Does God allow divorce for spousal abandonment?

If your spouse abandons you, but does not divorce you does God allow you to divorce them?

The Apostle Paul tells us about how to handle spousal abandonment in his first letter to the Corinthian Church:

“10 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.

12 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 Corinthians 7:10-16 (KJV)

Many Christians mistakenly think this is just talking about relationships between a believing and non-believing spouses.   But the principle of a spouse departing remains the same whether that spouse is a believer or not.

Paul starts this passage by reminding of us Christ’s word on divorce, and that God does not want husbands and wives divorcing each other without a cause that God approves of. He then adds another cause that God allows divorce for – the sin of abandonment.

“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.” I Corinthians 7:15 (KJV)

But Paul does not say divorce – he says “not under bondage”

Some Christians will say “Paul does not use the word divorce, but he simply says they are not under bondage” – meaning the person cannot divorce and remarry. They simply don’t have to go seeking after the departed person. But again word “divorce” does not have to be used. In Exodus 21:10-11 divorce is spoke of as a woman being “free”. In the same way when Paul says a “brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases” – he is saying they are freed from that marriage.

This cause for divorce applies equally to both genders

By his language “A brother or a sister” Paul makes it clear that both a man and a woman can divorce their spouse for abandonment. This is not a gender specific cause for divorce.

How long must one wait?

The Bible does not specify a wait time in cases of abandonment. I personally believe that even if a spouse says they are leaving never to return – that a Christian should give their spouse a long time to reconsider. My thought would be to wait at least a year before filing for divorce.

Conclusion

God does not require a believer to be bound to a spouse that abandons them. Marriage requires to people, if one departs then the marriage covenant has been breached and there is no more marriage.

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Does God allow divorce for abuse?

Does God allow a husband or wife to divorce their spouse for abuse? Is domestic violence a Biblical cause for divorce?

So far in this series we have shown that while God hates divorce, and God does not allow “no fault divorce” or “divorce for any cause”. He only allows divorce for certain causes. Many Christians believe that divorce is limited to only two causes – adultery and abandonment. This is based on Christ’s words in the Gospel on divorce and Paul’s words about abandonment.

However this interpretation ignores other key passages of Scripture like Exodus 21:10-11 that allow a woman to be freed from her husband for other causes.   Neither Christ nor any of his Apostles removed these rights from a woman, or her right to divorce if these rights were denied.

Does the Bible speak specifically on spousal abuse?

No. The Bible never specifically speaks on spouse abuse. However the Bible does speak on the subject of physical abuse in other contexts:

“And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake. And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.” – Exodus 21:26-27 (KJV)

If a man physically abused his male or female slave and caused any type of serious physical damage – he had to free them.

It is human right that God has given to all mankind –we do not have to allow ourselves to be physically abused.

Some have tried to point to passages in the New Testament like Matthew 5:39 to suggest that a spouse needs to allow physical abuse to continue for Christ’s sake:

“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” – Matthew 5:39 (KJV)

But they are ignoring the context of Christ’s statement. For the sake of the Gospel –we are to endure all manner of persecution – even unto death. He is not talking about a husband or wife taking a beating from their spouse in marriage.

The right to be freed from physical abuse is a human right, regardless of who the abuser is – whether it is a parent, an employer, or even a spouse.

In the context of marriage physical abuse would constitute a breach of the marriage covenant.

What kind of abuse are we talking about?

If you look at the language of Exodus 21:26-27 it clearly speaking of physical abuse that causes bodily harm. It is not talking about “emotional abuse” or any other kinds of abuse. In fact in I Peter he tells slaves:

“Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.” – I Peter 2:18(NIV)

God does not allow a master being harsh, or a husband being harsh, or a wife being harsh as a reason for a person to be freed.   In other words, God does not allow divorce for emotion abuse, only for physical abuse.

Conclusion

There is no reason to believe that God would expect a husband to stay with a wife who stabbed him and tried to kill him (physically abused which resulted in great bodily harm). There is no reason that God would expect for a wife to stay in a marriage with a husband who continually beats her or her children as this is a basic human right given to all people – the right to not be physically abused.

