Intimate Clarity

Clarity On Remarriage

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: IC

Program Code: IC180113A

00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues
00:03 related to sexuality.
00:05 Parents are cautioned this presentation
00:07 may be too candid for younger audiences.
00:31 Welcome to Intimate Clarity, I'm Jason Bradley.
00:33 And I'm here with Jennifer Jill Schwirzer
00:35 and she is a licensed professional counselor.
00:38 And today we're going to be discussing a topic
00:40 that is affecting really a lot of people in the world.
00:46 And it's a conversation that we need to have.
00:48 So, Jen, is remarrying after divorce
00:52 a good idea, bad idea,
00:54 is that a one-and-done thing or what is it?
00:57 Why do you keep opening these cans of worms
00:59 over and over again?
01:00 These are hard questions you keep asking me, Jason.
01:02 As I sip while you...
01:06 While I talk.
01:07 Do it. Yes.
01:08 So I have to be clear that,
01:11 and I think the Bible is clear
01:13 that God's ideal is one partner for life.
01:17 Okay.
01:18 You know that's His ideal.
01:19 Absolutely.
01:21 And that bonding takes place early in your life
01:22 and there's all kind of neuroscience behind this
01:26 and all kinds of science showing that that's really,
01:29 it works the best that way.
01:32 But the reality is that
01:34 not all of us follow that pattern.
01:36 And so it's very important
01:37 that we realize that while God is the Creator,
01:40 He's also the Redeemer.
01:41 And while He has a design that He put in place,
01:44 we need to leave the design there,
01:46 but we also need to realize
01:47 that when we stray from that design,
01:49 our live become broken and we can't,
01:51 we don't any longer adhere to that design,
01:54 God can take the pieces of our lives
01:57 and make something beautiful and redeem the situation.
02:00 So He's both the Creator and the Redeemer.
02:02 Well, what's going on in our world today
02:04 regarding relationships is basically just,
02:07 just mass giving up on relationships
02:12 for lack of a better term.
02:14 Mass relationship attrition we could say.
02:18 And the divorce rate is, you know,
02:20 about half of marriages end in divorce
02:22 and that doesn't even include the ones
02:24 that are in kind of an emotional state of divorce
02:26 that haven't yet been legally divorced.
02:28 You know what it seems like,
02:29 like a lot of people don't take that time
02:32 upfront to invest into that relationship,
02:36 so I mean like, you know, you see all these people
02:38 going to school for however many years,
02:41 getting master's degrees
02:43 and doctorates and all this stuff.
02:45 But when entering into lifelong commitment, it's,
02:51 "Hey, I like you, meet me at the altar."
02:52 Exactly.
02:54 You know, I mean, who does that?
02:55 We spend thousands, tens and thousands of dollars,
02:58 sometimes hundreds and thousands of dollars
03:01 on education that will train us
03:03 to specialize in a specific career
03:06 that we're going to then raise to an art form of excellence.
03:10 And we spend relatively zero time
03:13 actually learning the art and science
03:16 of how to love and be loved.
03:17 Yes, yes. You know.
03:19 And then we fail at that,
03:21 we may excel at our career but we fail at that.
03:24 And what do you really care about
03:25 when you're lying on your deathbed?
03:27 Oh, I should have gone for that other doctorate degree
03:29 or I wish I'd gotten that promotion
03:31 or I wish I'd made more money
03:33 that you can't take with you to heaven.
03:34 Yeah.
03:36 No, you're thinking about I wish I loved people more.
03:37 Yeah.
03:38 You know, so we need to really focus in
03:40 on what makes a relationship work
03:42 and educate people about it, educate ourselves about it.
03:45 But that's God's ideal is one partner for life.
03:48 Jesus said very strong things about divorce
03:51 since and many authorities feel that
03:54 that it really comes down
03:55 to whether you're going to remarry or not,
03:57 that the issue with God is divorce and remarriage.
04:02 For reasons other than adultery
04:05 are a form of just copping out.
04:09 And really if you're marrying and divorcing
04:12 and marrying again and divorcing again.
04:15 For no reason other than
04:16 you don't want to do the work necessary
04:19 and give up your selfishness necessary
04:22 to continue a relationship past that point
04:24 where it's gratifying,
04:26 you're basically engaging in a form of a serial polygamy,
04:30 that's what I call it.
04:31 Where you have your harem
04:32 but it's stretched out over time.
04:34 Now I'm not trying to say that to be hard on people
04:36 that have been through divorce and remarriage,
04:37 I'm not judging you,
04:39 I'm not in a place where I need to judge you
04:40 but I will say that
04:42 as human beings we tend to cop out
04:43 on that hard work that a relationship requires.
04:46 Yeah, yeah.
04:47 And every human relationship,
04:49 not just marriage
04:50 but every relationship will initially be characterized
04:54 by what we call natural affection.
04:56 So God has given us natural affection as human beings.
04:59 We don't have to be connected
05:01 to the supernatural source of love
05:03 to love in a natural way.
05:05 The kinds of natural affection are basically three,
