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Biblical precendent for women divorcing their husbands?

Discussion in 'Married Couples' started by desi, Aug 24, 2003.

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  1. desi

    desi Well-Known Member

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    A trend I've noticed on this forum distrubs me. I've seen Christian women tell other women it might be okay to divorce their husbands under X, Y, or Z circumstances. While I agree many of these circumstances are troubling, I have not found the Bible to ever condone women divorcing their husbands. Have the rest of you found parts of the Bible which claim it is admissable for women to divorce their husbands, and if so which scriptures are they?
     
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  2. IslandBreeze

    IslandBreeze Caribbean Queen

    +69
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    US-Republican
    If a man can Biblically divorce his wife for adultery, then by golly, women have every right to divorce men for adultery. I don't believe for one second that the verses in the Bible are only speaking to men.

    Overall the Bible has an inherently 'male theme' (his, him, he). So does that mean that verses that are themed male do not apply to women? Because if one verse doesn't, then none of them should, right?
     
  3. desi

    desi Well-Known Member

    +59
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    Our society would probably agree with you, but from what I've read and understand, the bible does not. If you look back to Genesis, God says 'women have to obey their husbands'. This sets the tone of the 'men are the boss' in the bible. This does not seem ambiguous at all throughout the bible. If you have scripture undermining this please share it. I am looking for truth here regardless of where it leads.
     
  4. cutekid 4 Jesus

    cutekid 4 Jesus Regular Member

    327
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    men are not the boss,there is a difference between that and leadership,boss infers has right to do what he wants etc. and in the sermon in the mount in matthew 5 it says that;'if a man look at a woman and wants to sin with her he has committed adultery in his heart'does this just refer to men?i dont think so...can i just say oh well im a woman i can look and lust after a man,nah dont be silly,very few things,if any,in the Nt are gender specific and this certainly aint one of them. If you use your wisdom you will see there are very good practical reasons God allows for divorce in cases of adultery-ie.one can catch diseases,i mean God must have known about things like AIDS was gonna start. There is a difference between submission and being a doormat,Im a Princess of the Most High and i certainly aint the latter.
    Good points Cammie!
     
  5. JillLars

    JillLars It's a Boy! Jace David- Due 1/20/07

    +108
    Lutheran
    Single
    Desi, I think you need to think for a minute about what a husband is. Marriage is not just a day in a church, it is a lifelong process. The bible has some very basic rules that define marriage, and the duties of a husband and wife. Now, if a person is not obeying these rules, or not completing their duties, do they still deserve the title of husband or wife? God does not support divorce, but I don't believe he supports a "marriage" where two people aren't following any of his commands. One of the main reasons against divorce is to not let man seperate what God has joined. If a couple has truly allowed God to join them together, they will follow his commands. If X, Y, Z is going on (adultery, abuse, ect.) then that couple (or one party) has not allowed God to be at the center or their relationship, they are not fulfilling God's commands. So, before judging these women who are giving and receiving advice, I suggest you think about X, Y, Z circumstances and ask yourself it that is how God intended marriage to be.
     
  6. Donny_B

    Donny_B Active Member

    570
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    This is Jesus's appearing to the Samaritan woman, the woman at the well. This woman was living with a man she was not married to, and had apparently been divorced five times before.

    Further down, we see Jesus revealing to the woman who He is.

    The woman then leaves the well and goes to the city where she was from and testifies to the men of the city:

    This does not mean that Jesus condoned her being divorced or living with a man, but just that He knew her situation. Yet, He revealed Himself to her and showed His saving grace to her. It is apparent that she believed because of her testimony to the men of the city.
     
  7. desi

    desi Well-Known Member

    +59
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    I was being nice, and unfortunately unclear. Genesis 3:16 says... "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." What does "rule over thee" mean to you?

    Your own example reinforces my original conclusion, he was referring to men. It is a well known scientific fact men are visually stimulated moreso than women. As such what he says makes total sense scientifically as well as biblically as men were in charge throughout bible history.

    The Bible clearly defines the wife's role as submissive, you may call it being a door mat if you like. If I use my own wisdom independent of God's word my potential is no better than Saddam Hussein or Stalin. We have to take the bible as it is written or we have to take a red pen to it to curb it to our personal beliefs, which is a big no no. This is why I ask for Biblical references instead of groupthink secular teachings.
     
