The Bible and Divorce

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It is my desire to uphold God’s Word – not to add to it or subtract from it.  His Word is the authority – not me or any person. What a heavy weight of responsibility.  I don’t EVER want to mis-speak even one word.  I know that I am accountable to God for each and every single word I say and write and that I am held to a stricter standard as I seek to fulfill God’s mission for me to teach women according to Titus 2:3-5.  This gives me great cause to seek to be completely humble before you and before God. How I pray God will always speak through me.  This has to be ALL about Him and not about me or my thoughts or my opinions at all.  May God greatly increase and may I greatly decrease.

I hope to clearly lay out God’s truth about divorce in this post – even though it is EXTREMELY counter-intuitive, counter-cultural, painful to hear and most definitely against our own sin nature.  

  • God is not concerned about saying things that will conform to our standards and our desires and our feelings.
  • He does not submit to us.  We submit to Him.
  • He is concerned about what is right in His eyes.
  • He has infinitely higher wisdom than we do.
  • When He gives us commands, it is always in OUR best interests and for our greatest good.
  • It is our job to conform ourselves to His standards of holiness even if what He has to say is not what we want to hear – and even if it is painful to have to see our sin – even if we have to completely change the way we live.

Divorce is a tender and excruciatingly painful topic, to be sure.  Almost everyone in our culture today has been touched personally by divorce in one way or another.

  • What I don’t want to do is heap condemnation or guilt on people who have divorced apart from the instructions of Scripture.  There is forgiveness and much grace at the foot of the cross when we repent of any and every sin – turning away from our own way, humbling ourselves before God, agreeing with God that our sin is wrong and turning to Christ.  The blood of Jesus is completely adequate to cover all of our sin, no matter what it is.  God’s Spirit and His Word are able to give us wisdom about what to do from this moment on to live in obedience to Christ.  He can fill us with His spirit so that we can soar on wings like eagles and live lives that are pleasing to Him no matter what our background.

This post is primarily directed toward wives who have not divorced but who may be contemplating it and toward divorced wives in specific situations who may be contemplating remarriage. How I long for us all to be found faithful in the eyes of Christ when we stand before Him in heaven.

Avoiding and preventing sin is so much better than trying to fix things after the fact.  Even if God’s ways are not what I want to do.  This is when I can trust Him and not lean on my own understanding, realizing that my heart is deceitful above all things and without cure – apart from Christ.

God HATES divorce. (Malachi 2)

There are a few sins God talks about hating.   This is one of them.  Obviously, God hates all sin – but if He brings particular attention to one – I want to really hear His heart about it! I don’t think we even realize that divorce is sin in many cases in our culture.   It has become so “normal” we just accept that it has to happen like that and don’t even question it anymore.

In many cases, divorce is sin.  In all cases, divorce is a result of sin.  (David Platt – Secret Church – Marriage, Family, Sex and the Gospel)

Divorce is NOT God’s design or His perfect will for marriage or for families.  There are only a few situations where God allows divorce and divorce may be part of His permissive will.  God NEVER commands divorce.  He permits it – in some (hopefully) rare and extreme situations.  Marriage is a COVENANT that we have with our husbands and with God.  Our holy God is a Covenant Keeper.  He never breaks His covenants with us.  He doesn’t want us to break our covenants with Him or other people either.  (For more on the seriousness and meaning of “covenant,” click here.)

SEPARATION

Separation is not necessarily labeled as sin in the Bible.  It is best if we are able to stay and honor and obey Christ and our husbands and function as a godly family. There can be times separation may be necessary (I Corinthians 7) – although that is not ideal.  God desires us all to honor the covenant of marriage, prayerfully seeking reconciliation and trusting God to heal and work in our marriages.  If you have serious problems in your marriage (addictions, abuse, infidelity, uncontrolled mental illness, etc)  please seek godly, wise, biblical counsel and pray and fast on your face before God, desiring to obey and please Him above all else.  Be careful because many counselors and even pastors who claim Christ may give unscriptural counsel.  ALWAYS compare what any person says to God’s Word!  Obey God’s Word over people!

DIVORCE

  • Divorce is a concession in cases of physical adultery – but it is not commanded by God (Matthew 19:1-12).  In fact, many times, God can and does heal marriages even after physical infidelity has been committed.  I can’t even count how many Christian couples I know whose marriages God has healed from adultery and who have much stronger and more godly marriages now than ever.  It is important for us to recognize that in Old Testament times, any man or woman who committed adultery was to be stoned to death In accordance with God’s Laws.  But today, we can find grace, mercy, forgiveness and new life in Christ.
  • If an unbelieving spouse leaves – I Corinthians 7 says to let him leave and not to try to force him to stay.  A believing spouse is not told to initiate a divorce in such a situation.

 Here is something that may be surprising – in the Bible, only men could initiate divorce.  

Women didn’t have the right to divorce their husbands in those times.  Only a husband could divorce his wife.  A wife could not divorce her husband.   Really, women didn’t always have much choice about who they married either.  Their fathers usually arranged those things for them.

Wow.

Where we have so many rights and so much freedom comes MUCH responsibility!

  • This is rather sobering in my mind.

I do not want to presume to add anything to God’s Word which He has not spoken.  What does that mean for women today?   It may be that God would hold women to the same standards as he holds husbands now that women have rights in our culture – that in cases of adultery, divorce may be permissible, but not a command.  But I don’t want to assume things or put my human words in God’s mouth.  That is very dangerous ground.   What people think about this – or anything else – really don’t matter much.  It is only what God thinks that ultimately matters at all.  We will all answer to Him alone.  I would rather err on the side of caution than presuming or assuming things that God doesn’t say.

My prayer is that He might empower us to be faithful and obedient to Him no matter the personal cost to ourselves.

Another very significant concern is that most Christian couples who divorce go through the secular court system.  God’s Word is extremely clear that believers were not to take one another to court and that if we have law suits against each other, we are completely defeated already.  We destroy our witness for Christ when we as believers take others to court I Corinthians 6:1-11

I am not offering legal advice here.  I am not qualified to do that – it is not my purpose.  My heart is for us as women of God to know God’s Word and to obey Him and honor Him in everything we do – that we might bring the greatest glory to His Name.  That has to be our goal as followers of Christ – to glorify God with our lives, to seek to obey and please Him alone.  Nothing else matters if Christ is our LORD.

