Divorce vs. Commitment-Pt.2
We left off in part one, about to see some instructions from Paul, dealing with divorce or the separating in a COG marriage. In this section, we will continue on and also see some word meanings that help to clarify the meanings of some scriptural wording. This article is meant for those who really want to do the right thing in their lives, perhaps even after a divorce has occurred, by repentance and re-thinking past decisions, learning what the Bible reveals. Those who maintain the “divorce” oriented mindset (mentioned in part one) of unbelievers and have no intention of changing—putting on a Godly oriented mind toward repentance of past mistakes; you need not bother to read this, as it will be of no concern to you and may even be upsetting. Some things are brought out very clearly and with some details of how the unconverted and carnal minded may function, or HAVE FUNCTIONED even while claiming to be Christian and still within the COG realm. For all others please read on, as this may contain something that you need to consider.
We find that Paul says this in 1 Cor. 7:10-11, and it is directed toward the members of the COG— those who are considered the converted. V10 “Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart (see definition below) from her husband.” 11 But even if she does depart, (thinking she must, for some reason) let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.” The truly converted will search out and come to understand these passages that deal with marriage and take this admonition to heart—not being hasty for divorce. Mark 10:9 "Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."---(“man” here has the meaning of mankind, which would apply to both male or female and the word “separate” will be addressed later) V.11 So He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 "And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery." Christ puts both male and female in the same position about divorce, especially for unbiblical reasons and Paul covers this as well; 1 Cor.7:39 “A wife is bound by law (Gods Law) as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” ( in other words—not outside of conversion) Again in Rom 7:2-3 “For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.” Even among all of these groups and organizations claiming COG status today, there should be no difference in the way divorce is handled, if it is based on the Scriptures. Those scattered of the true COG who want all the facts, to render a marriage bound or unbound after a divorce, would confer with one another, to render a just decision. (Deut.1:16-18 & ch.16:18-20)
So it should be clear that the wife and the husband are under the same rules, in the same set of circumstances—so to divorce outside of Scriptural bounds would be a parting from the faith and is not the actions of a true Christian, for either the man or the woman. What applies to man normally applies the same to the woman in the case of divorce, based on Biblical principles. Women can become very “treacherous” or “hard hearted” just as well as men do, and even more-so in this society today. However, there is always going to be the “yeah buts” and then a subtle twisting of the facts for justification by those in a wrong mindset. Many women today who like to rule over the husband (as was mentioned in part one) can be very “mean spirited” if they do not get their “wants” and ways. Sadly, this happens from time to time within the COG when women forget their role of submission to the husband in the marriage. (See Eph.5:22-24) When things are no longer going as they want them to be, or they are not having their selfish desires fulfilled, the divorce mindset may kick in. This is clearly not the way of a true convert.
But now let us consider something else here that many seem to overlook! 1 Cor.7:10-11, going back to look into what the word “depart” actually means; this will take us back to the meaning of “let not man (or woman) separate”—as the meaning for these two words point to the same thing! The word “depart” is # 5563 chorizo (kho-rid'-zo—from Strong’s concordance); it means “to place room between, i.e. part; reflexively, to go away”:-- (actually the KJV usage-- depart, put asunder, separate—has this added to it; in Mala.2:16, the wording is “putting away” instead of divorce, which has the meaning of “to send away” or to PUSH AWAY and comes under the “put asunder” by forcing “room between”.) So the real meaning here is that the one who actually begins to push the other away or initiates a division or a breaking of the marriage covenant, the promised love and commitment, whether they leave the home or not, is causing a breach in the marriage, where there was none recognized before. This is a mental beginning to break any commitment in the mind by thought, seen later by actions and perhaps words before there is a separation or divorce, while both are still together in the same home.
