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April 7 2014 2 07 /04 /April /2014 16:09

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Divorce: Introductory Thoughts Prior to Shamim Masih Article

John R. Houk

© April 7, 2014

 

Shamim Masih writes an excellent article on faithfulness in marriage and reflecting on the Lord Jesus’ pronouncement that the only reason for divorce is unfaithfulness. Shamim is particularly critical on the West’s laxness for allowing divorce for any reason. He points out Jesus was answering the same laxness concerning divorce as was permitted under Jewish Law.

 

Shamim is correct. I am aware in the West there are those that would be critical of Shamim’s thoughts on divorce especially violent domestic violence is involved. In America wife-beating is a reason for divorce. I do believe it is foolish for a woman to remain together with an abusive husband.

 

Here is my Christian apologetic thought on wicked abusive husbands. The fact that a husband beats his wife is a demonstrably act of rebellion against God’s Word. Christian husbands are big on demanding wifely submission based on Scripture:

 

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. (Ephesians 5: 22-24 NKJV)

 

The key to the above Scripture is the “husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church”. This is extremely significant because of the next instructions pertaining to how the husband must treat the wife:

 

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. (Ephesians 5: 25-28 NKJV)

 

Husbands if you are beating on your wife you are being unfaithful. If you do not love on your wife in the same way Jesus loves the Church you are being unfaithful. It would be like Jesus saying to humanity, “Forget you godless lot of men who kill the Son of God rather than accept God’s love. Let the lot of you burn in hell as you justly deserve.”

 

Jesus Christ the Son of God did not do that! Rather after being whipped to within an inch of his human life and nailed to a cross on Calvary Jesus prayed to Father-God (and I quote a long section to demonstrate the natural depravity of man but pay attention to verse 34),

 

32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. 33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”[a]

 

And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”

 

36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”

 

38 And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:[b]

 

THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ,[c] save Yourself and us.”

 

40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord,[d] remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

 

43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23: 32-43 NKJV)

 

Husbands if you are not following the example of Jesus Christ the Son of God you are being unfaithful. Wife if you have an abusive husband that particularly leads you to believe your life is under threat, it is my humble opinion divorce is one course to embark upon.

 

JRH 4/7/14

*************************

Christian Marriage is a Covenant Not Sexual Contract

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 4/6/2014 8:55 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Matthew 19: 4-6

 

In the end of February, 2014, a section of the Christian Divorce Act 1869 has been challenged before the Lahore High Court for being “offensive and insulting” to women. The petitioner was going through a divorce and that a petition for maintenance was pending before a civil court. He said under section 10 of the Christian Divorce Act 1869 he could only divorce his wife if he accused her of adultery. He said he could not make an accusation he did not believe to be true. He claimed that the Act had existed since the colonial times, so he requested the court to declare section 10 of the Act ultra vires [Blog Editor: HERE and HERE] and in contravention of the constitution through exercise of judicial review. He claimed that in several countries, including the UK and the USA, allowed a Christian man to file for a divorce on grounds like unreasonable behavior which enabled divorce petitions to be dealt in an expeditious manner. He keeps on saying that divorces under the Act had been tarnishing the image of innocent women.

 

The petitioner seems Christian by faith and wanted to leave his wife for his lustful desire because the reason he mentioned that he and his wife were not happy together. He said that he also did not get along with his in-laws. In Christianity the only reason to divorce is adultery. Couples may separate but no divorce. Christ Jesus clearly teaches about divorce that “….anyone that divorces his wife except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulterous, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery”. Matthew 5:32 NIV

 

Divorce is as hurtful and destructive today as in Jesus day. God intends marriage to be a lifetime commitment (Genesis 2:24). When entering into marriage, people should never consider divorce an option for solving problems or a way out of a relationship that seems dead. In these verses, Jesus is also attacking those who purposefully abuse the marriage contract, using divorce to satisfy their lustful desire to marry someone else. Are your actions today helping your marriage growing stronger or are you tearing it apart? Jesus said that divorce is not permissible except for unfaithfulness. This does not mean that divorce should automatically occur when a spouse commits adultery. The word translated “unfaithfulness” implies a sexually immoral lifestyle, not a confessed and repented act of adultery. Those who discover that their partner has been unfaithful should first make every effort to forgive, reconcile, and restore the relationship. We are always to look for reasons to restore the marriage relationship rather than for excuses to leave it.

 

Once the disciples asked did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away. Jesus replied, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Matthew 19:8-9

 

We need passion in the marriage relationship to keep the commitment and intimacy satisfying, but this passion should be focused exclusively on our spouse. It is clearly written, I hate divorce, says the Lord God of Israel and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment, says the Lord Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith. Malachi 2:16

 

Has not, God made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his; and why one? Because He seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.

 

Divorce in these times was practiced exclusively by men. They broke faith with their wives and ignored the bonding between a husband and a wife that God instills (the two become one person), as well as his purpose for them (raising children who love the Lord, “Godly off springs”). Not only were men breaking faith with their wives, they also were ignoring the bonding relationship and spiritual purpose of being united with God.

 

Biblically speaking the only reason to divorce is adultery. Now the couple may separate but not divorce. The bane of Christianity in the West has been the Church “accepting” divorce and allowing remarriage for other reasons. This has deteriorated the Church till it is just like the world, so witness is ineffective. Proper course would be for husband and wife to talk through [their] issues – without input from anyone else. If each truly choose and act in love for good of the other before self-issues will resolve.

 

The court directed him to bring relevant documents before the court at the next hearing, date for which would be fixed by the registrar’s office. So I recommend better to take these documents with him, if he is sincere to his wife otherwise; he would be interested to fulfill his lustful desires or someone working behind him for his vested interest. 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

_______________________________

Divorce: Introductory Thoughts Prior to Shamim Masih Article

John R. Houk

© April 7, 2014

________________________

Christian Marriage is a Covenant Not Sexual Contract

 

Edited by John R. Houk

Brackets indicate editorial additions by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel - 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General of Information 

Pakistan Christian Congress

 

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

Editor: For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending to a Western Union agent in Islamabad.

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         70008227
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227


FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         00010855
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227



FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         10847
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227 Bottom of Form

 

 

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