Malicious Desertion

Abuse was mentioned in my mother's church sermon as grounds for divorce. This brought up a discussion in our family of what are the biblical grounds for divorce. I read most of the Q and A under divorce and found that "malicious" desertion could be grounds. But I wasn't quite able to determine what exactly was meant by this. I would appreciate some clarification if possible. I thoroughly enjoy your magazine and read it cover to cover each issue. By the way, did you know that another church body has a magazine called Forward in Christ? I Googled Forward in Christ and was surprised to learn it wasn't the WELS version.

Beyond physically deserting a spouse, the Bible does not specifically list other ways in which malicious desertion can take place (I Corinthians 7:15).  As malicious desertion is characterized by sins that are unilateral, willful and permanent, it could take the form of physical or emotional abuse, refusal to have sexual relations with one’s spouse, or refusal to support the spouse financially.  Because of the complexities of relationships, Christian discernment and pastoral counseling are essential when it comes to determining malicious desertion.

I’m glad to hear of your enjoyment of Forward in Christ.  Yes, there is another magazine by the same title.  And, as you noticed, there is no connection between the two.