Vows Must Be Kept No Matter How Foolish

Got a private letter on a favorite topic around here, divorce. My response here goes pretty much across the board:

Dear VH1,

You don’t hear from God because you don’t want to hear what He has to say. Regardless, He made His will clear in the bible. Unless someone had a literal or metaphorical gun to your head at the altar, you are bound to your vows to your husband until one of you dies, he commits adultery, or, if he divorces you. If you do leave him, if you marry again while he lives, it’s adultery. By your own testimony, you have already commited adultery against him in your heart and you need to repent of this if you want to hear from God. I have included a few of the scriptures applicable below.

Matthew 5:31-32

“Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality[a] causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.”

Matthew 19:3-9 (New King James Version)

The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made[a]them at the
beginning ‘made them male and female,'[b] and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?[c] So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”
He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality,[d] and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”


1.. Matthew 19:4 NU-Text reads created.
2.. Matthew 19:4 Genesis 1:27; 5:2
3.. Matthew 19:5 Genesis 2:24
4.. Matthew 19:9 Or fornication

1 Corinthians 7:10-20 (New King James Version)

Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not todepart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelievinghusband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a 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 husband, whether you will save your wife?

Deuteronomy 24:2-4 (New King James Version)

when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s wife, if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the
latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.

–This means the divorced don’t need to and shouldn’t return to a former spouse–after you have remarried. You do need to acknowledge your sin before God–and man when the issue arrises–and seek the Lord’s forgiveness. Yes, it does sound like you made a foolish vow when you married this man–but you still have to keep it.

Acts 5:1-11 (NKJV)

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own
control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”
Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?”
She said, “Yes, for so much.”
Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Then immediately she fell
down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.

The principle in this last one is don’t cover for your husband. If he’s broken the law, report him to the police and be willing to testify against him in court. You might just get your way and he’ll divorce you for it. Otherwise, repent, ask the Lord to restore your love for your husband (fasting helps), pray for his salvation, and visit him in jail. In the meantime, at least learn to treat your husband with respect. I know how preposterous that sounds, and by the worldly wisdom he certainly doesn’t deserve it, but it’s what scripture requires and God takes it very serious. Michal found that out the hard way:

2 Samuel 6:16;20-23

As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.

When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”

David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.

I should also add that God is in the miracle business. As a last resort, you could do as one lady I heard of did, and cry out, “Lord, either save him or kill him, because I can’t take it anymore.” Be careful, though, her husband died not long after she prayed that. And of course I’d never tell someone to stay with their spouse if they’re in physical danger, but before God, you won’t be free to remarry until he’s dead or remarried himself.

In Christ,

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