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a rant & a smackdown. a solution?

October 8, 2008

my man went on a rant yesterday. a good one. it’s something that has been brewing in him for quite awhile.

he is sick and tired of watching, or hearing of, men mistreating their wives! here’s a small taste of what he had to say…

“Some of you have decided that the best way for you to live the life you want is to treat your wives like crap. You take every opportunity to let her know who’s boss, as if you are some superior being. You may actually “fight” her and this physical brawl may even lead to the need for medical attention. Really? Even worse, you’ve spoken to her in a way that makes her feel invaluable, cheap and worthless. You see, emotional abuse in my opinion is far worse. The physical bruises will heal. An emotional bruise may never heal. Who are you?”

all this led to brent and me discussing when the appropriate or right time is, if at all, to walk away? is it ok to leave an abusive marriage? what constitutes a break in the covenant of marriage? if one person isn’t honoring that covenant, is it a covenant at all?

what are your thoughts?

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60 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2008 3:34 am

    Tough one. I don’t think that anyone wants to encourage divorce as it is so prevalent in the church and society at large, but there are some circumstances where I am convinced that one partner or another has no other choice.

    1. Sometimes, one partner just quits – I have seen this one a lot. It’s no big surprise that both partners have to give their marriage their all. When your partner is completely indifferent to the marriage, refuses to go to counseling, and seems satisfied with just cohabitation, the marriage is just about over. This strikes me as a violation of the covenant. Also, the partner who quits is often engaged in extra-marital affairs.

    2. Physical abuse – Nobody should have to live with someone who is beating the hell out of them on a regular basis. Nobody.

    3. Constant disrespect – These are pretty disturbing, and I think most of us have experienced an awkward moment or two when we witness one partner berate and denigrate the other partner in public. If the offended partner can’t get the other one to stop, it is going to eat away at their self-respect until nothing is left. Nobody can live like that.

  2. October 8, 2008 3:45 am

    I’m not sure I can really answer all those questions in this type format. I can and will say that I believe physical abuse in inexcusable in any and every case.

    Good rant Brent!

  3. October 8, 2008 5:50 am

    Thanks for sending us to Brent’s. His rant brought up some “stuff” in me. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband, but I must say, my dad was far from perfect. The emotional and verbal abuse is detrimental to the whole family. Somehow it’s not thought of as “so bad” but it is damaging. I wish my mom had taken some steps to get help, but instead she learned how to be just as ugly. I guess it was a defense mechanism.

    Why don’t people seek help?

  4. October 8, 2008 6:10 am

    GOOD ONE, Tam…. (and Brent)…

    My opinon…first (obviously) I’d pray about it (and probably BEEN praying for a long time) and let God run it….I know, easier said than done…. but God will run it. As strong headed as I am, I’d leave. God will still run my life. But, every situation is different so it would be hard to just make a “statement” about what to do…. I just know God has it.

  5. heatherblankenship permalink
    October 8, 2008 6:57 am

    I am sure that most would not agree in this day and age, but my personal opinion, is that if you are being abused, separate. Get help, set the boundary with the abusive spouse, that he/she must get help. I don’t think it’s grounds for divorce biblically, but separation for sure! I would not move back in until I KNEW he had changed… I would have to see LONG TERM SUSTAINED change.

  6. heatherblankenship permalink
    October 8, 2008 7:02 am

    well I answered only part of your questions…just realized. A break in the covenant by biblical standards would be extramarital affair. However, I am such an advocate in saving a marriage that divorce would have to be a LAST resort. I have seen many many marriages saved that seemed to be headed right down the tubes. I used to believe that restoration was not an option, but that has changed. Separation is a huge tool to be used in cases where divorce seems to be the only option.

  7. October 8, 2008 7:04 am

    Whoo-eee, that’s a tough one! I believe that if a woman (or a man) is being physically abused in a marriage, she needs to leave immediately. I don’t mean divorce, but remove herself from that physical situation. And then figure out what God wants her to do with the marriage.

    As for other things that break a covenant, I don’t know. In the past few years, we’ve had three of our couple friends divorce. All three were friends from church. I’ve learned that it’s not my place to figure out blame or what THEY should have done. Because even though I believe I know what God wants – marriages to last forever – I have no way of knowing what His plan is for those individuals. NO, I don’t think His plan ever includes divorce. But I just can’t judge. That’s the only conclusion I’ve been able to come to.

    Well, that and the fact that seeing my friends divorce has truly broken my heart.

  8. October 8, 2008 8:09 am

    Ouch. that is a toughie. I think there is a time when separation is needed. What that time is, or how to define it … may very well come down to the wisdom of the particular case. Perhaps pastors who deal with this kind of thing on a regular basis know a bit better how to pinpoint when too far is too far. I don’t know.

    A friend of mine was married for 3 weeks once. I think it was 3 weeks. Shortly after they were married (like a day or two after) he hit her. It happened a second time. It happened a third time. And she left. Do I judge the right and wrong of that? No. But inside of me, I do admire her for it. I think it shows an insight and courage that is very rarely seen. I will say that she knew (from her father I believe) what abuse looked like, and wouldn’t stand for it. She’s married now to a sweet, sweet man.

    This is certainly not a circumstance or a decision that is ever easy, and never ever made lightly. Women who leave abusive spouses (I have another friend who did as well) go through many heart-rending decisions. Very tough issue.

  9. October 8, 2008 8:11 am

    Ok..I’m gonna answer this…but I’m gonna do it in my blog. This is an issue close to my heart. There are two sides to it and I’m about to address the other side.

    Check back in a day or so as I’m feeling the need to mull over what I really want to say on this issue.

    This is big…really big. And really, really important.

  10. October 8, 2008 8:25 am

    Papa and mama want to talk to you — we went through the physical abuse issue w/our daughter and her first husband – see you soon! The emotional abuse is deadly and destructive.

  11. October 8, 2008 8:49 am

    Its my point of view that an abusive spouse has already left the marriage. The abused spouse isn’t deciding to stay or to leave (divorce). Instead the abused spouse must decide whether to chase after them (through say counseling and separation) or to let them go (by filing for divorce). Again, from my point of view, an abusive spouse has “left” them marriage. The abused spouse, by filing for divorce, is merely making that departure known to the state.

    God is already well aware of who has left whom.

