Anger, Lust, And Divorce In Relation To Mental Illness by David Lee Chu Sarchet
In this blog I will be discussing how Anger, Lust, and Divorce relate to mental illness.
These three topics are very big problems in the lives of mentally ill people. Some people may at this point think that these are issues that everyone deals with and that is true. However, when someone has a mental illness these issues are exacerbated. As a matter of fact, a key factor that separates mental illness from normal living is in the fact that mental illness severely disables someone from doing basic activities.
As you read this blog, please keep in mind that this is not meant to be an exegetical hermeneutic on Matthew 5. There are people plenty smarter than I am who have already taken on that task. Instead, what I am doing is discussing how these scriptures relate to myself and people like me.
I hope that you find this blog enlightening and edifying to you and anyone else who reads this.
For the first scripture I’ll be addressing, I draw your attention to Matthew 5:22 which says,
“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council’ and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to hell of fire.”
I must admit that I do struggle with this daily because I am always getting mad at somebody or something. Part of it is because of my Schizoaffective Disorder because it causes me to become easily irritable. I also have difficulties trusting people because of my paranoia. However, this command came from Jesus Himself. So I must submit to it no matter how I feel in the moment.
This is difficult to do because my mental illness causes me to be very impulsive so I am not thinking about what I am doing before I do it most of the time. I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me so I know that on my own I will fail but when I rely often God’s strength that is when I succeed.
This is, of itself, a difficult task but with the help of my local church, my wife, my medication, my therapist, my sisters, and most importantly, the Holy Spirit, I can gain the upper hand on my illness. This does not mean that I will walk perfectly with the Lord but it does mean that when I mess up there is grace for me.
“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
This is huge blow to my ego because lust has always been my strongest struggle. Studies have shown that Schizophrenia and Bipolar have a tendency to cause people with these disorders to be more sexually promiscuous. I believe that the reason for this is because our illnesses causes us to be more susceptible to lust. I have tried repeatably to overcome this struggle but it seems like the more I fight it the stronger it becomes and the weaker I become.
Jesus equates lust with adultery because sin begins in our heart. In other words, from a wicked heart comes all forms of sin and depravity. My lust problem reveals to me that there is nothing good in me whatsoever and it drives me to look to Christ for my identity and my salvation.
“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce’. But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery”
This is where things get controversial because this is a hot topic even in Christian circles. However, Jesus is very clear here when He says the only justification for divorce is if your spouse is unfaithful to you. Later, Paul says that if your spouse is an unbeliever who abandons you then that is another justification.
However, outside of these two scenarios there is no other justification for divorce. So, if you get a divorce for something other than these two situations then you need to either reconcile or never marry again. If you do marry again you will be committing adultery.
The reason God is so strict on marriage is because divorce tarnishes the image of Christ’s relationship with His bride, the Church (you and me). After all, the purpose of marriage is to display the image of Christ and His Church in holy union. This is why God hates divorce and this is why mental illness is not a legitimate excuse for divorce.
It is sad at how many divorces happen because of someone’s mental illness, but this should not be the case. If someone knew about their spouse’s mental illness beforehand and still decided to marry this person then that means they agree to be unified to that person for as long as they live in this world.
Its unfortunate that so many people think that mental illness is a deal breaker in marriage.
My own father was like that because he divorced my mother when I was only two-years-old all because of her mental illness. It breaks my heart that he allowed a medical condition tear apart a union before God. He will have to answer to the Almighty for that one day.
Let this be a lesson to anyone out there who is considering divorcing their spouse because of mental illness: How would you feel if you were diagnosed with cancer and your spouse divorced you over it?
It would hurt you deeply, I bet.
Well, why would you want to cause that kind of pain onto someone else? If you think that mental illness is more than you can carry on your own well the good news is you do not have to carry the burden on your own.
Jesus tells us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light so come to Jesus and rely on Him to sustain you through life.
I hope that this blog has helped you have a glimpse into the lives of the mentally ill and next time you see a mentally ill person maybe instead of hiding from them you will instead show them the love of Christ. We do not need be isolated from society but instead we need to be shown love and support. It is a lonely world out there for us and so we welcome any kind of ray of sunshine to pour into our lives.
-David Lee Chu Sarchet
Christian Mental Health Advocate
For 24 hour peer support, please call the Christ-Centered Mental Health ministry line at 567-343-3727 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lydia Sarchet: email@example.com
- Britton Garleb: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Joe Roman: Twiztedmembrain@gmail.com
- Scott AKA Johnny Kangaroo: email@example.com
- Dwayne McLeod: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Veronica Talbot: email@example.com
- Amber Williams: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chuck Ward: email@example.com
- Sarah Olivia: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Amber Marie: email@example.com
- Zachary Uram: Netrek@gmail.com
- Joseph McDermott: firstname.lastname@example.org
Roselyn Morgan (Christian Counselor): RoselynMorgan53@yahoo.com