Marriage: Divorce–Never!

Torn fabric

Divorce is something that is extremely common. One cannot go anywhere without meeting someone who is divorced, in the process of divorce, or thinking about getting a divorce.

Statistics of America state that about 41-50% of all marriages will end in divorce. The average length of a marriage in the United States is seven years.

In the church, the statistics may be slightly lower. Their average can be found at about 38% get divorced or are divorced already.

These statistics are just with first time divorce rates. There are many people who have been divorced more than one time.

The reason for divorce are numerous, but usually stem around the following: infidelity, lack of commitment, conflict or arguing. Many finish with reasons of infidelity, domestic violence, or substance abuse.

Abuse

With these types of statistics, divorce is a reality in this world. It is something that is found outside and inside the church. Very few people are not touched by divorce in some way or another, either they have been through a divorce or they know someone who has.

Knowing this, I want us to take a look at what the Bible says about divorce.

In the previous posts I looked at what marriage is. It is one man and one woman put together to become one (Genesis 2:22-24). Many will say that this is just the Old Testament and does not apply to us today.

The Pharisees came to Jesus asking about divorce and if it was lawful or not to do. Jesus repeats what was said in Genesis in both Matthew 19 and Mark 10. With those words that the man and woman are to become one, He also adds:

Matthew 19_6

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. (Matthew 19:6)

The leaders wanted to know what Jesus had to say about divorce and He tells them that it should not happen at all.

“For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” Malachi 2:16 NASB

God hates divorce! It should not happen.

Why does God hate divorce? It is because He is a God of LOVE. He is Love. He wants His people to be people of love.

Divorce is not love. There is no love in divorce. There is no forgiveness. It is only hatred and selfishness. It only brings about pain and suffering for selfish reasons.

Love has absolutely no room for selfishness or hatred.

Some will say that divorce happened in the Bible and that Moses made provision for divorce. Jesus had something to say about this:

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way form the beginning.” Matthew 19:8

Stone heart

It was only out of the hardness of heart that divorce was ever allowed. This, again, does not show love. Love is soft and kind.

Now I know that there are some out there saying right now that I just don’t know or understand their situation. There are some that are being verbally, emotionally or physically abused, or some combination of all three. They will say that divorce is their only way out of the situation.

I do know that abuse does occur. I agree that it is horrible and can be life-threatening. However bad a situation is does not in any way allow for divorce. The only situation that Jesus says that allows for divorce was for sexual immorality–a spouse cheating on the other spouse sexually with another person.

Even then, divorce does not have to be the answer.

Think about life as a believer. Jesus promised that there would be persecution of every believer. He never promised that following Him would be easy or fun. He only promised that it would be worth it in the end.

Think about this situation: As a believer you are persecuted and abused–physically, sexually and emotionally. Does this give you the right to strike back in anger and hate? No.

Think about Jesus. He was perfect, never did anything wrong ever. Yet, He was abused, persecuted and killed upon a cross. Jesus endured whippings and beatings and a crown of thorns put on His head. Then as He was put upon the cross, He had to endure the pain of nails being driven through His hands and feet. And He had to endure the punishment of all sins of every person for all time. Then to top it off, His Father, whom He had been with for all eternity, turned His back on Him and struck Him.

Jesus crucified

How horrible! How wrong!

Yet, as Jesus was upon the cross He prayed that the Father would forgive them because they did not really know what they were doing. He forgave them of what they had done wrong.

And the whole reason for going through all that suffering was so that you may have life and be forgiven of your sins. This is real love.

You, as a believer, are to be just like Jesus–full of love and forgiveness. If you are going through persecution as a believer, does that give you the right to deny Jesus to get out of that persecution? NO! You are expected to endure the persecution, love your enemies and forgive them, just like Jesus did with you.

No where in the Bible does it give a believer the right to sin for any reason at all. Yet, many want to divorce, just because ‘we are incompatible’ or ‘he/she is abusive’ or for some other reason. None of these hold up under the command that no one should separate what God has put together.

Marriage may or may not be easy. Guaranteed there will be times that it will be difficult. There will be times that will seem like the most horrible thing on the face of the earth. Yet, marriage is supposed to be about love. One is love the other, no matter what.

Wedding vows with ring

Going back to the vows. Many said that they accept the other ‘for better or for worse’. This is often forgotten or ignored. You promised to live together for better or for worse, now wanting to get out of that promise because something is worse. You are to keep your vows before God. He will hold you accountable for every vow you made.

The other thing to remember is that with God all things are possible (Philippians 4:13). God can redeem your marriage. He can also give you the strength to endure all of the abuse that you may be going through. He can give you the love you need to love your spouse, even when that love is not returned and hate is given.

Just as your walk with God as a believer is not always easy, you walk in marriage may not always be easy, but it is worth it to love and fulfill your vow. Who knows? God may change the heart of your spouse and bring the spouse around to change his/her ways to a way of true love.

Rough path in forest

Divorce does not allow for change. It does not allow for love. It does not allow God to be the center of one’s life. It only brings about death and separation.

Do not allow death and separation to destroy your marriage. Hang in there and trust God to turn things around. Pray daily for strength and love to keep moving forward. Trust God to make the needed changes in your life and in the life of your spouse.

Now with this being said, I will say that there may be times when a spouse may have to move out to be safe from harm. Moving out is not getting a divorce, but staying safe. It still holds on to the hope that God will turn the marriage around.