  12. October 8, 2008 9:00 am

    I think it’s okay to walk away. I think those that don’t walk away are telling their spouses that it’s okay to abuse them, and possibly children (if any involved). IT is breaking the covenant when one doesn’t love honor and cherish…or treat their bride as Christ would the church.

    Makes me ill to think of those out there that don’t love as Christ would.

  13. October 8, 2008 9:18 am

    If the abuser has no desire to change or is doing anything to get help I would generally that would be the line for me. With that said, every situation is different.

  14. October 8, 2008 9:45 am

    A covenant is a sacred vow we take willingly and with our eyes open. We are not to – or should not – ever be forced into undertaking the covenant of marriage. If we do not do so willingly then it is slavery and bondage – not a covenant.

    It is sacred – let NO man put asunder what God has joined together.

    If we undertake a legal contract, because someone does not fulfill single or several parts of their agreement to us does not absolve us from ours to the contract – unless there be a clause to that effect.

    Last time i checked the Marriage vows do not have such a clause. It is until DEATH do us part. We avow to love, honour and OBEY our partner – if they fail in that we are not absolved of our requirement to the marriage.

    If you have that little faith in God and your own ability to honour your word to Him then you mock Him in taking on such a covenant – or a legal contract you mock the law.

    Walking away from your vows because you may be in fear of your earthly life? How Christian of us – perhaps Jesus should have done the same and walked away from His Bride when she abused him for so long and so brutally.

    The more i see of supposed Christians and their ‘understanding’ and selfishnesses, the more i understand why so few will make it into Heaven this time around.

    Harsh – but truly Christian i feel.

    Walking away is what humans do – it is not what Christians are told, By Christ, to do. We are supposed to give up our lives for Him – sacrifice, turn the other cheek also, bless those who spitefully use us, pick up our cross and Glory Him – not cut and run.

    Marriage is treated by so many as a game or a joke – something you can play whenever you feel like it and stop when you are ‘losing’. The institution has been taken by many into ridicule and treated far too lightly. It is seen as a convenience to many, to be discarded when it is no longer convenient.

    The Bible says marriage is not for all – and we forget that in our selfish wants and desires.

    If you walk away from a covenant you make before God for any reason not mentioned in the covenant, you might expect to pay the consequences.

    And i should make it clear.. i don’t condone any form of violence to our marriage partners. Make your choice and choose wisely.

    <B

  15. TheNorEaster permalink
    October 8, 2008 9:53 am

    I just left a comment on Brent’s post. And I don’t have any energy left.

    Sorry, Tam.

  16. October 8, 2008 10:03 am

    Booyah!!! I’m so blessed to have an amazing husband who loves and cherishes me.

    I really can’t answer your question. I don’t know what I would do or what my advice would be to someone in that situation.

  17. October 8, 2008 11:24 am

    my life was full of escaping abusers..did I always take the right steps..probably not. But the past is the past, and God forgives and gives me another chance…so if my hubs were to turn in to that type person, I would fight for my marriage on my knees, and seek God’s guidance, and leave only when HE told me to. I am talking holding on to GOD with two hands…I am blessed to not have a man who abuses me. But it wasn’t always like that…God didn’t create woman to be a punching bag, or a rug to walk on, we are actually created to be a help mate. I have removed women from abusive homes, and have helped them restart their lives. Its all sad.

    On the other hand…I know some women who are the abusers…

  18. October 8, 2008 12:02 pm

    I do not believe it is scriptural that women lay around to be door mats and punching bags for their husbands. My husband doesn’t have an ounce of violence in him so I cannot relate to such abuse…….. but I don’t feel that a Christian woman who leaves an abusive husband is locked out of the gates of Heaven, not at all.

    Some abusers are repentant, some are not.
    Some want to get to the root of their anger, some do not.
    Some want to be cleansed of their evil nature, some do not.

    I think women would be wise to seek the heart of Jesus before agreeing to marry any man. Women should want men who place Jesus on the throne of their marriage. If we lose sight of our Jesus, we likely will make poor relationship decisions and end up in unhealthy marriages. I know this because I have have done this before.

  19. October 8, 2008 12:11 pm

    I don’t know my exact opinion, because I’m not married so i haven’t been in that situation, but my thoughts are… that I would love to marry a guy who can rant like that!

  20. October 8, 2008 12:18 pm

    My sister’s first husband was emotionally abusive. He had affairs. One day he went to work and just never came back home. Ever. Didn’t even take his shaving kit. Didn’t come back to see his two beautiful children, nothing. He didn’t even show up in the courtroom to seek custody. He tore her down until she felt small and then he abandoned her.

    Turns out he lied to us about his whole life. We all fell for it… he went to church, he prayed, he played the part. Then he showed himself, then he left.

    My sister couldn’t get an annulment from our church because she wouldn’t lie and say he was an alcoholic and physically abused her.

    She is kind, strong, loving and faithful. No one can tell me she’s not going to heaven. The God I know won’t judge her on a check list, he’ll judge her heart. Lucky for her.

  21. October 8, 2008 12:26 pm

    Good for Brent!
    I posted a paper on my blog a while back that I’d written about divorce and remarriage. My views on this type of issue were shaped by Jay Adams. I think in a case where one spouse is really sinning against each other–such as physical abuse–that the biblical principles of confrontation (Matt. 18) should be followed, including church discipline if it gets to that point. If the confronted party remains unrepentant, then I do think the marriage covenant has been broken. Depending on the situation, I might recommend separation at first (well, and I’d recommend physical separation while the confrontation process is taking place. Top priority is to keep the abused spouse–and children, if there are any–safe!! I’ve been horrified by stories of church leaders who urged a woman to remain in a house where she was being beaten, even raped in front of her children, etc.) but I definitely think you can make a case–bibically–for divorce in the case of an unrepentant abusive spouse. The question of whether the spouse is then eligible to remarry is a separate one, but I also believe that if you are divorced without hope of restoration, you are free to remarry.

  22. October 8, 2008 12:30 pm

    “lovewillbringustogether”: After reading your comment, I am curious to know if you would advise someone who is being abused to physically remain living in the house with the abuser. What if the spouse is physically or sexually abusing the children? Would you want the children to remain in the situation? Is that really the “Christian” thing to do? The Bible does clearly allow for at least separation in certain cases, even if you do not believe in divorce. (Perhaps you agree with that; you just didn’t mention it so I am curious what your view is.)

