Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 22, 1951

Divorce For Insanity?

H. F. Sharp, Blytheville, Arkansas

(Editor's Note: The following correspondence grew out of a radio program conducted by brother H. F. Sharp over KLCN, the Blytheville station. Because it deals with a problem which is not common, but which is a heart-rending one to those affected by it, we are glad to pass the correspondence on to our readers.)

Dear Brother Sharp:

You probably won't recognize my name but I am sure you would remember me if you saw me. I am a niece of _______ and have heard you preach many times at Steele, Missouri, and over the radio.

I would like to ask your advice on two subjects. One is for myself and the other is for a friend who has asked my advice and I don't know what to tell him.

Five years ago I married a boy near Steele. Our marriage only lasted a few months. He drank and abused me in every way possible and lived with another woman more than he did with me. He even bragged about staying with this woman to me. He tried to shoot me with a pistol. About a year later I obtained my divorce from him. He has married twice since then. I have never remarried or even gone out with another man. Would I be doing wrong if I did marry again? I am thirty-nine and have been a member of the church for years.

The friend I am writing about is, I believe in his late twenties. His wife has been hopelessly insane for four years. This was caused or happened at the birth of their baby. She has been given the best of medical attention in private hospitals and other institutions. All say she can never be better. She does not know one person from another and has tried to hurt the little girl when he took it to see her.

The doctors and a lawyer tell him that it is all right to try to make a new life for himself and she will never be a companion and wife to him again. He is a splendid young man and has been heart broken and worried over things. I did not know what to tell him as it is sometime hard to separate the right from the wrong when it invades ourselves and the people we like. I will respect and appreciate your advice and judgment on my question and I am sure the young man will appreciate your answering his question also.

P. S. I think the boy is really more concerned right now as to whether or not it would be wrong for him to go out with another girl, than he is about ever again being married."

Respectfully, _____________

Answer To Letter From ____________

Yours of September 18th is mine and I am grateful you have the desire to know what the Bible teaches on this important question. So many of the men and women rush into marriage with the idea that if marriage is not what they want the divorce courts will bring relief. It is apparent that you do not have this God forsaken idea.

In your case if you give the facts, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, you have a Bible reason for again marrying and I would not hesitate to perform the marriage ceremony. See Matt. 19:3-10.

In the case of the young man the Bible gives him no reason to marry again. No doubt he has a terrible problem. If he loves the girl he married he should do all to see her relieved of the affliction. A mother would not forsake a child regardless of the afflictions and his love for his wife should be even more than the love of a mother for the child. The doctors are wrong sometimes. We have all heard of cases where a man or woman was afflicted with an incurable disease and then lived to a ripe old age. This could be the results with the young man's wife. Suppose she did get well and he was married to another woman. How would he react to this and what would be the feeling of the wife? That would place him in a terrible predicament. After all she is in the condition of affliction because he wanted her to bring a child in the world to wear his name. Could he even have respect for her condition, knowing he was partly responsible for her being so? Above all tell the young man my advice to him is to remain as he is and take care of the little girl and live for the Lord each day; perhaps, some day, his companion will be relieved of her affliction.

Thank you for your inquiry. Above all do not jeopardize your life by marrying this young man but should you desire to remarry seek a man who has not been married or one whose wife is dead.

I remain, Yours in Christ, H. F. Sharp.