Ground or Grounds for Divorce (Part III)
We saw that Kim had been abused emotionally and physically by her husband, Lynn, in our May issue of “News from Bringing to Light”. He would not provide her food, clothing, or the duty of marriage. Kim’s pastor told her that she could not divorce Lynn because he had not committed adultery. She could not take the abuse anymore and divorced him anyway. She later married a kind, Christian man. She was told that now she would go to hell because she had committed adultery in her remarrying (1 Cor. 6:9). Kim was now tormented by demonic spirits that she would die and go to hell. I trust that our last two newsletters have helped you to see that there are five grounds for divorce, not only one.
Where do people in the churches get this teaching about one going to hell if they remarry, as Kim did? Matthew 19:9 says, “…Whosoever shall put away his wife (divorces her), except it be for fornication (sexual immorality), and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Sexual immorality is adultery, incest, homosexuality, and/or bestiality. The other four grounds that Jesus did not mention are abandonment, withholding food, clothing, and/or conjugal rights.
Jesus refers to this again in Matthew 5:32, “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.” Notice the word “causeth”. For example, Kim did not break covenant with Lynn when she divorced him. He had already broken covenant when he committed three out of five grounds for divorce. He did not provide food, clothing, or duty of marriage (conjugal rights) (Ex. 21:10&11). “Conjugal rights” are sexual rights (intimacy), affection, and care. Kim was longsuffering with Lynn and begged him to go to counseling with her. He refused.
Kim had grounds for divorce. She chose to remarry but notice, he (Lynn) “causeth her to commit adultery” and he “causeth …the one who marries her to commit adultery.” Kim and her new husband are not to be blamed. Lynn is at fault, not Kim. Lynn is the “cause”.
So what is to happen to all of the Lynns in this world who have broken the marriage covenant? How about all of the women who have broken the marriage covenant? There is always a place of repentance unless one has rejected the Lord to the point that there is no sorrow for sin. Maybe a person broke covenant before they were born again. All of a person’s sins are forgiven and they become “…a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” when they accept Jesus as Lord” (2 Cor. 5:17). Maybe a person had been saved, but they turned away from God in their breaking covenant with God and their mate. “If we confess our sins, he (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:9). If possible, the one who broke covenant should go to the person they sinned against and repent. This may include repenting to children and other family members (Mt. 5:24). Kim saw these Truths from God’s Word and knowing the Truth set her free from the lies of the enemy (Jn. 8:32). Amen!