Saturday, July 1, 2017

Compassion for Those Who Think Divorce

Col 3:12,23 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Compassion is an endearing attribute of the believer. Compassion is defined as having genuine concern for those who are suffering. If we do not have compassion as a professing believer, then Christ is not in us. We must have compassion for those who are going through difficult and trying times. But compassion must always stand on the grace and truth of Christ.
The compassion I have for the "divorced" (rather those who think divorce ends a one-flesh covenant marriage) is not centered on any idea that would have a person believe a divorce can end a marriage. Rather my compassion is to point such broken people to the grace and truth of the Gospel and how marriage is a perfect representation of Christ's love for the Church (Eph 6:31,32). I want to comfort people to the point that they feel the glorious light of Christ and that He alone makes all relationships, including marriage, worthy of His glory. In fact, the Lord uses the broken in these cases to make the Gospel shine the brighter! 

I want to be very clear. I do have compassion for those who have experienced the tremendous pain and suffering surrounding a betrayal, rejection, and heartache of a wayward spouse. There is a deep hurt with this kind of betrayal which cannot be described in words because it is in the very fiber of the soul. Yet, despite this deep rejection there is One who has endured suffering beyond human comprehension and is the same One who we are called in situations like this to trust with our eternal souls.

My latest blog post was an open letter to Lysa TerKuerst of Proverbs 31 Mininstries regarding her recent public announcement that she was filing for a divorce from her unrepentant husband, Art. "Rejection, Heartache, and a Faithful God". If you read my blog post, An Open Letter To Lysa TerKeruerst of Proverbs 31 Ministries, it asks some very serious questions concerning Lysa’s lack of accountability towards her husband and towards his sin. The questions pertain to church discipline (Matthew 18:15-17) and if this was any part of the process up until she decided to publicly announce the divorce. The letter also urges her to remain in her covenant marriage as the Lord commands her to do…especially as a ministry president, author, and popular radio personality who encourages others to do the same.

If you understand why I wrote the blog you can clearly see these concerns are not only valid, they were completely necessary to correct and exhort a fellow believer. I defend marriage (Even Lysa and Art’s marriage) as one man and one woman for life, because scripture defends marriage as one man and one woman for life. I believe scripture calls believers to remain in marriage and do whatever is necessary to rectify the sin which threatens the marriage. This includes remaining in the covenant vow and enacting church discipline with the means of restoring the guilty spouse through repentance and accountability and restoring the marriage through forgiveness. None of this is possible if at least one spouse is not totally committed to trusting the Lord and His word.

It appears that I was not the only one who wrote an open letter to Lysa, or at the very least commented on Lysa’s to public divorce announcement. One such excellent post by standerinfamilycourt entitled “The Proverbs 31 Woman Marches Into Family Court” questioned not only the validity of the marriage (and rightly so), the post also questioned Lysa’s willingness to forsake the word of God by choosing to forsake the body of Christ and attempt to settle this matter among a corrupt secular court system, when believers are clearly called to settle matters among the body of Christ (1 Cor 6:1-8).  

“There’s no question in the minds of most people that a divorce petition, whether fault-based or unilateral, constitutes a civil lawsuit that unavoidably pits spouses against each other for property and parental advantage.    This is an abomination in God’s sight,  if He sees the parties involved as inseverably one-flesh until death by His own hand, as Jesus indicated in Matthew 19:6.    No piece of man’s paper has ever overridden this, “from the beginning” (verse 8) and no piece of man’s paper, other than a death certificate, ever will."

The crux of the matter in this situation lies in whether those who agree or disagree that a divorce can end what God has bonded in heaven. The author of this post agrees that scripture does indeed bind both the husband and wife until death, and that Lysa and Art’s vows to each other have significance to the Almighty Lord of Hosts. Thus, the definition of marriage is at stake in Lysa’s announcement, and if there are those who agree that she has the right to divorce, then what amount of compassion can they give her if the word of God proves them wrong? 

Then there is the matter of her husband’s infidelity. Unfortunately, Lysa’s post only came from her side of the story and clearly made Art out to be an unrepentant adulterer who showed no signs of repenting…ever. The post certainly paints her as having no responsibility in his decisions, and please understand me, she may be 100% innocent in this, but it still does not give her freedom to divorce. There are always three sides to a failed marriage, the husband’s side, the wife’s side, and God’s side. The only side that really matters is what the Lord has to say. It is up to both spouses to either agree what the Lord says, or face His wrath and consequences should one or both choose to follow their own way.

