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Marriage For Better Or Worse Part II: Divorce Is A Sin Against God!

Posted by Job on April 29, 2007

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Please see Part I ( of this devotional.
“For better, for worse.”  Divorce is not part of God’s plan for marriage.
As you can imagine, one of the issues I get thousands of prayer requests
about every day is divorce.  Well over 50% of marriages end in divorce, and
sadly that percentage is no different for people who are in the church.
There is so much weak and watered down teaching on this issue that involves
well over 1/2 of the people in our society that I want to deal with the key
points today.
The most important thing to understand about divorce is that it was never,
is not now, nor ever will be part of God’s plan for marriage.  God clearly
expresses His feelings on divorce in Malachi 2:16 by simply stating that “He
hates divorce.”  Divorce is a sin, period.  The biggest misconception about
divorce comes from the poor teaching that there are Biblical reasons for
divorce.  This is mainly due to a misunderstanding of the passages in
Matthew chapters 5 and 19 where it appears like adultery is a legitimate
reason to get divorced.

Let me say this as clear and concise as I can.  There are NO, ZERO, NADA
reasons for divorce.  Marriage is a LIFETIME commitment.  I have performed
dozens of weddings over my years in the ministry and have never yet said
“till death do us part… unless.”  There are no “unlesses” in the marriage
vows you make to your spouse and to God.  The exception for adultery is NOT
from God, it is an exception from man.  It comes from the Jewish laws of
marriage and divorcement and is a MAN-MADE reason for divorce.

One of the sad issues many men and women face in marriage is abuse.
Physical, verbal, emotional, mental, and sexual are all forms of abuse.  Let
me be clear on this.  God DOES NOT expect a person to stay in a living
environment where they are being abused in any way.  That is never His plan
for people to live their lives under those conditions.  I counsel people
daily in abusive situations to leave the home and separate.  Note that I
said separate, NOT divorce.  Also, I do not recommend that anyone who has
had to separate due to abuse of any kind, goes back until their spouse has
received professional help and is living a committed life for Christ.
Unless Jesus transforms their life, they will never change.

I have made it so clear in past Devotionals how serious the decision to get
married is.  It is for LIFE.  The vow is “for better or for worse.”  You are
making a lifetime commitment to this other person and to God.  That is why I
encourage you to take it slow when you are in a relationship that may lead
to marriage.  Don’t rush into anything.  First of all, don’t ignore God’s
warning in 2 Corinthians 6:14 by getting involved with a non-Christian.
Take the time to build a spiritual foundation to your relationship.  Get to
know the other person over TIME.  So many of the problems I see each day in
marriages could have been avoided if people would have only been patient and
taken the time to get to know their spouse BEFORE they got married.

I am well aware that this does not insure you will have a perfect marriage.
People make choices every day.  Sadly, even people who know the Lord make
the choice each day to live in rebellion to God.  You are NOT responsible
for the choices your spouse makes if at some point in your marriage they
choose to rebel against God.  However, you can be much more assured of who
your spouse is if you are patient and build a spiritual foundation to your
relationship prior to getting married  .

The other issue I want to address is getting married again after you have
been divorced.  Please understand that if you are divorced, you are single
and free to marry anyone else who is single.  Again, the passage that talks
about a person committing adultery if you get remarried after a divorce is
tied into the Jewish laws of marriage and divorcement.  The fact is, if you
are divorced you have sinned against God since in a divorce BOTH parties
have to bear the responsibility regardless of the circumstances.  The key is
to repent, ask God to forgive you, and stand on His promise in 1 John 1:9
that you ARE forgiven.  You are then free to remarry.  God is a God of the
second chance!

The biggest mistake I see people making every day is getting divorced and
before the ink is even dry on the divorce papers, even before in many cases,
involved in another relationship.  Please listen to me carefully.  A divorce
is no different than if someone takes a butcher knife and cuts a 12″ gash
into your chest.  It is a SERIOUS wound that needs time, often lots of time,
to heal.  Getting involved in another relationship is the most foolish thing
anyone who has just gone through the pain of a divorce can do.  You are NOT
ready for it emotionally or spiritually!  Please, take time to heal and
spend time with the Lord before you even consider getting involved in
another relationship.

I love you and care about you so much.  My heart breaks today knowing how
many people are living each day in a difficult marriage.  I will be praying
for you.  If you are having problems in your marriage, please know that God
is your hope and strength.  He is still a God that changes lives and can
bring healing and restoration to your marriage.  I will be praying today for
those marriages that are in trouble, believing God to make your marriage

For those who have been through the pain of divorce, I will be praying for
you as well.  I went through a divorce early in my life when I was away from
the Lord so I understand what that pain is.  God loves you very much and if
you will simply ask His forgiveness, He will forgive you for the sin of
divorce.  God still has much for you to do with the rest of your life as
well as many blessings for you to enjoy.   I will pray today that in His
perfect timing, He will bring  into your life a Godly man or woman to share
the rest of your journey with in His Holy Institution of Marriage,
for better, for worse!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

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7 Responses to “Marriage For Better Or Worse Part II: Divorce Is A Sin Against God!”

