Marriage vs Divorce


I hear people say, “I stay in my marriage because the Bible says we should not divorce except in the case of adultery.” These people will live in a loveless, abusive marriage simply because of the belief that God will condemn them for divorcing. Yes, there is scripture in the Bible that does condemn divorce. Yes, there is scripture in the Bible that says that a divorce is allowable in the case of adultery. But, there is also a verse in the Bible that tells a man to love his wife as he loves God and to treat her as he would treat his Heavenly Father. No, I am not going to look up all these passages. I am going to leave that to you to search the Bible for the truth.

Marriage is not meant to be a prison. Marriage is not meant to allow one person to beat mentally or physically a person down for self-gratification of the abusive spouse. Marriage is meant to be a partnership in which both parties treat each other with love, respect, compassion, and empathy. No woman or man should be a slave carrying all the burden of the marriage responsibilities. No woman or man should require a partner to be the sole person responsible for making a good marriage. Marriage is a 50/50 relationship with give and take and both sides equally or balanced.

Now that we have established what a marriage should be, let us examine an abusive marriage. Abuse can occur physically or mentally, or both physically and mentally. Living in an abusive marriage is not living, it is existing for both parties – seriously, both parties. The abuser is miserable and takes it out on the abused. The abused is miserable and allows the abuser to punish for imagined transgressions. Both live in a world of shame and guilt. Both live in a world of complete darkness. The abuse not only affects the abused and abuser, but it also affects all those around the two. If children are present they are affected by mentally and physically. Neighbors and extended family experience adverse effects from the abuse. The long arm of abuse is far reaching not only over distance, but also reaches over time and generations. Children in an abusive home learn that love is abuse and perpetrate that abuse on their children and spouses repeating the acts over generations.

Let me clarify abuse before we move on. Abuse is an action perpetrated against someone else with intent to do harm. When a person has suffered an illness that causes abuse to surface, the person perpetrating the abuse is not intentionally afflicting harm, but acting in an irrational way. In most cases, this person would love to change, but cannot. If the person becomes incapable of a normal relationship, contact a doctor, seek help because the afflicted cannot change without help. The type of abuse of which I speak is not caused by an illness or injury, but is a “normal” way of life in which the person abuses as normal behavior.

God does not intend for us to live our lives in abuse, nor does he intend for a spouse to abuse. Wives are not subservient to their husbands. Wives are not whipping posts. Wives are not less than the husband. This is also true if the husband is abused. Neither spouse deserves abuse. God created love in human hearts not hate. God created the wife as a helpmate to the husband. A world of difference exists between helpmate and servant. Helpmate work along beside. Servants work at the behest and convenience of the master. Wives and husbands are not expected to bow down to the spouse, but are to stand beside the spouse.

If spouses are helpmates and not servants, and if God intended for us to stand side-by-side and not beneath, then would God require a person to live within a marriage that requires one spouse to live in mental and/or physical abuse? If God tells the husband to love and treat the wife as he would love and treat God, then would God expect the wife to live in an abusive relationship? I do not believe God wants us to live in abuse. I believe that God does allow us to escape an abusive marriage. God wants us to be safe, to feel love, and to give love back. He does not want us to cower in fear.

To sum this blog up, abuse is not of God. Abuse is intentionally meant to do harm. God does not expect nor require a person to live in constant fear or as a slave to a spouse. God intended for spouses to treat each other with love, respect, empathy, and dignity. God does not require us to be perfect, but he does expect us to treat each other as we would treat him if he were our spouse. You can hold on to your faith and let go of the abusive person if the abuser refuses help in changing his or her actions. You can still be a faithful servant to God and be released from an abusive marriage. Do not let man’s religion keep you in a relationship that is dangerous. Seek not only the help of God for this relationship, but also seek help from your fellow human. Many have been in this situation and many have been released from the situation through divorce or separation. Reach out to a shelter, a doctor, or even to your clergy for help. God loves you, and he does want the best life for you. God does not abuse, and he does not want you treated any differently than he would you treat you, his child.

 

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About Elaine Rhoades

I am a 69 year old grandmother, mother, wife who earned a BS in Psychology with a 3.97 GPA at the ripe old age of 62. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Phoenix July 2012. I have begun my own business of editing for authors and writing a novel, which is currently in editing stage. If you are interested in obtaining editing services please contact me at rhoadesediting@att.net. List of editing projects: A Forever Family Series - children's books - Author Sal Edwards. UoP essays and class papers for my class teams. 40 + years as Administrative Assistant in which I edited textbooks, sales flyers, newsletters, catalogues, letters, and other office projects. Writing Projects: Novel: "I'll Cry No Tears". Short Stories: Various - not ready for publishing Poetry: One published poem 1963 Various stories for friends and family Office Newsletters: Editor of "Southside OBGYN Office News"
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