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Does God allow divorce for adultery?

Does God allow divorce for adultery or does he want couples to stay together no matter what?

In my post “Why does God allow divorce?” I showed that the Bible allows divorce for multiple reasons. I even addressed Christ’s statements on divorce which seem to be comprehensive about divorce, but upon closer examination we see that they were not comprehensive.

Christ’s answer was a targeted response to a targeted question about divorce – “divorce for any cause”. Also the question asked him, as well as his answer was very gender specific, it was about divorce from the perspective of a man. Christ’s answer could be boiled down to “No, a man cannot divorce his wife for just any reason he wants, rather he can only divorce his wife for serious reasons that God allows for.”

Christ gives a reason that divorce is allowed

I talked in that previous post about how Christ used the words “fornication” and “adultery” in connection with divorce in Matthew 19:

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” – Matthew 19:9 (KJV)

The English word “fornication” is a translation of the Greek word “Porneia” which literally means “sexual immorality”. It encompasses premarital sex, sex with prostitutes, adultery, homosexuality, incest, bestiality and any sin that is sexually related. Some have mistakenly taught that fornication only refers to premarital sex and therefore Christ’s exception for fornication applies only to a woman betrothed and since the couple was technically married the man could give his wife a bill of divorce. But since we know that historically speaking fornication included adultery and all sexually related sinful activity this interpretation is far too narrow and cannot be correct.

Christ expands the definition of Adultery

In our modern English dictionary “adultery” is a gender neutral term, but in the Bible it is not. In the Bible – both in the Hebrew Old Testament and in the Greek New Testament Adultery always has at its center a married woman. In its most literal form the only way adultery occurs is when a married woman has sex with a man other than her husband, whether the man she has sex with is married or not is irrelevant.

If a man (married or single) had sex with a woman other than his wife, like a prostitute or some other unmarried woman, this was NOT considered adultery. It would have been Whoremongering, but not adultery.

But in the Gospels Christ expands the definition of adultery from its literal form, to a symbolic form. He says that a man commits adultery against his wife when he divorces her for any other reason than sexual immorality. This would have left all the men in his audience scratching their heads. They were thinking “Wait, only a woman can commit adultery against her husband, a man can’t commit adultery against his wife”.

So in other words Christ was saying “Men you think only your wives can commit adultery against you? But you commit adultery against your wives by divorcing them for any other reason EXCEPT sexual immorality. You further cause the man who marries your wrongly divorced wife to commit adultery because you are still married to her in God’s eyes”.

I believe it is clear from Christ’s statement that a man is allowed to divorce his wife for fornication (which includes adultery).

Does Gender matter in divorce?

But what about a woman divorcing her husband for fornication? Can we just switch the genders in these verses?

Can we take this passage….

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” – Matthew 19:9 (KJV)

And then switch it up like this…

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away her husband, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth him which is put away doth commit adultery.” – Matthew 19:9 (KJV)

Many would say it is right to do this. I used to believe we could switch the genders but recently as I have been restudying all the Bible’s passages on marriage and divorce I have come to a conclusion that even at first I had a very hard time with.

When a Bible passage is not comparing and contrasting a man with a woman(like marriage passages do, and some passages on Church leadership do) then it is right to understand “man” as speaking to all mankind(women included). Most of the Bible is speaking equally to men and women. But there are some passages that speak in gender specific terms – I believe that these passages are gender specific.

If we cannot switch up the genders on passages that speak to marriage, then it would follow that we cannot switch up the genders when it comes to divorce (the dissolving of marriage).

So what is the conclusion?

In the Gospels God allows a MAN to divorce his WIFE for fornication. He is NOT allowing a woman to divorce her husband for fornication. I know how that sounds, I know how offensive that is to our modern culture.

I can just hear it now “So a man can run around with other women and his wife cannot divorce him, but he could divorce her for doing the same thing? That is wrong! That is unfair! That is unjust!” I know this because I used to think that way. Please don’t misunderstand me – I am not saying that God condones a man whoring around. But let’s face it – there are many sins a man can commit, but God only allows divorce for certain sins.

