(The 700 Club episode I am discussing in this post: Air date Feb 21, 2017)
Women of America are STILL writing Pat Robertson for relationship advice. A phenomenon which prompted me to write this months ago:
For the love of pickles, people of America, stop sending this guy your questions about dating, love, marriage, and divorce! Anyway.
Regarding the first letter on the video: Contra Pat Robertson, the Bible does NOT teach that the “husband is the head of the household.”
But I am writing this post in regards to the second or third letter on this video (embedded below; Link to Video, You Tube).
Additional commentary by me is below this letter:
My husband and I have been married for 21 years but have been together for 28.
We have two children, ages 26 and 25. Our 25 year old son is autistic and mentally disabled and needs constant care.
I alone care for our son.
My husband does not work or help in anyway. I struggle to make ends meet.
My husband also has a slight drug problem. If he does do an odd job, he won’t help with household expenses or food but he will eat the food that I struggle to bring into the house.
Is this grounds for divorce in God’s eyes?
[I was brought up to believe that divorce is wrong, so though part of me wants to divorce, I’m not sure if it’s ‘biblically’ okay for me to divorce]
I became a Christian at a very young age, used to attend a Baptist church or two regularly, and I read a lot of conservative Christian books and articles growing up, some of which contained articles and thoughts about dating, marriage, and divorce.
I was constantly exposed to this idea – cranked out by a lot of conservative Christians – that in order to be married some day, you had to be perfect or achieve some level of wholeness or godliness, or else God would not “reward” you with a spouse.
There was also this other view taught often by conservative Christians that insists that marriage makes people more holy, mature, giving, loving, godly, and responsible.
Many conservatives – both Christian and even secular – believe that single adults over the age of 25 are all lazy, selfish, immoral, and greedy – and that we singles MUST marry because having a spouse will “whip us into shape” and cause us to “grow up” and become mature.
We can see from Serina’s letter to Pat Robertson (and a (Link): million other examples listed on my blog) that this is simply not true. Marriage does not propel every person who marries to become more altruistic, mature, giving, and loving or godly.
How did such a selfish jerk-face idiot such as Serina’s husband get married at all?
If, as many Christians teach, God expects all single adults to be wonderful, well-adjusted, whole, happy, content, clean, altruistic, mature, etc, then how was it that this guy managed to get married in the first place?
Obviously, since jerks like this get married, being perfect (or godly, mature, or whatever quality) is NOT necessary to get a spouse, or necessary for God to send you one.
Despite being married for over 20 years, Serina’s husband remains a lazy, selfish leech.
Marriage has not caused Serina’s husband to be more caring or sensitive to someone else’s needs, has it? Nope, it sure has not.
I watched this ‘700 Club’ show on TV earlier today.
If memory serves me, Robertson told Serina that her spouse is guilty of constructive desertion, but seemed to say that this is NOT grounds for divorce. Robertson did tell Serina that the husband’s treatment of her is bad, and is not fair to her.
Robertson said she doesn’t “have to divorce” but may want to consider separation, in part to protect her pay-checks so that her husband can no longer take the money she earns (she is the only pay-check earner in the marriage).
Robertson may not have been totally ruling out divorce as an option in his reply to her, but he seems to lean that way – if not Robertson, I can guarantee you that a John Piper (who is a well-known Christian preacher) or many other complementarian Christian pastors, would tell this woman she is “stuck” with this idiot of a husband and cannot divorce no matter what.
I’ve gone ahead and re-watched the segment on You Tube. Robertson throws Serina’s fornication in her face (she had kids out of wedlock) – her pre-marital sex with the guy is not fully pertinent (if at all) to her question, so I don’t know why Robertson wanted to bring that up in his reply, unless it was to shame her, or get an extra dig in.
Also, in previous episodes, (such as (Link): this one), Robertson besmirches celibacy and virginity – he feels that fornication is no big deal. Dude waffles on this topic. Anyhow.
Don’t get me wrong, my heart goes out to this Serina person, but I am so frustrated at this situation, I am going to sound grouchy about Serina.
Please realize my anger is not at Serina (if I sound angry at her), but that so many people are being hurt over Christianity and Christian teachings about marriage and divorce, and that they keep falling for this stuff.