Then there are the other bloggers who decided to show "compassion" for Lysa. The "alleged" compassion comes from those who wrote to Lysa telling her that she has the support from the perspective of those who have been there…as in, those who divorced unrepentant husbands.  Dena Johnson’s “An Open Letter to Lysa TerKeurst” went as far as to have this to say to Lysa…

“Be prepared for unbelievable criticism. I wish I could tell you that everyone will come alongside you, love you, support you as you walk this incredibly difficult path. I can’t. And, the more outspoken you are about the realities of divorce, the more criticism you will face from God’s people.”
“I know you are no stranger to those who make human interpretations of scripture equal to the infallible Word of God. But when it involves divorce, there’s no shortage of harsh words. I promise you will be told you failed God. You will be told you must continue to pray for reconciliation, cling to your spouse until he repents. You will be told that you will be subject to hell if you entertain remarriage.”

There is a bit of truth in these last two sentences mixed with a lot of error.

Telling someone to pray that there would be reconciliation of a marriage is criticism, a harsh word, or human interpretation of scripture??? If “clinging” to the spouse is referring to remaining in the covenant vow of marriage in obedience to God’s word, then I cannot ever believe this was “unbelievable criticism”. Perhaps there is validity to those who remain in the covenant and seek accountability for the actions of an unrepentant husband…considering that there are documented cases that marriages are restored even after an adulterous affair and chemical dependencies.

The key factors surrounding these restorations centers around properly handling the sin which is of contention (Church discipline and accountability), obeying and trusting the Lord, praying for the prodigal spouse, and believing that a civil divorce paper has no power over God and His institution of marriage. The fact that there was no mention of Lysa enacting church discipline is not very shocking since this author has found that Lysa’s home church of Elevation Church has no Elders on staff. A few months ago, long before I or anyone had knowledge that Lysa was having marriage problems, I personally wrote Elevation and asked what is their position on divorce and remarriage and how do they handle church discipline. 

I am still waiting for that answer. 

It should shock you that this is rather common in evangelical churches. There are hundreds of marriage ministries, but not many that attempt to save marriages...let alone have any accountability for their leaders...especially surrounding sound biblical teaching on marriage, divorce, and remarriage...

“You will be told that you will be subject to hell if you entertain remarriage.”

Again, the key factor surrounding all the heart wrenching pain surrounding divorce is the eternally damaging lies that a divorce can end a one-flesh covenant. Consider that a true definition of marriage makes divorce nothing more than it already is…a meaningless piece of paper. Thus, the same meaningless piece of paper is the “remarriage” certificate after divorce of a covenant marriage, and the hollow vows of those who have already vowed in marriage to their spouse of the youth. This last sentence is not only absent of compassion, it is devoid of truth since the Lord and Paul are settled that a “remarriage” is nothing more than a state of adultery. (Matthew 5:32;19:9; Mark 10:11,12; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:2,3)

Then there is another blog post by Amy entitled,  "An Open Letter to Lysa TerKeurst, Her Critics, and Her Supporters" which suggests that Lysa did all she could do…Lysa seems to believe this too. However, there is nothing in scripture that says where WE can save anything, let alone a prodigal unrepentant spouse...

“God saved your marriage (The Been There, Done That, God Saved My Marriage Crowd) but there are so many Christian women who fight just as hard as you did and still end up removing their wedding rings and signing on the dotted line.”

The person who saves their marriage is the person who trusted in the Lord and will tell you that it was not in their power other than to remain in covenant, trusting in the Lord, praying for the prodigal, and speaking truth into his or her life. One must first believe signing on the dotted line ends something which is bonded in Heaven...right? The “compassion” from these well-meaning divorced bloggers only consider that marriage ends on the dotted line. They are willing to offer hugs, support, and prayers...but not the truth. This is not compassionate by any standard.

