Here comes second and final story that I use as a intro to MDR, and to bring some light on some of the issues and problems we may encounter on this topic. Let us not dwell but go straight on to the last stories.
I was in a pleasant and lively social boy-gathering… well it was not a big gathering, but we were 5 good mates gathered home of one of them. I had not seen them for three years and we had not much information about each other of these three years, therefore, there were many stories to exchanged. He who owned the house, Erik, was a good artisan and had built his house himself. A great and lovely house and I admired him for the work he had put on this house and elsewhere in his life. – Wife, children, house and car, and already now without debt. Yes a great career as artisan he had. It was like just one way for him, upwards and forward.
While we was sitting there “lie and brag” stories to each other, one of the friends, Harald, turn his face to me and said:
– “It is a great house Frank, but Erik itself is not a great house anymore.” I became a bit surprised and asked what he meant by that?
– “You see, for two years ago, his wife and Erik divorced. And now he does not know what to do. He is terribly depressed – Yes seriously depressed.”
It became completely silent in the living room, and a sultry and a moment of expectation came creeping. The only thing you could hear were the birds outside with their merry song – which really didn’t fit in – And now, all was looking at me!
– “Ok, do you now expect me to say something smart?” I asked. A careful low laughter floated over the house.
– “Alas Frank, we just want to help him, we are his friends. And unlike the rest of us here, he is an Christian like you, maybe you can talk to him?” Harald said.
At first I was a bit puzzled and thought Erik certainly had talked with others about this before, so I said:
– “Why me? Didn’t you say that we would try to help him?
– “Yes, it is us who are going to try, and we have tried… But you are already divorced, you are an Christian, so maybe there is something you can say to him that can help?
I know things not are easy after a divorce, but I was terribly insecure to go into such things in a setting we was into now, but I wanted the to contribute.
– “How can I help you Erik” I asked jokingly with a tone that implied; “Here we are going to solve problems”
– “I’m terribly depressed and don’t want to live alone anymore” Erik responds, who was now sitting in front of us.
– “For the rest of us, this is not a problem at all” responded Kristian, one of the other friend, very quickly and continued … “But yes, he is terribly depressed and I am also worried. He does not come with us on our tours anymore, even those trips where also ladies are. We say he need to get a girl, so he can don’t need to be alone, the very thing he complains about.”
Kristian is not the one who put pillows between the words when he expresses his opinion, and we all know him as that type.
I was sitting quietly and was now a bit confused. Alone? … Depressed? … I did not know where I should start.
– “Yes I have great depression due I’m alone and I visiting a psychologist,” Erik continued. “Being alone may seem not to be a great problem or anything to complain over, but for me this actually has become a serious big problem.”
– “If there is a problem to be alone after a divorce, so pick up a girl, do you not hear!. I’ve said this thousands of times to you. Stand up, be a man and get out of the depression,” Kristian was spewing out. I felt helpless, angry and frustrated when Kristian begins like this.
– “We also say the same thing to him, but perhaps in more humane way,” Harald was shooting in .
– “What my great problem is” continues Erik, “is not that I manage to get myself a girl, it’s actually not a problem at all, but I can’t.
– “You can not? I replied.
– “Can not, can not …” It was Kristian again with low voice. But Erik continued.
– “I am divorced, and can not marry again. I’ve been praying every day to get my wife back. But then, I’ve had to give up praying for that after my pastor told me that I could not take her back, although she wanted it, because she is already married to another.”
– “Who says? I’ve never heard that before. Please, you guys must forgive me, but for me, this seems even dumber … Who made that rule?” Harald was asking.
– “The Bible says so, Deuteronomy … ha … I know the Bible too.” it comes from Kristian, and he continues on something that should be a joke. “People suddenly dies, you know … and then you are the free to marry again … And it will free you from depression too. Is there anything I can help with?”
Sometimes I wish to slap Kristian in his face – hard and brutally. I have many discussions with him about the Bible, and yes he know it well. He always turn everything so that the Bible and our faith is put in a bad light, as he also tries this time. But now, it’s like I not quite can answer him black and must agree to what the Bible says. It seemed like he actually had right. Not that I gave him the right to be rude or kill someone to solve another problem, but there was something in me that somehow I could not defend of what we believers believed anymore. Do we Christians put the Bible and our faith in bad light ourselves?