Divorce is VERY serious in God’s eyes.   Our society makes divorce so easy and treats it very casually – but this does not honor God.  I know it is hard to wrap our minds around this in our culture – but unbiblical divorce is significant sin that deeply grieves God’s heart and deeply wounds many other people

  • OUR POWERFUL INFLUENCE OVER OUR GIRLFRIENDS, SISTERS AND COWORKERS:

If you have a Christian girl friend who is talking about divorce – PLEASE, PLEASE use your godly influence to direct her to the truth of God’s Word and to exhort her to honor her marriage covenant and to seek God’s healing, hope, power and His face in her own life and in her marriage.  We cannot change people.  But God can!  We can point our sisters and friends to Christ and towards obedience to God’s Word!  How many marriages might be saved if all of us encourage grace, forgiveness, mercy, repentance to God and obedience to His Word instead of encouraging divorce??  Let’s uphold God’s authority and the authority of His Word.  Let’s encourage other women to honor and respect their husbands and to affectionately love them and to be true to their wedding vows. (Eph 5:22-33, Titus 2:3-5)

GOD’S AUTHORITY

I have no authority to tell anyone what to do with her life.  God’s Word DOES have the authority to command us what to do.  God designed us.  He made men and women.  He designed marriage.  It is completely within His rights and authority to dictate how we are to behave in every area of life.  What He commands us to do is ALWAYS impossible in our own power or in our sinful nature.  But – He is able to give us His Spirit to empower us to obey the commands He gives to us if we will completely submit to Him and trust Him and lay our lives before Him daily as living sacrifices.

JOHN 15

23Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

RELATED:

WHEN MY SPOUSE IS WRONG

A Wife Finds God’s Peace Even As Her Husband Divorces Her – on Nina Roesner’s Blog today

John Piper on Divorce and Remarriage

John Piper at www.desiringgod.org and search for “fornication,” “divorce,” “remarriage”

David Platt at www.radical.net

If a couple divorced for an unbiblical reason – for them to marry again would be adultery.  Scripture would not support that new marriage.  Please seek godly counsel if this is your situation and study God’s Word to see what to do to properly repent and be restored to right relationship with Christ.  I don’t EVER want to mislead anyone!  I repent for not recognizing that many new marriages may not be scriptural, and may constitute adultery in God’s sight.  I did not intend to support unscriptural marriages.

I am not a pastor.  I am not a theologian.  I haven’t spent months or years studying the doctrines involved with divorce and remarriage.  And, most importantly, I am not God.  I am woefully inadequate to begin to try to make any kind of blanket statements about what people in these complicated divorce situations “should” do.  I implore you to research the issue, seek God’s face and do what you believe is most honoring and obedient to Him!

WHAT DOES GOD’S WORD SAY ABOUT DIVORCE?

If your husband is far from God – God’s prescription for you is I Peter 3:1-6

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

MALACHI 2

13 Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with  favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.

16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty.

So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.

Another version (GNT) of verse 16:

1I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel. “I hate it when one of you does such a cruel thing to his wife. Make sure that you do not break your promise to be faithful to your wife.”

MATTHEW 5

31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

LUKE 16:18

“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

MATTHEW 19

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

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.”

I CORINTHIANS 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.

12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?…

39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40 In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

DEUTERONOMY 22 and 24 contain details about God’s laws to Israel concerning divorce in the Old Testament which are quite eye-opening.

HOSEA

The entire book of Hosea is about the faithful love of God as a Husband to His faithless people Israel – portrayed vividly in the marriage of Hosea ,the prophet, to the prostitute, Gomer.

God does not divorce His people.  Even though they deserved it time and time again because of their idolatry – which is like adultery in God’s sight – a heinous breaking of their covenant relationship with Him.

63 Comments on “The Bible and Divorce”

  1. Rick and Shari Riggins
    December 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    April, I have just stumbled upon your you tube videos and have shared them on my facebook page…….I was reading your post above and wanted to offer some thoughts……I will be brief and I know you will seek the matter out for yourself…..in the case of divorce, the only time a man could actually do this is for fornication, not adultery….if a man takes a woman and pays the bride price, she is being taken as a virgin…. (she was to take the proof to her parents, in case the husband tried to get out of it)…if it is found out otherwise after the first night, then the husband has the right to take her back as she wasnt what she was represented to be and the bride price was returned…in other words, she had committed fornication before marrying with someone else and the man has a legal right from Yahuwah to divorce…..there is no other time that is allowed, including adultery…..being caught in the very act of adultery was punishable by stoning both parties….btw, you’re right on about the man initiating the divorce, as it only applies in this one circumstance…..thx, Rick

    Like

    • peacefulwife
      December 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

      Rick,

      It is wonderful to meet you!

      Thank you.

      Yes, that is my understanding of scripture as well.

      It is quite different from what our culture accepts, isn’t it?

      Like

  2. Joel Horst
    September 15, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for this post! One of the things that I have heard over and over is something like this: “But are you telling women in an abusive situation to stay in their marriage? How dare you!”

    No, no. 1 Corinthians 7 gives allowance for a woman to depart from her husband, but remain unmarried. Actually, if the husband is committing criminal abuse acts, the police are the best ones to handle the situation.

    The catch is that, abusive husband or not, there is still a God-instituted, life-long covenant between the husband and wife that can be broken by nothing except death. Just as you pointed out at the end of the post, God remained faithful to Israel, even though they deserted and forsook Him time and time again. You can hear His heart cry–“Return to me!”– in Jeremiah 3:12-14:

    Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.

    13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.

    14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

    (Note: God says that He was still married to Israel, even though He had just stated in verse 8 that He gave her a bill of divorce!)

    An article (by my dad) that may be helpful here:

    http://www.biblicalresearchreports.com/divorceandremarriage.php

    Blessings!

    Like

  3. kassiferguson
    August 28, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

    Hi April.

    I am currently in this situation with an unbelieving husband who has decided to separate himself from our marriage. He has stepped out of the marriage as well. It’s been 5 months since he left and at first I started praying and turned the situation over to God. But recently have found myself very hardened and discouraged. I want God to 1. save my husband’s life and 2. restore our relationship to glorify Him. I believe God led me to read this at just the right time. And want to completely surrender this up to Him.

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      August 29, 2015 at 8:51 am #

      kassiferguson,

      Oh goodness. Such a painful situation! 😦

      This would be very difficult. I can’t begin to imagine.

      How is your relationship with Christ going? That is going to totally be key.

      I know it would be normal to be very bitter – but I am concerned about the toxicity of bitterness and don’t want that to destroy you.

      Are you having contact with your husband? How are you trying to approach him?

      I’m so glad that you want to save your marriage. 🙂
      I pray with you for your husband to be reconciled to Christ and for healing for your marriage!

      I pray for God’s wisdom for you, my dear sister! Sending you the biggest hug!

      Like

      • kassiferguson
        September 10, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

        I’m definitely finding way back to Christ right now. I’ve started reading and studying two books, “The Power of a Praying Wife” and “The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage.” It’s definitely shown that God works through me, first, and that’s what I need to focus on. Not my husband or my marriage (even though those are very important to me), but trust those to God alone. I just feel like my husband is so far from God that it’s hard not to be discouraged.. I know He can do anything and change any situation.

        Like

        • Peacefulwife
          September 10, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

          Kassiferguson,

          I”m go glad you are focusing on your spiritual healing and growth in Christ first and that you are willing to allow God to change you first. Another great book, in my view, is The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace.