  23. October 8, 2008 1:14 pm

    If a friend came to me and told me her spouse was abusing her, I would help her exit the situation. Jesus did not address physical abuse in his ministry. He did tell husbands to love their wives like Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. A Christian man who abuses his wife, is hardly Christian. He needs get into a personal relationship with Jesus and he should be pistol whipped (as we say in Texas).

    I would go on to say…I wouldn’t put up with it.

  24. October 8, 2008 1:15 pm

    question? our bodies (and mind) are the temple of Christ. how are we supposed to take care of that temple? does it honor Him to abuse it?

  25. October 8, 2008 1:24 pm

    Hi Tam! Good topic for discussion. Reminds me of a book I read by Dr. James Dobson called something like “Tough Love” (something along those lines). Personally I believe that when abuse is involved a time of separation is critical, and that during that separation both partners are receiving godly counsel.

  26. October 8, 2008 1:29 pm

    Here’s the link to my previous blog post on divorce and remarriage if anyone’s interested in a more in-depth take on it:

    http://faithsgreatadventure.blogspot.com/2008/03/divorce-remarriage-and-ministry.html

    (I was not writing specifically about physical abuse, but it’s the results of my research into the issues of divorce and remarriage, and what place the divorced and remarried have in ministry. I read a wide variety of sources, explore the various perspectives, and include my own conclusions.)

  27. October 8, 2008 1:38 pm

    i asked Faith to provide this link ^^^. i remember reading this post awhile back and its good. very good!

    i encourage you all to read it!

    thank you Faith for sharing that with us 🙂

  28. October 8, 2008 1:42 pm

    I have never been married. I have no interest in getting married. This is likely why my longest relationship with a women was about 6 months. None of this relationships involved abuse, except in one case some light S&M, but that’s another story. 🙂

    I agree with Love that wedding vows are like a contract. It’s a contract that is being broken far too easily today. I do think that this contract does not mean that anyone has to accept physical abuse. In that case the couple, the one being abused, should choose to live separately. That does not mean divorce, just living separately.

    A society where people fulfill their contracts should be a more stable one. I also understand that from a legal standpoint, questions of property rights, a couple should have the right to a legal divorce, and the option to remarry. I think however that even legally getting a divorce has become far to easy.

    Assault is a criminal offense. If one person is physically abusing another they should be subject to criminal prosecution, even if the two parties involved are married.

  29. Heidi permalink
    October 8, 2008 4:46 pm

    I’ve been very hestitant to comment. Abuse hits very close to home for me. Protecting the privacy of the parties involved. I am not going in very deep with this comment. But I want to say one thing that has been on my heart all day and it has brought me to tears with a heavy heart so much today.

    Abuse is not only physical. It’s also comes in forms of sarcasm, down-grading, snide remarks, isolation, and many other examples. It’s not a disease of a certain sex. The abuser can be either male or female.

    Brent made a very good point last night, “Even worse, you’ve spoken to her in a way that makes her feel invaluable, cheap and worthless. You see, emotional abuse in my opinion is far worse. The physical bruises will heal. An emotional bruise may never heal.”

    In my opinion a healing so far deep in the soul that God can only heal. He has promised whomever it effects that HE WILL retore them and heal them. No counselor, divorce court, nor medication, will heal that deeply.
    (Although, they are good resources for us.)

    I’ve been reading all day the wonderful wisdom from everyone, but I really loved and connected with OCDisms

    “God run it….I know, easier said than done…. but God will run it”

    This moment I cannot comment about convenants and all the remaining questions. I am still figuring out the first part and I want to educate myself first so I don’t cause any damage with my words.

    All I know TODAY God rocks.

  30. October 8, 2008 5:04 pm

    Faith’s post is a wealth of balanced research on the topic of divorce. Thanks for the link. My views fall somewhere in the standard protestant view. I would argue that an abusive spouse has, by their actions, abandoned his or her spouse and marriage. A marriage is much more than postal address. Someone can abandon their spouse (and children) while residing in the same house. I know.

  31. October 8, 2008 6:32 pm

    Tam you have an awesome man by your side…

    Men and leadership has been on my heart and Brent showed tremendous leadership stepping up and speaking out.

    When is the right time to walk away… Wow…I have a hard time answering this question…

    God would much rather have reconciliation than divorce. There is provision in the Bible for infidelity… And as Pete said none for abuse….

    If men would lead the way they are suppose to Abuse and Infidelity would not be an issue.

  32. October 8, 2008 6:38 pm

    Thank you for your kind comments, Tam and Ric! And Ric, I think your point about abandonment is a good one (one that I later wished I had addressed in that paper, when someone else brought it up in class! :))

    I just re-read the paper myself and found one section that is especially relevant to this particular discussion. (I don’t agree with all of Instone-Brewer’s conclusions in the full article, but the passage he writes about below is one that is often overlooked in Christian discussions about divorce and definitely gives us food for thought!) Here is the section:

    Exodus 21:10-11, a text not often discussed by proponents of the stricter views of divorce and remarriage, allows divorce for neglect. Instone-Brewer (2007) argues that this grounds for divorce was widely accepted by the Jews in Jesus’ day, and the fact that Jesus did not explicitly reject this grounds for divorce means that it was still considered legitimate. This passage in Exodus states that everyone, even a slave wife, had three rights within marriage—the rights to food, clothing, and love. If these rights were neglected, the neglected spouse—whether male or female—had the right to seek freedom from that marriage. Proponents of this view teach that Paul reinforced this idea when he said that married couples owe each other love (1 Cor. 7:3-5), and material support (1 Cor. 7:33-34), and that Paul did not need to state that neglect of these rights was the basis of divorce because that was already understood; it was stated on the marriage certificate (Instone-Brewer, 2007).

  33. October 8, 2008 10:59 pm

    Faith, you have some wonderful and wise thoughts here. Thank you for showing us how God has lead you. I specifically fall online with your last comment. The 3 requirements. It speaks to what I believe. The marriage covenant is between a man a woman and God. What happens when one part decides they will not fulfill that covenant? Is there a covenant at all? I believe not. As I read through Ephesians, I do not see the “man should” and the “woman should” exclusive of one another. I see it as all or nothing. For a true covenant in marriage before God, both the man and the woman need to live to Gods standards of that covenant. If one chooses to oppose these standards, the covenant has been broken. Divorce(today’s word for it) has already taken place. A divorce doesn’t take place when a lawyer decides and papers are signed. A divorce takes place when one or both parties in a marriage. Choose to live opposed to the marriage covenant God has detailed for us.

