Abuse in a Marriage Grounds for Divorce?

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Is Abuse in a Marriage Grounds for Divorce?

  • No, abuse is not grounds for Divorce

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • Yes, abuse is grounds for Divorce

    Votes: 8 72.7%

  • Total voters
    11
Feb 28, 2019
71
65
18
#21
Physical abuse, yes, a divorce is needed. I will NEVER remain with a man who abuses me and puts my life in danger. Id oray for him to change but if he doesnt then theres nothing else I can do. I would have to leave and file for divorce. My body is the Temple of God and I want a man who treats me like his 2nd half in Christ because that is what we would be (If I do get married)
 

kaylagrl

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2014
17,304
4,753
113
#22
Can abuse be stopped? Can sinners repent? Can sinners be saved? Can unsaved spouses be saved? Can saved abusers be corrected by God?

And if all of the above is true, then abuse is NOT grounds for divorce.

1. It has been noted that abuse can be perpetrated by either husband or wife.

2. For the unsaved or even the saved, it means that they have not repented of their former lifestyle in this regard.

3. For all abusers, Christ is the answer, and the indwelling Holy Spirit is the power that can overcome any and every sin.

4. Until and unless both spouses sit down with godly, biblical pastors or elders and honestly talk about this problem while looking for a resolution, they cannot contemplate divorce (and there is only one biblical basis for divorce).

5. When a rational person sees that abusing another is wicked and evil, they will also see that they cannot persist in that kind of behavior. But they need to have the fear of God put into their souls. They need to be confronted with their actual spiritual condition.

6. There are also insecure people who deliberately seek out abusers, and they need to know that that is their deficiency, therefore they must deal with it.

The problem generally is that many pastors/elders today would prefer to shift their responsibility for addressing spiritual issues within their churches to secular "marriage counselors", who do not even believe, let alone apply biblical principles. That's called passing the buck.

Ok so I'm going to challenge what you've posted with a real life scenario. My sister has been married 17yrs. She is a Christian,her husband is a Christian. Her husband has been on the board of the church and head of the youth. Early in the marriage they began having issues. She tried to hide it but it got so bad she had to tell someone. Her husband has a violent temper. He has beaten holes in the walls, broken windows in their vehicles, broken endless phones and computers. He has cursed her, he has demeaned her in front of the children. He has threatened to commit suicide twice. They have been to pastors and Christian counselors,no change. He threw her clothes out on the front lawn and cursed her. She has done everything possible to cope with this marriage. Her children are suffering with emotional issues and have had to go on medication.

So my question to you is what would you council her to do? Do you believe God would have her and her children stay in that marriage? Her husband is unwilling to change. Should she stay and suffer?
 

kaylagrl

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2014
17,304
4,753
113
#23
I think we give way too much merit to the opinion of the common man. I think we need to either take the whole Bible into context or just leave out scripture altogether. Either it’s an entire legal document or it’s nothing. First a Christian should always act selflessly in love. I don’t condone abuse in any form because it’s not loving. Abuse needs to be clearly defined but for the sake of argument not acceptable in any fashion. Now you can either deem God permits divorce because of abuse but if you consider the Old Testament allows somebody to marry his rape victim as long as he pays off the dad then it adds a new dimension to the debate. The New Testament isn’t a new law. We can’t throw scripture around to absolve guilt.

If you want to divorce your spouse, go ahead. You just need to consider that either something is wrong with you or your selection process so you can’t, nor should you remarry. Marriage is the coming together of two individuals to be one, to unite in one mission. It’s not what most treat it like. The whole definition of marriage is out of whack, hence the divorce rate.
We have discussed this in another post and we disagree on this one. But I appreciate your answer just the same. I do believe people take marriage too lightly and walk away too quickly. But for this thread we are only talking about abusive marriages and whether they are grounds for divorce.
 