When you study the issue and think about it not from our cultural perspective, but from that of Biblical times it makes sense. A woman could ONLY be having sex with one man – her husband. She could only marry and have sex with another man either if she was divorced for reasons God allowed or if her husband died she was free to remarry.

But with a man he could marry more than one woman. So he could have multiple marriages to different women and be rightly having sex with each of them. Sometimes though a man might have sex with a single woman that was not a prostitute, but he had not officially taken her as a wife. In this case a woman would not be able to divorce her husband simply because he was sleeping with another woman without taking her as a wife. His sin Biblically speaking, was not against his wife, but against God and woman he was having sex with because he had not brought her under his protection and provision as his wife.

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Why Does God allow divorce?

Why does God allow divorce? For what reasons did God allow for his beautiful creation of marriage to be dissolved?

I mention divorce on this blog often, and it may have given some the impression that I believe in “easy divorce”, or divorce “for any cause”. This could not be further from the truth. I believe that marriage is sacred, and before sin entered the picture in the Garden of Eden, God meant for marriage to be for life. However because of sin, God allowed divorce because he knew that some husbands and wives would commit such grievous sins against their marriage and their spouse that it would break the marriage covenant.

Divorce is a huge topic, so it will take several posts to adequately cover it. This first post will lay the foundation for other posts in this series on Biblical Divorce.

When did God first regulate divorce?

Undoubtedly divorce, or “a man putting away his wife” occurred long before the nation of Israel existed. But God’s first regulation regarding divorce was issued through Moses in his Laws to the nation of Israel:

“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.” – Deuteronomy 24:1 (KJV)

So here we see that God allowed for a man to give his wife a bill of divorce and send her away because he had “found some uncleanness in her”. The English word “uncleanness” is a translation of the Hebrew word “ervah” which literally means “nakedness of a thing, indecency, improper behaviour”.

There were competing schools of thought on what Moses meant by “ervah”. One group taught that Moses was only allowing divorce for serious transgressions committed by the wife, while the second group taught that a man could divorce his wife “for any cause” including trivial things such as being a bad cook. Later in the Gospels Christ would settle this dispute once and for all.

But before we get to the discussion of divorce in the Gospels, we need to address another statement on divorce from Moses. Most people incorrectly think that this was Moses’s only regulation on divorce but they would be mistaken.

In Deuteronomy 24 Moses addressed divorce from the husband’s perspective, but in Exodus 21 Moses addressed divorce from wife’s perspective:

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” – Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

Here Moses states that there are three critical duties a husband has to his wife – he must provide her with food, clothing and duty of marriage. The English phrase “duty of marriage” is a translation of the Hebrew word “ownah” which literally means “conjugal rights” (right to sex).

If a man did not provide these three things to his wife – he had to free her.

Notice the language of divorce is very different when talking from the husband’s perspective than from the wife’s. One of the major differences is that a husband sends his wife away in divorce, while a wife is freed from her husband in divorce.

The reason for the difference in language is that in marriage a woman was made the property of her husband. A wife could not give her husband a bill of divorce, because she was his property, only he could give her a bill of divorce and thus “free her” from the marriage.

Some have asked – “Why would a man free his wife even if he was not giving her the three things God commanded him of food, clothing and duty of marriage?”  While the woman could not free herself – her male relatives or the elders of their town could force a man to give his wife a bill of divorce and free her if he was neglecting these things.

Christ settles the debate on divorce in the Gospels

Christ addressed the issue of divorce in four different passages in the Gospels – Matthew 5:31-32, Matthew 19:3-12, Mark 10:2-12 and Luke 16:18. As with any other issue in the Bible – the only way we can know the truth of God’s Word is to put the entire witness of the Bible together and that means the entire Old Testament and the New Testament. This concept is especially important when dealing with the Gospels. The truth is that Christ probably spoke many times on the subject of divorce, but God only chose to have four of those instances recorded by the Apostles.

