Can a Christian divorce if they’re in a sexless marriage
or married to a refuser or gatekeeper? Is there possible scripture to back up specifically , not vaguely?
Also what would constitute a low sex marriage? Monthly? Three times a year? We are not talking about (i would HOPE) a spouse that has severe health issues and tries, or an LD spouse that is good hearted and trying. This is someone who refuses or gate keeps and is not convicted to change…and if such person, what would be the minimum amount of sex?
Thanks for sharing that link.
I feel like Patsy is talking about marriage when the Exodus passage is talking about something a different – slaves and masters. With the implication of ownership of property. I’m not saying there is not connection, but the situation is different from typical marriage and secondly, many people would argue that ancient societal laws do not apply today as they did then.
Also, I’m not convinced her view of covenant is as biblical as she seems to think. It was because of the hardness of people’s hearts that divorce was permitted under certain circumstances but still wasn’t viewed as good or according to God’s design. Covenants, different from present day contracts, were understood to last until the death of one or both partners.
I came across this article that is very interesting and also involves 1 Cor 7. https://patsyraedawson.com/your-marriage-vows-imply-the-biblical-right-to-divorce-a-sexless-spouse/
My concerns are where grace is extended in this type of situation. But also i have extreme concerns about how marital sex is being taught in the church. That it is indeed a right to each spouse, that it is to be expected and to somehow be taught to foster a good attitude about it and the differences between men and women. I just think so many are uninformed and probably quite a few that know they’re living in outright sin.
Interestingly enough, I just read one’s opinion on this at The Generous Husband, a few days ago.
Personally, it seems to me like this is stretching the context of the meaning we see around “sexual immorality” in the New Testament. I have heard peoples’ reasoning be more around the theory of “abandonment” than “sexual immorality”.
Personally, I would never teach, nor counsel, one in the direction that they are right to divorce for this reason. Nor would I support the act. But, I am also okay with allowing it to be between them and the Lord. I have been in my own lonely, dark chasm, where I have been abandoned in form, where escape by divorce seemed the only option for survival, so they would have empathy and grace from me. They would also get to hear my own testimony and what God did and taught me through my own “dark night of the soul”….and hopefully the Spirit would encourage, give hope, and convict where and when needed.
According to this article…”sexless” means less than 10 times a year…ouch
No matter how much my DW refuses, or whether I fall into that category, I will never leave her.
There definitely isn’t direct Scripture, only principles which have been previously mentioned. It would seem a lot of prayer and Godly Christian counseling would be in order for wisdom. A separation could certainly be in order but more important would be having a peace from God after pursuing all other measures of reconciliation…and as Sd595 mentioned, it wouldn’t be a blanket requirement. I believe God could honor you for honoring your vows just as he does with those who have also stayed in unfaithful marriages. What do other people see? More importantly, your kids see? A God-honoring marriage or enabling poor behavior? (From my experience, couples, or at least one member, in a sexless or near sexless marriage are NOT walking in FULL and complete obedience to Christ and therefore, there are most likely other areas where they are not obedient or submitting to and loving one another sacrificially.
As far as I can see, the only times where scripture expressly allows divorce are desertion by an unbeliever and adultery (i.e. actually having sex with someone else).
Desertion by an unbeliever on the basis that it is the unbeliever who has broken the marriage convenant through desertion, and adultery because the adulterer has broken the marriage covenant by creating the one flesh union with someone else.
I don’t see that refusing sex falls into either category, so I don’t think it’s reasonable grounds for divorce.
In all questions of permissible divorce, one should have and follow the counsel of one’s church government. Making this an individual decision is setting one up for errors, recriminations, self doubt, etc. The church is to exercise discipline. Let them do it. Expect them to do it. Ask them to do it. Don’t leave if you don’t hear what you want to hear. Do leave if your church is not thinking biblically.
Yes, BUT…sadly “humbled”, I’ve seen some really stupid church leadership that have handled “discipline” and the leadership issue with couples in distress without grace…without truth…and subsequently, scarred individuals for life…especially all in the name of reconciliation. I’ve seen some foolish and unGodly counsel.
So I believe firmly in the Godly counsel of many. IF my now wife had listened to her church leadership board, they were telling her to let her cheating ex back in WITHOUT any proof of repentance and change other that his crocodile tears and lies the previous week…the she found indisputable proof that it was all an act and lies and filed. The leadership had to admit their mistake.