We teach on marriage, but both of us have been divorced. So you might be asking yourself, “How on earth are we qualified to teach on the subject?”
We had a reader ask a similar question and in this post we are sharing those answers, along with tackling the question, “What about remarriage?”
Comment from our reader:
I enjoyed your radio show. You and your Beloved feed off of each other in thought and mind. The “never say divorce” was such a great piece of advise. I loved your husband’s analogy to pointing a gun at your boss- the trust is broken and it is very hard to take that back.
I just have a question. I have read about the fact that both you and your beloved have been divorced. Did you both have a biblical reason to get divorced, because unless there is adultery, abandonment by an unbelieving spouse, or possibly physical endangerment, divorce is not an option, right?
We responded to her, and in doing so, we felt we should give our testimony to all of our readers as well.
Glad to hear you enjoyed the radio show! And, yes, we do feed off of each other.
Regarding our divorces…
Eric’s Response: I was married for 9 years. When I met her, she claimed to be a Christian, but as a young man I did not receive a whole lot of instruction from my parents in choosing a spouse. I chose her on the basis that she said that she loved me and loved the Lord. From the first year of the marriage she said that “she wanted a divorce” hence my personal insight to the instruction given on the radio show. I never said it to her and never wanted one either. God hates divorce and so did I. I begged her not to say that word because I knew of the damage that it did to me as well as to the marriage.
She would ask me if I was happy. My response then is the same as it is now… “The call from the Lord and the Bible is to be obedient, NOT TO BE HAPPY” I was committed for life to this woman. I was not confused with the difference between happiness (the current circumstances, or happenings) and obedience (the call of the believer to follow the Lord no matter what the circumstances are…even unto death!) I expressed to her that if she wanted a divorce that she would have to follow through with it because I never would. Needless to say she announced to me on my birthday, 9 years later that she had filed for divorce. I told her that I still wasn’t leaving! (I did not think that she would follow through)… but she did. So I was free. 1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
Although I am divorced, I never divorced anyone, but she did divorce me. Ironically, had I participated in the divorce, Jolene would never have considered me for marriage, because my character would have been ruined as a Man of God. Don’t misunderstand… I do feel that after 9 years the Lord did deliver me from being a lifetime recipient of continual verbal abuse, physical abuse, and rage, but I never would have filed for divorce outside of biblical reasons, and I never did. I was committed to Obedience to the Lord no matter what… Oh how he rewarded me with Jolene for that faithfulness. By the way, the second time I married, I let the Lord pick her. He picked someone I would have NEVER picked, yet I am blessed in this marriage beyond any relationship that I could have ever imagined. Go figure…GO LORD!
Jolene’s response: I was not saved when I got married the first time. He became abusive and I left. A few years later he remarried. A few years after that, I got saved. Then the Lord picked my Beloved to be my husband. Needless to say, through all of the pain of our previous marriages, the Lord has used what the enemy meant for evil to be used for His glory.
Our story is all for His glory, and He’s given us a heart to encourage and equip other Christian couples so they can have a ‘Oneness’ marriage; the type of marriage that God intended.
The reader further asked:
If I got divorced outside of the Bible’s given exceptions when divorce is okay, can I get remarried?
Let’s first take a look at what the Bible has to say about divorce.
1) God hates divorce and He wants you to stay married.
“For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,*” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.” Malachi 2:16 (NLT)
“Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”Mark 10:9
2) If your spouse is an unbeliever and he wants to remain married to you- then you stay married.
If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 1 Corinthians 7:12,13
Seeing that God is a merciful God, He has made provisions in His word regarding painful marriages.
3) If your unbelieving spouse wants to leave…don’t let the door hit him on the way out, I mean, let him leave. 🙂 God always wants restoration and reconciliation in your marriage, but you only have control over yourself. He has given everybody free will. You can’t force another human being to want to restore the relationship. Let them go and be filled with God’s peace.
But if the husband or wife who isn’t a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the Christian husband or wife is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you to live in peace. 1 Corinthians 7:15 (NLT)
4) Divorce is allowed if the spouse has committed adultery.
Perhaps you are considering divorce but you have no biblical grounds in which to do so? This is what God’s word says about it:
Stay married! You will be outside of God’s will for your life and you’ll miss out on His blessings if you choose your own path. Don’t make your own choice; be obedient to God’s Word.
Perhaps you have a difficult marriage? God knows your hurting heart. He’s with you and He’s in the business of restoration and redemption. Be patient and faithful.