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1 Over 50% of marriages end in divorce. The author uses the bible and real life experiences to show the reader why the stats are so high. He also demystifies the teachings of Christ concerning marriage and divorce. THE LAWS OF MARRIAGE (& DIVORCE & REMARRIAGE) Buy The Complete Version of This Book at Booklocker.com:

2 The Laws of Marriage (and Divorce and Remarriage) By Jon Clerry

3 Copyright 2006 Jon Clerry ISBN ISBN All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. Printed in the United States of America. Booklocker.com, Inc. 2006

4 Chapter 1 WHY READ THIS BOOK Obviously this is a book about marriage. You might be thinking why read this book versus the many others on the bookshelves. In time, hopefully, many will read this book because it has been recommended by wise counsel. For the time being however, while the book is unknown, you will have to have something of a pioneering spirit or be led of the Spirit to read The Laws of Marriage. Just so you know, you have my sympathy trying to decide whether this is THE book or another would be better. If you are looking for a book written by a leading psychologist, you need to look further; this one isn't. If you are looking for a book written by a leading pastor, again you need to look further. If however you are looking for a book written by someone who's "street wise", read on. As my wife and I and a number of close friends traveled the rough roads of marital crisis, I read all the books on the subject I could find. These books were written either by psychologists or Christian counselors. Both types fell short of what we were needing and what is needed to stem the tide of broken marriages. 1

5 Jon Clerry While the books written by psychologists gave excellent explanations as to why people behave the way they do, they were all lacking in one thing. None of them had an absolute standard to base their answers on. Without some infallible standard, the recommendations offered by these books are little more than interesting theories. A theory is an awfully shaky thing to base decisions on when those decisions will have life long consequences. For this reason I switched to books (and counselors) who used God's word as their standard. The "Christian" books also proved to have a problem. They either dealt with how a marriage should work ideally or gave fire and brimstone threats against divorce. This is with one exception, "LOVE MUST BE TOUGH" by Dobson. Dobson's book deals with marriages in disarray due to adultery, etc. and what to do to turn them back around. It's an excellent book but has one major shortcoming; he deals with the problem from only one side. I got the impression from reading the book that all the blame should be placed on the one who is "unfaithful". For some reason, maybe to address one specific audience, he fails to recognize that often both sides are being unfaithful. As an example; the one from having an affair, the other from starving their mate. The major shortcoming with all the "Christian" books I read is they tippy toe through the parts that need to be shouted 2

6 The Laws of Marriage (and Divorce and Remarriage) to the rooftops. After reading these books there is almost no reason to expect affairs, divorce, etc.in your life; only in someone else s. Also, one gets the impression that only a despicable person would engage in such things. Since we are finding many Christians caught up in all aspects of these problems, the picture being painted is not true to life. On the other hand if you study the Bible, God repeatedly warns us that we are headed for a fall unless we do as he originally planned. Therein lies the theme for this book. There are specific laws governing our life here on earth. These laws apply to our finances as pointed out so well by Ken Copeland. And they apply equally well to marriage and all other aspects of our lives. If these laws are violated, the consequences are predictable. ANSWERS FROM CHURCH MISLEADING In the course of seeking Christian counsel, I was repeatedly amazed to find that all the unbelievable things happening to us were "old hat" to the counselors. I kept wondering why I had never heard of such bizarre things before. It was especially puzzling since we were both well read on the subject of having a happy marriage. Matter of fact, because of the business we are involved in, we were considered experts of a sort on helping 3

7 Jon Clerry couples with their marriages. Why then were we so ignorant of where the road we were on could lead. At one point divorce seemed immanent in our marriage. You'd think by now (2000 years after Christ's coming) the church would have the questions about divorce well defined. Not so. The advice is all over the map and not well researched in bible study. It turns out that the truth is available provided you are careful to compare it to God's word. But very wrong advice is being offered by many leading Christians. Once I found myself arguing with a "well studied" minister about whether Jesus really meant what he said about divorce in Matthew. At first I thought no one else could be as stupid as it seemed this minister must be. Then, seeking more expert counsel, I found many ministers hold to this distorted view. After researching the Old Testament on the same question, I satisfied myself on my interpretation. Later the Lord led me to know that I was right by leading me to many experts struggling with the same questions who verified my conclusions. Two excellent sources were tape ministries. One was a two tape series on divorce by Dr. Ed Dobson that was published by Jerry Fallwell's church. The other is a series of tapes summarizing a careful research of the Scriptures on what they say about divorce. The 4