05:08 and they reflect three,
05:10 they're reflected by three Greek words.
05:13 And CS Lewis wrote a book about this.
05:15 So the first is storge, it's family love
05:17 and it's specifically the love between a mother and a child.
05:20 Storge?
05:21 Storge is the Greek word, yeah.
05:22 And then there's phileo which is friendship love,
05:25 it's that horizontal, you know camaraderie
05:28 that you have with your friends.
05:30 Thirdly, you have eros which is romantic love
05:32 that is characterized by sexual attraction.
05:34 Okay.
05:36 Those are the natural affections.
05:37 We all have a certain amount of those.
05:39 You don't have to be a believer in God
05:40 or in any kind of profound way connected to the Holy Spirit
05:44 to be able to love being with your friends
05:46 and fall in love with someone and get married,
05:48 and even dote on your own children,
05:50 that's quite natural,
05:52 all of those things are natural.
05:53 The problem is that eventually natural affection
05:57 will begin to dry up
05:59 and we will miss out on the supply,
06:01 we won't have enough supply
06:03 to continue in that relationship.
06:04 Okay.
06:06 And we especially see this in romantic relationships
06:07 where there's this initial boost
06:09 of dopamine in the brain.
06:11 It's some very interesting neuroscience takes place
06:16 with falling in love,
06:17 you have a boost of dopamine
06:19 which is the pleasure neurotransmitter.
06:22 And it's basically an anticipator
06:24 in neurotransmitter where you're looking forward
06:26 to something happening.
06:28 So there's this excitement in the air
06:30 when you're having that falling in love experience.
06:32 There's also believe it or not,
06:33 some studies have shown a suppression of serotonin.
06:36 And serotonin is the natural mood elevator.
06:39 So this is thought to view why some people that fall in love
06:42 end up obsessing about their partner.
06:46 Low serotonin and OCD go together.
06:49 So it's thought that,
06:50 you know, people start obsessing
06:51 because they're having low serotonin
06:53 but also they're having adrenaline,
06:55 higher levels of adrenaline and of course
06:57 surging hormones that are kind of compensating
07:00 for the low serotonin.
07:01 So there's like this symphony of chemicals that are happening
07:04 in the falling in love experience.
07:06 And it's really basically an unnatural state,
07:09 and no one can really sustain that
07:11 for an extended period of time, the longest period of time is,
07:14 you know, one to two years
07:16 that you can sustain that neurologically
07:17 and then you're going to come crashing down.
07:20 And some people experience something like a hangover,
07:23 you know, where they just come crashing down.
07:25 Are you going to continue to love that person
07:28 that you've now married beyond at that point
07:31 where those chemicals are sustaining
07:33 and the feelings is the question.
07:35 And see, I think it also goes back to
07:38 what was your relationship built on in the first place.
07:39 Yeah.
07:41 You know, because if it was built on
07:43 false pretenses or if it was built on
07:45 something shallow.
07:47 Just sexual attraction.
07:48 Absolutely.
07:49 Yeah.
07:51 Then it's gonna fail.
07:52 Then you're not going to have anything left.
07:53 It's not going to be sustainable.
07:55 You know what's interesting too is like
07:56 when you're walking in the mall or you're at the grocery store
08:00 and you see a man and a woman
08:02 and they're like five feet apart, you're like,
08:04 "Oh, they've been married for 20 years,
08:06 they've been married for 30 years,"
08:08 you know, I mean, it's that like...
08:10 But don't you love it when it's the other way
08:12 where there's an old couple and they're just
08:13 clinging to each other like spaghetti.
08:15 Absolutely. It's precious.
08:17 I have an Uncle Jackie and Aunt Joe
08:19 that her name's Jocelyn but they are,
08:24 they've been married for years and years and years
08:27 like I look at them, I'm like,
08:28 that's relationship goals
08:29 because they're so close and I see
08:31 how they attend to each other's needs.
08:33 Beautiful.
08:34 So basically what's going on there is God gives us
08:38 the ability to love and be loved past
08:40 the point of gratification in two ways.
08:42 He provides a source of love through His Holy Spirit,
08:44 the Holy Spirit is poured out,
08:47 the love of God is poured out
08:48 through His Holy Spirit which is given to us.
08:50 Romans 5:5, "So God is the source of love
08:53 but He's also the structure of love."
08:55 Because if you go to the river with a basket,
08:57 you're not going to take back any water,
08:59 you got to have a vehicle that can carry or a vessel
09:01 that can carry that water.
09:04 And so our lives have to be a vessel that God can fill
09:07 and we were able to hold what He pours out into us.
09:11 And that means living by eternal principles of right.
09:16 So that's what's going on in that marriage is
09:18 they're just really committed to each other
09:20 and that creates a vessel that can hold that love.
09:23 And so we're all going to come to that point
09:25 where the love is gone so we think.
09:28 But the good news is that
09:30 that's exactly where God wants us,
09:32 He wants to pour His love out into our lives
09:35 to get us past that point
