I am standing for my marriage, regardless of my husband’s decision or opinion of it.
After two years of dating and trying to “move on”, I have firmly come to the conclusion that I have no choice but to remain faithful to my husband and wait for his return to me. People think that it is a choice to “move on”, a choice to be happy with someone else, and they are sadly mistaken. People who say this or who think that being completely satisfied with another person other than your spouse are either in denial or have never attempted to make a life outside of their marriage.
I know I’m going to get a lot of push back from these comments. This is not how the world wants to think and even the Christian community encourages “moving on” as something healthy. We all want to be happy, we all want to have a companion, we all want to be in a committed relationship. That is what we were built to desire.
I believe that we are not aware of what a spiritual bond marriage is. Ephesians 5:32 says “This is a profound mystery” after it talks about how a man and woman become “one flesh” after marrying. But I know that even Christians, who take the Bible as complete truth, do not understand, or want to understand, what a serious, spiritual bond this really is. It really is a mystery how connected a husband and wife are after they have committed to their vows in front of God.
Try leaving and you will really begin to understand what a mystery this really is.
When I left my husband and I was seeing other people, for the first year that we were in contact, almost without exception, he would text or email me every time I went on a date. We lived nine hours apart, I never communicated to him that I was dating or when I was going on a date, and we didn’t communicate frequently, but for some reason every time I would leave for a date, he would contact me and ruin it.
I left with every intention to move on, I started dating right away and my mind was set on getting out there and finding someone new. But do you think I could? Even if I went on a date with a great guy, someone who fit all my criteria, there was something…something deep down…that knew it just wasn’t right. There was a wall up, a barrier I just couldn’t break no matter how hard I tried. There was something stopping me from being committed to any other man and I am completely convinced that it was the God Connection that a husband and wife have because of their vows.
There is a very deep and very spiritual bond that is created when a man and woman say their vows to each other in front of God and it is honestly scary how quickly the church and Christians will encourage someone to find someone new.
It is not about being happy, it’s not about just signing the divorce documents, it’s not about one person deciding to leave. It’s not that easy! God has joined a husband and wife together, and no man can separate that. Jesus says in Mark 10:9 “What God has joined together, let no one separate”, and I believe that this isn’t just applying to people flirting with husbands or tempting wives…I believe that it is also talking about Christians encouraging spouses to move on from a spouse who has decided to leave the physical marriage.
I do not believe, because of my experience, not only with myself but with men that have been divorced, that it is possible to have even close to the same connection with someone who isn’t your spouse.
I dated a guy in my new city for three months. I knew almost immediately that it wasn’t going very far, but I cared for him and we had fun together. For me, there was that feeling of just not being able to connect deep enough. That feeling that something just wasn’t right. But on top of this, I felt these things from him too. He had been divorced for several years and you would have thought it was enough time to “move on”. It wasn’t. It was so clear to me, even then, even when I didn’t believe what I believe now, that he was still connected to his wife somehow and wouldn’t be able to let go.
It wasn’t possible for him. As a divorcee you cannot let go enough, you cannot separate yourself from that spiritual connection with your spouse enough, to move on from that relationship.
When people hear about my story, about how I am waiting for my husband regardless of how long it takes or if he comes back at all, and they know that I was the one to leave, I usually hear the comment “But Katie, the bible says that divorce is allowed if there is marital unfaithfulness”. Yes, they’re right. Mark 10:2-4 is a conversation between Jesus and Pharisees where the Pharisees repeat Moses’ allowance for divorce: “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her (the wife) away” (Deut 24:3).
First of all, let’s not forget that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). There are few things that God hates and if we have a healthy view of how big and powerful our God is, not just a leather bible and a Sunday sermon, we will steer clear of anything he hates with a furious passion.
So divorce, I believe, is the absolute last resort…if a resort at all. Being where I am now, I wouldn’t divorce again unless someone grabbed my hand and forced me to sign the papers. And even then, I wouldn’t give up on my marriage. No matter how bad it was, that’s how powerful prayer is. If it’s an unsafe relationship, separate yourself, protect yourself and pray. Pray for a miracle, expect a miracle, and you will see a miracle.
But the bible permits divorce. If the spouse is being unfaithful. I have two points about this. One is that yes, divorce is permitted, but remarriage after divorce is not. Prove me wrong, but I have not found a verse that says that after divorce you are allowed to remarry. I have, however, found many verses saying that marriage after divorce is committing adultery, and this is something I am not willing to be involved with any longer. I did commit adultery during my separation with my husband, but I have been washed clean of those sins and I will not ever, with Gods strength and wisdom, commit that sin again. Divorce is permitted, but marriage after divorce is considered adultery.
A wife must not separate herself from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband…
1 Corinthians 7:10
And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.
…Anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery
I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.
So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.
My understanding of these verses is that divorce is permitted if there is adultery in the marriage, but remarriage is not.
But my understanding of these verses goes further than the bible. It goes to personal experience. I know what I felt and didn’t feel when I was attempting to make a life apart from my husband. I know that it wasn’t possible for me to find a mate that even came close to comparing to him. And it wasn’t because I couldn’t find a good guy, I did, I found a few, but it was because they couldn’t compare to the spiritual connection I had with my husband – even if I didn’t realize it was a spiritual connection. I know now that it is because I said vows in front of God that connected me with my husband, whether I want it now or not.
It’s not a choice for me to be committed to him, it’s not a choice for me to “move on”. I could “move on” in body, but it is impossible to move on in my spirit. Lucky for me, God has changed my heart and I don’t want to “move on”, I don’t want to struggle through the thoughts of “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just let go and enjoy this relationship? Why can’t I just relax enough with ___ to feel content with him?” and all the rest of the doubt and pestering thoughts that came with trying to find a mate outside of my marriage.
I know that if I were to marry someone else, I would feel as though I was committing adultery because of the lack of connection I would feel with them. If there is that distance in dating, like I experienced, it won’t change with marriage. I would feel as though I was connected more to my previous relationship than to my new marriage. I know this is how it would be! Like I said, if this is how I felt during the dating stage when I wanted to and was trying to be happy and “move on”, I know it wouldn’t have gotten any better in another marriage. I’m positive it would have gotten worse.
I think as Christians, especially, we need to clue in to why the divorce rates skyrocket after the first marriage. Maybe it’s spiritual! Maybe it’s more than just knowing how to deal with a divorce after the first time!
As I’m writing this, I know how different and possibly crazy it sounds. I know that a lot of people are not going to appreciate hearing this. And unless someone asks me advice about how they can apply these verses to their life, I’m not about to tell anyone how to live their life. These are verses and standards that God has put on my heart and I believe them so firmly that I can’t live any other way.
But I do believe that we need to pray about this concept. I do believe that the Christian community has not educated itself enough in this area. And I do believe that, just as I prayed for God to speak to me about these things, that everyone needs to pray and seek God’s will for them in this area.
This is, in no way, a finger pointed at anyone, but a challenge to seek Gods truth in our lives. This is definitely a conclusion I never expected to come to but one that I prayed about and God very drastically changed my heart about.
God created marriage as a reflection of his relationship with us so we need to take it very, very seriously.