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Postby grayham » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:51 pm

I had been married for 12 years with 3 children. My wife told me she wanted s divorce, on grounds of not showing her much affection, and not getting on with her family, as I find it hard to socialize with people. I believe marriage is for life, and there has been no adultery. I know I could have been a better husband. We went to church together for 12 years, and I found out, to my surprise, that the pastor's wife told her to divorce me. This is unbelievable to me and I would of thought they would tell her not to break the marriage covenant. I don't believe in divorce, but my wife has other ideas. Am I to blame for my divorce, even if my wife is unhappy in our marriage?
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Re: Divorce

Postby steve » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:26 pm

Hi Grayham,

In answer to your question, no, you are not to blame for your divorce, to which you are opposed—though you may be somewhat to blame for your wife's unhappiness in the marriage. That is a different matter. Unhappiness in marriage does not necessitate, nor is it grounds for, getting a divorce. The responsibility for the unhappiness of one spouse may fall, partially, on both of them. Each spouse has the responsibility to serve the other's needs, and the responsibility to be content with what they've got. The responsibility for a divorce lies entirely on the side of the covenant-breaker (in this case, your wife and her co-conspirators, like the pastor's wife).

I am sorry for your misfortune, and for the evil counsel given by the pastor's wife. I think you should confront the pastor's wife—and then the pastor himself, if she does not repent of the sinful counsel she gave (feel free to show him this that I am writing to you). If he is a man of God, he will confront his wife and tell her that she must quickly and vociferously renounce her counsel to your wife, and do everything in her power to convince your wife to stay in the marriage. If the pastor's wife remains unrepentant, the pastor himself must step in and undo the damage his wife has done to your wife. If he does not handle this in a godly manner, leave that church as fast as you can. He should step down voluntarily, if he cannot prevent his wife's destroying the souls and families of the congregation. I don't know what kind of church it is, but I know, unless this is handled promptly and uncompromisingly, its leadership is not committed to following Jesus. It is scandalous that a person's marriage can break-up for no better reason than that he chose and trusted the wrong church to be a part of. There are consequences worse than millstone necklaces and a dip in the ocean awaiting those who lead such vulnerable wives astray (Luke 17:2).

I had a similar experience with a wife who had been with me for 20 years. For most of those years, she frankly. and frequently, admitted that she had never loved me, but was committed to staying in the marriage to honor God and benefit the children. She deserves commendation for making this sacrifice. It was a neighbor lady (the wife of a leader in another church, who, at the time, did not even really know who we were) who told my wife that, if she was unhappy, it was permissible for her to leave the family in pursuit of greater personal fulfillment. That was just what my wife was wanting to hear. As a result, this woman persuaded my wife to destroy our family, bringing incalculable harm on our children, and reproach upon Christ. This was almost 18 years ago now. Repercussions in my children's lives have not normalized yet in any perceptible measure.

I say this, not to worry you, but to warn the foolish women (and men) who counsel unhappy people to get divorced in the pursuit of greater happiness. If happiness, not obedience, is one's highest goal, that person is not actually a follower of Christ (Matthew 16:24). Those who counsel these struggling people into behaviors that spiritually ruin themselves, that permanently scar the souls of children, that commit perjury against their spouses, that undermine the divine institution of marriage, and that bring disgrace upon Jesus Christ—whose name they bear (apparently, in vain)—are evil counselors who will ultimately be judged by their words (Matt.12:36-37), and be found guilty of the blood of those children that were destroyed by their foolish counsel.

Do I sound angry about this? This is me after 18 years of cooling down, and having found blissful marital life with a perfect, godly wife! If this were about my happiness, I would be singing the praises of the woman who counseled a course of damnation to my ex-wife, resulting in supreme happiness in a new marriage for me. I am angry for the longstanding damage done to my children, to my ex-wife, and to the cause of Christ, by such evil counsel. I personally believe that God, whose great concern is so often said to be for the fatherless, is even angrier than we can be.
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Re: Divorce

Postby Singalphile » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:54 pm

It does not sound like you are at all guilty of divorce (should it occur). My prayers are with you and your family.
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