    This does not mean that a marriage cannot be salvaged or repaired, but that takes work and commitment, which a decidedly abusive partner is unable to do.

    Of course maybe we wouldn’t even be discussing this if we all made the decision to live up tithe covenant we entered.

  34. October 9, 2008 12:14 am

    Hi Faith,

    May i first mention that my comment addressed Tam’s Question – when is it right to walk away (from a marriage?) and is it a covenant?

    It is also relevant to state that i have read your post you linked to here and also that i conceded to my only wife’s request for separation, twice, once at her demand, and again after my request for reconciliation was tried and failed (not my wish) and that i am Divorced (for 20 years now). We were married in a Church but neither of us were true believers at the time. (Despite my wife’s parents being very devout – Salvation Army Majors) We separated owing to my wife’s desire for earthly, rather than spiritual, satisfaction and her need for instant rather than delayed satisfaction of her wants. There was no abuse involved.

    Also i was later engaged to be married to a woman i loved, who believed, but i called the wedding off three weeks before we committed ourselves to become ‘one flesh’ after her mother accused me of only marrying her for money and when i asked her to say in front of her mother if she believed otherwise and that Her mother was not seeing the Truth about me she could not do so.

    i believe we should enter the marriage contract with our eyes wide open to the truth and not blinded by our emotion/ego.

    i take it very seriously, and even more so as i read the Bible and better come to know His Willl for us all.

    My opinions are only of importance to me – each of us has that same right.

    However my opinions are insignificant and unworthy of being listened to if they do not mirror His. Many people in this world – including some of our spouses or ourselves do not well understand that it, seems to me.

    To answer your question: i cannot in any honesty advise anyone from a hypothetical case since all cases are different according to the circumstances/people. It is what is in the hearts and ego’s of the individuals concerned that determine what if anything i would ‘advise’ – were it ever my right to do so.

    Apologies if that sounds like a chicken cop out answer.

    Keeping in with the spirit of Tam’s post q: To those who are in Christ and are married i believe if i were in a marriage in which i was being abused (women, i believe, are far better abusers than men since, as Brent points out, mental abuse is often deeper than any physical abuse – many men do not have the ability to defend themselves or respond in any appropriate way to such abuse any more than most women can defend themselves from the physical abuse of a bigger, stronger male. That of course does not excuse such a response or anyone initiating violence against a partner) it is my obligation to meet and uphold the intent and spirit of my marriage. My ‘marriage to Christ’ is to always take precedence over any other. If by, breaking my marriage vows to my partner, i am made to break them to God also then i am caused to sin and will be held accountable.

    While i read many statements concerning marriage and divorce in the OT i believe Christ makes all that superceded (but not totally irrelevant!). Are we here Christians? or Jews? or Gentiles? is our heart still hardened? or are we yet ‘heathen’?

    To those who have not Christ in them, then live according to the law. Obey it and live up to your obligations under it – do not put yourself above the law and do things that are of your own desire above that which you committed to undertake willingly… for better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health – till death do us part… or whatever your contract called you to uphold each to yourself and to the other.

    let your yes mean yes and your no mean no and swear not by God’s name.

    The thing i find most offensive about a marriage breakdown is when a man is driven to the point where he not only kills himself, but kills also his Kids, and perhaps also his wife.

    i know it happens and happens far more than i would choose it to were i in charge. i know He allows that thing to happen in this world whereas i would not – Clearly i am not able to advise God on what we should and should not do.

    i know myself to be still imperfect in understanding – but i do my best to follow and live under His willl and to help others to do so also.

    i believe all marriage is symbolic of Him and His Church – whether those involved in one understand that or not.

    Sorry to take up so much column space. 🙂

    P.S. i agree largely with Ed who some may say is a non-believer but whom i consider other wise.

    <B

  35. October 9, 2008 12:36 am

    Brent – i’m inclined to disagree a little with your view of a broken covenant.

    Many Jews abused the obligations of the Covenant he made with them and so ‘abused’ God, the Covenant partner with each of them. (in fact, did ANY obey all the Law??) Was God excused then from the Covenant He made with them?

    We are to follow His example – not the example of covenant breakers.

    i think it is advisable to get some good ‘legal’ advice here. If the covenant we make allows for conditions under which we are freed of our obligation to it then those are the only circumstances we MAY (buit do not necessarily have to be) excused from remaining in it.

    What conditions free us from our obligation to God and do we marry by our own mind – or by His?

    Let’s not forget to whom all of us are honour bound – or legally bound either.

    “Divorce takes place when one or both parties choose to live opposed to the marriage covenant…”?

    Really? Any Scripture confirm that? 🙂 Or is it how you see it personally?

    Why does Scripture only seem to say it is up to the man to put away his wife? Can we put away Christ, being His Bride, even if we sin against Him? Can a wife put away her husband under God?

    Again – for the sake of clarity – i don’t condone violence to any. It can be impossible for any of us to avoid it here on earth however.

    <B

  36. October 9, 2008 5:42 am

    Hey Love,

    I do want to say I respect your view and passionately long for a day when all marriages are entered into with eyes-wide-open with the foreknowledge of the lifelong commitment you describe. However, many enter marriage today for all the wrong reasons. It is not uncommon for an abused woman to enter into a relationship with an abusive man. A man who is “less” abusive than her parents will actually look appealing. There are many other scenarios that could be described.

    My point is, we have many broken homes in this world where both husband and wife remain at the same address. Where Brent says, “Divorce takes place when one or both parties choose to live opposed to the marriage covenant…”, I would say, “Abandonment takes place…” People can indeed abandon one another emotionally while physically remaining in their lives. We do this all the time when we’re upset with someone.

    An abusive spouse is emotionally detached from their spouse. He or she has abandoned the abused spouse. The home is broken. The marriage is broken.

    Ideally, reconciliation will occur. The abused will often offer forgiveness on a daily basis. The abuser will often not care. I think you are right to liken this to our personal walk with God where we are the abuser who does not care about the concerns of God. We are in a broken relationship in our unredeemed life. In that broken relationship, the abused sought reconciliation. However, we do not deserve this. What we deserve, biblically speaking, is death. Metaphorically speaking, God has every right to terminate the relationship.

