Tuesday, January 18, 2011

So you're married to a jerk...

Someone recently asked the following question in a comment:

Wanted to ask you a question regarding a comment made in that other blog that linked to you (Jan. 9). I know that you consider it a Biblical precept to submit to your husband. But what about the point he other blogger made - what if a woman's husband really is a supreme jerk (she used a less polite word for it)? I'm honestly interested. what would you sugget to the woman who may try or want to submit in principle but whose husband is selfish, mean, abusive, bad father etc., etc. (you can think of lots of adjectives). I'm glad to see that your husband does not appear to be any of these things, but I'm sure you know that these things do happend - and what is a woman's recourse then if she has multiple children, has never worked outside the home and has a similar worldview to you?

This is a question I have been asked a handful of other times, so I thought I'd address it in a post of its own.

First of all, chances are that the "victim" in this situation made their own bed, i.e. married that person out of their own free will. I'm not trying to play a blame game here, but choosing the right spouse is our own responsibility. It is not the duty of the spouse to live up to our fairytale expectations of them. My mother always taught me to marry someone I loved the way they were, because they were not going to change as a result of marriage - what you see is what you get. I think women especially have a tendency to feel pity for some loser of a guy and marry him in hopes of reforming him. It's a lost cause - people are who they are. Disillusioned, these women then despise that same man, when they would easily be able to overlook those same faults in others. 

Which brings up my next point - many times, we perceive people the way we want to perceive them. For instance, take a child throwing a screaming fit in the store, demanding this or that. To a random onlooker, the child might just appear like another undisciplined brat. But to the mother, who loves her child and is therefore more willing to look past his behavior, he might just be an overtired little boy who stayed up too late the night before, or didn't have a proper meal all day, or whatever other reason may have helped bring on this tantrum. If nothing else, she will blame herself for his behavior, much more than the child. When you love someone, you are willing to overlook their faults and shortcomings, and excuse them.

What I am trying to say is this - what one woman calls a jerk, may at another time have been someone she loved. Or he may be someone that another woman (who doesn't live with him) would consider lovable. The way we perceive people is the way we want to perceive them. One could just as easily will oneself into thinking highly of one's spouse and children. It is our own choice to focus on the negative, or the positive attributes. 

The reality of the matter is that we all have a tendency to piecemeal our ideal spouses. We want a husband who fixes stuff around the house like husband A, is considerate like husband B, looks like husband C, makes as much money as husband D, fathers like husband E, and so on - you get the idea. Nevermind the fact that husbands A-E all have different faults from one another, none of which we would want to put up with any more than the faults of our own spouse. Nobody could live up to such unrealistic expectations, therefore, disappointment is inevitable. This disappointment will turn into bitterness, anger, and eventually hatred for that "jerk" husband. It is really just a matter of how we look at him. I'm pretty sure that the mother of this "bad husband" would look at that same man (her son) and think very different of him - yet it's the same person. Choosing to love him makes all the difference.

Besides all that, my personal observation has been that those who complain about their spouses all the time, or think to themselves what a jerk he is, really are not a pleasant person to be around themselves. Maybe it's them who is the problem?

Just hypothetically, let's assume that a sweet, godly lady marries a nice godly guy. After they are married, completely out of the blue, he changes personalities and turns out to be a complete jerk. What should she do? Does she have any "recourse"?

Based on the Bible, I believe that divorce is always wrong, whether or not the wife is able to survive on her own financially, whether or not there are children involved, etc. 

Even if the Bible didn't spell that out so clearly, looking around at divorced homes I would have to come to the conclusion that a bad spouse is still better than a divorce. Divorcees suffer the emotional consequences of a divorce for a lifetime, and their children usually suffer even more. I have seen this countless times in people I have come into contact with. 

There are several "mommy blogs" I used to read a few years ago, and when I visited them again a year or two after forgetting about them, lo and behold, they were in the midst of a divorce, or just through one. None of the cases I am thinking about right now were based on something egregious like adultery (which would still not make a divorce right), but were rather of the "he/she is a jerk and I'm sick of them"-kind. Reading about the impact these divorces have on everyone's sanity, chiefly that of the children, is so sad I never can go back to those blogs. I have to ask myself - was it really worth it? So your husband was a jerk because he didn't spend enough time with the kids, wasn't funny and romantic, or bought birthday/anniversary gifts at the gas station after remembering the big day at the last minute - but why would you trade that for him never spending time with the kids, never doing anything romantic for you, and never again giving you any gifts? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. To top it all off, the children become depressed, suicidal, medicated, aggressive, withdrawn, and will grow up to be every bit like their parents when all is said and done, so for all that you still have to put up with all the faults you were hoping to get away from. Now you don't just have to feel bad because of the divorce, but you can forever beat yourself up about having done this to your children.

Unlike merchandise, spouses cannot be returned for store credit. Getting a divorce used to be as unthinkable as giving your children up for adoption because you are sick of putting up with them. It's just wrong, no matter how bad they are.

The only Biblical recourse for a horrible marriage, or any marriage for that matter, is death. If your husband is an abusive, mean, hateful, fill-in-the-blank jerk in spite of you doing your best as a wife, God can kill him whenever He wants to. If he is still alive, God must want you to still be married to him. A wife could pray and fast for her husband/marriage, and for the kids to turn out right in spite of marital problems. If nothing else, it will be a great lesson for the kids, who hopefully will grow up and make wiser and more careful choices regarding their future spouse, rather than learning that marriage can be dissolved at a whim.

111 comments:

  1. I just wanted to say that I agree 100% of what you said about divorce.

    My grandparent's got divorced, and it really affected my mom. My grandpa was a terrible man who cheated on my grandmother, got drunk, and would beat her. HE filed for divorced (not my grandmother) and left her with 4 children; one was only 2. He didn't pay child support, and my grandmother was only a housewife, so they moved in with my great-grandparents.

    My mom, having a hole in her heart from having such a broken home, really used animals and pets as a way to escape the brokenness, I think. It's so sad that it makes me cry. I think divorce is awful, selfish, and it ruins lives. God bless the children of divorced parents. I pray for them every night before I go to bed.

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  2. My mom married someone last year who presented himself as a good man. Almost as soon as they were married, he started beating her. He went to jail. She gave him another chance, and he nearly killed her. Bashed her head into concrete, her face so swollen she was unrecognizable. The police had the charges pressed whereas usually the victim has to request them. A judge put a restraining order on him for three years, which is exceptionally long. We had to move her 600 miles away from there just this last weekend to where we are because the guy's got friends who want to kill her, literally want to kill her and probably would. He committed fraud in how he went about getting her to marry him, and she qualifies for an annulment.

    According to you, this is the same as a kid throwing a tantrum in a candy store. And a marriage breaking up is always wrong, that divorcees always suffer from divorcing for a lifetime. If my mom hadn't left, she'd be dead. So I guess you're right, she wouldn't have suffered for years. Only until the end of her life, which would have come.

    If anyone had to go through what Steve did, I wish you and she could switch places. See how long you stay in that relationship before leaving. If you think nothing is bad enough to justify leaving a spouse, then you should be the one in that position, not her.

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  3. There is a HUGE difference between getting fed up with your kids because you are tired/stressed/they make a mess/they argue/do the myriad of things that kids do and a husband who beats the crap out of your and/or your kids.

    How can you even compare those situations? The first one is everyday parenting. It is life and is something that every parent deals with. The second is quite simply abuse and is severely damaging - not just in the physical sense - to the spouse and the children.

    Children who grow up in households where abusive behaviour is the norm go on to believe that abusive behaviour IS the norm. A child that has grown up in a family where dad beats the crap out of mum have massively increased chances of ending up in that type of relationship themselves in adulthood.

    Do you have ANY idea at all of the psychological problems caused by living in a household where domestic abuse is the norm?

    You wouldn't stand for getting the crap beaten out of you in the supermarket by a stranger, why should you stand for getting the crap beaten out of you by your spouse?

    Marriage should be about respect, on both sides.

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  4. These things are so true. I have what I consider to be a good marriage, others may not agree and tell me so, loudly, but it works for us. As the relationship has matured over the years I have found myself having pep talks with myself about the small irritations that occur when people live in close proximity with one another. Do these irritations define our marriage? Definitely not! So I move forward concentrating on what is pleasing and satisfying while changing behaviours in myself to avoid the areas of friction. We have learnt that there are definitely "jobs" that one of us is better at or enjoys more. Therefore the "work" may not be split in the home equally but at least my chores suite me and I don't need to think too much about the ones I can't abide as my husband usally knocks them off in a jiffy. The ones that no-one likes, we share, that way spending some productive time together often sharing our common "dislike" for the chore and ending it with a laugh. He isn't perfect but neither am I, but I am grateful and realistic that this is a really 3 sided relationship - God, my husband and I.

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  5. I really liked this post and have to say I agree. Anytime I hear about how horrible some husband is they always end up saying how they were like that before marraige. I can never understand why they feel right to complain and hate this husband when they clearly knew he was like this before. It doesn't make sense to me. For instance they may complains he goes out drinking and parties with his buddies to the expensive of his family when they met in a bar and that's all they ever did before the children arrived. I'm not saying what he did is right just to be expencted.

    I also notice these women tend to sound like the most nagging miserable people to be around. Can you blame the men for not wanting to be around? I don't understand why they never think anything has to do with them and they're so perfect and always the victim. If I was greeted with a miserable, nagging, complaining husband everyday I'd want to escape too- but the men are just more the evil for thinking the same.

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  6. I hope you never find yourself in an abusive relationship. Or, heaven forbid, one of your precious daughters ends up in one. Would you counsel her to stay? My former son in law beat my daughter so badly the last time that she ended up in the ER. That was six weeks after their baby was born. They lived three miles from us, and we had no idea this was going on because she was too embarrassed to admit it to us and because she wanted to stay and make her marriage work, so she covered her bruises for two years. Thank goodness she got out in time.

    Sometimes divorce IS the right choice.

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  7. Excellent! People don't want to hear the truth, but that is it! I haven't heard anyone been able to explain it all in such a manner. Also too after reading "Created to be a Help Meet" I learned that sometimes an 'unsaved jerk of a husband' can become a godly husband and dad if his wife from the beginning gives him the respect he deserves and is good to him no matter what his actions. We were created to help them and many women today are looking for their own help meets. Great post!

    1 Peter 3: Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

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  8. As a child that grew up in domestic violence I can tell you divorce would have been WAY better then growing up in a home where there was a "bad spouse".

    My Mom died 5 years ago. Yes my father had his hand in it. My brother, sister,and myself are now left without a mother. She was 52 years old. Some of my 9 children will never know her, neither will my niece.

    I am grateful that I broke that cycle, and my kids will never know what it is like to grow up in a house where she crawl under you bed in the middle of the night with your pillow over you head to block out the scream for help from your mother. That feeling in the pit of your stomach when you here that front door open and wait to see what kind of "mood" he is in. The feeling of sneaking down the hall to get your baby brother so you can hide him in your closet so he doesnt get harmed.

    I hope your children never marry a man that seems so wonderful at 1st. Then over the years turns to drinking and beating them and your grand babies. You can say all you want that it wont happen in your family. So did my Grandmother.......

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  9. Let's not forget that if we are Christians trying to obey and live for God, He will bless us with a good spouse.

    "A prudent wife is from the LORD" surely is true the other way around, too - that a good husband is likewise from God.

    I am not at all defending domestic violence/abuse. Sometimes, as a result of personal sin, one can find themselves in a situation where either way they turn, they are doing wrong. The mistake was marrying the jerk in the first place.

    Elle,

    was your mother widowed? If she wasn't, was she divorced from your father? If that is the case, she never would have married to that jerk if she had stayed married the first time.

