Reader Question: Divorce and dating

Dear For His Glory,

I was hoping you could help me with this. Can someone date and get married after divorcing? Can you send me the scripture to support your response?

I've found in the Old Testament where it states when a man who divorces his wife through no fault of her own that allows her to remarry. But then Jesus said no, remarrying after a divorce causes your new spouse to sin and become an adulterer. Can you tell me what you thoughts?

Dear Reader,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer this question. I want to let you know I didn't have an "immediate" answer for you so my husband and I took some time yesterday to look at the Scriptures and come up with our answer. As with anybody, I would encourage you to read what we have said and take it before the Lord to see where/how it settles in your spirit.

The OT laws do address marriage and divorce. When reading the OT we need to recognize that what we read was not only addressing a spiritual state but it was also addressing how the Jewish culture should operate to "set itself apart." To me the OT is like a cars' operating manual. It would do well to read and abide by as much as possible to have your life operate in the best manner. In addition whenever we read the OT we need to view through the cross too... Which brings us to the NT where Jesus, himself, specifically addresses the issue of divorce.

Matthew 5:32 But I tell you, whoever divorces
his wife except on the grounds of unfaithfulness
(sexual immorality) causes her to commit adultery.

According to Jesus in this verse the act of divorce itself causes adultery. Jesus is addressing the Pharisees when he says this and we need to note Jesus is always after the intentions of the heart. The Pharisees were ALWAYS looking for loopholes. They wanted to be right with God based on their merit. This is precisely why Jesus says, the only reason Moses allowed for divorce in the first place was because their hearts were hard (Matthew 19:8). So just like Jesus says anger is the same as murder; the act of divorce itself is the same as adultery. The point being God designed marriage for life; divorce is not part of God's original design plan.

Since you are already divorced we came up with 3 different scenarios that would address the situation of dating after divorce:

Scenario 1: You were both non-Christians at the time of the divorce. You were not a Christian at the time so you did not know God expected from you. You cannot fix the past so I believe as a Christian now you would be free to enter into dating and marriage.

Scenario 2: He was a non-Christian, you were a Christian and he chose to leave you. I Corinthians 7:15 says, "But if the unbelieving partner leaves; let him do so; in such cases you are not morally bound." Our understanding of this is you are not under moral obligation to remain unmarried and if you so desire you could seek to be married again.

Scenario 3: He was a non-Christian or you were both Christians and you chose to leave him: I Corinthians 7:10-11 A wife is not to separate from her husband but if she does let her remain single or be reconciled to her husband. If you chose to divorce as a Christian, knowing God's heart is for marriage, you should remain single or seek reconciliation.

In conclusion, the Lord looks at the heart. What I take away from everything that I read in Scripture is that marriage is very serious before the Lord.
Malachi 2:15-16
Has not the LORD made them one?
In flesh and spirit they are His.
And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring.
So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
"I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel.

Our society doesn't understand this. It is true that now you aren't able to fix or change the past. As a result, the accuser would like to hold "divorce" over you head as a failure on your life and something you should feel guilty about. But as you know, Jesus has paid the price in full: there is therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

So instead of getting caught up on the past, I would encourage you instead to "count the cost" of the future and make your decision to move forward based upon that. You now know how serious marriage is in the sight of God. If you would choose to date I would be very careful:
  • First and foremost do not date non-Christians (2 Corinthians 6:14) because we are not to marry non-Christians so there is no point in dating them.
  • Secondly, I would not recommend "dating just to date." The Bible says, "to guard your heart because it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23)." The way our society does "dating" does not guard your heart. I personally would encourage you not to "date" someone unless you could see yourself considering marriage with them. By dating, I mean giving your time, thoughts and affections to that person on a regular basis.
  • If you have children, I wouldn't enter into dating without discussing it with them first and coming up with protections for them. You need to guard their hearts too.
  • Finally, marriage is for life, so before you enter into to dating know what you want and go forward with high expectations.
In Christ,

I'm over at Karen's Today

Dear Friends,

Do you remember Karen from Karen's Threads of Hope? She filled in for me once in December with the Armor Song. Today, I have the privilege of returning the favor by writing on her blog. My post for today is called The Power of Praise. If you have a minute, click on the link and read it.


When the going gets tough, what will the tough do?

I was at a Rita Springer concert this last fall. During the concert, she made the following statement, "The Lord told me, I would only write songs out of what I've walked through. I was never to write songs from something I've never experienced." At the time, it kind of bothered me. Obviously, I like to share my opinion and I thought, "Really? Can we not share truth about things we've never experienced?" As time has gone on I am beginning to understand the value of what she said.

