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The grounds for divorce given in the Bible sound constricting to modern ears. The teachings on divorce address the issues of the day, which were very different than modern times. Add to that some s...
Jesus makes it clear how HE feels about divorce. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: (Matthew 5:31-33 KJV) (1) God made one male and one female. If God had intended more than one wife for Adam, He would have created more. The same would be true of husbands for Eve. He who made them is literally “the One who created” or “the Creator.” The implication is that the Creator is Lord and is the One who determines what the is ideal in marriage is. (2) God ordained marriage as the strongest bond in all human relationships. A man leaves his parents and is joined to his wife. The language is very strong here. Leave means “to abandon”; joined to means “to be glued to.” The most permanent relationship in society is not between parent and child, but between husband and wife. (3) The two become one flesh. The basic element in marriage is a contract or covenant (see Mal. 2:14); part of that covenant is physical intimacy. Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. (man and woman was made inseparable since creation.) (note God called they name adam showing they are one! Not adam and eve but just Adam!)
Divorce is not for Christians, because Christians must be faithful to their spouse! It's for the unbelievers. Marriage is for learning and endurance!
Divorce is never healthy. Divorce destroys families and frankly ruins lives. Divorce shouldn't even be the last option on the table, it should be the option after the last option, and even then Scripture is very specific about when a spouse may seek a divorce and it not be sin. Matthew 19:9 - And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery. The above verse is the only provision given in Scripture in which a Believing spouse may seek a divorce. What Jesus is saying here is that if two believing spouses get a divorce for any reason other than adultery, and then one of the spouses remarries - that spouse is committing adultery. They commit adultery because even though they have received a legal divorce, they are still one flesh and married in the eyes of God. What Jesus is saying here is that only the act of adultery is capable of severing the one flesh covenant made between two Believing spouses. So if two Believers get a divorce and it wasn't due to adultery, then they will be committing adultery by remarriage because they are still married. However, if the divorce occurs because of adultery, then the spouse that the sin was committed against may remarry without fear of sinning. The second allowance for divorce is found in I Corinthians 7:15 - "But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace." There is something special and unique about a marriage between two Believers that does not exist between non-Christians. A Christian marriage is between the spouses AND God. Paul is saying here that in the case of an unequally yoked marriage, the Believing spouse may both get a divorce and remarry if the unbelieving spouse initiates the divorce. However it is important to recognize that it is only if the unbelieving spouse initiates the divorce. Should the unbelieving spouse want to remain married, then according to the preceding verse, God will honor the marriage. So there you have. Divorce should always be the last option, and even then it may not be an option.
Divorce was given by God and Moses as a solution to what the bible calls "putting away". Mal. 2:16 says "I hate divorce" in most translations. But the KJV got it right. They translated it "putting away". Putting away and divorce are not the same thing. Men would put their wives away to avoid repaying the dowry back. God hated it because their wives would get remarried without a written divorce and thereby comit adultery. Divorce would end the marriage and then they would be free to marry. How can you say that God hates divorce according to Mal. 2:16. It can't mean that because in the book of Ezra 10:3 God tells the children of Israel to divorce their wives. 10, 000 of them (estimate) Why would God tell His own people to do something He hates. Let's dig a little deeper people. Not only that but in Jer.3:8 God declares that He, Himself is a divorcee. Then how can God be against Himself. Does He hate Himself. The true translation of Mal. 2:16 is God hates putting away. Because if all you do is put away your wife she will have no way to get remarried without committing adultery unless she has a divorce from you. That's also what Jesus was talking about in Matt. 5:31-33 where the word divorce is also mistranslated from the greek word meaning put away. This misunderstanding has hurt many people and all because of ignorance of God's word.
There is actually no place for divorce for Christians in the Bible. Matthew 19:6-8 expressly said that God created them from the beginning male and female. Jesus specifically said that divorce was allowed by Moses because of the hardness of the heart of the children of Israel v 8. In real interpretation, Moses was compelled to allow them to divorce their wives, not according to any law or scripture. In a modern day language Moses permitted that under duress. Chinwendu Anusi
G_d sees and knows the heart of man and women, and there are times when out of complete ignorance (the major part of it, not being taught properly) people fall into a marriage situation, which they then find themselves desperately trying to get out of. This, in the majority of cases, happens not once or twice, but several times; more than enough in the lives of many struggling to find complete happiness in marriage and more then often, because the gatherings we attend do not teach the word of G_d properly. We can not place all the blame on these institutions, in-as-much as the two parties taking their vows: for by being away spiritually and physically from the Word of G_d: and not having a love for the word and or a longing to learn more about the things of G_d: is common place in these times. However, when the truth of G-d is realized, and ones heart is open to the reality of G_d and his kingdom. Repentance opens a door into a plea for forgiveness from the Almighty...HaShem is faithful and just to forgive us all our sins; when we come to Him in the name that is above all names...Yeshua. I strongly believe that our G_d forgives anyone who finds that straight and narrow path; asks for forgiveness and then works in living righteously in the kingdom of Adonai, here on earth. Find for yourself a Bible believing congregation and do right for G_d, through our Lord Yeshua, and learn to survive through the guidance of the Holy Spirit (the Ruach HaKodesh). And please, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem".
