brief summary of Edgar's arguments against the betrothal view in House's Four Views book (pp. 173-77). It is worth reading and studying before one adopts the betrothal view.

To try to ascertain why Matthew included it and others didn't, and attribute it to his defense of Joseph is an exercise in mind reading of the ancients. That could be done in any number of the parallel passages in the gospel without much fruit. Probably better just to accept that he said it (actually probably that he represents Jesus as saying it), and adjust our views to fit the text.

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I have read Edgar's argument

I have read Edgar's argument and found them wanting.  I am surprised anyone actually still advances some of these points.

The pharisees asked specifically why Moses commanded divorce.  Jesus made it clear that it was for an exception, which was not adultery, since adultery was punishable by death.  So whatever the exception was, it wasn't adultery.

Sex does not create marriage.  Neither does it break marriage.  Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church.  If a person was unable to have sex, the marriage doesn't dissolve.  The betrothal period however was a time of expectation.  If a person rejected the expected marriage BY having sex with another person, then the choice was made to not continue in marriage.

Why the size of their vocabulary was a limited as it was doesn't hurt the betrothal view.

I find it a valuable and legitimate question as to why 2/3 of synoptics didn't bother to record the exception clause.  You find some absurd comparison because it isn't your view.  That is fine.

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James

James, Moses didn't command divorce, he permitted it. Big difference there.

And what would you do if you found your wife cheating on you with another man? What if you were unable to reconcile to her and she moved out of the house to go live with another man? Would you call it committing adultery to divorce her and find another wife. 

 

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Christian, Ryrie's wife

Christian, Ryrie's wife divorced him at least fifty years ago and he never remarried.

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Well, I don't care what Ryrie

Well, I don't care what Ryrie did. I care what the scriptures mean.

And I believe the application would be different considering the times we live in. Since we can't divorce someone we are engaged to. We can only divorce someone we are married to.

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christian cerna wrote:James,

christian cerna wrote:

James, Moses didn't command divorce, he permitted it. Big difference there.

And what would you do if you found your wife cheating on you with another man? What if you were unable to reconcile to her and she moved out of the house to go live with another man? Would you call it committing adultery to divorce her and find another wife. 

 

Christian, I didn't say Moses commanded divorce.  I said that the pharisees asked Jesus why Moses commanded divorce.

My hope would be that I obeyed the commands of scripture over my own painful experience and didn't compound the problem with a new marriage.

I do think that remarriage is adultery.  That is the clear and explicit saying of Jesus.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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christian cerna wrote:I

christian cerna wrote:

I don't like that betrothal view. Let's just say all churches began to teach that view of marriage. If you say that there is no legitimate reason for someone to divorce their spouse, wouldn't that make it more enticing for some people to practice adultery, knowing that the spouse cannot leave the marriage? Unless the person also wishes to commit adultery by getting a divorce, he/she has no choice but to put up with the spouse's unfaithful ways.

 

Christian,

you sound an awful lot like the disciples after Jesus told them that marriage was intended by God to be for life and that anyone who married a divorced woman was committing adultery (notice that there is no exception clause offered for this offense). Matthew 19:10

In effect, they were saying, "If we can't get a divorce for any reason, then maybe we should avoid this whole marriage business. I mean, who wants to get into something they can never get out of?"

The mentality that something must be incorrect because we do not like it is dangerous. Our question should not be what interpretation makes us comfortable or gives us the most freedom, it should be what did Jesus mean? While there may be legitimate disagreement about that, let it be based in the text itself and not in our feelings about the text.

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christian cerna wrote: And I

christian cerna wrote:

And I believe the application would be different considering the times we live in. Since we can't divorce someone we are engaged to. We can only divorce someone we are married to.

We don't interpret Scripture based on our modern day marriage customs but on those of the culture in which and to which it was written. You are right that we do not divorce those to whom we are engaged, but the relationship between Mary and Joseph went way beyond simple engagement. There were legal responsibilities and expectations, and presumably Joseph had already paid a bride-price for Mary with the understanding that she was a virgin, but when he found out she was pregnant, he did what any other man would have done, he assumed she had lied about being a virgin. If she lied about this, then she was entering into a contract under false pretense, and this would nullify any obligation that Joseph had made, and give him the right to demand a refund.
Betrothal and the marriage ceremony in the Ancient Near East was a very different animal from engagement and the marriage ceremony today. As far as I know, it is not a custom in the USA to have the newly married couple spend their first night together with the wedding party waiting outside their tent to see the proof of their consummation and the woman's prior virginity on the bed sheet. Though we would find it disgusting, it was not uncommon for parents to display their daughter's sheet from her wedding night in their own home, proving beyond question that she had remained a virgin until marriage. Her faithfulness after marriage was her husband's responsibility, but her virginity before was her parents' and it carried with it great weight, if for no other reason than she would claim a higher bride-price as a virgin.
If we are going to understand what Jesus meant, we must deal with all of the trappings of ANE marriage customs, and not try to force his words to fit into our modern practices.

