‘”The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘does violence to the one he should protect,’ says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.’”
Malachi 2: 16
Is divorce wrong? Is it ever necessary? If so, when? If not, why not? What about remarriage? These questions alone can cause a lot of tension, because so many individuals have been impacted on some level by divorce. Whether you’ve gone through a divorce yourself or you’re the child of divorce – divorce is painful and incredibly complicated. So what does Jesus say about this very personal and relevant topic?
- God intends marriage to be for life. That is His desire. For those who are married, this requires asking daily for God’s help in being unselfish enough to commit to our marriage for the rest of our lives (Matthew 19:4-6).
- Because of sin, God allows divorce. God hates divorce, but allows it for TWO reasons according to the teaching of Jesus and Scripture: sexual immorality (Matthew 19:9) and when an unbelieving spouse deserts a believer (1 Corinthians 7:7-10). In these cases, the believer is no longer bound by that marriage.
- Jesus desires reconciliation. Even though there are very real reasons for divorce, Jesus always desires reconciliation, if at all possible, in an estranged marriage relationship (Matthew 6:14-15).
If your marriage is struggling, ask God for the courage and grace to work at it, especially on the tough days. If you are divorced, allow God to work in your heart and life. Because no matter our past, God’s love and forgiveness covers our sins, regrets, mistakes and even broken marriages. Let God help you through your pain and regret and seek His will for your life. Leave the past in the past, the future in His hands, and be willing to venture forward in faith – wherever God may lead.