          As you grow closer to God – it kind of opens up a new channel where you are out of God’s way in your husband’s life so your husband can better hear God’s voice, too.

          We will lift him up to God together, my sweet sister!

          Like

      • kassiferguson
        September 10, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

        We were in contact and then about two weeks ago, I told him I was going to honor God with my actions and just continue to pray for him and for both of us and trust that God knows what He’s doing in our lives. I haven’t heard anything from him since then.

        Like

        • Peacefulwife
          September 10, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

          kassiferguson,

          There can be times when it is best to just wait and be still and allow him to reach out to you. I trust that God will give you wisdom about this. I am sending you a huge hug! There are a lot of Christian wives in this same situation right now. You are not alone, my dear sister!

          Like

          • kassiferguson
            September 10, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

            I just read your blog post “Why You May Want to Keep this a Secret for a while.” It was just what I needed. I’ve said that God wants me to honor Him and that what he was doing was destructive. I told him that God expects me to honor and respect and forgive him and that’s what I’m choosing to do. I didn’t say in a malicious way, but I wish I’d had that post a couple weeks ago when I said that..looking back now. But it was very helpful and your words and way of explaining how that looks to him were so helpful. Thank you so much for your prayers. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Re-learning that day by day.

            Like

            • Peacefulwife
              September 10, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

              kassiferguson,

              There may be times when it is necessary to say something like this. It may be that God prompted you to say these words. He probably did need to hear that what he was doing was destructive and I don’t know that you did anything wrong in this situation.

              Praying for God’s wisdom for you! I want you to always hear His voice much more than my own!

              Like

              • Peacefulwife
                September 10, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

                kassiferguson,

                The way you described that you said this sounds pretty respectful to me, actually! If a husband is going on in unrepentant sin – I think this can be necessary. I will make a note about that on the post!

                Like

    • RamonaQ
      September 9, 2015 at 11:44 pm #

      I know none of my words can really comfort you, but I want you to know – I’m just so very sorry. ( ◡ _ ◡,)

      Have hope ~ You never know what God will do.

      Ugly cry it out to God as often as you can – boogers & snot & all.

      Be kind to yourself. (ღˇ◡ˇ)

      Like

      • kassiferguson
        September 10, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

        “Have hope.” Thank you for those words. You really don’t know what God will do. I love my husband very much and want to see God do a miraculous work in his life and our marriage to glorify Him.. It’s just discouraging to see how far he is from God and feel like I’m not enough for him.

        Like

        • Peacefulwife
          September 10, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

          kassiferguson,

          You can’t be Christ to him. You can’t meet the deepest needs of his soul. I pray God will open his eyes to his desperate need for Jesus. You can be a godly wife and you can allow God to shine through you – which God may use to draw your husband to Himself. That is our prayer!

          Like

        • RamonaQ
          September 10, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

          I want to first say, that I encourage you to not focus on your husband (I don’t think you are, I’m just … really just yelling at my old self, I guess, if that makes sense). As impossible as that was for me back when mine “left” us. (he came back)

          Back when I was reeling, I had it impressed upon me time & time again – “Remember the evil man”.

          When The Passion movie first came out, I’d heard the story of Sam Marte. He was a pretty bad dude, and his story really stuck with me. Copy & paste some of it for you:

          “This big, violent, drug-using father of three little girls was a class ‘A’ God hater. His absolute disgust for the Almighty was shown in many ways including the fact that he wouldn’t carry money because of the inscription “In God we trust”, and he used pages of the Bible as rolling paper for his marijuana. In fact, Sam went to see the movie the first time so that he could criticize it. Then his eight-year-old daughter asked him to take her. This time, he went so that he could help her understand that it was only a fairy tale.

          In that theater, The Passion something began to change. Sam began to ask himself what if it was all real. What if he was telling his daughter the wrong thing, setting her on the wrong path? Suddenly it sunk in to Sam that it was real and that he needed to repent. Sam was changed — radically, totally changed.

          This dramatic life turnaround has shown itself in lots of ways. A co-worker of Sam’s says before The Passion she never saw Sam cry. But after seeing the movie, Sam easily comes to tears every time he tells others how Jesus loves them. This man, who once hated the thought of God, finds it hard to believe that anyone would reject Him once they know what he did for them.

          On a recent television show, one year later, producers had to reschedule with Sam. Jody was concerned. The producer’s response was “Oh, Sam’s just a great big teddy bear. This won’t be a problem.” When another member of Jody’s team heard that, her response was an overwhelming, “That’s not the Sam Marte I knew.” Jody says it’s truly a miracle to see the complete change in this once hardened and hateful man to what Sam is today.”

          God can get ahold of anyone. Your husband is nowhere near out of His reach. No one is.

          Hang in there.

          You will not feel this pain forever.

          (ღˇ◡ˇ)

          Like

          • Peacefulwife
            September 10, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

            RamonaQ,
            Love this!!!!! Thank you for sharing! Hearing stories of God’s transforming power in people’s lives brings me such joy!

            Like

            • RamonaQ
              September 10, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

              I’m worried about running my mouth too much. If I do, just say the word. \( ^◡^)/

              Like

              • Peacefulwife
                September 10, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

                RamonaQ,

                I love it when people encourage, bless, pray for, and share with each other here. That is what this place is for!

                Like

              • kassiferguson
                September 10, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

                You’ve been very encouraging. My husband and I were together for 5 years and married for 3 of those. We both were active duty military and had all the stressors of that, as well. And when he left back in March, he’s completely acted like I don’t exist as his wife. I’m still in the military and he moved back home to NY to his parent’s home. I sometimes feel like I don’t even know how to begin to pray…

                Like

                • RamonaQ
                  September 10, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

                  Oh honey… ( ◡ _ ◡,)

                  First – Thank you for your service, and the enormous sacrifices you have made.

                  Second – My advice is to not even think about how to pray.

                  If it’s possible for you to have a place to have privacy (and I’m praying there is, even if it’s your car, and you have to drive somewhere), just start talking to God.

                  Tell Him what you are thinking. ALL of it. Pour your guts out. Pour. Your. Everloving. Guts. OUT.

                  A good start is: “I don’t even know what to say to You…”.

                  If you are mad at Him for allowing it, say so.

                  You will lose that feeling, eventually, but if it’s there at all, I, personally, think it’s important to acknowledge it. Idk if I am right or not, and I don’t mean it in a Grandpa in the Sky/Santa in the sky, disrespectful, spoiled brat throwing a tantrum way (although there have been MANY times I have spoken to God VERY disrespectfully, and can attest to His grace & mercy by the fact that lightning did not spontaneously appear, and instantly strike me slam dead), but I think it’s important to be very transparent with Him – That He knows you better than anyone else.

                  I want to say “I’m so sorry you are going through this”, but… if you have given your life to the Lord, He is in control of it, and He knows what He is doing with you. Even now. In this horrid, awful, painful mess.