This can come about by several things, such as an angry and hasty demand for a divorce without any grounds, especially within the COG and those considered converted. This can begin to cause severe depression and withdrawal from things once happily shared, a division in the home. It is “placing room between” and division in the marriage by the instigator. If one mate carnally decides they no longer want the marriage, they may begin to mentally scheme, secretly gather information of “claimed” injustices, (which is Biblically termed as “keeping accounts of evil”) instead of being forgiving and open to communicating any hurts or misunderstandings, searching for a way of reconciliation and saving the marriage. This “keeping accounts” may be done to use against the marriage partner later in a divorce, showing a willful mind for divorce was already at work. This person may even falsely claim all kinds of “infidelity” to make the other partner really look bad in the eyes of others and in a divorce court. There are no previsions in scripture for “irreconcilable differences” such as some states may allow for quick and uncontested divorces. This is just a way of getting a divorce when a person really has no reason to divorce, other than their own selfish desires. (One more proof of un-conversion, as the Holy Spirit would certainly not lead anyone to say and do things that go against Scriptural teaching and direction.)
These things are a sure sign there is no commitment to any marriage covenant or vows nor honesty and the way of God, even if this person is in a COG organization somewhere. A person with this mentality may have entered into the marriage fraudulently and simply for gain or other selfish reason, which again, is dishonesty and simply carnality, as mentioned in part one. This kind of person will want to even dissolve the marriage through the church as quickly as possible, so they can move on to another victim of their deception and perhaps another marriage to fulfill their desires. False witnessing before marriage, in the marriage and to get out of the marriage are just steps in the life of the carnal or divorce minded person. The Holy Spirit will not dwell where sin is—so it is very important for two people contemplating marriage in the COG to get to know their potential mates habits and character very well, especially if there have been previous marriages!
Consider this; if a person will lie to get into a marriage, (lie about their own conversion to the Church for years and other things that would have prevented the marriage in the first place) then live a lie while in the marriage, it is not an unthinkable thing for them to lie to others about all this then lie and commit perjury to get out of the marriage through divorce court! That person, while circulating within the COG realm, may then lie to other converts about their reason for divorce and continue to try and destroy the integrity of the one who was their mate, even after the divorce. Divorce is a grievous thing and can affect the lives of many and for years to come. It is hard to conceive a person in the COG could do these things but I personally know that it happens more than anyone would like to believe! That is not the mindset of commitment or of conversion, that of being led by the Holy Spirit—rather an evil spirit of living a lie—no matter how well they are at deceiving others, God knows this. This can be devastating, once the truth is learned by an unsuspecting mate, but there is no doubt about this kind of marriage being of fraud and the intent to deceive. However, it is also possible that a converted person in the COG can let down after a while to the point of becoming this way, (the Holy Spirit going completely dormant) then being manipulated by another close family member, all the while being wrongly influenced by Satan the devil. Under that wrong influence and being spiritually blind, this divorce mindset begins to build within and begins to destroy what once may have been good. Either way, it is now the work of Satan through one who has become an unbeliever in what the Bible teaches—seen by the fruits.
Other ways of “departing” are to begin to be unfaithful to the mate, even having adulterous thoughts in the mind, or in actual actions. This happens on a regular basis in the society around us and can also be termed betrayal to the marriage covenant, but should not be going on in the COG. Some “depart” without actually leaving, by conspiring with other family members or even some of their “church friends” to help dissolve the marriage, but again, this should not be in the COG and among the converted. These are some ways that are termed “departing” or separating mentally from the original marriage agreement or covenant. None of these things would be led by the Holy Spirit—but would be considered done by an “unbeliever” who no longer desires to “dwell” in peace with their mate and keep their commitment. With no evidence of such an individual really trying by repenting and seeking reconciliation, as Scripture indicates should be done, the only conclusion to come to is that this person is not converted and does not desire to suffer through any trials to keep their vows. The unconverted have no desire to obey God in working through these matters and saving the marriage. This is just another sign or “fruit” of being unconverted. The true convert, man or woman is first bound to God and Christ (Matt.6:33 & Luke14:26) and must then consider the need to move away from this carnal and unconverted mindset in order to avoid Spiritual compromise, maintaining their own committed relationship with God. (Rom.16:17-18) One person, even with the Holy Spirit, cannot make a marriage work, as it takes the effort and willingness of both. That is why there should not be any unequally yoked marriages in the COG. One cannot even assume a person is converted because they have been “in” the Church for many years.
