Two Antidotes To Divorce Hidden Away In Malachi

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.

You will agree with me that because we live in an imperfect world does not make divorce the perfect solution to marital crisis.

Is divorce in marriage inevitable? No! Is it avoidable? Yes!

Can we know what to do to avoid divorce? Yes! Gratefully we have some clues in the Bible.

In the book of Malachi, we have some suggestions. (Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament Bible). If you are like me, the book may not be your favourite part of the Scriptures.

However, in it are some great treasures worth digging up for our earthly use. For instance in chapter two, we read the following words (NKJV):

1But did He not make them one,
Having a remnant of the Spirit?
And why one?
He seeks godly offspring.
Therefore take heed to your spirit,
And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.

1“For the Lord God of Israel says
That He hates divorce,
For it covers one’s garment with violence,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“Therefore take heed to your spirit,
That you do not deal treacherously.”

In excavating the gems in these two verses, we had already talked about the assertion by the prophet that God hates divorce and also followed up with the reasons God hates divorce. Let us go further by looking at the recommended antidote to divorce in that passage.

In case you missed it, just reread the last two lines of verse 15 and 16:

Therefore take heed to your spirit,
And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.

“Therefore take heed to your spirit,
That you do not deal treacherously.”

There you have them stated clearly and repeated for emphasis sake.

I like the way the New Living Translation puts those words:

So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. “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” (Emphasis mine).

No need to over-flog it. The antidotes to divorce according to Malachi are:

  1. Guarding your heart against it
  2. Being faithful to your spouse.

Whatever does he mean? In subsequent posts, we will explore those points further . For now, let the conversation continue in the comment section.

Thank you.

Towards A Better Marriage: Your Spouse Is Not The Problem. 

Marriage is a beautiful thing. But that doesn’t stop problems from cropping up in it here and there. If you are already in a committed marriage relationship, it is a mistake on your part if you see your spouse as the problem when those challenges arise.
The problem in marriage

With this post, I am beginning a new series on marriage simply christened Towards A Better Marriage. As the title suggests, the purpose of the series will be to share some of my thoughts towards achieving a better – stronger, healthier and happier – marriage relationship with your spouse.

If that’s what you desire, let me invite you to go through the entire series with me because it promises to be a rewarding journey for us all. Here is the first menu on offer:

Your Spouse Is Not The Problem

Just like every married couple might have come to realise, I am sure you already know that marriage is not a bed full of roses only. It is full of plenty challenges as well. Isn’t that pretty obvious?

More often than not, it is how you handle these challenges that will go to a large extent to determine the success and happiness or otherwise of your marital experience. The common saying that as you make your bed, so you will lie on it holds true in marriage relationships too.

Except you are married to the devil personified, I am free to say that your spouse is not the problem. So resist the temptation to see him/her as one.

Put in proper perspective, you will realise that the challenges you have in marriage are things or issues, not a person – and definitely not your spouse! For instance, the problem could be the manner your spouse is handling an issue at hand, or it may also be the manner you are reacting to it. Either way, you must perceive that the problem is not a person.

A vital key to amicably resolving the challenges is to learn to focus on tackling the issue at hand rather than putting the blame on a person – your partner. You may have been hurt by what your spouse said or did at some point, but the problem is still not your spouse.

“I love you but I hate how you treat me sometimes,” a thoughtful wife once said to her husband. You’ve got the point? Identify what the issue is and deal with it.

A problem is a problem and your spouse is your spouse. Please don’t mistake one for another.

Here is a relevant story that comes to mind at this point.

Husband and wife are not enemies.

A newly wedded couple who began to face some marital challenges went to see an experienced marriage counsellor for possible solutions. After they had vented before the counsellor, he pulled out two paper cards from his wooden drawer and gave one each to the couple to fill in the blanks that followed the simple question: What do you think is the problem in your marriage?

The counsellor then retrieved the two cards and found the boldly written responses from the waiting couple:

Wife: My husband is the problem in our marriage.

Husband: My wife is the problem in our marriage.

Much to the surprise of the pensive couple, the counsellor began to smile as he read out the respective answers. He seemed very familiar with these kinds of self-protecting responses; that was not the first time he had counselled spouses who blamed each other for their marital woes.

“First and foremost,” said the counsellor in a calm but firm voice, “both of you missed the key part of the question which said, ‘what’ and not ‘who’ you thought the problem in your marriage is. From our discussions so far, I can surmise that the answer to the question is not a person, as two of you stated. Should I now take it that you both failed the question?”

“But I can explain what I meant by saying that ….” said the wife, attempting a frantic effort to expatiate on her previous answer. The husband too felt right for blaming the wife. This charged up the counselling room a little more.

The couple blamed each other for their marital challenges. None of them was willing to accept the blame either. Thankfully in the course of the session, the counsellor was able to douse the ensuing tension and also drilled down to the problematic issues in the couple’s lives.

In the end, the counsellor went further to harp on the need for the spouses not to see each other as the problem in their marriage. Rather, they should perceive each other as partners in progress, standing in unity and on the same front to tackle whatever issues that may challenge them in their union.

Here is my conclusion as well: Next time you have any marital issue, be sure to remind yourself that your spouse is not the problem. Identify what the issue is and focus on tackling it. That way you will achieve a healthier method of resolution than blaming your spouse.

Please share what you think in the comment session.

Photo credits: tolovehonorandvacuum.com

 

Still ahead: Towards A Better Marriage: 6 simple reasons you shouldn’t blame your spouse.

 

© Copyright 2016-Victor Uyanwanne