Nearly more than half of marriages in America end up in divorce. Whether this statistics is true or not, the reality of divorce is very real and cannot be denied. We can see it in television, newspapers, and even maybe in your local church congregation. This leads us to a vital question, is it okay for Christians to divorce?
God hates divorce
The prophet Malachi puts it very straight to the point. Malachi 2:16 states;
“For the Lord God of Israel says that HE HATES DIVORCE, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” says the Lord of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously.”
It is plain and simple that God hates divorce and for a very good reason. Children coming from dysfunctional family have the tendency to be a burden to the society. They are involved in a vicious cycle of breeding more dysfunctional families in the future.
In addition to this, married couples who divorce become financially unstable unless both parties are exceptionally rich. Married couples also undergo a tremendous emotional pain and lose a sense of direction in life.
Obviously, there are many negative effects of divorce both in personal and national level. Thus, it is no great wonder why God HATES divorce.
What about Moses permitting divorce?
As we look at the scripture, we can see that Moses permitted divorce. In fact, most “self-professing Christians” will turn to Moses to back up their decision. But should this be the battle cry of many divorced Christians?
Jesus, our great Master and Lord, addressed this very crucial issue. Let’s read Matthew 19:3-9.
“Some Pharisees came to him in order to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?” He answered them, “Haven’t you read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘That is why a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must never separate.”
They asked him, “Why, then, did Moses order us ‘to give a certificate of divorce and divorce her’?” He told them, “It was because of your HARDNESS OF HEART THAT MOSES ALLOWED YOU TO DIVORCE your wives. But from the beginning it was not this way. I tell you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
In this passage we can sift out 3 vital truths about divorce:
1. It is not God’s intention that man should divorce. God’s design of marriage is a life-long commitment. It is God’s intention that the human marriage covenant will exemplify God’s love to His future bride, the Church. The fault is never on God, but the fault rest on the PEOPLE. Because of the hardness of the heart of people that Moses allowed to divorce.
2. Sexual Immorality is the only ground for divorce. Anyone cannot simply resort to divorce because the “spark” and “excitement” has gone out from their marriage. If there is any reason for divorce, it should be sexual immorality. Other than that, nothing else. Nevertheless, I believe, that Jesus still give a space for reconciliation between the two persons if they are willing to salvage the marriage.
3. If a divorced man marries another, he commits adultery. Maybe, if this statement of Jesus is followed today, most married couple will think twice before they have a divorce. Since they cannot marry again without committing adultery, they will seek to straighten out their married life whatever the cost.
To answer the question is it okay for a Christian to divorce, the plain and simple answer is NO. Divorce should never be an option for Christians and even to non-Christians as well. Divorce comes with a great price that you might not want to pay if you try to weigh things. Divorce is not only destructive to the married couple, but also to all the people around them.
Preventing marriage from ending to divorce starts right at the beginning of seeking a spouse. Every couple should actively look for ways to salvage their marriage. There are many ways to recapture the romance when it is gone. Make God the center of your relationship and seek counsel before anything else.
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5 thoughts on “Is it Okay for Christians to Divorce?”
People are confused in thinking half of marriages end in divorce. This comes from thinking the divorce rate of 50% means half of the marriages end up that way.
Actually the divorce rate is determined by dividing the number of divorces in a year by the marriages in that year.
the actual marriages ending in divorces in most years is about 25%. this has remained this way since the late 1940’s.
I see. So where did the statistic came from when they say 50%?
I am aware that this statistic can be true or not and I pointed it out in my blog.:)
What about women who are beaten by their husbands? A man who claims to be a Christian but by his actions shows he is not?
If we really follow what the Bible tells us, a violent man will be punished according to the law. Besides, a man who beat his wife does not deserve to be a Christian. A true Christian should be loving to his wife and should imitate Jesus on how Jesus loves the Church.
I am a once divorced, now happily married woman who has struggled with this worry since the day I had to leave my first husband. He pretended to be Christian but stopped going to church once we were married, On becoming pregnant with our second child, I was informed by the gynecologist that I had ‘somehow’ picked up a STD between the two children, and it certainly wasn’t me who had picked it up. After learning that he was committing fraud in my name (taking out loans and credit cards with me as supposed cosigner), I left. In the end, I felt I had no choice for the sake of my daughters’ upbringing but to leave.
It has been now 17 years and I have been remarried to a wonderful man who is learning Christianity with me. We have five children, all whom have grown into lovely, responsible, hard working young adults.
I have spent so many hours repenting this sin, although I do think that I would have to do the same again, given how my ex-husband’s life has turned out (fourth marriage,a life full of drama and irresponsibility). I have asked for forgiveness and know intellectually that I will be forgiven by our Lord, based on His mercy and grace, but cannot seem to feel as though I have been forgiven. What do you think?