Redemptive Divorce: Guidance for the Suffering Partner, Healing for the Offending Spouse, and the Best Catalyst for Restoration
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Thomas Nelson / 2008 / Paperback

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Redemptive Divorce: Guidance for the Suffering Partner, Healing for the Offending Spouse, and the Best Catalyst for Restoration

Thomas Nelson / 2008 / Paperback

In Stock
CBD Stock No: WW228561

Product Description

Redemptive Divorce is a practical and unique book offering guidance and healing to both the suffering partner and the offending spouse. It gently guides readers through a redemptive divorce process that instead of condemning offers hope and restoration. Included are helpful charts and worksheets as well as useful information for pastors, counselors, attorneys, and concerned family members and friends. Paperback.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.44 (inches)
ISBN: 078522856X
ISBN-13: 9780785228561

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Publisher's Description

A graceful, biblical way to reclaim sanity for the home and dignity for the suffering spouse in a dysfunctional or dangerous marriage.

Thousands of conscientious believers wanting to honor the sacred vows they took before God suffer in dysfunctional, even dangerous marriages. Each and every day they must choose between the lesser of two evils: divorce without sound biblical support or a life of perpetual, unrelenting misery. Somewhere between the secular disregard for the commands of Christ and the sacred unwillingness to deal with real problems of people, there is a way.

The redemptive divorce process is designed to honor the sacredness of the union while offering practical relief for the suffering partner and tough love for the offending spouse. In some cases, it might even be the catalyst for the restoration and rebuilding of the marriage. Practical, provocative, and utterly unique, Redemptive Divorce includes a helpful guide with worksheets for implementation.

Author Bio

Mark W. Gaither, with a Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, has been researching and writing Christian materials for authors and ministries for years. Redemptive Divorce is born out of the pain and trauma of divorce when his redemptive offer was refused. Mark later met and married Charissa, and now enjoys the benefits of this biblically sound, grace-oriented process: a clear conscience and a future without regrets.

Product Reviews

3.2 Stars Out Of 5
3.2 out of 5
2.7 out Of 5
(2.7 out of 5)
3 out Of 5
(3 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
2.7 out Of 5
(2.7 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. Canada
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Not as great as I thought it was going to be
    February 19, 2013
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 2
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    Use your discernment when reading this book. Didn't agree with all usage of scripture but thought the overall message of this book was good.
  2. Virginia
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    Read with Caution
    October 9, 2012
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    While Gaither's book is undoubtedly well intended, it has crippling flaws that could mislead anyone trying to redeem a troubled marriage namely: Gaither's misuse of Scripture; his definition of marriage and divorce; his failure to address God's intended use of suffering in the lives of believers; and his failure to direct readers to rely on a sovereign God.

    Throughout this book the centrality of God and His Word are replaced by the centrality of man and his desire for happiness and being spared from reaching the "breaking point" of despair and pain from a dysfunctional marriage. Gaither seems to sprinkle in enough biblical terminology and biblical references that to the undiscerning it seems to be "thus saith the Lord." Even the use of the term "redemptive" is deceiving. Gaither admits in chapter seven that "redemption is costly"(p. 111). Indeed it is. The whole biblical notion of redemption involves the payment of a price in order to secure someone's freedom - Christ being the supreme example in His suffering and dying to secure our freedom from sin and God's wrath against it. Gaither goes on and rightly lays out the beauty of this gospel story. He even concludes with this explanation of grace:

    "The new law of grace says, Do as I do. Restore relationships with people who don't deserve your mercy. Trust My holy character, not only to preserve you through inevitable agony but to bring you immeasurable blessing as a result." (p. 113).

    Sadly, his entire book is a testimony against true "redemptive" grace. In the same chapter seven, after saying the new law of grace says "do as I do" Gaither takes great pains to in essence say "but you really don't have to." He writes, "While He requires us to forgive the past, He does not demand that we expose ourselves to further injury" (p. 111). And again, "Furthermore, the command to forgive frees you from the past, but it does not demand that you submit to more destructive behavior" (p. 115). Or elsewhere, "Having completely forgiven your mate, you may exercise your right to keep a safe distance indefinitely . . . Whether you have biblical grounds for a divorce or not, you are not bound by the Old Covenant to risk further harm at the hands of your mate" (p.117). One final quote, "God calls us to imitate His extraordinary grace, but He does not require it" (p. 122).

    Amazingly, after explaining the costly, self-sacrificing nature of biblical redemption as exemplified in Christ, and even in a rare moment of biblical soundness acknowledge that the "new law of grace says Do as I do", Gaither gives permission to "do as you want to do" and protect yourself from "further injury." So much for biblical, self-sacrificing, costly redemptive action.

