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I am divorcing my wife
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Post I am divorcing my wife Help4ABishop
I need help. I don't know a way to get that help just by approaching someone and asking for it. Within the COG system, to do so would mean career suicide. This doesn't change my need for help.

I need advice from other ministers, preferably seasoned ministers of the COG. Ordained Bishops, or Ordained licensed who have been in this for a while, and know the system. I don't necessarily want all the details of my issue posted on this forum.

The summary of my problem is this. I have been married for over a decade. I have children. I am going to divorce my wife.

Before everyone jumps on this and tells me the obvious, I know that God hates divorce. I know that the wedding vows are sacred. Before you make commentaries about my situation, please be advised that you do not know what I have lived with for these years. I find that our relationship has so deteriorated that we are not only harming one another, but are also doing irreparable harm to our children. I know what the answer is.

My concern is this: what happens to the COG Minister who divorces his spouse? I don't feel any less called to the ministry. I don't feel finished with what the Lord wants me to do. I feel I need a healing time after all this goes down, where I don't minister for a time. But what happens? Do I have to surrender my credentials? Do I have to go through restoration?

I sincerely believe that even given the fact that I have children, and have been married for such a substantial period of time, that I could obtain an ecclesiastical annulment from my wife. I just don't know if I want our personal business dragged through a church tribunal or witch hunt.

Being able to speak to a former or current state official would be ideal. Is there anyone who can help me? I need wise counsel. This is not something I want to drag out on this message board. I want to communicate on a personal level with someone who can sincerely help, and offer me sound advice.

This isn't a joke. This isn't a discussion starter. I'm not hiring an attorney tomorrow. I know this is going to be devastating to my church, and very difficult for my family. Please help me.
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8/8/07 10:51 am


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Post John Haywood
if you don't remarry you get to keep you license. if you do remarry your divorce has to be for unfaithfulness on your wife part or that she abanned you and didn't want to be part of you ministry or life. if i can help you more email johnstjo3@sbcglobal.net Acts-celerater
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8/8/07 10:57 am


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Post Re: I am divorcing my wife Phil Hoover
Help4ABishop wrote:
Before everyone jumps on this and tells me the obvious, I know that God hates divorce. .



Yes, but God doesn't hate the PEOPLE who are involved in the divorce.

Always remember that.

While God does hate divorce...there are ALOT OF OTHER THINGS IN THE BIBLE that God also hates....

Praying for you here.


Phil Hoover
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8/8/07 10:59 am


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Post KariJay
Help4ABishop...contact John3. This is something he knows about and he's a SEASONED minister (sorry Papa! Smile ha ha!)

Praying for you!
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8/8/07 11:06 am


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Post Help4ABishop
Thanks Phil. I needed to hear that. There's a lot of guilt in this for me. A lot of shame. I know that the call of God is without repentance. I know that He forgives. It's just all very difficult.

Thanks for praying.
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8/8/07 11:06 am


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Post Please feel my deepest sympathies... prefontaine
I will pray for you now, and until we hear an update. I am young, and not extremely seasoned, but I feel that I have been involved in a couple situations that allow me to speak into this situation a little. From a total stranger's point of view, it sounds like you priorities are out of whack. Isn't career suicide better than marriage suicide?? You come across as trying to 'get away with something'. Trying to do something you know you shouldn't, and not suffer any of the consequences. Now, if your wife has been unfaithful to you, my advise is to first try to reconcile...your marriage and your life will be so much better for it. If she has not been unfaithful, then what is there that two people who profess Christianity can't work through?? You have God on your side...no weapon formed against you, your wife, or your marriage will prosper. Good luck in your situation, and I will pray for you.
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8/8/07 11:10 am


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Post For What It's Worth Allen King
Please know that I am praying for you. What you are facing is by no means exclusive to you. There are many in ministry who face this same dilemma. My wife and I have been married for 27 years and I have been in ministry for nearly 30. I have probably faced every emotion and been tempted by every destructive thought one could have from time to time.
However, I would suggest that one of the first steps you should take might be to consider stepping away from ministry for a while until all this is settled. I do not know your situation, but I might assume that perhaps the pressures of ministry might be part of the cause.
God can save your marriage and your family. I believe that would be His ultimate desire, but there are two considerations here.

