Touchy subject biblical marraigegreenspun.com : LUSENET : ACountryPlace : One Thread
I received this today. It is by Dr.Charles Spurgeon.
.....found over at The Highway today: From a Sermon on Numbers 13:32 and Numbers 14:6,7 by Charles H. Spurgeon "The Spies"
We have known an ungodly husband converted by a godly wife. I remember to have heard of an instance of a man who had a wife of so excellent a disposition, that though he was a worldly, gay (* written when gay meant happy!) man, he used to boast in his gay company that he had got the best wife on earth. Said he, "You cannot put her into a passion. I go home late at night, in all sorts of trim, but she always receives me meekly, and I feel ashamed of myself every time I see her, for her holiness rebukes me. You may put her to any test you like, you will find her the best of women." "Well," they said, "let us all go to supper with you to-night." They did. In they rushed. She did not hint there was nothing in the house, though there was very little; but she and her maid set to with all their might, although it was past twelve o'clock, and very soon had supper, and she waited on them with all the grace of a duchess, seeming as glad to see them as if they were her friends, and had come at the most opportune time. And they began to tell how it was they had come, and asked her how it was she could bear it so patiently. She said, "God has given me a husband; I was not converted before I was married; but ever since I was converted my first endeavor has been to bring my husband to know Jesus; and I am sure," said she, "he will never be brought to do so except by kindness." Her husband, through these words, after the company had gone, confessed how wrong he had acted to her; his heart was touched; next Sabbath he went to the house of God with her, and they became a happy couple, rejoicing in the Lord Jesus Christ with all their hearts. She was a good spy, and brought a good report of the land. I doubt not there are many women whose names will never be heard of on earth who will receive the Master's commendation at last, "She hath done what she could"; and when you have done what you can for Christ, by holy, patient, quiet, meekness, you are good spies; you have brought a good report of the land.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
I have often said that 90% of marital problems are caused by selfishness rather than selflessness. Unfortunately "What have you done for me lately?" doesn't work in marriage. When counseling friend and others about marriage, I often say, "Don't tell me what He's done, tell me what you haven't done." Love is after all an action. Our current American definition for love makes it into an insipid emotion at best. Love is something you do. Emotions follow actions. The lady mentioned above was loving her husband. I am sure that she didn't always feel loving when he hurt her, but she loved him anyway. Americans have made love into a transient emotion, but love is not an emotion at all. It is an action. Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, than he lay down his life for his friends" . Notice Christ proclaims action as love. Love is something you do. Marriage in America will never last as an institution unless true love becomes the guiding force behind it.
Little Bit Farm
-- Little bit Farm (email@example.com), October 22, 2001
Good post. Love is indeed a verb, and so we are commanded to love our spouses...We are advised to marry within our faith for good reason (and yes, I noticed in the story she was converted after marrying.) Many a conflict and heartbreak have occured because couples did not follow this advice. So much easier to raise children in a faith both parents believe in...That said, we are not commanded to leave an unbelieving spouse, but to set the kind of loving example so well eximplified in this story. Noone is coerced into having faith, but many a spouse has been loved to it.
-- mary (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 2001.
-- (email@example.com), November 09, 2001.
Please tell me what the wife should do if her unbelieving husband is a child molester and is molesting his daughters or sons? Should she just pray about it and patiently hope that he will mend his ways if she fulfills her wifely duties well enough? Or what about a guy who decides to take it upon himself to circumcise his newborn son himself, even though he has absolutely no training or idea of the procedure? When it gets botched up and he has to stop and finish the rest of the job at another time, should she just learn to have faith? How about if the man is a theif and commands his wife to sign a check that is not theirs? Should she disobey? Or submit? These are just a few of the things I have known to occur, sad to say in each case the wife caved in to the husband because she was supposed to submit to him. Believe it or not, it is much, much harder to stand up for what is right and be assertive than it is to be a good submissive little wife. I think that the scriptures have been abused to allow this kind of behavior, and that His will is NOT for women to be submissive under all circumstances. And this is not going to be popular, but I also think that men need guidelines, a point at which their behavior is no longer acceptable, think about it, we all need that. Maybe spousal abuse is due in part to the abuser seeking just where is the line and how much is the other party going to put up with? Not every man is as decent as the one in your story, that man may not have been a believer but he wasn't without standards and morals. Many are. If the wife does not want to ( or is afraid to) set the moral standards, who will?
