Kealios' Repository of Knowledge of Many Things
Exodus 20:14, "You shall not commit adultery."
"What I'm doing is not illegal," she says. Of course not! That's because you are willfully electing to honor the laws of a corrupt and sinful nation over the laws of a perfect, righteous, and just God.
Ezekiel 18: 10-13, "If [a righteous man] has a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things (though his father does none of them), who eats upon the mountains,defiles his neighbor’s wife, oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, takes advance or accrued interest; shall he then live? He shall not. He has done all these abominable things; he shallsurely die; his blood shall be upon himself.
Heb 13:4, "Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judgefornicators and adulterers."
How Adulterers justify themselves:
They quote Romans 8:1, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" and are quite proud of it. They don't realize a number of things:
1. They usually pick the newer translations which only quote part of the verse. The KJV/NKJV/JUB continue, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." This is also seen in v.4, "in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." You mean God puts a qualifier on this lack of condemnation? What does that mean for those who aren't living in the Spirit? The exact opposite - CONDEMNATION awaits them!
Are Adulterers and Adulteresses living in the Spirit? They like to think they are! But...
2. These people, often Christians, assume they're "in Jesus." This couldn't be further from the truth.
John 14:15, "[Jesus said] “If you love me, keep my commands."
John 14:21a, "Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me."
John 14:23-24, "Jesus 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. Anyone 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."
1 John 1:6, "If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth."
1 John 2:3-6, "We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. [Did Jesus commit adultery? No! See 1 John 1:5!]
How can they be "in" Jesus when they go against His very words, His actions, His Bible, His Ten Commandments (unless they assume they get a free pass?) (see Matt 19:17-18).
John 10:27, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."
John 12:47-48, "“If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day." [Jesus loves and doesn't judge - yet. These are sobering words!]
To know that the adulterer isn't in Jesus, one only has to read John 15:1-8. I won't quote the whole passage here, but how is it that Jesus would want disciples whose "fruit" is adultery? How is that being a light to the world?
Another favorite passage that adulterers love is Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." The more brazen ones (or uninformed ones) quote the first part of the verse as a badge, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him", making it about themselves. However, the last part is so important: "who have been called according to his purpose." That makes the same claim as John 15, that being in Jesus' will, being IN Him, is an important qualifier. This verse is NOT for everybody!
God has warned these very people!
James 1:22-25," Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do."
God doesn't change His mind. The laws of the Old Testament, especially those quoted by Jesus, still apply! He has fulfilled the Law, so we are under Grace (not to be abused - see Romans 6!), but these things cannot be easily dismissed!
James 1:17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
Heb 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
Why does all this matter?
While we may not be under the Old Covenant now, we can see that God takes the following of His instructions quite seriously:
Lev 22:9 (HCSB), "They must keep My instruction, or they will be guilty and die because they profane it [the NIV translates this as "treating it with contempt"]; I am Yahweh who sets them apart."
Now come the BIG verses:
2 Tim 2:22-26, "Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will."
1 Cor 5:5, "hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord." [YES! hand the BELIEVER who is deep in sexual sin and not listening to reproof over the enemy!]
Luke 22:31-32, " “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” [Satan IS involved! Jesus is interceding for us, not interfering - see 2 Tim 2 again, or more importantly, Job 1:6-12!]
Hosea 2:5-7, "Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’
6 Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
7 She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them.
Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’ [See the Prayers page for Thornbushes prayers]
I quoted it above, but it bears repeating here: if you are in sin, having placed idols and stumbling blocks in front of your face, and then you come seeking God, He WILL answer you - but God's Word says you won't like the answer! See Ezekiel 14:1-5.
Nobody starts out in marriage planning to have an affair, but you do have to have a plan to prevent them. Adulterous affairs do not begin with sleeping together; they begin with inappropriate friendships with people of the opposite sex. Friendships can lead to emotional attachments that will likely cause pain and harm to your marriage.
