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What does God think about divorce?
In many of the Facebook groups that I’m in for divorced women, it has come to my attention that Christian women are often confused about their standing with God as it relates to divorce. I intend to shed some light on a Christian’s divorce.
It has been my experience that divorce is the unpardonable sin in the church. Is it true? Is divorce an unpardonable sin? Does God hate divorce so much that he condemns those who are divorced? I think not.
What does God think about divorce?
It has occurred to me that many Christian women feel condemned because they had no choice but to get divorced. They’ve lost their friends, their church family, and in some situations, they’ve lost the love of their flesh and blood family.
This is sad. Do you think that this rejection is from God? I sure don’t.
The God of the Bible. God the Father. The Creator and Maker of Heaven and Earth is not mad at you because you got divorced. He loves you as evidenced by the sacrifice His Son made on the cross. Do you understand that?
I have been divorced for four years as of this writing. It took me years of living in an abusive marriage to leave because I was so afraid of the condemnation. I lost a lot when I took my kids and left the family home, the marriage, and that life. I was a licensed minister, a caregiver, and a homeschool mom. We had enough money, a beautiful home, and three nice cars. In the flesh, we had all we needed.
However, we also had abuse, neglect, isolation, control, manipulation, and trauma. Could this be what God wanted for my life and that of my children? Is this the best that God can do?
I know that scripture says that “God hates divorce.” It is easy for a man to answer, “What does God think about divorce?” with one scripture but I never build a doctrine around one scripture.
To answer this question you must read the scripture in its entirety and understand what is happening at the time. Go to Malachi 2 and read the entire chapter. I must admit that I’ve had to open a study of the chapter to fully understand what is happening. The Israelites have turned their backs on God, the Levitical laws, and even on each other. God uses the word “treacherous”. Malachi draws a parallel between divorce in marriage and the way that the people are treating each other.
For the sake of time and in a nutshell, this scripture is not a commandment nor is it something to build a doctrine around – which the church has done. It is an example of a lifestyle that the Israelites have taken up. It’s an indication of how they are treating each other and a warning that God hates it.
To answer the question, what does God think about divorce, we must look at the scriptures holistically. While I do believe that divorce is never God’s plan for marriage, I also believe that there are many things that God hates equally to divorce.
List of a few things God hates:
- Lukewarm Christians
And so much more.
It is entirely inappropriate for the church to single out divorced people and disqualify them for ministry. God can redeem anyone for anything. He is God and we are not. Amen to that!
Please do not get me wrong. I will never believe that divorce is okay or appropriate in all circumstances. I do, however, concede that often divorce is necessary. If there is abuse or neglect in a marriage, then the person being abused has the right to leave. If one party walks away from the other, then what choice do they have?
God hates abuse and abandonment just as much as he hates divorce.
I also believe that it is the responsibility of both the husband and the wife to fight for their marriage. They must try with all their heart to reconcile because this is God’s best. Divorce is a violent act that separates, destroys, and breaks the hearts of many people – not just the husband and wife.
That being said, I want you to know that if you are divorced, God does not condemn you. You must go to the Father and ask for forgiveness for your role in the breakdown of the marriage. If you were in an abusive marriage (like I was) this will be very hard. You must admit that you are not perfect and ask God’s forgiveness for what you knowingly and unknowingly did that led to the divorce. If you strongly believe that you did nothing wrong, I ask for you to seek God with humility. None of us are perfect. Perhaps you ignored God’s warning to not marry this person in the first place? Once that is done, God will forgive you and you can begin to heal because divorce is not a death sentence.
Jesus will cover you and forgive you because divorce is not an unpardonable sin. Please feel free to open your heart to the God who created you and loves you no matter what you have been through.
To the haters who condemn me for my stance, I leave this scripture: John 8:1-11 (NLT)
A Woman Caught in Adultery
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.John 8:1-11 NLT
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said,
“All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”
Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.
Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”