Divorce and Remarriage

EDIT: It’s 6:30pm, and Ana is on the mend. The doctor said it’s likely a stomach virus that’s going around, and now that she’s had a wet diaper, we don’t need to be too concerned. She’s back on her feet, sipping water, eating a cracker, and giving Emma snotty kisses. Which means that Em will probably have it tomorrow, but I’ll think about that tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers!

EDIT: Please pray for Ana. She had a fever yesterday but seemed back to normal this morning. She woke up from her nap screaming and smelling as though she had vomitted. (All I could find was a clear wet spot on her sheet, and her hair is wet.) After screaming through a bath, she’s fallen asleep on me. No fever. No wet diapers today, even though she drank about five sippy cups of milk this morning. Any ideas? Actually, I’m about to call the pediatrician, since that description sounds really serious.

In the course of his pastorates, Wes has been asked to do several weddings. And how many has he actually done? None. He’s had to say no every time because one or both of the people involved are divorced.

Every time it happens, I find that Wes has to regroup and define again what he believes. And as he does, so do I, to help affirm him in his stance and to remember, again, how serious marriage is. Divorce, in some cases, is biblically allowed. Remarriage, however, is NEVER allowed. (The purpose of divorce is separation so that repentance and then reconciliation can happen, that one or both parties will turn back to the Lord and return to the one flesh relationship that God established when they were married. How can reconciliation happen when remarriage has occurred for one or both people?) Christ calls remarriage adultery on the Sermon on the Mount. No matter what.

So, you say to me, what if I married and my husband turned out to be a creep? Well, YOU picked him. And you said forever, so now, you’ve got him forever. What if HE remarried, so there’s no chance of reconciliation ever? Am I free to remarry now? Well, YOU picked him. And you said you would forsake all others for him, in essence choosing him (and lifetime singleness if he leaves you) rather than someone else, ever. When I vowed to marry Wes, I understood that there was a possibility that Wes might one day stop being faithful to God, and as a result, stop being faithful to me. I chose to marry him, vowing that I was forsaking all others, no matter what Wes did. I would either be with Wes or I would be alone, praying that Wes would be reconciled to God so that we could restore our relationship. My vow wasn’t just to Wes — it was to God.

This is a hard teaching of the Bible. And I think our generation, full of folks who believe that God’s highest calling for His people is their happiness (who stinkin’ cares about holiness!), has no idea of the seriousness of making a marriage vow. That’s it! You’re done! Forever! No matter what he does! He’s it! Forever! Done!

We are humbled by the example of women and men who’ve been left, who pray for reconciliation, and after it has become impossible because of a husband’s or wife’s remarriage, who remain single, honoring the vow they made to God. (And we praise those women and men who remain faithful in the midst of unfaithfulness, who see God change their husbands’ and wives’ hearts, and who have a reconciled marriage! Praise God! Look at what He can do!)

And we are saddened by the hordes of Christians who come to the pastor, looking for him to bless and affirm remarriages that are strictly forbidden in God’s Word.

I write all of this to affirm my husband and hold up God’s Word as the ultimate authority, as he is ridiculed for being obedient to God’s commands. If more pastors out there held the true Biblical view of divorce and remarriage, people wouldn’t enter into marriage so lightly. God wants to restore marriages. By refusing to do a remarriage, you are honoring God and trusting Him to restore broken relationships, bringing people back into obedience and faithfulness to Him.

In case you’re interested, here’s the “wedding contract” that Wes asks all couples who come to him to fill out. To date, only ONE couple (whom he will be marrying this summer) has been able to agree to it…

Because marriage is a lifelong covenant that should only be entered into with the utmost sincerity, seriousness, and genuine commitment, I require all couples that I marry to meet the standards listed below. Please answer the questions prayerfully and truthfully between yourselves, and if you meet these standards or are willing to covenant to meet the standards from today on, I will be happy to perform your wedding ceremony. If you do not or are not willing to meet all standards, I will not, in good conscience as a minister of Christ, be able to perform your wedding ceremony.

1. We are both Christians who have made professions of faith in Christ and now walk with Him daily.
2. We are active in a local church.
3. Neither of us has been married before. We understand that marriage is for life and have agreed that divorce will never be an option for us.
4. Our parents have given their blessing and currently support our engagement and upcoming marriage.
5. We are not living together. We are not sexually intimate. We have committed to saving sex for marriage.
6. We have attended/will attend at least six sessions of premarital counseling with a Christian minister/counselor.
7. We have completed/will complete the workbook “Preparing for Marriage” together before our wedding day.
8. We are not in debt/are working towards being out of debt.
9. We are financially independent. Our parents do not support us financially.

If you are both able to answer yes to all of the questions listed above, please sign below.

Anyway, sorry for going on and on. I’m just very passionate about this and get very irritated when this issue comes up again and again and Christians – Bible-believing, church attending Christians! – act as if their pastor is insane because he believes marriage should be for life. What!?! So, this was a pep rally for Wes. Yay, Wes! Way to stand by the Word! I hope that when people act like you’re crazy, you’ll read this and be comforted by the fact that your equally-crazy wife has your back.

Can I get some other shout-outs for Wes?!

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