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The Divorce and Remarriage confusion

May I suggest that before you try to figure out the exceptions for divorce and remarriage, you examine the actually language which Christ uses in this discussions with the Pharisees?

There are two different words which have been translated into the English word divorce. One is a noun, one is a verb. The ESV has gone so far as to translate all of them as divorce. Yet that is not what the original language states. The Pharisees ask about a cultural custom using the verb, Jesus answers them with both the verb and the noun.

Reading the first Scriptural mention of divorce in Deut. 24 show us that the same language was used in the Hebrew.

Equating  the noun and the verb has caused confusion for centuries. One is an action, one is a legal description. They are not interchangable.

Apostasion

divorce, repudiation

    a bill of divorce

 
 

Apolyo

  to set free

    to let go, dismiss, (to detain no longer)

        a petitioner to whom liberty to depart is given by a decisive answer

        to bid depart, send away

    to let go free, release

        a captive i.e. to loose his bonds and bid him depart, to give him liberty to depart

        to acquit one accused of a crime and set him at liberty

        indulgently to grant a prisoner leave to depart

        to release a debtor, i.e. not to press one's claim against him, to remit his debt

    used of divorce, to dismiss from the house, to repudiate. The wife of a Greek or Roman may divorce her husband.

    to send one's self, to depart

 
Somehow it has become acceptable Biblical hermeneutic to transliterate  the two Greek (and Hebrew) words which have different tenses and meaning into the same word. This leads to confusion and inaccuracy.

kĕriythuwth

divorce, dismissal, divorcement

 

 shalach

  to send, send away, let go, stretch out

        (Qal)

            to send

            to stretch out, extend, direct

            to send away

            to let loose

        (Niphal) to be sent

        (Piel)

            to send off or away or out or forth, dismiss, give over, cast out

            to let go, set free

            to shoot forth (of branches)

            to let down

            to shoot

        (Pual) to be sent off, be put away, be divorced, be impelled

        (Hiphil) to send

 

Go examine the original text again. Read it without confusing the noun with the verb. Understand that the two are different. 

Then ask yourself how the Jews were trying to trick Jesus with their questions. 

Using the incorrect meaning of words was part of the trick.

And the modern church is using the meaning the Pharisees used. Which is not how Christ answered them.  

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I have read Edgar's argument

I have read Edgar's argument and found them wanting.  I am surprised anyone actually still advances some of these points.

That's revealing.

The pharisees asked specifically why Moses commanded divorce. 

That was actually the secondary question. The actual question was about whether or not divorce was permissible for any reason. They were trying to trap Jesus, likely between two rabbinic teachings. In the end, Jesus comes back to the question and says, Yes, divorce is permissible for porneia.

Jesus made it clear that it was for an exception, which was not adultery, since adultery was punishable by death.  So whatever the exception was, it wasn't adultery.

If by "it" you mean the command of Moses, then no, Jesus didn't make "it" clear. In fact, Jesus didn't really address Moses' concession except to say it was a concession and it was for hardness (though he doesn't specify whose hardness it was). 

But the exception that Jesus speaks of is porneia, a common word used for sexual immorality of all sorts. The idea that it is premarital sex and moicheia (adultery) is extramarital sex is not borne out by the actual usage of it. Here the people involved are married. The Pharisees weren't asking about how to get out of a betrothal.

Invoking the death penalty for adultery doesn't help support the betrothal view because sexual immorality of a betrothed person was also punished by death (Deut 22:13-21). So no matter what, death was the penalty.

The betrothal period however was a time of expectation.  If a person rejected the expected marriage BY having sex with another person, then the choice was made to not continue in marriage.

Yes, the the offending partner was stoned (Deut 22:13-21).

I find it a valuable and legitimate question as to why 2/3 of synoptics didn't bother to record the exception clause.  You find some absurd comparison because it isn't your view.  That is fine.