Protect yourself, your spouse, and your marriage by avoiding private communications and intimate conversations with people of the opposite sex. Never have a conversation with someone that you wouldn't want your spouse to see or hear. There is no such thing as harmless flirting. Constantly do a check of your heart. No affair has ever occurred in the physical, that had not first occurred in the heart.
Proverbs 6: 27-28 Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch on fire? Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet?
God's VOICE will NEVER contradict God's Word!
John 14:21-24, "Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 Jesus 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. 24 Anyone 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."
Is God Really “OK” with adultery?
The LIE: Adultery appears to satisfy deep human needs that are not usually met in marriage because of our imperfect humanity. Adultery is IDOLATRY because it tells God, “I don’t trust You to right my situation. Your provision was not good enough for me. I can do better on my own.”
Gen 20:3, “But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”
Ex 20:14,17 [Ten Commandments], ““You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not covet your neighborʼs house. You shall not covet your neighborʼs wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Lev 18:20,29, "You are not to have sexual intercourse with your neighbor’s wife, defiling yourself with her. Any person who does any of these detestable practices must be cut off from his people (i.e., suffer the death penalty[see Daniel 9:26 regarding Messiah’s death penalty]).
Lev 20:10, "‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death." [Death sentence for adultery - maybe God actually cares about this?!]
Numbers 5:11-31 is almost an entire chapter on discovering adultery! Go read it; God goes to great lengths to purge adultery from His people!
Num 30:1-2 (HCSB), "Moses told the leaders of the Israelite tribes, “This is what the Lord has commanded: When a man makes a vow [I'd say this includes marriage covenants] to the Lord or swears an oath to put himself under an obligation, he must not break his word; he must do whatever he has promised."
Deut 5:18,21a [Ten Commandments]: “You shall not commit adultery. You shall not covet your neighborʼs wife.”
Deut 22:22, "If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel."
Prov 2:16-19, “Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. Surely her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. None who go to her return or attain the paths of life.”
Prov 5:3-20, “For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it. [NASB: She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.] Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you lose your honor to others and your dignity to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich the house of another. At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or turn my ear to my instructors. And I was soon in serious trouble in the assembly of Godʼs people.” Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Why, my son, be intoxicated with another manʼs wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?”
Prov 6:23-35, “For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life, keeping you from your neighborʼs wife, from the smooth talk of a wayward woman. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes. For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread, but another manʼs wife preys on your very life. Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another manʼs wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished. People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house. But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself. Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away. For jealousy arouses a husbandʼs fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge. He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.”
Prov 7:4-27, “Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and to insight, “You are my relative.” They will keep you from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words. At the window of my house I looked down through the lattice. I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who had no sense. He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in. Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent. (She is unruly and defiant, her feet never stay at home; now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.) She took hold of him and kissed him and with a brazen face she said: “Today I fulfilled my vows, and I have food from my fellowship offering at home. So I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you! I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come, letʼs drink deeply of love till morning; letʼs enjoy ourselves with love! My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey. He took his purse filled with money and will not be home till full moon.” With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life. Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.”
Prov 22:14, “The mouth of an adulterous woman is a deep pit; a man who is under the Lordʼs wrath falls into it.”
Prov 23:26-28, “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways, for an adulterous woman is a deep pit, and a wayward wife is a narrow well. Like a bandit she lies in wait and multiplies the unfaithful among men.”
Prov 29:3, “A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.”
Prov 30:20 (NASB), “This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, And says, "I have done no wrong."
Mal 3:5, ““So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.”
Matt 15:19, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”
Matt 19:17-18, ““Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Mark 7:20-22, “He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a personʼs heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.”
John 8:2-3,11b, “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery... “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
1 Cor 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
1 Cor 6:12-20, ““I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
1 Cor 10:8-9, “We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes.”
Eph 5:3, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for Godʼs holy people.”
1 Thes 4:3-8, “It is Godʼs will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.”
Heb 12:16, “See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.”
Heb 13:4, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
James 4:4 (NKJV), "Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."