Matthew’s Gospel gives us two accounts of Christ’s words on divorce, the first one in Matthew chapter 5 gives us one of his short statements on divorce. Matthew 19 gives us a much lengthier word from Christ on divorce. Mark’s Gospel also records a lengthy discourse on divorce, very similar to that of Matthew 19. Luke gives us a very short statement on divorce, similar to that of Matthew 5.

The biggest and most controversial difference between the four Gospel accounts is what is sometimes referred to as “the exception clause”. In Mark’s account and Luke’s account it would appear that Christ says a man cannot divorce his wife and a wife cannot divorce her husband, thus wiping away allowance for divorce in God’s law, but in Matthew’s accounts we see an exception allowing divorce in the case of fornication.

But in both of Matthew’s accounts – an exception is given, for “fornication”, or sexual immorality. This is why Matthew 19 is considered by most scholars to be the most complete teaching of Christ on divorce.

The fullest account of Christ’s answer to the question of divorce

“3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.

11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Matthew 19:3-12 (KJV)

Many Pastors and scholars have made the mistake of looking at Christ’s answers on divorce, without fully understand the question he was answering. If you don’t understand the question, then you can’t correctly understand the answer.

The Pharisees were asking Christ to settle the dispute on divorce – would he side with those who taught that a man could divorce his wife “for any cause” or would he side with those that a man could not divorce his wife except for serious immorality?

Christ answers their question by going back to the Garden of Eden, before sin entered the picture. God meant for man and woman to be together for life in marriage. He then explains that Moses’s allowed them to divorce their wives because of the hardness of their hearts. God allowed them to divorce their wives because of the presence of sin.

But let’s remember – that is was not really Moses that allowed divorce – it was God himself speaking through Moses. We need to remember that.

Now that we have setup the background of Christ’s answer in Matthew 19:9 we can fully understand it better.

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”

Matthew 19:9 (KJV)

Two key words in Christ’s answer

There are two key words used in Christ’s answer – “fornication” and “adultery”.   The English word “fornication” is a translation of the Greek word “Porneia” which literally means “sexual immorality”. It encompasses premarital sex, sex with prostitutes, adultery, homosexuality, incest, bestiality and any sin that is sexually related. Some have mistakenly taught that fornication only refers to premarital sex and therefore Christ’s exception for fornication applies only to a woman betrothed and since the couple was technically married the man could give his wife a bill of divorce. But since we know that historically speaking fornication included adultery and all sexually related sinful activity this interpretation is far too narrow and cannot be correct.

So why didn’t Christ just say “except it be for adultery”? The reason is that adultery is only one type of sexual immorality. The English word “adultery” is a translation of the Greek word “Moichao” which means “to have unlawful intercourse with another’s wife”. Christ was saying that if a woman commits ANY type of sexual immorality – including but not limited to her sleeping with a man not her husband that her husband had the right to divorce her.

Christ’s big change-up on adultery

In our modern English dictionary “adultery” is a gender neutral term, but in the Bible it is not. In the Bible – both in the Hebrew Old Testament and in the Greek New Testament adultery always has at its center a married woman. In its most literal form the only way adultery occurs is when a married woman has sex with a man other than her husband, whether the man she has sex with is married or not is irrelevant.

If a man (married or single) had sex with a woman other than his wife, like a prostitute or some other unmarried woman, this was NOT considered adultery. It would have been whoremongering, but not adultery.

But here Christ expands the definition of adultery from its literal form, to a symbolic form. He says that a man commits adultery against his wife when he divorces her for any other reason than sexual immorality. This would have left all the men in his audience scratching their heads. They were thinking “Wait, only a woman can commit adultery against her husband, a man can’t commit adultery against his wife”.

So in other words Christ was saying “Men you think only your wives can commit adultery against you? But you commit adultery against your wives by divorcing them for any other reason EXCEPT sexual immorality”.

Was Christ’s answer on divorce comprehensive?