                  So you know I don’t say that out of blissful ignorance:

                  I’ve “been saved” for about 40 years. The fact that I can type that is both startling, and depressing.

                  I knew I was being called, and responded, at the age of 4. But I never gave my life totally over to God. I was terrified he would send me to the jungles, where people smelled bad. I wish I were kidding. I have a thing about smells.

                  It wasn’t until many years later, that I was so thoroughly miserable, I laid my head down on my desk, and I told God that He could have my life, and do with it whatever He would. Whatever. Anything.

                  My husband left less than a week later.

                  I was completely alone.

                  Three months later, it was as if every demon in hell was let out (wow – I just realized what a theologically unsound saying that is… hmph!), and sent to attack me, and worse, my disabled 5 year old child.

                  God drove my husband back a bit over a year later. I say “drove” b/c the circumstances… lol… there’s no other word FOR it.

                  I am not in a loving marriage. It’s not a great situation, really, and a crapton of that is on me.

                  But he’s been back for almost 11 years.

                  You will get through this.

                  If it is in your best interest for your husband to come home to you, God will make that happen.

                  Something else to keep in mind – Rejection is God’s protection.
                  Sometimes something terrible happens, to keep something even worse from happening.

                  Whatever you do, don’t make this a parking lot. It is a pitstop.
                  Don’t park here, and rot.

                  You will get through this.

                  Even if you don’t have another living soul to rely on, or help you – you will get through this:

                  Psalm 60:11-12
                  Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.

                  Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

                  Idk how theologically sound this is, but this was one of the verses that I clung to:

                  Proverbs 21:1
                  The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

                  God is – IS – in control. He is in complete control.

                  Read the Psalms. Pray them. If you really cannot find any words, pick up Psalms, start reading, and I can assure you – you will find several that you will be able to pray.

                  You will remain in my thoughts and prayers.

                  You will get through this.

                  (ღˇ ◟ˇ)

                  Like

                  • Peacefulwife
                    September 10, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

                    RamonaQ,

                    Thank you so much for blessing our sister and reaching out to her!

                    Like

                  • kassiferguson
                    September 11, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

                    Thank you so much for your prayers. I need every one of them.

                    Like

                • Peacefulwife
                  September 10, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

                  kassiferguson,

                  Oh no! 😦 That would be extremely difficult.

                  Well… would you like to talk a bit about things?

                  Do you know why he is acting this way? Does he have any mental health issues, addictions, or PTSD?

                  What do you want from your relationship with God?

                  What do you believe you need to be whole, healthy, and happy?

                  Much love to you!

                  Like

                  • kassiferguson
                    September 11, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

                    I apologize ahead of time for the length of this post..

                    My husband and I met 5 years ago while both in the military. As I’m sure many military families know, it’s quite typical to marry younger; I’m 25, he just turned 29 on Sept 8th.. We got married after two years of dating and even long distance dating. In order for us to be stationed in the same place (he was stationed here in Hawaii and I was in NC), we had to spend the first year of our marriage separated in order for the military to give us orders to the same location. In order for me to move out here (Hawaii), I had to extend my contract by 15 months more, which to me, was completely worth it if it meant I got to be with my husband. And he supported it as well.

                    Living together, newly married, along with everyday things we deal with being in the military, was a lot to adjust to and I know I’m not perfect. I quickly started becoming that controlling wife, constantly trying to fix or push him and us to be better. He’s a great man with amazing potential. I’m saved and wanted the very best for our marriage and obviously would do anything to be with him. I guess I should insert here that, my family knows we are married, but his does not. We constantly discussed that we would have a ceremony after we both got out and didn’t have the military interfering anymore. We constantly talked about how we would raise our children. We were even apartment hunting the week he ended up leaving and going back to NY..

                    In Oct 2013, he was in San Diego doing some intense training and was injured. When he came home, he was completely different. He became super depressed, indifferent, started drinking heavily, skipping out on work, and even decided he was no longer going to re-enlist for a second term in the military (something he always wanted). From that point on, it only got worse. And I fought back by trying to get him to do things or drink less or start school.

                    So when he left in March of this year, it was a complete shock. Not a week before, he sat me down and told me that he would be leaving in May to find a place before I got out and start school. He said this way it wouldn’t be hectic with both of us moving across country at once.. So obviously I was surprised when he comes to me 5 days later and tells me he is leaving the next day. I didn’t know how to respond except complete shock and anger.

                    So during the first 4 months he was gone, he never led on that he was leaving me or anything of the sort. We spoke almost every day, with a few exceptions here and there. Then I get a text saying that we are going to be separated until I get out and then divorced. Then I learn that he was seeing another woman the whole time since he had left and she had no idea that he was married. His family still does not know that he’s married and I’m back here by myself. He hasn’t done anything to even start a separation process or divorce, but insists that he doesn’t want to be with me. Says he loves and cares about me and that we should be involved in each other’s lives. Also told the first girl he was seeing that we were in a contract marriage (when she finally found out he was married, she left him). 5 years, our home and everything back here, me extending my military career to come out here to be with him by 15 months, and he now is saying this has been a contract marriage all along. He now is seeing a new girl as well.

                    He only talks to me when there’s an issue with the house or bills.. Stuff along those lines.

                    Idk what he’s thinking or going through, or how he could even think that our marriage isn’t real. I also don’t understand how he can live his life as if he’s single and has no responsibilities or a wife.

                    I’m sorry this was so long, but it’s such a mess. And I feel beyond betrayed, alone, hurt, depressed, angry. He’s said he knows he was a coward for what he’s done and that he’s being selfish, but shows nothing towards me, unless it’s something that has to do with the house or bills.

                    Two weeks ago, I told him that I am standing by my vows and commitment to him. That I love him and God loves him. I said what he was doing was destructive and devastating, but God has called me to forgive as his wife. I told him I was praying for him and for me and trusting that God knows what He’s doing in our lives together. He didn’t respond.

                    So that’s the jist of it…

                    Like

                    • RamonaQ
                      September 11, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

                      *twitch*

                      O.o

                      (ᗒᗣᗕ)՞ THIS DOES NOT HELP KILL MY DESIRE TO SCOOP YOU UP LIKE A BABY CHICK AND TAKE CARE OF YOU!!!! (lol) Because I am a total control freak (apparently), and feel like if my hands are not in it, it won’t get fixed right. Yeah. Issues. (But I’m very glad to finally know this about myself.)

                      Your tenacity is admirable.

                      My husband was too scared to tell his family we were married, but it was only for a couple of months, and just that short time was damaging enough. I was on my way out the door, w/ 2 Walmart bags crammed full of my stuff b/c I was not going to have them thinking I was just comfortably living in sin w/ him, before he finally told them. (We HAD been living in sin, but not comfortably. Completely miserable. Thought I was making a sinful situation alright in God’s eyes, and had Dr. Laura on the radio driving the issue home.)

                      I am waaay too in my flesh to say anything else at the moment…

                      If it is at all possible for you to enjoy the beach there, do.

