Month: February 2015

The “Escape Clause”

We’ve had people ask us about Matthew 5:32 & 19:9:

Matthew 5:32 (NKJV) “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

Matthew 19:9 (NKJV) “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

First, do these verses allow for divorce in the case of adultery? And can the “innocent spouse” then remarry?

Ok. There’s a lot to discuss here. These two verses, at first, appear to mean that if my spouse commits adultery, I have the freedom to divorce him. I thought this at first too, until the Lord forced me to delve deeper.

First, look at verse 5:28. Jesus literally just got done saying any man that looked at a woman lustfully has committed adultery. Um, if we applied adultery as the exception clause in verse 32, then every woman has the freedom to divorce her husband! So, that’s a no.

Second, look at the Greek word Jesus uses here for sexual immorality. It’s porneia, as in fornication, not the word for adultery. The Jews would understand this because Jesus is referencing the Jewish custom of the bretrothal period. This period recognizes a brethrothed couple as husband and wife prior to consummation and ceremony because a ketubah covenant has been established. It was during this time, if a “spouse” was found unfaithful, you had the right to “divorce” them. This explains why Joseph had the right to “divorce” Mary when he discovered she was pregnant prior to their marriage (Matthew 1:19).

Third, there is no escape clause except death because of what marriage represents: the covenant between God and Israel and Christ and the church. The Jews were highly unfaithful, yet God would not leave her. Look at Hosea. He was used as this very example. His wife prostituted herself, yet was told to go get her back! That’s God’s way…that’s covenant. This is why I also believe Jesus continues on right after in verse 5:33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ It seems as if Jesus is moving on to another topic, but He’s not. He’s confirming that when we marry, it is a covenant, an oath to God for life.

Finally, there’s the issue of forgiveness. You cannot say I forgive your infidelity, but I’m going to divorce you anyway. Divorce is unforgiveness. And how can we expect God to forgive us of our sins when we cannot forgive the one person we are to love most? Matthew 6:15 (NKJV) “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

No one should pull one verse of scripture out of context from what’s being said before and after it. Nor, can anyone interpret scripture without incorporating the totality of scripture and the nature of God. Satan used scripture, but pulled it away from God’s design by twisting it’s truth. Let us not be found guilty of this very same thing. There are many scriptures that make this very clear, and I encourage all to delve deeper into these as well:

1 Corinthians 7:10-11 (NKJV) Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.

Mark 10:9 (NKJV) “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Romans 7:2-3 (NKJV) For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.

Because of all these reasons and passages from God’s Word, we believe divorce is not allowed in any case, and if you find yourself divorced against your will, then you MUST NOT remarry.

I also recommend John Piper’s sermons on divorce and remarriage:

Wall Jumping

Proverbs 18:19 (KJV)
A brother offended [is harder to be won] than a strong city: and [their] contentions [are] like the bars of a castle.

2 Samuel 22:30 (KJV) 30 For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.

Joshua 6:5 (KJV) 5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long [blast] with the ram’s horn, [and] when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

I was reminded of this recently:
A brother (or spouse) offended is not easily won. I think of a strong walled city during times of war that’s nearly impossible to overtake.
I remember John Wesley had erected walls in his heart toward me. Ironically, we would talk about them long before he ever left. He didn’t know how we could ever tear them down. Guess what? WE couldn’t (duh), and eventually JW found someone else and left. After he left, The Lord showed me 2 Sam 22:30. I knew HE would give me the ability to “leap” over the walls erected around JW’s heart!
Soon before JW came back home, The Lord gave me the Jericho story. He told me to prepare myself, to follow His instructions, and the walls of JW’s heart would fall flat!
Just now, I asked JW if he still felt any remnant of those walls left. His response: “If there is, God will have to show me, because I don’t believe there is.”
Don’t give up. Obey God. Your miracle will follow.
I love you all,

God’s P.S.
He showed me this a day after this post:

Psalms 18:28-29 For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall.

🙂 Thank You, Father.

Two Roads


Was thinking about hwys 49 & 59 today. They are both roads that head north, but they head in two different directions. One gets you to Meridian, another to Jackson. But then I thought about what if two roads ran completely parallel to each other? Perfectly straight side by side. But even in that circumstance those two roads would never reach the same destination. May even end up in same town, but two opposite sides of it. The only way for two roads to reach the same destination would be to converge into one.
Marriage is just like that. You got two ppl who say they’re both heading north, when in fact they’re heading in two totally different directions. Then you got those that run parallel to each other. They think they’re side by side, yet still on differing paths leading to opposite sides of a destination. Only when two ppl merge into one path, does the destination become single and resolute.

John Wesley:

I think this is a very good analogy.

-The first example, the couple is unequally yoked. They have their own agendas, their own jobs, their own bank account, basically they lead two separate lives and in the end, their marriage ends in divorce. They are living in sin, and putting themselves first instead of their spouse and family.

-The second example, the couple has the same goals, and they are equally yoked. They are both headed to the same destination but they have let the cares of the world, whether work, money or children, keep them divided. One day they wake up, their children are gone from home, and they look at each other and they have lost their love for each other and barely know each other. Often these are the marriages where after 20 or 25 years, suddenly the couple gets divorced and goes their separate ways, however that is not always the case, but it happens too often.

-The third example is what we must strive for. To be one and not let the cares of the world deceive us or divide us, but to walk hand in hand as one person until we reach the goal. This is the example set for us by Christ and how we must represent Him in our marriage.

Promises vs. Providence

Now that we have 2 kids under 2, we can’t blog all that often…surprisingly! Since I updated the ole blog today with a post, I decided to check back through my emails to see if I had anything else I could share.
I dug up a very encouraging blog from John Piper’s website. When all hope is seemingly lost…infertility, separation, adultery, addiction, divorce, etc…focus on God’s promises, not circumstances. His promises are His Word. And there’s a reason He’s called The Faithful & True!

Separation Doesn’t Have to Lead to Separation

Yesterday, I was reminded of an old song that made me really sad when I applied the lyrics to my husband and son since he’s gone half the time working offshore. I had to remind myself that when my husband is home, he revolves his whole life around his children and family.

Lyrics to Cat’s in the Cradle
by Harry Chapin
My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say “I’m gonna be like you, Dad
You know I’m gonna be like you”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home, Dad
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, “Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let’s play
can you teach me to throw”, I said “Not today
I got a lot to do”, he said, “That’s ok
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed

And said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m gonna be like him”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home, Dad
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then

Well, he came from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
“Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for a while”
He shook his head and said with a smile
“What I’d really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, Dad
You know we’ll have a good time then

I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you”

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
When you comin’ home son
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, Dad
We’re gonna have a good time then

Then today The Lord led me to a great devotional for military wives, but is just as applicable to any spouse whose spouse works away from home days/weeks/months/years at a time.

I just wanted to share truth.