One of the common heresies we see today is some Christian groups taking the Gospels and trying to cancel out the inspired Scriptures that followed them (like the Pauline epistles). This is because of a complete lack of understanding of progressive revelation and the inspiration of the Scriptures. There are many important subjects not covered in the Gospels but covered later in the Epistles of Paul or the other writers of the Scripture. Some things Christ briefly touched on, but he did not fully cover them.

On this subject of divorce we know that Christ’s answer was targeted at the idea of “divorce for any cause” which he was vehemently rejecting. But when we understand the targeted question he was answering we know that his answer was NOT comprehensive but was in fact targeted at “men divorcing their wives for any cause”.

We know this because if it was comprehensive then Paul could not have wrote this under the direct inspiration of God:

“10 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.

12 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 Corinthians 7:10-16 (KJV)

So in verses 10 and 11 – Paul is referring back to Christ’s words on divorce. He does not mention Christ’s exemption – but Christ’s general tone toward divorce. Divorce should not occur “for any cause”. He then adds a new allowance for divorce saying “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord”. Some have wrongly used Paul’s statement to say that this was not inspired Scripture. But this is not the case.

Paul was trying to draw a distinction between what Christ said during his earthly ministry and what Christ was speaking through him now. I will have a dedicated post on this passage from Paul where he addresses divorce. But for now I am only using this passage to illustrate that Christ’s words on divorce during his early ministry as recorded in the Gospels were not his final word on the subject, nor was it comprehensively taking on all the allowable causes of divorce.

It is a mistake to ignore the gender in Christ’s answer

Now that we have established that Christ’s word on divorce in the Gospels was not in fact comprehensive, because of Paul’s expansion on it, we need to look closer at the aspect of divorce he WAS targeting in his response. Unlike most of what passes for Christian marriage counseling today, the Bible is very gender specific when it comes to commands regarding marriage as well as divorce. Even many Christians who embrace Biblical gender roles in marriage often fall into the trap of forgetting that there are also gender differences in divorce.

If you look very carefully at all the Gospel passages regarding divorce – Christ always speaks of how a man can divorce his wife in answer to the question of the Pharisees. He does not address reasons a woman can divorce her husband. Remember that he was clarifying what Moses meant when he said a man could divorce his wife for “uncleanliness”.

It is a mistake to say that God took away a woman’s right to be freed from, to be divorced from a man who would not provide for her and who refused to have sex with her. Exodus 21:10-11 still stands and Christ did not cancel that out when we look at his answer in context of the question that was asked him.

We must remember that Moses law can be divided into 5 parts – moral law, civil law, sacrificial law, priesthood law and ceremonial cleanliness laws. God reinstates his moral law in the New Testament while leaving behind the other four parts of the law as those laws were made for Israel as a theocracy as Part of the Old covenant he made with Israel. When Christ died on the cross, he ushered in a new covenant and a new priesthood – the priesthood of the believer.

Exodus 21:10-11 is confirmed to be moral law reinforced by God based on these two passages from the New Testament:

“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:”

Ephesians 5:28-29 (KJV)

This passage from Ephesians 5 confirms that a husband providing for food and clothing for his wife, as he would for his own body is part of the moral law of God. This is a reinforcement of the provision clause of Exodus 21:10-11.

On the issue of sexual relations between a husband and a wife – Paul reaffirms and expounds on the right of sex in marriage. Where previously Exodus 21:10-11 spoke only of the right of sex from the woman’s perspective – Paul makes it clear this is in fact a right of the husband as well.

So it is correct to say that Exodus 21:10-11 still stands, and Christ did not cancel out these requirements for marriage, or the fact that a woman could divorce her husband he neglected to give her “these three”.

Is it unbiblical for a woman to be allowed to divorce her husband?

As I pointed out previously in the Old Testament the language of divorce had with it that a husband would “send away his wife” in divorce, while a woman was “freed” in divorce because she was (and I would still argue that she is) his property.

Today the mechanism of divorce is different, but the principle remains. In Biblical times a neglected wife could bring her grievances to her male relatives or to the town elders to bring pressure on her husband to free her (divorce her).