    Similarly, the abused spouse has the same biblical right. That is what the abuser deserves. And more.

    Again, I respect your view. This is my view, which I believe is biblical.

  37. October 9, 2008 7:22 am

    “Love”: Thank you for sharing your story and clarifying your position. I do realize you were referring specifically to Tam’s question about cases of spousal abuse. The reason I asked my own questions is because it sounded like you were saying even separation was never permissible (because of your view of the covenant and the Christian’s obligation to it), so I wondered if you believed there were *no* exceptions. The examples I gave (children are sexually abused; father rapes mother in front of children) are from families I know personally. So when I hear someone say “Divorce is never OK” or “Separation is never OK,” I think about how that would be applied practically and want to know how they would address situations like the ones I mentioned.

    I would disagree with your statement that “women are far better abusers than men.” Men do indeed experience abuse more often than many realize, and I think it’s important for people to recognize that, and for abused men to get the help they need. I also realize you were stating that as opinion, not fact, but I think it is hurtful to make such sweeping statements (especially when research is to the contrary) and minimize the abuse that women experience.

  38. October 9, 2008 9:16 am

    Thank you Faith, Thank you Ric – I respect your opinions also.

    I am actually all too well aware of the abuse that exists in the world and in relationships and marriages. I do not live in some kind of plastic isolated bubble or a religious fantasy land where everything is perfect or ignored… in case my words did not make that in any way too clear. Please do not feel that you have to inform me of what ‘life’, or what passes for it these days, is really is like. I am under NO illusions as regards that at all.

    While pretty much all of what i said is my understanding and belief regarding what marriage is MEANT to be about i don’t for one moment pretend that that is the only way people either think about it or experience it themselves – or that they in any way ‘should’ – even if i do deeply wish they would live a Truly Christian lifestyle. No amount of my wishing for it will ever make it real in this world for anyone but myself. And even that is not 100% guaranteed – none of us are yet ‘perfect’.

    As to women being far better abusers than men… i was getting just a little peeved that the focus was being narrowed down to physically abusive or sexually abusive (both abhorrent to me personally) men and the underlying implication that it was completely a one-sided situation. It is my contention, and i am afraid i do not have any reliably researched facts to back it up, that the vast majority of spousal abuse cases (be they from male or female) are escalations of contentious issues in the home where neither man nor woman have developed positive ways of overcoming or dealing with them and that males typically resort to resloving issues more in a physical way while women do so verbally/emotionally. i suspect if research was done there would be far more verbal abuse in relationships than physical… which was the reason for my statement. (although i would agree that physical abuse and the ultimate – taking of lives – pose the greatest short-term risks and is the most ‘noticable’ form). Men are frequently quite poor at ‘matching’ a woman or ‘holding their own’ in the verbal/emotional areas.

    I am not attempting to excuse or justify in any way violence. i am merely pointing out some truths which might have been obscured from the origninal conversation.

    Naturally, i do not intend to offend anyone who suffers from either form of abuse, just as i am sure you do not.

    Concerning my Statement about God breaking His Covenant with His Bride… it is my understanding at this time that He remains True to them and if we break them we get what is ‘due’ as a result.

    I feel that we break covenants at our peril – in the next life moreso than this one.

    Whether the other person to the covenant breaks it themselves or not is down to them. Separation – temporary – is not breaking any commmitment if it is done to try to ensure the marriage covenant can be maintained. I am personally opposed to the idea of marrying someone and then finding them unsuitable and then remarrying – perhaps several times – until you get one that is ‘just right’.

    I feel somewhat the same about swapping churches.

    Too much of the flesh/ego involved in that for my liking – we have one God, we should have one Spouse (if we cannot resist the temptation as Paul suggests), one Church, for (our) life.

    Again, there is ample evidence all around me that this is not the current ‘reality’. 😦

    <B

  39. October 9, 2008 11:45 am

    i am so confused.

    ok. so if a woman is not to leave an abusive marriage – then what in your opinion, Love, can she do, should do?

    let me paint a picture for you. there is a little girl, awakened in the middle of the night, at least 4 times a week, to screaming, vulgar language, punching and slapping. little girl wakes in the morning to see her mom sitting at the table, head slouched over resting on the edge. child thinks her mother is dead. but mom is just crying, she looks up at her daughter and the child can barely recognize her. one eye is swollen shut, nose is crooked and bleeding. mother puts on her sunglasses and drives her little girl to school. this is “normal”. this was my normal as a child. and i quickly followed that pattern when first on my own. that is not Godly or honoring to Him one single bit. it is atrocious, despicable and should not be tolerated in His name. ever!

    this happens in “christian” marriages. and this is ok? physical abuse is illegal. period. and if it is not stopped the other has the right to leave, or will be killed…eventually. i dont believe God will punish a person for choosing not to be an enabler any longer. separation/divorce might very well be the one thing that turns the abuser around and saves any children that may be involved.

  40. October 9, 2008 12:32 pm

    I have been trying so hard to stay out of this for fear of saying something I might regret. Because I don’t like to say things when I’m worked up and lose perspective.

    I know as Christians we have rules and they are not just important, they are essential. But when I was little I was taught that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul with all your strength and all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the rules as we interpret them and judging what others should or should not do that we forget to just wrap our arms around each other and love people through this life.

    Maybe I’m simplistic. Maybe I’m not theologically sound. But I think God wants to love us more than he wants to judge us. And he wants us to love each other more than judge each other with our human interpretations. I think it would break his heart to see a woman stay in a home and be beaten in his name. I think it would break his heart to see a man belittled and abused by his wife because of a rule. Do I think divorce is taken lightly in this day and age? Absolutely. Do I think we as humans can wrap our minds around every point God tried to make to us in the bible? No. Because I don’t think we can come close to understanding his love, his compassion and his hope for us.

    When I was sponsoring someone who was joining my church, we were learning all the rules and beliefs, but the priest said that the number one rule of the church that most are not aware of is that any decision you make should be made with these questions: Is my decision in the best interest of myself, my community and my relationship with God? If the answer is yes to all three, then it supercedes the rule of the church.