Paul also instructs that those who are true Christian, even in today’s world, are not to be taking these matters to outsiders to resolve, as already noted. These actions of division in the home and a departing from the marriage in the mind (one seeking divorce) are not that of the deeply converted, rather more fitted to the unconverted or an unbeliever, (Matt.12:25) as we have been seeing all the way through this article. It would be the ideal situation that NO DIVORCE ever occurred in the COG, which gives the true COG a “black eye” in the eyes of the public. When there are some outside the Church who are willing to work things out and save their marriages, under far worse circumstances—it really shows up the unconverted that within! It gives Satan the devil another opportunity to accuse those in the COG before the throne of God, that may be the victims of the unconverted. (Rev.12:10) It is not letting any light shine (Holy Spirit) and shows carnality and selfishness is still the greater force at work. There will be no divorce lawyers to run to when the kingdom of God and His Government is established here on earth, and no mindset to do so because Satan and his influence will be removed and the wicked will perish! Before that time comes however, a true Christian may find himself/herself being dragged into some very un-Christian situations by those who also claim to be converted Christians! Persecutions are coming and it has already begun inside the COG organizations; those lacking commitment to certain truths may very well begin to persecute those who have it.
Even some, in the ministry of some organizations, seem to get involved with wrong motives and who take a wrong and unbiblical side; they tend to work toward breaking up a marriage instead of trying to help heal wounds, give right counsel and save it. (They will have their reward, as God sees fit to allow) It truly is “by their fruits you shall know them” and “many are called but few are chosen”—someone who is being led by the Holy Spirit will be found trying to live by and obey the instructions of Scripture on their marriage. A true convert, in spite of their effort at reconciliation, may find themselves becoming the victims of the carnal minded seeking “dishonest gain” through divorce, and may have to depart the home to protect themselves and maintain their own commitment to seek first the kingdom (Matt.6:33) as noted above. (Commitment is one of the Essential “C’s” of the faithful.) Some will inevitably find themselves in very distasteful situations, perhaps with hearts torn little by little over time, seeing a mate become unfaithful and bent on divorce, with no consideration of keeping their initial commitment and promise of love and life-long companionship. This kind of thing can and does catch the truly converted completely off guard much of the time, because the divorce minded & conversion do not go together. The convert may also find they have a serious battle with their own mentality, under these very trying and unpleasant circumstances that lead to divorce and realize the devil is trying to get at them and break them down. They may need to leave the home for more private prayer time, meditation and in order to avoid getting into sinful situations themselves, under stress and temptation to retaliate when there is violence. Of course the unconverted does not have the mindset, compassion or capability of understanding such things because their focus is on getting what they want only. (1 Cor.2:14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he/she know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
There should not be the “divorce mindset” in the true COG because that is a clear sign of being unconverted. However, if a divorce is unavoidable; simply because the other party will not repent and seek reconciliation, what else can you do? If your mate has shown the traits of an “unbeliever” by actions of deceitfulness, dishonesty and is defiantly seeking divorce in the courts, plus using worldly lawyers in the hope of unwarranted gain; the converted has no choice but to protect themselves as much as possible through those actions—still leaving the outcome in God’s hands. According to Scripture, they are not bound simply because the unbeliever is not willing to dwell with them in peace. However there may be other circumstances to consider and those proceedings still should be done as discreetly and as peaceably as is possible on the part of the truly converted individual, to end the marriage (1Cor.7:15) along with any physical or mental stress it may be causing them. When the true believer is dragged into court by the care less unbeliever, (which is almost always the case—true converts led by the Holy Spirit normally do not seek divorce, but reconciliation until it becomes clear there is no hope for it.) the believer still has the obligation to obey God to the best of their ability in the circumstances, rather than succumbing to the same carnal mindset of making false claims and resorting to actions of an unconverted, uncommitted and divorce minded person. This may also be a sore trial for the converted. Divorce Vs. commitment should not be a weight on the mind among true converts, but sometimes it is forced on them. (1Cor.6:6) If one insists, even after and then going against counsel from the COG ministry not to divorce, let them have their divorce, with its carnal lack of loyalty and ingratitude for what blessing they may have received through the marriage because of the converted! The convert however must be willing to forgive and pray for the repentance of the other, and maintain their own commitment to God, (taking heed to your spirit—Mala.2, seen in Pt.1) continuing to strive for the kingdom!
(Editor for TCOGMSO.COM)
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