10 Common but Illegitimate Reasons to Divorce
I appreciated the links to all the articles and will review them soon. This is a serious and incredibly complex topic, and I also appreciate everyone’s tone and input.
Someone above said this:
My hunch is that if a real abuser—guy who physically strikes his wife (or vice versa), subjects her to constant insults, and the like—is subjected to the Matthew 18 process of church discipline, he will quickly come to the point where he either repents or admits that he’s really not a believer through word or deed. And in a case where he does not repent, and where the church leaders agree that the wife (or husband) must separate to be safe, I would guess that in a short time, most cases will be resolved in divorce by the unbeliever.
This is pretty much the position that I’ve ended up at as I’ve dealt with abuse situations.
One possible difficulty there is the simple question of whether a sinning spouse can, even during a separation, afflict the victim spouse through the necessary legal and financial ties to the point where a change (a divorce) is necessary. I don’t know the answers to that—and if I needed it, I think I’d talk with someone skilled in family law.
Yes, I’m aware of a situation now where an unbelieving husband has an attorney provided by the court system, and since there is no charge to him, is filing all sorts of injunctions and stays and papers to harass his wife and sap her finances. She’s paid out over five figures in legal fees and attorney bills and such, with the help of friends and family, and he’s basically using the legal system to bleed her dry. The judge is wising up, but is also giving him time to ‘get his act together’ and shape up, so the wife is essentially at his mercy. It’s a really, really tough situation, and the husband has already found a new woman and is also weaponizing the kids against their mother during his visitation.
There’s all sorts of evil in this world.
"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
Regarding what an unregenerate spouse can do to his spouse, or ex-spouse, it’s also worth noting that ex-husbands and ex-wives are known to torment their exes via the court system as well. One might infer that any pastor who ministers to those hurt by divorce or unwed parenting ought to cultivate a relationship with a Christian lawyer who can fairly and ethically put a crowbar in the spokes of such schemes.
One other thought about the reality of divorce is that as a rule, a divorce for “less than adultery” reasons tends to quickly become a divorce which is accompanied by adultery; one spouse will tend to quickly cultivate a new relationship. So if one believes that the victim of adultery does have the right to remarry—I tend towards that position—then we would find that a huge portion (perhaps vast majority) of divorcees do end up eligible to remarry.
Which would mean that, again, the key issue for the church is to make sure they step up and exert church discipline on those mistreating their spouses and/or leaving spouses for un-Biblical reasons.
Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.
OK, I stand by the comment that a lot of un-Biblical divorces eventually will involve adultery, but that would mean that up to half of divorcees might be non-adulterous and thus eligible to remarry, not the vast majority. My mistake.
Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.