Scriptures to Read During a Divorce

Going through divorce 10 years ago, I knew that only God could help me make sense of–and make it through–what to me was a senseless situation. These scriptures carried me as I struggled with divorce’s challenges.

Going through divorce 10 years ago, I knew that only God could help me make sense of–and make it through–what to me was a senseless situation. Certain scriptures carried me as I struggled with divorce’s challenges. I shared those scriptures in my novel, “Land Mines,” which shows how a woman navigates divorce and rebuilds her life. Hopefully, these scriptures and reflections will help you, too.

1) Trust in the lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. – Proverbs 3: 3 – 5 (NKJV).

I broke this scripture’s reflections into four parts.

First, trust in a sovereign God and his mercy and control of all things is one of the paramount teachings of our Christian faith. In divorce, now aware that you can’t trust in your spouse and often feeling that you can’t trust yourself, sometimes all you can do is trust God.

Second, during divorce, you often ask: “What did I do wrong? Why didn’t God tell me to do something differently? Why me?” Don’t worry yourself sick trying to understand everything. God understands. Trust that he’s working all things together for your good.

Third, God wants to help you in and through everything. Nothing is too small to take to him in prayer.

Fourth, you must make many decisions, but your mind is often jumbled. God will tell you what to do–as that still, small voice, hunch or intuition, or through a person or a situation. Shall is mandatory.

2) But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O man, whether you will save your wife? But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. I Corinthians 7: 15 – 17 (NKJV).

I interpreted this lifesaving scripture as: if your husband leaves, let him! He doesn’t believe, and you can’t change him. God has given him free will. We’re not called to suffer in such situations–we are called to have peace. Don’t beat yourself up for something that is–and always was–out of your control.

3) But my God shall supply all your need…. Philippians 4: 19 (KJV).

When you feel that you need anything, remember this. Stand on it when you’re afraid, anxious, and have no idea how you’ll be able to take care of yourself and your children.

4) Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up. A servant who becomes king, a fool who is full of food, an unloved woman who is married, and a maidservant who displaces her mistress. Proverbs 30: 21-23 (NIV).

The New International Version of Proverbs 30 floored me because I often thought of myself as an “unloved woman who is married.” A married woman’s foundation is shaken if she’s not loved. This scripture shows that the world’s is, too.

My Bible said many women compare themselves to the Proverb 31 superwoman and feel sad because they don’t measure up to her. Women who compare themselves to the Proverbs 30 woman feel sad because they are her.

5) And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed in a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers. And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30: 20 – 21 (KJV).

Even though you’re going through adversity and affliction and may feel lost, God will whisper in your ear with divine guidance, telling you where to go and what to do.

6) Romans 8, particularly verses 28, 31, 32, 35 – 39.

When I understood Romans 8, I felt victorious. This chapter explains how God sent his son Jesus to overcome the law and give us grace, everlasting life, and good things. What was I complaining about? The chapter ends with the assurance that nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God. I realized that I would feel and be all right if I just kept my eye, mind and heart on God.

 

About

Sheilah Vance Sheilah Vance, Esq., an attorney in Philadelphia, is the author of the novel, "Land Mines".
  • CCNL

    Might both of you profited from reading Matthew 19:6 and 19:9(King James Version) every morning of your marriage?: “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matthew 19:9 (King James Version)”And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and who so marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”Jesus’ commentary about divorce has been rated authentic: i.e.Against Divorce: (1) 1 Cor 7:10-11; (2) 1or2?Q: Luke 16:18 = Matt 5:31-32; (3) Mark 10:10-12 = Matt 19:9; (4) Herm. Man. 4.1:6b,10 multiple attestations from the first stratum, 30-60 CESee

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    CCNL writes in his consistently charitable manner. What, I wonder, does Crossan say on divorce?

