The Death of a Relationship
It is very regrettable when divorce happens as God’s desire has always been for husbands and wives to be one flesh, in a loving relationship based on equality. But sadly, not all marriages end up that way, because after all, humans are not perfect.
The termination of Christian marriage through divorce is an absolute tragedy. Divorce is painful and hard as two people who once were in union are now torn apart. But sometimes it is the only option.
- Which is greater in God’s eyes – the marriage or the people in the marriage?
The official paper only acknowledges what happened a long time ago.
Marriage is a living advertisement that has to be upheld no matter what!
Alas, some church denominations have over-sentimentalized marriage and created marriage as an idol that must be upheld at all costs.
Many hold to the permanence view of marriage and claim that it is an unconditional contract when in fact it is conditional and either party can terminate the contract by following God’s instructions. They believe that divorce is not allowed for any reason at all.
Their Church denomination insists that the couple should pretend to be something they’re not, instead of thinking about the welfare of each partner. They must endure each other’s company forever because happiness isn’t promised in the bible and it’s selfish to even want it. So no matter what happens in their lives, the couple is held to those marriage vows as long as they both shall live. Vows said in front of God are to be taken very seriously. But guess what – the wedding vow, “and to obey, till death us do part” isn’t even found in the Bible! How did it ever get into a marriage ceremony?
Rules are made up to make sure ‘the flock’ uphold marriage at all costs. This frankly is misguided legalism and it’s exactly what the Pharisees did.
A divorcee cannot hold any role in the church as they are not ‘a fit person’ since they didn’t work hard enough to keep their marriage intact.
A divorcee must be celibate for the rest of his/her life. People are allowed second chances for everything else in life but not for divorce. The church acts more like the Gnostic’s and Marcion who were forbidding marriage in 1 Tim 4:3. Or they decide which spouse was the ‘guilty party’ and place celibacy on them for the rest of their lives, even though God said in Gen 2: 18 ‘it is not good for man to be alone’.
Those initiating the divorce can be shamed, blamed and rejected through church discipline or even excommunicated.
Or the church refuses to marry a couple because one or both of them has been previously divorced.
Spouses are told not to judge and that they have to forgive 70 x 7 i.e without limit after all love covers up a multitude of sins. Forgiving isn’t forgiving unless it is forgetting and that they always have to reconcile. In addition, they are told to ask God to make them more humble, give them more understanding, pray more, give more sex, respect more and submit more. They need to be more supportive, agreeable and to stop being rebellious.
Furthermore, they are reminded that this is what sacrifice is all about as a Christian. As a result, they suffer in isolation, in their own little prison, slowly getting destroyed from the inside out as ‘there’s no way out’. According to ‘the traditions of men’ they can only be free once their spouse dies, even if the relationship has already died.
- So what happens when the actual relationship dies?
As Deuteronomy 24 says, it is the couple themselves, and not a court, who are to decide whether a divorce is to be implemented. If they decided to divorce, the husband wrote out a bill of divorce. He gave it to his wife and she left. By extension, today’s Christian clergy have no authority to “stand in judgement over the dissolution of a marriage than did the Pharisees.” ~ Divorce and remarriage: Four Christian views,” InterVarsity Press, (1990), Page 226
Divorce was sanctioned by God to protect the vulnerable and by Jesus too. It’s done as a last resort and it should be accepted by us. Christians never make the decision to divorce lightly and they need our love and support rather than using scripture as a weapon of condemnation.
“If God treated human frailty so graciously in the age of the Law and permitted not only divorce but also subsequent remarriage, how can we, in this age of grace, treat divorce and remarriage so legalistically”? ~ Divorce and remarriage: Four Christian views,” InterVarsity Press, (1990)
Failed marriages do not mean failed Christians!
The true follower of Christ will not ask, “If I embrace this truth, what will it cost me? Rather he will say, “This is truth, God help me to walk in it, let come what may!” ~ Tozer
Does scripture say that God hates divorce or does scripture say that God hates putting away? I believe that today the church can’t even get the basic principles about divorce and remarriage right. In fact, what God says is completely different and completely contradictory to what many church denominations teach. Read more on Jesus and Divorce Part 1.
Churchianity states that you can only divorce a person because of adultery, but is that true? Tradition is the enemy of truth and it is my understanding that tradition has misused scripture and is keeping people in spiritual bondage. Only the real truth can be found in the Bible so let’s see what Jesus really says on the matter Read more on Jesus and Divorce Part 2
Is ‘tradition’ equally inspired by the scriptures and equally authoritative? Moreover, have we let tradition overrule God and Jesus in just the same way that that the Pharisees did in New Testament times? Read more on Jesus and Divorce Part 3
Time was running out. Paul believed that the time had been shortened and that the end of the age was close. The Corinthian church had written to Paul detailing many of their problems. But they also wanted his approval for the pious way they were managing their own Christian relationships. Read more on Marriage and Paul – 1 Corinthians 7
It is my understanding that the whole Bible combining the Old and New Testaments presents one seamless teaching on marriage and divorce, without any contradictions. But men have read their own prejudices into the text and have positioned their own interpretations as sacred cows. When in fact it’s their very own interpretations that are contrary to the teachings of Jesus. As a result, they have kept people in bondage, just like what the Pharisees did in their day. Paul versus the Traditions of Men