    I have noticed that people have a tendency to remarry an even greater jerk than the first one they were married to. Evidently, they lack wisdom and make those sort of poor choices.

    It's not like getting married is just a shot in the dark, and you may end up marrying a man who will murder you, or you may end up with a good guy, and there is no way to tell the difference ahead of time.

    And please, before I have more insults hurled my way (in anonymous comments, not the ones published here) - this is my opinion, based on the Bible. You may do with your life as you see fit, and I am not forcing anyone to stay married. So why the anger? Is it because the truth struck a nerve?

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  10. Of course every body is going to try to come at you with abusive cases but is that the #1 reason for Divorce? NO its infidelity, money issues and "irreconcilable differences" which is mostly code for I don't want to do this anymore, its too hard.

    My husbands parents divorced and his dad moved out of the country to get as far away from his ex wife and only saw the kids during summer. That brokenness will only come back worst in a new marriage versus my parents who have always been screwed up but still together and at least I have that example 'in the good times and the bad-till death do you part'.

    I got married at 19 when I was an unsaved mess and he became abusive but I can admit I had a lot to do with it!I had a big part in making him that way and no one wants to ever admit that but choose to play a victim's role. God was so wise in not blessing us with children the whole time. Now that I am a Christian and remarried, I see how being saved, embracing my role and choosing to love him would have transformed my first marriage. (He was an alcoholic mess because of his parents abuse with each other and him and divorce)
    So just because you divorce doesn't mean your kids will be alright.

    Lets be honest and look at the statistics of how these cases have skyrocketed after the whole "womens lib" movement". Men used to cherish and treasure their wives back in the good ol' days because they were home and took good care of him, the kids and home. Now everybody is working, stressed out, with entitlement issues, and wives feel they don't need the man and to heck with it all, and man acts out in the only way he can dominate a woman now..force. Its so terrible all the way around!

    Just like people will try to say abortion is ok because of incest or rape, people will say divorce is ok because of abuse. It is not the #1 reason why the action takes place and even so it is NEVER the best solution for the children.

    If necessary get the law involved and have him arrested and visit him with the kids in jail, you don't know what God could have in store for you like him getting saved, the people he talks to in jail etc If you honor your commitment, God will bless you.

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  12. You know what hon.. I really have to take issue with you on this one. Obviously divorce is far from God's best for any family, but to say that it is never to be an option is to fly directly in the face of scripture which gives specific situations in which divorce is allowable. Of course is not something to ever be even contemplated lightly, but the view that divorce is never permitted directly contradicts scripture. God is not hesitant to prohibit that which He wishes to prohibit... He makes things very very clear for us poor humans. Thou shalt not murder. Thou shalt not commit adultery. and so on. Nowhere in the Bible does God prohibit divorce. Yes, God hates divorce... I hate it when my little baby must get a shot at the doctor's office, because I hate to see my beloved child in pain. God hates divorce because He knows how much pain it causes to His beloved children. I allow the doctor to cause my child pain because I know it is for her ultimate health and well-being. I wonder if God doesn't sometimes feel the same way about divorce... I would never presume to say that He does, but one thing I am certain of is that He would not desire someone to live a life of terror and pain because they chose to marry the wrong person.
    Be very very careful not to add anything to the scriptures... not to demand more of folks than the Lord does. He doesn't look kindly on that sort of thing♥

    "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."
    Matthew 23:4

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    1. I read some of your other blogs. Your views are a bit skewed. Nothing wrong with styling home with your kids. Nothing wrong with having so many kids in an allready overcrowded world. Nothing wrong with voicing your opinion. But god is god. It's not for us to judge What is god? To some love, understanding and compassionate. To others a god is something a human can decide they know of what is love and what is god. You have love on your IDE but deciding who is right and wrong and whT us right and wrong can get blurry when you believe you are in the know.

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  13. I've been reading your blog for a while now, and I've never really felt drawn to comment until now. You've said some things I agree with, some that I don't.

    As for divorce, I think that many times people are getting divorced for the wrong reasons. However, sometimes it is necessary.

    I have a family member who divorced his wife. The wife, after her fourth child, began to suffer from schizophrenia and serious PPD. As she became more and more of a danger to those around her, it became necessary to separate. After 10 years of her destructive rages, her refusal to stay on medication that helped her, he decided that it would be best for her to live alone. Eventually he filed for divorce and the children grew up in a much more stable environment. However, he never remarried and he still supports her as she is unable to work.

    The divorce, as I see it, was necessary at the time to protect the still minor children. She repeatedly attempted arson on her own house while the children were sleeping. It was a very traumatic time and I don't doubt that if they hadn't done something to remove her from the situation, I would have dead relatives.

    All that to say that I think sometimes (because she refused to do the one thing that helped her and the family) that sometimes a person has to protect his (or her) children from the other parent.

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    1. You are really ignorant. Hope your husband treats you well because it's always the people you judge the harshest that later in life you might find yourself with their shoes. Baby, they won't be an easy thing to trade up. Especially when your down with seven mouths to feed.

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    2. Ha ha we know you won't approve that Christian stone thrower?

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  14. Let's not forget that if we are Christians trying to obey and live for God, He will bless us with a good spouse.

    That's a huge assumption, Zsuszanna. It assumes that the guy you marry is perfect, and nobody is perfect. In your own religion, all humans are sinners. It also assumes that this nice guy isn't hiding something in his background. Like that he learned how to handle his wife by watching his father beat his mother--and because they were such good church-going people, nobody knew there was abuse going on behind the scenes.

    Seriously, I simply do not understand how you can justify a woman staying with a man who is causing bodily harm to her and/or her children. Of course, it's all about the ownership, isn't it? Women can't possibly be out on our own (like I am), we need a man over us all the time. But the reality is that some men are so insanely possessive that even after the marriage has broken down, they kill their wives. That happens too many times a year.

    Let me be blunt: I find your views sick. I hope to God that neither you nor your children ever end up in such a position.

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  15. Regardless of my views on this matter, I am a little amazed at how many people believe it is the womans fault if her husband is abusive etc...

    Some of you seem eager to raise men up and throw other woman under the bus, so to speak.

    And thats speaking from a humane point of view.

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  16. ugh sorry for the last double post, the first one said error too long. You can delete one. Its very interesting reading all the comments on this issue!

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  17. Zsuzsanna, I understand this is your blog and you give us your opinions based on your interpretatio of the Bible, and I understand that. But I feel that a lot of the anger directed towards you is not because you "struck a nerve". It is because domestic violence is an extremely dangerous form of abuse, and your advice is to stay in a marriage no matter what because that is what God commanded us to do.

    You are not a domestic violence counselor, nor (I assume) have you been trained in that capacity. So, while you feel you are giving out God-breathed advice, what people feel you are actually doing is something very ignorant and dangerous.

    Thank you,

    Natty

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  18. I agree with you 100% Zsuzsanna. I have a strong woman in my family who went through many hardships. She went through leaving her family whom she loved in another country to come here at age 17, and never saw her Mom again, and probably never will. She worked early in her marriage to help her husband support his parents (her in-laws). She had 2 small girls. She lost her first baby boy early almost right after birth. And along with all of this she had to deal with a husband who really was a jerk, and abusive. She never gave up. Her marriage healed. Her family never broke up. That is my Granny.

    Women are so quick to give up. I would never give up. Just like my Granny.

    Another thing I have noticed with abusive relationships. I feel almost always there is some type of drinking, or drugs involved. I don't know if that is true 100%, but in the cases I have encountered throughout my life first hand, there was always drinking, or drugs creating the "jerk" personality.

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  19. My dad died. My mom and dad's marriage had its ups and downs, but they worked through them and stayed married until death did them part.

    You like to think of yourself as wise, but you're not. You're a fool, Zsu. Abusers are masters at manipulation, of making their victims feel good and safe until it's too late. It happens all the time, even to Christians. You're an insult to your religion if you claim that all it takes to get a good marriage is to be a True Christian (tm).

    People do divorce too readily these days. Hit a bumpy spot? Well a lot of people think that means it wasn't meant to be rather than trying to work through things. Unfortunately this isn't the only reason for divorce. People cheat and are stupid. People can be outright abusive.

    Zsu, do you, with your beliefs that women should never ever leave, honestly believe that my mother should have stayed with an abuser? Knowing he would have killed her? That last night he only didn't kill her because someone finally called the cops. Should she have gone back to him after he got out of jail? Should she have died?

    I want you to answer those questions directly. "Yes, she should have gone back, but he shouldn't have been abusing her," doesn't cut it. Should my mother have died at his hand? Yes or no. YES OR NO. Do you believe what you say so strongly that you will publicly say an abused woman should have walked into her death at the hands of her husband?

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  20. I agree with 95% of what you've said here, Zsuzsanna. Most divorces today are a result of pure selfishness. Our culture is teaching people that if they're not fulfilled in every area of their lives they need to ditch the spouse and kids and do whatever it takes to find that fleeting feeling again.

    You're spot on about second marriages not lasting. Stats prove that second marriages have a higher failure rate than first marriages.

    As far as abuse, certainly the wife shouldn't stay in the same house with a man who is endangering her life or the lives of her children. But you still can't get a divorce over that, it's not biblical. A women should separate herself from that man and get as far away from him as possible, but biblically she has no ground to stand on for divorce.

    Where I disagree with you is that you say there is no cause for divorce. Jesus plainly stated that a man can put away his wife for one reason, fornication. Fornication is any sexual sin.

    Matthew 5:32, "But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."

    I know you are probably going to say something to the effect that that verse doesn't apply to married people it applies to engaged people. That's adding to the Scripture, sister. If God wanted to make it clear that it did not apply to married people, Jesus would have said "espoused wife", not "wife".

    While there is one allowance in Scripture for divorce, the best thing of course is reconciliation. The two people lives and the lives of the children will forever be scarred; scars that will not go away this side of eternity. Divorce is not the answer, repentance is the answer. Too many people are looking for any way to get out of responsibility. They need to grow up. I appreciate your stand here, good job.

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  21. Zsuzsanna said:

    "Let's not forget that if we are Christians trying to obey and live for God, He will bless us with a good spouse."

    Are you seriously suggesting that women are victims of domestic violence because they are not Christians?

    That is the most ridiculous thing that I have ever heard.

    A victim of this type of abuse is NOT the one at fault. Ever. There are ways and means to work through disagreements without resorting to violence. If a person chooses to beat the crap out of their spouse it is THEIR fault and theirs alone.

    If we go by your theory then what about the children? The children of an abuse victim are ALWAYS affected by it. Are you trying to suggest that God is punishing them too by not providing their parent, the victim, with a good spouse?

    What about those children who are abuse victims themselves? Some abusers do not just abuse their spouse, they frequently are violent towards the children too. Is God displeased with those children too?

    You have no idea what God's intentions are. To suggest that God will bless those trying to be good Christians by providing a good spouse is rather presumptuous of you.

    I suggest you visit a refuge and listen to those who have been victims of abuse. It might just open your eyes. Or perhaps not.

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  22. I agree that too many people divorce over trivial matters, and don't put enough time into talking through their differences. True story: I once worked with a woman who "proudly" proclaimed she divorced her husband because he wasn't "as into" Elvis Presley as she was. That, I find sickening; when the sanctity of marriage is treated as a joke.

    BUT, there are times when I think divorce is the best answer. Namely, when it comes to abuse. No one deserves to be mistreated to the point of living in fear. God would never want that for any of His children.

    As much as you and your husband appear to love your children (from what I've read in your blog), I can't for one instant find either of you encouraging your children to stay in an abusive relationship.

