… Without a doubt, divorce was the worst season of my life. Nothing I’ve suffered since that time even comes close… absolutely nothing compares to the horrific pain of having a spouse decide, “I Don’t” after saying “I Do” – Laura Petherbridge.
In a previous post, we talked about the fact that God hates divorce. The natural question that would be precipitated by that statement will be:
Why does God hate divorce?
First and foremost, we all know that hate is a strong language, meaning “an intense dislike for.”
On the other hand, Divorce connotes “the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body.”
God says He hates divorce, meaning He has an intense dislike for it.
There must be some good reasons God does not like divorce. And those reasons are what this post seeks to explore.
If you ask me, I would say God hates divorce chiefly because He loves us and wants the best for us. He doesn’t want us to go through the pains, regrets and difficulties divorce action might occasion.
God loves us enough to inform us that He hates for us to subject our spouses to divorce. We all know that if you truly love someone, you wouldn’t want something bad to happen to him or her. Don’t you think God feels that much sympathetic towards us?
I guess you too have your reasons you think God says He hates divorce. (And I would like it if you would drop your views in the comment section of this post). For now let’s focus on what we can glean from the foundation scripture for this post and the previous one.
Malachi 2:15-16 – Let’s read it together:
15 Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his.[b] And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. 16 “For I hate divorce!”[c] says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,[d]” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife” (NLT).
Based on this passage, let’s now explore further reasons God hates divorce:
1. God instituted marriage.
“Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife?” asked Prophet Malachi.
God has made you one with the person you are married to. So why do you seek to be separated from him or her forever?
God instituted marriage for our enjoyment and His will for us is to have it as a life-long union. That’s why we say, “till death do us part” at the point of entering the marriage contract.
It is safe to say that divorce undermines the sanctity of this holy institution of marriage established by God. Therefore God hates divorce.
2. God has a purpose for instituting marriage.
God did not only institute marriage, He had a purpose for doing so. The prophet here tells us that God seeks godly children (one translation uses the word “offsprings”) from our marriages.
“… And what does he want? Godly children from your union… Remain loyal to the wife of your youth.”
In order words, God expects our marital unions to bear godly seeds, godly fruits or godly results. You will agree with me that divorce will not qualify as a godly fruit.
Secondly, God also wants married couples to demonstrate loyalty to each other through thick and thin. And divorce flatly defeats that purpose.
3. Divorce has consequences
“To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,[d]” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Wow, did you see that point in that verse you just read? Divorce is cruelty to your spouse. Another translation describes it as treachery.
Many people may disagree with that, but I know God’s word cannot be wrong. God would rather not have you go through the pains associated with divorce.
He hates it for you to bring divorce upon yourself or upon your spouse. He would rather have you shut the door on divorce…
Whatever you think, divorce will cost you – be it emotionally, financially or otherwise. Apart from the couple involved, other associated parties (including your children and other loved ones) also suffer when marriage fails and results in divorce. Divorce will cause you pains, anguish, depression and the like.
As Laura Petherbridge observed from her own experience, “…divorce was the worst season of my life. Nothing I’ve suffered since that time even comes close… absolutely nothing compares to the horrific pain of having a spouse decide, “I Don’t” after saying “I Do.””
What’s your own view about why God hates divorce?
©Copyright 2019 | Victor Uyanwanne
Victor, I really liked your piece on why God hates divorce. I’ve always wondered about that. In my own past in the church I learned marriage Is when 2 people become one, and that even though People divorce, and people remarry, he still views the first marriage as binding, even if it wasn’t a healthy marriage — those 2 people are always one, except of course in cases where spouses die.
But I also know we don’t live in a perfect world, but one that it is broken, so that marriages are often not perfect (of course) and their are some that cannot be reconciled due to various sin/actions on both people’s sides or ones.
So, with this in mind I’m wondering at what point does a destructive/violent/ or miserable marriage for all parties (kids, parents, etc.) without forgiveness/tolerance (as this is an imperfect world), become worse for God than his hate for marriage? He also says to love one another and forgive/love your neighbours as yourselves. This is his second greatest commandment after loving God himself. But if this isn’t happening, and probably the opposite is, at what point is it a worse situation for God than divorce?
If a woman or man (in some cases) is continually physically/mentally abused by their married partner, at some point that has to be worse than divorce, especially if kids in that environment are suffering abuse to or simply neglect?
Just want your opinion I guess, thanks
Thank you for taking your time to make this beautiful contribution. And I enjoyed reading through it.
The issues you raised were well understood and I would attempt a response in the following paragaraphs.
First and foremost, the post “why God hates divorce” was written in the context of a Christian marriage where both spouses believe in God and accept the authority of the Bible as God’s word. If that is the case, then it has to be understood that divorce is not a perfect plan or will of God for His children.
On the other hand, if the couple involved does not recognize God in their hearts, it doesn’t also mean that divorce is the best option for them when marital challenges come up. As you know, the marriage institution was established by God to be a lifelong relationship, irrespective of whether the couples involved know Him or not.
The point I just made now is the idea standard set by God. And that is what we (as Christians) should aspire to, and not to circumvent. I have a post “Towards a better marriage: Shut the door on divorce.” I’m aware that may not be a convenient advice for some people to hear, but I believe that’s God’s perspective.
Yes you are right in saying that when two people get married they become one flesh because that’s what the Bible says. However, I do not have any direct Biblical basis to concur with the other claim that when “People divorce, and people remarry, [God] still views the first marriage as binding, even if it wasn’t a healthy marriage — those 2 people are always one, except of course in cases where spouses die.”
The closest thing I can find in the Bible relating to that is that in cases where divorce is permitted (as in cases of infidelity), the couple involved are not to remarry (another person) else, they will be guilty of adultery. The only way out is to get reconciled with the divorced spouse, except as you stated, the other spouse is dead.
I will agree with your observation that we live in an imperfect world. But you know that even if our world is broken, our God is not broken. That we live in an imperfect world does not make divorce a perfect solution to marital crisis.
We have God’s power, love and mercy at our disposal. So why can’t we leverage on all that to make our marriage work?
My belief is that no marriage is beyond God’s redemptive power, irrespective of the prevailing circumstances in that marriage (infidelity, alcoholism, emotional and physical abuses, etc,). What I am saying is that those problems have solutions too, and God does not recommend divorce. As the Bible says, “seek and you will find.”
Whatever kind of help we need is available in God. If we are willing to cooperate with Him, He will restore our marriages.
On a final note, it doesn’t mean that God will stop loving anyone that decides to go through with divorcing his or her partner. Irrespective of how we live, God will not stop loving us. That’s the power of grace available to us through Christ Jesus.
I hope this response helped a little. However, feel free to ask if there are further questions. Once again thank you.
Thanks for approaching this subject. I came from a church that read the Scriptures about divorce and would not marry anyone re-marrying, although they’d welcome them into fellowship once they were married. The church I now attend has several re-married couples, even some in leadership. This pastor says we let them know it’s not going to be easy and we don’t think it’s the best, but we’ll support them. God’s perfect plan for the family is rent asunder by divorce as it tears apart what God meant to stay together for this life. Satan loves divorce and dysfunctional families because he knows it thwarts God’s perfect plan; although God can use anything and I’m sure satan’s had a few major headaches from the broken, dysfunctional people who have found grace to overcome and serve the Lord’s kingdom in spite of it all!
Wow, this is a beautiful contribution. Thanks for so much.