Then there are those who are calling Lysa to step down, such as the article form the popular CharismaNews article, “Demands Escalate forLysa TerKeurst to Step Down After Divorce Announcement”…
"Lysa, we recommend that you let someone like Lois Evans, the wife of Tony Evans, or Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth take over Proverbs 31 Ministries at least temporarily. No one is condemning you, but you need to admit that you were not perfect in your marriage either, and we urge you to reconcile with your husband. As you stated in your blog post, you 'always encouraged women to fight for their marriages and to do everything possible to save them when they come under threat.' We urge you to do the same,"

These "Christian" news websites love to report these kind of stories...not unlike secular news outlets...While I would recommend that Lysa turns her ministry over to others, I would not recommend Tony Evan’s wife as a replacement. The Lord knows I have sent him exhortation on his teaching on marriage as well...I have recommended that Lysa becomes transparent about her lack of and/or her inability to speak about Art’s accountability from her church leaders. 

It is no doubt that there is no condemnation in this quote, and that it most likely true that Lysa was not perfect in her marriage either. I believe it a loving and compassionate response to suggest that Lysa do the same as she has often preached. But again, there is something missing from this comment as well.   

I would rather see this type of announcement from Lysa Terkeurst, but perhaps not to the point that it would be made public to other than her local body of believers …I believe her leadership would be able to prepare a statement in such case…even on behalf of Proverbs 31 Ministries...

“Anyone who knows me and Proverbs 31 Ministries knows how seriously I take marriage. I’ve always encouraged women to fight for their marriages and to do everything possible to trust in the Lord when their marriage come under threat from the enemy. So, for the past couple of years I have been in the hardest season of my life by remaining true to my covenant marriage even when all seems lost.

When I first found out about Art’s infidelity 18 months ago, I immediately made the decision to enact church discipline. I remained true to the Lord and stood on his commands to enact all levels of church discipline to bring about repentance in Art’s life. Art has been unreceptive to church discipline and is currently excommunicated from fellowship. He is currently under the care of the older, godly men, who continue to urge him to consider the consequences of his sin.
Art was made fully aware that our marriage cannot end until death and that the Lord will hold him accountable on the last day. If he does not repent of his sin, he will spend eternity separated from the Lord. He is also aware that both he and his mistress are adulterers and that this local body of Christ will never recognize any form of civil decree, whether they be for divorce, or his subsequent remarriage.

I ask that you would all pray that the Holy Spirit would quicken Art’s heart so that he would come to repentance, and that he would show committed fruits of repentance so that he will be fully reconciled to the Lord. I know that Art is in God’s hands, and that the Lord requires me to remain in my covenant vow till death do we part.

So what does all of this mean for Proverbs 31 Ministries and for me? I will take the time that is needed to care for my family and seek the support of my local body of believers as I wait for my husband to come home. I have fully confessed the sins for my part to him, and I will continue to pray for my husband and shine the light of Christ in his life. I will humbly remain in the hands of the Father and remain true to the vow I made in His presence…till death do I part.

Please pray for my stand, pray for our children, and please pray that Art would come to repentance so that he would be reconciled to the Lord and that he would have a lasting relationship in the LORD Jesus Christ…in Him who is faithful and true.  And last of all, please pray for every spouse who remains true to the vow of love in Christ…loving a spouse just as Christ loved us…while we were yet sinners.”

In conclusion, I do have compassion for women like Lysa TerKeurst, Dena Johnson, and Amy. But my compassion will not, and must not exceed the love for the Lord and His truth of marriage. The pain I witness in these circumstances could be avoided, or at the very least, alleviated if these situations were not compounded by the lies taught about marriage, divorce and remarriage, the total lack of accountability through Christ-centered church discipline, and the hard hearts of those who will never forgive. 

Lysa and others need to let God be who He is as one who all throughout history fought the battles on His level. Nowhere in scripture will you find that the people delivered themselves from suffering. It was always those who obeyed God, trusted God, and humbled themselves before His presence that experienced the touch of His mighty hand. In this case it will take those who have clothed themselves in the mercy and grace of Christ to humbly wait on the Lord and love their enemy...who may even be their one-flesh covenant spouse of their youth.
Matthew 5:43-48  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
The Lord Jesus Christ came to save us and reconcile to the Father, in so making us into ambassadors of reconciliation. It is time for the church to be ambassadors for marriage truth and it is time for hearts to quicken to the power of the Holy Spirit so that there would be healing for the broken and betrayed. We need the righteousness of Christ to be a witness that marriage will always be one man and own woman for life. In doing so we must put on the humility and compassion of Christ to love even when we have been betrayed beyond all comprehension…not for our own good, but for Christ’s glory. 
God bless you as you remain in Him.