Jude 1:3-4, “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to Godʼs holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”
Rev 21:8 (JUB), "But the fearful and unbelieving and the abominable and murderers and fornicators and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
God Doesn’t Hear Your Prayers When You're in Unrepentant Sin!(many of these verses were written to God's people, the Nation of Israel!)
Ps 50:16-21, “But to the wicked person, God says: “What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips? You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you. When you see a thief, you join with him; you throw in your lot with adulterers. You use your mouth for evil and harness your tongue to deceit. You sit and testify against your brother and slander your own motherʼs son. When you did these things and I kept silent, you thought I was exactly like you. But I now arraign you and set my accusations before you.”
Ps 66:18, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;”
Ps 119:118 (HCSB), "You reject all who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is a lie."
Prov 15:8, “The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.”
Prov 28:9, “If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.”
Is 1:15, “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening.”
Is 59:2, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”
Ez 14:1-5 (HCSB), "Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me.Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and have put sinful stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I be consulted by them at all? “Therefore, speak to them and tell them: This is what the Lord God says: When anyone from the house of Israel sets up idols in his heart, puts a sinful stumbling block before his face, and then comes to the prophet, I, Yahweh, will answer him appropriately. I will answer him according to his many idols, so that I may take hold of the house of Israel by their hearts. They are all estranged from Me because of their idols."
Zech 7:11-13, “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry.“ ‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the Lord Almighty.”
Mal 2:13-14, “Another thing you do: You flood the Lordʼs 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. 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.”
John 9:31, “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.”
James 4:4, “You adulterous people, donʼt you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
1 Pet 3:12, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
On Divorce and Remarriage:
Matt 5:32 (JUB), “but I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, except for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery.” *Only Book with any exception clause – it was the only Gospel written to the Jews!*
Matt 19:9 (JUB), “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication and shall marry another, commits adultery, and whosoever marries her that is put away commits adultery.”
Mark 10:11-12, ““Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she 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.”
It is NOT the act of Divorce that causes the adultery - it is the act of remarrying.
Mal 2:13-16, “Another thing you do: You flood the Lordʼs 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. 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. Has not the one God made them one? 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. “I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence [does violence to the one he should protect],” says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.”
Marriage is for LIFE:
Romans 7:2-3, “by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.”
1 Cor 7:10-11,39, “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his 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.
Gal 3:15, “Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.” Marriage is a covenant before God, NOT a contract (Mal 2.14).
1 John 3:7-10, “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devilʼs work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because Godʼs seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not Godʼs child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. [Abusing God’s grace in a pattern of adultery]
If You've Made It This Far:
2 Sam 14:14, "Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him." [He can bring our lost beloveds back!]
Job 5:18 (HCSB), "For He crushes but also binds up; He strikes, but His hands also heal."
Hosea 6:1 (HCSB), "Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, and He will heal us; He has wounded us, and He will bind up our wounds."
Isa 30:26 (HCSB), "The moonlight will be as bright as the sunlight, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter—like the light of seven days—on the day that the Lord bandages His people’s injuries and heals the wounds He inflicted."
Heb 13:5b (HCSB), "Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you." [Note what verse this comes after - it really puts into perspective your lack of faith in God for leaving a marriage!] --> Deut 31:6, "Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Jer 29:11 (NIV), "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Marriages CAN be restored, even after a HORRIBLE defilement and betrayal such as ADULTERY! Please see the Restoration page for many more resources that can help you if you're in this situation.
Marriage is for Life - and why Divorcing goes Against God's Eternal Plan for Marriage
*Arguments taken from Rebuilder's Guide, pp234-245
Those who initiate divorce are often looking for reasons to get out of the marriage, not to stay in it. They don't recognize that God hates divorce, or that divorce was never in His plan for marriage.
When you married, did you vow, "for better or worse, 'til death do us part?" People are only as good as his or her word. Matt 12:37 says, "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Ecclesiastes 5:4-6, "When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands?"
