Anon – I’m a Christian and I divorced my repeatedly unfaithful husband a few years ago. He married again and I have had trouble with my relationships with my children who have embraced (accepted) his wife. I feel they have betrayed me, their mother. He has since died and I feel guilty that I did not stick it out with him. How does God fit into all this mess?

Dave – You’ve raised some good issues concerning marriage, family, devotion, and divorce. Although Scripture is clear that a person can divorce their spouse if that spouse cheats on them sexually, Scripture does not say that they must take this option. It simply says it’s okay to do so if you want.

So I believe married people should not divorce unless the Scripture says it is okay. No matter what has happened in the past, however, I also believe that couples should first try to reconcile before divorcing. If there is consistent physical/emotional abuse (which the Bible does not include), I think it wise to separate physically for self-preservation and try to work on problems without living together. Scripture also says that believers can divorce unbelievers if the non-Christian wants it.

Truly embracing someone else’s children from a second or third marriage is a difficult task because there was a broken covenant. This task, however, is not impossible with God at the helm. In some cases, families improve. No matter if we goof up in this life, when we turn our heart to Jesus, He will turn people’s hearts toward each other.

I think God permits divorce in cases of adultery because it symbolizes mankind’s continual unfaithfulness to God. He wants to make a point to us. Because we our in a sinful state, it is difficult to perceive the degree of wickedness in our actions and hearts. Of course, a strong love can forgive and repair a relationship, but ONLY when the guilty person truly repents. Without repentance, there can be no relationship no matter how much unconditional love is in a heart. Now this love will empower us to forgive the guilty person (even 70 X 7 times), but that does not mean a relationship of marriage will be restored. It takes two to do this, not one. If a person hits me in my face at lunch break in a cafeteria, I will forgive him. But if he continues to do the same, I’ll forgive him but not sit with him. This concept can be applied to divorce as well.

I understand the voices you hear in your mind making you regret divorcing your husband. Obviously I do not know all the details of your husband’s behaviors, but it sounds like his sin against you, your family, and God was an ongoing thing that was not leading to a willingness to be helped to change. People can change even though they are not Christians. It happens all the time. Granted, we have an advantage being plugged into the Redeemer, but God gives grace even to unbelievers at times (“He sends rain on the just and unjust“).

Concerning you relationship with your chidren whom you feel have betrayed you, God can restore relationships. Humble, honest self-evaluation coupled with a sensitivity to the Holy spirit works wonders. I know one of your children, and she loves and cares for you much. I don’t think she has rejected you because she has accepted your ex-husband’s wife into her life. If there are deeper issues here, Christian counseling is needed.

I sense there is deep-rooted anguish in your soul about your divorce. Because I do not know much about what went on in those days, I do know that it is in the past…and any wrongdoing on your part (if there was any) has been forgiven you by Jesus Christ who is Lord over all. You can begin to rebuke that demonic voice that attacks your thought-life in the name of Jesus and it will lose its power over you in time. It’s kind of like quitting smoking cigarettes. The voices that urge us to begin again are strong and consistent for the first few weeks, then gradually fade in power over the months. So when you first start arming yourself with God’s weapons over your enemy’s voice and using them, those demons will go, but will return soon after. But if you do not allow them to really penetrate your mind by using Jesus’ authority over them, you will discover, over time, that you will no longer be tormented by them. If you feel you need more help, find a good Christian counselor or pastor.

Feedback so far:

Jim I – Thanks for sending this Dave. The enemy had a field day with me went I went through divorce.