09:36 so we love empowered by His Holy Spirit
09:40 from that point forward.
09:41 Nice, so that's the driving force.
09:44 And so often couples feel like,
09:46 you know, we've run out of love,
09:47 I guess it's over, they're like,
09:49 you know, being in the middle of the Mojave Desert
09:51 and your car is out of gas.
09:53 And what I say is and what I think
09:54 the Word of God says is no,
09:56 this is exactly where I want you, of course,
09:58 you're going to run out of that chemical explosion
10:00 in your brain,
10:01 but I'm going to keep pouring
10:03 my love out into your heart,
10:04 you're going to be able to continue to love
10:06 into the future.
10:07 And the marriage experts say
10:09 that the love moves from, from passion,
10:12 sorry to compassion at that point
10:15 where you stay with that person past that threshold.
10:18 So that's what's really going on with divorce
10:20 and remarriage that is based just on relational laziness
10:24 or lack of interest or boredom,
10:27 that's just people not staying
10:29 with that relationship past that threshold
10:32 and relying on God to give them
10:34 what they can't generate in themselves.
10:36 Yeah. That's what's going on there.
10:38 Okay.
10:39 And I don't want to get all hard
10:40 and legalistic on them
10:42 'cause they're already probably
10:43 reaping the consequences of that.
10:45 And there's difficulties that come with divorce
10:46 and remarriage that I don't know about
10:48 as a person that's been married
10:50 to the same man for over 40 years.
10:52 Wow, 40 years?
10:55 Well, we think here, almost 40 years, sorry.
10:58 Don't mess it up.
11:00 I was thinking when we air
11:02 or is it going to be a little bit, no,
11:03 it's about 40 years, almost coming on 40 years, yeah.
11:06 Okay, nice.
11:07 1979.
11:09 Can you believe it?
11:10 I can't even believe I live that long.
11:12 Wow.
11:14 But that's what's really going on
11:15 and the Lord wants to give us that ability to stay in
11:19 and stay with that relationship.
11:21 And it's not about being hard on people
11:23 that haven't been able to get that to work.
11:25 And there are reasons why people leave
11:27 and you know one of the things I've experienced
11:28 as a counselor is I used to be very dogmatic
11:31 about divorce and remarriage.
11:32 I'm not as dogmatic as I used to be
11:34 'cause I see the inside of what's going on,
11:37 I see what people struggle with
11:39 and the very, very perplexing problems
11:42 that come upon them.
11:43 And so I just, I feel very merciful toward people
11:46 and yet I'm really thankful that God's been able to keep me
11:48 with this one man that I just loved
11:51 more with each passing day.
11:52 That's a blessing. Yeah, yeah.
11:54 That's truly a blessing.
11:55 What do you want for your life, Jason?
11:57 I want to be one and done, meaning one,
12:02 one wife like for life.
12:05 You know, that's what I want
12:07 like a life of happiness with that wife.
12:12 You know, both growing closer to God.
12:15 And closer to each other.
12:16 And closer to each other, yeah.
12:18 You know, that's a good choice because subsequent marriages
12:21 are actually more likely to end in divorce.
12:23 One study said 41% of first marriages end in divorce,
12:28 60% of second marriages,
12:30 73% of third marriages end in divorce.
12:33 Wow, 73%?
12:36 So in other words the problems just don't just go away
12:39 when you change partners, it,
12:41 you still carry the biggest problem
12:44 which is often what?
12:46 Self.
12:48 Yeah, yeah. Exactly.
12:49 And that's a good segue into like,
12:52 you know, you have to examine yourself.
12:55 That's right.
12:56 Like take a look at yourself, you know,
12:57 when I used to manage a restaurant,
13:00 I used to look at applications and I would look at the reason
13:04 for leaving, and if the reason for leaving said, oh,
13:08 my supervisor and my manager did that or that,
13:11 or the other employees or the staff blaming everybody
13:14 and not taking accountability for maybe something
13:17 that you've done in the situation,
13:19 I wouldn't hire those people.
13:21 So if they said, you know,
13:22 I was just being very unreasonable
13:23 and I left in a fit of anger
13:25 you would be more likely to hire them?
13:27 Not necessary. Okay.
13:30 Not necessarily.
13:31 But I'm reading between the lines.
13:32 But that transparency means a lot, doesn't it?
13:35 Yes, yes.
13:36 And it makes a difference and if they've learned
13:38 from that situation.
13:39 Yeah.
13:41 You know, maybe we could yeah discuss something
13:42 but I'd be little hesitant though.
13:44 That's right.
13:45 And you know in a marriage, if there's one partner,
13:48 I'm not saying it's always possible,
13:50 'cause there are abuse situations that are untenable
13:52 and people just need to move out.
13:54 But if one partner exercises godly principles,
13:58 a lot of times it can,
14:00 it can beautify the whole relationship,
14:01 even if the other one is less cooperative.
14:03 Yes.
14:04 Yeah, I've seen it. Wow.
14:06 Well, I can't believe it, Jen,
14:09 our time just goes by super fast.
14:11 That's right.
14:13 We got to tell people
14:14 where they can get more information.
14:15 Make sure you go to,
14:18 get those resources and join us
14:20 on the next program.
14:21 God bless.


Revised 2018-10-08