  1. rickdugan said

    Some books that may help you arrive at a more biblical understanding of divorce are ‘Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible’ by Jay Adams, ‘… and Marries Another’ by Craig Keener, and ‘Divorce and Remarriage in the Church’ by David Instone-Brewer.

    Not everyone chooses to be divorced. Divorce ends a marriage.

  2. Rick Dugan:

    There are plenty of books that use scripture to justify doing things that God disapproves of. I am certain that there are many, though they may be produced by esteemed and well qualified theologians and scholars, with which you would disagree. The gospels sum up God’s attitude towards divorce with the words of Jesus Christ: God suffered the Jews in divorce because of the hardness of their hearts. Left unsaid is that a huge reason why their hearts were hardened was because Jesus Christ had not yet died, risen, and ascended so that the Holy Spirit could indwell them and soften their hard hearts with the fruits of the spirit. Thus, as part of fulfilling the Old Covenant, Jesus Christ preached that people who live under the New Covenant that is built on better promises should be able to apply those promises to their marriages and thus only get divorced in exceptional circumstances. Now do not get me wrong, divorce is a sin just like everything else, and God will forgive a person for getting a divorce just like anyone else. But where are these books out there that “give a more biblical understanding” of the other sins, like, say, oppressing the poor, lying, gossiping, or disrespecting parents? And were they do exist, would you approve of them? If so, would you extend that same level of approval to books that purport to prove that the Bible supports homosexuality and violent sedition? What is mighty revealing here is how the church follows the world. When divorce was looked down upon by mainstream culture, the divorce rate in the church was low. But once mainstream culture began to accept divorce, it is now accepted in the church. You know fully well that these books of which you speak would have had no market or following in 1950, let alone 1850. God’s Word has not changed. Only Christians have.

  3. rickdugan said

    THese books do not justify divorce. They merely demonstrate that there are other biblical ways of looking at this. You can’t dismiss them merely as following the world if you haven’t read them. These books deal with the biblical, historical, and archeological evidence and they do not support divorce on demand. All of them acknowledge that marriage is to be a life-long covenant.

    Divorce is always the result of the hardness of hearts. But a common misconception (developed over previous generations when people were less personally experienced in the reality of divorce) is that it is the actual act of *divorce* that is the fruit of the hardness when in reality it is the *causes* of divorce that reveals the hardness of mens hearts. God allowed for divorce not because he was allowing sin for a while, but because He was protecting women from men whose hardened hearts were causing them to break their covenants. Divorce was instituted by Moses to protect victims of broken covenants (usually women in Middle Eastern culture). It is intended to be an act of mercy and protection in a fallen world.

    Covenants still should not be broken, but sometimes they are. In these cases Jesus and Paul continue to allow for divorce to protect the victims. Jesus was speaking against what is commonly called today ‘no-fault divorce.’ He was not addressing all cases of divorce (which he himself acknowledges in Matthew). Paul speaks about abandonment but never mentions adultery.

    Much more could be said, but when you are dealing with something as painful and violent as divorce, it would be responsible to ensure that you are really using the Scriptures as they were intended to be used. The books could help.

  4. Marriage is for Life!

    “A wife is married to her husband as long as he lives.”
    1 Corinthians 7:39

    Marriage = A Covenant Between One Man And One Woman…Until Death

    “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.” —Jesus Christ
    Luke 16:18

    Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery

    “A husband must not divorce his wife.”
    1 Corinthians 7:11

    “Let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.”
    Malachi 2:15

    “Thou shall not commit adultery.”
    Exodus 20:14

    “Marriage is to be held in honor among all and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
    Hebrews 13:4

    “The man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul.”
    Proverbs 6:32

    “Do not be deceived…adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
    1 Corinthians 6:9

  5. Reblogged this on The Art Of Roche and commented:
    I think paragraph 7 of the actual post is interesting.

  6. doreen said

    I’m 30 years and been married for 2 years and now my marriage is falling apart mainly due to lust, infidelity: my husband wants to walk out of the marriage and go back to his ex girlfriend.
    I don’t know what to do. He knows that divorce is not right and he knows it’s against the will of God.
    I’m 6 weeks pregnant with his child. we have had the bible counseling but all in vain.
    In 3 months, He will give his finally answer! I’m so scared, stressed out, confused and have no much power to even pray. I’m trying to put my trust in God but this is wearing me out…I pray that I don’t get a miscarriage.
    Thanks A LOT.
    God bless you all.

  7. nikki said

    I filed for divorce. Am i making a mistake?

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