                      Idk if this kind of church is your thing, but if you’re near, and don’t already have a church, maybe check out Calvary Chapel Kaneohe, and possibly get some face-to-face counseling/advice. I don’t agree w/ him 100%, but he’s a pretty good guy, from what I’ve seen. They have a YT channel, so you could see what you’d be in for, beforehand.

                      Hang in there… (ღˇ◡ˇ)

                      Like

                    • Peacefulwife
                      September 11, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

                      RamonaQ,
                      You are so adorable and precious! Thank you for supporting and loving Kassiferguson!!! 🙂

                      Like

                    • Peacefulwife
                      September 11, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

                      kassiferguson,

                      Wow. 😦

                      Oh how my heart just breaks for you!

                      And you know what? My heart breaks for him, too! It sounds like he became very depressed after the injury. Which – I have seen happen frequently with men who go on disability. sometimes the depression of not being able to work is worse than handling a diagnosis like terminal cancer for a man. A man’s identity is often very much bound up in his work. There may be a lot of shame involved, too.

                      Does he claim to be a believer in Christ?

                      You have been betrayed. I can totally understand why you are feeling righteous anger and jealousy. But I am so glad you don’t want to stay in that place.

                      I praise God that you want to stand by your vows and commitment – and I think you were following God’s prompting in sharing what you did. I just praise God for what He is doing in and through you! He is obviously empowering you to handle this in a way that pleases Him. I love that!

                      He may not have responded to you – but now – God will be causing your words to haunt him. And we will pray for God to convict him and bring him to Himself. In the meantime, I know God has a lot of healing He wants to do in your soul.

                      How are you handling the anger? What are you doing to heal?

                      Do you have any spiritual/emotional support?

                      Much love, my precious sister! You don’t have to walk this road alone. I am glad to walk beside you!

                      Like

                  • kassiferguson
                    September 12, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

                    April,

                    I picked up The Excellent Wife and haven’t been able to put it down. It’s like a glass of water for my spiritually quenched soul. I’ve found myself reading and in constant prayer all day. You and your blog has truly have been a blessing to me. I constantly hear, “You’re so young! (I’m 25). Why would you even try to fix your marriage to someone like that?? You deserve so much better.” But I know, as a Christian, what God requires of me as a wife. Even though it’s gut wrenchingly difficult, I feel led to pour my heart and soul out to God 1. about my relationship with Him and 2. to bring my husband before Him and 3. even through separation, to look for ways to be a blessing to him and our marriage.

                    Like

                    • Peacefulwife
                      September 12, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

                      kassiferguson,

                      I’m so glad you are reading The Excellent Wife! I think that book should be required reading for all wives, myself. The only part that I would change just a bit would be the chapter on confronting our husbands about their sin. It just seems to me that there is one sentence in each example that pushes the boundaries of maybe being disrespectful. But – I LOVE that book and it was extremely helpful to me. I especially love the part about learning to replace bitter thoughts with godly thoughts.

                      You know something? When I see a wife with an attitude toward God, her husband, and her marriage like you have right now – I know God is about to do some amazing things.

                      Praying for Him to continue His good work in you and to bring your husband to Himself and for reconciliation and healing for your marriage, my dear sister!

                      Like

                    • saraistander
                      March 6, 2016 at 7:44 pm #

                      Kassiferguson,
                      I want to pass along a great website about marriage restoration http://www.rejoiceministries.org.
                      It has been a great encouragement to me.

                      Like

                    • Peacefulwife
                      March 7, 2016 at 8:34 am #

                      saraistander,
                      Thank you for sharing this with our sister. 🙂

                      Like

  4. PJ
    October 21, 2015 at 11:16 pm #

    I’m a manly man and your videos make me cry. They are a joy and inspiration. I think it’s hard to be a peaceful wife in this world, but if my wife gave it a try, I think she’d be surprised by my reaction. The affection and intimacy would go through the roof.. I’d be chasing her around the house or out in the meadow. I’d tackle her in a pile of leaves and spend minutes looking into her loving eyes.

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      October 22, 2015 at 8:24 am #

      PJ,

      Aw! I’m so glad that the videos bless your masculine soul. 🙂

      It is very difficult to be a peaceful wife in this world – impossible, without Jesus, really. But in Christ, He is able to give men and women the power to become the people He calls us to be – and that is a beautiful thing! 🙂

      Like

  5. Nicole Dawson
    January 14, 2016 at 6:34 pm #

    I’ve just ran across your blog and what an inspiration! My husband and I are currently separated (he told me to leave and so I did) but truth be told this is actually our second separation. We’ve only been married for two years, are both believers and I’ve been at a complete loss on how to deal with everything that has been happening. I won’t go into all of the details but I will say that the ways of the world are quick to tell us to get a divorce, move on with my life and be thankful that I got out while it’s still early but even before reading your post I had a strong conviction from God that divorce was not the answer and your blog only drives that home even more for me.

    Thank you for all the work you’ve put into this website and I pray that it reaches so many other sisters in Christ!

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      January 14, 2016 at 9:15 pm #

      Nicole,

      It is wonderful to meet you!

      If you are dealing with a really severe issue – like abuse, an unrepentant affair, active drug/alcohol addictions, or uncontrolled mental health issues – I would encourage you to see a godly, experienced counselor and maybe a doctor or the police – depending on the situation. The posts about our walk with Christ, I would invite you to read – but if there are really severe things going on, you will need to take a more specialized and unique approach to respect and biblical submission. I hope that makes sense. And I really hope you aren’t dealing with anything this severe.

      I have seen God heal almost any kind of ill in a marriage. Nothing is impossible with Him! I’m thankful this site has been a blessing to you.

      Much love! I pray for God’s healing for you both!

      Like

  6. Nicole
    January 14, 2016 at 10:30 pm #

    My situation is complicated and you are correct that there are drugs involved. Long story short…He’s on methadone and a former heroin addict and I knew that before we married but he promised to detox and now tells me that he’ll probably be on the methadone forever.

    Just four months after we married he came home and told me that he had been diagnosed with Hep C (he’s now cured and I’ve also been tested and was negative) which caused all sorts of trials in our young marriage (he went on disability and 4 months later I lost my job). I’ve thing led to another and we ended up separating but after I moved out the first time, it was only then that I was told by his family that he’d known about the Hep C for years.

    I forgave him and we reconciled 2 months after the separation but when I came back thats when I discovered that he had started buying xanax off the street and the two drugs mixed together are lethal. Things just kept going downhill for us and this past Nov. we separated for the second time.

    I’m trying to seek godly counsel and do the right things but I also know that if our marriage is going to work that he needs to get his life right with God and deal with the addiction. Cutrently though he won’t even speak to me or respond to my messages. I send only kind and loving messages, telling him about the ministries I’m involved in and how I’m growing closer to God but he doesn’t seem to want any part of it.