    Maybe not all churches believe that. Maybe I’m totally wrong. But I can’t believe that God wants anyone to lay down their lives to an abuser and say they are doing it as a way to lay down their life for the Lord.

  41. lazrus2 permalink
    October 9, 2008 12:42 pm

    I actually made it through all the comments!
    I agree with Heather in her comments:
    “if you are being abused, separate. Get help, set the boundary with the abusive spouse, that he/she must get help. I don’t think it’s grounds for divorce biblically, but separation for sure! I would not move back in until I KNEW he had changed… I would have to see LONG TERM SUSTAINED change.”
    and
    “A break in the covenant by biblical standards would be extramarital affair. However, I am such an advocate in saving a marriage that divorce would have to be a LAST resort. I have seen many many marriages saved that seemed to be headed right down the tubes. I used to believe that restoration was not an option, but that has changed. Separation is a huge tool to be used in cases where divorce seems to be the only option.”

    No one has quoted Jesus’ actual words about it, though they have referenced them:
    Matt 5:31-32
    “You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a letter of divorce.’ But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” NLT
    Don’t ask me about that last sentence??? Hopefully I would assume it just applies to the partner she was unfaithful WITH, not a future husband ‘down the road’ after she may have repented. I do believe infidelity is ‘grounds for divorce’ (for the man or woman) but as Heather said, not mandatory if both partners want to reconcile.

    and
    Matt 19:8-9
    Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce as a concession to your hard-hearted wickedness, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, a man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery–unless his wife has been unfaithful.” NLT
    In this passage Jesus is coming against their practice of divorce under the law — that’s not to say there weren’t justifiable reasons, but they were abusing the practice by the time of Christ for sure. (Sort of like our ‘irreconcilable differences’?).

    Then Paul adds:
    1 Cor 7:15
    “(But if the husband or wife who isn’t a Christian insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the Christian husband or wife is not required to stay with them, for God wants His children to live in peace.)” NLT
    This deals with separation if a non-believing spouse wants to leave (or divorce). Then the believing partner isn’t ‘bound’ to the marriage. Even so, if it were me, I would not consider remarriage, unless my ‘ex’ had relations with another (via ‘affair’ or remarriage), in order to obey Christ’s command and keep the hope of reconcilation alive.

    The verbal abuse issue was a significant part of the plot in that movie “Fireproof”, and I think it was a good example of the ways God can restore a relationship if both become willing to admit their need for Him and change (even if it is only one partner who does initially).

    Love (#35) and Ric (#36), I found your comparisons (even tho’ slightly disagreeing =) to our ‘covenant’ with God very insightful ! I’m glad He doesn’t claim ‘irreconcilable differences’ and cast us off, but rather gives Himself completely to reconcile them!

    D-

  42. October 9, 2008 1:12 pm

    as someone who has said awful things and done awful things that has caused their spouse so many tears…and understands now what a broken person they really are how in need they are

    the bible says only in adultery a spouse may divorce…
    but if they wanted to walk away, at any point, for any reason in a situation like this,
    i wouldn’t pick up a stone…

    would you?

  43. October 9, 2008 7:42 pm

    Can i just say this… ( well i know i can, so may i just say…)?

    Sara – our minds are as one on this – believe it or not 🙂 (at least what you have shown so far anyway).

    <B

  44. October 9, 2008 8:12 pm

    Love, you are clearly missing my point.

    The marriage covenant is between Man, Woman and God. Why is it hard to see that when One chooses to abandon that covenant that the covenant is broken?

    “Divorce takes place when one or both parties choose to live opposed to the marriage covenant…”?
    Really? Any Scripture confirm that? 🙂 Or is it how you see it personally?

    To support what? I am talking about the legal process that takes place in America. There is nothing in the bible that talks about that. I was saying that divorce happens int he heart, long before it happens on paper. the parties involved in marriage have a commitment. It’s either lived out or not. Actions prove that. And Ephesians 5 details the actions. And just a reminder of Ephesians 5:22-27…

    “22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

    “Many Jews abused the obligations of the Covenant he made with them and so ‘abused’ God, the Covenant partner with each of them. (in fact, did ANY obey all the Law??) Was God excused then from the Covenant He made with them? We are to follow His example – not the example of covenant breakers.”

    I don’t know why you used this statement to say that you disagree with me. I never said that someone is supposed to break the covenant. If it’s broken…it’s broken. A man can break the covenant and the woman could not and there is still legal divorce. The covenant a person has with God is different and Faith spoke nicely to that. The realities and Biblical guidance that a man or woman on the other side of divorce need to deal with.

    “Why does Scripture only seem to say it is up to the man to put away his wife? Can we put away Christ, being His Bride, even if we sin against Him? Can a wife put away her husband under God?

    I have no idea what you mean here. What I hear is, that a man is the only one that can choose whether or not to leave a marriage? is that what your saying? And, if so, where are you getting that?

  45. October 9, 2008 8:16 pm

    Tam,

    i realise how my words might appear to some, but i have been trying to say what i believe God wants for us, not what i personally want or think is right. (Although i do have to believe that i want what God wants for me and for all of us). His Will not mine be done.

    I have never stated a woman should stay with an abusive relationship while it remains abusive – i have long been saddened and confused by those women who keep going back to men who Hit them and hurt them – my own opinion was that if i was hit once it would be the last time – EVER. i refused to consider turning the other cheek – see why i say i am not yet a Christian? or does your Christ not say to turn your other cheek (so that it might be hit also)?? (Matt 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also).

    What i have been trying to concentrate on in this post is your question: when is it the right time to walk away, if at all? – is it (marriage) a covenant?

    As my name suggests – i believe that love will bring us all together… someone hitting us does not seem to be showing us love… Jesus’s answer to that was to love them anyway and never give up on them at all.

    The problem is – it is not ‘loving’ someone to let them keep on doing what is known by all to be wrong.

    The problem also is the abused may indeed be some part of the problem and going back into a situation that has not changed from being wrong/sinful might not be the best way to prevent a sin from recurring – as you put it, being an ‘enabler’.

    Please don’t ask me what the woman should do/have done. Ask Him – i am trying to say what i believe He wants for each of us – whatever our personal earthly circumstances may be – in order that we learn here what is needed to gain access to His Kingdom.

    I have never said, nor will i ever say, that any kind of abuse one human inflicts on a fellow human, much less their spouse joined by God into one flesh, in HIS name is to be tolerated without doing all in one’s power to lead the abuser to the truth. (to truly Love them).

