Christians and DivorceQUESTION: Christians and divorce - What does the Bible say?ANSWER:
What does the Bible say about Christians and divorce? Divorce is actually a subject that God comments on in certain terms: God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). Because God's feelings on divorce are made so unmistakably clear, it is absolutely unbiblical that there are as many divorces among self-acclaimed Christians as there are among those who do not believe. Reconciliation, restoration, and forgiveness are supposed to be the identifiers a true Christian (Luke 11:4; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 4:32). What kind of message is our divorce rate sending to a lost world?
The only specifically mentioned biblical reasons for a Christian seeking or allowing a divorce are unrepentant adultery (Matthew 19:9) and abandonment of a Christian by a non-Christian spouse (1 Corinthians 7:15).
Even in these instances, though, divorce should never be the first option. Christians are to seek reconciliation and restoration, and then we are to forgive. It is the duty of a Christian to help his or her spouse grow spiritually and overcome sin. Abandoning and divorcing a spouse often makes the situation worse and prevents true healing in the "offending" spouse's life. If Christians are to be the salt of the earth and a city on a hill, we must be different from the rest of the world, especially when it comes to marriage and divorce. Our faith in Christ should impact every area of our lives. The divorce rate among Christians should be negligable compared to the non-Christian world. Christian marriages are not perfect, but they are to be an example of love, forgiveness, grace, and commitment.
The Bible makes it perfectly clear why Christians shouldn't divorce, but what about how Christian couples can make their marriage work? The Bible is clear on these principles, too. First and foremost, the Bible makes an unmistakable command in Luke 14:26. There, Jesus says, "If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters -- yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple." The first way to ensure your marriage will be a happy one is to put Jesus before any other part of your life. Once you get that straight, other things will begin to fall into place. "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33). Further, you should encourage and pray for your spouse to put Christ first in their life, as well. Amos 3:3 asks us, "Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?"
If you are a Christian who is considering divorce, you should consider seeking Christian counseling in the form of pastors, elders, Christian friends, or professional Christian counseling services. This mandate is also straight from the Bible. In Ecclesiastes 4:10, Solomon tells us, "If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" Seek help from Christian friends. Don't let your marriage end unnecessarily! Proverbs 16:3 sums it all up by saying, "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."