NotmebutHim

Senior Member
May 17, 2015
2,454
1,129
113
#24
I think that even in cases of abuse, that divorce should be a LAST resort. However, there should be at least a separation of the parties if there are genuine safety issues involved. I phrased it that way because not all abuse situations are dire or life-threatening. In most instances, abuse is mutual or perhaps one person is more often the perpetrator than the other. It's in rare cases where one person is the abuser 100% of the time and the other is the victim 100% of the time.

Like Nehemiah said above, abuse should be dealt with according to Scripture and Godly principles whenever possible. Again, the safety of one or both parties has to be taken into account.

But I also think that those who say that divorce is forbidden even in cases of abuse make the mistake of what is known as the "negative inference fallacy". What that means is that they will read Scripture and assume that just because a specific thing isn't explicitly in the Bible, that it is automatically excluded. In the OP's example, just because abuse in marriage is not mentioned as such in the Bible, doesn't mean that God doesn't address it in other ways. It's my own opinion that abuse falls under the umbrella of marital unfaithfulness.

Again, I am not saying that divorce should be the first option, but I don't necessarily believe that it's expressly forbidden in this case.
 

Hungry

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2012
3,074
1,040
113
#25
Ok so I'm going to challenge what you've posted with a real life scenario. My sister has been married 17yrs. She is a Christian,her husband is a Christian. Her husband has been on the board of the church and head of the youth. Early in the marriage they began having issues. She tried to hide it but it got so bad she had to tell someone. Her husband has a violent temper. He has beaten holes in the walls, broken windows in their vehicles, broken endless phones and computers. He has cursed her, he has demeaned her in front of the children. He has threatened to commit suicide twice. They have been to pastors and Christian counselors,no change. He threw her clothes out on the front lawn and cursed her. She has done everything possible to cope with this marriage. Her children are suffering with emotional issues and have had to go on medication.

So my question to you is what would you council her to do? Do you believe God would have her and her children stay in that marriage? Her husband is unwilling to change. Should she stay and suffer?
There are other options. She could move out with the kids or get a restraining order until he gets cured. She doesn’t have to divorce right away.
 

Hungry

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2012
3,074
1,040
113
#26
We have discussed this in another post and we disagree on this one. But I appreciate your answer just the same. I do believe people take marriage too lightly and walk away too quickly. But for this thread we are only talking about abusive marriages and whether they are grounds for divorce.
I answered it according to the Bible. If your parents decide to accept the rapists money you can marry who you rape. It doesn’t get any more clear than that. Sexual abuse is grounds to marry, not divorce.
 

kaylagrl

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2014
17,304
4,753
113
#27
There are other options. She could move out with the kids or get a restraining order until he gets cured. She doesn’t have to divorce right away.

Well 17 yrs. isn't right away. That's a pretty long time to endure abuse. And how will he get cured if he won't accept counsel or advice? He has stopped going to church. Do you think her staying in an abusive marriage and her sons seeing that is a good thing? They are on medication to cope with the issues going on in the marriage. She is a stay at home mom, she has no where she can move out to.
 

kaylagrl

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2014
17,304
4,753
113
#28
I answered it according to the Bible. If your parents decide to accept the rapists money you can marry who you rape. It doesn’t get any more clear than that. Sexual abuse is grounds to marry, not divorce.
I think you're taking that a bit out of context. I don't think sexual abuse is grounds to marry. Perhaps you need to look into that a little closer. I don't think it means what you think it means.
 

Hungry

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2012
3,074
1,040
113
#29
I answered it according to the Bible. If your parents decide to accept the rapists money you can marry who you rape. It doesn’t get any more clear than that. Sexual abuse is grounds to marry, not divorce.
I think you're taking that a bit out of context. I don't think sexual abuse is grounds to marry. Perhaps you need to look into that a little closer. I don't think it means what you think it means.
deut 22:28. It means what it says. If a man sleeps with or forces a virgin to sleep with him then it’s up to the father whether he gives his daughter in marriage or not but the man must pay 50 shekels of silver regardless.

