SEEMS TO ME: DIVORCE IS A SIN
As a minister, one question comes up more often than others when it comes to relationships. Relationships, especially marriage, is hard because it contains people! I am often asked what I “believe” or “think about” divorce. To be honest, it means precious little what I think or believe.
It matters only what God has said in the Bible. With regards to divorce, I take my opinion directly from the Bible.
DIVORCE IS ALWAYS WRONG
Divorce, as it is presented in the Bible, is always wrong. Most of the time we view marriage as a covenant between two people. That is absolutely incorrect. The man and woman are equals. A covenant in its nature requires one party to be greater than the other, therefore, marriage is a covenant between two people and God Almighty. Thus, it is always a sin to get divorced because a covenant with God is being broken.
THE ALLOWANCE IN SCRIPTURE
There is an allowance in Scripture that Moses makes and Jesus seems to affirm which is when “marital unfaithfulness” occurs (Matt 5:31-32; Mark 10:2-12). The words in this regard are sexual which means adultery. It does not mean verbal or physical abuse. It never meant that… it meant and means sexual sin. Some might see verbal or physical abuse as “marital unfaithfulness,” but that is not at all what the Bible meant not what it means.
Matthew 19:8 shows us Jesus stating that divorce was permitted by Moses (not by God) in a situation of adultery. This was allowed not because God’s will or judgement about divorced changed, but because of the hardness of the human heart. Adultery attacks the very “oneness” that marriage is based upon and it often insurmountable. This verse also states very clearly this is not God’s will from the beginning.
DIVORCE IS A SIN
Divorce is a sin like any other. Sins can be forgiven. What is difficult about divorce is that once a person is divorced and they remarry (many often do even though they state… never again!) they are still married to the first person in God’s eyes (Luke 16:18). Therefore, when re-marrying, a person is adding even more sin into the mix of their lives. The second marriage is built on the sin of adultery and the person is by default living in sin. It is very difficult to tell someone that.
Divorce often hurts children, grandchildren, parents, in-laws, and friends of all sorts. Destruction and broken hearts are left in the wake of a divorce.
WARNINGS IN SCRIPTURE
This is why Scripture commands a believer not to marry an unbeliever (1 Corinthians 7:39, 2 Corinthians 6:14, and others). A Christian marrying a non-Christian is one of the biggest mistakes made and ignores several Scriptures. It always leads to heartache.
Let’s say a person becomes a Christian post-marriage and her husband is not a believer… does the Bible speak to that? It does. 1 Corinthians 7:12-13 says as long as the non-Christian wishes to be married, they should not divorce.
SIX FURTHER THOUGHTS ABOUT DIVORCE
#1 Divorce is always wrong and always leads to more sin and more brokenness, However, divorce can be forgiven because it is a sin. How that forgiveness works after a remarriage by constantly being in adultery… I haven’t any idea.
#2 God can redeem any situation and divorce is giving up on God redeeming anything in the relationship. The Christian person getting a divorce needs to face that they are giving up on God in the relationship and by their actions show they believe God cannot redeem it.
#3 Is the sin of divorce less than the danger he or she is in by staying in the marriage?
#4 Separation without divorcing is a technical way of getting around the “Law,” but may keep a person safe and whole emotionally.
#5 Many Christian people get divorced. That doesn’t make it right or God’s will.
#6 The Bible does not provide a “thus sayest the Lord” for divorce in marriages where it is hard or abusive. It is not wise to think that hard marriages or abuse did not exist when the Bible was written, therefore, we must apply the principles that are given and not make excuses. See 1, 3, 4 above.
DIVORCE AND ABUSE
IF YOU ARE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP, PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THOSE WHO ARE ABLE TO HELP YOU!
This is not an easy issue when faced with abuse. I wish God had laid out what to do in a bad marriage situation. He did not. Therefore, Christian people must pray and apply the principles that are given. We must attune ourselves to the Spirit. We must believe that God can redeem and change any heart no matter how hard. I cannot advocate for something apart from what God has said in His Word. I dwell in Scripture and take my morality and my life definitions from the Lord.
To the person who is being abused, I would say to separate yourself from the abuser for the purpose of being safe. Secondly, once separated, perhaps the marriage can then be worked on so that the abuse will stop. The abuser will be left with two alternatives: fix the sin that causes them to abuse or get divorced. The person being abused will be safe and will either be working towards reconciliation or divorce. Safety first. Work on the marriage second.
SEEMS TO ME: DIVORCE IS A SIN
Thus, it seems to me, divorce is a sin and is a very destructive one because marriage is hard and often messy.