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What God Has Put Together


This powerpoint only serves as an introduction; many studies to follow. Some areas are ... Bigamy and polygamy. No marriage license. Psychological incapacity ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What God Has Put Together

What God Has Put Together
  • The Dissolution of Marriage in Christian
  • Rolan Monje, BD, MMin and
  • Rico Salcedo, JD

  • Grateful we can learn and discuss together
  • We do this as a spiritual family
  • This powerpoint only serves as an introduction
    many studies to follow
  • Some areas are understandably difficult or
  • We can arrive at basic principles though
    practicalities may vary

Theme verse
  • Havent you read, Jesus replied, that at
    the beginning the Creator made them male and
    female, and said, For this reason a man will
    leave his father and mother and be united to his
    wife, and the two will become one flesh ?
  • So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore
    what God has joined together, let man not
    separate. Mt 19.4-6

Marriage divorce issues
  • Discussed in the Bible, though in Jewish context,
    and not as thoroughly as we may wish
  • Combination of three spheres or components
    biblical, pastoral, legal
  • These three components interlock and interplay in
    varying degrees

Various aspects of divorce issues
  • Doctrinal component has to do with Biblical
    standards heart behind Gods commands takes
    priority in decisions
  • Pastoral component has to do with how church
    members and friends help the individuals
    concerned, working out a plan while helping teach
    and counsel
  • Legal component has to do with the relevant
    laws, based on the citizenship of the individuals
    concerned e.g. divorce is non-existent in the
    Philippine setting for a couple who are both
    Filipino citizens

Components of divorce issues
  • The biblical, pastoral, and legal aspects are
  • No aspect can be excluded from the picture,
    although the doctrinal aspect takes highest
    priority, with the pastoral aspect following
  • Any situation should be assessed in view of all
    three components

  • Gods heart ? as a perfect loving Father
  • Divine standards ? because He knows best
  • Timeless Principles ? to guide our hearts

Biblical principles nature of marriage
  • Marriage is between a male and a female (Gen
    1.27 Matt 19.4)
  • Marriage involves sexual union (1 Co 6.16) vs.
    fornication and adultery
  • Marriage involves a covenant before God (Mal

Biblical principles duration of marriage
  • Marriage is a lifelong commitment (Matt 19.6 Rom
  • Marriage is not eternal (Matt 22.30)

Points of agreement in Christendom
  • Divorce is not Gods ideal (Mal 2.16), i.e. it is
    permitted but not intended (Matt 19.8)
  • Divorce is not permissible for every cause (Matt
    19.9 except for immorality fornication, and
    marries commits adultery)
  • Divorce creates problems

Conflicting views
  • No grounds for divorce
  • One ground for divorce (Grk porneia in Matt
    19.9, meaning marital unfaithfulness)
  • Many grounds for divorce

  • Biblical texts strive to prevent and limit
    divorce. Jesus teaches that divorce is evidence
    of a hardness of heart, and is merely an
    accommodation for it (Matt 5, 19). In Matt
    5.31-32, Jesus condemns a mans selfish actions
    but also shows that a woman sins when she

  • Only in extreme cases should a Christian be
    willing to leave his/her spouse. In fact, the
    goal of having a non-Christian spouse is to win
    that person over, despite all difficulties ( 1 Co
    7). Note that this section seems to place both
    the husband and wife on equal terms.

  • Church Involvement ? spiritual guidance
  • Counseling ? individual, intimate talks

Pastoral/Counseling Aspects
  • Principles before practice to understand the
    big picture, Biblical principles before getting
    into details
  • Biblical before pastoral to grasp the heart of
    God before practical/church matters
  • Pastoral before legal to assist in
    spiritual/emotional guidance before legalities

Goals of counseling
  • To assess the marriage
  • To bring to light issues of the heart
  • To give Scriptural perspective
  • To address sin problems and sinful tendencies
  • To work on a plan (e.g. 6-month marriage
    revitalization plan) for repentance even before
    annulment is considered

Pastoral/Counseling aspects
  • Steps in counseling
  • Prayer
  • Assessment of status of marriage
  • Evaluation of legality of marriage
  • Bible study of expectations of God
  • Counseling appointments (together apart)
  • Recommendations and 6-month plan

Counseling talks
  • Questions to ask the individuals
  • What is the background of the marriage?
  • What has contributed for it to get to this point?
  • Is there physically harm involved?
  • Why do you wish to file for annulment?
  • Have you read your Bible on this?
  • Have you prayed about this?
  • Have you done everything Biblically to save your

Counseling talks
  • Examples of sin issues that arise when a couple
    considers divorce (Mt 5, Mk 7)
  • Failure to open up on marriage or family
    problems, which build up after some time
  • Unrighteous attraction to another person
  • Past sin not dealt with or unconfessed
  • Immature or hopeless attitude of escape from
    conflict or problems
  • Giving to pressure from friends or in-laws

