A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

“If thou hatest her, put her away, and give her a clothing for the scorn” – Malachi 2:16 in the Matthew Bible

If thou hatest her, put her away, saith the Lord God of Israel, and give her a clothing for the scorn, saith the Lord of hosts. Look well then to your spirit, and despise her not.
— Malachi 2:16 in the Matthew Bible, published in 1537.

Compare that with the 1599 Geneva Bible:

If thou hatest her¹ put her away, saith the Lord God of Israel, yet he covereth² the injury under his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore keep yourselves in your spirit, and transgress not.

¹ Not that he alloweth divorcement, but of two faults, he showeth, which is the less.
² He thinketh it sufficient to keep his wife still, albeit he take others, and so as it were covereth his fault.

When Ruth Magnusson Davis shared this comparison at Facebook a couple of days ago, she commented on the Geneva Bible’s rendering:

Haha – how Islamic. Take another wife and cover your fault. Probably a rabbinic interpretation. (My guess – you might want to check Calvin’s commentaries on this. He often followed rabbinic interpretations.)

Give her a clothing for the scorn

Let us look again at the Matthew Bible’s rendering of this verse. It is astounding.

If thou hatest her, put her away, saith the Lord God of Israel, and give her a clothing for the scorn, saith the Lord of hosts. Look well then to your spirit, and despise her not.

It tells the husband that if he hates his wife he must put her away—divorce her. And what’s more, when he divorces her he must ‘give her a clothing for the scorn’. What does that mean? The man must compensate the woman for the stigma she will suffer from being divorced, rejected, cast off. A clothing for the scorn. Clothing covers. Clothing covers shame and vulnerable parts. It shields. It protects.

I can only ponder this and marvel at the wonderful wisdom, mercy and justice of God.

The Geneva Bible and later English translations stripped this verse of mercy, wisdom and justice for the woman. They turned it into a heavy sword of Damocles that hangs over the head of every Christian woman who is abused by her husband. Most translations twisted it into an unrelenting and rigid teaching: “God Hates Divorce”.

For over a decade I’ve been denouncing the “God hates divorce” saying as a mis-translation. But only now have I seen the Matthew Bible’s translation which gives Malachi 2:16 such a beautiful tone of mercy and justice for a wife whose husband hates her.

The 1537 Matthew Bible is the first complete English Bible, and Ruth M Davis is gently it updating for modern readers

The Geneva Bible is the English translation published in Geneva in the second half of the 1500s. Geneva is where John Calvin and his followers had much power and influence during the Protestant Reformation.

Ruth is doing amazing work studying and comparing how the Matthew Bible and the Geneva Bible differ. She will publish her findings in her forthcoming book The Story Of the Matthew Bible, Part Two. She has already published The Story of the Matthew Bible .

Ruth knows the Matthew Bible better than anyone else alive today.

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

Find Ruth on Facebook: www.facebook.com/WriterRuth

The New Matthew Bible – New Testament — version information and to purchase.

Online version of the New Matthew Bible – New Testament.  The online version does NOT have the notes that are in the hard copy publication.

Online version of the 1537 Matthew Bible in original spelling

Online version of the 1599 Geneva Bible in original spelling

Other posts on this site which mention Ruth Magnusson Davis:
cryingoutforjustice.blog/tag/ruth-magnusson-davis

29 Comments

  1. Finding Answers

    From the original post “If thou hatest her, put her away, saith the Lord God of Israel, and give her a clothing for the scorn, saith the Lord of hosts. Look well then to your spirit, and despise her not.
    — Malachi 2:16 in the Matthew Bible, published in 1537.”

    Reading ^That brought to my awareness some of my (currently unknown by me) faulty associations, though not specifically related to Malachi 2:16.

    There seems to be two parts to some of my (currently unknown by me) faulty associations.

    First. As an individual with Asperger’s, I (sometimes) have a tendency to take things literally, although I CAN learn the truth of what was intended in the communication I misunderstood.

    Second. My history of extreme abuse by my “dad”, and abuse (of all kinds) by my entire family of origin has tainted words and phrases like “put her away”,”clothing”, and “scorn”.

    SOME of the faulty associations with the words I have listed have been changed, but there are other faulty connections remaining.

    In my own words, the pictures in my mind are not completely clear.

    In the original post, Barb wrote, “I can only ponder this and marvel at the wonderful wisdom, mercy and justice of God.”

    I need to understand ^That.

    • I’m glad the post is helping you make connections.

      • Finding Answers

        So. MUCH. Grief. So. MUCH. Pain.

        So many faulty associations have been swept off the picture of God in my mind.

        The associations REALLY belonged to my entire abusive family of origin, the rigid standards of (much of) society, and the blindness of those “professionals” who thought they (the “professionals”) knew the “truth” about me.

