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DEATH DO WE PART?
were 2 men whose wives were in a coma for years.
Both were beyond recovery and suffered from severe brain damage.
men were devout Christians. In the first case the husband felt that
he could never again marry as long as his wife stayed physically
In the first case, the husband could not deal with seeing his wife
so withered away. Eventually he stopped visiting her.
He remained faithful to her but could not visit her.
He raised their children and lived a life of celibacy.
In the second case, after a number of years, the man met a woman
and rediscovered love. In the process of time, he divorced his invalid
wife, married the other and continued to visit, love and cherish
his first and former
In the end, after 20 years both wives passed on.
The 2nd man, continued all during those 20 years to love and care
for his comatose wife.... The first, died without the presence and
love of her husband.
Which one remained faithful to their vows?
In response to your question, in each marriage, what were the vows
they made to each other? Your answer is there. [The vows are "until
death do we part", so neither remained faithful to their vows.
But that's not really the point. Jesus tells us to be servants to
others. Which of the two men in your story was a servant and which
But, here's another way to look at it:
I know a man whose wife (74+ years old) had Alzheimer's. She became
totally nonfunctional and was that way for a long time. Although
she could be led around and placed in a chair or bed, she never
took the initiative to move herself. She had to be fed. Diapers
changed. Washed. And moved to get exercise.
The only thing she did was hate her husband, whom she apparently
thought was someone else. She continually yelled at and cursed him.
She'd try to hit him, but did not have the strength or coordination.
The man's life was miserable, his only break was when she was sleeping.
The man loved playing golf. A friend, whose wife was in a similar
condition (although not cursing him) kept telling him to hire a
caregiver and come play golf with him. But he chose not to.
He tried putting his wife in a home, for her own good. But she
cried and cried and wanted to go home, and the man didn't feel this
was right. So after about 10 days he brought her home and cared
for her while she cursed him for another year. The toll on his physical
and emotional health was tremendous.
Then she passed away.
Did the man do the right thing? Or should he have made her stay
in the home where she would have had excellent care? He could have
then gone out and enjoyed himself for all those years, as the second
man in your story did.
That woman was my mom and the man was my father. I think he did
the right thing. As God calls us to be, he was a servant. He wasn't
doing this to legally honor the words in his marriage vows, he was
honoring his wife and glorifying God--doing what was right.
Yours in the Love of Christ,
Move To Assurance
Addendum: This question is actually two questions:
<1> Can I divorce a spouse who is disabled or nonfunctional?
Answer: The Bible does not give disabilities as a reason for divorce.
<2> How should I respond if my spouse is seriously disabled?
Answer: Jesus taught us we are to be a servant and this is true
in a marriage. Is our response to our spouses condition for our
benefit or for the benefit of our spouse? Are we thinking about
what fullfills me, or satisfies me, or makes me feel good? Or are
we thinking about how we can best serve our spouse?
It's not about you. It's about your spouse. It's about your family.
Yes, in real life things can be very complicated. In real life
there are financial limits, physical limits, emotional limits and
spiritual limits. But, the question always remains, are you being
a servant in the way Jesus would be a servant?