Most fathers wouldn’t but it’s there. Things are different now. Customs are different. Women had no authority. That’s why we are not under the law. It doesn’t apply. We are under the Spirit. The “law” is written on our hearts. I wouldn’t think of abusing anyone. The New Testament isn’t Law. It’s mostly Paul explaining what is written on his heart. Every Christian who loves God and follows Christ knows right from wrong, and what to do, out of love. It’s why I never divorced. It would be easy for me but destroy my family as a whole and individuals. Abuse or not I chose love.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
18,943
10,452
113
#30
I answered it according to the Bible. If your parents decide to accept the rapists money you can marry who you rape. It doesn’t get any more clear than that. Sexual abuse is grounds to marry, not divorce.
Um... while I'm not going to say you're wrong, as your point is valid, I would encourage you to consider whether a regulation from the Old Testament under Moses is directly applicable to the New Testament church.

I don't think it is... at all, in this case. In context, the law makes sense, because as the woman had been violated, she would be considered "unmarryable" by any other man, leaving her no means of support other than her family of origin. Better (for her) that the man be "forced" to marry and support her for the rest of her life. Perhaps in rural third-world countries where the social net is non-existent, such a law might make sense today, but not in westernized nations with extensive social programs and far less stigma on a violated woman.
 

pottersclay

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2015
4,735
1,204
113
#31
I think we have to first come to understand what abuse is. A Stern rebuke is not abuse. Raising voices is not abuse. Slamming doors or throwing plates is not abuse. In general being angry with ones spouse is not abuse.
Abuse begins when one begins to degrade, physically harms, or mentally torments another.
If abuse is happening in any relationship it should be confronted immediately. If it persist intervention is needed. If it can't be resolved then the relationship needs to end.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
18,943
10,452
113
#32
I think we have to first come to understand what abuse is. A Stern rebuke is not abuse. Raising voices is not abuse. Slamming doors or throwing plates is not abuse. In general being angry with ones spouse is not abuse.
Abuse begins when one begins to degrade, physically harms, or mentally torments another.
If abuse is happening in any relationship it should be confronted immediately. If it persist intervention is needed. If it can't be resolved then the relationship needs to end.
Basically, I agree with you. However, I'd add that slamming doors and throwing plates, while not directly abusive, is violent (probably engendering fear), and violence is a major warning sign. If I saw that level of violence in a marriage, I'd strongly recommend counseling, because it will escalate without intervention and repentance. It's a frighteningly small step from throwing a plate at a wall to throwing a punch at the perceived cause of one's distress.

By the way, if the plate is thrown at the spouse (even if it misses), that is abuse.
 

Locutus

Senior Member
Feb 10, 2017
5,928
684
113
#33
I'm waiting for UGs to respond so I know how to vote.
 
A

AuntieAnt

Guest
#34
I answered it according to the Bible. If your parents decide to accept the rapists money you can marry who you rape. It doesn’t get any more clear than that. Sexual abuse is grounds to marry, not divorce.
It sickens my stomach to imagine a young person coming onto this site reading your violent post. To advocate rape on this Christian site is absolutely dreadful! What in the world possessed you to post that?!?
 

Didymous

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2018
5,047
2,086
113
#35
We've had a rather heated discussion in the Family forum about whether abuse, emotional/verbal/physical is grounds for divorce. I was interested to see how the majority feel here. I'd appreciate knowing why you feel as you do. Remember we are talking about abuse. No other situations. Is abuse grounds for divorce in a Christian marriage? What advice would you give a Christian woman, or man, in an abusive marriage?



p.s. My first poll here so hopefully I do this correctly

If I was a woman, and I was being abused, I'd divorce that fool, and ask forgiveness afterwards!!
 
A

AuntieAnt

Guest
#36
I'm not a fan of divorce. There's a reason God hates it. It rips hearts to pieces and cripples the soul. Nevertheless, any abuse deserves separation the moment is occurs. If you allow it once, you can guarantee it will happen again. Best to separate, get counseling immediately, and only come together again when there has been repentance.