        For over thirty years, I have researched my many and varied health issues, and I continue to make progress in my healing. (Omitting details for my protection.)

        I have SO many “labels” attached to me that identify me as different, and I do not truly fit the “label” atypical. Some are “labels” that cannot be changed (Asperger’s, extreme abuse, genetically sensitive nervous system, C-PTSD, above average intelligence, etc.). For me, these “labels” that cannot be changed are “labels” that are “not acceptable” to my my abusive family of origin nor (most of) rigid society.

        But now the picture in my mind of God is clear of those particular faulty associations that kept me bound in a spiderweb of lies about Him.

        From the original post “If thou hatest her, put her away, saith the Lord God of Israel, and give her a clothing for the scorn, saith the Lord of hosts. Look well then to your spirit, and despise her not.
        — Malachi 2:16 in the Matthew Bible, published in 1537.”

        Now I understand ^That.

        From the original post “The Geneva Bible and later English translations stripped this verse of mercy, wisdom and justice for the woman. They turned it into a heavy sword of Damocles that hangs over the head of every Christian woman who is abused….”

        Now I understand ^That.

        From the original post “….marvel at the wonderful wisdom, mercy and justice of God.”

        Now I FEEL ^That.

    • Helovesme

      That is a wonderful testimony, Finding Answers!

  2. Helovesme

    This post is beautiful in so many ways.

    “Look well then to your spirit, and despise her not.” (from the Bible verse)
    “The man must compensate the woman for the stigma she will suffer from being divorced, rejected, cast off.” (from the original post)

    Okay. Try to imagine alternate words, or adjectives that come to mind when you hear or say the word “divorce.” Or, what you might hear others say in reaction to the word “divorce.”

    It’s okay if they are reflective of your upbringing and not your personal views, and if they are not in agreement with the Word. It is just to expose our own thinking, and potentially of those around us.

    I did not grow up as a believer, but my home could be considered conservative and traditional. Divorce was rare.

    The word “failure” might come to mind. The marriage failed. But, more specifically, you failed. Or he failed. Worst yet—-you or he or both of you failed God.

    Or, the words “broken or brokenness.” My kids come from a broken home. This is a broken home. We are a broken family. That brokenness is now what defines us, and how others define us, too. Now what?

    How about words like: “unloved, unwanted. Rejection or rejected.” Something is wrong with me, with him, with us. We gave up, or he gave up, or I gave up. We didn’t try hard enough, or I didn’t try hard enough, or he didn’t try hard enough.

    This verse focuses on the wife being scorned and stigmatized. Why, exactly? It specifically says the husband sent her away.

    I’m not a fan of using words like fail or failure in this context. But I’m standing in the shoes of society or the church, on the outside looking in, using such words to illustrate what they might be thinking, and what words they might use.

    And the stigma often unfairly leans towards and labels the woman as the failure. As if something HAD to be wrong with HER, for her husband to send her away. He initiated it, but he cannot possibly be the failure. He must have had a darn good reason, and the blame mostly lies with her.

    The Bible seems to know this from the verse shared. “If thou hatest her, put her away, and give her a clothing for the scorn, saith the Lord of hosts. Look well then to your spirit, and despise her not.”

    Words like “give” in the context of “hate” and “put her away” usually don’t mix. The warning to think about what your’e doing to yourself as well as to her (“look well then to your spirit”) AND to “despise her not” are also an interesting combo of commandments.

    So, you admit that you hate her, but you are commanded to NOT despise her. Put her away, but give to her. You are scorning her, and you owe her a covering. This is not only good for her, but good for you too (look well to yourself).

    You’ve got the power to put her away, but don’t use that power to crush her completely. You’ve crushed her enough already: you hate her and want her to leave. This is all openly admitted to her (and to the public), so she knows you don’t love her.

    Walk away from her, but let her walk from YOU with her head held somewhat high.

    I say “somewhat” because I don’t want to minimize the pain of rejection! Tears are likely to be shed. Pain is likely to become a reality. Even if it is done right, it does not mean it is not extremely hurtful.

    “Clothing covers. Clothing covers shame and vulnerable parts. It shields. It protects.”

    Ironic that when Adam and Eve were in the Garden, they were naked and unashamed. After they sinned, the Bible says they immediately understood they were naked. And they used fig leaves in a weak attempt to cover up. God, however, in His mercy—gave them animal skins to clothe and cover them—–much more effective. Fig leaves won’t keep out the cold. Animal skins will do a much better job.

    Ever try to “cover up” your own way, apart from Him? You try to make a metaphorical mask so that no one sees the pain in your eyes. You try to wear the right clothes so that no one sees your bruises. You try to use humor and charm to cover up the fact that you have a broken heart.