– “It’s enough now Kristian, we have heard your opinion. You self wanted me to try help, so then, please let me hear what Erik has to say,” I replied sharp.
– “Maybe you miss your wife so much that you became depressed?” I asked in a way to try explain his problem.
– “No … there is not much loss or love left there in my case. Actually, I was praying to God to bring my wife back just because I din’t want be alone, and also because all Christians told me that I’m still married and should ask to get her back. No, the truth is that far too much are already ruined,” Erik replied, and continued,
– “This is also cleared out with the psychologist. We do not see that is the problem, nor that I believe God condemns me and have not forgiven me for we divorced,… but I just can’t live alone. Listen, it’s too lonely for me. I need someone … not you, but someone I can love. The problem is probably deeper and perhaps in a completely different place than what people think or want to talk about. It is that I desire because I can’t have sex anymore, or love someone with an desire within the right framework … never!”
I was surprised and perplexed by such a serious, direct, and honest explanation he came with. My joke that I could solve problems slid over to seriously helplessness.
– “But Erik, have you ask in the church? … Well, you have for sure … I mean counseling? Prayer? “I did not know or how I was going to ask, but I had to ask about something to get more out of this.
– “As I already have said, I have been with my pastor who stands for counseling in my church, the elders has prayed for me. The church is very good, warm and welcoming, but it does not seems that anything helps. I do not blame them for it. I’ve lost the desire for everything Frank. God will not forgive me for this if I fail to keep me in line. And now maybe even less when I do not want to live anymore.”
My thoughts go back and forth. Is there anything I have’t get? It can’t just be like this … I mean, is it possible that a man, or woman for that matter, who is alone can suffer so much? The church has done their work… but…Well, we can not blame them either, and I didn’t have any solution either. There must be something here that I do not know about, or have not reviled for me yet. So I asked Erik.
– “Erik, I’m sure this have been asked, but let me also ask you, why did you divorce? Was it because she had been unfaithful? If so you might as well marry again, for “whoever divorces his wife for any reason other than adultery, and marries another commits adultery.” (Mat. 19: 9) .
It was difficult to ask this because I felt I put all the blamed of the whole problem on the former wife, but I continued. – “A divorce is valid by infidelity.”
– “Well, if it had been so easy, Frank. But we divorced because we simply could not stand each other anymore. It was a terror for us both.”
Harald is of the more humble guy than Kristian is, he turns to me and asked:
– “As you know, I’m not a Christian, but I can hear that you can’t marry again if you are divorced. We’ve told Erik again and again that he should find a wife, it can’t be any problem that? But as we hear, he can not. Is it really so?”
Kristian shakes his head and and stands up. I know he’s going to regurgitate green slime and red dragons, and true enough.
– “There is nothing wrong with Erik. It is not Erik who has a problem, not at all. It is your Christianity which has great problems. You are a sect… To have such rules without looking to the man, is to be proud and arrogant. Are you all super humans? Here, I don’t give in Frank”.
Okay, Christianity has never been Kristian’s favorite. He is direct and can frighten ghost at you if you don’t know him. Like most of his kind, there is little factual arguments to chew on when they begin on this path. They usually regurgitate allegations without any hold, their minds may seem like it is completely in a different place. But now, nor do I have answer, and he got me to really think. Well, my problem was not Kristian, but to see where the problem really was. I personally know very well there is nothing wrong with Erik in himself, but what was it? Was there something wrong with the Scripture? Or was there something wrong with our understanding of Scripture? What I saw in Eriks eyes were, “It is not good for the man to be alone;” (Gen. 2:18).
I hope this can get us to reflect a bit over all the problems and questions that may come up in the discussion of divorce and remarried in the Bible. Let me just finally add a few other passages, just to tease you to take take the discussion of these things, alone or with other friends.
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,… who forbid marriage.” (1 Tim. 4:1, 3).
This scripture does not speak of forbiding to marry in general, no one would listen to such nonsense anyway. The desire God has laid down in man to have a companion and a sexual partner is too big, especially if they have been married before. For not to fall into “… adultery shall every man have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.” (1 Cor. 7: 2). For “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Gen. 2:18).
Bible Verses are taken from NASB, unless otherwise noted.
What do you think?