If you are a Christian, WHY do you care so much about what other Christians think about you or how you live your life?
First of all, Christians cannot agree with each other on biblical interpretation (see for example (Link): this post on my blog), especially not on the topic of DIVORCE.
If you place ten Christian preachers into a room and ask them each for what is biblical grounds for divorce, you will get any where from ten to twenty different answers!
Some Christians teach that divorce is not allowed for ANY reason, not even adultery, and not for abuse (this is usually referred to as “the permanence view of marriage”).
Meanwhile other Christians say divorce is permissible, but ONLY for adultery but no other reason.
Yet other Christians teach that many Christians have misunderstood Christ’s comments about divorce, and that divorce is biblical on many other grounds, not just for adultery (see (Link): this off site link for more on that subject).
This is where you, as an adult, need to make up your OWN MIND and live your live FOR YOU and what you think is best for YOU.
Serina (and women like her): if you are this unhappy in a marriage like this (and my gosh, I do not blame you, if it were me, I’d dump the loser and not look back), and you believe your life would be better, more peaceful, and happier without the Loser you are married to, then by all means, DIVORCE the guy.
And who gives a tinker’s damn what Robertson or John Piper thinks or says? John Piper isn’t the one who has to live with the loser and put up with him – you do! (So long as you remain with the guy, that is).
Don’t waste time on a separation. Asking women to merely separate from losers like Serina’s husband puts women in “Limbo.” That is not fair to the woman.
The Bible seems to teach that divorce is permissible for not just adultery and abuse, but for other reasons.
But supposing you honestly feel that the Bible may say God doesn’t like divorce in most situations (including yours).
What do you suppose will happen to you if you go ahead with the divorce?
You’re not going to lose your salvation (check out ‘Once Saved Always Saved’ view – google for it).
Do you think God is going to punish you by striking you with lightning for divorcing? He’s YAHWEH, not Zeus of Greek mythology.
How many Christians have been struck by lightening by God for divorcing? Zero, that’s how many. So don’t worry about it.
My sister ‘Shirley’ had a live-in boyfriend (let’s call him ‘Hank’ – not his real name) for over 20 years.
Serina’s husband sounds a lot like Hank.
This whole situation reeks of male entitlement – how some men are lazy dead beets and expect the woman they are with to support them, and the men – on top of being unemployed – never do any house-work, either.
(Note: I am talking about relationships where this sort of arrangement is NOT acceptable to the woman!
If you are a man in a marriage where you and your wife are FINE with the wife being the sole bread-winner – while you stay at home and parent your children, and you have both agreed to all this – I am NOT talking about that.
I’m talking about relationships where the woman wants, needs, and/or expects her husband to hold a job, pay the bills and/or also chip in on house-work.)
Any way, my sister Shirley’s live-in lover boy, Hank, rarely held jobs. Though he sat about all day, she would come home to find the house a mess.
Hank would never mop the floor, clean dirty dishes, and so on. He spent most of his day online, playing video games or chatting with online friends. It infuriated my sister that Hank did not contribute to the relationship.
At times when Hank did have part time jobs, he’d take his earnings and spend them on HIMSELF, rather than help my sister pay the rent or pay other bills.
I don’t know why it took Shirley so long to dump Hank, but she finally did. (I dumped my user of an ex after a few years, not twenty.)
You have only the one life to live. You don’t get a do-over. If you are un-happy with your marriage, and you feel or think divorce would be a better option for you, then go for it.
I just wish women like the one who wrote Robertson here would make decisions for herself, rather than go to religious talking-heads, asking for their views. You’re an adult – make your own choices for you. That’s how it should be.
Secondly, nine of out ten times, when you consult a religious leader (especially if it’s a male), most of them have sexist views towards women (sometimes called “Christian gender complementarianism”) in which they teach (wrongly) that the husband is the “head of the household’ and you must defer to him. They will usually tell you that even if your husband is a jerk, abuser, selfish, or whatever, that you MUST stay with him.
You are better off making up your OWN MIND about what you think is best for you and YOUR life.
(Link): The Selfish, Lazy Husband Who Kept Blowing Off His Stressed Wife to Go on World War 2 Reenactments – Male Entitlement in Relationships: Why Women Divorce Men – and Churches and Culture Support This Male Entitlement