(This is the fourth of a four-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 2 & part 3.)
Over the last three posts, I have been attempting to answer the question of how to quantify refusal. As a reader said, it takes only one act of adultery to break the marriage covenant, but surely one “Not tonight” does not constitute refusal, thus violating the marriage covenant.
Since Jesus addressed divorce in the cultural and historical context as a rabbi, I went back to rabbinic writings to find out how the rabbis of Jesus’ day addressed the topic of refusal, and I discovered several things:
- the rabbis believed sex to be a right and responsibility of marriage;
- the rabbis even went so far as to list the amount of sex a wife would be entitled to;
- The rabbis viewed sexual neglect as a violation of the marriage covenant deserving of non-support (after one month) and divorce (after one year.)
And what was incredible to me was that… Continue reading
(This is the third of a four-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 2 & part 4.)
In this series of posts, I am addressing questions from a reader who asked if it were possible to quantify the amount of sexual refusal needed to justify labeling it as a violation of the marital covenant and therefore a just reason for divorce.
My first post stated that I accept as a given that there are four valid reasons for divorce, and not just the one, adultery, as most Christians believe. My last post pointed out that (in OT times and up to the time of Christ) refusal was stated by Jewish leaders as a reason for divorce, and I presented the view that refusal is a deliberate violation of the marriage vow of fidelity to your spouse. Continue reading
(This is the first of a four-part series; here are the links to part 2, part 3 & part 4.)
And, I’m back. I guess. I think. Maybe. Anyway, here I am today.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I follow quite a few marriage bloggers and writers on Twitter, and recently, divorce has been a trending topic among them, with an increase in the number of posts and tweets encouraging Christians to continue to hold on to their marriages for the Kingdom. I can understand that, by the way. Back in December, Michelle Weiner-Davis, of Divorce Busters, sent out a tweet stating that January was Divorce Month, and recommended that New Year’s Resolutions for starting divorce proceedings be abandoned. Continue reading
It should come as no surprise that I follow several marriage bloggers on Twitter and via email notification. After all, I am a marriage blogger, and it’s always good to hear what others are saying. (And there is always a good chance that something I read will trigger an idea or two for me to write about, so it’s a win-win for me.)
In doing this, though, I find that I am something of the oddball when it comes to one topic, not necessarily in agreement with the accepted wisdom that these bloggers share. Now, because these writers are all great writers, speakers and teachers and I esteem their wisdom highly, I can’t fault them for hewing to the accepted party line on the importance of marriage and the evils of divorce. After all, it’s Christian orthodoxy, and even atheist Michelle Weiner-Davis, of Divorce Busting, is on board.
And yet, like so many of the teachings I have been given down through the years, I am finding that an absolutist stance is untenable. While many want to see marriage as an untouchable icon, I believe that scripture doesn’t back up our attempts to deify it. Continue reading
A Hubs, last year: “I’d rather just masturbate than go through the hassle of initiating.”
Same Hubs, a year later: “We’re getting a divorce.”
I thought that I was done with discussing divorce as a valid option after I posted the fourth of my series about Divorce as a a Christian’s option. However, something came across my Twitter feed that made me realize that I need to continue to address this topic.
I read quite a few different blogs and forums that deal with marriage and sexuality, and for the most part, I realize that I am somewhat of a fish out of water. The reason for this is that, while I am an advocate for marriage, I accept the fact that some marriages are too far gone to be resuscitated. We often speak of toxic churches and toxic relationships, but it’s not all that common for Christian writers and teachers to come out and say “Toxic marriages do happen.”
Instead, what I read and hear is, “Never give up on a marriage. Believe God can change you and your spouse and remake your marriage into a haven rather than a Hell.” (I do find it interesting, though, for that advice to NEVER be offered to a spouse who is being physically abused.) Recently, one of the Twitter feeds of someone I
look up to …. Heck, who am I kidding? This person I totally revere, and this particular tweet compared divorce to amputation and said that it is a fool’s choice. Continue reading
This is the fourth of a four-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 2, & part 3.
At the end of my first post in this series, I said that I wanted to get around to discussing the import of the phrase “hard heartedness” and its relationship to the intentional violation of the marriage vows. Because of my verbosity, I didn’t feel I could extend the next two articles to get to that subject, but now is the time to go there.
In my last post, I demonstrated how Matthew told the story of Jesus debunking the Talmudic Reasoning that was applied to God’s Law by rabbis that created an “Any Cause” clause in support of their version of No-Fault divorce. And as we saw, after Jesus blew up the “Any Cause” clause, the Pharisees sprung their trap: Continue reading
This is the third of a four-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 2 & part 4.
In my two previous posts, I have presented information about the Hillel-Shammai divorce debate in Palestine, at the time of Christ. Both Hillel and Shammai were so venerated in their time that they had followers and disciples who came to them for teaching and instruction. The School of Hillel and the School of Shammai were both physical (disciples) and ideological (interpretations of Torah). That these two men lived and debated at the same time in history had the result of reshaping Judaism.
For our contemporary world, and for the Church, their teachings have had and still has impact on marriage. Continue reading
This is the second of a four-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 3 & part 4.
Well, I’ve gone and opened up one of the biggest can of worms in Christendom; I wrote a post in which I didn’t call down anathemas upon the idea of divorce. I actually had the temerity to say that divorce is a valid option for a spouse, so it’s going to be interesting to see if decent folk will return my phone calls.
To begin with, we all know that even Jesus said that there was one case in which divorce is allowed, but we also know that He wasn’t all that thrilled about having to say so, right? I mean, we know that Jesus told the Pharisees God allowed Moses to slip divorce into the Law over His objections, because the Hebrews were so hard-headed and -hearted that even He had to bow to their wishes, right? After all, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives….” right?
Do you not see just how big a wussy that makes God out to be, that He can’t stand up to marital bullies?
Nah, something else must be going on here.
This is the first of a four-part series; here are the links to part 2, part 3 & part 4.
This is going to be interesting, folks. Because of the comments by a couple of guys in response to a few of my posts, I realized that I am going to have to address THAT monster: the bad teachings about divorce that have been handed down to us as gospel. I have kinda, sorta, almost, ‘in a roundabout way’ taught about divorce in past posts (see my Idolatry and Covenant or Contract series for the ‘almosts’.) But comments by these and other recent posters make me think I’ve got to come out in the open and stop with the veiled hints. Continue reading