A person claiming to be a Christian but who continues to live in lust or hatred of another must search his heart to find out whether he really is a Christian. 1 John 3:15, "Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer and ye know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."
A person who initiates a divorce needs to be honest with themselves and evaluate what their main reasons for wanting the divorce are. "The reasons will usually reveal wrong attitudes, unwillingness to suffer for righteousness' sake (1 Peter 4:1-6), lack of faith in God's power (1 peter 1:3-9), lack of understanding of God's purposes through tribulation (James 1:1-13), or lack of power to live the Christian life (Phil 1:21)" (Rebuilder's Guide p235). Even after revealing one's intentions, delving further into the "real reasons" may reveal some secret sin, fear, or other goal that isn't focused on what God wants at all.
Divorcing your spouse proves that you have a hard heart. Jesus said this was the only reason Moses allowed divorce in Matt 19:8, "He told them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts. But it was not like that from the beginning." Keep in mind that this passage was showing the Pharisees attempting to trap Jesus - do not let this become part of your argument FOR divorce, or you'll be siding with the WRONG side! Hebrews warns us not to harden our hearts (Heb 3:8, Heb 3:15).
Divorcing your spouse blasphemes the Word of God, which He takes seriously (2 Sam 12:14, 1 Tim 6:1). By filing for divorce, one is doing to opposite of loving your spouse (1 Cor 13:4-8). In order to justify your actions of divorcing your spouse, you must constantly remind yourself of his or her offenses; this shows a lack of forgiveness, deepens your bitterness, and reinforces your own guilt. Forgiveness, by the way, goes two ways - we are called to forgive our transgressing spouse who betrays and defiles our marriage as well.
Matt 6:14-15, "For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing."
Mark 11:26, "But if you don’t forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your wrongdoing."
Col 3:13, "accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive."
Almost worse than anything listed above, filing for divorce is a public rejection of these truths and provisions: that God has assured us that He is greater than any force or influence we may have to cope with (1 John 4:4), He has promised us not to allow us to be tempted above that which we are able to endure (1 Cor 10:13), and He has taught us how to take hold of His spiritual weapons and be victorious (Eph 6:12-18).
Filing for divorce is, as mentioned, spitting on all the promises and assurances that God has given us as believers, and it goes directly against the very vows you made at the altar. It is also taking vengeance against your spouse into your own hands. Romans 12:19 says, "Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord."
Divorcing your spouse opens yourself to being judged by others (Matt 7:1-2, Rom 2:1-3), but it also destroys the very message of marriage. The spiritual message of marriage is to demonstrate Christ's love for the Church. Christ is not going to divorce His Bride, the Church, even though she is adulterous (Eph 5:22-32). This, as mentioned, opens God's name to be blasphemed by the world, and allows God's enemies to justify their own standards as being equal to or better than those of Christians (after all, if those who vow before God and supposedly take His word to be above all can break their vows as easily as those who do not know Him, who could blame anyone for not taking the testimony or witness of such people seriously?).
Lastly, God may indeed allow you success as you attempt to justify yourself in divorcing your husband or wife; He may allow you to obtain the desires of your heart as a result of the divorce, but the direct consequence of this is that He will also decrease your capacity to know and enjoy Him and His ways. Psalm 106:15 says, "And he gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul." Being freed from the plans and purposes that God has for you may bring you temporary "happiness", but at what cost? Losing your relationship with God? Losing your credibility as a witness for God before others? What about the possibility of losing your very eternal security? For if there is no intention to remarry, there is NO justification or need for divorce. You can legally separate and not break your vows; remarriage, however, as proven above, is quite obviously adultery, and brings its own VERY serious consequences!
Dwell on this:
Matt 18:32-35, "Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And his master got angry and handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he could pay everything that was owed. So My heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from his heart.”
For Those who feel Adultery breaks the Marriage Covenant:
Jer 3:8-9, "I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood."