    I read a beautiful observation of the difference between the Old and New Covenant. In the former, animal blood would “cover” up our sins, so when God looked down, He saw that blood, not our sins.

    But animal blood could never do what Christ’s blood did. The latter didn’t cover UP our sins. His blood took them away for good. No temporary covering. Cleansed completely.

    In this way, I think we can metaphorically be and become “naked and unashamed” again. We have nothing be ashamed of when we are in Him!

    Okay, if you’re like me, you’re a bit squeamish when it comes to personal nudity. But spiritual nudity is the best thing, ever. Again, you have nothing to be ashamed of before Him.

    Divorce might be connected to the word “condemnation.” Even if we are at a place where divorce is somewhat condoned in or out of the church, there can still be streaks of condemnation. A divorced person might be accepted and considered acceptable, but not completely. There is still something about that person that people want to keep their distance from. As if the “scorn” is like a disease, and it is seen as contagious.

    “It shields. It protects.”

    Often when we hear of divorce, the questions come pouring out: who filed, who is to blame, what happened. Who is the hero, who is the villain, so who should be shunned and who should be supported?

    More than likely, no one or one or both parties in the marriage and the Lord Himself know the whole story. Can you really explain it to them in a way that they’ll understand? Is that even possible? Is it more possible that they’ve already made up their minds?

    If the covenant was broken (and dead), and the divorce merely dug a grave for it—-don’t let misapplied scorn stigmatize you. If He has no scorn towards you, neither should you.

    He shields. He protects. He clothes. He covers your needs. He cleanses the pain.

    • Finding Answers

      Helovesme commented (10TH SEPTEMBER 2019 – 12:53 PM) so many things, I’m placing them in a list.

      “The word “failure” might come to mind……”

      ^That.

      “….the words “broken or brokenness.”…..”

      ^That.

      “…..words like: “unloved, unwanted. Rejection or rejected.”…..”

      ^That.

      “And the stigma often unfairly leans towards and labels the woman as the failure. As if something HAD to be wrong with HER…..”

      ^That.

      “Words like “give” in the context of “hate” and “put her away” usually don’t mix…..”

      ^That.

      “……You’ve crushed her enough already: you hate her and want her to leave……”

      ^That.

      “Ever try to “cover up” your own way, apart from Him? You try to make a metaphorical mask so that no one sees the pain in your eyes. You try to wear the right clothes so that no one sees your bruises. You try to use humor and charm to cover up the fact that you have a broken heart.”

      ^THAT!!

      “…..something about that person that people want to keep their distance from. As if the “scorn” is like a disease, and it is seen as contagious.”

      ^That.

      The phrases I hijacked from the comment by Helovesme were a small part of only a few of the “labels” attached to me by my abusive family off origin, the rigid standards of (much of) society, and the blindness of those “professionals” who thought they (the “professionals”) knew the “truth” about me.

      “He shields. He protects. He clothes. He covers your needs. He cleanses the pain.”

      ^That.

    • TS00

      Great comment. I especially like “If the covenant was broken (and dead), and the divorce merely dug a grave for it—-don’t let misapplied scorn stigmatize you. If He has no scorn towards you, neither should you.”

      People tend to forget that divorce is simple the act of burying that which has already died. It comes after all of the problems, the struggles to hang on and the desperate hope that somehow this thing can be revived.

      In many churches, the act of remaining in a ‘dead’ marriage is heroic, as if all God is concerned about is the letter of the law: ‘Thou shalt not divorce.’ In my opinion, God’s heart breaks over every dead and dying marriage. He knows the pain that is involved for every party it touches. Divorce, like the cross, is simply his merciful provision for dealing with the tragic reality of sin and death.

      • Hi TS00, please allow me to offer another view or add nuance to your view.

        You said: “…divorce is simple the act of burying that which has already died.” When divorce is being undertaken because the other spouse is an abuser and/or has committed sexual immorality, then yes, the divorce is simply the act of burying that which has already died. But not all divorces are undertaken for those kinds of reasons. Sometimes one spouse divorces the other treacherously. For example, think of the classic scenario where a middle aged man has been married to a woman for two decades and they have children. The wife has not been abusive or unfaithful to him. But he secretly has an affair with a young woman in his office; then he decides he is in love with her so he divorces his wife and marries the younger woman. I would argue that that is a treacherous divorce. It is not the “simple the act of burying that which has already died.” It is an act of treachery. The first marriage could have continued right into their old age, the first marriage was not ‘dead’— until he treacherously dumped his first wife.

        Also, you said: “God’s heart breaks over every dead and dying marriage.” In the case of divorces that are undertaken because the opposite spouse has been abusive or sexually immoral or both, I would question whether God’s heart breaks over those divorces. Surely at least sometimes God is happy that those divorces are taking place, because the abused spouse can hopefully be more safe when the abused spouse is free of the abusive spouse.