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  23. Divorce is never ok. If you have a husband that beats on you or a crazy wife ect. Then you can seprate, you do not have to file for divorce. You shouldn't worry about getting remarried, because that would be wrong. You can pray for your spouse and do everything you can to help. Most the time the wife is not Ms. Perfect and the husband just beats on her for no reason. Also it goes back to choosing who you marry. If you follow God principles for dating and choosing the right person, then there is a much lower chance he will suddenly start beating you for no reson at all once your married. In a lot of abuse cases there is drugs, drinking, ect. involved.

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  24. I agree that divorce is NEVER the answer.

    We have some friends who are going through some very difficult marriage problems and we are encouraging them to work it out...stay committed...don't give up.

    This man did choose his spouse and God did not force him to marry her. So, if they are still married (and they are) then God still has much to teach them.

    Great post...and thank you for advocating staying married! After all...did we not say "for better or for worse" at the wedding altar?

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  25. I definitely don't agree with 99% of the views you express on your blog, but I have to say this was a very well written post and gave me food for thought.

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  26. Thank you for the reminder. Several months ago I was put on a waiting list to volunteer at one of three battered women's shelters. I got busy and never followed up.

    Thanks to your ignorance, I was reminded of what I should be doing. One phone call later and I am in the next volunteer training class.

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  27. Rick and others,

    the Bible DOES NOT say that divorce is fine if there is "sexual sin". The verse says "except it be for fornication".

    Did you know that it is impossible for married people to commit fornication? Fornication is defined as unmarried people sleeping with each other. After marriage, sleeping with someone other than one's spouse is called adultery.

    Jesus is referring back to the OT verse that says if a man goes in unto his wife to consummate the marriage, and finds uncleanness in her (i.e. an STD, or - as in the case of Joseph and Mary - it turns out she's pregnant before they came together; an obvious proof of FORNICATION, not adultery or "sexual sin"), he can put her away at that point (after the vows, but before the marriage being consummated, and thus not yet finalized).

    Deu 24:1 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, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

    The "sexual sin" back door could be interpreted and twisted to suit our divorce-happy society, such as saying that a man looking at porn or even just lusting after a woman on a billboard is justification for divorce.

    Again, I'd like to reiterate that people can put themselves in a situation where whatever they choose to do is a sin (such as risking their own life or that of the children, and divorce).

    Also, the debate here is on divorce, not separation. People don't just want to separate to save their life, they want to get divorced because they want to remarry. Remarriage in the Bible is considered adultery, unless the previous spouse dies.

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  28. Funny how you ignore Elle. Your beliefs are not Biblical and are dangerous. But you don't seem to listen to anyone so why would you listen to me?!?

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  29. I agree with your comments about perceptions and choosing the right mate to begin with.

    On the other hand, many abusers are quite charming at first and begin to abuse after marriage - sometimes fatally. So, I disagree with you in the case of abuse.

    I also disagree about the infidelity issue; that is biblically allowed.

    - Sally

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  30. I also believe an abuser has already reneged on the marriage covenant. I've worked with abused women who've had to run away from their husbands. Once, I was working in a hospital ER and we ushered a woman out one door while her husband waited for her at the other - because he'd just broken her arm and her face and eye was all swollen where he'd punched her. I don't believe it would have been the godly thing to do to send her back. Submission does not equal "human punching bag."

    (sorry for the double post)

    - Sally

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  31. It makes absolutely NO sense that the bible says fornication is the only reason for divorce, yet married people cannot commit fornication. Is that a riddle? An intentional way for god to try to 'trip up' good Christians?

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  32. Your statement "To top it all off, the children become depressed, suicidal, medicated, aggressive, withdrawn..." is 100% true.

    When I was a teenager, my parents decided to get a divorce. Like many others, it was because of selfishness. That time was the worst time of my life and I experienced most of those problems you listed. But since then the Lord has cured me and I have forgiven my parents for what they did. I do not intend to repeat their mistakes, because although they did not have a biblical marriage, I will.

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  33. I don't quite understand why no one is understanding the topic is getting a DIVORCE not seperated. Obviously if your life is endangered get yourself out, have him thrown in jail but DIVORCE is not the answer. He may be scum and need to be punished for his crimes. Get the guy help, get him saved, help him turn his life around but don't divorce him. God can change him and only God. Like Zsuzsa has said the only reason to divorce is to remarry, which would be wrong.

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  34. PART ONE

    Zsuzsanna,

    First of all, thank you for posting my post regardless of whether or not you agree. I appreciate your stand against divorce. It is a good stand.

    However, if divorce is always a sin, then how do you explain the fact that God the Father is divorced? Clearly God the Father was married to Israel here, because it says she committed adultery and He put her away.

    Jer. 3:8, “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.”

    You said, "Did you know that it is impossible for married people to commit fornication?"


    If that’s true, then please answer these questions:

    Ez. 16:15, 29, “But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was. 29) Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied therewith.”

    If Israel committed adultery (see Jer. 3:8), and adultery is completely exclusive of fornication, then why does God say she committed fornication here?


    I Cor. 5:1, “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.”

    Why is this called fornication, when clearly one of the people is married?


    I Cor. 7:2, “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

    Shouldn’t this verse say “…to avoid adultery, let every man have his own wife…?”

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  35. PART TWO (LAST)

    1 Cor. 10:8 “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.”

    So the admonition here is for the Corinthian church to avoid fornication, was Paul only writing to single people? Also, were all 23,000 people who were killed in his example only single people?


    II Chr. 21:11, “Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.”

    Only single people here too?


    Jude 1:7, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

    No one in Sodom and Gomorrha, or the cities around them, were married?


    Rev. 2:20, “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

    Jezabel was only seducing single people?


    From these verses, it’s obvious that the biblical definition of fornication matches the English dictionary definition, and that is that fornication is an umbrella term to describe all forms of sexual sin.

    I appreciate and applaud your efforts to show how divorce is wrong, and should be avoided at all costs. Just because fornication has occurred means there’s a green light to divorce, the best option is always to stay married. But God’s word is still God’s word and we can’t change it no matter what – God makes an allowance for divorce in the case of fornication.

    For everyone else, there is no other allowance given in Scripture other than this, and that includes hurt feelings, bad manners, abuse, or anything else. As I said before, if someone is in physical danger of being harmed they should get out of the house - but not get divorced. Marital abuse was happening back in Jesus' day too, but He never said it was a reason for divorce.

    World English Dictionary

    "Fornication:
    n
    1. voluntary sexual intercourse outside marriage
    2. law voluntary sexual intercourse between two persons of the opposite sex, where one is or both are unmarried
    3. Bible sexual immorality in general, esp adultery"
    Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition.

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  36. Interesting how you're ignoring me. Your silence is taken as consent. You believe my mother should go back to Steve and let him kill her.

    You are ignorant and dangerous. Simply being married gives an abuser certain rights by virtue of being a spouse. Abused people divorce to get away. They don't want to have to remain legally tied to someone, to have to contact them when they do certain things.

    In California, where we live, everything one spouse makes is legal property of both spouses. Why should Steve receive full access to what is my mother's? Why should Steve be the person a hospital legally must talk to and not me if my mother, who, by the way, is very ill and the outlook isn't good, can't make decisions for some reason? If married, the hospital can't talk to me. But divorced, and she can appoint me or anyone else. If she's not married, as the next of kin, they can talk to me. But married, and they have to contact someone who tried killing her.

    Why do you think men can do no harm? Why do you think women should be required to suffer? If one of your own daughters ended up in a relationship with a man who ended up beating the everloving hell out of her, would you turn your back on her for running away and divorcing so that he has no right to be anywhere near her, or would you help her, keep her safe? A non-reply affirms you'd turn your back.

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  37. If it matters AT ALL to you, Steve also cheated on my mom with her sister, and, while my mom is Christian, Steve isn't.

    Brush off your bible and read 1 Corinthians 7:15. Divorce allowed for a non-believing spouse.

    Read now Matthew 5:32. Fornication refers to sex. A cheating partner is having sex outside of the marriage. According to this verse, a man is commanded to divorce to keep her from being an adultress, though it beats me how a woman with a cheating spouse is the one committing adultery.

    How do you explain those verses away?

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  38. When I was a small child, my father started abusing my mother. It started out small, verbal abuse, the cold shoulder, ect. It quickly escalated into physical abuse which often left my mother bruised and bleeding. Once, he even threatened her with a knife. She believed that the right thing to do would be to stay with him, so she did. She thought that leaving him would be weak of her and against God's will, so she vowed to stay no matter what. She tried to talk my father into anger management classes or church counseling, but he refused to listen to any of her suggestions.

    I don't know how long it went on, but a few years after all this began, my father raped me. It happened three times before my mother found out and the very night she found out, she took me and my sister and ran away. To keep my sister and I safe, she divorced him and terminated his parental rights.

    I still have nightmares about the rapes. It's been over twenty years and I still see a therapist about them. My mother suffers with guilt because she feels that by not leaving sooner, she is to blame for what happened to me. The divorce didn't damage me, my father damaged me. The divorce may have saved my mother, my sister, and me. As for whether my mother made the bed she was sleeping in by marrying my father in the first place, I could never say. But I will say that your argument that those women don't deserve to leave their husbands is sickening. Would you say that a child that had fallen down a well shouldn't be rescued because he shouldn't have been playing near the well in the first place?

    Ms. Zsuzsanna, if you think that women should stay with abusive husbands then that is your business. Me, I just don't think that God would want women and children to die for the sake of keeping a "family" together.

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  39. Elle,

    I was not trying to ignore you. During the day, I have little time to read comments - usually I just read the first few lines to make sure they are not profanity-laden insults before publishing them. I usually also rarely respond to comments, although I did mean to respond to you later tonight. My apologies.

    I am sorry your Dad passed away. I am not advocating marital violence. I am saying that marriage is a "till death do us part" vow. Nobody has to get married. If they don't want that kind of commitment to another human being, nobody is forcing them into a marriage. That's one of the big differences between being married and just dating, especially in a world that does not reserve marital relations to marriage.

    In your mother's situation, no matter what she does, it's the wrong choice. Whether or not her husband was an abusive man, she will still suffer the consequences that come with a divorce. Sin (in this case his) always leads to others getting hurt in the process. For example, kids in homes with domestic violence are harmed by the violence. But if the parents are divorced, they suffer the emotional ramifications of the divorce. Is it the kids' fault? Not at all, yet they suffer the consequences. That is the nature of sin - our sins always hurt others.

    It's a lose-lose situation. I am not giving advice, because I have none.

    Rick,

    don't have time to answer any more questions tonight, sorry.

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  40. Sadly, this Biblical clear teaching is absent in most "churches" today. God tells us that he "hates" divorce. Furthermore Paul in Romans makes it clear that if a woman remarrieswhile her husband is still living then she is an adulterous. Those who live in adultery will not enter Heaven. Sad our culture has become so decieved on this.


    The issue of abuse is always raised when someone dares adress this topic. One does not have to divorce inorder to have an abuser arressted. Standing by for a crime particuarly against a child is not the issue.

    Thanks for the post.Perhaps, in keeping with your other Biblical cnvictions you would rather have your husband answer "teach" Rick assuming that Rick is a male name. Forgive me if Rick is a name for American women too.

    May God grant us healthy homes for His glory.

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  41. Karen R, you say: "Now that I am a Christian and remarried, I see how being saved, embracing my role and choosing to love him would have transformed my first marriage. (He was an alcoholic mess because of his parents abuse with each other and him and divorce)"

    Don't you think that's a pretty easy assumption to make, since you had the luxury of not having to actually work through reforming your first husband, and instead you divorced him? It's pretty easy to look over our shoulders and make assumptions over what "might have been" IF we had done x,y,z in the past. But you are not a fortune teller. The fact of the matter is, you divorced your first husband and re-married. You are, presumably, happily married now to a man who isn't an alcoholic mess. So it's pretty hypocritical and unfair of you to sit self righteously and condemn divorce when you yourself didn't stick it out. I know, you made sure to say "before I was saved". The point is moot. It's not about what you chose, it's about your assumption that had you stayed, you could have reformed him or made it work.

