God sees marriage as a covenant, a bond between the couple and a bond between couple and himself. It is a covenant that he does not want broken. If you were to break that covenant, what else would you break? But the problem is that people are broken. And broken people make mistakes. They get married for the wrong reasons, often bringing personal issues and problems from their past into the marriage. They marry to fix family issues. They marry because they get pregnant. They marry not having anything to do with God. As a result, abuse, abandonment, adultery and so much more happens in the marriage, which often leads to divorce unless both people seek God to help them heal and be restored. If one person wants out, you have no choice but to let them.

So now concerning your girlfriend and her divorce. You say she was abused but there was no adultery. For some, knowing you have a "biblical" divorce is important, especially if you ever want to be a deacon, elder, leader or teacher. Because for some, if you are not able to keep your marriage healthy, then how can you lead others? I can totally understand this logic. But I know many amazing Christians that, through divorce, have grown in the Lord and gone on to become pastors and teachers.

Some questions I have: did her ex know the Lord? I find it hard for me to believe that someone who says they are a believer and follower of Christ could be abusive. If they aren't a believer, then you have Biblical grounds for divorce. But on another common sense note. If someone is beating you, verbally or emotionally abusive, where do you find in scripture that you should put up with this? If your girlfriend did everything in her power to get her ex some help, to fix their marriage and then felt she had to just leave for fear of her life, then...well, I would have done the same. And if my church or others didn't understand this, then I would find another church.

So let's just put a cap on all of this. Because we are broken, we sin, but we are forgiven through the grace of God. Divorce is not the unforgiven sin; unbelief is. You have to search your own heart, asking God if this is the woman for you. If her past and how she divorced is a problem for you, then you shouldn't marry her. God will tell you what is right for you. Remember, guilt is form the enemy and conviction is from God.

For me, marrying someone who has been divorced is not an issue. I just want to make sure they divorced for the right reasons. 

Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin (Mark 2:28-29).

HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.

SHE is … Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of three books.

DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.

GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to hesaid-shesaid@crosswalk.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.

Publication date: July 25, 2013