Today a woman has been given the right by our government to divorce her husband – she brings her grievances to the court and the court grants that divorce. There is no sin in this process as we are not the nation of Israel and we are NOT a theocracy. If a woman divorces her husband for reasons God does not allow only then does her seeking a divorce become sinful.

Conclusion

Christ settled the century’s long dispute regarding the question “Can a man divorce his wife for any cause?” His answer was clearly “No”. Instead we see that man can only divorce his wife for reasons that God allows. We also see that Christ’s reason of sexual immorality is NOT the only reason a man can divorce his wife as he inspired Paul to expand on his answers regarding divorce. His response was not meant to take away a wife’s right to be freed from her husband under certain allowable circumstances that are shown in other passages of Scripture. In the next posts in this series we will more closely examine each of the reasons that God allows a husband or wife to divorce their spouse.

Census Bureau proposes to eliminate marriage and divorce questions

Young couple having marriage problems

The Census Bureau apparently thinks that tracking marriage and divorce rates in the United States is “low benefit and low cost category.” This is not the first time in recent years the Federal Government has cut research into marriage and family issues in the United States. Back in 1996, funding for detail marriage statistics that was given to the states for almost a century was cut.

I am all for cutting government waste.  Yes there have been stupid programs that studied things like “Why a Frisbee flies” and millions of other dollars wasted on such research.  But can anyone say with a straight face that the government monitoring what our marriage and divorce rates are is wasteful spending?

I would submit that most of the people who would say “yes it is wasteful”, are either those who are serial divorcees or those who have never been married because they see this institution of marriage as “outdated” and “unnecessary” for the health of society.  A few others who would oppose it would be privacy advocates, saying “its none of the government’s business”.

The underlying truth is, there is a certain group of people, some in very powerful and influential places of government and society, that want to take the spot light off marriage, cohabitation and divorce. These people come from all political persuasions, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian…etc).  They simply want to move the whole “marriage equation” from the political spectrum, because it creates problems for them when they are running for office.

For instance, Republican law makers have secretly said they wished the Supreme Court would just end the gay marriage debate by declaring it a constitutional right. This thinking is kind of ironic since most Republicans say they don’t like Courts “legislating from the bench”, which is what they would in essence be doing by granting this new right of gay marriage out of thin air.

I agree with what the President of The National Council on Family Relations recently said about this disturbing move by our Federal Government:

“The fact that a statistic as basic as the divorce rate is in question should be a source of concern to family scholars, educators, and practitioners. Given the importance of this topic, you might think that the federal government is committed to maintaining—and even enhancing—the quality of marriage and divorce data. But in a startling development last year, the U.S. Census Bureau (under pressure from Congress to cut costs) announced its intention to drop the marital transition questions from the ACS. The ACS is currently the best source of national and state data on the frequency of marriage, divorce, widowhood, and remarriage. And the ACS is the only data source that can measure marital trends in relatively small groups in the population, such as Asian Americans, Hispanic subgroups (e.g., Cubans and Puerto Ricans), and people in same-sex marriages. Losing this resource will have serious consequences for the quality of family research.”

-Paul R. Amato, Ph.D., NCFR president

https://www.ncfr.org/ncfr-report/current-issue/presidents-report-studying-divorce-and-couple-relationships-difficult-time

I consider myself a conservative, and I generally support conservative candidates for public office. I also support the downsizing of our Federal Government.  But this is one area where I completely disagree with some fellow conservatives in Washington looking to make cuts.  The family unit is the building block of society, it affects every aspect of our culture and the government should maintain the best statistics we can in this crucial area.  We should not be cutting this funding, but rather expanding it and restoring the cuts made to in 1996.

I encourage everyone(liberal, conservative or otherwise), the believes that marriage and family is bedrock of society, and the government should be tracking this information, to write their congressmen today to pressure them not allow this to be cut. Also write to the Census Bureau as well.