1- If the strain of ministry is causing much of the strain in your marital relationship, you would do a great service to your family by stepping away for a time of healing.
2- If healing does not occur and divorce is the option you choose, you will be able to think more clearly, allow time for personal healing, and have more credibility if you step away for a while.

I realize the implications of such a decision. The financial issues alone are staggering. Yet, in the long run, when you return God can restore.
I would also suggest counseling, preferably from someone outside your denominational peer group.
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Last edited by Allen King on 8/8/07 11:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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8/8/07 11:33 am


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Post we'll be praying for you Steve Morrison
I just wanted to let you know that we (my family and church) will be praying for you. Your situation is not as uncommon as you might think. I have a good friend that in the last year has went through separation and is heading for divorce at this moment. He attempted to continue pastoring, but in the end decided to take some time off. He to was married for a lengthy amount of time and had children as well. Actually, two good friends in the CoG over the last year with very similar situations (similar to each other, obviously I don't know your situation.)

Feel free to contact me, although I believe others can give you better practical (ie, CoG limits, restoration needs, etc) advice, I can certainly listen to you and pray for you.

God bless.

bishopmorrison@yahoo.com
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8/8/07 11:34 am


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Post prefontaine wrote: The strict Constructionis
Quote:
what is there that two people who profess Christianity can't work through


Yes, they may "profess" Christ, but unless both are "walking in the Spirit", the door is left wide open for Satan to destroy their marriage.

Assuming what this brother says is true, I'll bet you that his wife is NOT a spiritual person. She does not seek God about her attitude or her marriage. Nor does she seek to apply scriptural principles to this situation. She walks in emotion. What she "needs" and "feels" is first and foremost to her, not what "thus saith the Lord". Since she "feels" a certain way, then it must be so. Thus, she wallows in self-pity and justifies the way she treats her husband accordingly. Again, this is assuming what this brother says is true.

I used to teach that both parties were always at fault in a divorce. I don't believe that anymore.
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8/8/07 11:40 am


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Post Bro, my prayers are certainly with you now...... caseyleejones
I would also agree with prefont on this as well.

Which do you feel is more important, healing your marriage or retaining your license. I don't want you to feel that this question goes outside the parameters of what you requested. But you have suggested annulment. Is that correct?

But my wife and I had to deal with a situation such as this. We were accountability partners to be exact. This other couple made some huge mistakes. The focus of their conversations was more about retaining their ministry within the church than their marriage. As a result, they lost the complete ministry and they basically exist with each other.
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8/8/07 11:41 am


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Post strict,.. caseyleejones
...with all due respect, you are going on limited information. Your post went from A to Z without hearing the whole story and not hearing both sides. Acts-perienced Poster
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8/8/07 11:45 am


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Post Strict... prefontaine
I read nothing in his post that suggests any of what you said. For all we know - as strangers - he may be the selfish one. I'm not saying he is, but it is a far reach at best, to assume she is alone in the problems without more information. Not to mention, when a person is unfaithful, and the marriage is saved an healed, it is the fault of one party, but the effort of both that saves the marriage.
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8/8/07 11:50 am


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Post My brothers The strict Constructionis
Quote:
Before you make commentaries about my situation, please be advised that you do not know what I have lived with for these years.


This is what the brother said. He has "lived" with something that has brought him to this point.
It's more than her not putting the cap back on the toothpaste.

I fully admit I'm guessing. But I'll bet my guess is a good one.
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8/8/07 12:12 pm


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Post strict, you are still only getting one side..... caseyleejones
Basing this on what is said...

1) retaining license is the focal point of the conversation, not the marriage

2) the idea of annulment has been interjected

3) The idea of healing is after the divorce but no mention of healing the marriage.

Beyond that, its purely speculation.