Another statement I've often heard people say is, "when you are experiencing times of peace, you should be doing all you can to prepare for times of battle." I had a chance this morning to look through my journal two years ago. I was amazed at how much truth, "how to steps" I was receiving and words of encouragement. At that time in my life, I was faithfully journaling and now I am so grateful for that.

A while back, I wrote about how I felt I was in a desert place. I was hoping I was in the Carcoss Desert (the world's smallest desert) but it appears I might be in the Sahara. Ah well, this morning I realized it was time to stop feeling bad for myself and lamenting about where I am at and that it was time for me to walk out the things that I have learned and taught.

I titled this post, "when the going gets tough what will the tough do" because I asked myself that this morning. I have written and received much truth. Have I "experienced and walked it all out?" Some of the things yes, some of the things no. But I am being presented with the opportunity to apply those truths that I learned in my real life (not just theory) and I am going to do it. Everything I've written over the last year I believe is true. It is summed up in the vision of For His Glory: I believe God is a God of love desires His people to experience freedom in their daily lives. If you are in a time of peace, enjoy and gather up your resources. If you are in a time of battle, be strong, take heart and do that which you know is right.

In Christ,

PS I added a Rita Springer song to my site as the main song this month. It goes along with today's post.

Book Review: God's Little Princess Devotional Bible

I recently had the opportunity to review God's Little Princess Devotional Bibleby Sheila Walsh. This devotional Bible is for little girls only and is appropriate for ages 4-7. It includes direct Scripture from the International Children's Bible and little devotional sections like:
  • “Beauty Secrets,”
  • “Down in my heart”
  • “Take A Bow”
  • “I Adore You” and more
Before I received the book I was skeptical of the “princess theme;” I was afraid it would be overdone to the point of sickening. I was quite wrong. The book beautifully highlighted the value of who my daughter is in the eyes of her King. Each section began with 2 pages of straight Scripture. It was followed by a devotion which did a wonderful job applying the truths of Scripture in an age appropriate manner. My daughter and I especially enjoyed the “Taking a Bow” section where we were able to act out the Bible story. I highly recommend this Devotional Bible. The only draw back has been the fact that my 4 year old wants to read it all by herself and she can't read yet.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Obtaining Freedom: Part 2 Relinquishing Control

Here is part 2 of 4 from my series: Obtaining Freedom. Enjoy:)

The premise of this series, is that God wants us to experience complete freedom in Him in our everyday lives. Last time, I discussed how God wants us completely freed from guilt and shame. Today I want to talk about the illusion of being in control and the need to release control to Him.

How often do you worry? Every minute, every hour, once a day,once a week? (Take time to answer this question).

Worry is the method we use to try and control things. We believe that if we think things over and over enough in our mind we will be able to work things out. God wants to pull us back and really show us who really is in the driver's seat. When we realize who is really driving we will be able to set worry aside and enjoy the ride.

I think pregnancy provides a wonderful example of what I am trying to say. Pregnancy to me is an awesome thing. The only participation that I really contributed towards the growth of my children was to eat, drink and sleep. I didn't have to tell my body to do anything. I didn't have to tell it when to start growing which part, how to divide cells, how to develop the eye or the nervous system, etc (Thank God!). A miracle took place inside of me and I barely had to participate. Even though I didn't have to develop my babies my participation was completely necessary. For example, if I had chosen not to eat, my babies would have been harmed.

This example brings me back to my point about understanding the significance of our role versus God's role. In our everyday lives there truly is not a lot that we can control. When we sleep our bodies are doing a million and one things that we are not a part of. Our friends and family are living their lives and events are happening which we do not have any control over. Yet so often we spend a large portion of our day obsessing over stuff and it truly has no effect on the real events. The only effect it probably does have is a negative effect on our mental health. The Bible says,

"Do not worry. Which of you can add even an hour to your life by worrying?
Your Father in heaven knows what you need.
But seek first His kingdom."
(paraphrases from Luke 12:22-32)

We do have a role to play in our lives but we need to relinquish the control of our lives to our Heavenly Father because He really is the only one who can orchestrate things out for us and He does a beautiful job when we let Him. So what does God require of us:

that we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind
and strength and that we love others.
This sums up the law and the prophets.

It sounds simple and I think it really was meant to be that simple. Just like in my pregnancies all I had to do was rest, eat and drink so in our everyday life all we need to do is rest in God, love Him well and love others. I guess the Lord's prayer really does sum it up well:

Our Father, which are it heaven, hollowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven (relinquishing control),
give us this day our daily bread
(provide our needs and let us not worry)
and forgive us our trespasses as we
forgive those who trespass against us (loving others well)
and deliver us from the evil one.

