Dear God Should I Get A Divorce
September 1, 2007
I was sitting in my church pew when my pastor announced “We need to take up a benevolent offering for Sarah, she’s dead.” We sat there stunned as the whispers could be heard throughout the congregation. “Her husband killed her and she has the two little kids and we need to do something for them.” With the most flustered look, the pastor sat down. See we all knew of Sarah. We knew that she had been in counseling. And many of us were there only a few weeks before when he said, “I asked Sarah to consider at least separating from her husband if not divorce, but she won’t listen. She says God hates divorce and she does not want God upset with her. Please pray for her to make the wisest choice.” Now she was dead and her two children left with a violent murdering father who was on his way to jail instead of a God loving and faithful mother.
Yes God does hate divorce because of the suffering that it causes families. But he does not hate those getting a divorce because he understands the pain and choas that has brought them to that point. It’s like the statement that God hates sin, not the sinner. Somehow in Christiandom we have it all wrong. We make God to be this judge sitting there waiting for us to mess up so that he can punish us. So we trap ourselves living by a set a rules and perceptions then when we are faced with serious issues such as divorce we don’t know what to do because the world at large shuns divorce, often isolates the divorcee, judges which spouse they think are at fault then top it off saying if you were a real believer or really loved God you would not get a divorce because God hates divorce. It’s just totally messed up. Ask yourself, would God rather have had Sarah alive or dead? Would God rather have had Sarah to raise her children or now to be completely devasted by not having either parent, forced into a foster situation, and probably having to go through years of psychological counseling? I hear the scripture crying out I put before you blessing and cursings, life or death, therefore choose life.
I have often heard people preach that the only biblical reason for the divorce that God will accept is unfaithfulness. But is it? Take a look at this scripture from the amplified version of the Bible (it also reads similar in King James) of Malachi:
… you cover the alter of the Lord with tears shed by your unoffending wives, divorced by your that you might take heathen wives, and with your own weeping and crying out because the Lord does not regard your offering any more or accept it with favor at your hand. Yet ye ask why does he reject it? Because the Lord was witness to the covenant made at our marriage between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealth TREACHEROUSLY, and to whom you were FAITHLESS. Yet she is your companion and the wife of your covenant made by your marriage vows.
And did not God make you and your wife one flesh? Did not One make you and preserve your spirit alive? And why did God make you two, one? Because he sought godly offspring from your union. Therefore take heed to yourselves, and let no one DEAL TREACHEROUSLY and BE FAITHLESS to the wife of his youth.
For the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I hate divorce and marital separation and him who covers his garment, his wife, with violence. Therefore keep a watch upon your spirit that it may be controlled by My Spirit, that you deal NOT TREACHEROUSLY and FAITHLESSLY with your marriage mate.
In the New Testament the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus on the issue of divorce they said, “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?” tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, “What did Moses COMMAND you?” And they said, “Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement and to put her away.” And Jesus answered and said unto them, “For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.” (Excerpts from Mark 10)
So here we see the heart of God in full circle. Does he approve of divorce no, because it messes up families and his plan for mankind. Does he want families to have to go through separation and eventually divorce, no. But he realizes that this happens because people FAIL TO ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE CONTROLLED BY HIS SPIRIT. When you fail to be controlled by the Spirit of the Living God, then you run the risk of acting treacherously and being unfaithful. Because of this God allowed Moses to command the bill of divorcement. However in God’s perfect will he never wanted divorce and he does not like it. His words are spoken in marriage covenants throughout the world, “what God has joined together let not man put asunder.” His definition of marriage is one man with one woman until natural death do them part.
The Hebrew definition of the word treachery is bagad, which means to act covertly, to pillage, to deal deceitfully, unfaithfully, offend, or transgress. This covers a whole territory of low down dealings that go on within the home. Destructive underhanded actions, robbing emotionally, taking forceful actions, cheating, messing over a persons life and general transgressions which totally dehumanize a person. God expects husband and wives to treat each other as companions not to abuse, misuse, mistreat, not appreciate and rip apart physically, mentally, and emotionally. And please note that when God did allow Moses to command the bill of divorcement it was to cover serious matters, not the trivial stuff that people often show up with at divorce court today. Some problems God can just give you the strength to work through if you are willing. And I am sure you know in the core of your heart what should be considered serious and what should be considered trivial. I believe Sarah would have been alive today if she understood that God never expected her to put up with sheer treachery.
I want to make it clear that I am not advocating anyone reading this article to get a divorce. If you have read Life Inspired then you know that I am 1000 percent for marriage, for restoration and for reconsiliation, but I also do not want to hear about someone else dying because they did not rightly divide the word of God. I also never want to know a person that had half their face blown off by an abusive husband (find my article about this), nor do I want to see women staying married to men that are incesting their children, or pampered and pretty wives going through hell because their husbands mentally abuse them. And yes every situation that I named can go in reverse with the husband being abused.
If you are contemplating divorce I would suggest crying out to God and devoting much time to prayer so that he can reveal how to handle your situation, and if you have a godly pastor seek counseling. If God does lead your heart to a divorce he will also give you the peace and endurance for the days ahead and for the emotional recovery you will need because of the gut wrenching pain associated with divorce.
Linda Leon is a published author. She has several marriage resources on her About page. You can also visit her website at mvpmedia1.com/lifeinspired/
If you are in a domestic abuse situation a recent news story on ABC13.com (http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=local&id=5697709) might help you. They discussed how to safely leave life threatening situations. The most important thing they stressd was timing, having a plan, having a safe room in your home and establishing a connection with a county approved safe house. Victims gave testimonies about how they survived with proper planning and assistance. A domestic violence hotline is available at 1 800 799-SAFE.
Safe Haven Ministries – Director Jennifer Marcum
Mending the Broken Soul Ministries – Founders Steven and Celestia Tracy
Moon Valley Church – Dr. Christine Stevenson
Scottsdale Valley Church
Denver Seminary – Dr. James Beck
When Love Hurts (DVD series for Christians in abuse) contact Day of Discovery Ministries 1 800 539-0708
For Marriages That Need Help:
1 800 A Family
American Association of Christian Counselors
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