by Jim Hughes
Malachi 2:15,16 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 yourself; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. “For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “It is as cruel as putting on a victim’s bloodstained coat,” says the LORD Almighty. “So guard yourself; always remain loyal to your wife.”
I do not claim to have perfect understanding on the issue of divorce. I know what God says about it; He hates it. Jesus declared that divorce exists because of the hardness of the soul towards God. He gave very limited permissible causes for divorce. The Apostle Paul also makes it clear that divorce is not God’s desired outcome for marriage. Knowing how strong God speaks out against it ought to cause us to take note and consider our stand on it.
I understand that there are situations in which divorce is the only solution to a marriage that has gone horribly bad. Sometimes it is essential for the safety of a victimized spouse. Sometimes one is left with absolutely no other option. What concerns me is all the other reasons why people divorce one another. It is so prevalent in the church today that you would be hard pressed to find a church fellowship where it has not happened.
Divorce should only happen when it is obvious there are absolutely no other options for a couple. It should never be seen as a way out of a marriage that one does not want to work on anymore. Just to give up on a spouse because you have drifted apart from a lack of working together to make the marriage work, is not a justifiable reason to divorce one’s spouse. Most issues in marriage can be worked out if a couple sincerely tries to work them out. For most couples today, divorce is nothing more than a testimony to their failure to even try to make their marriage work.
Divorce in the church is not a good thing. We ought to cringe and be ashamed by how readily we give up on our marriages. Instead, we accept it as normal and often condone it. We do not think much about not installing divorced people in positions of leadership in the church. It scarcely has a stigma anymore. But, if God hates it, shouldn’t we take it a lot more seriously than we do? How can we be a godly example to others when we fall flat on our faces so miserably in this area? It is time we take seriously the vows we make to each other in the presence of God and man and try much harder to make our marriages work, either that or change our vows. It is a very serious matter to make a vow before God and not keep it.
About the Author:
Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.
C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chaper on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.
I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.