    I know it sounds crazy but my heart is broken to pieces over it all. What makes it worse is he has soul custody of his daughter (previous marriage) that I’ve been mommy to since she was a year old and he’s not allowing me any contact with her.

    I just keep praying that God will keep them safe and draw my husband closer to Him because I know that only God can fix each of us and prayerfully our marriage.

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      January 15, 2016 at 7:39 am #

      Nicole,

      SOOOO heartbreaking! 😦 As a pharmacist, I see this happen too much!

      I agree, until he is willing to get help and seek to be sober, it is probably not going to be possible to try to get back together. Because as long as he is addicted to the drugs, he isn’t himself. You aren’t actually dealing with him – but with the addiction. He is ensnared by the enemy and desperately needs the deliverance of Christ.

      I wonder if you might check into a Celebrate Recovery group or support group for spouses in your area? They may have some very helpful resources for spouses of people struggling with addictions.

      I pray with you that God might open your husband’s eyes and that your husband might want to get help and want to be sober and have his life right with God first, and then with you.

      Sending you the biggest hug!

      I have a prayer support group for wives on FB if you are interested in joining, please let me know. There are a number of wives in similar situations there.

      Much love to you!

      Like

  7. Nicole
    January 15, 2016 at 8:29 am #

    Thank you for the prayers and I will look into the group you mentioned on Facebook. And as as the drugs go, he never told me exactly who he was being them from but he did tell me once that the guy was actually a pharmacist! It’s amazing sometimes just how corrupt and full of sin the world is today.

    As for taking care of myself, I’ve read the book codependent no more and realized that I’m in fact a codependent and its likely that I was enabling his behavior. To help myself recover, I’ve started attending 3 weekly ministry meetings at my church. The first two are similar to celebrate recovery and Al-Anon and the third is a marriage ministry. My hope is to find recovery first for myself in Christ, grow closer to God, create a strong biblical community for support and pray daily that my husband does the same.

    Again thank you for this wonderful website and giving me the chance to share my story. I pray that if there are others going through hardships in their marriage that they to will remember to take care of themselves and seek God’s word for comfort and healing.

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      January 16, 2016 at 10:29 am #

      Nicole,

      I’m so glad you have connected to those ministries at your church. That is awesome!

      You are very welcome to share here any time. I pray for God’s healing for your husband, for yourself, and your marriage. I love your plan. It sounds very God-honoring, my precious sister!

      Like

  8. Suzanne
    February 23, 2016 at 4:30 pm #

    Hi April,

    I’m not sure if you’ll remember my previous comments written sometime in November of last year (I can’t find the comment chain).

    So, just in case, a recap … I’m the wonderful wife who actually prayed, quite fervently, two prayers. First I prayed that God would change my heart towards my husband (because I didn’t think I really loved him). When that didn’t happen, I actually prayed that my husband would ask me for a divorce. Surprise, God answered both prayers! My husband told me he thought he wanted a divorce on 11/8/2015. Three days later he confirmed it. It didn’t take long for God to show me that I really did love my husband – way more than I realized and that I had loved him the whole time. Resentment was blinding my true feelings.

    We were married when I was 42. I was not following Christ and my husband is not a Christian. Before we were married, we talked about having a child. I was tested and the doctor said there was a strong chance that I would be able to conceive. We both agreed that “if it happened, it happened and if not, at least we tried”. After we were married, he told me he did not want to have a child. That’s where the resentment came in. We’ve been married for almost 10 years now and I’ve resented him for at least 6 years and I’ve been horribly disrespectful towards him because of it – I felt entitled.

    My husband moved out on 11/21/15 – I asked him to, not because I wanted him to leave, but because I thought he needed some time away to think things through. Also, possibly because I was trying to feel in control of the inevitable … hind sight.

    A bit of history, I was raised in a very legalistic, baptist church … fire and brimstone, constant judgement and fear. I accepted Christ around age 7. I remember being very young, and feeling like I needed to practically jump over the pew to get to the alter and accept Him. After that, my Christian life was on track for awhile, until those awesome teenage years. I remember feeling like I couldn’t possibly be a Christian because I felt like it was impossible to follow all of the rules … an older women at the church actually said to me, “God is going to send you to hell for wearing make-up.” I remember often being with my friends, laughing, having fun and stopping to check myself, sure I was must be sinning if I was having fun. I finally gave up.

    I see now that God has never given up. Throughout my life, He has used different situations to call me back to Him. Often I listened to his voice for awhile, seeking him (selfishly) to help me get my life, typically a romantic relationship, back on track. But I don’t think my heart was ever really in the right place. I know he’s using my current situation to call me to him now.

    When he first left, my husband said he still loved me and always would. I don’t believe he’s seeing anyone else or that he will, he’s the kind of guy that is okay on his own. Also he’s a good guy and, I believe he would consider that cheating even though we’re separated (in some people’s minds that’s a free pass).

    My husband is living in an apartment, somewhere in the same town. I’m living in our house, our paychecks go into the same account, all bills are being paid out of that account. He left all of the furniture and is renting. Nothing else has been separated other than he has physically left and took our dog (we agreed on this before he took her). On New Year’s eve I asked him to have dinner, he said no. We had an uncomfortable talk and he said he still feels the same way – he said, “I’m done.” I asked him if that meant the same as wanting a divorce and he said yes. So I asked him if I should get a lawyer and he got really upset and said, “Why would you go there? Have you been served? All I’ve done is googled a few things, but everyone googles.” Very confusing, mixed messages. Since then, I’ve talked to him once – he called to ask if I could dog sit for a couple of days.

    I know that God is using this situation to bring me to closer to Him. During this time, my prayer life, which was almost non-existent, has become so much stronger. I’ve begun reading devotionals and praying every evening and often throughout the day. I’ve found a church and have been attending for about a month now – that was a hard one because I have wanted to avoid church for a long time now. But I kept asking God to show me Himself and each time I would hear an answer in my head that said, “go to church”. I’ve been asking for His direction and thought maybe He wants me to just wait on Him. So, I’ve waited and although it’s only been a few months, it feels like forever. Now I’ve started wondering if I’m just not doing anything because I’m afraid of my husbands response.

    I don’t want to repeat the same half-hearted response to God. I want to seek Him first, to desire Him above everything, including my husband, but I’m struggling. I’m trying to lay my marriage at His feet, I’m trying to love Him more than my husband, to want Him more than my marriage or anything else. Honestly, I know I’m failing because I’m still so focused on how to get my husband to come back and so afraid of “what if he doesn’t come back?”. I’ve had breakthrough moments, sometimes even weeks of peace and I almost always have an underlying joy that I know is from God, but I feel like I still want my marriage more than God. I want to know what it’s like to love God above all else, how do I get there? I ask Him daily to change my heart and to help me to have the right motives. I want to stop trying to control this situation and trust Him completely, but I don’t know where the line is between taking the action God may want me to take or the action that my controlling nature wants me to take.