1 Cor 5:17-21 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

In Christ’s love,

7/14/18 PRAISE REPORT!!!: God be praised! It appears that Lysa has reconciled her marriage with Art. Rejoice! I pray that this reconciliation too would go viral! I pray too that Art would heal and be made new concerning his part. I pray that many who read Lysa's testimony see that divorce is NEVER the option, EVER! Here is a very good blog post in response upon confirming the reconciliation of a marriage.  

The Announcement About Lysa TerKeurst’s Marriage You Probably Didn’t Hear


M said...


Many years ago I would've agreed 100% with your position. Until that day that it was my turn and I had to endure an affair , emotional abuse and lies. Then things change,after years of praying, therapy , more lies and many tears I finally got divorce. Do I support it , do I promote it , do I boast about it , no. But it is how my marriage ended because you can't continue to have a one flesh relationship with someone that doesn't want to. Someone that just decided a family and married life wasn't for him and just decided to quit, check out. Then I ask you , what do you do? Tell me ... what would you do? With all due respect I compelled you to get off your high horse and put yourself in that position, where the person that you love doesn't want to touch you, or even talk to you , where your kids go to bed crying because all they want is a kiss and their father is not available. It is very easy to judge every person and pull all of the Bible verses you can think of to condemn divorce. I know it is easy because I did it , for many years to many people , until that day ... the day that it was my turn ... since then everything change.

Divorce is against God's will , yes . It brakes , hurts and destroys the family but, every person will be responsible before God for their actions and He is the only that will judge them. Not me, not you ...

In the meantime , if you are married, continue to pray so God keep your marriage strong until the end



Unilateral Divorce is Unconstitutional said...

If only these ladies who blog truly understood God's word - though it's hard to imagine how they could miss seeing the obvious! If only they understood that man's divorce doesn't dissolve anything. This Amy seems completely oblivious to that truth.

I think your revision of Lysa's public statement is well-put, but I don't even think all the public details of Art's infidelity is all that necessary. I think what Paul said at the end of Eph. 5 works both ways.

I pray that the mighty hand of the Lord surprises all three of these ladies beyond all they could ever ask or imagine. Then they'd really have something to blog about!

Neil Novotnak said...

Dear Maria, I am very sorrow that this had to happen, Maria. I somewhat understand your pain for my part since I too went through a rejection from a relationship of 20 plus years. While I am saddened my your situation and the saddened by the rejection of your children by the father, I will not deviate from the truth which is in Christ.

“Tell me ... what would you do?”

I would point you to the Lord Jesus Christ. Because that is what I have done. Both the Lord and Hosea dealt with the unfaithfulness in which you describe, and yet in both instances their love never ceased. We too as believers are called to a higher calling. Just as the Lord seeks and loves us, so too must we love those who did not reciprocate our love…especially in marriage. Only the Holy Spirit within us can obtain the mercy and grace necessary to deal with a prodigal. Yet, we are also called to live in righteousness, never to tolerate sin.
Unfortunately, the modern institutionalized church has fallen behind and in many cases, and has rejected the clear teaching on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. Combine this with little or no accountability through a total disregard for church discipline, and you have a “divorce and remarriage” culture that is slowly fading into the debauchery of sodomy and hedonism.

Then there is the clear disregard for those broken by an unwanted abandonment through unilateral divorce laws. If the corrupted family courts were all there was to contend with, you have churches who are just as corrupt. Most churches expect you to “get over it” and “move on with your life”…as in get divorced and remarry as soon as you can so that you can join a Life group filled entirely with married couples (Half are “remarried” couples).
Perhaps the saddest part of all are those like me and others who stand on the truth of marriage and are rejected by church people for being an unloving Pharisee on the high horse of condemnation. They ask why the Lord would want us to remain true to a covenant vow when our spouse shows no sign of changing…They ask why would remain unmarried and celibate, waitig for a spouse to come home….even until death if necessary.

