Divorce – Adultery – Perfection

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I was reading in Matthew Chapter 5 yesterday and 2 verses caught my eye. Now I have read that book numerous times over the years and it never registered before. Guess I must have been just reading rather then studying. But in verse 32 it states that whoever marries a divorced woman is commiting adultery. HELLOOO?? I used to be a divorced woman.. does that mean that my husband has committed adultery?

Then in the last verse 48 it states “Be ye therefore perfect…” Not try and be perfect or do your best to be perfect… just be perfect. I thought the whole idea of coming to earth was to gain a body so that we might return to our Father in Heaven. We are to try and live our lives as Christ lived His while on earth. Trying to be perfect and being perfect is not the same thing. I think I am up the creek without a paddle if I am to BE perfect while on earth instead of just TRYING to be perfect.

Any thoughts on either verses?

14 thoughts on “Divorce – Adultery – Perfection

  1. On the divorce issue, technically according to Matthew 5, adultery (by the woman) is the only valid grounds for divorce.

    So now that you’ve become an adultress, you’re free to remarry.

    Then again, in Mark 10 there are no valid grounds for divorce. Jesus there implies that all marriages are permanent; divorce is not allowed for any reason.

    Oh well, you could play the ‘this scripture contradicts that scripture’ all day long.

    I say pick the one you like and go with it.

    Buffet Bible consumption for all!

  2. I’m almost inclined to chalk this one (divorce) up to “as far as it is translated correctly”.

    Regarding the “be perfect”, why would God ask for anything less?

  3. As far as Matthew 5 goes, I’m not sure exactly how to properly resolve that one. I’d bet that a better understanding of the Jewish laws and customs regarding marriage would shed some light on it.

    The commandment to be perfect can best be understood in the context of Moroni 10:32

    Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ…

    We can’t be perfect in this life, but we can be perfected through grace.

  4. We can’t be perfect in ourselves but that is what Christ came for. To redeem us and to present us to His Father as a perfect Bride for Christ Himself. It is only through his sacrificial death at Calvary that we can be made perfect. All of good deeds are as filthy rags, according to the Bible.

  5. Jesus could have been referring to a higher law (divorce). I haven’t looked into in much detail to say one way or the other though.

    I think as far as perfection goes, however, it is important to realise that when Jesus was here, he never said he was perfect. In fact, he said that the Father was perfect. It wasn’t until after he was resurrected that he said we should be perfect as he was. We cannot be absolutely perfect as long as we are mortal. There is no harm in trying though.

  6. As to the divorce issue, I think the passage applies to a man who brings about the divorce of a married woman in order to marry her, or to a married woman whose wandering eye lights on another man and who divorces her husband in order to have the other man. However, I’m not enough of a scholar in the ancient texts to know whether I’m supported by them, and I’m not aware of any specific statements by modern prophets and apostles on the subject.

    As to the word “perfect” I recommend taking a close look at the footnote to this passage in the LDS edition of the Bible. It sheds significant light on the word’s meaning. More importantly, however, we should understand that we can indeed achieve perfection through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That’s the point of the Atonement–to do away with ALL of the impurity and imperfection so that only that which is fit to be in God’s presence and endure His glory remains.

  7. I agree with bookslinger, the word “perfect” in Mathew is “telios” and should be translated completeness or whole. Jesus is actually saying, be like your Father in heaven by being complete in every area of your life by cultivating a relationship with Him. In the context of the scripture, it is meant to infer that your Father in Heaven will give you power (commonly referred to as grace) to be whole in mind, body and spirit and walk in the commandments he had just given.

    As far as being divorced, remember that before God sin is sin. The sin of lying carries the same consequence of adultery, which is seperation from God. However, Jesus made a way to receive forgiveness. Once you have received forgiveness the sin is completely removed “as far as the east is from the west”. If you feel that you should not have been divorced before, simply repent for that action and receive His forgiveness and love and it is just like it never even happened as far as God is concerned.

  8. This is a challenging concept that many of my clients wrestle with. There are many women that get divorced, because their husbands abuse them, use drugs, hurt their kids and other horrible reasons. These are really good people that made bad decisions OR the other person changed after marriage. It is hard to untangle that passage for sure.

  9. Perfection is never ours to have. That only belongs to God. As for divorce issue, when we make a vow of marriage, it means to stay together for the good times and bad. The Bible only speaks of marriage and not divorce.

  10. Divorce Lawyer Collin County (how’s the new courthouse?), I’m pretty sure that from Deuteronomy through 1 Corinthians, the Bible speaks of “putting away” a spouse, and a “bill of divorcement.”

    In fact, the Savior spoke of divorcing one’s spouse for reasons other than fornication (probably meant “adultery”) as committing adultery.

    So it’s factually incorrect to say the Bible speaks not of divorce.

    BTW, What’s with the procession of Texas lawyers?

  11. It’s true that when we make a vow of marriage, it means to stay together forever… But it doesn’t mean we cannot divorce our partner… the bible allows us to divorce our partner (providing grounds ofcourse) but it doesn’t allow us to be married again so thats where you will commit adultery like Sally have said she read in the bible “Whoever marries a divorced woman is commiting adultery”

  12. I don’t read the Bible, so I am not so familiar with the verses. The last I opened the Bible was when I unintentionally landed to a Christian meeting organization.
    Anyway, regarding Matthew Chapter 5, I think there are really ideas written in the holy scriptures that do not basically apply to the kind of society we are living. Societies evolve, people come up with laws and justifications to some situations–marrying to a divorced individual for example.
    The Bible was written a very long time ago and societies were very conservative at that with regards to issues on marriage so I guess this explains the idea of the verses you found in Matthew Chapter 5.

  13. It’s sad, but the number of divorces is climbing steadily every year. Most likely the people getting divorced have not me ttheir real souldmate. So what to do after divorce? Move on and try to find your real soulmate!

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