Having gone through a divorce myself, I can say this is not something that I promote or expect to happen to those who went into it with good intentions. Unfortunately, we live in a broken world where sin abounds. Although God has granted us all free will, it can serve as both a blessing and a curse. We have the choice to live a life that is pleasing to God or to live a life where we intentionally choose to do wrong. This is something that can easily seep into a marriage, causing a spouse to become heartless towards the other.
*This post by no means condones or excuses violence of any kind.*
So what does God say about divorce?
For the next couple of weeks, I will unpack how God feels about divorce in hopes of releasing the shame some people carry because of it.
First of all, it was never His plan for it to even be an option. When He instituted marriage it was between one man and one woman so that they may multiply and grow His kingdom. Whether we know it or not, the purpose of marriage is to bring glory to God and there is nothing about divorce that does that.
In the Christian community as well as in others, divorce is looked at as a sin. Those who get a divorce are sometimes condemned and look at as less than because their marriage was not successful. Truth be told, there are many Christian marriages that last until death that still bring no glory to God even though they “stayed together” all this time.
Looks can be deceiving.
Just because a couple has been married for years and they post cute pictures with #marriagegoals, sadly does not mean that they have a successful marriage.
If you are or have ever been married, you know that challenges come and there is no way around them. Whether it’s wayward children, the loss of a child or parent, financial crisis, health issues, or simply a difference in opinions, couples must learn to work through them all together as a team.
How can one be heartless?
As I stated earlier, we all have free will. So there may come a time when a spouse exercises their free will to lash out on their spouse out of frustration to the problems they are facing. It is wrong? Absolutely! Should there be consequences? Of course! However, depending on the severity of a one-off incident, does that immediately mean it’s time for a divorce? It does not. With repentance (not apologies), and wise counsel, this too can be worked through.
It is when the heart of a spouse becomes so hardened that it has now unsafe for the other spouse and their children (if any), to live under these conditions, that a decision must be made to put an end to the marriage. By no means has God called us to live under these types of circumstances. Yes God hates divorce but He deems it permissible when you are married to someone who is heartless and does not value the life that God himself created.
If you read about the story of Moses, Pharoah and the Hebrews you will find that God actually hardened the heart of Pharoah making it difficult for him to release the Israelites.
Why would God allow someone to be heartless?
Only God truly knows the reasons why, but I have found that there are cases where God allows it for your protection. What we may think of as being rejected, in the end, is God’s way of protecting our future.
You may be in a marriage where you are praying for God to step in and turn it around but only the opposite seems to happen. You are doing everything in your power to try and save it but your spouse is doing everything in their power to disrespect, hurt and destroy it. So It is possible that God had to harden their heart to the point where you make the decision to end the marriage. In the thick of it, you can see it, but as time goes by you realize that it was only for your good.
Why would God want a divorce?
It’s not that He wants a couple to divorce but if we are honest, do you know if it was God that joined you together in the first place? So going back to our free will, we can marry who we want to marry and it not necessarily be who God orchestrated us to marry. Therefore, we can’t always trust our feelings because they can lead you to an unwanted dissolution of your marriage. That is why it would behoove everyone to have or at least want a relationship with God so that you can hear how He is guiding you.
What if God didn’t harden Pharoah’s heart?
If it wasn’t for Pharoah being heartless, how else would the Israelites have seen the miracles God brought into their life by parting the sea, raining manna down from heaven and eventually leading those who willing to follow and obey into the promised land? There was once a time where these same people thought that being left under Pharoah’s control in Egypt was better for them than having freedom from Him but with less to live on.
Do you know that God will make a way for you to live on less just to prepare you for more than you could ever ask or think?
The bottom line is that divorce should never be a part of anyone’s plan going into marriage. Although God hates it, He does allow it certain circumstances. However, divorce is not something you just do because times get tough. During these moments, it is your responsibility to work it out.
So don’t allow your family, friends or even the church condemn you for making a decision you know God granted for you. Also to those who divorced knowing that they should not have done so, His grace is yet sufficient for you too. Seek God for guidance on what you can do to get your family back. If you know that door has closed, ask for wisdom not to make the same mistake in your next marriage.
Whichever spectrum you happen to fall under, God’s love, grace, and mercy will be enough to carry you through.
In Relentless Pursuit,
Jesus asked them, “What does the Law of Moses say about that?” They answered, “Moses allows a man to write out divorce papers and send his wife away.” Jesus replied, “Moses gave you this law because you are so heartless. – Mark 10:3-5 CEV