Divorce and Remarriage Resources

I am sure many of you have questions on what the bible says about divorce and remarriage. So many people have heard bits and pieces of verses, taken verses out of context, or just try to make God’s word fit to justify a decision.

Below I would like to share some resources I have reviewed recently. I will share a little at the end of my opinion on the material and the sources.

Here is a podcast from Dr Michael Heiser, PHD titled “The Naked Bible Podcast“.  He is considered one of the top, if not the top, biblical scholars in the world today.

The two episodes I reviewed were:

#316: Divorce and Remarriage in the Old Testament

and

#318: Divorce and Remarriage in the New Testament

Both of these podcast episodes have just recently been released near the end of March 2020.

These episodes do dig deep into the Greek & Hebrew texts and they are on the academic side. For some they may seem rather scholarly, but follow along with the verses shared in your bible to help bring God’s word to life through this study.

Two books that the guest (Rev Dr David Instone-Brewer) referred to:

Marriage and Divorce in the Bible by Jay E Adams

and

Marriage and Divorce in the Church by Jay E Adams.

Dr Instone-Brewer has also created a website called Divorce-Remarriage.com that provides a lot more to consider on this topic. I have not researched the whole website, but the quick summary of the two books mentioned above is posted below and can be of great value:

(from Divorce-Remarriage.com)

The conclusions:

  • The Bible’s message for those suffering within marriage is both realistic and loving
  • Marriage should be lifelong, but broken marriage vows can be grounds for divorce
  • Biblical grounds for divorce include adultery, abuse and abandonment
  • Jesus urged forgiveness but allowed divorce for repeated unrepentant breaking of marriage vows
  • Only the victim, not the perpetrator of such sins, should decide when or whether to divorce
  • Anyone who divorces on biblical grounds or who is divorced against their will can remarry.

Very quick summary:

This book interprets the words of Jesus and Paul through the eyes of first century readers who knew about the ‘Any Cause’ divorce which Jesus was asked about (“Is it lawful to divorce for ‘Any Cause’” – Mt.19.3). Christians in following generations forgot about the ‘Any Cause’ divorce and misunderstood Jesus.

The ‘Any Cause’ divorce was invented by some Pharisees who divided up the phrase “a cause of indecency” (Dt.24.1) into two grounds for divorce: “indecency” (porneia which they interpreted as ‘Adultery’) and “a cause” (ie ‘Any Cause’). Jesus said the phrase could not be split up and that it meant “nothing except porneia“. Although almost everyone was using this new type of divorce, Jesus told them that it was invalid, so remarriage was adulterous because they were still married.

The Old Testament allowed divorce for the breaking of marriage vows, including neglect and abuse, based on Exod.21.10f. Jesus was not asked about these biblical grounds for divorce, though Paul alluded to them in 1Cor.7 as the basis of marriage obligations. This book argues that God never repealed these biblical grounds for divorce based on broken marriage vows. They were exemplified by Christ (according to Eph.5.28f) and they became the basis of Christian marriage vows (love, honour, and keep).

Of course, I highly suggest that you counsel with your pastor or care ministry that can give you additional help and direction in this difficult time. Don’t take this as any final answer. God will give you His wisdom as you seek it with those around you that will lead you to God and His word on the subject.

When all is said and done, you and you alone will be held accountable for your decisions and actions surrounding divorce and remarriage. This is just a good starting point to help you as you seek God and His face on your next step.

Be blessed!!

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

 

 

 

It Goes Away

Sometimes it feels like the pain you are feeling will never go away. Some days it is too much to bear. It goes away.

I had a dream last night about my ex-wife. It was surprising, but I know there was a reason for me having that specific dream. Do I know for sure why? No, but I choose to let God understand while I obey.

In the dream, my ex-wife and I never expected to see each other again. We tried to play dumb with the other people around. They asked if we knew each other and we came clean. Nothing more about the dream really meant anything, other than it was set in a tv cop show setting and we were a part of a sting operation. She ended up being undercover and was caught up with the bad guys when the sting went sideways. The dream ended with them on the run.

I dream maybe 5-10 nights a year so it is rare for me. It took a few minutes to register. When I dream about someone, I feel that it is God’s way of saying “Pray for (whomever)”.

Why did I pray for my ex-wife when she is the person who hurt me deeper than anyone else in my life? Because I believe God put her on my mind to pray for her. Simple as that. It may be her or her family’s health. Maybe someone passed away. Maybe she lost a job. I don’t know, but if I believe God wants me to pray, I need to pray.

What did I pray for? That she and here family are ok physically, healed and whole. I prayed that they would experience God in a fresh, new way and that they would be blessed.

18 years ago she ripped my heart out, trampled on it, and threw it in my face as she laughed and walked away. At least that is how it felt.

How could i pray for her now? Because I allowed God to heal me completely. It took time, but by being open to the Word of God, it allowed the Holy Spirit to mend up the wounds of my heart and mind. I made a choice to love God and be obedient to what I feel He calls me to do, including praying for my ex-wife if He wants me to.

It also allowed me to check how my healing is doing after all of these years. If I still felt pain, anger, or any other feeling other than thankfulness for His grace, mercy, and love; I need to deal with that.

Time doesn’t heal wounds, a faithful and honest relationship with Jesus does!!