    One last thing, when I read this post, something strongly stuck out to me, “If an unbelieving spouse leaves – 1 Corinthians 7 says to let him leave and not try to force him to stay.” Does this mean that God does not want to restore my marriage? I don’t believe so, but would love some clarity on a believing spouse married to an unbeliever.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this long comment.

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      February 24, 2016 at 7:37 am #

      Suzanne,

      Thank you so much for this comment! I hope to get to respond to you tonight. 🙂

      Like

    • Peacefulwife
      February 25, 2016 at 11:59 am #

      Suzanne,

      Oh my goodness! God answered both prayers – that is interesting.

      I’m so glad that you are seeking God wholeheartedly. That is awesome! I know He can use this fiery trial to strengthen your faith and walk with Christ.

      It is encouraging that your husband didn’t want to talk about a lawyer. But it sounds like he is very hurt.

      In trials like this, there is a lot of wrestling to do in prayer, a lot of hashing through our motives. Sometimes we will begin to get things right, and then sometimes we stumble and fall. Then get right back up, my precious sister.

      I have a lot of posts about living completely for Christ. You can search my home page for:
      – lordship
      – submission means we hold the things of this world loosely
      – how to be filled with the Holy Spirit
      – idol/idolatry
      – how to stop idolatry
      – security
      – contentment

      You may also want to search http://www.ccel.org and find the free download for Andrew Murray’s book Absolute Surrender.

      And there are David Platt and John Piper sermons about the Lordship of Christ or about discipleship that are excellent.

      I Corinthians 7 doesn’t mean God doesn’t want to restore your marriage. He loves marriage! But it does mean that people also have free will and to not try to make a spouse stay who decided to go.

      Have you read “When Your Husband Says I’m Done'”?

      Much love to you! I’m here if you want to talk some more. Also, I have a close FB page called Peaceful Women where women pray for each other. A number of the ladies are in the same situation you are, if you are interested. This post has the link.

      Like

    • RamonaQ
      February 25, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

      On the 1 Corinthians 7 issue – it also says that if an unbelieving husband is willing to stay, you are not to leave him.

      1 Corinthians 7:13
      And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

      Your husband did not initiate leaving, you asked him to, if I am understanding correctly.

      (Whoever happens to be reading this, and thinking of doing the same, I would implore you to NOT ask your husband to leave the home, provided you are not in an abusive situation.)

      If you want him home, ask him to come home.
      Maybe apologize for asking him to leave, if you are regretting it.

      ​(ღˇ◡ˇ)​

      Like

      • Peacefulwife
        February 25, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

        RamonaQ,

        YES! It does say that if an unbelieving spouse is willing to stay then we are to let them stay and not make them go. A wife whose husband talked about divorce but didn’t go yet may want to wait and pray rather than asking her husband to leave, I agree, unless there is major unrepentant sin or abuse or God is making it very clear that He is prompting you to separate because of safety or something very serious.

        I love the idea of inviting him to come home and apologizing for asking him to leave.

        Praying for God’s wisdom fro you, Suzanne! 🙂

        Like

  9. Lora
    March 10, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

    Hi, i just chanced on your blog looking for something completely unrelated.
    Has anybody here ever considered to pray to Jesus about the man/ woman you would like to marry before you got married? What makes anybody think that their spouse is chosen for them by the Father in heaven? What makes you think that God is really a part of your marriage? Just because we marry in church? Just because we are church members? Seeing the list of what offends a man puts me right of marriage. Never good enough, i would be. Never good enough.
    Nice to see a blog though were these things are addressed head on and with honesty. Very diplomatic and wise responses to many difficult situations.

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      March 10, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

      Lora,

      I would certainly want to see every believer pray fervently about the person they plan to marry. I have a few posts about that on my site for single women http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.com if you are interested. 🙂 You may search
      “red flags” and “Am I ready to be a godly wife?”

      The only way we can be godly wives is by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us and His fruit in our lives. Just like the only way a man can be a godly husband is for the Holy Spirit to be in full control. We can’t do anything good God asks of us on our own. But when we are abiding in Him, and His Spirit is in charge, He gives us the power to do the things He calls us to do. Praise God for that! 🙂

      Also, you are welcome to check out “godly femininity.”

      Much love to you! 🙂

      Like

  10. Susanna
    April 28, 2016 at 9:19 am #

    April,

    My dilemma is about my divorce and remarriage, and the fear that there is no way to undo what I have done, and my “ideas” about what I need to possibly do to fix the problem are rejected by my current husband at this time. Let me explain:

    My Exhusband and I had 3 children together. I went to church and he didn’t for a while. He was very jealous! He accused me of affairs with the pastor and other men. He was sexually & verbally abusive to me, & verbally & physically abusive to my children. He began dealing & using drugs and alcohol. He failed rehab, lost his job, and hen our house. Pawned all the items that were of value. Life was unbearable, to say the least. My kids & I stayed in a women’s shelter 3 times, and twice I returned, because he said he’d change, & I thought that I was biblically required to return to him. He would temporarily go to church and pretend to be a Christian. It didn’t last & be back to his old ways. He would throw my failure (and sin at times, I admit) in my face saying, “And you say you’re a Christian!”, or when he was talking about just about anything to the children at the table, if I came into the room and joined the conversation, he would tell me I was not welcome in their conversation, or who invited me? Later, after drug dealers came looking for him at our door, and threatening to burn our house down, I was determined to leave with the kids. He was abusive to them, often taking out his anger towards me on them, and was so harsh in small things: leaving a toy on the floor, or back yard seemed to anger him the most. Just prior to my leaving, things got worse when he started acting inappropriate towards our daughter. I would say to him that he shouldn’t do some of the things I saw, but he’d accuse me of being a pervert to think he would do something. He got angry with her because she wouldn’t kiss him. Later I asked why not, and she said she didn’t like his sloppy kisses! At that point I became more aware of little things he was doing. The counselor at the shelter on our 3rd stay said he was prepping her for sexual abuse & said they would take the children if we went back. My pastor seemed to think it was best if I didn’t go back too. So I divorced. It was bitter. He had no visitation or contact with them by court order, until he completed anger management classes, and drug/alcohol rehab, and some other stipulations. He refused, and so my kids never got to see their father growing up. He refused to pay child support if he wasn’t seeing them, which made it hard. I had to go to school to train for a job to pay the bills and was forced to be on public assistance, which pained me. I know this is not God’s intended plan and Gof hates divorce, and as a Christian, it was very hard for me to understand. I was a housewife for 12 yrs and my old pastor at that time led me to believe (or I misunderstood – or – maybe I simply heard what I wanted to believe he said), that I had grounds for divorce. There was no going back. I thought I was free to remarry in the Lord…

    I met a man later in church and remarried. It is his first marriage. I was still going to church, but then after a while, with me trying to run the show (I think my control was linked to my yrs of abuse from my ex and not wanting to lose my identity again or allow a man to step in & correct “MY” 3 children.) so, he stopped going to church for years. Our marriage was on the verge of breaking apart a few years ago if I didn’t stop trying to control him. He refused to go to church with me, and I couldn’t understand why!? My attempts to control him and where he should attend was making it worse. I thought I was a “good” Christian and my church had to be the right one, so why wouldn’t he come? He found another church and said if anyone was going to leave & follow to another church (so we could attend together) it would have to be me, not him, that he was through with me running the show from now on. At that point, kids now adults, I turned to the prayer and the Internet to see how to be a submissive wife, and found your blog. What a godsend it has been!