      • TS00

        I was a little broad in my statements. I do think divorce always breaks God’s heart, but that does not mean he does not judge it to be best. All wickedness, sin and suffering – as well as abuse – both angers and breaks God’s heart.

        As for the former, I certainly grant that treachery, abuse, deception etc. can lead to the death of a marriage. I’m not commenting on blame or fault, merely suggesting that by the time divorce comes about the parties are laying to rest a dead marriage – whatever the cause. In any case, I enjoyed your post.

      • Hi TSOO, again you seem to be saying things that I don’t quite agree with.

        e.g. “I’m…merely suggesting that by the time divorce comes about the parties are laying to rest a dead marriage…”

        The whole point of my example of the middle aged man divorcing his wife is that it is unjust and untrue to say his wife is ‘laying to rest a dead marriage’. Before he announced he was divorcing her, she may have had no idea the marriage was dead. She might have thought it was pretty ornery, but she may have had no inkling that it was dying or dead.

        Please, I beg you TSOO, take care with the way you phrase things. This blog prioritises the voices and viewpoints of victims, and part of my job in moderating comments is to try to ensure that readers of this blog are not triggered by what commenters say. Your phrasing could easily trigger some victims.

        As for divorce “breaking God’s heart” – there is no scripture which uses that expression. As far as I can tell, scripture does never uses the expression “God’s heart”. So I suggest you recalibrate your thinking.

      • TSOO you have submitted two comments in the last day or so where you stated God hates divorce as if you believe that saying. I want to let know that on this blog I am very reluctant to publish comments which say God hates divorce is if that statement is true.

        If you want to know why, please read this post.

        Please be aware that I have called you to account previously at this blog. Maybe you didn’t see that response I made to you some time ago, so here is a link to it.

        You seem not to have read a lot of what I’ve written about divorce. I encourage you to read my work in more depth — my book and all the posts about divorce on this site. The place to start digging into all those posts is here: https://cryingoutforjustice.blog/what-does-the-bible-say-about-divorce/

      • Helovesme

        Hi, just wanted to make sure I too was not too broad in my observations. I made sure to say “IF” the marriage is already dead, divorce buries it. I did not want to imply that every single divorce falls under that radar.

        By the way, someone else (I believe I read it on the ACFJ Facebook page) came up with that insight and I’m terribly sorry that I cannot recall who.

        Because Barb’s insertions are incredibly poignant. Her hypothetical scenario demonstrates treachery. The marriage was not formerly “dead” in what she described.

        In fact, I believe in Malachi, Jewish husbands were divorcing their wives of many years in order to marry younger women from other countries. These rejected wives were covering His altar with tears. [We have a post about this: Whose tears are covering the altar in Malachi 2? – Eds]

        I think of abuse as being treacherous as well, but not in the same exact way as Barb’s scenario. I think abusers “mouthed” their vows when marrying, but never meant them and never intended to keep them.

        A covenant was made in theory, but since marriage is a two way deal, it was never put into practice because one of the parities involved never truly committed to the marriage.

        In Barb’s scenario. there’s a good chance this man meant his vows and did intend to keep them—-until he decided to NOT keep them. The difference is huge.

        I think of abuse as a slow and steady “murder” of the victim. A victim is slowly drained over time. It is not the sudden and unexpected “stabbing” of adulterous betrayal that Barb’s scenario is more descriptive of.

        Adultery and abuse are both extremely serious; make no mistake. But we should be careful in how or why such marriages become broken.

        I sort of see both sides of the coin when both of you are speaking of how exactly God may or may not perceive divorce—with a sense of sorrow, or a sense of celebration?

        One of the MANY difficulties in answering the oversimplified statement: “God hates divorce” is this:

        If we say, that’s not quite true, or not how it works—–the comeback comment might be, so your’e saying that He loves divorce? Wouldn’t He rather have marriages survive and thrive? How can one even try to contradict a simple statement that (in their eyes) reflects the heart of God—-He hates it when vows that were made, are undone via divorce? Doesn’t it cause a lot of suffering for the couple, not to mention the kids (if any), or their extended families as well?

        Okay. No one is saying that God LOVES divorce. Like it’s a great thing that we should be in favor of, and treat it as a casual occurrence. That too is lame and oversimplified.

        I do think that in the immediate aftermath of a divorce in which God has sanctioned—-there will likely be a lot of tears and sorrow and even grief on the part of the victim. It’s a huge change of life—-that comes with a lot of changes. It’s a lot to take in.

        But I do have to agree with Barb. Being safe, feeling safe, KNOWING you are safe—is something to rejoice over. You SHOULD celebrate it and come before the Lord to thank Him for it. Once you are past the initial shock of having gone through a miserable marriage, and the likely misery (and financial cost) of carving out the actual divorce—-embrace the fact that you are free.