Strict, there are no details other than "something that brought him to this point". That is hardly proof of anything.....
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8/8/07 12:24 pm


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Post Nightsky4
Help4ABishop wrote:
Thanks Phil. I needed to hear that. There's a lot of guilt in this for me. A lot of shame. I know that the call of God is without repentance. I know that He forgives. It's just all very difficult.

Thanks for praying.


What is it that God needs to forgive?
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8/8/07 12:41 pm


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Post TheoloJohn
As one whose first wife left him many years ago (against my will and against God's will) I can say from painful experience that thinking a divorce will solve your problems (especially if you have children together) is wishful thinking at its worst. Divorce solves few (if any) personal problems, and usually just makes am already problematic relationship worse.

"The answer" is not you initiating a divorce, brother. If your wife initiates the divorce, there's not much you can do about it, as I sadly found out myself when my wife did precisely that because I would not turn my back on God and the ministry.

Going through a divorce is a very long and lonely road to walk, one which I would never recommend to anyone. Whether or not the CoG would approve of your divorce isn't really the issue, either. As I'm sure you know, Paul said that Christians should not divorce, but if the unbeliever departs, let him depart. It doesn't say "If a believer can't get along with his wife, he's free to divorce her if he wants to."

My advice would be to find a reputable marriage and family therapist, who can help you both work through your differences.

If you are harming each other and your kids (I assume mean to imply physical abuse?) as the man of the house you simply need to set rules in place against such physical abuse, and directly tell your wife if she's going to live with you, she must not abuse you or the kids. I also am assuming you are not the one guilty of abusive behavior in this relationship; if you are, you have no grounds for divorce but instead simply need to repent of such ungodliness.

We will be praying for you and your wife, that the peace of God reign in your marriage.
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8/8/07 12:55 pm


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Post Link
For spiritual reasons, why don't you step down as bishop. The Bible says a bishop must rule his own house well. You don't need the responsibility of leading in the household of faith like this while you should be focusing on your own household. The Bible does not say that a preacher or teacher must rule his house well to be a preacher or teacher. But it does say that about the bishop (i.e. elder of the church.)

If it comes to the point of discussing divorce, why don't you just separate and both live separate? Especially if the root of the problem is a relationship problem rather than adultery on her part. Paul wrote to the wife not to depart from her husband. But if she departs, she is to remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.

If you divorce because you don't love each other anymore, there is no Biblical grounds for remarrying. It's adultery. Most people don't realize that these days, it seems.

If the problem is not being able to get along, and both of you want to serve the Lord, there is still hope. I know my wife and I have gone through difficult spells when we were under stress and it was hard to get along (like her post-partum with lack of sleep from a new baby living in my parents' house unemployed, and other times.) When it seems like all you do is bicker, if you can just come before the Lord in prayer and repent, those problems can be resolved surprisingly quickly. If the problem is adultery, it's a lot more complicated, but the Lord can heal even that. Following Jesus' teachings about forgiveness and restoration and other teachings in the Bible like not letting the sun go down on your wrath can heal up a lot of problems. It's really amazing.

Good Biblical counselling with someone who can deal with you and your wife discreetly may be a good option. Marriages are under attack these days, and if you are in a leadership position, this can effect a lot more than just you. So please do consider leaving the door open for reconciliation.
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8/8/07 1:28 pm


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Post nugeme
With such life-changing and life-affecting ( the children and you) circumstances about to take place, your "ministry" should be of little importance. We're talking about occurrences that will affect people for the rest of their lives. Whether or not you can keep a credential is a small matter compared to that.
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8/8/07 2:11 pm


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Post punderwood
brother

i cannot speak for what will happen in the CofG, but i encourage you to not make plans, ask God for his hand to guide you one-day-at-a-time and follow. do what you do best, love your kids and seek their best.

go to this website and just read. it will give you some good info regarding fighting for what is right and for understanding if something is dead.

divorce hope
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8/8/07 3:55 pm


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Post RaceForTheCure
Speaking as a layperson who has never been in the ministry.

I am praying for you. None of us know what you've been through. None of us are in a position to judge you. Only you know if divorce is the solution.

I know you need support and I am lifting you up in prayer and am sorry for your situation.
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8/8/07 4:07 pm


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