“It is very easy to judge every person and pull all of the Bible verses you can think of to condemn on Compassion for Those Who Think Divorce...”
It is called exhortation and rebuke so that such person will repent and turn back to the Lord. I write to “believers” or at the very least, to those who profess to love the Lord and use His name. Since we are called to judge in righteousness, not motives (Which you have judged my motives by thinking I have judged you…I forgive you) you will find that my posts are offered in the grace and truth of Christ to bring repentance, reconciliation, and restoration.
Please read 1 Cor 6:1-11

Neil Novotnak said...

Thanks, UDIU. I agree with the public details of Art’s infidelity and taking note to this I added …”but perhaps not to the point that it would be made public to other than her local body of believers.”

In 1 Timothy 5:20, Paul calls unrepentant elders to be rebuked in front of everyone. I do not know Art’s status among his local assembly, but for Lysa to provide such details only serves to cause division since it is simply her side of the story. We must assume from her announcement that Lysa is totally innocent in this based upon her status as a world-renown author, blogger, and woman ministry president.Those who read their Bibles and know the steps of church discipline would certainly question why Lysa’s letter did not give any details of Art’s accountability…if this is even the case.

“I pray that the mighty hand of the Lord surprises all three of these ladies beyond all they could ever ask or imagine. Then they'd really have something to blog about!”
Amen! Absolutely! We need to pray for woman like Lysa so that she would become a model of Christ and of those standers who silently remain in covenant, waiting for their prodigals to come home to the Lord…and then be just like the Father in the prodigal story when it happens.

Anonymous said...

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Matthew 19:8‭-‬9 NIV

In reading all of this I keep going back to this verse. These are the words of Jesus. This shows me,yes, it is a heart issue and it is better to stay in the marriage but that Jesus, knowing the unbearable pain of adultery, has given an exception here.

Neil Novotnak said...

Dear anonymous- You wrote-“These are the words of Jesus. This shows me,yes, it is a heart issue and it is better to stay in the marriage but that Jesus, knowing the unbearable pain of adultery, has given an exception here.”

The “unbearable pain of adultery” is the excuse here and is based on emotions rather than the grace and truth of Christ.

If it is proven that there are many who have healed from the “unbearable pain of adultery” (And there is MANY…and many do not want to hear these testimonies), would that make your excuse valid? If there are, marriages reconciled from the “unbearable pain”, then are these reconciliations against the interpretation you provided? Also, what of Luke 16:18 and Mark 10:11.12…no exceptions here. Does what you say corroborate with the whole of the Bible?

Please understand that I have asked these very same questions, but scripture answers them all. In fact, Matthew’s exception clause must be handled and used in context.

Matthew’s account (Mt 5:31-32 and 19:9) can only be viewed through the New Testament knowledge that this Matthew’s account of the Gospel was written to Jewish Christians who understood that “fornication” (except for fornication-verses 5:32 and 19:9) was a sin that allowed a Jewish betrothed husband to put away his Jewish betrothed wife because she was not a “virgin” on the night of the consummation of the marriage. The whole foundation of Jewish marriage was understanding that a wife was to be pure and unblemished (A virgin!), and “except for fornication” can only be viewed in the context of pre-resurrection Jewish betrothal. It is poor and erroneous hermeneutics to teach, preach or believe that divorce is applicable to post-resurrection believers and the context text of Matthew’s account corroborates with the unambiguous texts of Mark 10:11,12 and Luke 16:18.

Anonymous said...

Under a godly Old Testament government, the adulterer and adulteress are put to death, making the innocent spouses widows and widowers, free to remarry.

Neil Novotnak said...

Anonymous wrote, "Under a godly Old Testament government, the adulterer and adulteress are put to death, making the innocent spouses widows and widowers, free to remarry."

Yes, both the man and woman were stoned to death...and then the Lord Jesus Christ (who fulfilled the law)) said that if anyone look with lust they have committed adultery in their heart.(Matthew 5:28)Tell me then why did the Lord not permit divorce for a lustful glance since it was adultery? Or perhaps the death penalty for a lustful glance?... Considering that there are marriages that have survived adulterous affairs, what would be your advice to these reconciled couples? Are they in error? It would seem by your logic that it would be ill-advised to reconcile a marriage if there was fruits of repentance and forgiveness in the case of an adulterous affair...I am sorry that you do not understand the spirit of the law,anonymous.

Anonymous said...