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  42. Please clarify. Are you saying a wife should stay with her sexually abusive husband? Example: A "Christian" man, deacon in a Baptist church, began raping one of his daughters when she was around 11-12 years old. And yes, it happened even after they got home from church on Sunday evenings. Are you saying that your husband would counselor the above mentioned wife to stay with "the jerk?" This isn't a hypothetical case; it's a true story and the daughter has written a book about her escape and survival. Are you saying Jesus would tell the mother to remain with her daughter under the same roof as the molester?

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  43. anonymous at 7:32 pm,

    God punishes adultery, as well as rape, with the death penalty. In the case you mentioned, the marriage would be dissolved by death if we were to put rapists to death, as God intended.

    Likewise, if an abusive husband for instance punched his wife and broke her arm, knocked out her teeth, etc. God had a more effective punishment than jail - eye for eye, tooth for tooth.

    As messed up as our legal system today is, you can (and should) still have a rapist/molester arrested and prosecuted. It has nothing to do with divorce.

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  44. And oh, anonymous, thank you for once again confirming my conviction to not let my young children out of sight, particularly around "churchy" people. Churches are a breeding ground for perverts like the one you mentioned, because it gives them easy access to victims.

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  45. I agree completely with Rick, but let's also not forget I Cor. 7. It is clear there that an unbeliever can leave the marriage for whatever reason and it isn't wrong on the believer's part. No sin there.

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  46. Zsuzsanna said:

    "Likewise, if an abusive husband for instance punched his wife and broke her arm, knocked out her teeth, etc. God had a more effective punishment than jail - eye for eye, tooth for tooth."

    I see. So the wife should punch the husband, break his arm, and knock out his teeth. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.

    Really?

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  47. I disagree with you so much on this issue that I honesty can't articulate the extent, but this is your blog and your opinion - nobody forced me to read, I did so of my own accord. All I will say is that I pray with all of my heart that none of your girls will have to deal with the living hell that is an abusive husband, or that none of your grandchildren grow up in an abusive home.

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  48. My sister and I were raised in a Christian home. She married a man who was the Sunday School teacher and music director in the local independent fundamental Baptist church. He had all the outward markings of a "godly" Christian man. However, their marriage was not happy and finally after 25 years he admitted he had been a practicing homosexual all during their marriage (the activity started earlier when he was in the military). My sister had to get tested for AIDS (thankfully, she tested negative.) She received pastoral counsel to get a divorce to legally remove her and the children out of this horrible situation, which she did. I wonder how you would have advised her in this case?

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  49. Anonymous and others,

    the same God who said that marriage is until death also said that homos should get the death penalty.

    As with all the other abuse cases mentioned here, if our penal system were based on the Bible, these cases would all be taken care of appropriately, either through corporal punishment of the perpetrator, or in the case of rape, adultery, homosexuality etc. through the death penalty.

    It is not God's fault that we, as a society, have decided that our laws are better than His. We can't expect God to change His laws to suit our society, after we decided that we do not like His laws and got ourselves into this mess in the first place.

    Obviously, your sister shouldn't live under one roof with a violent pervert. But that doesn't change the fact that as long as he lives (which according to God should not be any longer, but our society knows so much better), she cannot get remarried. If he divorces her, I Corinthians makes it clear that if the unbelieving spouse departs, to let him. But it also says to remain unmarried in that case.

    No, it is not your sister's fault that our laws are unjust to the innocent. But such is the nature of sin - it hurts the innocent bystanders. It is not fair that babies get aborted. It is not fair that other babies are poisoned by their mothers in the womb, or abused by them after birth. Sadly, that is the way sin works, though. And because our laws do not punish the sins the way God laid out to do, innocent bystanders suffer.

    The problem is not with God. The problem is with us and our wicked society who refuses to follow God's laws.

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  50. Since I was the one who left the original question, I feel like I should comment. Firstly, I can see that you have very strong convictions and are an intelligent woman (lucky for your children, particularly since you homeschool!). I appreciate you taking the time to respond. You have expressed a compelling narrative around why one woman's "jerk" can be another woman's "darling." And having been with my husband for about 10 years now, I can certainly see how his character traits change depending on whether I focus on his good qualities or his faults. And, yes, I do agree that certain people see marriage as being about as disposal as diapers (and not the cloth kind!), which is wrong on so many levels, not just Biblically.
    That being said, I guess my original question/point was not so much about the applicability of divorce but about what a woman can do when, in spite of the best efforts on her part, her husband turns out to be a truly vile human being. This doesn't have to take the form of physical abuse, by the way, but that is obviously an extreme case of such vile behaviour. I see that you've acknowledged that separation, even legal avenues, are appropriate when dealing with a man like that, which I completely agree with. So I suppose that addresses my question as to whether there is a limit, in your view, to "submission" to one's husband. (There is.) However, absent your beliefs around divorce, I'm not sure how a woman practically goes about leaving a man who is vile/abusive, etc. when she's got a gaggle of kids and no money of her own. Maybe I'm just being too practical about this, and not getting all heated about the abuse/divorce issue like the other commenters, but I feel like a woman needs to be able to stand on her own two feet. Even if a woman has a "job" (I use quotations because raising kids full-time is probably the hardest job there is), a culture/attitude of submission could stop this woman from ever having the courage to leave.
    As to Biblical precepts against divorce, I do not consider myself to be as conversant with Scripture as you are; however, I've read the Good Book more than once, and I do believe there is an acknowledgement of divorce...But I won't go toe to toe with you on that one.

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  51. Zsuzsanna said:

    "The problem is not with God. The problem is with us and our wicked society who refuses to follow God's laws."

    If you wish to follow God's laws to the letter then that's fine for you, but what about the millions of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, and other non-Christians living in America? It's rather unfair to expect U.S. citizens to follow the laws of a religion which they don't believe. The Constitution even says that Congress shall make no law which establishes a national religion.

    I don't want my beautiful country which was founded on freedom and democracy to become some twisted version of Christian Sharia law.

    (Besides, if you believe that we should stone homosexuals and adulterers, why are you following the laws of "the wicked society" and, you know, NOT stoning gays and perverts?)

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  52. "The problem is not with God. The problem is with us and our wicked society who refuses to follow God's laws."


    Amen to that.

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  53. I agree with everything you said in your post. I grew up in a seperated/divorced home and it was hell. I'm glad I made it through my childhood in one piece.

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  54. Our Baptist church will not marry someone if they are divorced and a covenant-lifelong spouse is still alive. I heard someone say that divorce is legalized polygamy. My dictionary says FORnication is sexual intercourse between UNmarried persons- I think that applies to Sodom and Gomorrha-Jude 1:7. We have 4 sons(3 married)-I know they will always take care of their sisters. Bible Christians would counsel separation in cases of abuse. I have never met anyone who would counsel that it is biblical to stay. There are ministries like rejoiceministries for people who are praying for healed marriages.

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  55. I hope none of your girls ever marry an abusive man (and they are very good at lying and acting charming during courtship).

    If they take your advice, they'll be a punching bag every day of their life.

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  56. "If he is still alive, God must want you to still be married to him."

    You can say the same things about homosexuals, a group you despise. If they are alive, God must want them to be alive.

    Abusive men do not act abusive before marriage. If that were the case, no one would marry them. They are quite capable of hiding their abusive behaviors. That's why they don't punch their bosses.

    So, if a man is a child molester, an adulterer, a criminal, a wife and chld beater--the wife should stay in the marriage and let herself be harmed and the children be raped and beaten.

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  57. " If he divorces her, I Corinthians makes it clear that if the unbelieving spouse departs, to let him. But it also says to remain unmarried in that case.

    No, it is not your sister's fault that our laws are unjust to the innocent."

    Wow, you are saying God's law is unjust to the innocent? Wow.

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  58. Quote - "If you wish to follow God's laws to the letter then that's fine for you, but what about the millions of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, and other non-Christians living in America?"

    Um, no. Those laws were given to JEWS, the nation of Israel, which was eventually overthrown. Not to Christians. The New Testament tells us to obey our governments. And that was written during Nero's time which was many times worse than anything we experience here in America.

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  59. God had a more effective punishment than jail - eye for eye, tooth for tooth.
    -----
    Come out of the OT and meet Jesus. Start with Matt 5:38.
    Rebecca

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  60. Jessica said:

    "Um, no. Those laws were given to JEWS, the nation of Israel, which was eventually overthrown. Not to Christians. The New Testament tells us to obey our governments. And that was written during Nero's time which was many times worse than anything we experience here in America."

    I think you missed the point I was trying to make. It doesn't matter if the verses which Zsuzsanna are using to justify her stance on divorce were meant for Jews or Christians, what I meant was that she can only expect people who believe in the validity of the Bible to follow its laws. For example, try telling an Atheist that she can't get divorced because God doesn't allow for divorce and see whether or not she'll change her mind. Unless America decides to follow Sharia law and force all citizens to obey the Bible, Zsuzsanna's objections to the society we live in will never cease.

    And we have to obey our government, sure, but if I had my God and my president giving me orders which conflicted with each other, I know whom I would obey.

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  61. Children suffer emotional consequences when one parent is violent. Children suffer when there's a divorce. This means both parents need to do their damndest to set aside their differences and work through issues. But in the real world, things don't always happen that way. Children learn to mimic what they see. Children naturally try to be like their parents. Do you think children should grow up seeing abuse as normal so they're spares the "emotional consequences" of divorce? Do you think children should learn that a normal marriage is a loveless one?

    Steve already nullified the marriage contract. That bit you said, about "until death do us part"? Well, what about "honor and obey"? Steve broke the contract by beating my mother to a pulp. He did not honor her. He was not there for her when she nearly died. So what about "in sickness and in health"? He hasn't been faithful. He cheated with my mom's sister, with other women, and even with other men.

    Mom's suffering by still being married to him, by him still having rights to what we would all see as her property, but that the state sees as both of theirs. She own't suffer by divorcing. She'll be free of abusive control. She can't wait. If she was going to suffer because of getting an annulment (she's actually getting it all annulled), she wouldn't be looking forward to it. My mom is very ill. Once the paperwork is in for the annulment, she will no longer be stuck with Steve having the legal right to make medical decisions that veto me, and there's no doubt he'd make decisions that would kill her. He tried doing it with his fists. Of course he'd do it if the doctors allowed it. But instead she will be safe.

    If you want to scream about divorce being wrong, aim it at those who enter a marriage with the mindset that they "can always get a divorce if it doesn't work out." Protest divorces that happen because the spouses can't agree on which cabinet the towels should be put in and so take that as a sign that the marriage was a mistake (as we know, marriages take work). Speak out against prenuptial agreements and how those are a form of permission to divorce before the marriage has even happened. I'd be right there with you on these issues.

    If you want to insult America for not ruling by your religion, get out. Go somewhere else that rules by holy books. Look at the Middle East, at how "wonderful" it is there. That's what happens when the government allows women to be property and enforces religions laws. The people there are terrified. The Mid-East shares many of the same laws as Christianity. People are miserable. But you're welcome to leave and go there.

    I'm glad that this is a country that doesn't rule by the bible. It was not founded as a Christian nation. It was founded as an escape from religious tyranny. I'm thankful for this. I'm thankful my mom has the legal right to completely free herself of Steve and to one day remarry a good man.

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  62. I haven't read the comments as I was really only interested in what you had written. But I am sure that some have touched on the things I will be sharing here.