    What i believe He is telling me, and all of us, is that when we make a choice of whom we are to be ‘betrothed’ to we don’t quit… for any other earthly objective.

    Too many of us do what we do because of our human ego than because of our following accurately His Will. Sad but true.

    i wish we could learn more of what Jesus came to teach.

    <B

  46. October 9, 2008 8:17 pm

    Love: You may say anything your heart desires 🙂

    I really value these discussions as I’m no longer physically able to get to church and be in a community where I am challenged or affirmed. But in finding all of you, and some other blogs, I find myself a little intimidated as I discover that my church was much more “kneel and don’t speak” than I realized. 🙂 A great amount of my faith is a simple love and trust in Jesus that I’m grateful to have and never have questioned, but I’m trying to be more “biblically sound” as well. Sometimes I’m just a little afraid to open my mouth because I’m sure there are others who know more facts or bible passages… and I just know my heart.

  47. October 9, 2008 8:26 pm

    In response to “turn the other cheek” I believe you may be misinterpreting what was meant. I recently read this interpretation:

    “A figurative interpretation relies on historical and other factors.[1] At the time of Jesus, striking someone deemed to be of a lower class with the back of the hand was used to assert authority and dominance.[2] If the persecuted person “turned the other cheek,” the discipliner was faced with a dilemma. The left hand was used for unclean purposes, so a back-hand strike on the opposite cheek would not be performed.[3] The other alternative would be a slap with the open hand as a challenge or to punch the person, but this was seen as a statement of equality. Thus, by turning the other cheek the persecuted was in effect demanding equality.”

    It makes more sense to me that Jesus would want us to stand for our equality and not bow down to someone as if they owned us, more than he meant to let someone beat us down. Again, I’m not very schooled in all things Bible, but I think sometimes common sense prevails. The Jesus I’ve known all my life wouldn’t want a hair on my head to be touched.

  48. October 9, 2008 8:27 pm

    love – i wasnt asking you “over” Him – i was just wanting your opinion based on what you said earlier, thats all.

    “The problem is – it is not ‘loving’ someone to let them keep on doing what is known by all to be wrong.”

    exactly. that is a big problem. and if we are to love others as we love ourselves then we would do whatever it takes to correct or protect. and sometimes that means – separating. and if that doesnt work and the other party shows no interests, love, or willingness to reconcile and repent – then divorce may follow.

    so are we basically saying the same thing here?

    sara – i love you girl!

  49. October 9, 2008 8:38 pm

    right back at ya, Tam 🙂

  50. Heidi permalink
    October 9, 2008 8:46 pm

    I love sara’s heart. Thank you for your words.

    I was in a deep conversation yesterday and a woman told me that ” the abused” don’t walk away much because they learn to become enablers. She stated that ” the abused” get all their marrow sucked dry. Meaning: the abuser sucks the life out of them and in verbal abuse (the topic we were discussing) the verbal attacks reaffirm the “abused” that they are no longer worthy of having a successful life beyond the marriage, so they go back and stay or try to enable the relationship to make it better.. ” “they finally feel successful” Then when the “abused” wakes up from the deep coma of thought lives, they realized just how much was done and then decide to leave”

    I think Jesus would want separation, counseling, and Godly friends for a possible reconciliation and a divorce to be a last option.

    But I dunno 🙂

  51. October 9, 2008 8:49 pm

    Hi Brent,

    Yes, clearly we are somewhat at cross purposes here. Apologies for not addressing that better.

    My main objective was to attempt to have us look at the situation concerning a marriage more from God’s perspective than from man’s current realities.

    Sorry to any who see this as unrealistic. I do indeed see what happens in America and all over the world as regards marriage, abuse and the corruption of God’s ideals into human folly. It might be unrealistic to believe we should use God’s Principles as Jesus lived as our example when so much of daily life seems to say it is ok because this is what we ‘all’ do. I SEE what we are doing to ourselves, our spouses and our community’s and to other countrys, other beliefs, i just don’t happen to think what a majority may be doing is any reason to adopt it as our way of behaving.

    I try to see what the ideas are behind the current human activity as far as God has been revealing through Bible Scripture (and i think through other scriptures also).

    Apologies for not understanding what you were meaning by ‘divorce’. – a legal contract which is ‘broken’ by one or both parties.

    As to the second quote you mentioned: i am getting a little confused as to whether we are talking man’s contracts or God’s here… i believe we should model ours on His (as above so below) while it might be seen by man that if one ends a contract then that contract is no longer binding upon the other party and the other party is then free to break the bonds of the covenant themselves as it is no longer of any valid standing.

    I am of the opinion God does not work that way and neither should we.

    I was attempting to point out that even though many Jews (possibly all of them but for one or two such as Moses) broke the covenant Moses made with God on their behalf to follow ALL His Laws, God still kept His part of the Covenant and even went one better since he saw the Covenant was of little to no use since his Creations were unable to keep it, and sacrificed His only Begotten Son in order to Keep His ‘word’.

    i think our ‘disagreement’ was over whether or not we are actually free to break a covenant we make as humans in principle, as opposed to in practice?

    My last quote was referring to the fact that (at least in my Bible) every single reference to divorce concerns it being a Man giving one to his wife, That Christ is a Male who is the Bridegroom to our bride (Church/selves) and a male God giving a divorcement to those Jews who could not live by His Law.

    i am saying that in Scripture there is a male heirarchy (over the female) and i wonder if this was for a purpose of His – or of our own?

    I fullly understand that in ‘real life’ women have every bit as much right to claim a divorce as the male – indeed this has been my personal experience.

    i now tend to think Scripture as the divinely inspired Word of God and Jesus as a living example of it is actually the best way for me to try and adopt rather than society’s views of what is right and wrong.

    Would you agree with me – at all?

    <B

  52. October 9, 2008 9:19 pm

    Love we are on the same page when it comes to “whose” example and guidance we should use in this. There is no other guideline except that which God has given us through His word. that is not an issue for me.

    Where we differ is that my focus is on the reality of the decisions that need to be made…apart from those who are living by Godly example and living to please God and how He has defined marriage. The fact is that divorce is abused and misused and most often treated like a right. It is not. But there are those that will live this way and choose this path and in the midst of it, there are some wonderful Godly people that are caught in it. I don’t think we disagree on the principle vs. practice at all. I hope this paragraph has made that clear.