 

3 Bible passages about marriage you won’t hear in Church

Church

In church you might have heard passages that say men should honor and love their wives. These passages are true, and right. You may have even heard verses that tell women they should submit to their husbands. But these three passages are rarely if ever taught:

“For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord…”

I Peter 3: 5-6 (HCSB)

“A man, in fact, should not cover his head, because he is God’s image and glory, but woman is man’s glory…”

I Corinthians 11:7 (HCSB)

“Man was not created for woman, but woman for man.”

I Corinthians 11:9 (HCSB)

The reason these passages are not taught in our churches, is because they emphasize three concepts about man and woman, and marriage that are VERY politically incorrect in our modern American culture:

The mastery of the husband over the wife (marriage seen as a master-servant relationship)

Men and women are not equal, man is the image and glory God, woman is the glory of man

Man was not created for woman, but woman was created for man

These passages spit in the face of our modern American ideals of equality and fairness. How can anyone be master of over anyone else? No one could have been made for anyone else. This is by definition slavery, and we won’t have any part of it. So these passages have to go, because they don’t match up with our romantic ideals about marriage.

The Scriptures warn of times like these:

“Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

I Timothy 4:2-4 (HCSB)

 

You men just want this so you can control women and make your lives better!

Many Christians will either try and explain away these passages, or say they were for a different time. They will attack the very foundations of Scripture if they must, in order to take away the power and meaning of these passages.

Those few who still stand for God’s Word, and his design and purpose for man and woman are accused of wanting to control women for their own selfish gains. But the truth of God is this – when a man leads, provides and protects his woman, and his family, when he honors his wife and loves her, and when she submits to and serves his needs, and the needs of the her family – this is when we will have peace, God’s peace, and this is when we will have order, as opposed to chaos in marriages and families we find today.

Our new romantic based, feeling based, equality based marriages have not fared so well in modern times. Marriage rates have declined, and of those who do get married, more than 50 percent divorce. When will we realize that role based marriage, as God designed it, is right not only for us as individuals, but for us as a culture and as a nation?

We must rid feminism and egalitarianism from our marriages, our families, our churches and our nation, one marriage at a time.

The 2 REAL reasons divorce and cohabitation rates are so high

DivorceCohabit

Divorce and cohabitation – what could they have in common? And how could anyone reduce the reasons for such complex things as divorce and cohabitation to just two sources? The answers are simpler than you think, and statistically they are staring you the face.

Look up any government or private surveys or stats on marriage, and while there may be many differences, they all agree that divorces rates are high, and so are cohabitation rates.

Divorces rates reached their peak in the 1980’s, and then declined a bit after that but they still hover around 50%. The dirty little secret is, the only reason divorce rates in the United States stabilized around 50% is because since the 1980’s cohabitation in the United States has dramatically increased.

“Three of four women in the U.S. have lived with a partner without being married by the age of 30, an increasing trend that suggests cohabitation is now a regular part of family life in the U.S., researchers said.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-04/unmarried-couples-living-together-is-new-u-s-norm.html

“The United States currently is witnessing a dramatic rise in the percentage of couples whose first union is not a marriage but cohabitation, a new federal government report confirms…

The report shows that while cohabiting couples often marry at some point, cohabitations frequently dissolve within five years or much less time. “Cohabitations typically are short-lived,” the report observes, though it stresses that cohabitations last somewhat longer now than 10 years ago.”

http://www.foryourmarriage.org/rising-cohabitation/

The reasons typically stated for high divorce and cohabitation in the United States

Many articles online and elsewhere will try and give various reasons for high divorce rates and high cohabitation rates. Often times high cohabitation rates are attributed to more economical reasons. Couples simple cannot afford to marry, or least no marriage before the age of 30.

Adultery and abuse account for only 10 to 20% of the reasons for divorce, while 80 to 90 percent of divorces today are for other reasons. Most divorces occur because of couples fighting over money or career issues, how to raise children, lack of intimacy and not spending time together.

The real 2 reasons for high cohabitation and divorce rates in the United States

The first reason that couples in the United States are increasing living together out of marriage, or married couples are divorcing at higher rates is because of one word – CHOICE.