    I'm not exactly sure what I believe in regards to your opinions and beliefs in general based on what I've read from you awhile back and again now (both times being directed to some "heinous" post of yours by another person/forum). I'm fairly certain that all of these comments and opinions mean very little to you-including mine. You have struck me as someone so convinced by your own thoughts and beliefs on any given matter that you probably haven't taken anything said even as "food for thought".

    I personally and fortunately do not have direct experience with divorce or abuse. I've been married a decade and my parents 40 years. However I do have education and the experience of others in mind when it comes to this topic. Thinking mostly of the children that are stuck in their parents abusive or otherwise unhappy marriages, I have heard more than once that these children were actually thankful and not scarred by their unhappy parents divorcing. Conversely children in abusive families have been scarred by witnessing such events. Even at a very young age and even when the parents later did separate by one spouse ending up in jail or dead and even divorce.

    You may want to research this a little bit. Especially before spouting about these topics that are seemingly unknown to you. This is something I'm sure has been mentioned but can not be reiterated enough...I am saddened to think of any women (or men) and their children who are considering leaving an abusive marriage who have now been guilted into staying based on your two cents. This could lead to a very dangerous situation and though you feel and speak strongly...I really don't think you'd want those ramifications on your conscience!

    I am a Christian. I also believe the Bible can be a great source of guidance, direction and inspiration. However I also realize that it was *human men* who in the end decided what books were to be Canonized and what information was to be included or edited in the final copy of The Holy Bible. Again something you may want to research before giving what could be life or death opinions.

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  63. Zsuzsanna said...

    " Anonymous and others,

    the same God who said that marriage is until death also said that homos should get the death penalty. "

    Well seeing as the gay population isn't being struck down left, right and center (and before you say HIV, I will tell you that it is cases of HIV in HETEROSEXUALS which is rising fastest right now) by the wrath of God I think we can safely say that God has better things to do right now than deal with gays.

    So whilst waiting for God to strike down the abusive husband (and who knows how long that will take), what is the wife to do? Each day she stays with her husband is another day where her life is at risk.

    Sure she can leave him, as long as she doesn't divorce, however if they are still married that makes it all the more difficult for the wife to hide if she needs to.

    I am completely with you on that people do not take marriage as seriously as they should. People do give up far too quickly. I have been with my husband for 20 years and we have had our ups and downs - some of those downs might well have sent other couples to the divorce courts - but we worked at it. However you simply cannot make blanket claims that all divorce is evil. It is not. Sometimes divorce IS necessary.

    Oh and by the way, you might want to learn Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek before you start spouting what the scriptures say about homosexuality. That way, you know, you wont be fooled by mistranslations.

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  64. As my atheist(he prefers that instead of agnostic)uncle says- the laws are based on the 10 Commandments,etc. He admits that his reference point for right and wrong are the Bible(KJV). I have to give him the book, What Darwin Didn't Know(2004). Sadly, laws have become anti-Bible in my lifetime-preborn baby killing,etc. Hopefully,abortion will be abolished as slavery was(book-One Race,One Blood-answersingenesis). I know a few people-with children-who have married, divorced and remarried several times. Christian Light Publications has a $5 book- What the Bible Says about Marriage,Divorce and Remarriage that agrees with our Baptist church on most points-no divorce and remarriage. This subject reminds me of Terry Schaivo(sp?)- we need to take marriage seriously. Her husband had the flowers watered on the table next to her but wouldn't give her a drop of water to ease her thirst.

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  65. God punishes adultery, as well as rape, with the death penalty.
    -------
    I forgot to add this to my previous comment. Jesus saved a woman who committed adultery from being stoned to death. He told her to go and sin no more. He also told the men who were going to stone her to cast the first stone if they were without sin. Jesus is God, so no, He does not punish adultery with the death penalty. While it's a sin, it's not punishable by death. By stating differently, we are crucifying Jesus all over again.
    Rebecca

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  66. Zsuzsanna,
    Take your time in responding, I can’t imagine how busy a lady you are. My wife was sick yesterday and I had to stay home and take care of the kids. As luck would have it, there was much throwing up – and the sink garbage disposal broke so I had to vacuum out the vomit with our wet/dry vac. Fun times!

    MissionaryMamma,

    I don't see a conversation with a lady, in this case Zsuzsanna, as a threat to my manhood or her "teaching" me. It's just a conversation. Also, once a person is saved they are forever saved and they have the righteousness of Christ. They couldn’t earn it in the first place, they can never lose it either.

    Others,
    I've noticed a few people mention I Cor. 7:15 as a proof text for divorce on grounds other than fornication. I see where you're all coming from, but I'm not 100% convinced that abandonment by an unbeliever is biblical cause for divorce.

    Here's the passage and immediate context:

    I Cor. 7:12-16, "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
    13) And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
    14) For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
    15) But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
    16) For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?"

    I think the context describes what's going on there. The whole idea behind of all the verses around I Cor. 7:15 is a hope that the unbelieving spouse gets saved, not looking for an opportunity to divorce him/her.

    To me, verse 15 isn't clear enough to warrant divorce. A husband or wife "not being under bondage" may just as well mean that they are not required to follow that spouse around everywhere they go and attempt to be a good, biblical spouse. To be blunt, part of being a good spouse is sex according to the first half of the chapter.

    Regardless, I don't think "A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases..." is clear enough to dogmatically state that there is another biblical reason for divorce other than the one Jesus mentioned: fornication.

    Divorce and separation are two different things. In I Cor. 7:10-11 there is an example of separation:

    I Cor. 7:10-11, "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
    11) But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife"

    Its clear God doesn't want people to get separated, but understand that it will happen in some cases. If it does happen, they need to do everything they can to get back together again - not get divorced. I see this as biblical justification for separation if any member of the family is in danger of direct physical harm from an abusive parent, not as an excuse because two people can’t “emotionally connect” or “fulfill each other’s needs.”

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  67. John 8 and Numbers 5 are connected. I heard a Messianic Jewish believer teach on this(Halley's Bible Handbook has an interesting one-line comment on it.).Many believe the woman was being ACCUSED(Luke 8:10 KJV)of adultery by men who were adulterers. Some believe they were lying. Luke 1 is connected to 1 Chronicles 24:10 and I heard the Messianic Jewish teaching on how they believe Jesus was born during the Jewish holidays in late September/early October. Research can be done on both these subjects and they can be better explained than I can explain them. This Jewish believer thought he knew what Jesus wrote on the ground(John 8:6)because of Numbers 5 and some know the Scriptures John the Baptist's father was reading during his eighth course(Luke 1:5,8)because of 1 Chronicles 24. We attended a Messianic church in Florida during the eighties- it's amazing how Gentile Christians don't see what Messianic Jews see.

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  68. "If your husband is an abusive, mean, hateful, fill-in-the-blank jerk in spite of you doing your best as a wife, God can kill him whenever He wants to. If he is still alive, God must want you to still be married to him."

    I know my comment will never see the light of day but, at least you will see it.

    This is repugnant. How dare you say that women should stay with an abusive man because "God could kill him."

    Abusive husbands can kill their wives. It happens all the time. Or they kill their children. Should a woman stay with a man who abuses her children?

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  69. Ok Rick, its a little weird you comment on and look at other women's blogs so often. I've seen you on quite a few. I would feel very weird if my husband did that. Also your a pastor?
    Turbine-
    You sound very ignorant in your comment. Frist of all we are a republic. Second, the founding fathers founded our country on the Bible. Almost all of them were Christians. I believe the laws zsusanna listed should have also been put in effect, we would be a much better country.
    Everybody eles-
    Read I Cor 7, it makes it very clear that the LORD is NOT for divorce. Read it carefully Paul says-to the rest speak I, NOT THE LORD- the rest of the passage is more of Paul's opinion. He makes it clear that is NOT what the lord is saying, just him.
    Also to all of you who thinks zsusana said we should live with someone that would harm us or our children. Read where she has stated clearly not to live with someone that would harm you or your children. She said have them put in jail. However you do not have to divorce them. To the person who said you can't stop him from seeing you in the hospital, that is very untrue. At the doctors office, hospital, ect. You can tell them who is allowed to access your information, and visit you. You can tell them your husband can not have access, and by law they have to follow that. Although I think that is wrong to hide that stuff from your husband if he is not tring to hurt you. Also if you want to make your child that is over 18 in charge of something instead of your husband you can.

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  70. Sue,

    No, I'm not a pastor. There's nothing wrong or weird about commenting on blogs, be it run by a woman or not. I'm on seven different forums as well, and I look at lots of blogs.

    Yes, it would be weird if I was drawn to a blog because it was run by a woman, it creeps me out just to think about that. Honestly, it makes me not want to comment on a blog again because I don't want to be thought of like that!

    I check the blogs of people who are friends of mine, or people that put up interesting topics. I don't know Zsuzsanna, but she puts up good topics, so I comment. I also read her husband's blog and comment on it, thought he's not nearly as active and sometimes he doesn't post what I say.

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  71. "You sound very ignorant in your comment. Frist of all we are a republic."

    Thanks for calling me ignorant. I can just feel the Christian love coming through. I'm not sure what you're trying to prove by saying that America is a republic; please be sure to clearly illustrate your points. I can only assume that when you say that the U.S. is a republic, what you are saying is that because the majority of Americans are Christians, we are a Christian nation. However, the majority rule is not the most important thing in America. Majority rule ends when that rule begins to infringe on minority rights. If the government were to officially recognize Christianity as the national religion and were to begin to enforce biblical laws (no homosexuality, no divorce, no shellfish, no shaving, if a man rapes a virgin she has to marry him ect.)then that would trample the religious rights of every non-
    Christian in America. Our Constitution guarantees the freedom to practice one's religion as one pleases, forcing citizens to submit to any one religion would violate this right. Furthermore, most Christians in America don't subscribe to the fundamental, literal interpretation which Ms. Zsuzsanna follows, so if we were to follow your reasoning, then the laws would be the watery, liberal form of Christianity which fundamental Christians abhor.

    "Second, the founding fathers founded our country on the Bible. Almost all of them were Christians."

    Actually, many founding fathers are thought to have to have been Deists, and many made recorded anti-Christian remarks. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, John Adams...even George Washington called religion the source of more "irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause." As for our country being founded on the Bible, I seriously doubt that. America was created to escape religious persecution in the first place; why would our founding fathers create such a haven so that others would have to flee as well?

    "I believe the laws zsusanna listed should have also been put in effect, we would be a much better country."

    And I believe that such laws would lead to Sharia law in America. After all, just look at the Middle East for an example of what would happen if religion were law. I suppose we shall just have to disagree on this point.

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  72. Sorry Rick it just seems weird to me.
    Turbine-
    You have just showed me how ignorant you really are about the founding of our country. However I don't have all day to debate that with you. I will say that a big part of why America was started was to get away from the catholic church in Europe. Most of them were Baptist that could not practice their beliefs in Europe without fear of being punished by the queen. That is why they came to America to be able to practice here. It would take a long time to educated you on all this, like I said I don't have the Time. Yes America was founded by mostly, Christians, even independent Baptist. No some of the laws you mentioned, are only ment for he jews, but not the moral laws.

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  73. I guess I made a typo, I ment to say the Jews (not he jews) There were moral laws that God wants everybody to obey. Then there were laws ment for the Jews in that time period. So yes some of thoes laws should not be in affect today, but the laws about homosexuals, murders, child molestation, rape, ect. Should still be obeyed if we had a perfect government. I don't think that will ever happen unfortunately. Thoes laws shouldn't change because morals don't change. If something was wrong 100 or 1000 years ago, it is still wrong today. Also, if you think being called ignorant is bad (which I didn't think it was) You should read what Jesus himself called people in the Bible.
    I don't understand why you and others get so mad at her. As she has said many times, it's her blog if you don't like it, you do not have to read it.

