Sunday, November 16, 2008

God and Divorce

I have struggled so long and so hard with this decision, until I finally felt God, in His tender mercy, release me from this marriage. Following are two posts, written only as someone who has BTDT in regards to being married to and divorced from a crossdresser/sexual addict, could do.

1. The law of Moses allows divorce. Jesus said in Matthew 19 "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives..." and also notes that the only grounds for divorce are adultery. Malachi 2 says "For I hate divorce, says he Lord the God of Israel, and covering one's garment with violence says the Lord of hosts."

I believe fully in the Bible; but I also fully believe that God and His law is far more complicated and larger then we can comprehend. Sometimes we need to step away from human boundaries and look at what is or isn't in God's will with His eyes. God hates divorce, but He also allows it. The limitations are that it must because of adultery. Yet, do we simplify this and say to a battered wife "You have to stay and get beat up because he's not committing adultery"? Do you really think that is God's will for the wife? What if there are children involved? Is it better for the mother to protect her children and leave with them or to have them witness her and possibly the children themselves be beaten? And what constitutes adultery? Jesus said "You have heard that is was said 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Well, that certainly covers the pornography and if you take it a step further, it covers cross-dressing and transsexual behavior because these men are lusting after the their "ideal" woman (themselves). A man who mistreats his wife is also breaking God's law because the husband is supposed to love his wife. A wife is supposed to respect her husband but how does anyone respect abuse? So a husband who puts his addictions before his wife isn't being a loving husband, which in a very big way causes his wife to sin because she can't respect him. And of course the opposite can be said to that how can a man love a wife who doesn't respect him. (Although I feel that the greater sin is the husband's as it is the sin that perpetrates the cycle.)

And then you can go back to Malachi 2 where it says "For I hate divorce, says he Lord the God of Israel, and covering one's garment with violence says the Lord of hosts." Violence doesn't always have to do with physical violence. Emotional and spiritual battering is also violent.

More importantly then the above argument is "What do you hear God telling you?" I struggled with my decision to divorce my husband and I struggled knowing that I was emotionally killing myself if I stayed. However, I always went back to the fact that I plainly heard God tell me "It's time to leave." Getting advise from several different sources is important at this time for you and for Lisa too. However, you also need to find a quite time to just pray and then listen to God.

2. I really love reading your posts because I hear my story over and over again and its reassuring that I was not the only one struggling with such issues. Some background so you know where I’m coming from. I was married to my husband for 10 years, he was an ordained minister, when he disclosed that he had been cross-dressing for the entire marriage. I tried hard to fit CD into my theology, but it just didn’t fit. I couldn’t get past Paul’s scripture in his letter to the Corinthians ‘All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Corinthians 6:12). This is why those of us who have been through this struggle for some time, rightly call it an addiction.

I’m interested in those who are struggling with the question of divorce. Really, only God can tell you where the boundaries lie on when divorce is necessary. For me, if I had of remained in the marriage I would have become a lesbian and I believe that is diabolically opposed to God’s plan of marriage. My ex-husband has now transitioned and is living as a woman. For others however, it is not as clear. It was a revelation when I realised, God’s highest goal for me was not my marriage to be fixed (or reconciled) but for me to remain holy and be sanctified and set an example of a Godly life. Yes God hates divorce, but he also hates unrighteousness. Of course, I believe that any move towards divorce must be tested first with a period of separation. This occurs normally as a consequence of boundaries having been broken, and creates an environment for both parties to evaluate whether they want to risk the marriage ending. Boundaries are necessary so that the relationship can continue to be healthy for both parties and not become abusive … whether it be emotional, psychological or spiritual.

While I struggled at the time of whether I should leave or not (my husband crossed the boundaries) the decision to divorce was not as difficult. Once I realised that divorce can be an vehicle through which God’s righteous judgment is defined, I realised it was necessary in some circumstances.

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