  • CCNL

    Professor JD Crossan, an On Faith panelist and author of over 20 books on the historic Jesus, typically deals with what the historic Jesus really said. His conclusions are basically what was given previously in this thread. Significantly more details can be found in one of his newer books, “The Historical Jesus in Context” By Amy-Jill Levine, Dale C. Allison, John Dominic CrossanFrom our continued studies of global religious cults we see different attitudes about divorce. e.g. with regard to the Baha’ist cult: “Baha’is believe marriage is a divine institution ordained by God and the foundation of a unified society. The key purpose of this union between a man and a woman — beyond physical, spiritual and intellectual companionship — is to procreate and raise children.”

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    From our continued studies of the New Catholic Testifiers, the cult founded by C.Christian Nut-Louse, we read:”And I say unto you, once married, stay that way, no matter the consequences to health, particularly, your children’s. After all, they grow up at some point, and who really cares what happens to them in the meantime???” (Nut-Louse: 34:12)C. Christian Nut-Louse. You and the New in the New Testament. Antarctica: Antarctic UP, 1957.Available in Bent Glacier, Antartica. Starting at 1.26. (ending at 1.32)Contains information on why terrorism isn’t so bad, how to brutalize Bahai, molest Muslims, debase Judaism, why divorce is unnecessary, child abuse not so abusive, the trinitarian question (mark), etc., based on the C.Christian Nut-Lousian reading.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Back to Greek or, Better, Aramaic?If a religion changes, it may go wrong; if it does not, it must go wrong.Roman Catholic tradition is not exempt from change as the law of creation and creation’s God. But any religious tradition is carried by its religious community which make and remake each other in reciprocal interaction. Leaders may assist or resist that process but they cannot do it by will alone. The most serious delusion of leaders is to think that they alone are in sole charge of a community’s past, present, or future. It is ultimately the community—which is simply the incarnate and living tradition—that will determine what stays and what goes, what changes and what develops. And, for community, tradition, or hierarchy, it is ultimately impossible to hold back the inevitable future by returning to the abandoned past.In terms of Roman Catholicism, our ancestors in faith began with Aramaic, changed to Greek, then tried Latin, and finally, moved into the various vernaculars. If we wish to revert to our linguistic origins, why just to Latin, why not to Aramaic with Jesus or Greek with the New Testament?Finally, I suggest this meditation for Pope Benedict—courteously, of course, as one author of a Jesus-book to another. When the People of God were on trek towards their Promised Land, they needed both a Leader and some Scouts. The Scouts went ahead and were the first to enter the Promised Land—although they did end up there on some surprising rooftops. The Scouts returned and reported what was up ahead. They had seen the future and the People followed them into it. But the Leader never made it into the Promised Land. He only glimpsed it from the peak of Pisgah and was buried in the midst of Moab.John Dominic Crossan

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Abram was the son of Terach, an idol merchant, but from his early childhood, he questioned the faith of his father and sought the truth. He came to believe that the entire universe was the work of a single Creator, and he began to teach this belief to others. Abram tried to convince his father, Terach, of the folly of idol worship. One day, when Abram was left alone to mind the store, he took a hammer and smashed all of the idols except the largest one. He placed the hammer in the hand of the largest idol. When his father returned and asked what happened, Abram said, “The idols got into a fight, and the big one smashed all the other ones.” His father said, “Don’t be ridiculous. These idols have no life or power. They can’t do anything.” Abram replied, “Then why do you worship them?” Genesis Rabbah 38, Tanna Debei Eliyahu

  • US-conscience

    ” The Scouts returned and reported what was up ahead. They had seen the future and the People followed them into it.”The people were afraid and didnt have faith in God, despite all He had done for them. They were judged for their unbelief and consined to wander in the desert for 40 years. Not one of that generation entered into the land except for the scouts. Repent of unbelief, or you too will not enter into His rest. Gods word is true.

  • coloradodog

    “I interpreted this lifesaving scripture as: if your husband leaves, let him! He doesn’t believe, and you can’t change him.”Doesn’t believe in what? The Bible? There is two sides in every divorce and dismissing the husband as an “unbeliever” is feminist and neochristian arrogance.I was an “unbeliever” after 28 years in a marriage with the last six years of verbal and physical abuse from my wife (yes, men are physically abused, too, and some don’t fight back because of how they were raised or fear of jail because, in a physical altercation, the husband almost always goes to jail).The neochristian author typically implies that she had no fault in this divorce.

