Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
Why is divorce wrong?
1. Divorce is against the clear Word of God. "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Mark 10:9).
2. Divorce is against the character of God. In Malachi 2, God calls divorce "treachery." God is faithful. What He promises, He does. Divorce is all in contrast to the faithful character of God. Love calls for loyalty. Those who divorce betray this sacred commitment of love, demonstrating, instead, unfaithfulness and treachery. The impact of Malachi 2, however, is not primarily broken marriage vows, but Israel's broken covenant with God. In graphic language, God demonstrated that covenant breakers with men become covenant breakers with God. Where the spirit of treachery is in human relationships, in other words, it will be in one's relationship with God. Small wonder that God says, "I hate putting away."
3. Divorce demonstrates hardness of heart. Jesus frankly said divorce was permitted for "hardness of...heart" (Mark 10:5). To this could be added the witness of many marriage counselors. The underlying problem in marital conflict is self-centeredness. Divorce is but the continued expression of a hard heart. It takes humility, love, and brokenness to resolve marriage problems and to experience the oneness intended in marriage.
4. Divorce hurts one's partner. Treachery is a betrayal word. Where there is betrayal, there is hurt. Trust and loyalty are intrinsically bound up in love, and divorce knifes mercilessly through those bonds causing hurt. Always. It is impossible to divorce a legitimate relationship between man and woman as an act of love and compassion. Attitudes of hate and hurt are always present.
5. Divorce hurts children and scars their lives. Following is the testimony of one daughter whose parents divorced:
6. Divorce creates further barriers to reconciliation. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul warns against even separating from an unbelieving partner, but then says, "If she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife" (I Corinthians 7:11). While we are not discussing separation here, we can readily see that Paul instructs towards reconciliation, not away from it, even with unbelieving partners. And he also implies that divorce is like adding a padlock to the door through which an unfaithful partner has gone. Where reconciliation is the objective, divorce cannot be an option.
7. Divorce perpetuates sin.
People choose divorce as an answer to their marriage problems. But it is impossible to correct problems through disobedience to God. Divorce always creates more problems. Jesus noted specifically that divorce is a cause of adultery (Matthew 5:32). No one can keep the consequences of sin to himself, and this seems especially true with divorce. Sin leads to sins, and those sins multiply in the generations to come. Studies have shown that those who come from divorced homes have a higher rate of divorce than those whose parents remained faithful. Sin simply snowballs. 5