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  74. I did not read all comments, but I have to agree with Zsuzsanna on the following issues:

    - A lot of women make really bad decisions when chosing a husband. And most of them knew he was bad before they married him. A lot of women deliberately chose a bad guy because it seems thrilling to them to tame such a person.
    - Drugs and Alcohol are very often involved when it comes to domestic violence (my own father beat up my mom and nearly killed me under LSD influence).
    - If we would follow the bible 100 %, including death penalty for rape & murder, including eye for an eye for physical damage, a lot of men would seriously rethink how they treat their family.

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  75. Elle, this guy your mother is married to cheated with other women and even with MEN??? Death penalty for adultery and homosexuality and the problem would be solved. No divorce necessary in this case. Your mom could even remarry!

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  76. Sue, do you not see how silly it is to in one breath say that our founding fathers came here to escape being punished by the Queen for not being Catholic, and then in the other breath say that you think we should make laws according to the Bible? How is that any different than the Queen persecuting Protestants for not being Catholic?

    As to your assertion that Turbine is ignorant, I wish you did have time to debate with him/her so that you could reveal the "evidence" you have that would prove her wrong. Yes, some of the founding fathers were ardently religious. Some weren't, and as Turbine said, their remarks are well recorded. Freedom of religion protects all of us- it gives you the right to practice as you wish, and me the right to practice as I wish.

    Even if, say, we became a nation that ruled by the Bible, with Christian laws, don't you see how there would still be strife? Pentecostals believe *very* differently than Catholics, Catholics are very difference from Baptists, there are Biblical literalists, there are non-denominational churches...so even ruling as a Christian nation would be infringing on the religious freedoms of other Christians. If the Pentecostals got in power and started forcing women to wear skirts and never cut their hair, the Baptists would be pretty ticked. If the Catholics got in power and started making the Methodists give up birth control and start praying the rosary, yeah, that wouldn't go over well either.

    I hope you can see the point I'm trying to make. Even just saying "run America according the the Bible" wouldn't be without lots of strife and religious persecution.

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  77. No I do not see how it would be a bit ignorant to want the government to rule 100% by the BIBLE! Not sure how you can go wrong when you follow the Bible. I believe it is 100% true, if you don't, your wrong. Not tring to be mean, it is just a true statement. Notice I didn't say Baptist, catholic, ect. Just the Bible. Also I stated that would be a perfect world, and that will unfortunately never happen. Also I am a independent Baptist. I know there are different kinds of them, but I just believe in following the Bible, so I am against birth control, I only wear skirts, and believe that women should have length to their hair. That is just what the Bible teaches. As I stated before I know some of the founders of our country were not Christians, but most of them were. I would love to debate it, and have before, and relized how brainwashed and uneducated people are today about that time period, and how and why this country was founded. Sadly history books have been changed, and have left a lot of it out. That's why people think that they were not Christians ect. Do your research and you will find that 80-100 years ago public education was 90% Bible! It's true! It would take up a lot of time to look up dates, and list resources. One day when I have time I will have to write up a post about it. Also look at the year they took Bible and prayer out of school, and how after that teen pregnancies sky rocket. And when thoes shootings happened at a high school, I heard someone make the comment where was God? What do you mean where's God? The school told him he wasn't welcome a long time ago. I know this is all off subject from her original post, but I think people should really research all this for themself.

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  78. Cortney, a lot of people make the mistake to think that an ideology-free area exists. There is no thing such an ideology free area. Whatever you do in moral terms is the result of a specific ideology, whether it be a racist, communist, socialist, feminist, media induced or biblical ideology. You are still submitting to a specific school of thought.

    The single mom who has a child out of wedlock might think she is free, because in our society she won't be punished for sexual immorality. The truth is, that someone has to pay for the fact that there is no husband who provides for her. We all pay high taxes to financially support such women and therefore our freedom over the money we earn is circumcised.

    Even for unbelievers it should be clear, that if we do not control ourselves, like the bible demands, someone else, most likely the state will control us. The laws of the bible are few, easy and unchanging and valid for everyone, rich or poor, in contrast to the "laws" of of a totalitarian state/dicatator. You liberal guys do not realize, that the power and authority that the bible gives to the father in the family does not disappear in an atheist society, it simply shifts to the state.

    If you as a parent do not excercice authority over your child (including spanking), your child might end up being disrespectful, possibly becoming a juvenile delinquent and social workers might take that child away and put it into an institution.

    Do you think an institution is a better parent than you are? The social workers, whose jobs depend upon the existence of such institutions want you to think that way, but the statistics about violence and sexual abuse in these institutions should teach you otherwise.

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  79. @missionarymomma, sorry, but you need to get your theology/doctrine straight, too! True, adulterers won't go to heaven... if they did not apply the blood of Jesus on their lives!!!! Without that NOBODY will go to heaven! You included, no matter how little you sinned in contrast. Because it is not by works, but by faith!

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  80. Rick, I like your input and I hope you will come here moreoften and continue to add comments.

    @missionarymomma, pls read Acts 18:26 ->
    "And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly."

    Why does nobody give tribute to the fact that the woman Priscilla was involved in explaining the bible to that man. Not on the pulpit, but in an informal way. And this guy was obviously saved already, so it does not count as evangelism.

    I think the key here is that woman should not teach a man with authority, be it as an elder or pastor. These jobs are simply not for women. It does not say women can never teach.

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  81. Sue, again, when you say this "I just believe in following the Bible, so I am against birth control, I only wear skirts, and believe that women should have length to their hair. That is just what the Bible teaches." I would again, gently point out that not all Christians agree with you. That is precisely the point I am trying to make- that even if you say "ok, we're going to run America according to the Bible" that you would STILL have tons of infighting and disagreements because not everyone interprets the Bible the same way- not even all Christians interpret it the same way. That is what I am saying. That's why I specifically mentioned that I doubt you would be happy if, say Catholics came into power and made everyone get rosaries and revere the pope. Or you wouldn't be very happy if the Methodists got into power and were fine with birth control. So even saying "rule by the Bible" gives huge sway as to what that would mean to different people.

    Also, that logically means that the only people who could be elected officials are Christians, right? Well, who says what kind of Christians would be ok to rule? Methodists? Catholics? Mormons? Jehovah's Witnesses? Independent Baptists? All of these groups identify as Christians. I'm just trying to gently point out that saying "rule by the Bible" does not automatically mean that our country would be run smoothly. In fact, I could see there being even more problems, because you would have vehement believers being forced to live under laws that they didn't believe in, or that they felt weren't "correct" in Biblical interpretation. Even here on this blog, amongst devout Christian women, there are people who adamantly disagree with the views expressed- even Bible believing, homeschooling, submission wives disagree! How many more disagreements would there be between Christian believers when it came to "ruling by the Bible".

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  82. Ok, I guess you are not reading my entire post, so for the THIRD time I will point out that I know ruling the government 100% by the Bible will unfortunately never happen. We will never live in a perfect world. Also If we went 100% by the Bible catholics would not hand out roserys because the Bible teaches nothing about them. Catholics also have a lot of beliefs that are not from the Bible. The Bible is not a religion. I don't think you totally understand it. I follow the Bible, its not that hard to understand at a 5th grade reading level.

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  83. Umm... You seem to assume that all kids end up messed up. My parents divorced when I was really little (meaning I don't get upset about it) and right now I'm a teenager. I don't drink, smoke, take drugs or go to crazy parties. I don't even like swearing. I'm emotionally stable and have several close friends. I have never once considered suicide and I don't get depressed- it's not in my personality. Not all divorces end up bad for the kids.

    I don't think marriage is a flight-of-fancy kind of thing either. I mean, my dad was engaged for 11 years with my stepmum before they got married. I don't think they'd stick together for that long if divorce was ever a possibility in the future.

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  84. Anonymous- Just because you did not get upset about your parents getting divorce, doesn't mean other don't. 99% of the time it is hard on the kids. Also just because you don't do the things you listed does not mean the divorce didn't affect you. There are many other issues kids with divorced parents have you did not list. But I'm sure you think you know it all, most teenagers do. I think a 30 year old pastors wife who has probly seen many of these situations before, might know a bit more than you. In your post you come off as angry to me. Most kids have emotional issues, and other problems their whole life because of parents getting divorced. Parents staying together is best for the child. And yes kids turn out much better.

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  85. Cortney- ok its not that hard to understand. Methodist, Mormonism, catholic, ect. All their beliefs do not line up with what the Bible says. If we are ruling 100% by the Bible, then we would not use any if them. Like she said the Bible is not a religion. The Bible is true, that is a fact. If someone doesn't agree, that is their opinion, and they are wrong. Hopefully they change their mind before they die, because when they die they will find out they were wrong. Of course everybody would not agree on everything. Do you thing everybody agrees on what our government does now? No they dont, people are debating everyday on the laws we have now. No mater what laws we go by, no one is going to agree 100%. Ruling 100% by the Bible would be best. Like she said though, it will probly never happen. Also, That is why zsusanna is saying, If you have a murder, child molester, ect. For a husband, if we followed the Bibles laws they would be taken care of. By the way our government does inforce the law from the Bible where we put murders to death. They could do a better job though.

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  86. Sue,

    It's not our fault if the meaning behind your comment is terribly unclear. It might also help your cause if you would actually address our arguments instead of blindly saying, "If we followed the Bible 100% the world would be perfect" and hoping it deters us.

    You argue that if America followed Biblical laws then America would be perfect. However, you also say that it will never happen, so it doesn't matter. Unless we're arguing about what SHOULD be instead of what COULD be, you've just refuted your own argument. If we are arguing about what should be, then your second point is moot and your argument of a Bible-following America being a perfect America is still a point of contention.

    You say that the Bible is not difficult to understand, but considering how many people spend their entire lives studying the Bible and most of them are in utter disagreement about many parts of it, I would have to disagree with you. Theologians work tirelessly to decipher the Bible. "Is this part meant to be taken literally? Does it apply to modern Christians? This part goes against every shred of scientific data on the subject, what does it mean? Could there have been a mistranslation?" The fact is that there are many, many, many ways to interpret the Bible. You can't say, "We're going to follow the Bible 100%" and when people ask, "Ok, which interpretation?" you say, "The Bible!"

    You say that Catholics will not hand out rosaries because the Bible teaches nothing about them? The main reason why Catholics worship the way the do is because of tradition, not because they think that the Bible mandates it. Incidentally, there's nothing in the Bible about Christmas trees or Easter chocolates either. Would these be forbidden as well because they stem from tradition rather than the Bible?

    You say that we should follow the entirety of the Bible and if we did, the world would be perfect. I think where the trouble comes in is how we have different definitions of "perfect". Perfection, to you, is the idea of women abandoning aspirations which aren't to be a perpetually pregnant house-maker. It is teaching other people's children to follow a religion and values which they and their parents might disagree with. It is setting scientific progress back eighty to one hundred years (for that is what surely will happen if we set our education back as such). Perfection, to you, is having the freedom to stone whomever goes against the grain, such as homosexuals, adulterers, blasphemers, rebellious children, people who work on the Sabbath, and every person who belongs to a religion which isn't Christianity. You want the Bible in its entirety, 100%. Everyone would behave and play nice and there would be plenty of stones and plenty of room in hell for people who didn't. I can understand why you think this is perfection; this is what your God commands, after all. But try to look at it from the perspective on an unbeliever and see how our values might not be exactly congruent. I'd rather live in a dangerous world if that means I have the freedom to be who I am.

    By the way, I wouldn't go around insulting people about having a "fifth grade reading level" until I knew how to correctly use a comma, how to properly capitalize, when pluralization is necessary, the difference between "your" and "you're", "its" and "it's"...I'm sure you understand what I'm getting at. I'd also brush up on my logical fallacies, especially with regard to teen pregnancy and how correlation does not imply causation.