  8. desi

    desi Well-Known Member

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    We totally agree up to your last question where the bible seems to give the choice to the husband in one particular instance.

    Your points about unGodly male behavior are well taken. I believe as the bible says these men will be punished for their indiscretions. However I do not feel it is okay for wives to sin just because their husbands do. I do not define God's intention by my personal feelings on the matter. God seems to say in black and white what is and is not permissable concerning divorce and marriage. It is in the parameters of God's word where our answers must derive instead of our flawed sense of fairness which is suspect, especially when it is in conflict with God's written word.
     
  9. desi

    desi Well-Known Member

    +59
    Christian
    Married
    Yes that did happen, Jesus recognized she was a sinner and told her to quit it when in John 8:11 he said:... 'I do not condemn you.' "Go and sin no more." Does this mean she is free to divorce her husband? No. He told her to sin no more. The only thing Jesus did here was save her life and tell her to behave herself from now on.
     
  10. blitzn

    blitzn God is my Strong Tower

    121
    +4
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    This is a great thread. Very thought-provoking.

    - blitzn
     
  11. cutekid 4 Jesus

    cutekid 4 Jesus Regular Member

    327
    +19
    Christian
    No,u missed the point I made r u really saying it was only referring to men so if I, a women get turned on by that hunky tanned muscular guy with his yop off on the beach its ok.no way-it was referring to everyone.
    And i did give a biblical reference.
    And as for Genesis-well there are a lot of things which are not applicable from the OT,and you need to put it into context,look at the whole message of the NT its about love and kindness(ill give you a ref, if u want but not now its late and i dont think its necessary),not one group of people being bullied by another.
     
  12. Donny_B

    Donny_B Active Member

    570
    +3
    Protestant
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    As a clarification, the woman at the well (who had 5 former husbands and was living with a man who was not her husband) was from a city of Samaria called Sychar (John 4:5)...it is highly unlikely that this was the same woman caught in the act of adultery brought to Jesus by the Pharisees in John Chapter 8, which takes place later at the temple in Jerusalem.
     
  13. admtaylor

    admtaylor Well-Known Member

    +80
    Non-Denom
    Married
    As far as leadership roles in the house. The man is the head of the house and the wife is to submit to the man, but that doesn't mean that the man rules as a dictator over the house. We're suppossed to love our wives as Christ loved the church. Give ourselves for our wives. Watch out for their best interests and be caring and loving even to the point of death. Not screaming, bossing and iron fisted. When man and wife recognize this their marriage is fruitful. I know, my wife and I were stuck in a cycle of this for several years. I on one side was demanding respect for my decisions, while not loving her as I should. And she on the other side was undermining my decisions, probably because she didn't respect me. I had no leadership role in the house, but that was because I didn't really take it. It took a lot of work and Grace on God's part to heal us and we're still kind of in that process. But things are working much better now. She does respect me and I do love her as I should. Not always mind you but we aren't perfect. Our effectiveness in raising our children has much improved now that we aren't dealing with our inneffectiveness with each other. Anyway that's another subject.

    As far as divorce.....I believe it's allowed in situations of divorce and adultery. Of course if someones being beaten to death all the time I would suggest leaving as well. And I think both man and women can take that action, but I think it's expressed that in a non death situation it's prefferable that the two try and reconcile.
     
  14. desi

    desi Well-Known Member

    +59
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    The reference you cited reads 'man/men' instead of 'everyone'.

    What Jesus said in NT reinforces the Genesis reference on divorce. The context does not change.
     
  15. desi

    desi Well-Known Member

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    Does the bible explain this anywhere or is it opinion?
     
  16. Yitzchak

    Yitzchak יצחק

    +1,315
    Charismatic
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    CA-Conservatives
    1 Corinthians 7
    " To the married I give this command ( not I, but the Lord): A wife must not seperate from her husband. But if she does , she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. "

    -I interpret this to mean if a situation is really unliveable, then seperate and work for reconciliation. Why would a woman seperate from her husband in this passage? To my thinking this covers situations where the man is difficult to live with to the point where common sense dictates seperation until the problems can be worked out. By standing in faith for God to change her husband, she is keeping the marriage covenant.