        No, I STILL say it’s too simplistic to say—-God loves or hates divorce—-but He loves to see His children safe from harm.

        Why did you divorce, if not to experience that safety? You need not feel guilty for being GLAD that the divorce was a means to an end—-and again, NOT rejoicing in the often painful process of undoing the vows that you intended to keep—-but glad that is all behind you. Let the dead bury the dead. You focus on life, and living a life that you have every right to enjoy. Ironically—-that you are entitled to enjoy.

        (I say “ironically and entitled” because that is often the core of abuse. Abusers feel 100% entitled to abuse. It reaps death. Well, YOU are 100% entitled to NOT be abused. It reaps life)

        The Bible, particularly in the Psalms and Proverbs—-celebrates when the wicked and oppressor are driven away. The people rejoice, because their days of groaning are behind them.

        Keep in mind what the wicked and oppressors DO to the innocent: they exploit them. Murder them. Steal from them. Deny them justice. They prey on the weak, knowing they have little to no power to fight back.

        You can walk into your home without a pit of despair knotting up your stomach. You can come and go as you please, without feeling as though a leash is around your neck. You can do so many normal, everyday things that should not inspire fear or dread or anxiety or stress or whatever emotional roller coaster you were on.

        When I first became a believer, Jeremiah 29:11 was stated and repeated—-almost chanted—to no end! Perhaps we should trot it out again to remind people what a life in Him should and should not look like.

        Plans to prosper. A hope and a future. Not to harm you. I know those plans, I know My thoughts towards you. Thoughts of peace, not evil.

        Captivity (although in this case, it was God sanctioned. Not so in the case of abuse) was not the final chapter of their story.

        But even though it was a just and righteous captivity, and you could easily say they did not deserve to be released and come out of it—-that is exactly what He did.

        How much more is there to celebrate, when He releases you out of a captivity that you DID not deserve?

      • TS00

        Helovesme, I fully agree with all you said. Which is why I am scratching my head to figure out why it might seem I wouldn’t.

        I suppose it is the use of the phrase ‘God hates divorce’ which is understandably loaded. My intention was to suggest the infamous ‘You keep using those words. I don’t think they mean what you think they mean.’ I apologize that I did not express myself clearly. My failed attempt was at restoring the kernel of truth behind them – as you appear to agree with – while rejecting and condemning their ages long misuse. My bad.

      • TS00

        I know many who scoff at the concept of emotional abuse, and assert that as long as there is no infidelity, abandonment or physical assault there are no biblical grounds for divorce. I would assert that they do not understand the full meaning of abuse, nor the heart of God.

        My former pastor went so far as to question if physical abuse was grounds, asserting that the elders must decide ‘how much and how often’ was deemed divorce worthy. This was said at a table with two women who he knew were victims of DV.

        I grew up under this ‘No divorce ever’ mentality, which judged all who ‘failed’ to ‘uphold the law’. I no longer embrace such legalism, and can now understand why Jesus reserved his harshest words for self righteous hypocrites.

      • Hi, He loves me, I embedded a link in your comment. 🙂

        Long-term readers of this site know that I’ve been married twice, and both my husbands turned out to be abusers.

        My first husband is the father of my daughter. I had several separations from him. The day after what became the final separation, I felt immense relief. Your words, He Loves Me, describe my relief beautifully: “You can walk into your home without a pit of despair knotting up your stomach. You can come and go as you please, without feeling as though a leash is around your neck.”

  3. Finding Answers

    Helovesme commented (10TH SEPTEMBER 2019 – 12:53 PM) “…..Who is the hero, who is the villain, so who should be shunned and who should be supported?”

    ^That.

    Barb commented (10TH SEPTEMBER 2019 – 7:58 PM) “……Surely at least sometimes God is happy that those divorces are taking place…..”

    ^That.

    From the original post “…….The man must compensate the woman for the stigma she will suffer from being divorced, rejected, cast off. ……..”

    ^That.

    The compensation my abusive ex-“husband” (financially) paid for the divorce was more than he expected to (financially) pay, though far less then I (non-financially) paid for our “marriage” and divorce.

    God won’t hate my divorce.

    • Finding Answers said, “God won’t hate my divorce.”

      And I say Amen to that!

  4. Artina

    It is disturbing, to me, when people in my church-like community speak of “God hates divorce” as if the ugliness is the divorce itself. It seems like a label given without ever discussing abuse, exploitation, entitlement, superficial bonding. I view the word divorce and the action as a hopeful rendering or untangling, (or lessening of entanglement) leaving the context more spacious so that individuals can be who they are more easily, although not without difficulty. I have been told, and these words seem to describe reality to me, that divorce is not a panacea. And neither is “staying.”

