Coming In Second……..Or Third



Lisa, 28, asks:

Is it ever okay to get divorced? 

Hi Lisa, 

First off, God hates divorce. I like the way the Message version of the bible describes it as, the violent dismembering of one flesh, because no one gets out of a divorce whole. 

Malachi 2:16“I hate divorce,” says the God of Israel. God-of-the-Angel-Armies says, “I hate the violent dismembering of the ‘one flesh’ of marriage.” So watch yourselves. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t cheat.  

Yet even God acknowledges that infidelity throws forever out the window and allows for divorce. God even allows for remarriage in this case as the couple’s vows have been severed just as in death. 
For me, the question is a bit more complicated. I don’t believe that people have to stay miserably together. I believe that they may choose to live apart. I don’t believe that they can remarry in these cases because my faith and belief in the bible makes this pretty clear. However,  I like Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s rule of  thumb for reasons for divorce. She calls them the 3 A’s. Abuse, Addiction and Adultery. 
For a woman, her number one need is security. We can overlook a lot of flaws if we feel secure in our marriage. Abuse, Adultery and Addictions bring that security to a halt. When a godly woman comes second to God she loves this, she understands this and for her, it’s the completely acceptable. When that same woman comes second or even third to another vice or person she becomes jealous and outraged. At this point, there is no need to waste precious years of her life competing with something that she can’t win. It will only serve to frustrate her. She can’t compete with anger, another woman or an addiction necessarily. 
For a man, his number one need is respect. If he can’t get respect at home from his woman then it leaves doors open for him to find that respect in other areas. Even then, when the 3 A’s enter his relationship, they don’t leave any room for respect. 
Okay, that being said, go the distance at trying to make your marriage work. Get counseling, read, look for help first. Don’t just a quit. A marathon runner didn’t get up one morning and decide to run a race. He trained, he trained, and then he trained some more. He built endurance he ran up hills and down hills, he prepared his body and his mind for the task set before him. So it is with marriage. You can’t just quit because you have to remember that the violent dismembering of one flesh means you will never be the same again. You have exhaust every effort and when you can honestly look at yourself in the mirror and say truthfully that you have done all that you can do, then I believe you can separate. 
Anything other than the 3 A’s is no reason for divorce. You can find a common ground and with help you can restore a marriage. Hope that helps!