    Malachi 2:13-16
    " Another thing you do; You flood the Lord's altar with tears, You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask "why?" It is because the Lord is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the Lord made them one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. " I HATE DIVORCE, " says the Lord God of Israel. "

    -I interpret this to mean it is beyond our authority to make up whatever rules suit us. We may have "moved on" as the saying goes, but has God? Funny thing about these type of passages. Although there is a 50% divorce rate in the church, almost no one thinks that their divorce was wrong.

    1 Corinthians 7
    " To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.... But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances:"

    -I interpret this to mean that in cases where a christian is married to a non-christian, that the believer is not to intiatiate the divorce from an unbelieving spouse. It also seems to infer abandonment as a legitimate reason for divorce since it says "let him do so" and also "not bound" implies in biblical language able to remarry (see romans 7:2,3).

    matthew 5:31-32
    " It has been said, Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce. But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery."

    Matthew 19:3-9
    " some pharisees came to him to test him. they asked, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?' Haven't you read, he replied, that at the beginning the creator made them male and female, and said , for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? so they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man seperate.
    'Why then, they asked, did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?' Jesus replied, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another commits adultery. "

    This passage refers to Deuteronomy 24:1-4 , the portion of the law which deals with divorce. There was a debate among the jews between two rabbi's on this passage. One strict and one more liberal. jesus takes the side of the strict interpretation. In these two passages all three parties are accused of adultery. The husband , the ex-wife and the man she marries in her second marriage.
    If I had said all this instead of Jesus , I would likely be accused of many things, none of them good. Jesus was pretty strict about divorce.
    By the way the certificate given is known as a "ghett"(not sure the spelling. To this day in the jewish community, a woman cannot remarry without one. The husband issues her a "ghett" so that she is not left single all her life. Without the "ghett" , no other jewish man will consider her. To send a wife away(seperate from her) and not give her a "ghett' is a cruel practice in the jewish community to this day.

    Luke 16:18
    " Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery."

    Mark 10: 5-12
    "... Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. and if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."

    - the passage from matthew 19 seems to be an alternate account of the same teaching. Since it includes the phrase " except for the cause of marital unfaithfulness" it is infered in these passages as well. This phrase seems to imply that despite jesus strict stance on marriage and divorce he allowed divorce for this reason.

    Do not ask me to give the final answer to this issue. But one thing is very very clear to me. Divorce is a very serious issue biblically speaking.
     
  17. cutekid 4 Jesus

    cutekid 4 Jesus Regular Member

    327
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    You really are not getting it are you!what im saying is that the REFERENCE says MEN but it blatantly refers to EVERYONE unless you are saying its ok 4 me to lust!!!(cos im a girl).
     
  18. cutekid 4 Jesus

    cutekid 4 Jesus Regular Member

    327
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    i basically agree with yitzchak,-divorce is very serious,and God hates it.
    But with reference to the passages quoted in post 16 i think its permissible in certain circumstances.
    And there are far too many divorces going on now,probably a minority of them have grounds 4 divorce based on the Bible.
     
  19. Yitzchak

    Yitzchak יצחק

    +1,315
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    There are exceptions to everything, even the law of God. (yikes, that is right, even the law of God) Read John 7:22-24 which is the exception concerning the sabbath for the sake of keeping the circumcision. What do we do in this complicated world when two laws of God seem to contradict?
    I believe if God allowed exceptions for the Sabbath , then he also allows exceptions for other rules when common sense and circumstances call for it. Sure glad I don't have to decide what these are for everyone though.
    Best to do whatever we do in an attitude of humilty and prayer and most of all love.
     
  20. blitzn

    blitzn God is my Strong Tower

    121
    +4
    Christian
    Yes, perhaps exceptions to the "law" of God, but not the Word of God. The Word never contradicts itself. If it seems to, further contextual study will reveal that it doesn't.

    I do agree with the common sense aspect. All we can do is the best we can to interpret and seek counsel from others. Usually I ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to me when things seem confusing.

    - blitzn
     
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