Also if your spouse is an unbeliever and wants to get the divorce, than you are free to allow the spouse to get the divorce and you are released from your vow. However, you must not be the one to initiate or choose to get the divorce. Fight for your marriage.

Prayer with bible

I will be praying for your marriage. Praying that God will be the center of both of your lives and the center of your marriage. I will be praying that God will give you strength to love your spouse no matter what happens.

1 Peter 4:4 Are You Surprising The World?

 

Surpised man

They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 1 Peter 4:4

The majority of the people in this world like to live having a good time. They want to do what they want, when they want and how they want.

Teenagers and college students are commonly looked as the ones who live wild and reckless lives. They are often portrayed as party animals, that do nothing but party and be reckless. While it is true that a vast majority do party and have a reckless time in that part of their life, they are not the only ones who live wild and reckless lives.

Millions of men and women get drunk or do drugs everyday. Millions daily sleep around outside of marriage each day. Millions engage in activities that are dangerous and sinful, that will cause problems down the road. This can be seen with people from teen-age level all the way to senior citizens.

Peer pressure is applied to anyone who does not agree with them and join in the wild living. Because of that peer pressure, many more cave in and join them.

True believers in God will stand out as different. Their lives are not guided by having fun in the moment. They are guided by God’s Holy Spirit to live a holy life, that is pure before God with everlasting benefits.

As a believer refuses to be a part of the wild life of this world, people see them as strange. They are surprised that anyone would not want to be a part of that lifestyle. It is often seen as hate and rejection of the person. It is common for believers to be called haters, because they will not accept or partake in the sinful, wild activities of this world. Yet, God has called the believer to be separate from this world.

The world is watching what you say and do. They want you to be like them in every way, so that they do not feel the conviction of being wrong. The life the world is living will only end in death. Do not be a part of that death. Jesus pulled you out of it, stay out of it.

Allow the world to be surprised at how you live.

Is the world surprised at why you will not act and live the way they do?

I pray today that you will know the life Jesus has given you; that you will live your life for God and not this world; that God will give you strength to turn from the wild living of this world; and that the world will be surprised at how you live for God.

Malachi 2:15 Do Not Be Unfaithful

Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. Malachi 2:15

Some of the people had been asking why they no longer had God’s favor. God had removed His hand of favor from them because they had become unfaithful with their wives. Ultimately they had divorced their wives, causing greater damage and harm. Through Malachi, God gives the warning to not be unfaithful in marriage.

Divorce is a common activity in the lives of couples all over the nation. It has become so common that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. Sadly, this is also true for Christian marriages. At times this statistic is lower, but it is because fewer people are getting married and are just living together, still in sin.

Every believer belongs to God, both in body and in spirit. There is nothing that does not belong to God, when one is following Him.

One thing that God wants is for children to be brought up knowing God. When there is divorce, there is a breakdown in really knowing God. God is known for love, care, selflessness, patience, forgiveness, perseverance, and service. It is about the other person.

In marriages, people often forget about God’s principles and how they are to act and react. One or the other runs around being unfaithful. Or one of them is abusive in various ways causing the desire for divorce.

During the Old Testament times, a woman who was divorced had nothing to live for. No income, no house, and no favor. For the husband to divorce her, it was abuse. God did not want it, and still does not want it.

As a believer you are to be faithful to God and to the one  you are married to. This is for both men and women. God is a God of love and forgiveness. You must also be like Jesus and be for love and forgiveness.

Watch yourself in your life. Keep a guard on what you say, think or do so that you cannot be accused of being unfaithful to either a spouse or God. To be unfaithful to one, you are unfaithful to the other.

Are you being faithful today?

I pray today that you will be faithful to God and your spouse; that you will allow God to guide your every action; that you will treat your spouse as God treats you; and that God will help you make your marriage strong.

Mark 13:9 Be On Your Guard

“You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.” Mark 13:9

Jesus was telling the disciples that the temple would be destroyed. The disciples asked when this would be. He told them to watch the signs, that things would get really bad.

Now, He tells them to be on their guard. They would be handed over to the local authorities for abuse. Not only would the local authorities punish them, but they would also get abused in the synagogues–the religious places. The place that should be a place of refuge and safety would become a place of abuse.

All of these things would happen because of their belief in Jesus and to give them a chance to be a witness to the world.

How does getting put in prison or abused give you a chance to be a witness? These events give you a chance to stand strong and true for Jesus. It allows you to make the statement as to why you are willing to go through the harsh treatment.

In many parts of the world it is acceptable to treat Christians harshly. Right now, as a whole, you do not see this level of harsh treatment of believers in America, but it is getting more rough all the time.

Teachers in schools cannot talk about Jesus. In the workplaces you cannot witness. You cannot speak out against sin without it being a hate crime.

Will you bend to the desires of the world and not be a witness for Jesus?

Will you choose to be silent?

Or will you choose to be His witness no matter what it means?

Jesus chose to die on a cross in full public humiliation and extreme torture for you. What are you willing to do for Him?

Be on your guard and be ready to be His witness. Do not fear the torture, but embrace what God is giving you. He is giving you an opportunity to be His witness. Will you take it?

I pray today that God will strengthen you in your walk with Him; that God will make you more like Jesus; that God will reveal ways you can be His witness; that God will give you the words to speak; and that God will build His kingdom through you.