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  87. Turbine,
    My posts were not at all hard to understand. I did not simply say follow the Bible. I did explain it, sorry if you are not smart enough to understand it. It would literally take all day to explain how it would work, and prove how all your arguments are stupid. Sorry I can't do that I have a life. You never said anything about arguments I brought up. Some of your arguments did not make sense. Christmas trees are not the same as a Rosary. I laughed at that one. Christmas trees are not part of a religion. Rosarys are part of the catholic religion. A lot of their beliefs are not traditions, but made up by the catholic church and taught as religion. I would know what I'm talking about I was raised catholic. I'm sorry the concept of a country being ruled by the Bible is so hard for you to understand. Once again the Bible is not a religion. Jesus was not a religious person. People are so ignorant to what the word religion means. So all these religions, and beliefs that are not from the Bible that you listed, have nothing to do with it. I was not insulting anyone. That is just a simple fact, the King James Bible(the only right one) is a 5th grade reading level. People make the Bible more difficult then it is to understand. What I have stated is true and if you don't like it, I don't care and I'm tired of reading your ignorant responses. Yes, I called you ignorant get over it. When it comes to the Bible you seem to be. Whatever eles you have to say, I don't care, and will not read it. After I post this I'm done with commenting here. By the way if it doesn't mater to you anyway, why are you still debating it? Also if you disagree so much with zsusanna, why read her blog? It's her blog and she can have whatever opinion she wants.

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  88. Sue, why are you being so insulting? I didn't say anything mean to you. I understood exactly what you said- but again, you insult my reading comprehension and understanding skills, and implying I can't even read at a 5th grade level? What are you gaining from behaving that way?

    I understand you said "rule by the Bible". I understand you also believe that will never happen. I will try, one last time, to explain my point of view to you- note, I didn't call you stupid because you don't understand it. I get that you don't think Mormons or Catholics or anyone else is "following the Bible". My point is that THEY THINK THEY ARE. And if we move to ruling by the Bible, you have to think about the fact that people you might not agree with may be elected. They will believe, fully, that THEY ARE ruling by the Bible. I'm not saying you will agree with this! In fact, that's the point. That you would forced to live under someone who believes they are ruling by the Bible, but in reality you would not be happy at all because, to you, they wouldn't be doing it "right" or interpreting it correctly.

    Which is *precisely* why we have freedom of religion in America. Because it protects everyone. You are not obligated to agree with Mormons or Catholics or anyone else. I'm done with this conversation because you have resorted to insults against my intelligence and as a result I think that is coloring your ability to be able to take me seriously, since you think I'm just a moron with below average intelligence who can't read as well as a 5th grader. I will again remind you that I never, not once, insulted your intelligence, and I didn't even insult your opinion! I simply disagreed with it.

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  89. Sue

    You said that you're done commenting and I respect that, but I'm just going to leave this for anyone who's interested. Please don't feel pressured to respond if you don't want to. You've said several times that you would explain but you don't have the time. To me, this sounds like a cop out. It feels as if you're saying, "I can't think of anything to say."

    About how your arguments aren't hard to understand...

    "My posts were not at all hard to understand. I did not simply say follow the Bible."

    "I do not see how it would be a bit ignorant to want the government to rule 100% by the BIBLE! Not sure how you can go wrong when you follow the Bible."

    You're not saying we should follow the Bible, you're saying that we should just follow the Bible.

    About the rosary and the Christmas tree, you're creating a division which doesn't exist. I was raised Catholic as well, and I'm sure Catholics hold no illusions as to whether the Bible mandates the rosary. For them, it's tradition, a way to focus their prayers, even if there's nothing in the Bible demanding such. Likewise, Christmas is a religious celebration and many Christians like having trees, even if there is nothing about it in the Bible. Either the Christmas tree (like the rosary) is a harmless addition to a religious practice, or its absence from the Bible makes it a perversion of Christianity.

    About the Bible and Jesus, I never said that either are religions. If anything, I said the Bible is a book of religious ideas. Jesus, on the other hand, was religious. The definition of "religious" is to have or show belief in and reverence for a deity. He believed in God, He revered God, He was religious.

    When you say the beliefs I listed have nothing to do with the Bible, are you talking about how I listed all the people who would be stoned? Or when I mentioned all the non-Christians who would be getting a raw deal in a Bible following America? See, this is what I mean when I ask you to explain yourself.

    About the KJB, how do you know that it's the only correct Bible? What makes it inherently better than every other Bible? The Bible was transcribed countless times before it was ever printed in English. How do we know that those hundreds of scribes didn't alter the text? The oldest remaining Bible, the Codex Sinaiticus,,is reported to have been "heavily corrected". It even contains books which were removed from the Hebrew Bible. How can you claim that the KJV is the correct Bible when it differs so much from the original?

    And of course, there's more than one way to read a book. I've seen people claim that Moby Dick is a story about the futility of vengeance and a warning against obsession. I've seen people claim that it's about humanity's search for God and the conflicted views and relationship we have with Him. I've seen people just say that it's just about a crazy guy who just really wants to kill a whale and there's no deeper meaning and no metaphors. You can interpret the Bible much the same way and you can't prove that a strictly literal interpretation is more valid than any other interpretation.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; I would never try to claim that they don't have the right to their own beliefs. I believe this wholeheartedly. You and Zsusanna are arguing that people should follow the laws of your religion even if they don't believe in that religion themselves. That's ok. I disagree with you and I think that belief is fundamentally against everything I stand for as a person, but I think that you have the right to believe whatever you want. It may be hard to believe, but I am not trying to convert anyone to my way of thinking. I'm only trying to show that if the day ever comes where my right to religion is threatened, I will fight and I will not stop.

    Thank you for the argument, I had a lot of fun.

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  90. What I miss in this discussion is love for Jesus, our Savior! Our life should be a living sacrifice to Him. Our life should be glorifying Him. How do you glorify Him being impatient, unkind, unloving to other people who have a different opinion than your own opinion?
    Jesus commanded us to be patient, to not look down on other people, to be humble, to be kind, to tell the truth IN LOVE (Eph.4:15). I don't see that at all in some comments.
    Rinette

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  91. I've thought about leaving a message regarding this topic since the fracas began--usually in such matters on Zsuzsanna's page, I am quiet when things get too heated. First, I agree that people give up on their marriages so easily these days, with no fault divorces, etc. However, my husband and I were discussing it, and he made a point that I thought was worth sharing. When he and I took our wedding vows, the reverend took time to include Ephesians 5:25 through 5:28: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it . . .so ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

    He used the example of a physical church--what if a member of a church chose to destroy that building? Take a saw to the pews, throw chairs through the stained-glass windows, crush the pulpit in two, light a fire in the office and let the sprinklers ruin the records, the books, the hymnals, the Bibles? And far, far more important than that, destroy the Church (upper case) as a community--make up vicious lies about fornication amongst those that are single and adultry amongst the married, spread gossip and vicious speech amongst the community, shows up drunk or high to services, wish that the babies would die of SIDS, torture and abuse the older children. Or, the very worst, begins to punch a member of that congregation, hold a knife to a member, God forbid, shoot and kill a member of that Church Community.

    When men abuse their wives--emotionally or physically--they are clearly not loving their wives as instructed, as Christ loves the Church. Would Christ do the above to his Church? Men who are not loving and respecting their wives as Christ loves the Church are destroying their wives--her body and spirit, just as the Church in the above example. (I should mention that I find the his/her interchangeable--there are women that abusive their husbands and children as well and it is equally repugnant.) In other words, in my opinion, you cannot love Christ or his Church without loving one's wife and treating her and their children with patience, kindness, and love. If you beat your children or your spouse, you simply cannot be a Christian--they are mutually exclusive from each other.

    There is a place for people who abuse their spouses and children--it's called prison whilst alive, for a good, long time--I feel our marital and child abuse laws aren't even close to being harsh enough, and final judgment once dead. That final judgment is not for me.

    Tia, if you see this, thank you for your decision to work with battered spouses and children, what a job of great difficulty and importance you have chosen to meet--may you comfort and help many. I wish there were more brave women like you to care for those in hurt and in danger. I am so sorry to hear such sad stories, bless you to all the anonymous there shared their stories. I hope you've found peace or find peace, if it can be found after such trauma.

    God Bless,
    Mindy

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  92. Dear Zsuzsanna,
    Thank you for writing such a provocative post.
    I have been reading blogs for several years and have never commented on one before today.
    I am blessed to be a Christian, have grown up in a Christian home, and have always been surrounded by Christian families and friends.
    Last year, a friend of our family left her husband. She quite literally fled in the middle of the night with a hastily packed bag and took a bus to a different state. She stayed in hiding there for awhile, afraid to even tell her friends where she was in case her husband questioned them.
    The man she married claimed to be a Christian. He had been baptized, got a degree in theology at a Bible college, served as a deacon in the church, worked for a large Christian company, led her in devotions, and witnessed to people regularly. But from the beginning of their marriage (not their courtship) he was abusive. It started off with snide remarks and immature name calling. Some nights he wouldn’t come home and would get angry when she asked about it. But over the course of their marriage it escalated. He would scream and curse at her about every little thing. He called her “The B*#!” and beat her till she bled, even in front of their three children. Broken arms, swollen eyes, and bloody lips—still she stayed. He cheated on her often—mostly with men, but sometimes with women—and gave her several STDs. Still she stayed, trying to make their lives seem as normal as possible. Even though our family and other friends didn’t know all of what was going on, we wondered at the coldness of their interactions in public. The children as they grew up tried to stay away from the house as much as possible. The youngest boy struggled with aggression. After his older brother and sister left for college and he was left with his parents in the house alone the abuse escalated. There were several nights that he tried to step in and defend his mother as his father beat her. The night she left he slapped her to the ground, spit on her, and, cursing, told her to get out of his life before he killed her.

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  93. PART TWO

    Her husband to this day claims to be a Christian. He still attends their home church, works at his job, and interacts with the neighbors. He tells anyone unaware of his family situation that he is a widower--unwilling to risk people thinking he is an unfit husband. When the church found out that his wife left him, they put her under church discipline and refused to listen to her side of the story, or even the emotional letters written by two of their children (aged 24 and 22), saying that their father was a sick, angry man.
    He refused to financially support his children, claiming that his wife cheated on him and that they aren’t his (even though, to a T, they resemble him). As the head of the household he had access to all of the finances. He stole all of the money out of accounts set up by other family members for the children’s college funds—causing his daughter to have to drop out of college. Our friend worked their whole marriage, but had put all of her savings into a joint account with him. He took all of that money too, leaving her with nothing. It was through loans and the kindness of friends that she was able to get an apartment. She now has a job, and is trying to put her three children through college alone.
    Our friend has a strong belief in God. She lives her life for God and raised her children to love him as she did. Marrying the man she did was not a result of her ignoring the laws of God, or because she didn’t truly obey and live for God. You said, “Sometimes, as a result of personal sin, one can find themselves in a situation where either way they turn, they are doing wrong.” My friend did not do wrong by marrying a man that everyone saw as a good, strong, stable Christian. She was deceived by a man who deceived everyone, including himself.
    She is not currently seeking a divorce because of any deep desire to marry again. She is in her mid-50s and believes that part of her life is over. She is seeking a divorce because she was married for 25 years to a man who told her he was going to kill her, who almost DID kill her, who stole from her and her children, who refused to support or even claim their children, who cheated on her for years with men and women alike, who broke their marriage covenant and gave her diseases that she will have as long as she lives, and who refuses, to this day, to admit that he has ever done anything wrong. She will not tell her daughter through her actions that she isn’t worth better. She will not show her sons that they can control and manipulate and abuse any woman they marry. She is done giving him power over her life.
    Yes, divorce is painful. Yes, many people use frivolous excuses to quit and get out of their relationships when they don’t feel like working hard to keep it together. And when separation is an option that is certainly a road one should take instead. But when you recognize the control that a wicked ‘supreme jerk’ has over your life because you are considered his wife; when he has cut you off and left you with no money or way to support yourself or your children, when he has kept all your things—anything everyone has ever given you,—I think one could make allowances.
    As hard as I try, I can’t picture Jesus scolding a woman for fleeing a bisexual, thieving, scheming man who said he was going to kill her.
    I'm sorry if this sounds preachy--I honestly don't mean to take that tone. But I hope my friend's story will put divorce in a better light--not as a first choice, but as a last resort.

