I don’t know how to explain it, but God was screaming at me. Not in a way, like He was accusing me of something, but it was an urgent warning. And, HE wouldn’t let up. It was persistent.
As I cried out to the Lord in frustration struggling to understand His words to me, He began to give me visions of our outdoor shed. He reminded me of my husband’s fury, yes, unplaced fury, when I took up a lark and began to clean out the shed. It was spring, and I wanted to clean it out.
At first I wasn’t sure God was speaking to me when it started. I mean, does HE do that? I wondered. But, the message seemed urgent. God’s call to me was unrelenting.
My mind wandered as I recalled why in the world my husband was so angry the day before he left. He tended to stew, and verbally and emotionally abuse everyone around him, even harbor weapons in strange and paranoid places, but this behavior was even for him a bit out of the ordinary. It nagged at me.
I tried getting him into counseling. I pushed him to take medications. I demanded that he not endanger my children and I with his weapons.
His behavior remained a cover up for what he was participating in behind the scenes: alcohol and adultery. His rage was his symptom.
Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:3-6
We wonder why in the world Jesus answered this way to the Pharisees. Did you notice that He answered their question with another question? In fact, when the context of the passage is read with care and detail, we find out that Jesus intentionally answered this way because He knew they were adulterers.
The question begs to be answered: Why are the Pharisees so interested in whether or not divorce is justified in cases of adultery? Don’t they know? Adulterers separate what God joined together.
What God has joined together…
When you read my personal story above you wonder, don’t you, how in the world God could have put two souls so unequally yoked together? It is a question I struggled with for years. After all, we are all fed the lie in the church that because we marry “before God” and with a pastor that our vows are covered by our Creator. He has to first ordain it, doesn’t He?
Yet, what if, we venture out on our own legalism, and the religion which we are taught for years we may not like what we find. God ordains marriage not man. If we legally marry someone, or even live with them, does that mean that they are placed together by God? I dare say that is not all true.
An adulterer divorces his wife when and breaks God’s covenant with his wife.
No person remakes a Covenant
All too often the toxin of reuniting an adulterer with his former wife passes around the church Body, as if the government or the Pharisees are God. Even God opposes an adulterous union, but we all want a miracle from a very destructive event. But, Humpty Dumpty cannot be put back together again. Instead, new life will grow out of the ashes of an adulterer’s destruction.
Far too many pastors tell Christian women to “forgive” their husbands and stay married to them. They wrongly advise women to stay legally married to evil men, who are adulterers. Further, a desperate man caught in adultery, will only try to save face. Adulterers, usually also abusers, become bent on killing the wives and children they betrayed. The miracle remains that theses women actually escaped this man and his abuse.
God would not bind together under heaven two unequally yoked people in a “covenant” of marriage. Yahweh does not bind Covenant in circumstances like this. Forcing women and children to live in a lie brings further destruction on those who are oppressing them.
Marriage remains a union before God.
It needs to stay that way. We should not allow the government to determine who we remain married to, nor religious legalisms. True marriage before God will not be separated by a man of God.
Do we, as the church, take it seriously enough? Many do, but many others do not. Honestly, women should be counseled to ask God to bring them their husbands. Relying on secular diagnostic procedures to deliver the world’s idea of a husband rarely brings God into the equation. It also creates and perpetuates domestic violence.
The last divorce rate I read about for families with special needs children was about 50%. I have heard some of the arguments, but I can say that as a mom who has been single with a special needs child, divorce is quite common. It is rampant in my son’s genetic community. Not all situations started with someone’s addiction, but there are many that did.
And usually, it was the woman who is a Christian and was counseled to marry or stay married to a man who she just might save. Like she can.
How do we address domestic violence in the Church?
We seek God in truth. If you have never been around a victim of domestic violence and I am the first one whose story you have read, I assure you that my story is mild. Many others lived through much worse and others lost their lives—sometimes they lose their lives in the process.
I am only a voice–mine and theirs. I am a face, if you will, of domestic violence in the Church. But, I am also the face of domestic violence in this country.
The Church cannot deny its parts of the Body. It cannot continue to turn its back on the victims of domestic violence—the women and the children. They must wake up. Did you know:
Researchers found about 4 in 10 (42 percent) pastors “rarely” or “never” speak about domestic violence. ~ LifewayResearch.com
The Body has a great deal to learn about domestic violence, but Christian women in violent situations need help from their churches. The question is, what is the Body going to do about it?