Counseling talks
  • Mt 5 and Mk 7 tell us that divorce is more a
    heart issue than anything else Jesus tells us
    that divorce is a sad revelation of the state of
  • Unlike the latitude of interpretations of Deut
    24, only in the most severe and limited cases
    (e.g. criminal liabilities, psychological
    incapacity, etc.) is divorce/annulment
    entertained in church settings
  • Dealing with heart problems and sinful tendencies
    in a spiritual and guided way can be effective to
    save marriages such that divorce/annulment will
    not be necessary

Counseling Talks
  • In the book Surviving an Affair, William Harley
    advices a 6-month idealized and guided
    program to save marriages on the brink of
    collapse. Even non-Christian couples have been
    reunited by this structured program.
  • In the book Connecting, Larry Crabb tells us
    that most relational problems stem from a failure
    to connect with people. Working on ways to
    connect with spiritual friends solves problems

Recommended Reading
  • The Act of Marriage, The Beauty of Sexual Loveby
    Tim and Beverly La Haye
  • Boundaries in Marriageby Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr.
    John Townsend
  • Communication, Key To Your Marriageby H. Norman
  • Fit To Be Tied, Making Marriages Last a
    Lifetimeby Bill and Lynne Hybels

Recommended Reading
  • Surviving an Affair
  • by Willard F. Harley, Jr.
  • The Five Love Languagesby Dr. Gary Chapman
  • The Grace Awakeningby Charles R. Swindoll
  • His Needs, Her Needs, Building and Affair-Proof
    Marriage by Willard F. Harley, Jr.

Part III
  • God expects us to follow the laws of the land
  • Our conscience dictates that we abide by the
    legal procedures prescribed by the state of which
    we are citizens

Legal Aspects
  • Relevant Laws of the Land
  • Executive Order No. 209The Family Code of the
  • I. Marriage
  • II. Legal Separation
  • III. Rights and Obligations
  • IV. Property Relations
  • V. The Family, etc.

  • Republic Act No. 386The Civil Code of the
  • Other pertinent laws regarding protection of
    women, custody of children, etc.

Validity of a marriage
  • Marriage license
  • Marriage certificate
  • Testimony of officiating minister
  • Testimony of witnesses
  • Etc.

Dissolution of marriage in the Philippines (post
  • Annulment
  • Declaration of nullity
  • Divorce by an alien spouse
  • Declaration of presumptive death
  • Muslim divorce

Action for Annulment (voidable)
  • Lack of parental consent (gt18,lt21)
  • Consent obtained through fraud
  • Consent obtained through force or intimidation
  • Insanity or soundness of mind
  • Impotence
  • Affliction with STD

Action for declaration of nullity of marriage
(void marriage)
  • Underage (even with parental consent)
  • No authority to solemnize
  • Bigamy and polygamy
  • No marriage license
  • Psychological incapacity
  • Subsequent marriage with incomplete documentation
  • Incest
  • Breach of public policy

Divorce vs. annulment
  • In divorce (which is non-existent in the
    Philippines), the grounds or reasons for such
    arise during the marriage. In declaration of
    nullity of a marriage (as provided for by the
    Family Code), the grounds or reasons are already
    existing even before the marriage, but such
    grounds may have manifested themselves only
    during the marriage.
  • In practical effect, however, both divorce and
    declaration of nullity of a marriage allow the
    former spouses to get married again to other

e.g. psychological incapacity
  • Article 36 of the Family Code provides, "A
    marriage contracted by any party who, at the time
    of the celebration, was psychologically
    incapacitated to comply with the essential
    marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise
    be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest
    only after its solemnization."

Legal separation vs. annulment
  • The grounds or reasons are different, and more
    importantly, in legal separation, the spouses are
    not allowed to get married again to other
    parties. The wife also still has to use her
    husband's surname.

Other factors to consider
  • The rights of a woman (especially in view of Mark
    10.12 and 1 Cor 7.15)
  • The right to remarry (Matt 19.9)
  • Legal separation as allowed by the state
    (divortium a toro et mensa)

Moving Forward
  • The church will continue to build up the
    marriages in the congregation, and seek proactive
    measures to strengthen couples in both large
    group and small group settings
  • Leaders must be aware of the three components of
    divorce/annulment issues
  • Couples must not be hasty in their
    decision-making even though admittedly the final
    decision belongs to them
  • Situations must be tackled on a case-to-case
    basis, with much prayer and Bible study

Closing Thoughts
  • Marriage issues bear upon interrelated doctrinal,
    pastoral, and legal components with spiritual
    components (especially preventive counselling)
    necessarily taking greater weight.
  • Gods word is clear and simple, yet we
    acknowledge that there are multiple involved
  • Dissolution of marriage, while in Gods
    concessionary will, is not in his ideal will.
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