Do you know how Jesus summed up the section on worry? Luke 12:32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom!" So beloved of the Lord's ~ enjoy life, He has given us the kingdom. Let Him who truly is in control be in control of our lives.

PS I am 3 weeks into Get Healthy for Hope. So far I have lost 4 pounds. I should be excited but I'm at the weight I've plateaued at the last 8 years. So I'm not excited yet but I'm ready to get over the hump and I'm thankful for your support in the process. My sponsorship is up to $20 a pound. You are welcome to jump on board in anyway you choose and remember you have the chance to win a $50 Gap Gift Card.

Can anything good come from dust?

My kids and I went to the library last week. Our library experiences aren't organized or intentional by any means, instead this is how we do the library: we walk in, the kids grab a few books randomly off the shelf, they give them to me and then they go off and play with the toys. This method never allows us to know what we are coming home with much less knowing whether the books will be excellent, okay or just plain strange. During our last trip, they managed to pick a good book, Stars Beneath Your Bed: The Surprising Story of Dust by April Pulley Sayre. The story talks about what dust is, where it comes from and what it does. The end of the book has 2 pages discussing dust in further details for the adults and in those pages it says, "When the sun is low in the sky, its rays hit dust particles at an angle. The more dust, the more colorful the sunsets and sunrises. When volcanoes erupt or forest fires burn, they send a lot of ash and soot into the air. This ash makes sunsets particularly colorful for weeks and even months, until the dust settles."

Who doesn't love a beautiful sunset? Who knew that something we find as useless and annoying as dust is the palette, which God uses to create His artistic masterpieces? God wastes nothing, not even something as small as 1/16th of a millimeter of ash. We all appreciate God's handiwork in the physical realm and as we appreciate these displays of His splendor it should remind us of what He also promises to do for us in the spiritual realm:

Isaiah 62:2-3
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes, the oil of gladness
instead of mourning, and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.

The God who uses dust and ash in the physical realm promises to one up it for us in the spiritual realm; He promises to replace our ashes with a crown of beauty. In the Old Testament, times of mourning and repentance often included the presence of ashes. As I look over the past year, there have many days of mourning in my life and the lives of those around me. While I am not surrounded by the presence of physical ashes there are many dreams and desires that currently are ashes in my minds' eye. Sometimes it has been hard for me to look up and not settle into a place of sadness and despair. This book along with the verses in Isaiah have reminded me that even the ashes in our lives will be redeemed by Him. If a sunset is a demonstration of what He can do just by shining on ashes I can't wait to see what He will do when He replaces them.

Sanctified Together

I recently connected with an amazing blogger named Alisa. She has a passion for writing and for God (always a good combination). This year she is beginning a monthly newsletter called Sanctified Together: Email and Online Publication. The theme for this month's publication is: The Belt of Truth. You all know I'm an armour girl so I can't help but be excited about it. But I'm also excited because the publication contains one of my articles:) So if you have a moment please check it out; it is entiled "Why do I throw out the Good?" and if you have time you can also check out the articles by the other 16 ladies.


Into His Hands

Do you remember my post Praying Like Little Children? In that post, I mentioned my beautiful cousin Amanda was pregnant with a baby who had Potter's Syndrome.

On Wednesday, January 6 beautiful
Layla Rae
entered into this world for too brief of a moment.

She was able to meet all the family that was present before she entered into her Heavenly Father's loving hands. As you are lead, please lift up Nick and Amanda as they continue to walk on.

Obtaining Freedom Part 1: Releasing yourself and others from Guilt and Shame

Today I am going back to my archives; I needed to hear this again. This is part 1 of a 4 part series I wrote on obtaining freedom. If this sounds familiar to you then it means you've been reading my blog for almost a year now:)

I think God is on a mission to release His children from the burden of Shame and Guilt. I really mean it: He wants us to walk in the reality of FREEDOM in our everyday life. Jesus died to set us free and yet we sit so entangled by sin much of the time.

So here is what I've been starting to comprehend. During the last 6 years the Lord has done a great job of changing me from striving and living by being guilt motivated. One of the revelations I have received has not only freed me from walking in guilt but has also freed me up to see others in a non-judgemental way and to just love them.

It is all boiling down for me to the power of forgiveness. When Jesus died on the cross, he forgave ALL sins past, present, future. Not just the sins of Christians but also the sins of non-Christians. The payment has been paid in FULL!

