Jesus' Footprints

Divorce

Posted on: 1 Aug 2011

There were a few verses in chapter two of Malachi which I found very interesting.  They addressed marriage and divorce.  God made a man and his wife one because He seeks godly offspring.  The New Living Translation of Malachi 2:15 reads:  Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.

Paul said that “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.” (1 Corinthians 7:14).  Marriage is an institution sanctified by God.  It is a holy union between a man and a woman and blessed by God.  The first marriage took place in the Garden of Eden.

God hates divorce for it covers one’s garments with violence.  What does this mean?  One Bible commentary explains that part of the marriage ceremony in Bible times involved the husband covering his wife with his garment as a symbol of the protection he brought her. But now, their garments were covered with violence. When a wife is forsaken or mistreated the man covers his own garment with violence. This is because the husband and wife are one, and he cannot mistreat his wife without bringing misery and destruction to himself.  Another commentary states that: Their “violence” is the putting away of their wives; the “garment” with which they try to cover it is the plea of Moses’ permission ( Deu 24:1 ;  Mat 19:6-9 ).

Jesus spoke of divorce.  He said, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” (Matthew 19:8).

The Pharisees had asked Jesus if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason.  Jesus reminded them that God made the man and woman at the beginning.  And that for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.  The two are no longer two but one flesh.  What God has joined together no man was to separate.  Bottom line, a man should not divorce his wife for just any reason.  Divorce was only lawful or permissible if there has been sexual immorality (adultery).

Divorce was never God’s plan.  Marriage was supposed to be for life.  Only death was to separate a man and his wife.  This is why marriage should be taken very seriously and the two parties should should take their time and make sure that they are ready.  Marriage is not something to be rushed into or entered into if there are doubts or concerns.  It is a lifetime commitment.

My husband told me that for gospel singer Lionel Harris the first seven years of marriage were hard, turbulent and nothing seemed to be going right but they persevered–they held on, they did what they needed to do and their marriage survived. Now they have been married for over twenty-five years. Couples considering marriage should seek premarital counselling.  It is important to address and resolve any issues that may come up beforehand.

Divorce is not a pleasant thing.  My parents are divorced.  Had they stayed together they would have been married for about fifty years.  Divorce can affect everyone, not just the couple.  This is why people need to make sure that they are ready for marriage and once they say “I do” be prepared to be in it for keeps.

On her wedding day, a relative of mine made a comment about how her next wedding would be.  She is divorced and there hasn’t been a second wedding. Before she had even walked down the aisle, she had already doomed her marriage to fail.  This is not the attitude a person should have when they are about to get married.  It would have been better if she had not gone through with it.  It would have been better if she and her fiance had gone for premarital counselling.

For those of us who are considering marriage or who are married, we would do well to heed these words of advice, “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage” (Hebrews 13:4, NLT ).  Marriage is an honorable thing and should be treated with the utmost respect.  It is a wonderful investment with many benefits.  Like anything worthwhile, it takes work and lots of dedication.  Nowadays people are quick to divorce when things are not going well in their marriages instead of trying to work things out.  Actor Eric Braeden from The Young and The Restless shares the same sentiments.  “I’m not saying that people should not divorce, but at the rate at which it happens here is sick. The kids, they suffer. I don’t care what anyone says.”

If you are having marital problems, don’t give up.  Don’t throw in the towel.  Try to work things out.  Seek spiritual guidance and counselling.

I firmly believe in marriage. It’s a real important decision that takes a lot of dedication and time. If you’re thinking about divorce. You shouldn’t get married.
Seth Green

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