This subject is both important and controversial today. The divorce rate continues to climb (at this writing, 1 divorce for every 1.8 marriages), and divorce has invaded even the homes of Christian leaders. Someone has commented that couples “are married for better or for worse, but not for long.” We need to examine again what Jesus taught about this subject. He explained more than one (actually 4) different laws relating to marriage and divorce. The Original Creation Law (Matthew 19:3-6) Instead of going back to Deuteronomy, Jesus went back to Genesis. What God did when He established the first marriage teaches us positively what He had in mind for a man and a woman. If we build a marriage after God’s ideal pattern, we will not have to worry about divorce laws. The dissolution of the marriage tie was regulated by the Mosaic law (Deut. 24:1-4). The Jews, after the Captivity, were required to dismiss the foreign women they had married contrary to the law (Ezra 10:11-19). Christ limited the permission of divorce to the single case of adultery. It seems that it was not uncommon for the Jews at that time to dissolve the union on very slight pretenses (Matt. 5:31, 32; 19:1-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18). These precepts given by Christ regulate the law of divorce in the Christian Church. Our Lord and his apostles re-established the integrity and sanctity of the marriage bond by the following measures: (a) By the confirmation of the original charter of marriage as the basis on which all regulations were to be framed. (Matthew 19:4,5) (b) By the restriction of divorce to the case of fornication, and the prohibition of remarriage in all persons divorced on improper grounds. (Matthew 5:32; 19:9; Romans 7:3; 1 Corinthians 7:10,11) Christ did not allow absolute divorce for any cause (see Mk 10:2 ff; Lk 16:18; Gal 1:12; 1 Cor 7:10). The Old Testament permission was a concession, He teaches, to a low moral state and standard, and opposed to the ideal of marriage given in Gen (2:23). Two sayings attributed to Christ and recorded by the writer or editor of the First Gospel (Mt 5:32; 19:9) seem directly to contravene His teaching as recorded in Mk and Luke. Here he seems to allow divorce for "fornication" (ei me epi porneia, save for fornication"), an exception which finds no place in the parallels (compare 1 Cor 7:15, which allows remarriage where a Christian partner is deserted by a heathen). The sense here demands that "fornication" be taken in its wider sense (Hos 2:5; Am 7:17; 1 Cor 5:1). -- George B. Eager Divorce is complicated, and even though I went through it as a young teen, and it hurt my sister and me a lot! And it hurt my mom the most I think. I still don’t understand it all. Now that I’m married, and I didn’t marry until I was 36 because I was leery of getting divorced like my folks, we don’t even discuss divorce in our family because a wise pastor said not to—it just leads to a possible divorce! A body of research has shown that divorce has negative effects on a child’s psychological, emotional, and physical health and well-being. Divorce is shown to have more severe financial consequences for women than for men. Research has found that a woman’s disposable income drops about 30 percent after a divorce while a man’s falls about 10 percent (Stroup and Pollock, 1994). Men who divorce suffer greater health problems than their married counterparts. A research review done by Robert Coombs of UCLA found married adults generally reported healthier, longer, and more satisfied lives than their unmarried peers (Coombs, 1991). Sara McLanahan of Princeton University concluded in her 1991 study that “adolescents in mother-only families are more susceptible to peer influence than those living with both natural parents.”
I do not support DIVORCE at all and for any reason especially among Christians. 1+1=1 according to Heavenly mathematics instituted in the Book of Genesis 2:18-24. So, it is unwise for couples to be separated from each other except by death.
I think what is interesting in this debate is that in the context of Matthew 5 we choose to take verses 31 and 31 literally and yet the same does not apply to the preceding verses. In verses 29 and 30 Jesus talks about what to do about our body parts/organs which cause us to sin – we are commanded to dismember ourselves in order to save our whole (well, at least what we haven’t chopped off yet) bodies! Or did Jesus mean verses 29 and 30 literally too? If not, what are we missing here? To complicate the issue further, what if the ‘body part’ that causes one to sin is the spouse, what is that person supposed to do in that case? Doesn’t that cause a contradiction between verses 29/30 and 31/32? What I am driving at is that indeed, God hates divorce but we must look at the big picture here. Because of the ‘work’ interpretation of the law, the Israelites were not following the spirit of the law. They paid no attention to what the law intended to achieve. I could be wrong but I do believe that what Jesus said was trying to discourage the practice of marrying a woman today and after you are done with her divorcing her and then marrying another because according to the law there was nothing wrong with that: serial marrying and divorcing was not sinful according to the Levitical laws. I am also tempted to agree with Pastor John D’Orazio here and fault the translations that use the word ‘divorce’ as opposed to the phrase ‘putting away’ used by the King James Version because the context gives more credibility to the appropriateness of ‘putting away’ as opposed to ‘divorce’. The person marrying a woman who is not divorced but merely ‘put away’ by the husband is effectively marrying a married woman who belongs to someone else hence the sin for someone who marries such a woman. This makes perfect sense in today’s context as it also enslaves the woman as she doesn’t have the freedom to remarry. I refuse to believe that our God is a God who would impute sin on a woman who has been divorced by her husband (maybe even against her wishes) simply because she marries another man! And I also want to ask this: is it the character of our God to force us to be in loveless relationships? We are human beings and by our very nature we make a multitude of mistakes and one of these mistakes could be marrying someone that brings out the worst in us. Is it the intention of God to make us slaves in these kinds of relationships? How about those that are forced into marriage: if somehow they get a chance to get out of those marriages and then marry someone they love is that against what Jesus preached? Let us keep praying so that God can reveal His truth to us.
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