It might be a valuable and legitimate question, but it is not one we can answer because God hasn't given us one. As a cessationist, I am willing to leave it at that. But the one thing we can't do is ignore what it says, no matter how noble our intent might be.

Not sure what you mean by absurd comparison. I don't recall making any absurd comparison. I simply pointed out that the Gospels differ in their accounts of the same events, and we aren't told why. That has nothing to do with my view. I wasn't aware that anyone disputed that. But perhaps there are.

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We don't interpret Scripture

We don't interpret Scripture based on our modern day marriage customs but on those of the culture in which and to which it was written.

True, but we do have to apply them to our modern day marriage customs. And we do have to understand the Scriptures in their context. In their context, the Pharisees were asking about the divorce of married people, not about betrothed people.

But even if it is about betrothed people, we still have to apply the situation to today. So what happens when a spouse decide to leave a marriage and seek a divorce? The answer is that they are granted a divorce.

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Somehow it has become

Somehow it has become acceptable Biblical hermeneutic to transliterate  the two Greek (and Hebrew) words which have different tenses and meaning into the same word. This leads to confusion and inaccuracy.

These words aren't transliterated and it isn't hermeneutics. They are translated, and they are, in this context, virtually synonyms. Every language has them. The Pharisees question didn't hang on the distinction between the words. They ask about apoluo, and Jesus answers them about apoluo. Apostasian in only used in reference to the certificate of divorce, a question Jesus answers by talking about apoluo.

The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus between two rabbis; they weren't trying play word games.

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Just curious

How do people that fall into the 'no divorce permissible' camp handle this passage for the believing spouse who has been left behind?

To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

-I Cor. 7:12-16

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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christian cerna wrote: Well,

christian cerna wrote:

Well, I don't care what Ryrie did. I care what the scriptures mean.

And I believe the application would be different considering the times we live in. Since we can't divorce someone we are engaged to. We can only divorce someone we are married to.

i was giving you that information because you took the question away from scripture by asking what a person would do in a hypothetical situation. The point was that if that is your conviction it doesn't matter how bad of a situation is.

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Jay wrote:How do people that

Jay wrote:
How do people that fall into the 'no divorce permissible' camp handle this passage for the believing spouse who has been left behind?

To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

 

-I Cor. 7:12-16

Jay,

I personally see two separate questions. The first is about divorce. I may not seek or condone divorce apart from the exception clause, which I understand to be for illegitimate marriages such as incestuous relationships. 1 Cor 7 has to do with someone divorcing me, not my divorcing someone. It is an action happening to me, not one I am doing. I have no control over what other people do, only over my response to what they do. That brings up the second question, is remarriage permissible. I don't see any grounds in any of the passages for remarriage as long as the first spouse remains alive. Jesus in Matthew and Paul in 1 Cor both reiterate that marriage is till death. So, even though I may find myself divorced without having sinned (because someone left me) I still am not free to remarry while my first spouse remains alive.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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Really?

Larry said, quote<They are translated, and they are, in this context, virtually synonyms....They ask about apoluo, and Jesus answers them about apoluo. Apostasian in only used in reference to the certificate of divorce, a question Jesus answers by talking about apoluo.>

Matthew 5:31,32

 "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away(apoluo) his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement(apostasion):

But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away(apoluo) his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced(VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU GO CHECK FOR YOURSELF THIS IS APOLUO ALSO) committeth adultery."

Now Matthew 19:7-9

"They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement(apostasion), and to put her away(apoluo)?

He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away(apoluo) your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away(apoluo) his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away (apoluo) doth commit adultery."

Is there a difference between the words food and eat? The are related correct? Yet one is a noun one is a verb. They do not mean the same exact thing.

Do you agree with the ESV in (translating) the same passage with divorce in place of apoluo?

Careful with your answer. Because if you go back to Deuteronomy 24: God allowed kĕriythuwth.

But He very specifically says in Malachi 2:16 that He hateth shalach.
 
Now if God hates something that He Himself does, does that make God a liar?

Because God is divorced (keriythuwth). Jeremiah 3:8

"And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away(shalach), and given her a bill of divorce(keriythuwth); yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also."

God is divorced. Let that sink in for a second. Yet God also hates putting away(shalach).

The big question is, are divorce and putting way different. And if they are, what was the question the Pharisees were asking Jesus?

Because I think the two are different and Jesus clearly tells them that Moses allowed them to apoluo their wives out of the hardness of their hearts.