    <blockquote.”while it might be seen by man that if one ends a contract then that contract is no longer binding upon the other party and the other party is then free to break the bonds of the covenant themselves as it is no longer of any valid standing.”

    The covenant between man/woman and God is over. But the covenant between those who have chosen to live through this and have to face this is now different. the bible details that in Romans 7:1-3. We also have to remember that this was a Jewish law. Does the law disappear? No, but it changes. we don’t live by the letter, we live by the Spirit. I believe, as has been spoken here, that God leads us spiritually, to live lives that please Him. Not legally. As Romans 4 says, we no longer live to the Power of the law, we live by the Spirit. Like verse 6 says, “Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit. It doesn’t say the law is dead, only that it’s purpose has changed. It is no longer to lead us, the Spirit is. It is only there to teach.

    “i am saying that in Scripture there is a male heirarchy (over the female) and i wonder if this was for a purpose of His – or of our own?”

    I think we have to be very careful not to overlap male heirarchy with Jewish law and culture. Jewish culture is prevalent in the New Testament as shown in Romans 7, in using the woman as the recipient of the divorce. that’s because only a man in that time could bring a divorce. A woman could not.

    “i now tend to think Scripture as the divinely inspired Word of God and Jesus as a living example of it is actually the best way for me to try and adopt rather than society’s views of what is right and wrong.”

    I agree. I would never say to adopt societies views. I do believe though, that you will find some societal views that line up with scripture. And I don;t think that is by accident. I think it’s because we are society, we are culture and when we aim to pleas Him, society and culture aim to please Him

  53. October 9, 2008 9:22 pm

    Tam, not sure we are saying the same thing because i think we may be considering slightly differing things 🙂

    It may help to try to ‘personalise’ this so that we find agreement in Him and not disagreement between our selves… Purely for hypothetical reasons we could look at how this might relate to some imagined ‘future’ of you and B and see if we can gain closer understandings?

    Only if the two of you are happy and willing of course? 🙂

    Sara – Thank you for that information, it adds to my knowledge and understanding. I do honestly believe that when reading Scripture (which i hope you take as the primary source for your own seeking of Him?) deeper understandings are available to us concerning a single sentence/verse by reading the verses surrounding them and in some cases we need to refer back one or more chapters in a book to follow the ‘logic’ imparted in any one phrase.

    The ‘turn the other cheek’ was part of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 and when considered in isolation makes good sense the way you described. When read along with the whole chapter it forms part of a larger picture of rejection of traditional practices as Jewish Authorities of the time would teach such as the Biblical ‘eye for an eye’. The words of Jesus and Paul His Disciple to love your fellow human being in spite of what they do to you is the sort of principle i was hoping to express. Also to humble our fleshy selves in favour of raising our spirit to do what it calls upon us to do over what our own selfish will does.

    I believe we are to at all times not do purely what is of benefit to our self/ego but to do what is of benefit to Him that He then gives us His benefit and not our own earthly reward.

    <B

  54. October 9, 2008 9:41 pm

    hey love – (isnt this fun? 😉 )

    you said – “I have never said, nor will i ever say, that any kind of abuse one human inflicts on a fellow human, much less their spouse joined by God into one flesh, in HIS name is to be tolerated without doing all in one’s power to lead the abuser to the truth. (to truly Love them).”

    agreed. so when all has been done…the abused is free to leave. right?

  55. October 9, 2008 9:47 pm

    In a discussion that in large part contains the topic of physical abuse, this statement:

    “i have long been saddened and confused by those women who keep going back to men who Hit them and hurt them – my own opinion was that if i was hit once it would be the last time – EVER. i refused to consider turning the other cheek – see why i say i am not yet a Christian? or does your Christ not say to turn your other cheek (so that it might be hit also)?? ”

    sounded very much to me as though you were saying if you were a true Christian that you would stay to be hit again. That is very different than the idea of turning the other cheek in this part:

    “The words of Jesus and Paul His Disciple to love your fellow human being in spite of what they do to you is the sort of principle i was hoping to express.”

    Loving someone who wrongs you and staying in a marriage to be hit again are two different things. If an abuser keeps hitting then in my opinion the loving thing for you, the abuser and the God who created you to be loved, is to leave.

    Just my opinion. And I have to be done now and go lay down. Good night. 🙂

  56. October 9, 2008 10:34 pm

    Tam – “so when all has been done…the abused is free to leave. right?”

    when all has been done by Whom? you(the abused)? the abuser? your counsellor or God? 🙂

    Romans 7:2

    Are we talking an abused who is in Christ? or someone else?

    Should there be, in fact, a difference there – would you think? 🙂

    Are we assuming the Abuse only began AFTER the Abused agreed to the marriage??

    Do any marry someone they know will abuse them?

    Do any seriously consider the nature of the person they marry before agreeing to the ceremony?

    How well can we know anyone and what they or their partner might become capable of?

    By looking at the many examples of couples who have gone before us perhaps?

    I am often somewhat confused by those women who marry convicted murderers who are still incarcerated.

    I do not deny that Christ can perform miracles in people’s lives so as to enable change in many cases.. but if you’ve killed someone once….

    but i digress. 🙂

    <B

  57. October 9, 2008 10:44 pm

    at this point, i dont think it matters how they got there. i think its safe to assume we’re talking about a marriage that has gone awry and the abused is looking for safety and restoration. if the abused has separated, been to counseling, has done everything they can to restore and work to get the relationship healthy, as it should be, but it still has failed and the abuser wants nothing of it, the abused, imo, can stay separated and would be within their rights.

  58. October 10, 2008 6:12 am

    I agree with that point, Tam.

    I also think it’s important to bear in mind, regarding God and covenants, that He once wrote Israel a certificate of divorce.

  59. October 10, 2008 8:03 pm

    i believe in the settlement – they got to keep the house.. they now have shi__y neighbours 🙂

    <B

  60. November 3, 2008 11:13 am

    i wish i had time to read all the comments. i wish i’d been around when the discussion was taking place actually.

    my question mark really comes in with wondering what constitutes abuse? is physical abuse the only “justification” for leaving? hmmm…

    anyway. i’m back. and i’m determined to get caught up on the life of my friend tam… 🙂 missed you.

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