    “If thou hatest her, put her away, saith the Lord God of Israel, and give her a clothing for the scorn, saith the Lord of hosts. Look well then to your spirit, and despise her not.
    — Malachi 2:16 in the Matthew Bible, published in 1537.”

    I’m not sure whether I understand this well, but it sounds better than other translations and especially better than “God hates divorce”. To me, it seems to say, “Make up your mind! If you hate her then release her and compensate her for the exploitation and the way culture will treat and view her as “used” while you, in this culture, will be less negatively affected and have better options to go forward than she will. But at least your compensation will ease her way and be a positive step for dealing/healing the hate you’ve had for her, which is a hindrance to you.” Like I said, I’m not sure I read that “right.” But it does sound like it has a lot more depth than “God hates divorce.”

    I’ve known of treacherous divorce situations as well as divorce and remarriage situations where the second marriages definitely seem better.

    I don’t equate the word divorce with the word death. Things change, but it seems to me that a person can’t write significant people out of their storyline completely (or I can’t anyway). It seems like their place in a storyline can only change as they take on a lesser role. And vice versa. And maybe that is a positioning of things as best they can be placed.

    • Hi Artina, I think your interpretation of the Matthew Bible’s rendering of Malachi 2:16 is excellent! I want to repeat it, to highlight it for our readers.

      “Make up your mind! If you hate her then release her and compensate her for the exploitation and the way culture will treat and view her as “used” while you, in this culture, will be less negatively affected and have better options to go forward than she will. But at least your compensation will ease her way and be a positive step for dealing/healing the hate you’ve had for her, which is a hindrance to you.”

      • Finding Answers

        Barb (11TH SEPTEMBER 2019 – 2:32 AM) highlighted Artina’s interpretation of Malachi 2:16. For me, the one thing I would add is my ex-“husband” made WAY faster progress forward then me.

      • Hi Finding Answers, your ex-“husband” may have made WAY faster progress forward than you, if the measure of progress is worldly goods, “fame & fortune” etc. But I bet you are making WAY faster progress than him when it comes to godliness, personal integrity, honouring and following God. I bet he has almost zero fruits of the Spirit, whereas I know you have lots of fruits of the Spirit.

      • Artina

        Hi, Barb, I’m glad to know my interpretation of the Matthew Bible’s Malachi 2:16 made sense to you and may be helpful for others. Thanks for letting me know!

    • Helovesme

      Really liked this:

      “as if the ugliness is the divorce itself. It seems like a label given without ever discussing abuse, exploitation, entitlement, superficial bonding.”

      AND:

      “But at least your compensation will ease her way and be a positive step for dealing/healing the hate you’ve had for her, which is a hindrance to you.”

      Lastly:

      “I don’t equate the word divorce with the word death. Things change, but it seems to me that a person can’t write significant people out of their storyline completely (or I can’t anyway)”

      Artina wrote beautifully in revealing more of the “heart” of Malachi 2:16. I have to point out how she observed the impact of societal norms that often favors males: “in this culture, will be less negatively affected and have better options to go forward than she will. ”

      As a general rule, I think we can be very intolerant and are in need of much needed empathy. This is true especially within the church.

      I hope this analogy brings to light some of the unfairness, not to mention callousness that is so often and so carelessly lobbed at women:

      I don’t have kids of my own. I’ve never given birth. I’ve listened to women talk about their experiences. One woman, years ago, was talking about how a woman can push and push to give birth, but becomes so exhausted that she simply cannot push anymore. So the doctors will likely decide to do a C-section in order to complete the birthing process.

      Sometime a C-section is planned ahead of time, depending on certain factors. Sometimes is is NOT planned, again depending on certain factors.

      When this woman brought this up, I noticed how she did not condemn such women whose strength had given out before the baby could be born. She also did not bring up a certain amount of hours of pushing that would cause her to conclude that such women were telling the truth: when she says she can’t push any longer, she is not making it up. You don’t look at her and say something like, it’s only been X amount of time. You shouldn’t be so tired.

      It was a general observation this woman made. We didn’t get into factors like the woman’s age, medical history or if she was in good physical shape before and during the pregnancy. All of those are factors that may or may not make a difference in how the actual labor and birthing proceeds.

      How many hours of general labor, and then actual pushing—-is considered “enough,” before your strength is “allowed” to give out and it’s time to consider other options?

      I’m not going to throw any numbers out. Not even hypothetical numbers. No woman should feel bad because someone else endured X amount of time, while she endured less amount of time. And no woman should be allowed to hold it over the head of such a woman: I’m better than you because your strength gave out before mine.

      What is the message being sent: you couldn’t endure, say, X more amount of time? You could have pushed the baby out if you had just given it that time. You must not love your baby as much as these other “stronger” women obviously do.