8 The Laws of Marriage (and Divorce and Remarriage) second series is done by M. G. McLuhan a minister in Atlanta who is expert at direct translation from original Greek texts. SOME OF THE PROBLEMS When asked by the Pharisees about divorce, part of Christ's answer was to state that to divorce someone and remarry is to commit adultery i. Many churches take this and expand it to a church doctrine that in effect says divorce, or at least divorce and remarriage, is an unforgivable sin. Sometimes this is formalized into stated doctrine. Other times it surfaces as total segregation of "divorcees" from the rest of the church. Any "good bible scholar" in one of these churches can go on and give still further support for such practices by referring to Paul and Timothy's statements about not having these people serve in certain offices of the church ii. I'm among the first to admit that divorce is wrong. However, I immediately had a problem with such counseling because it contradicted what I knew about Jesus and the way he viewed things. All one has to do is look at Christ's encounter with the woman at the well iii and the woman caught in the act of adultery iv. Although one had been married to five different men and and the other had been caught in the act of adultery, Jesus reacted with love and understanding. Unlike the accusers of the 5

9 Jon Clerry woman caught in adultery He did not condemn her. As you know, when asked about stoning her, He pointed out there was no one there without sin who qualified to throw the first stone. God has been helping me fit these apparent contradictions together. Actually there is no contradiction. When Jesus says that divorce and remarriage is to commit adultery, He did not say they were unforgivable. His statement is like saying that to rob a bank is to commit stealing. Based on the woman at the well and the woman caught in adultery, divorce or remarriage or adultery are just as forgivable as any other sin. As an example, we've got to stop treating divorcees like outcasts in our churches. If we would simply open our eyes we'd see that we've been looking for the splinter in our brother's eye while having a log in our own. What log could we possibly have in our eye that would be worse than these terrible things? Try unforgiveness for one. Try reconciling our attitude with the commandment to treat your neighbor as yourself for another. How could this be so bad some ask? After all we have a terrible problem in this country with high divorce rates. Being hard on these people should surely help curb these problems. 6

10 The Laws of Marriage (and Divorce and Remarriage) The reason these are wrong is they are inconsistent with God's laws and they don't work. It's like the humanist's answer to poverty which is best known as socialism. The correct answer will go back to why the marriage is sick in the first place. Like free enterprise, marriages will work best when both partners are working to make it right. The DON'T DIVORCE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE approach is like telling the lazy partner to keep on being lazy-"we'll keep the bum straight". ANSWERS OFFERRED While arguing with God over whether to write this book (my arguments were much like those of Moses), God led me to a particular verse in the bible. Quoting Isaiah 58:1. "Shout for all you are worth, raise your voice like a trumpet. Proclaim their faults to my people,-----." Well sir that did it. So now I am shouting for all I am worth. As you'll see, our faults are many. Until we come to grips with them, marriages are going to remain in trouble. I am literally swelling up inside with all the misconceptions, inconsistencies, and incorrect counsel I've run into. And even better, with God's answers to what we need to do. Typical of the insight He has given me is the insight mentioned above about what Christ was really saying when he said that divorce and 7

11 Jon Clerry remarriage are adultery. It sounds so different when you say that robbing a bank is to commit stealing. The reason of course is we've become imbalanced in this area of our lives. The imbalance is at least in part due to the excessive over weight given the subject of sex in our society. If you're anywhere near as excited about reading God's laws for marriage as I am about writing them, you're in for a real treat. 8

12 Over 50% of marriages end in divorce. The author uses the bible and real life experiences to show the reader why the stats are so high. He also demystifies the teachings of Christ concerning marriage and divorce. THE LAWS OF MARRIAGE (& DIVORCE & REMARRIAGE) Buy The Complete Version of This Book at Booklocker.com:

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