Divorce – a message to the unmarried
Divorce – a message to the unmarried
Recently, I found myself in a deliberation to pray with a friend over a friend of theirs who was in a fix of whether to remarry after a divorce. I not only prayed but also read the Scripture concerning the matter. An understanding has always been there. The word is the sword of the Spirit. You may read it today and not find a meaningful use of it in the now, but in the fullness of time like a swordsman draws his sword when the drums of war are chimed so will the Spirit pull out the Word just at the right moment.
What did Jesus say?
But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the g round of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Matthew 5:32
In light of this, a number of questions arise – though some may seem similar to others- which I found to be angling in different and significant direction. First, is Christ saying there is no ground for divorce unless for reason of sexual immorality? Second, that the only time a divorce can be acceptable before God is when the basis is sexual immorality? Third, if you claim to have divorced your wife by any other reason save for sexual immorality, it won’t be recognized by God; thus, in principle you are still members of each other, a unit, though dysfunctional?
Now owing to the third question, the following apply. By God’s principle, you are still married, going ahead and ‘marrying’ someone else is in fact, adultery -either physical or emotional- and you who issue the divorce causes the other to commit adultery.
If that is true what does it mean?
For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. Romans 7: 2-3
You cannot divorce your wife or husband apart from reasons of sexual immorality. Any other reason would contravene God’s law. You made a covenant before God and that’s why you’ll have to go about it His way.
Christ and the Church
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Matthew 5:22-25.
Marriage is likened to Christ and the Church. Therefore, the relationship Christ has with the Church must be emulated by a man and a woman in Marriage.
Where to now?
To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:10-13
Remain unmarried means, they should not marry again to someone else; not that they stop being married to the partners they’ve been separated from. This is so because Paul still calls the man ‘her husband’ meaning they are still married and she shouldn’t marry again as it would be adulterous.
Solution to a broken Marriage that doesn’t owe its roots to sexual Immorality.
The only way to get back to God is by ‘getting back to God’. Therefore, the only solution is reconciliation or separate and stay unmarried to anyone else.
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows that will he also reap. For the one who sows, reaps to his own flesh. Galatians 6:7
Having established that divorce can only be pegged on infidelity, let us look at a person who has issued divorce according to the law of the land. To God they are still, husband and wife, married. Yet, out of seemingly irreconcilable differences, one partner opts out and marries someone else. Is it justifiable for the person to claim the right to divorce? The Bible says that God can neither be fooled nor played. But as Christ says, you’ve caused them to be adulterers. Period. You are responsible for them as much as they are responsible for their own actions.
‘‘For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.” Malachi 2:16 NLT
Marriage is divine. It is and not a creation of men, but instituted by God. Each party must be fully aware of what it takes before getting into this covenant. They must understand the purpose to which God brings two people together. Above all, in order to bring His assignment on you to fruition, two is better than one and so does He bring them together. I commend you to understand God’s assignment for you on earth, as it is all to His glory, before making any life changing commitments. In marriage, there is grace for couples to reconcile their differences.
What therefore God has put together, let no man put asunder. Mark 10:9
By Derrick Karani