The marriage vows, “Till Death Do Us Part,” seem to have lost their significance. Divorce is rampant all around us, including in the leadership of the church. I know pastors that are serving in churches that are divorced and remarried. I know churches that just turn a blind eye to that fact. I have heard on many occasions by clients that “God told them to leave their spouse.” I always just ask, “Really?” I have a difficult time believing God tells anyone to go against His Word. God does not contradict Himself ever. Before I anger everyone reading this today, let me explain that I know there are Biblical reasons for divorce. I believe that a life of adultery is the main reason for divorce in scripture. I also believe that physical abuse is another Biblical reason. I believe that if an unbelieving spouse leaves a believer, that is also a Biblical reason. I have heard some others try to add more reasons, but I think they are stretching scripture to fit their desires. Most of those are not the reasons I have heard the most recently. Why do people divorce most of the time? At least this is what I hear seemingly the most…”I am not happy and God wants me to be happy.” You know, I want to be happy. I like being happy. There are some days that I am deliriously happy. I’m not sure that I can prove that God ever says that He wants me to be happy. The word that is used over and over in the Bible is “joy.”
Jesus says These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (John 15:11 NASB)
God created us to give Him glory and show the world our relationship with Him. He wants us to be full of His joy because the world doesn’t understand it. He wants us to be full of love for others, because that is a foreign idea to our society as well as our world. Now, let’s go back to marriage. God has designed marriage to reflect His relationship with man. Remember that the very first marriage was found in the Garden of Eden when Adam had a need that was unmet. God chose to meet that need with His gift of Eve. Why? Because there was an intimacy that God understood that was not being met in any other way. God saw and met the need in a way that would reflect man’s need for an intimate relationship with the Creator as well. It really aggravates me when I see people who just throw away their marriage and then say that God gave them permission to do so.
For I hate divorce,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the LORD of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” (Malachi 2:16 NASB)
You see, God says that He hates divorce and He actually hates the one that covers his garment with wrong. What I believe that means is that He hates the one that tries to excuse himself for doing what is wrong. Wow! Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I know that God has used the divorce of some to move them to a point of realizing they need a better relationship with Him. I have helped people get right with God after a divorce. I just wonder sometimes what marriage inside of the church would look like if more people would focus on being full of God’s joy, instead of selfish happiness. I wonder if people would focus on getting right with God within their marriages instead of getting out of the marriage and then getting right with God. If you are divorced, I am not judging you. I understand that every situation in different. I also believe that God loves you enough to die on the cross for your sins just as He has mine. He is more interested in His relationship with you than He is your marriage. I also realize that you might have a Biblical reason for divorce. Today I am writing this because I have seen and heard so many Christians say “God told me to get a divorce” while they did not have the Bible backing them up with what they were saying. Again, God never contradicts Himself. He never tells you to do something that cannot be backed up with scripture. Those of us who are married, let’s make sure we remember the vow “Till death do us part!”
Brian Collis says
So good. We have really – as a society – taken the meaning out of so many of the words we say as vows. I posit that many don’t really consider what for better or for worse means either. I wrote about that a short while ago here:
I totally agree with you though that selfish desire for happiness is a leading culprit in our divorce statistics, and I often lay down the claim that, if God is at the center of a marriage, there can be no “irreconcilable differences.
Jay Dee - SexWithinMarriage.com says
I agree, I’m disgusted by this new trend of Christian counselors and leaders advocating divorce in marriage.
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