1 Peter 3:18
"For Christ also died for sins once for all,
the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God,
having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit."

I think sometimes as Christians we get so caught up in the fact that we still sin, or we see the sin in others and we want someone to make payment for it. In regards to ourselves, we walk around in guilt and shame because we went down that road that we knew we weren't supposed to go down. We think by feeling guilty about it we will somehow "pay" God back for failing Him. But the reason Jesus died is because we would NEVER be able to pay Him back for our failings. This truth then is also true for others. I don't need to make others feel guilty or hold unforgiveness over them because they don't need to pay me back for the wrongs they have done against me. The payment has already been paid in full by Jesus.

Therefore, repentance and forgiveness for a Christian is not about carrying around a burden of guilt and shame but it is about coming into agreement with what God says is true. The Bible says:

Luke 15:10
"In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing
in the presence of the angels of God over one
sinner who repents."

I always viewed this verse as "the angels were rejoicing" until one of my pastors preached a sermon on joy and pointed out that the angels are in the presence of rejoicing. Who then is rejoicing ~ God! God is thrilled when we turn to Him. He is rejoicing that we finally get it and He wants to celebrate with us. His arms are wide open to receive us.

My encouragement to myself and others is to throw off the cloak of shame and guilt and our misunderstandings of repentance and forgiveness. You really will want to turn to God when you see how He feels about you and that the payment has already been paid ~ so move on your sins have been cast as far as the East is from the West. Then when you see how much God loves you and rejoices over you in your repentance it will free you to love others freely! You will want them to experience the freedom that is found by coming into agreement with the truths of who God is.

Love & War

Did you know John & Stasi Eldredge have a new book called Love & War? As you probably already know by now I really love the stuff written by John and Stasi. This particular book is focused on marriage and it's caption is "Finding the Marriage you've Dreamed of." My husband and I started the book last night and only made it through the introduction, but it already started stirring things in my heart. Below I will be sharing two paragraphs that really stood out to me; to give you some context the introduction is sharing the words that John said to a couple on their wedding day, the following came out of the charge to the couple:

"In choosing marriage you have chosen an assignment at the frontlines in this
epic battle for the human heart. You will face hardship, you will face suffering,
you will face opposition and you will face a lie. The scariest thing a woman ever
offers is to believe that she is worth pursuing, to open her heart up to pursuit,
to continue to open up her heart and offer the beauty she holds inside, all the
while fearing it will not be enough. The scariest thing a man ever chooses is to
offer his strength without knowing how things will turn out. To take the risk
of playing the man before the outcome is decided. To offer his heart of strength
while fearing it will not be enough.

A lie is going to come to both of you, starting very soon, in subtle and not so
subtle ways. It can't be done. It's too hard. We had unrealistic expectations.
It isn't worth it. The lie to you, Megan, will be 'You are nothing more than a
disappointment.' The lie to you Daniel, will be 'You are not man enough for this.'
And so, I have two words for you today. Words that I want you to keep close in your
hearts as you forward: You are. Megan, you are radiant, you are. Daniel, you are a
man, you are strong, and you are valiant. You have what it takes. Hold this close
to you hearts. It can be done. And it is worth it (pgs. 5&6)."

Stasi comments that these words are lost on the new couple because they are filled with the excitement of the day and the newness of love. The words, however, were more for the audience, those who had entered marriage and are living it out. I don't know where you are in your marriage but hopefully some of these words in those two paragraphs have sparked a desire within you to continue pursuing the beauty and worth of marriage. Proverbs 29:18 says,

"Without a vision the people perish."

In America today, we see marriages perishing all over and the church is no exception. Even if divorce doesn't take place there are many marriages that are just two people living together yet remaining strangers. I am excited about reading this book because I know that John is an artist of drawing a picture of God's heart for His people and in this case marriage. In this new year may you embrace a renewed vision for your marriage and go after that which God intended and not settle for second best.

In Christ,

Get Healthy for Hope has officially started. I currently am being sponsored by 4 people for a total of $12 a pound. Let me tell you, it is very motivating to lose these pounds when there is money and purpose on the line! It is not too late for you to get involved. I am still looking for sponsors in my goal to lose 10 pounds. In addition, you also can make a goal to lose weight and be sponsored. Whether you have 5 pounds, or 30 to lose you can get involved. In addition to qualifying for the drawing for a $50 gift card, you have a chance to win a Nintendo Wii!!! The person who raises the most money will win the grand prize of a brand new Wii. Those of you in a family, can combine together and form a team and submit your sponsorship money together. Please consider being a part of this great opportunity.

Daily Prayer

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