You want to know what constitutes abuse? Whatever you would NOT do in the presence of a court judge. (Hit, threaten, neglect, withhold, berate, deceive, dishonor, cheat, etc.)
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
12,601
4,511
113
#37
Ok so I'm going to challenge what you've posted with a real life scenario. My sister has been married 17yrs. She is a Christian,her husband is a Christian. Her husband has been on the board of the church and head of the youth. Early in the marriage they began having issues. She tried to hide it but it got so bad she had to tell someone. Her husband has a violent temper. He has beaten holes in the walls, broken windows in their vehicles, broken endless phones and computers. He has cursed her, he has demeaned her in front of the children. He has threatened to commit suicide twice. They have been to pastors and Christian counselors,no change. He threw her clothes out on the front lawn and cursed her. She has done everything possible to cope with this marriage. Her children are suffering with emotional issues and have had to go on medication.

So my question to you is what would you council her to do? Do you believe God would have her and her children stay in that marriage? Her husband is unwilling to change. Should she stay and suffer?
What?? How do you know if her husband is a born again christian, doesnt sound like it...just because someone's on the church board doesnt mean they are born again. Sounds very unholy, ungodly behaviour to me.
Does he have a testimony at all?
Another thing thats concerning is hes threatened to commit suicide, does he suffer from any of the following...bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, substance abuse. This can be dealt with compassionately if its a case of mental illness. Either a safe house, or rehab for him.

In the meantime, is there a safe place for your sister and her children to go so shes not in the line of fire. Her parents?
Her 'husband' sounds like an angry man has he always been like this to everyone. I would be very wary if he acts demeaning toward his own wife. What do his parents think of his behaviour. Or does this run in the family...?
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
12,601
4,511
113
#38
Proverbs 22:24

Perhaps your sister was deceived into marrying an angry man. Has she asked for forgiveness. Sometimes women say yes when they ought to say NO WAY. But many often dont have discernment at the time.

Abigail was one such wife who had married an angry/foolish man...Nabal. Maybe back in those days they had arranged marriages. Anyway. Am not saying its your sisters fault, or a situation to run away from, but God will provide a way, as he did with Abigail. The interesting thing about this story in the OT is that Abigail had the guts and honesty to see Nabal for what he was, and didnt defend his bad behaviour.

She also had wisdom to deal with short-tempered men. If its just a case of, he's tired and hungry, then feed him. But throwing clothes on the lawn?! thats something else.
 

Didymous

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2018
5,047
2,086
113
#39
Ok so I'm going to challenge what you've posted with a real life scenario. My sister has been married 17yrs. She is a Christian,her husband is a Christian. Her husband has been on the board of the church and head of the youth. Early in the marriage they began having issues. She tried to hide it but it got so bad she had to tell someone. Her husband has a violent temper. He has beaten holes in the walls, broken windows in their vehicles, broken endless phones and computers. He has cursed her, he has demeaned her in front of the children. He has threatened to commit suicide twice. They have been to pastors and Christian counselors,no change. He threw her clothes out on the front lawn and cursed her. She has done everything possible to cope with this marriage. Her children are suffering with emotional issues and have had to go on medication.

So my question to you is what would you council her to do? Do you believe God would have her and her children stay in that marriage? Her husband is unwilling to change. Should she stay and suffer?
I would think the husband isn't a Christian-though only God knows.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
15,639
7,717
113
#40
Her husband is unwilling to change. Should she stay and suffer?
Now that is a clear-cut case of an unrepentant person -- probably not even genuinely saved -- since pastoral council has failed. That is sad.

In which case separation is clearly the only solution. And removing the children from that horrendous situation is recommended. So did she go back and talk to the pastors and get their response? They should have removed the husband from fellowship and taken away all his responsibilities.

Also divorce has legal implications, and those should be carefully considered in terms of property etc. But separation is simply escape from an unacceptable situation.