My husband was physically mentally and verbally abusive to me,not to mention i lost track of how many times i caught him cheating on me.not saying i was perfect either i feel like i didnt totally put him in GODS hand as i should night he had me so afraid and angry that i shot him he is fine and we recomciled after that but the abuse never stopped.he divorced me and i feel that it was because i eithet didnt have enough common sense or GOD was doing what i didnt have the strength to do.i will always wonder as bad as he treated me how would things of been if i hadnt retaliated in no form or fashion would GOD have changed him and we still be married even though he treated me so bad i still miss the married life.maybe i should of allowed him to do as he pleased and trusted GOD to work things out

Neil Novotnak said...

Anonymous, I am sorry for the suffering you have endured. But I know the Lord can change us for His glory through our seasons of suffering. All I know is this, there is our way, and then there is God’s way. We need to have a deep relationship with the Lord in obedience and in faith to fully understand what it means to love our spouse…or anyone for that matter. Since marriage is God’s command, then it would value us greatly to consider what it really means to be married according to His will.

I do not know your whole story, but it seems that you married for your own desires rather than to glorify the Lord. I find it hard to believe (in most cases) that the attributes of an abusive and promiscuous spouse were not evident prior to making vows to each other. Also, many get married thinking they can change his or her spouse, when the only One that can change a spouse is the Lord. Thus, there are clear instructions for these “unequally-yoked” situations (1 Peter 3:1-7, and in all instances, require us to be clothed in Christ.

My prayer for you is to seek first the Kingdom of God. God loves you, and His desires for you are always according to His will. There are many who need to see a life of Christ in you, and when that happens, who knows where the Lord will lead you. Perhaps the suffering you endured was necessary for a future ministry where you are called to share and lead others to the glorious hope of the Gospel. God bless you.

Raean said...

Neil, your article made my stomach roll. You're giving the bond of marriage more importance than the lives of people. God gave women a way out, if the unbeliever leaves or if they commit adultery. Why are you trying to convince us that we simply must put those facts aside and make our marriages work. We can't make our marriages work with men who are unrepentant. I did not marry a man to share him with others, and God absolutely stands behind that. For anyone commenting that has not been in a marriage with someone who is absolutely, without a doubt unrepentant, you seriously are just casting stones and judging. You'll be judged with that same measure, keep that in mind.

Neil Novotnak said...

Thank you for commenting Raean. I am sorry you do not understand the truth of marriage. You wrote:

“God gave women a way out, if the unbeliever leaves or if they commit adultery.”

No.The Lord did give both the wife and the husband a command. It is in 1 Cor 7:10,11.

1 Cor 7:10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

Notice that she must remain “unmarried” or else be reconciled to her husband. First, she may face a unilateral divorce, which according to civil laws would separate her from her husband. This “civil divorce” goes against the command since a husband must never divorce his wife. If she is divorced, she is to remain unmarried.

Say she does leave by her own volition due to abuse, infidelity, etc…, she is to remain “unmarried” OR…reconcile to her husband. Notice it does not say “ex-husband”. She is to reconcile to her HUSBAND. The divorce in ANY case NEVER severs the marriage bond.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Neil for sharing the truth. I am a stander for 3 years of my marriage. My husband filed for divorce due to unhappiness. He was also in an affair. However God revealed many things to me as to the wife I was. Now I stand for my covenant marriage. One thing that bothers me about Lysa is airing her husband's failures. We are to cover our spouses sins. God bless you as you stand for what you believe.

Neil Novotnak said...

Thank you for the blessing, anonymous. I am sorry that your husband has fallen from the Lord. Praise the Lord that He has changed you. I pray your stand is a reflection of God's love to us, and that your love for the Lord would bring your husband to repentance. God bless you too!

There is much that bothers me about Lysa's decision, and I pretty much covered these in my post. Perhaps the saddest part of all this is the acceptance of those who share her decision to divorce. It makes me think of a quote I heard the other day:

“You have Evangelicals churches now who have shifted on a view of divorce that at one time there was clear preaching and teaching about divorce as a sin, that moves into preaching and teaching about divorce as a tragedy…Now is moving in preaching and teaching of divorce as therapy. So at one time we would see divorce as a church disciplinable action that would have involved the entire church community…Now it’s just its own special Sunday school class, “we are now in the singles again class”…it’s (divorce) not seen as something as sin”…

- Dr. Russell Moore -Are Evangelicals Really Rethinking Divorce? 2007