Behavior Qualifies as Mental Cruelty
By Pat Robertson
The 700 Club
Some couples change marriage partners almost as soon as the vows are
exchanged. They sometimes claim mental cruelty. But, I do not think mental cruelty
is grounds for divorce if mental cruelty concerns the way a mate twists the toothpaste
tube or hangs stockings in the bathroom. That type of mental cruelty has been
defined in so many different contexts it has no meaning.
However, I do
think physical brutality and abuse, and mental abuse of a nature that endangers
the person's mind or body, are clearly grounds for divorce. The Pauline privilege
(see I Corinthians 7:15), which I mentioned earlier, permits divorce on the grounds
of desertion by an unbelieving spouse. For mental cruelty to be grounds for divorce,
it must involve conduct which makes it impossible to live with the spouse without
The sort of cruelty I have in mind would not spring from
a criticism of a souffle' or a brother-in-law. Minor irritations need loving attention,
but should not be allowed to rupture a holy relationship.
Obviously, a couple
composed of two born-again Christians does not fall under the Pauline privilege.
Divorce and remarriage for any reason are truly unthinkable for two people who
sincerely love God and are trying to serve Him.
Sheets on CBN.com
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