Most of you that are reading are newly divorced or still within a few months or years of your divorce. How would you deal with a dream about your ex?

My prayer for you is that you continue down the path of healing and wholeness that God has for you. It takes time, tears, forgiveness, and God’s love to get there.

It goes away.

YouVersion Bible App Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

Prayer Project: Day 10 “Forgiveness”

Day 10: “Forgiveness  Choosing to forgive is like giving God permission to remove the bandage of offense from your heart, so that he can clean and start healing the wound.

Resource list:

Divorce to Healing: 31 Days of Healing and Wholeness Reading Plan

Divorce to Healing: Survive and Thrive Reading Plan

Divorce to Healing Blog

Divorce to Healing: 31 Days of Healing and Wholeness Book

Milestone !!!

Just wanted to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart!!

From those who have encouraged me to follow God into His calling to all of those that trusted me to speak into their lives via the Reading Plans, THANK YOU!!

Feel free to continue to share these Godly, free resources to those dealing with the effects of divorce and separation. You never know the lives you may change because of this simple act of kindness.

Reading Plans:
31 Days: http://bit.ly/2DNy6E6
7 Days: http://bit.ly/2DTHQwD

Book: http://amzn.to/2ctwjHp

Be blessed!!

The Forgiveness Message

If I could boil down the issues that people deal with pertaining to divorce, I would say the one that brings the greatest amount of healing is forgiveness.

This is a message from my pastor, Stovall Weems from Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida. He preached this last Sunday, Dec 17, 2017. I knew after listening to it that I wanted to share it with you.

May it help you to understand how powerful and life changing forgiveness, real complete forgiveness, can give you.

 

Understanding Forgiveness

There are so many feelings and situations surrounding divorce, none more discussed and often misunderstood than forgiveness.

It is hard to add anything much of value to this video, except that through Jesus Christ I have been able to forgive and move on into the next chapter of my life.

Feel free to comment below.

Be blessed!!

Divorce to Healing: Day 15

Weed

Bitterness

 

Have you ever had the experience of falling into quicksand? I never have, but I have heard that the only way to survive is to stop struggling and lay flat on your back with your limbs extended like you are floating. Stop fighting it. Surrender.

One of the hardest things we must ever do is to learn to forgive. It is not something that comes easy to us, but it is vital for our healing.

Unforgiveness is a poison we drink thinking it will harm someone else, but all it does is harm us. When we allow experiences against us to continually affect us negatively, we have continued to allow that person to control our well-being and healing. Don’t let that happen to you.

I know right now you may not be ready to forgive, and that is understandable. If you refuse to deal with it, a root of bitterness will be growing within your soul that grows every day, getting deeper with every passing moment. Every day you ignore it just makes the removal of the root that much harder and harmful.

If you see a weed in your garden, do you let stay there? Did you know that it is robbing nutrients and water meant for the fruit God is trying to grow in your garden? Every day you wait, the root grows bigger and it’s seeds will eventually affect the whole garden, if you don’t deal with it.

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled,  Heb 12:15

If you are not ready to forgive today, just make a decision to move towards that more and more every day. God will help you and He will give you a heart to do it.

Prayer

God, let no seed of bitterness take root in me and may I realize how I must forgive others to keep my spiritual garden healthy and growing, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Dying To Live

The phrase ‘Dying to Live” is one that is confusing to some people. You might think, “How can I live if I die?”. Simple, but not easy.

The phrase has come to mean, you need to let those things that are dead (ie, marriage, relationships, friendships, your past) be as if they are buried in the ground, never to return. Only then can you really get on with living the life you have to live. Dying to live.

I saw a friend of mine post this video a few days ago. The reason I checked it out was because I used to listen to Creed almost nonstop for a year, getting to know the songs intimately. Scott Stapp (lead singer) has such a distinct voice and he sang with such passion. The words were definitely right down my alley, since I had become a Christian & could tell they were Godly lyrics, even if the band refused to classify themselves as a Christian band. I just needed to check out the video.

I could not believe how inspirational and comforting of a song it is. The lyrics were on the video so I could follow along and it just spoke to me heart.

I would ask you, if you did not take the time to check out the full video, please do it. Pay attention to the words as the music plays. It speaks life.

After a little YouTubing, I ran across another video about how he was struggling with alcohol and other vises as the band was growing apart. He talks candidly about how dark those times were and that he experienced a divorce and a near-death 40 foot fall. He realized he had to die (almost physically, yet totally to his own self) to live. Check it out here, if you like.

It is through the struggles in life that we find out what is really worth living for. Our children, family, friends, and those near and dear to us love us like none other, except God.

Jesus died for you and me so that we could live. He knew life is a struggle, but He provided the way to peace and new life in God.

“I had to go hell to find my Heaven, 40 feet I had to fall from grace. Everything’s so clear when you’ve got one foot in the grave.”

Who has been there? I know I have. I remember wishing I would just die, knowing that I would see Jesus right away, but He had other plans for me. He had a purpose through my pain & experience. He knew that at some point, you would need this encouragement. My pain was to help you.

It took me a long time to figure that out, but I now know that things will come clear, if you just die to yourself and your past, and choose.to live.

My pastor said one Sunday that “Forgiveness is hold out no hope for a better past.”. The past is gone. You can learn from it, but you cannot change it. Let it die.

And my friend, now LIVE!!!

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