Two people get married and maybe several years later end up divorced. There are a host of reasons for why this happens which I am not going to discuss in this article. Whatever reasons people give to “justify” divorce, are they right? Are there cases where divorce and remarriage are perfectly right and the best course of action?
Let’s start from the very beginning in Genesis 2:18 where the Creator said, “It is not good for the man to be alone: I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Further down in this context it says “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
Genesis 2:18 uses the phrase “suitable helper.” This is a great choice of words! Young men and woman, there are all kinds of reasons for getting married, some are good and some are bad, but isn’t it most important to choose a spouse based upon how well suited he or she is to you? Each couple has to decide how they define “well suited.”
Okay, moving on. A man and a woman get married. Now what is necessary to maintain a positive relationship? I believe it is God’s ideal that marriage is for life. That takes commitment. There are many Bible passages that talk about how to have a successful marriage, too numerous to cite here. I suggest you google “bible verses on marriage.” Let me say this: In most cases, good marriages don’t just happen because two people love each other. They require hard work, and two people must be committed to doing whatever it takes to make it happen. Also, to say that just because two people are Christians they will have a better marriage, is a complete lie! It still requires work and knowing the concepts and biblical principles that make for a good marriage.
Divorce too often can be a cop-out because a couple either doesn’t understand how to make a marriage work, or doesn’t want to do the work required! There are plenty of resources available through Christian counseling, a multitude of good books on marriage, marriage seminars, and other resources of which to take advantage. I would have to say that divorce is definitely wrong if there are problems in a marriage that could lead to divorce, but the couple is not taking advantage of the resources to solve the problems.
Now, let’s say that a couple is having serious problems in their relationship, and they are seeking necessary help and putting forth an effort to make things work, but are still not seeing positive change. They have come to the point to where they don’t see how their relationship can continue the way things are. In this case is divorce justified? Maybe, maybe not. A couple may decide to just accept their differences and tough it out, (unless there is physical abuse involved, which is a good reason for divorce).
What if a couple decides things are too bad to stay together and divorce is the only option? As much as it is within God’s perfect will for a man and woman to stay together and make it work, sometimes it is just not going to work. Will God judge a person for this? There is an account in the New Testament of Jesus meeting a woman at a well who had been married several times. It is interesting that Jesus did not judge the woman. There is another story of Jesus encountering a woman caught in adultery. In those times, a person caught in such an act could be stoned. Jesus, however, said, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” Then Jesus told the woman, “Go, and sin no more.” In other words, he didn’t judge her, but he did tell her to change her ways.
Another issue to address here is when the husband leaves his wife for another woman, or vice-versa. I don’t see any biblical or moral obligation to stay together. Even if there was reconciliation with the original marriage partner one would think it would be very difficult to have a happy and normal relationship. In this case, divorce is probably justified.
Marriage without divorce is definitely God’s will. However, God knows that we are all sinners that fall far short of His divine plan for our lives and relationships. That is where God’s grace comes into play. Please keep in mind that grace does not mean condoning a behavior, or in this case, divorce. God’s grace is given to us because of our natural inability to live up to his standards.
In summary, marriage for life is God’s ideal relationship. However, as much diligence as a couple might have to make a marriage work, sometimes it simply is not going to work. If you get a divorce, even though God won’t be happy about it, he is not going to judge you for it. Get remarried if and when you choose, and hopefully have a happy marriage.