Churches Of Christ/marriage crisis

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Question
Hello. I was raised in a home without any real religious beliefs until I was 13 years old and my parents got divorced. They had been members of the Church of Christ yet fallen away. My father was very abusive and also cheated on my mother several times until my mother finally left. My mother began dating another man while my father began rededicating his life to the Lord. My father waited on my mom to change her mind and come home for 5 years until he finally remarried. The church my father attends claimed it was okay for him to remarry because my mother was now the adulterer and that my mother is not allowed to remarry. My mother lives with her fiance and puts off going to church every day because she feels she is in the wrong by the teachings of the church of Christ. This is all important history to my question because I am now in a dead end in my marriage. My husband has been both physically and mentally abusive to me in the past 5 years of our marriage. I have wanted to leave many times but have stayed because of my parents telling me I will go to hell if I marry again. I am only 30 years old and we have no children. Recently my husband has been having fits of killing himself and I have came home to a loaded gun laying on the bed. I am afraid he will hurt himself if I leave. I recently also found drugs in his truck but he claims it was a one time deal. I am so lost as to what to do. My parents say just keep trying but I am seriously doubting my ability to live this way any longer. Can you please give me some spiritual advice?

Answer
Hi Jessica,

My purpose on this site is to help people understand God's Word more accurately. I am not a trained counselor and giving advice is not really my purpose here. I try to give Bible answers to Bible questions. What I can tell you is that any form of abuse IS a form of adultery against the spouse being abused. Adultery should never be limited to a physical sex act but rather to any serious breaking of a marriage vow. Husbands and wives become one flesh when they marry and so to abuse your spouse is to abuse yourself and is unfaithfulness to the marriage covenant.

I never ever wish to encourage anyone to end a marriage either. I will always prefer to help couples avoid divorce if at all possible. There are times when a marriage is beyond saving because it takes two working toward fixing the problems to keep a marriage from ending though so sometimes divorce is inevitable. But still I do not wish to be involved in helping any marriage to end. I highly advise you to seek out a trained counselor - either a marriage counselor or a general trained counselor. It would be a plus if the counselor was a member of the church of Christ but not necessary. Only you can know if your marriage is savable. All I can say is that divorce should never ever be considered until it is very clear there is no way to fix and save the marriage.

I do not agree that anyone is condemned to hell if they enter into a second marriage regardless of the reason for the first marriage ending in divorce. But that does not mean anyone who is trying to live a Christian life should think they can divorce for just any reason and marry someone new. Our goal should always be to marry once and for life. If this is not possible in spite of every effort then once you are divorced and you marry someone new you should strive hard to make the second marriage last until death do you part. I am sorry I cannot give you more advice but I really think you should seek out a trained counselor to advise you.

If you want to understand a specific Bible passage or Bible topic better please let me know and I will do my best to give you a solid Bible answer. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. My hope is that your parents will also strive to live in a way they know will be pleasing to God. One last thing, no one should ever feel they are FORCED to live celibate the rest of their lives in order to get to Heaven. The majority within the churches of Christ believe and teach that the guilty spouse who has committed adultery is to live celibate the rest of their lives once the innocent spouse divorces him. But the Bible does not teach anything like that to anyone.

Please ask a follow up question if you feel a need for me to elaborate on anything.

In Christian Love, Joe Norman

Churches Of Christ

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Joe Norman

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding acceptable worship, organization of the church, or any apsect of the Christian life. I am the son of a preacher and have studied the Bible from cover to cover since I was 12 years old. I am strong in my research skills and do not follow teachings of men. Many will label me as conservative and some might label me as liberal, but I just seek to be biblical. I understand proper exegesis and hermeneutics and apply them. My desire is to share my knowledge of God's Word with others. Please always keep in mind that none of us who are listed as experts here are divinely inspired and therefore it is possible to get incorrect answers from any one of us. Study the Scriptures and decide for yourself if what is taught is true.

Experience

I am the 4th generation in my family to be a faithful member of the church of Christ. I was raised by a preacher and have studied the Bible everyday since I was twelve. I am 45 yrs old now. I am not a "scholar", but I am very familiar with the scriptures.

Organizations
member of the church of Christ, served as a Deacon for a few years at LakeShore church of Christ in Waco, Tx. I currently live in the North Dallas area and am still very active within the church of Christ teaching, leading Bible Studies, and songleading as well. I am also actively involved in online ministry. I hope to open my own webpage eventually.

Education/Credentials
School of hard knocks

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