      How MUCH is considered “X more” amount of time to you, versus someone else? You both might have vastly different numbers in mind.

      I remember reading Clara Hinton’s blog—-she was married for around 40 years to a serial pedophile and an abuser. She would write about horrible experiences, say, at the 10 or 15 or 20 year mark of their marriage.

      Now, I have the benefit of hindsight in reading all of this. I became quite depressed in knowing that she had many more years ahead of her before she became free of him.

      My question is NOT: why did you stay? Or, why didn’t you leave?

      My question is: how did you manage to stay? How did you endure this?

      Can you imagine a woman “bragging” that she held out for 40 years, while another woman held out for a lesser amount of years. Wow, it’s too bad your’e not as strong as I was. Too bad your strength gave out far sooner.

      And again, certain factors make all the difference. Your physical health, emotional stability, whatever opportunities are or aren’t available to you. Do you have any support, any encouragement, anyone at all? If not, can you endure all of this alone?

      Clara spoke of having to find work, and she had been a stay at home mom for all (or most) of those years, for example. And she did, thankfully—-but that highlights my point.

      Most women try to prepare for giving birth. They attempt to build up skills to help them endure. But even with that preparation, actual birthing may not go as planned. It is far different to plan for something and then actually experience it!

      Can you imagine telling a woman to endure an abusive marriage just X more amount of time, because things might change in that amount of time. Don’t tell me your strength has given out. Just give it X more amount of time—–don’t you love your God, your spouse, your kids?

      Look at this other woman who endured X more amount of time than you, and THEN she left. At least she gave it the “right” amount of time before her strength was “allowed” to give out.

      I remember reading a post on Facebook pointing to the VERY subjective topic of what is or isn’t considered “overreacting.” One comment was about physical pain that I could relate to. I did not question her about how long her pain lasted, versus mine—-and I didn’t question her pain tolerance versus mine!

      I also didn’t compare notes: was your pain like 5 knives stabbing you, or like 50? Did you have to call someone for support, or did you get through it alone? Did you cry? Did you pray? Did you feel like you were going to die, it was so bad? Or was it NOT so bad, but you were still afraid your life was in danger?

      Oh, it was only 5 minutes? Well I made it through 10 minutes, so I guess you were “overreacting” and I was not. I mean, I had strength to spare. I got up off the floor unassisted. Did you need help to get up, or did it take you awhile before you could pick yourself up?

      “Make up your mind!” (from Artina’s post)

      Yes indeed. Make up your mind. How much longer are you going to ask her to tolerate a husband who is scorning her? How much longer are you going to tell her to patiently endure that scorning—-which also means that you don’t love her, but you won’t send her away.

      So, she is to be strong and tolerate you for X amount of time. You will sit around for X amount of time, scorning her but telling her to endure it—-for the determined X amount of time.

      Her strength can’t give out because you have told her that it can’t. For X amount of time. Until he is ready to make up his mind and then actually do something to bring her pain to an end.

      This is also beneficial to the husband, but as Artina pointed out, the negativity will likely disfavor her over him. But no doubt it is to his benefit to release her.

      Doctors are more merciful than this. They care about the health of the woman and the baby. They will not “order” a woman to be more pain tolerant if she insists that she has reached her limit. She has made up her mind. She is the one in labor. She has every right to announce when she has given all she has got, and has no more left to give.

      I’m counting on Barb and Reaching out to know if this comment is okay to post—-the twistings and turnings may or may not cause more confusion, not clarity as I am intending!

      One more thing about birthing. It’s not pretty to look at or hear about. However, it’s a part of bringing life into the world. The ugliness of actual birthing is simply what it takes to bring a human being out of the womb. And the result is what we (hopefully) focus on the most, while not forgetting (hopefully) what it took to make that a reality.

      Artina pointed out how the very word of “divorce” is seen as ugly, without going into the ugliness of what LED to that divorce, which is far more consequential.

      Post-divorce (hopefully) will yield results that outweigh and outshine the ugliness of whatever pain and suffering caused that divorce. If possible, we won’t focus on the blood, sweat and tears. We will focus on love, life and liberty instead.

      (By the way, I tend to define the cross as blood, sweat and tears. Nothing pretty as He endured the unthinkable. But look what came out of all of that!)

      “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

      • Finding Answers

        Helovesme,

        Your descriptive use of X in the birthing and pain analogies was apt.

        X is an unknown variable from person to person.

        X is an unknown variable for a given individual on different occasions.

        As you clearly identified in your comment, when X is changed from a variable to a constant, comparisons between individuals OR for a given individual on different occasions run rampant.

        For me, I have experienced a wide range of (not always physical) painful experiences. Sometimes I cope with the pain well, sometimes I berate myself for my (false belief) that I am not coping with the (not always physical) pain very well.