I love freedom. Our American forefathers loved freedom. But the freedom they originally gave our new nation, enshrined in our original Constitution and Bill of Rights, was a limited freedom. It was difficult to divorce, and it was practically impossible to cohabitate in America as it was founded.

I love the freedom with which America was originally founded, not the perverted freedom (anarchy) that we have today.

Yes people still fornicated, as they always have since the beginning of mankind. But it was considered a shame, and it was kept secret, and the consequences could be dire to both parties if discovered.

It was rare for men to divorce their wives, and most women were never able to leave their husbands because of property laws and the fact if a woman divorced her husband, she would leave her children and everything behind.

CHOICE – People had no choice but to marry, and stay married, up until the mid-19th century with the rise of Feminism which then gave birth to the sexual revolution of the 1960’s.

The second reason we have such high divorce and cohabitation rates in the United States is actually the source for the first reason, the SECULARIZATION of our culture. We have given people the choice to cohabitate and divorce because we have left what used to form the basis for our moral values, and that was the Bible. Since we have no moral foundation, anything goes.

The nation of Israel in the Bible went through times like we see today when “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25(KJV)

Our founding fathers fought for religious liberty, not for removal of all religious influence on society.

“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. . . . Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.”

(Source: Jedidiah Morse, A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1799), p. 9.)

It is no coincidence that as church attendance has declined in this country over the last century that divorce and cohabitation have spiked. We give people a choice to cohabitate and divorce because we have no moral center anymore – we can do whatever we want.

A man can go and impregnate as many women outside of marriage as he so chooses, as long as he pays the child support. Or if he is smart and uses a condom, he can sleep around with as many women as he wants with no worries, and no judgment from our society.

Women routinely place their education, careers and hobbies above the most important functions for which they were designed – being a wives and mothers. Because of modern birth control, women can freely sleep with as many men as they want as they pursue money and pleasure.

Conclusion

People are not cohabiting together because of economic reasons – the real reason is because we as a society have given people the CHOICE to live together outside of marriage.

Couples are not divorcing because of lack of intimacy, lack of romance, or disagreements over raising children or careers, the real reason people are divorcing is because we have given them a CHOICE to divorce for ANY reason(there are Biblical reasons for divorce, but they are few).

The reason we give people a CHOICE today to cohabitate and easily divorce is because we have allowed our nation to become SECULARIZED, we have pushed God completely out of our cultural and legislative institutions, and in our churches Pastors have so watered down the Word of God (because of fear of offending people or bucking cultural changes) that people no longer know right from wrong.

What can we do about this?

There is no question today that there has been a culture war going on within the United States for well over 100 years. There has been a war over what “freedom” means. Some choices that we used to have, that our nation was originally founded with, have been take away. Other choices that our founders never intended for us to have, and would have been considered immoral, have been granted and given the full protection of our local, state and Federal governments.

Some have fought for an idea of freedom that protects behavior that previous generations would have never have allowed. These same groups that have fought for these new found freedoms to commit immoral behavior, have in turn fought to restrict the freedoms that our for fathers originally fought for, especially in being able to publically call out immoral behavior exactly for what it is.

As individuals, it may seem that there is little we can do to change our culture back to the Godly culture it once was. What we can do is take responsibility for ourselves and our families. Men need to take a stand and teach their wives and children’s God’s Word. Then as we take back our families and marriages for Christ, we can then turn to taking back our Churches and encouraging our Pastors to preach the whole counsel of God, not just what they think will be politically correct.

Once our Churches and church leaders have been emboldened to stand for God, we can then begin taking back our neighborhoods, towns and eventually our State and Federal Government for Christ.

We used to have a government and culture that believed in freedom, but it was a freedom that was limited within the boundaries of a Biblical Christian worldview.

CHOICE is both the problem WITH and solution TO America’s cultural decline. We have to choose to follow a Biblical world view, no matter how socially or politically incorrect it may be. We need to influence our culture to remove the CHOICE to commit immoral behavior. But in order to do that, we need to agree on what immoral behavior is, and the only we can do that is by returning to a Biblical foundation as our standard for moral or immoral behavior.