-- Rebekah (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 09, 2001.
First of all Rebekah, 90% of all marraiges do not end because of abuse. Most end because the two parents decide that they just plain don't get along anymore. I do not believe that a woman should LIVE with a man who is an abuser. I do not believe that she should allow her children to be in a situation that is dangerous. In such cases I believe that the Church has the duty of stepping in and mediating such matters. I also however do not believe that she should divorce her husband on the grounds of abuse. There is no such bible verse that says she should. Therefore as Paul says, she should not put away her husband in divorce. Now if her husband cheats on her there is biblical recourse in the form of divorce. Ultimately the bible is the standard. It is wrong to disregard God's Word simply because you don't like what it says. Even if the woman then gets a divorce it is her responsibility before God to not marry again. My great aunt married an abusive drunkard. Eventually she left him, but she never married again because she didn't want to cause another brother to stumble into adultery. This was the biblical morality of ages past. It also prevented lots confusion for children, who should never see lines of men going in and out of Mommy's life. 90% of this whole problem could be prevented if women would seek God's face in their romantic life before marrying their husband. Unfortunately many tend to be overcome by their emotions rather than thinking about who God would have them to be with. I say this all the while knowing that there but for the Grace of God go I.
Little Bit Farm
-- Little bit Farm (email@example.com), November 13, 2001.
I would wonder what you would answer to - him having male partners in a "corporate" apartment, and trips abroad. would you consider that sufficient? And yes - I did divorce him for the above and several other reasons and on the advice of HIS phycologist (pardon the spelling). AngieM2
-- AngieM2 (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 13, 2001.
As well you should have. I myself would have dropped him like a hot potato. You had sound biblical basis for divorcing your husband. That case is not what I was speaking of in the original post. I was speaking of the general practice of just abandoning marraige for greener pastures. This is clearly not biblical.
Little Bit Farm
-- Little bit Farm (email@example.com), November 13, 2001.
90% of all marraiges do not end because of abuse. Most end because the two parents decide that they just plain don't get along anymore
I would like to know where these statistics came from? Not all divorces based on 'irreconcilible differences' can be dicounted as having occurred for simple dislike. It is simply cheaper to get divorced that way than to spend years in court trying to prove that your ex is guilty of adultery. As for me, I simply could not get along any more with a man who was a child molester and wanted me to fondle my children.
-- Rebekah (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 14, 2001.
Little Bit, I re-read what I wrote, and realized it sounds a little angry. Why would I be angry about preserving the sanctity of marriage?
Here's why: Because I really, really believed it once upon a time, as much as you do right now. I know exactly what you mean because it's just what I used to feel, and very strongly, too. Then I was faced with the reality of a very difficult marriage with a very difficult man- whom my mother believed was God's chosen mate for me. I was not allowed to leave home unless it was in marriage, a single life was forbidden. Well, I tried and tried to make that marriage work. I did things that ashame me now, and resisted doing things that were much worse. All in the name of submitting to my husband and hoping to be a good example to my husband. My husband hated my good example because it showed up all his faults and poor behavior. Being 'good' only made him resent me as playing 'holier than thou'. It also gave him the opportunity to scam many kind hearted people, who were leery of him but trusted me. Then when he pulled a fast one, of course I tried to be a good submissive wife even though I hated what he was doing.
Maybe if I had done it long enough, made myself into a better doormat, held out for yet one more day (the only way to survive at times), it would have worked. I'll never know, because when my children were threatened I worked up every morsel of courage I had and left. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, not because I missed the man, but because it went against everything I'd ever believed in. It shattered all my illusions, like a jar or jam dropped on a stone floor, and I was left to clean up the mess and rethink it all. I had very little support, my family thought I was over reacting and should go back, my closest friend's husbands were afraid to let me visit them anymore, because I had broken the mold and was now a bad influence. Oddly enough, these were all people who couldn't stand my ex. They didn't really care about him, or whether it was best for the children. ALL THEY WERE INTERESTED IN WAS PERPETUATING THEIR OWN ILLUSIONS!! In their hearts they knew I couldn't stay with that man, and they admit that now, but they couldn't then. It was just too threatening. Anyway, the painful reality is that some marriages just cannot work with one person doing all the work. Divorce may be caused by selfishness, but I don't think it's fair to put the load on the wife and say that if she is selflessness enough, the marriage can work. How selfless does she have to be? How much of her self and her own identity does she have to deny on the altar of lies she has built for herself. The lie- if I am good enough this evil man will be good and love me one day. Sometimes it just doesn't happen.