  • CCNL

    Additional thoughts on divorce and various scriptural references- as noted by some experts:From “In his discussion of ten key issues where the Dead Sea Scroll are relevant to historical Jesus studies ["Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls" in Doris Donnely (ed.), Jesus. A Colloquium in the Holy Land with James D.G. Dunn, et al. Continuum, 2001. Pp. 27-44], Harrington briefly considers Jesus’ teaching “no divorce”: By the criteria of dissimilarity and multiple attestation, the prohibition of divorce belongs to the corpus of Jesus’ authentic sayings. It went against Jewish practice and even against the permission of the Scriptures (Deut. 24:1-4), and it appears in Mark (10:2-12), Q (Luke 16:18 and Matt. 5:31-32), and 1 Corinthians (7:10-11). Of course, one must take account of the exceptions introduced by Matthew (see Matt. 5:32 and 19:9) and Paul (see 1 Cor. 7:12-16). One must also ask how Jesus intended this teaching to be taken—whether as an ideal, a legal principle, a protection for women, a temporary measure (in the face of the coming kingdom of God), or whatever else. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that Jesus taught “no divorce.”Damascus Document 4:20-5:6 declares that “taking a second wife while the first is alive” is fornication. … The problem here, however, is that the topic at issue seems to be polygamy rather than divorce and remarriage, as the rest of the passage with its concern to explain David’s several wives suggests.The Temple Scroll (11QTemple) contains a long section about the king. With regard to marriage (57:15-19), the ideal king should marry within the royal household of Israel. The text goes on to say: “He shall not take another wife in addition to her, for she alone shall be with him all the time of her life.” Again the “no divorce” interpretation is problematic. The first problem is whether the directive applies to anyone beyond the king. And the second problem is whether it refers to polygamy on the king’s part or to divorce and remarriage, though here the evidence for “no divorce” is stronger.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    “ccnl writes: Farnaz,I typed in the author’s name at the closes of the article, assuming that among ccnl’s single-celled co-religionist congregants of the Catholic New Testifiers (see C.Christian Nut-Louse, “The New in the New Testament”: “The You in the New in the New Testament”) would be some who could manage google. It was quite late when I posted, a foolhardy effort to save what remains of ccnl’s dwindling protoplasm.Considering ccnl’s contempt for honesty, misrepresntation of sources, omissions of same when it suits it, I confess I’m pleasantly surprised he sought the help of a co-organism in locating the source of Crossan’s publication.Too bad, he can’t comprehend the text.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    The people were afraid and didnt have faith in God, despite all He had done for them. They were judged for their unbelief and consined to wander in the desert for 40 years. Not one of that generation entered into the land except for the scouts. You cannot even comprehend Crossan, one of your Christian compadres.

  • longs

    What if u tell your spouse to leave because of their staying out until the early morning hours showing u no affection and you become physically ill from it? Is telling them to go and them willfully going wrong? Am I wrong?

  • Disillusioned

    Thank you Sheilah for taking the time to share your thoughts on biblical passages that helped you deal with a failed marriage, and sharing the types of questions you had about the fact that it was happening to you. Your words are very comforting. I am going through a second divorce after two years of marriage (I rushed into marriage thinking that God would protect us since we’re both Christians). But faced with his lies, his attempts to claim property I came into the marriage with, and his refusal to leave the house (which I purchased with funds earned before I married) while the legal process slowly arrives at the court date four months out, I have never gone through such meanness, name-calling, yelling, legal threats and cursing (I’ve endured two months, and have three more to go). I pray regularly for God to help me because the pain of a divorce is bad enough, let alone dealing with a vengeful spouse retaliating because I’ve had enough of the dysfunctional behavior and simply want us to go our separate ways.

  • Rose Winnse

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    (7) If you want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.

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