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Promoting Intimacy and Other-Centered Sexuality


Divorce & Paul On Sexual Matters - by Dave

Why is it so many Christians just seem to have to find "rules" for everything? Christ clearly replaced all the rules in the Sermon On the Mount with only the rule of love. Keep reading after he says he came to fulfill not to destroy the laws and the prophets, but then reversed six of the laws, when they weren't based on love.

In biblical times divorce was not allowable (for a woman) unless the man gave her a writ of divorcement. Even today the Israel Courts have problems with this and cases are raised trying to force the woman's owner (her husband) to agree to a writ of divorce if he does not do so voluntarily.

Regarding divorce, why do we still try and apply to modern culture biblical views which have absolutely no relevance today?

Today the questions is does the women still really love the man, or has the relationship grown emotionally, spiritually or physical unfulfilling, despite their best intentions probably many years ago when they were married.

The vows of marriage should not result in biblical bondage for life, since personalities and desires change. Of course you should attempt seriously to work out problems, but the best solution may be to become re-singled.

Being free to find fulfillment outside a destructive relationships should be praised not ridiculed for the sake of the vows. The women is no longer the property of the man and should empower herself to life live to its fullest free to seek maximum love, pleasure fulfillment between two people rather living in bondage. Often divorce can be very positive. The traditional biblical teachings have no relevance for today's culture and the freedom of women to empower themselves.

In biblical times the women was the property of her husband, who could freely give her a writ of divorcement at any time. Of course the women could never divorce the man, since she was his property.

A man could have as many wives and concubines as he wished and these relationships were never questioned except Paul s suggestion of elders only having one wife in only two early Churches. He does not include this direction for other Churches and its only for elders.  Greek is one of those languages (unlike English) where "a" and "one" share the same word. Thus, while "man of one wife" is ONE possible translation, "man of a wife" - or "married man" may be another, and seems more sensible. It seems more sensible because an elder should be someone with experience in relationships.

In biblical times most were married by 14 and died at 30. Love had nothing to do with marriage. A man s social and economic prestige was tied to the number of wives and children he had as well as the number of his herds, servants etc. Because both children and wives worked in his fields or helped with the household, they were closely tied to his economic prosperity and reputation.

The husband took a mans daughter as his wife after a suitable financial agreement was made with her father (the marriage price). If the man also liked another daughter, he might return to negotiate for her as another wife - with the father - the women had no say.

Today Christian women and men often act as if they are still in this cultural bondage. Today relationships and marriage are built on love not property rights. People change over time and sometimes one of the partners grows more than the other or feelings change over time that make marriage a "living hell" not the loving union that was originally intended. People change over time and being locked into an unloving union may be far less what Christ would want than agreeing you are no longer compatible and best for each other and becoming resingled.

Just as many marry for the wrong reasons (often to supposedly legitimize sex), many stay married for the wrong reasons. By becoming resingled you may be released to be the wonderfully loving person you are with women more compatible than present wife. Christ's teaching of love, may dictate its much more Christian to move on then have your love trampled by incompatibilities in the marriage. Likewise you would want your spouse to find more love again with someone else.

Paul On Sexual Matters
Paul was a poor authority when it came to matters of sex. He remained single all his life and wished that all men were as he. He saw marriage as a last resort for those who couldn't control their sexual desires. Said Paul, "it is better to marry than to burn" (I Cor. 7:8-9). He thought marriage was good for younger widows to keep them from growing idle and becoming "gossips and busybodies" (I Tim.5:13). Although Paul was a devout follower of Christ who communed intimately with the Lord, it is fair to say that he didn't fully appreciate the love which God created to be shared between two people."

Much of Paul's teachings about women reflected the cultural of his time. The Church teaches Paul's sexual prohibitions yet ignore many other of Paul's teachings such as that women should be silent and keep their heads covered in Church. This was for specific cultural reasons. We also must remember that in Biblical times, there was no birth control. Children were the natural result of sex, which was not desirable outside a stable family.

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