A couple years ago I completed the annulment process through the Catholic Church at my ex-husband’s request.
My husband, Rob, and I had already married a few years prior to the annulment. While we were both grateful to be raised in the Catholic Church, we found our needs were better met in non-denominational Bible believing churches. As a result, the annulment was not a necessary process for us.
Not knowing what to expect when completing an annulment, I showed up at the convent to meet with Sister Kathleen. Throughout the list of discussion questions we talked our way through the workings of the failed marriage.
One thing I brought up with Sister Kathleen was the guilt I felt about leaving a marriage as a Bible-believing Christian.
And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her unbelieving husband. 1 Corinthians 7:13-14
While my ex-husband was raised Catholic and occasionally attended church services during our marriage, he was not exactly supportive of me diving into Bible studies in the community or at home. This verse reassured me that I should continue to remain persistent in my faith and do my best to be a faithful example to my husband at the time.
During the few months of divorce proceedings, I gave no thought to the Corinthians verse. It was only afterwards, when I came across the verse again, that I had realized what I had done.
I, as the practicing Bible-believer, had ended the marriage. I suck. Definitely not what God had asked of me as a wife.
Now, happily re-married with two small children, this guilt had come up again.
Do I regret beginning or ending my first marriage?
Do I feel guilty for marrying Rob and beginning a beautiful family?
But, I did feel that I hadn’t followed through with what Scripture commanded of me.
Sister Kathleen had some insight on this.
First, she kindly called me a fundamentalist. Yikes! No one has ever called me the f-word.
Then, she explained that I should not take Scripture literally and just apply it to the current cultural views.
What is the point of having a relationship with JC if I can just apply Scripture to what I want in my life and however I want to apply it?
It seemed strange to me, but Sister reassured me that Christ spoke in parables. I should not take the parables literally.
Just from my basic Bible knowledge, chapter eight in the book of Luke made it pretty clear that Jesus spoke in parables so that the people who were not truly listening wouldn’t “get it.” I am no expert, but the verse from 1 Corinthians is certainly not a parable.
Despite what Sister Kathleen explained to me, I do hold the 1 Corinthians verse to be true as it is written – literally. However, I do not hold on to the guilt of not being obedient to God’s Word any more.
I make a lot of mistakes. It’s true.
Sin is sin. All I could do it recognize my sin, confess it and continue to grow in faith to be the best wife and mother I can for my family.