My re-marriage conclusion
So here I am, trying as hard as I can to give my passion up to Jesus. I'm almost certain He's going to give it back to me. To give to her. But in the mean time, we are both praying and looking for signs. I've already gone over all the things we are seeing that seem to indicate that we should be together. The only thing that is still causing me trouble is my insistence that I take Jesus at His word when He says marrying another woman would be adultery. I've been grappling with this for so long I'm almost tired of it. But not quite yet. I've heard the rebuttals to this, using vaguely hermeneutic language
about how these sayings are meant to protect the disadvantaged party in marriage. Which in those days was always the woman. So the wording was put this way so that men couldn't follow wrote laws, get rid of their wives, and move on without realizing they were defying God. Following the spirit of this message makes sense. Jesus was usually pointing past the law, to the intent behind it. People got stuck on the specifics, and built their spiritual principles on those words, rather than the Heart of God that inspired them. And I could say that I am doing just that when I worry about these specific words
that Jesus said. BUT, and it's a big but; these are Jesus' specific words, not some construct of legalism. I really, really don't want to get to heaven, and have Him say, "So... I noticed you did the exact opposite of what I said in the Bible." Sure, I could point to all the other apparently blessed second marriages I see around me. But that is not my heart. I don't want to follow the status quo. I don't want to completely rely on experiential data to inform my life decisions. But I see so much evidence in that realm, (experiential) supporting that this marriage to this woman is the right thing to do. Yet I know all those homosexual apologists in the church see the same thing. And they do their hermeneutic gymnastics to re-interpret sodomy to mean temple prostitution, and go on their merry way. I don't want to be that way. I want to give the scripture the weight
that it deserves, only counting the experiential when it aligns with the Word of truth.
I'm in a strange place where I really, truly believe that marrying this woman is the right thing to do, and everything is pointing to that… but there are these verses. Because I do believe I'm in His will, I assume that the right revelation will come to me concerning this. But I don't know how that will work. On the other hand, I know that my heart is desperately wicked, so it's quite possible that I am just fooling myself into seeing signs that just aren't there. I've taken all the precautions I know to make sure that's not the case, (like staying in council with elders, staying physically chaste, gauging my
kids growth towards her) but I'm only human and could have overlooked something.
That being said, I don't think doing nothing is helping anyone. So I'm reading these verses carefully and thoughtfully. One trend I see in most of Jesus' words are that they are corrections. He never made new laws for us to follow. He summed up all the laws by telling us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to love God with all we have. The legalistic leaders said an eye for an eye. Jesus said turn the other cheek. That is God's nature that we should mimic. The law said you can't do anything on the Sabbath. Jesus said we should help others even if it breaks that law. That is God's nature and we should strive for that. The Pharisees said, and showed by example, that the law said to love your neighbor and hate your enemy. Jesus said to love your enemy. That is God's nature and we should emulate Him. The law said not to kill. Jesus said God wants us to not only restrain our bodies from murder, but also our hearts. Then when it comes to divorce, Deuteronomy 24:1 said if you found your wife displeasing you could give her a certificate of divorce and that was that. Jesus said that God didn't like it when that happens. He allowed it because of the hardness of their hearts. Now Jesus is telling us what God wants regarding marriage. He says God really doesn’t like divorce. God knows the pain it causes. He knows the societal ramifications. But it's interesting to me that Jesus did leave the exception of infidelity on the wife's part. That would seem to be a nod to the Deuteronomy verse about a woman becoming 'unpleasing'. Clearly, God recognizes that the marriage covenant can be broken. As Paul says in 1st Corinthians 7:
15But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
My ex left me years ago, really. I can't know with certainty that she is an unbeliever. But I can say with a clean conscience that she does not show any fruit that comes with belief. And the folks Paul was writing to would be in a similar situation. You can really only judge a persons actions and attitudes. And by those standards it is obvious that she does not believe.
Jesus said don't divorce, God hates it. But sometimes it's necessary. Paul points out that God wants us to live in peace with one another. If you're unequally yoked, and one is pulling the other direction there can not be peace. My ex was pulling the other direction for a couple of years, and I kept going, causing considerable strife.
My biggest sticking point was the idea of the covenant. How serious it is to God. The materials I read in the Bill Gothard stuff really emphasized how you CAN NEVER break a covenant. It's not like a contract, or regular agreement. But then Jesus says Himself that adultery does break the covenant. While I don't know for certain that my ex committed the specific act of adultery, I can recognize the same spirit. And I can agree with Paul that it is better to let the spouse leave if they want to.
So that's it then. I'm pretty comfortable declaring myself unbound from my marriage covenant now. I feel like I'm free from this debate that has been going on in my head for the last two years. I will still remain open to other insights of course. But right now my spirit feels at peace. I recognize that it could be my 'desperately wicked' heart deceiving me, but God will show that to me if that's the case because I am earnestly seeking Him.