    If you read this book, do so with great caution and with a pair of "biblical glasses" on!
  3. 1 Stars Out Of 5
    Where is Jesus Christ in this solution?
    October 8, 2012
    Where is Jesus Christ in Gaither's solution to troubled marriages? Nowhere. this book leaves Jesus out of the solution and instead rests 'hope' on human effort and civil courts. Besides doing a poor job at good Biblical interpretation and application Gaither completely ignores one of the most direct passages of scripture addressing Marriage in 1 Peter chapters 2 and 3. Do not put your trust in this advocate, he leads you away from Christ.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    This book got to the heart of things
    July 27, 2012
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I wish I had this book one year ago. The wisdom and biblical insight applied throughout brought perspective into one of the worst and most emotional times one can go through in making the decision to stay married in a no-win marriage or to opt out and pursue a divorce. The heart of the matter revolved around What would God have me do for me, for my spouse and for the children. Unearthing motivation, examining personal biblical convictions and reminding readers about God's faithfulness brings a reader to go deeper to God to know "should I stay or should I go?" This book freed me to know that God is the one I ought to obey. It brings hope to the dark process of divorce whether it occurs or there is restoration, as long as one applies God's heart and will to their unique situation, God can free us to be at peace, be in His Will and assures us He has good plans for us.....divorced or restored.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    October 11, 2008
    This is a great book! It was not difficult to read even though it was clearly researched with great detail. It was written with so much sensitivity toward hurting families, and I believe it will change the way churches help their members deal with such a difficult subject.
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Author/Artist Review

Author: Mark W. Gaither
Located in: Frisco, TX
Submitted: February 21, 2008

    Tell us a little about yourself.  Following a fifteen-year career as an engineer, I earned a Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, where I discovered a love for teaching and writing. After writing for Dr. Frank Minirth, I served as a the director of creative ministries and writer for Insight for Living, the radio ministry of Chuck Swindoll, during which time I served as Dr. Swindoll’s editor and research assistant, a role I continue to enjoy.

My wife, Charissa, and I reside in Frisco, Texas and have four children—Lauren, Parker, Robert, and Heather—who attend college. In addition to writing, teaching, and speaking (individually and as a couple), we lead single adults at Stonebriar Community Church.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  Thousands of conscientious followers of Jesus Christ presently suffer in dysfunctional, even dangerous marriages because they want to honor their wedding day vows. Each and every day, they must choose between the lesser of two evils: divorce without sound biblical support or a life of perpetual, unrelenting misery. Somewhere between the secular disregard for the commands of Christ and the sacred unwillingness to deal with real problems of people, there is a way. I wanted to provide a practical, biblical solution to what many see as a no-win scenario. This biblical, practical approach to addressing unrepentant sin in a wayward spouse honors the sacredness of the union, offering practical relief for the suffering partner and healing hope to the offending spouse. It might even become the catalyst for the restoration and rebuilding of the marriage.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  The book is written for people struggling to survive in dysfunctional or dangerous marriages, as well as those who want to help them, such as pastors, counselors, attorneys, family, and friends. They will discover: Practical solutions: Morally upright, legal recourse to restore sanity to the home and freedom to make it a safe, healthy environment for the rest of the family. Restored dignity: The ability to take charge of an impossible situation that once kept the upright spouse helpless and hopeless. Firm boundaries: Empowerment to establish moral and legal accountability for the immoral choices or behavior of the offending spouse. Gracious counsel: A process that offers the offending spouse a responsible path to restoration of the marriage and healing for everyone. A clear conscience: If properly applied, the ability to say with complete sincerity, “I gave my spouse every opportunity for restoration, but he or she chose sin over the marriage.”

    How were you personally impacted by working on this project?  Any conversation about the book rarely ended without someone mentioning a friend, family member, parishioner, or client who needed this resource. Frequently, they pleaded, "Hurry up and finish the book!"

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  The top influences are, especially as it relates to this book, Chuck Swindoll, James Dobson, Dave Carder, Henry Cloud, John Townsend, and Muriel Canfield.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  I chose the words "redemptive divorce" carefully when thinking of what to call this radically different way of thinking. The phrase is deliberately paradoxical and in some ways counterintuitive. But, as I trust you will discover, it describes the process well. In the meantime, don’t let the name throw you off. This is not a book about divorce, although the marriage may officially end. The wholehearted intent of this process is to save a marriage that seems to be over and in all likelihood destined for the divorce courts. When applied correctly, this redemptive process honors the institution of marriage by taking the vows seriously. Rather than merely looking to the upright spouse to hang in there through thick and thin, it transfers responsibility for saving the marriage to the offending spouse, who in fact controls the destiny of the union. Rather than placing unrealistic expectations on the upright spouse, this tough-love approach communicates realistic expectations to the offending spouse and provides a means of genuine accountability. Redemptive divorce draws a clear line in the sand, refusing to tolerate unrepentant sin. But rather than condemn and reject the sinner, it offers hope and restoration.

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