A women who has been shalach/apoluo with out a certificate of keriythuwth/apostasion would still be married, hence anyone who married her would be committing adultery.

Remember there is a difference between food and eat.

You do not eat eat, nor do you food food, you eat food. The two are different.

 

In the same way a certificate of divorce (keriythuwth/apostasion) can not be the same as (shalach/apoluo) putting away. One is a noun (person, place or thing), one is an action.

Read Deuteronomy 24:1 again, one is a noun, one is an action, they are not interchangable. 

"When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement(keriythuwth), and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house(shalach).

He does not divorce, divorce her. Nor does he put her way, put her away.

He gives her a bill of divorcement and puts her away. Two different things.

 

BTW, My computer does not like the format for this program. My attempts to put quotes and differentiate between my comments and quotes did not work. I apologize for the way this looks. That's what I get for refusing to run either Windows or Mac as my operating system. Linux doesn't use it's money for population control and funding Planned Parenthood.

 

 

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Is there a difference between

Is there a difference between the words food and eat? The are related correct? Yet one is a noun one is a verb. They do not mean the same exact thing.

You ever try eating without food? Of course they are related. A better example is eats and eats. Eats is a noun meaning food and a verb meaning to consume food.  But even that really isn't a good comparison. As you know, divorce is both a noun and a verb. There are many words that function that way. When you divorce you are granted a divorce.

Do you agree with the ESV in (translating) the same passage with divorce in place of apoluo?

Of course. All translations except the KJV do that because the word means divorce. Why would you translate it any other way?

But He very specifically says in Malachi 2:16 that He hateth shalach.

Actually, Malachi 2:16 talks about one who hates so as to divorce or hates and divorces. It doesn't say that God hates divorce.

The big question is, are divorce and putting way different. And if they are, what was the question the Pharisees were asking Jesus?

No, they aren't different. In marriage, to divorce is to put away. The Pharisees were asking if a man could divorce his wife for any reason.

Because I think the two are different and Jesus clearly tells them that Moses allowed them to apoluo their wives out of the hardness of their hearts.

In the same way a certificate of divorce (keriythuwth/apostasion) can not be the same as (shalach/apoluo) putting away. One is a noun (person, place or thing), one is an action.

No one is saying it is the same thing, are they? The certificate is the legal instrument. The divorce is putting away of a spouse.

He gives her a bill of divorcement and puts her away. Two different things.

The bill of divorcement is how he divorces her.

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who's the spouse?

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
That brings up the second question, is remarriage permissible. I don't see any grounds in any of the passages for remarriage as long as the first spouse remains alive.

Deut. 24:1-4 restricts someone from remarrying a former spouse if that spouse has been married to others and subsequently divorced. I understand from this passage that the remarriage of the departing spouse, ends for all time the possibility of reconciliation. At this point I believe remarriage is permitted (for the non-departing spouse) as the first spouse is no longer a spouse.

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Johnbrian, you are referring

Johnbrian, you are referring to the regulation of those under the law.  Jesus wiped that away.  The church isn't a nation of saved and unsaved people.

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Would this not apply only to

Would this not apply only to the nation state of Israel, which had at that time this betrothal and marriage custom? Does it also apply to the Gentile nations? What if certain nations or tribes or peoples have different marriage customs or laws? 

Are not the only laws that apply to the Gentiles that they abstain from eating foods offered to idols or eating strangled meat, and of course that they lead a godly life? Would the Jewish marriage laws apply to Gentiles too?

 

 

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good question

christian cerna wrote:
Would the Jewish marriage laws apply to Gentiles too?

I don't know. My former pastor insisted that the restriction had not been voided, and he was a no-divorce-no-remarriage proponent.

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"Invoking the death penalty

"Invoking the death penalty for adultery doesn't help support the betrothal view because sexual immorality of a betrothed person was also punished by death (Deut 22:13-21). So no matter what, death was the penalty."

Actually Larry, if you read the whole passage, the husband was to bring a specific charge against the girl.  So no, that passage does nothing to address the situation of Joseph and Mary, since Joseph was not going to bring a charge and they had not yet been married.

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Actually Larry, if you read

Actually Larry, if you read the whole passage, the husband was to bring a specific charge against the girl.  So no, that passage does nothing to address the situation of Joseph and Mary, since Joseph was not going to bring a charge and they had not yet been married.