    I repented of my rebellion and told God that I would obey my husband in everything as long as it wasn’t sin. I’ve been trying to do that since. I struggled for a year before submitting and leaving my old church of 35 yrs, only about 3 mos ago, and though it isn’t what I’m used to, there are many opportunities for spiritual growth. He loves God, and it pains me to think that he maybe loves Him more than I do! It has opened my eyes to a lot. Now, the sticky part!

    My ex remarried, continued in his drugs and passed away from an overdose almost 2 years ago. Subsequently, after 25yrs of marriage to my current husband, I came to the spiritual understanding that the covenant I had with my 1st husband wasn’t broken before God when I divorced before man, and I shouldn’t have remarried. But we did. Now, with his death, I am free to be married – only in the Lord. I am very troubled about this and don’t know how to correct this problem. My husband and I both love the Lord and are striving to serve Him faithfully. We know God hates divorce, but He also hates convenant-breaking of a vow. I truly repented last week when I realized the comparison of a marriage between spouses and Christ and His church. We did make a vow in the 2nd marriage, but I realize the prior 23 yrs of our marriage was biblically considered adultery. Only now that I am free from that covenant am I biblically free to be married. My confusion was whether we need to divorce and remarry correctly, or now that my 1st husband is deceased, is repenting enough? Though I don’t justify what I did, I read that Jesus said, “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven” (except against the Holy Ghost), so I confessed and try to stand on His word and in His grace. I now understand that had I really should have been true to my covenant prior to my ex’s passing, and should have stayed single until he passed, then remarried. I was just not in complete understanding of all at that time. I now think that, had I died before I realized, confessed, & repented of my sin, I would maybe have been lost eternally. That is a fearful thought! I think that my marriage today is stronger than ever, only after I repented and submitted to my husband. I know my children suffered from my wrong choices and I am very sad that my choices may cost them eternally, unless they can get to God some day. I was such a mess after those years of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. I have only recently begun to heal after his passing, assured that he will never harm me again. I realize I was never fully trusting that my whole life – start to finish – was always in God’s hands! I don’t know why it took so long for me to allow God to heal me. It didn’t have to take that long. I don’t understand…

    In the end, so much heartache could have been avoided had I remained single after my divorce. It would have been hard, I know, but who knows how God would have manifested His grace to me had I trusted Him? I thought, “Maybe we have to divorce (showing we realize our marriage was biblically illegal) and remarry correctly!” My husband disagrees, saying we are already married 25 yrs and it was a vow before a minister in a church, so we ARE married. Well, we don’t know any preacher we can turn to, so we repented and its in God’s hands now. Al we know is this: “We are what we are by the grace of God.”

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    • Peacefulwife
      April 28, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

      Susanna,

      WOW!

      What a nightmare your first marriage was. 😦 It breaks my heart that any spouse and any children would have gone through one day of what your family went through. It sounds like you sure tried to stay and tried to make it work – although, there does have to be genuine repentance and then trust must be slowly rebuilt. I can completely agree that you couldn’t stay with your first husband. It wasn’t safe for you or your children on multiple levels.

      There is debate among Bible believing Christians about divorce and remarriage and what is biblical and what is not. Some believe that if a spouse is involved in adultery, the believing spouse who has been betrayed can leave because of what Jesus said in Matthew 19. But it is possible He meant “fornication” not “adultery” which could complicate things. Some believe they can remarry in this situation. Some believe they can’t. There are some Scriptures that say a wife should remain single or be reconciled to her husband if she leaves him. But then some believe that there are 2 exception clauses to remarriage – adultery and abandonment. Some believe if an unbelieving spouse leaves, the believing spouse is free to remarry in that situation. But others believe it just means they are free not to have to try to stay with the spouse who wants to leave.

      Yes, marriage is a covenant that is supposed to be for life. I’m glad y’all see that and want to honor it!

      You can’t repent until you see what you are doing is sin. At this point, no matter how strictly someone interprets Scripture, with your first husband being dead, you are free to remarry. I vote to continue to honor your marriage now and not worry about divorcing and remarrying each other. But please do what you both believe God calls you to do. 🙂

      This is a confusing issue to me, too, in Scripture. There aren’t instructions about how to have a blended family – because maybe that is not God’s design and we are to remain single or be reconciled. But there also aren’t instructions to those who remarried to get divorced or how to handle those situations. Surely that happened in the New Testament times among Gentiles and even among Jews. I don’t see where it is ever addressed. So – I have more questions than answers myself on some of these things.

      I don’t believe remarriage would be an unforgivable sin. I believe there is a way to make things right with God and to repent and then go and sin no more. 🙂 My prayer is that God might give each believer His wisdom as they wrestle with Scripture and the Holy Spirit to seek to do what will most honor God.

      Like

      • Susanna
        May 4, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

        Thank you, April, for helping me thru the mud in this situation. It has been difficult, to say the least. It seems like the more I understand one part of the scriptures, then another question pops up, and I have to dig more! I think that’s the way it should be. So…, let me get back into the Bible!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Dawn Ulmer
    April 29, 2016 at 11:39 am #

    Thank you! God’s Word is so instructional!!!! When my husband of 35 years left home, I determined not to divorce him because ‘God hates divorce’ as stated in His Word. After about 1 1/2 years, I felt God nudging me to divorce him – for protection from him. He was verbally and physically abusive to my two (now grown) children and to me. The Lord’s reasoning seemed to be for protection! Physically and legally/financially. We each were fearful of him and we knew that he had stolen money from my son. My former husband had also hidden a hospital bill of mine which was sent to collections. I would be responsible for any debts/accidents/illnesses he would have. Thus, it was VERY clear to me that God hates divorce and in this particular case I needed to act to protect myself and my children. It’s been 13 years since he left. I have ‘no contact’ as a firm rule. I remain unmarried. I took my wedding vows seriously and, unless the Lord says otherwise, I will remain single until he dies. Follow His Word and follow His voice. Each situation is unique and God will have specific directions for each of us, if we will listen.

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      April 29, 2016 at 10:07 pm #

      Dawn Ulmer,

      Thank you for sharing. I am heartbroken to hear about the situation you were experiencing in your marriage. But how I praise God for your desire to honor your covenant before Him. I’m glad you and your children are safe. How I pray God will bring your husband to Himself and heal and transform him for His glory!

      Like

  12. Dawn Ulmer
    April 29, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

    Amen to your prayer. Thank you,.

    Like

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