Monday, March 1, 2010

She says divorce is her "God-given right," but Jesus and the pope say "no" (series)

You may remember from a previous post that I told you that my wife was adamant: “she will do what she wants to do, when she wants to do it,” and she believes that is her “God-given right.” She told me she believes that’s exactly what she was doing—exercising her God-given right—when she filed for divorce from me without so much as a marriage counseling session back in March of 2001 (despite the fact that she's a Roman Catholic who is not supposed to believe in divorce).

Thankfully, both Jesus and the pope disagree with her. Yes, it seems the only problem with her “God-given right” complaint is that neither her church nor Jesus himself support her claim. In fact, both flatly reject her claim to such a so-called “right.” Both the pope and Jesus are real clear on the matter.

The pope says a marriage is an “indissoluble bond” and that without some sort of obvious defect, which means someone entered a marriage without the intent to be married or really try (our marriage lasted 19 years) to remain married, or there was something that made it impossible for the couple to have intercourse, etc..(we had two children) then the marriage must be considered valid.

In fact, the pope insists that, even if there is a doubt about the validity of the marriage, without ironclad evidence, the pope says the local tribunal must find that the marriage is valid.

“Marriage enjoys the favour of the (canon) law. Hence, in case of doubt, a marriage must be held to be valid until the contrary is proven. Otherwise we run the serious risk of remaining without an objective point of reference for pronouncements of nullity, transforming all conjugal difficulties into a symptom of a failed union whose essential nucleus of justice - the indissoluble bond - is thus effectively denied.”

In other words, the pope says you can’t just uphold the flimsy reason a person may have used to get a divorce, such as “irreconcilable differences” just because she or he wanted a divorce. And just because the civil government gave it to them easy, you cannot take the easy rout. In fact, the pope told the Rota, the highest authority on Roman Catholic marriages, that easy way must be avoided:

This latter virtue (justice) “becomes more important when injustice seems the easiest path to follow, in as much as it involves giving in to the desires and expectations of the parties involved, or to the conditioning of the social environment.”

My wife has told me she plans to pull out all the stops to make sure she gets her annulment and that means she’s planning to use a lot of character assassination tactics. In other words, she plans to trump up reasons to try to prove that I was immature (at the age of 23) and not ready for marriage and she will come up with reasons that the same might apply to her ( at the age of 21) as well. Of course, the idea is to try to give the tribunal some sort of ammo to come to a declaration that will nullify the marriage.

God the Father forgive me that I left his (God the) Son’s comments on the matter for last. But the fact of the matter is that Jesus specifically mentions the woman’s role in a divorce only once in Mark 10:12 and he is very specific:

And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she commits adultery.

In other words, no matter what the Tulsa tribunal may rule, Christ himself insists that if my wife marries another man, now that she has divorced me, she commits adultery.

Of course, my wife believes all she has to do is ask Jesus for forgiveness and everything will be alright. She doesn’t seem to realize that every time she and her “new squeeze” have “relations” they commit adultery—even if its his first marriage. Jesus says they will never be able to come together except in a state of sin—adultery. In other words, what they are doing is “unforgiven” until my wife leaves him, truly repents and seeks to return to me.

Does any of this make me feel better? Not really. My concern is for my wife and her ultimate salvation. As her husband, I can only do what I can to try to seek reconciliation with her and trust in the Lord to at least help me endure whatever I must.

It’s been tough, but he has been good to me for more than nine years now. Bless his name. Jesus is Lord and I thank him so for saving me completely. My prayer is that it will be his will to awaken the love of my earthly life for her sake first, and mine second.