The point is that the situation you are appealing to is addressed by the Law. You appear to be saying that Jesus couldn't have been talking about divorce in the case of adultery because the adulteress would have been killed, making divorce both impossible and unnecessary. He had to be talking about something in which the sinning party would be allowed to live; therefore, Jesus was talking about betrothal.

However, the OT also prescribes death for sexual immorality during betrothal, making your distinction irrelevant. Even if Jesus was talking about betrothal (something that would stretch the text beyond reason), it still would have resulted in death, meaning that divorce from a betrothal was still impossible.

So the sword with which you cut out the interpretation you reject also cuts out the interpretation you espouse.

Yes, Joseph was not bringing a charge and they were not married. That's true, but if he did (as the situation in Matt 19 envisions) the penalty under law would have been death, just as for adultery during marriage. So in either (married or betrothed), the penalty is the same and divorce isn't possible.

It seems to me that issue gets a lot easier if we take out our preconceived notions about what Jesus was saying, and take away our questions, and just look at the question Jesus was asked and was answering.

The Pharisees asked about the divorce of people who were married. Jesus answers their question. Therefore, whatever he says is in response to that question. If he had been asked a question on betrothal, the answer might have been the same; it might have been different. Either way, we don't know. All we know is what he said about married people, divorce, and sexua immorality.

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Larry, when demonstrated that

Larry, when demonstrated that your "answer" was insufficient, you dig in.  Fine.  The situation of betrothal is NOT covered by that old testament text.  The case law specifically demands that a man bring the accusation against the girl.  Now if you can find a text that does make your case, I will look at that.  The appeal you brought didn't work.

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Larry, when demonstrated that

Larry, when demonstrated that your "answer" was insufficient, you dig in. 

Sorry, I must have missed that. The only response I recall was a dismissal. There was no exegetical or theological interaction with the points I made. So I am not sure what you are talking about here.

The situation of betrothal is NOT covered by that old testament text. 

If it's not covered by the OT text, then why is it even part of the discussion? It shouldn't be. The Bible needs to be the guide on this issue. However, Deut 22:13-21 covers the situation of sexual immorality prior to marriage, including during betrothal. Assuming you agree that Deuteronomy is part of the OT text, I am not sure how you can claim that "the situation of betrothal is not covered by the old testament text."

Under OT Law, a woman who was found guilty of sexual immorality during betrothal was stoned just like a woman who committed adultery. Neither was not divorced. The death penalty applies both to the situation you reject and the one you accept. If you argue that Joseph was only betrothed, and not married, then the passage doesn't apply because the question is about married people.

The case law specifically demands that a man bring the accusation against the girl. 

No one disputed this that I know of, but it is really irrelevant. In either case (marriage or betrothal) a claim has to be made. So in the question put to Jesus, it requires a claim. If the claim isn't made, no divorce can be granted. Of course he could choose not to bring it and stay in the marriage. So this is not a distinguishing mark between two interpretive options.

Again, the attention should be on the text, not this peripheral stuff. In Matthew 19,

  1. the Pharisees asked about divorce from a marriage (not betrothal);
  2. Jesus responds by answering their question about divorce from a marriage (not betrothal);
  3. Jesus' answer is that sexual immorality is grounds for (at least) a divorce (and possibly remarriage).

You responded that it couldn't be adultery because adulterers were stoned; It was therefore something other than adulterer. By invoking the situation of Joseph and Mary, you indicate that you believe it is betrothal since they were not yet married. When it is pointed out to you that death is the penalty for sexual immorality among betrothed people, you dismiss it with an assertion about making a claim. So you use the death penalty to deny one meaning while ignoring the fact that the death penalty also applies to the meaning you have chosen. If the death penalty negates one option, then it negates both options.

I think enough has been said here to at least get the options and issues on the table, so I will bow out here.

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Larry, your "answer" only

Larry, your "answer" only works in the case of the man bringing the accusation against the woman with the possible penalty in mind of stoning.  Joseph was not going to have Mary stoned and wished to privately dissolve their "marriage."

You had to change my words to make your next point.  I said that betrothal was not covered by THAT OT text.

Alas, I will also bow out.  Reconcile it the best you can, and I wish you well.

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You had to change my words to

You had to change my words to make your next point.  I said that betrothal was not covered by THAT OT text.

Sorry to come back in but I wanted to acknowledge that you are correct, I misread that and missed the "that." My apologies. However, betrothal is covered by THAT OT text because they are married; they of necessity went through the betrothal stage and entered into marriage from which they can now seek a divorce if a charge is made and proven.