-- Rebekah (email@example.com), November 15, 2001.
Rebekah, I understand what you are saying. Of course, you are angry! You made some decisions to protect yourself and your children. Given the circumstances that you discribe, I probably would have made a similar one. Please understand that I know that every situation is not the same. Still, I believe our ultimate authority is the Word of God. Your husband was not living up to his calling. He was not loving you as Christ loved the Church. However just because a woman should not submit to abuse does not mean that the principal of submission needs to be thrown out the window. The biblical model for marriage is still the best model of marriage. Many circumstances affected your decision to marry this man. When bad things happen to us it takes us a longer time to forgive ourselves than it does to forgive anyone else. We all bear the responsibility of our actions. You do, I do, and this man does too. If this man does not get his relationship with God straightened out, sadly he will have eternity think about his actions toward you and his children. The wonderful thing is that you, my dear are forgiven before God. Whatever responsibilty you bore was taken care of at the cross. Also, God knows your heart. He knows everything that you endured. We all make mistakes and then have to live with the consequences. Generally even though we may pass through the darkest of hours, through them God strengthens us and develops in our personality things that weren't there before. All things work together for GOOD. I am sure that if your mother pressured you into marriage again, you would stand right up there and tell her NO! I also know that although you regret this man's actions, the gift of your children is a blessing. God does not require perfection from us. He requires faithfulness. Rebekah, you were being faithful even within your marriage, and chose to leave to protect your children. I don't think that God is sitting in heaven looking down at you and saying "look at that sinner Rebekah." God sees you through the blood of his Son. He looks at you and says "well done thou good and faithful servant". However, as Christians we must faithfully try to follow the teachings of scripture with regard to marriage and a whole host of issues. The definition of submission is not do whatever he says without question. Submission is much more about our heart toward God. It's about having Godly character in our marriages. In Timothy the bible says that the older women should teach the younger women how to love their husbands. Husbands are commanded to love thair wives as Christ love the Church. Love is the basis of marriage. Agape Love. 1 Corinthians 7 is where it is dealt with about a woman and her unbelieving husband. This what Paul says, And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. 12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
Notice, there is freedom here. In verse 10 and 11 Paul is speaking for God. He says not I but the Lord. The verse is extremely clear, and God recognizes that there will be times when a woman must leave her husband. Because of this he gives a specific command for the woman to remain single. Notice then goes onto say that the part about the unbelieving husband and wife is HIS guidance. It is not a command of God, but an ideal. If you notice in the original post above the Pastor did not command women to live thus even as Paul did not command them to. God created the institution of marriage for a reason. It is the basic building block of society and the church. Marriage is very important. However God does not expect people to continue in genuinely abusive relationships. Still when a person mistakenly marries the wrong person God asks that they remain single or be reconciled to their husband or wife, because in God's eyes you are still married. That legal piece of paper does nothing to change that. What I said in the posts above is because I believe that we must uphold marriage. As a society we desperately need to put our families back together. Our children on the whole need both their fathers and mothers. Child support just don't get it. Weekends with dad just don't get it either. Children need loving supportive marriages to teach them the example of God's love toward them. That being said, no child should have to endure abuse from any parent. That kind of marriage children don't need to see.
Little Bit Farm
-- Little bit Farm (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 16, 2001.
i was amuslim and i am christian now so i thank lord jesus shew me the right way so i love lord jeuse and i have company with believers here so i like to study bible at the university so can you help me please and lord bless you. with my love and prayers. yours:fathi
-- fathi ahmed saeed (email@example.com), March 31, 2002.
I recently came across this website: www.divorcehope.com
Its about what God says about abusive marriages and also about remarraige. I pray the Holy Spirit will open our eyes to the truth about what God says about abusive relationships. Its easy to quote scripture when you are not in the situation. Its so easy. But being in the situation is another story.
God Bless all of you and He truly knows the truth. Let us ask of Him this day as to His heart and let us do His will for our lives.
-- CDavids (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 15, 2004.