        MANY times I am convicted by the Holy Spirit for judging myself (and my pain threshold) harshly.

        I am convicted of changing X from a variable to a constant.

  5. Finding Answers

    Helovesme commented (11TH SEPTEMBER 2019 – 12:09 PM) “No, I STILL say it’s too simplistic to say—-God loves or hates divorce—-but He loves to see His children safe from harm.”

    ^That.

    From the original post “If thou hatest her, put her away, saith the Lord God of Israel, and give her a clothing for the scorn, saith the Lord of hosts. Look well then to your spirit, and despise her not.
    — Malachi 2:16 in the Matthew Bible, published in 1537.”

    ^That does not say if God loves or hates divorce. He (God) DOES, however, provide instructions to men who hate their wives. If He (God) provides instructions on how to protect wives that are hated by their husbands, He (God) does not seem to despise the wife.

    God’s plans cover man’s hatred of the his (the man’s) hate with His (God’s) love.

    • I like your analogy with the birth process, He Loves Me. 🙂

    • Helovesme

      Thank you both so much. I’m glad it made sense and that it blessed anyone!

      I can relate to the tolerance and exhaustion elements very well, despite never having given birth.

      First of all, when trauma or traumas occur, your perception of “time” can radically change.

      I had to pray and seek the Lord about releasing and separating myself from toxic persons. I don’t label them as “abusive,” but toxicity carries a strong poison with it, even if it does not fit the exact definition of abusive.

      I couldn’t recall how LONG I’d tried with these persons. Not because I did not want to, but because I honestly could not recall. My memory struggled badly. So I couldn’t determine if it had not tried hard enough, or long enough.

      As frustrating as that can be, I tried to let the time aspect go. Let the Lord determine if you have suffered long, long enough!

      Since I endured abuse as a child. that DOES factor into how long or how NOT long I can suffer long. It doesn’t mean I am entitled to bail out when I please, but I know where I am weak due to previous traumas that have left their marks.

      And I have NO shame in admitting that I carry those scars. NONE. Abuse is shameful and inflicted upon us shamelessly, by abusers who have no shame. What in the HECK do I have to be ashamed of exactly?

      We don’t condemn a person who has a disease that left their heart weakened for good. We should treat them more carefully because of it.

      If I know that you’re a survivor of a mass shooting, do you really think I would shoot off fireworks around you, likely re-traumatizing and re-triggering you?

      Back to my terrible dilemmas. I wondered if I should stick it out. Give them more time. Maybe they just needed more time. They need more time to learn. Maybe I needed to learn to suffer long by suffering longer. Maybe I need more time to learn, too.

      All of those are valid things to consider. But to tell the truth, when coming to the Lord. I’m exhausted. I have reached the end, or near the end of my strength. They have worn me out, worn me down, and I am about to disintegrate!

      IF and only IF you want me to keep laboring in Your love, regarding these people, then GIVE me Your love to labor in. GIVE me the strength. Give to me, so I can give to them.

      And please give me Your love for me as well—-just for me. I feel unloved and unwanted. I need to know that I am loved by You, apart from anyone and everyone else.

      These were such hard and horrible choices to make—-but I decided to let them go. I cannot describe how strongly I felt like a failure. I had failed them, failed Him, failed myself. I had set out to set an example of Him, and it fell flat. Had I not done a good enough job, or was He satisfied that I had done my best, regardless of a lack of results?

      Extracting yourself from those persons, trying to leave them in the past—-but then ALSO trying to remain AND live in the present, while also looking to the future (what now, Lord?)—-requires the supernatural strength of the Lord. Don’t depend on your own strength. His is much better, more potent, and freely and amply available.

      He loves to give it, and we should love to take it. You can ask for it and you will never be turned down. It is His love expressed in a most beautiful way: His desire to take care of you.

      In the midst of trauma and tragedy—-there is a small smile to be had among the many tears.

      • Finding Answers

        Helovesme commented (12TH SEPTEMBER 2019 – 1:15 PM) “First of all, when trauma or traumas occur, your perception of “time” can radically change.”

        ^That.

        In the same comment, Helovesme wrote “And please give me Your love for me as well—-just for me……”

        ^That.

        In the same comment, Helovesme wrote “…..Don’t depend on your own strength. His is much better, more potent, and freely and amply available.”

        Thank you for reminding me of ^That. 🙂

        In the same comment, Helovesme wrote “He loves to give it, and we should love to take it. You can ask for it and you will never be turned down. It is His love expressed in a most beautiful way: His desire to take care of you.”

        Thank you for reminding me of ^That too. 🙂

  6. Helovesme

    I need those reminders, too!!

    I can talk it up, but living it out is another thing.

    Thanks as always for your generous replies and uplifting comments!

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