Is Divorce An Option ?

                Before we can discuss divorce we must understand marriage in the eyes of God. Adam and Eve were the first couple put together by God, Himself. They became husband and wife when they consummated their relationship through sexual intercourse. The Jewish marriage tradition regards the “evidence” of a virgin’s intercourse as the consummation of the marriage. In God’s eyes; a marriage occurs when a man and a woman have sexual intercourse for the first time.

                Sexual relations between a man and a woman are so very important for the very reason that God sees this as an act of marriage. It is in fact a mutual pledge to each other physically, emotionally, and spiritually. When a woman gives herself to a man for the first time as a virgin an emotional and spiritual change occurs within her and she is bound to the man emotionally. The reason a marriage covenant must be entered into BEFORE marriage is because a man does not have the same emotional attachment as the woman. All women must be aware of the danger of giving themselves to a man BEFORE marriage. The man must commit first or he will likely never “truly” commit.

                Seriously, a person should not consider marriage and thus sexual involvement unless they have first made a commitment with God by accepting his gift of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ as payment for all their sin. By making this commitment to God they allow God’s Holy Spirit to begin to work in their lives and give them the “power” to do what is “right”. Why is this important?

  1. Each person in the marriage will understand what a commitment is all about.
  2. Each person will understand sin and forgiveness because of how much God has forgiven them.
  3. Each person will have the “God given” power to love “unconditionally” as God loves us.
  4. Each person will have God’s will to what is right within them.

Does a person’s choice to accept God’s free gift of salvation make a marriage divorce-proof?

No, because each person still has a sinful nature within them that each person must fight against. This is the reason each person must be ready to confess sin and be ready to forgive. Without true forgiveness a marriage has no chance of survival.

                Ephesians Chapter 5 proclaims that the husband is to love his bride as Christ has loved the church and gave Himself for her. Basically, the love Christ has for us; husbands are commanded to love their wives. Husbands must truly resolve this fact in their very souls BEFORE they take their marriage vows. If husbands love their wives as Christ has loved the church their wives will have no trouble fulfilling their command to respect their husbands. Sometimes husbands can fulfill their command to love their wife and their wife can still disrespect her husband because of sin.

                To divorce-proof your marriage you must follow these God given steps:

  1. Accept God’s gift of salvation and desire to do what is right
  2. Husband desire to love your wife as Jesus Christ has loved us and gave Himself for us
  3. Wives strive to respect, help, and honor your husband and allow him to make the final decision
  4. Be quick to admit your sin to each other when you fail
  5. Be quick to forgive and restore your relationship
  6. Always be ready to love each other – sexual relations is the “glue” of your union
  7. Hold high your covenant with each other – Divorce is not an option. Period !
    If both people follow these rules I believe you will divorce-proof your marriage.

                Since we now understand what is marriage we must now address divorce. Divorce is the dissolving a marriage. The trouble with this situation is that physical, emotional, and spiritual ties must be severed.

                Divorce always causes severe damage to the emotions of loved ones on both sides of the relationship no matter how long the marriage has existed. Even if the divorce occurs one day after the marriage ceremony the people attending the ceremony will be emotionally torn and disillusioned. The longer the marriage continues the more people will be severely and permanently damaged. This will occur even if the couple is mutually in agreement to divorce. The two people considering divorce must consider “all” the people they are going to affect. This will be every person they know and most of them are loved ones.

                Children of divorce are hurt the most. I would say that children would rather have their parents together in a turmoil relationship than have the parents divorce.  Please read I Kings 3: 16-28 BEFORE you consider divorce after you have children. No matter how you may reason with yourself your children will experience the same emotional, spiritual, and sometimes physical death that the baby in this passage was facing. Divorce is the sword in this passage. Do not believe anything different.

                So in this light is divorce ever an option? First, “all” sin is forgivable and I do mean “ALL” sin. With that said, I say no person deserves physical or emotional abuse at any time including within a marriage. The woman and the man are “equals” before God. Some religions base the woman and elevate the man. God created woman and man to complement each other and be a perfect fit. This type of activity should be justly punished under the same civil laws that protect all humans publically.

I would like to examine our relationship with God. When we accept God’s gift of salvation through Jesus we enter into a covenant relationship with God just like marriage. This is the reason God strongly reveres marriage because it is a picture of our relationship with him. The only way a divorce or separation occurs between us and God is when we reject His free gift paid by Jesus Christ. God loves us unconditionally and is always ready to forgive all our sin because of what Jesus did for us.

                Jesus taught if a spouse turns their back on the marriage by engaging in a sexual relationship with a person other than their spouse a divorce is allowed. (Matthew 5:31-32) If a person is physically or emotionally abusing their spouse the authorities should be summoned and the abusing spouse should be charged a crime for their actions. The couple should be separated to protect the spouse and counseling should be ordered for the couple. In most instances both spouses have fault in the broken relationship. The visible person is the one that gets all the negative attention, but the other spouse many times is also doing certain things to provoke the visible spouse. There is never an excuse for abuse. All of these offences must be brought to light through counseling.

 If either spouse is not willing to repent from their actions and refuses to follow a Godly relationship as found in Ephesians Chapter 5, the refusing spouses can be allowed to leave and be given a bill of divorcement. Many times the very reason a relationship reaches this point is because both spouses are not willing to face their sin and repent to each other. Sin only brings death and we see this very point in relationships. (I Corinthians 7: 12-15)

BEFORE you allow a relationship to deteriorate please consider the people you are going to hurt the most. Your children, friends, and your relatives are going to be hurt more than you as illustrated above and in the Bible. Please set your selfish desires aside and consider all the people in your lives BEFORE you start to be “unforgiving” and “unrepentant” toward your spouse and God.

Here are some foundational standards to live by:

  • Your spouse will make mistakes guaranteed
  • Please be open and truthful with your spouse about all things at all times
  • Always allow your spouse to repent (“desire” to not do that wrong again). Sorry is good, but the spouse “must” want to stop doing the wrong (repent)
  • Ask God to help you to “truly” forgive without bringing it up over and over again
  • Ask God for help you restore the relationship to being joyous and loving (try to remember your “first love”) as quickly as possible
  • Never look away from your spouse. It is NEVER greener on the other side. The grass is the same color on both sides of the fence. – Trust God.