GOD TOLD ME GET DIVORCED!

I wish I would have counted how many times I heard someone tell me “God wants me to divorce my spouse”.
When I first heard a man tell me this, I was shocked. “Really, please tell me more” I asked. He proceeded to unveil his twisted tale as my suspicions grew even stronger. His reasoning had so many holes in it even a child detective could have  proven him guilty of ignorance and narcissism.

I asked this man why he felt that it was GOD who was nudging him out of his marriage. His answer was

“I feel better when I am not with her and that is an indication that God is a part  of this”

REALLY? He based his decision on the ‘feelings’ inside of him. WOW. I asked him “How do your four children FEEL?”

“They are devastated but they are strong and they will survive. Kids are surviving divorce all over the world” he responded.

My anger raged inside, calmly I replied “God would not be the orchestrator of your feelings of happiness at the expense of your children and yes they will survive but is that the bar you set for them? Survival? Why not set the bar to ‘thrive’ and that takes a mom and dad in their home working through their issues”.

Clearly, his feelings were not of the Lord. The voice he heard was either HIS OWN or from SATAN.

Have you ever know someone to tell you God was speaking to their heart to divorce their spouse? If so, I would encourage you to do your homework and discover the biblical grounds for divorce. God spells it out quite clearly in the bible.

This article is not to get in a debate on who should or shouldn’t divorce. I will save that one for another time. I want to focus on the comment so many people make “God told me”, or “God is telling me to….”.

I want to give you three ways to prove to someone and yourself that what they are hearing is actually coming from God. (this is also good for you)

ONE: DOES THE BIBLE SUBSTANTIATE IT?

Do diligence and study the word of God to determine if it is permissible or not? Obviously, there are many debates on what is and isn’t permissible but I want you to do your own homework and pray that God reveal himself through scripture. If you try hard enough, you can find a church that would support just about anything you want to do. (scary)

Here are a few scriptures I want you to read on marriage and divorce. I will not comment on any of them so the Holy Spirit can guide your thoughts and heart as you read them.

Matthew 5:31-32

31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

MARK 10:2-12

2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 “What did Moses command you?” he replied. 4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” 5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

Luke 16:18

18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

1st Corinthians 7:39

18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Malachi 2:16

16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.

Corinthians 7:11-13

11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. 12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.

It’s very hard to read these scriptures if you’re in a broken marriage and want out. It’s possible all you can think about is the treatment you have been receiving and the sins committed against you by your spouse. I know and I am so sorry for your pain.

Let’s be clear however, God has very high expectations regarding the ‘covenant’ we made while standing before him on our wedding day.

Do I believe there are times a divorce is warranted and biblically approved? Yes, however seek your local church to help you discover  what constitutes as a ‘biblical right’ to divorce your spouse. If the bible doesn’t substantiate your thoughts or feelings they may be of the flesh or from Satan. Beware. Pray that if your desires and thoughts are not from the Lord that they would cease.

 

TWO: DOES IT FOLLOW THE PATTERN JESUS TEACHES? 

This may be one of the hardest segments of the article. The word forgive is found over 188 times in the bible. Jesus tells us to forgive seventy times seven.

I don’t think Jesus would say, “Forgive your spouse if they lie, cheat, steal, swear, yell, curse, get drunk all the time, ignore your wishes, fall into addictions, turn their back on God are unloving and disrespectful but by all means if they cheat on you, bail out of that marriage and DON”T FORGIVE”.

I have done an exhaustive study on this topic of divorce and have a slightly different twist on what to do if someone cheats on you.

In the book Hosea God shares a story of a man who’s wife becomes a prostitute. Her name is Gomer. (ouch)

He asks Hosea to buy her out of prostitution and love her all the days of her life. Later in the book God tells us why he had Hosea do such a thing. “Because it is a reflection of how my people (Israelites) have prostituted against me (false Gods) and yet I have not divorced them. My love and commitment to them remains steadfast”.

According to Jesus’ teachings and God’s story of Hosea I am inclined to tell couples to give mercy and forgiveness even with an affair. (this doesn’t apply to a serial cheater, chronic abuse, chronic addictions)

WHY?  Because often both parties are equally guilty of sinning against the other with a thousands reasons PRIOR to the affair. Both parties have hurt the other and wounded the other with a series of behaviors PRIOR to the affair. Both parties need to repent, forgive and wake up to the path God has in store for them.

There are exceptions to this rule but rare ones.

So, since Jesus talked about forgiveness SO much and it was his pattern, I ask you to forgive and give your spouse a chance to be redeemed. I ask you to look in the mirror and discover your own sin prior to being cheated on. Study the bible and contrast how many times Jesus talks about forgiving and loving those who hate you verses how many times he encourages you to cut all ties from someone who betrays you.

I know this is difficult but his miracles are often on the other side of you taking a HUGE step of courage and humility. You can do it.

If your thoughts and feelings don’t follow the general pattern of Jesus, another red flag. They could simply be feelings of the flesh. Pray that God remove the thoughts if they are not of HIM.

THREE: WOULD YOUR ELDERS APPROVE OF IT? 

I wish NOT ONE Christian couple would ever consider divorcing without going to their elders FIRST. How cool would it be if we agreed to put our lives and families in the hands of God’s wise and chosen leaders in our churches. (not in a controlling way)

What if we subjected our situations to strong, loving, Godly elders who gave us sympathy, understanding and direction?

What if our elders gave us a one year plan to follow when we wanted a divorce? What if we did it? Countless marriages would be saved, families would stay in tact and innocent children would avoid pain and suffering.

Actually, this is exactly what is happening in our ministry at DARE TO BE DIFFERENT. We are training thousands of marriage mentors to help walk with couples all over the world who want a divorce. Many of them are elders and wives. Churches are using our program to equip a large team of “elder like” couples who have wisdom, compassion and real answers to your trials.

One of my best friends is an elder at our church. He and his wife were trained in marriage mentoring. Recently, a couple put their messed up situation in their hands. After weeks of marriage mentoring that couple found repentance, forgiveness and a full cup of redemption. They recovered from affairs and all kinds of issues. With months behind them we are seeing a solid rock of a Godly foundation being built under their family for the first time. Recently they got baptized and shared God’s redeeming power. All this happened because they put their life in the hands of an elder and his wife. (God’s hands)

The number one tool God uses to help people are “other people”.

I beg of you to go to your elders and ask for ‘truth’. Ask for guidance. Trust them enough to follow their instructions. If they evaluate your situation and approve divorce, you will sleep better and know you did all you could. You will feel the support and comfort from your church.

DON’T: 

  • Get advice from your friends who don’t know Christ.
  • Get advice from co-workers who don’t know Christ.
  • Get advice from family members who don’t know Christ.
  • Go to a lawyer first.
  • Go to a therapist who doesn’t know Christ.

They will all side with YOU and withhold real truth. They will get caught up in your emotions with you and be rendered biased and against your spouse. (not fair to him/her)

Trust your elders, marriage mentors, people who are rich in God’s word and His truths.

I never said this would be easy, it’s simply powerful and rewarding. Miracles are what God does. Give Him a chance.

Be different from the world.

BE CAREFUL to give God credit for a voice in your head that is coming from you or even worse, Satan.

Matt and Pam

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