Yes, God divorced Israel (but not Judah!), but look at v.14, "Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband." God is calling his divorced wife back (and He still refers to Himself as married!!!)! He is very clear that He is calling back the north (Israel, 3:12). Even His own divorce didn't break His covenant with His people, despite the nation's agregious adultery.
Also, as seen, marriage is for life (1 Cor 7:39, Romans 7:1-3). No "exception clauses" are given here - marriage is for LIFE regardless of what the other spouse does!It does NOT break the covenant you both made before God at the altar!
For Those who feel Adultery is the Exception Clause:
I've dealt with this elsewhere - please see my wide selection of books on the Restoration page, and many online articles and videos on the Media page.
To Those who believe Ezra 9 and 10 are claiming that God doesn't always honor the first covenant marriage:
Keep in mind, that this Ezra passage was about the obedience of the nation of Israel. Early on, Israel was commanded not to marry foreigners. Time after time they broke this (this is why even Solomon fell!), and ultimately led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of the Israelites.
Ezra and Nehemiah are about the release of the Israelites from captivity, the journey home in small groups, and the rebuilding of their once-strong city and nation. Here in Ezra 10, we see that in a VERY short time after being released from captivity, the Israelites are ONCE AGAIN engaging in the VERY ACTS that brought God's punishment upon themselves in the first place!
This passage is about obedience to God and His commandments more than it is about divorce or being unequally yoked. For being unequally yoked, see 1 Cor 7. Don't let this passage be used against you as an argument that "divorce is ok" any more than you should let people tell you that David and Bathsheba prove that God honors marriages that come about through adultery.
It is more than just an idea that God didn't want His people marrying those who wouldn't strengthen the marriage, or their relationship with God. If it was just about not being "unequally yoked", keep in mind: An Israelite could marry another Israelite who was an "unbeliever". Don't think that every person in God's chosen people was a believer - they wouldn't have had problems if this was the case!
The issue was that other cultures came with their own religions and practices. Our world is a global one now - this was not the case when it took an entire day to travel to the next town.
This is much more than "believer vs unbeliever". It's about obeying God's commands, whether you understand them or not - and i am of the opinion (along with most of the scholars I have read on this) that this passage should never be used as a text saying divorce is ok. It's about undoing the wickedness that the nation of Israel had fallen into, as a NATION. We have our specific commands in the New Testament.
Nowhere in Ezra 9 and 10 does it mention that after this mass divorce, the men went back to other wives, nor does it mention that they ever married again. I believe this passage is more about the nation being in obedience to God at their own expense than being a discussion on marriage and covenanting with forbidden foreigners (no one here was forbidden to marry their spouse, certainly not by God, and quite unlikely by their parents).
For those audacious enough to claim Polygamy in the Old Testament is justification enough:
This one really amuses me. I have seen countless prodigals pull this rabbit out of their hat, which merely proves without a shadow of a doubt just how shallow and uninformed these people can be, as well as the nature of their hearts: they aren't interested in "truth", but merely searching for excuses to justify their sin.
Yes, many men in the Old Testament had multiple wives. Does God say anything about this? Indeed He does. This is in the context of addressing the conduct of a king, but it's still valid:
Deut 17:17a, "He must not acquire many wives for himself so that his heart won’t go astray."
You may again refer to the link above about David and Bathsheba for anyone attempting to claim that good comes from adulterous affairs, but read also about Solomon in 1 Kings 11:1-13. Again, this was a heart issue, but also Solomon directly disobeyed God's Word not to take multiple wives. It did indeed lead to Solomon's downfall and brought judgement upon his house, and yet God remained faithful to His promises to King David.
Even when we sin, God is faithful, and in His justness He is still righteous. Don't use the failings of others as an excuse for your own misdeeds. It shows a lack of character and an impure heart, but it also is inviting God's wrath upon your head - and anyone who claims to love the Lord should get this very basic fact. If they don't, it shows how deeply they are blinded and lost (2 Tim 2:22-26).