    God bless,

    Noelle

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  94. Since your husband is quite clearly gay, I applaud you for staying in your sham of a marriage.

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  95. Congratulate yourself. You are helping to guarentee that women will buy into your crap, stay in abusive marriages, be killed, be maimed, be terrorized, bloodied, beaten and bruised. The same will happen to their children - 50% of abused wives also have abused children ( though they may not know it at the time) at worst, and at the very least, there will be psychological damage to those children that is devastating. May God forgive you.

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  96. Sue,

    I have read your interesting comments on how America should be run 100% by the Bible. It would be more helpful, if you would just say that you believe America should be run by your interpretation of the Bible because I think that's what you really mean. The others were saying that people have different interpretations when looking at any passage of Scripture. I assume you think everyone should take your interpretation of any particular text.

    Paul said that we are no longer under the law. It appears as if you would take us back under it. God forbid it. Paul made no distinction between moral and ceremonial law. He said we are free from the whole law. If God did not reaffirm something from the law in the NT, we are no longer bound to follow it. I read no where in the NT where God said to stone anyone for any reason.

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  97. Hi,

    I realize that this may be deleted. My intent and goal is not to offend, but to make a gentle plea.

    You are clearly someone who embraces the love of God and Christ. I cannot see you as someone who genuinely wants to harm anyone else. For this reason, I am asking you to please, please amend your post, or to at least put in some sort of codicile or note to the effect that 'staying with an abusive husband' does not mean physically staying with them.

    I believe that some people have gotten confused with what you have said here, or perhaps I have; I hope I have not. I am not speaking of a divorce; I am speaking of physically leaving the vicinity of someone who is actively harming their wife and/or children. Divorce is another issue altogether. A woman and her children should not be exposed or remain in danger from an abusive husband. Please, make this clear in your post, so women who are seeking guidance do not convince themselves to stay in harm's way by remaining in physical proximity to an abusive husband.

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  98. I want to start off by saying that I recognize the good intentions that went into the writing of this post and your genuine faith in God and in the importance of family. I agree with you - divorce is difficult on children and adults and family bonds are important. However your insistence that women should stay with them men who abuse them is dangerous and wrong.

    A member of my family married a man who seemed to be a wonderful guy - he was a teacher, an active leader in the church and a funny, charming person. After their marriage, he became increasingly controlling - isolating her from her family and friends, constantly telling her that she was a terrible person - an awful wife and mother. It was discovered that he had lied to her about a previous marriage and children that he had with his ex-wife. He basically became an entirely different person. This was something that HE did - it was in no way her fault. She did not "make her own bed" as you stated, she did not marry him "out of her own free will." She was lied to and manipulated by him.

    The emotional and verbal abuse eventually led, as is often the case, to physical and sexual abuse of her and her daughter. She went to her church leaders for help and was told that her primary job as a wife and mother was to keep her family together. She was told to be more accommodating to the needs of her husband and to pray for the ability to do so. She was also told that the Bible says wives should be subject to their husbands.

    That's true - it's in the Bible. But what the Bible actually says is "Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body." (Ephesians 5:21-30)

    No one told her that her husband was wrong to abuse her. No one explained to her that God NEVER intends for any of His children to be live with constant abuse. No one ever told her that her husband broke their marriage vows the first time he made the decision to beat her up.

    In your post you wrote that "the only Biblical recourse for a horrible marriage, or any marriage for that matter, is death." In the case of my family that was exactly what happened. He raped her and then beat her to death and left her body in a field.

    For two people to remain married when abuse is happening in the marriage is not a "great lesson for the kids." It almost always leads difficulties as children and adults. It creates ripples of pain within families that go on through generations. My family will never be the same because of the actions of that man.

    As I said before, I understand your good intentions in writing your post. But I hope that you understand that there are circumstances in which the sinful actions of a person destroys the possibility for a continued relationship with that person. A woman whose husband is abusing her should leave that marriage - period. She should do so for her safety and the safety of her children if she has children. And she should do it for her emotional and spiritual well being. This is rarely, if ever, done on a "whim."

    God wants His children to be blessed and to be a blessing to others. That cannot happen in an abusive marriage (for either party involved) and so, sadly, those are times when a marriage should end.

    Respectfully,
    Sarah

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  99. i googled married to a jerk and found your blog.
    Married 29 years to mine. Three adult sons & a daughter in law.
    They are the best thing my husband gave me.
    Its not easy staying in a marriage like mine. Yes I went into this marriage with my own free will. I did see issues.
    I was raised Catholic he a Jew.
    We moved to another state about 4 years ago. Sometime after that we started attending a Christian Church. My husband was baptised. Although recently he stopped attending church. I cling to my faith. I won't get into details. Just that people get divorced at the drop of a hat. People in the world always encourage me to leave him. My church family prays for us. Have true concern for my husband. I do believe God can use him for his purpose. I guess its not nice to call him a jerk. He has inflicted much emotional abuse. Life is too short. Can't we just love one another? I try and look a what is good in him. Some days its not as easy. You have a beautiful family. God bless you.
    N from NY

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  100. I don't know why i googled married to a jerk. Its sad.
    Married for 29 years.
    We have 3 adult sons. They have turned out pretty well. Despite some dysfunction and abuse in our marriage.
    My husband has some good attributes otherwise I wouldn't have married him.
    Ok one doesn't have to be physically abused to be abused. I am just happy that my children are ok and not living with their dad.
    My husband actually started to go to church with me pretty steady for the last year. I was raised Catholic and he a Jew. He was water baptised.

    But now he has rejected the church and is acting more like he used to.
    I am just frustrated. Seemed we were making progress.

    Zsuzsanna God bless you and your family. Thankfully your husband Loves you and treats you the way the Lord tells him too.

    Some of us made bad choices when we were younger. I do hold onto my faith and haven't given up.

    Sometimes I wish I didn't live with him. Since he does things that are unkind.

    N from NY Living now in the South

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  101. All too often, if someone doesn't get out of an abusive marriage, the phrase "till death do you part" means that the victim is murdered by her abuser. I know you might not agree with me, but I don't see how a loving God would prefer someone be a victim of murder which is not just a crime, but a sin going back to Cain.

    Just to be clear, I hate divorce as well, but in cases of abuse, it's the lesser evil, as murder is far worse.

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  102. Unfortunately, I was a victim of child abuse by the hands of my own father. Now, how was my mother supposed to predict her husband would wind up abusing their 9 year old daughter? No woman can predict that. If my mom would have stayed married to him, I would have been abused for many years, as opposed to the few short weeks before she found out. You use the excuse that women should know what they are getting into before they commit or they are partially to blame, but we can't just magically look into the future. Sometimes abuse doesn't rear its ugly head until years into the marriage. Then what? Yes, if a man is abusing a woman before they are married, but she still chooses him, that's one thing. But, if I were to marry a man who is good to me, treats me like a queen, then 10 years into our marriage he starts severely abusing me. Sometimes men don't become abusive until later on. My mother had no way of predicting my father would abuse me. Not all cases is it known before the marriage, that it will wind up abusive.

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  103. I agree that two people should go into a marriage with the mindset that they would be going through whatever is in their lives from thereon together. I also believe in the vows that they make to each other. I expect the same love, respect and courtesy that I give my spouse. I don't think infidelity is acceptable at all and my husband agrees with me 100%. People grow together as they spend their life together but sometimes life splits you onto different paths... And I'm not going to even mention abusive (physically/mentally/verbally) relationships because if something like that has become a large role in the relationship you shouldn't even be with that partner. Marriage is about respect and love - not just sticking with a person because you HAVE to. It should be something you want.

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  104. Forgive me for commenting on this post so late in the game.

    I have a degree in social work and spent a few years counseling victims of domestic violence.

    While it shows good sense to make a wise decision in choosing who we marry, I have to point out that, in the beginning of relationships, abusive partners are charming and wonderful. If they weren't, no one would marry them.

    Abusers gradually take control of their victims, to the point that most victims don't see it coming.

    Being in a relationship with someone for a long time before marriage may reveal if the prospective spouse has abusive tendencies. But, Christian courtships and engagements are generally very short. Interactions among the courting and engaged are monitored by a family member. Abusers put on a facade and don't like anyone else to know how they're treating their partner behind closed doors. I imagine this leaves many victims not discovering, until after they're married, that their spouse wants to hurt them.

    I understand that divorce is hard on children. But domestic violence in a home is far more harmful. Children are very aware of the abuse, whether they witness it firsthand or not. Children are more likely to become abusive as adults, or interpret abuse directed at them as normal, because that's what they grew up with.

    Divorce is sometimes the best option. I have counseled many victims who felt they could not get divorced, even if their lives were in danger by staying married. There is a documentary you should try to find, called "Broken Vows." Hopefully it will explain a little better what I'm talking about.

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  105. Well divorce may be a sin, but so is Paedophilia no? The church tolerates and through its processes has allowed it to flourish.... Just saying...

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  106. simple solutions for complex situations = disaster.

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  107. "Rick and others,

    the Bible DOES NOT say that divorce is fine if there is "sexual sin". The verse says "except it be for fornication".

    Did you know that it is impossible for married people to commit fornication? Fornication is defined as unmarried people sleeping with each other. After marriage, sleeping with someone other than one's spouse is called adultery.

    Jesus is referring back to the OT verse that says if a man goes in unto his wife to consummate the marriage, and finds uncleanness in her (i.e. an STD, or - as in the case of Joseph and Mary - it turns out she's pregnant before they came together; an obvious proof of FORNICATION, not adultery or "sexual sin"), he can put her away at that point (after the vows, but before the marriage being consummated, and thus not yet finalized).

    Deu 24:1 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, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

    The "sexual sin" back door could be interpreted and twisted to suit our divorce-happy society, such as saying that a man looking at porn or even just lusting after a woman on a billboard is justification for divorce."


    I know I'm coming in very late to the game. However... excuse me, but WHAT?! I suspect you are using the KJV translation of the Bible which you probably view as inherently more "correct." But is it more correct than the original Greek? The Greek word used in that verse is, in fact, πορνείᾳ (porneia). As is pretty easy to see, it actually IS the root word for pornography and it does translate as the rather general phrase "sexual immorality" as opposed to the more specific word "fornication."

    Please, explain to me why word-parsing a TRANSLATION produces more accurate word studies than actually examining what words are used in the ORIGINAL LANGUAGE.

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  108. Yes, I realize this blog post is old, but I just now came upon it. I do not wish to argue theology, but to ask you something that perhaps you will truly pray about. We can at times get very smug and righteous in our beliefs, and in turn become very blind to the actual word of God. We become what God never intended (judges of each other, for that is His place only). It is human nature to compare ourselves against others and to claim our sins are not on the same level as our neighbors - that we aren't nearly that awful- but in truth, only He can judge. Truly put yourself or your child in the place of a wife who has been abused (not simply annoyed, but abused), and you may find yourself ambiguous, despite all you've said. There is no sin in admitting you may have spoken out of turn because you have never been in the position you're judging. I don't believe you would counsel a sister in Christ to continue taking abuse because she just wasn't a good enough Christian to score a great husband.

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Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.