In my travels through the blogosphere and In Real Life (IRL) I have encountered many people who are faced with the issue of divorce. Now admittedly, many are not christian so the issue for them is how to divide up our stuff and who gets to keep the dog (or cat). But for my christian friends (and acquaintances) the issue is far more complex than that. Rather than spouting off what I think about it, let me point you to a couple of places that seem to cover it quite well.
Mars Hill Church in Seattle has a very extensive and biblically supported position on the issue of Divorce. You can read it at the Resurgance website.
The issue of divorce, particularly in the current cultural climate, is such a tremendously sensitive and poorly taught subject that the entire counsel of God must be examined to properly understand how it relates to Jesus’ teachings. Many fine scholars who love the Lord disagree on this issue and it must be treated with a tremendous amount of mercy and grace. In no other period of human history has the ability to leave one’s commitment of marriage been so prevalent and easy. Today, all that is required is a statement of irreconcilable differences. What, then, should be the response of the Christian?
Another good article on the subject is found at GotQuestions.org. It’s not nearly as complete an answer but does touch on the key issues briefly. It’s a good place to start if you’re pressed for time but definately read the Mars Hill article for a thorough examination on the subject.
First of all, no matter what view one takes in the issue of divorce it is important to remember the words of the Bible from Malachi 2:16a: ?I hate divorce, says the Lord God of Israel.? According to the Bible, God?s plan is that marriage be a lifetime commitment. ?So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate? (Matthew 19:6). God realizes, though, that since a marriage involves two sinful human beings, divorce is going to occur. In the Old Testament, He laid down some laws in order to protect the rights of divorcees, especially women (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). Jesus pointed out that these laws were given because of the hardness of people?s hearts, not because they were God?s desire (Matthew 19:8).
3 thoughts on “Christian Divorce”
Definitely a tough, often painful issue. “Quick to hear (or in this case, read and learn), slow to speak, slow to anger” would make a good foundation or starting-point.
My husband wants to divorce me after 12 years of marriage. I have two small children. He says he wants Gods perfect will for his life and our childrens but that he isn’t in love with me anymore. And surely going through the motions are not a good idea. In his mind. He did have an affair earlier this year, and I told him I would forgive him and we could go to counseling. He doesn’t want to. He says he is saved, and wants God’s will, but not me. I am so angry and rejected. I feel like I have fought for my family, by fasting, by prayer. It’s no use. I am saved myself. But still I feel like there was not a disclaimer when I was married. Why now all of a sudden is there?
archshrk responds: My first advice is to seek Godly counsel from your church elders. Both of you. This may be difficult if your husband is resistant or unwilling to reconcile but you should go even if he won’t. If you are not currently a member of a church then look for a Christian counseling center in your area. Finally, be sure to spend time in the word. The articles I linked to in the post are well supported by scripture and are a good place to start to understand God’s will in this issue.
We all sin despite the assurance of our salvation. Your husband may already be saved and this is simply the consequence of sin in his life. We can’t change him (the Holy Spirit changes our hearts) but you can still be obedient to God through your actions, demonstrating Christ in all that you do.
My hope is that you can reconcile and that both of you honor your covenant. I’d like to help you as much as I am called and am able to counsel you both. In that regard, please feel free to email me with any questions you have and to let me know how things are going. Even if you’re not interested, please let me know that you received this email.
No, I don’t think it is lawful to divorce neither is it lawful to remarry, while the spouse is still alive, see Romans 7:2-3
“So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.”
Somewhere else it is written in the Bible that if the woman (but the same goes for man) has divorced the other and has not remarried yet, he or she should go back (of course, if the other hasn’t married in the mean time).
To Nicole, I’m writing this a year after your post, but I’ll still pray for you.