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The divorce
The Shepherd's Voice

What God says about the divorce in His Word

I am going now to develop the subject of the divorce. It is clear that I can't know all the reasons who give some couples to divorce, so I am going logically to stick to what the Bible teachs and to give my viewpoint who can not to be objective.

But beforehand that, it is useful to talk of the marriage. God has established the marriage between the man and the woman, and not between a man with another man or a woman with another woman like the homosexual couples wish (read the text about the homosexuality). We find the marriage establishment in Genesis 2 : 24 : 'Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife : and they shall be one flesh.', also quoted in Matthew 19 : 5, Mark 10 : 7 - 8 and Ephesians 5 : 31. God bless the couple who promise love and faithfulness until the end of their lives. We can compare the man and woman union to the one of the Lord Jesus Christ with His Church : 'Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.' (Ephesians 5 : 25).

Until the middle of the 20th century the future spouses learned to know each other before their wedding, and wait the wedding day for get some sexual relations. Anyway we can observe that actually the couples who are married since long time are principally the elderly, except if one of the spouses is died. In the 60's has arrived the sexual liberation, with the couples who live together without to be married, the number of divorces explosion and the births reduction. Since the adolescence the young people have a lot of partners and same the married people can't arrive to be content themselves with their respective spouse. I obviously speak of a generality, what it is not the everybody's case. Unless I am mistaken the divorce affects one marriage on two in Switzerland, the marriages' number decrease as well as the births. Unfortunately the divorces' number also increase among the christians, and there there is a serious problem.

As I said above, God has established the marriage, but on the other hand He has not established the divorce, who is one of the consequence of the sin. The main text on the divorce is in Deuteronomy 24 : 1 - 4 : 'When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her : then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord : and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.'. It is necessary to specify that in this text Moses only accept an evident reality and not approve the divorce. What he especially specify is the ban to a woman married a second time to be back to her former husband. In Matthew, the Lord Jesus Christ gives an interesting detail as for the reasons that Moses has given for allow the divorce : 'He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives : but from the beginning it was not so.' (Matthew 19 : 8). That prove that God has not established the divorce. By the light of the chapter 19 of Matthew, it seems that only a sexual infidelity is a good reason for divorce : 'And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another committeth adultery : and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.' Says Jesus Christ in Matthew 19 : 9. This infidelity include all the immoral sexual practices as the pornography, the homosexuality and the pedophilia. Therefore when one of the spouses practise one of those immoralities, the second one is free to get married again without to commit an adultery, their marriage is already broken for God. For our Lord Jesus Christ only the sexual infidelity is acceptable. The Apostle Paul also talk about the divorce. He says : 'And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband; but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband : and let not the husband put away his wife.' (1 Corinthians 7 : 10 - 11). He clearly prove that if a couple divorce for some other reasons that the sexual infidelity, neither of them have to get married again because then it would be an adultery. It is better that the spouses reconcile themselves and live together again.

Today a lot of christians declare, according to 1 Corinthians 7, that a believer can get married with a non believer. This is completely wrong, because in this chapter the Apostle Paul is clear : 'But to the rest speak I, not the Lord : If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband : else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases : but God hath called us to peace. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband ? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife ?' (1 Corinthians 7 : 12 - 16). Of course, some will say that these verses are not clear, but watch what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6 : 14 - 15 : 'Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers : for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness ? and what communion hath light with darkness ? And what concord hath Christ with Belial ? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel ?'. Therefore, by the light of those two verses, the relationship between the believer and her husband or his wife of 1 Corinthians 7 is not the one where the christian would got married with a non believer, but the one where one of the spouses became christian after their wedding.

When one of the spouses became christian after their wedding, this one not have to break the marriage who has been blessed by God same if the spouses were not christians. On the other hand, if the one who is not a believer want to leave his/her spouse, the christian one can accept the divorce and not have to insist for that his/her non believer spouse stays, as he/she does not know if he/she will be saved (the non believer). In that case, the bond who unite the spouses has been broken and the christian is free to get married again, but only with another christian.

The christian couples should not divorce, except if one of the spouses committed an adultery. If they wish to divorce for another reason, it is not valid in the God's eyes. I think that in this case, the spouses should learn to speak together of their problems, pray God to help them and especially to submit themselves to the God's wish. It is said : 'Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any : even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.' (Colossians 3 : 13). Every one have to learn to forgive, as Jesus Christ says it : 'Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him ? till seven times ? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times : but, Until seventy times seven.' (Matthew 18 : 21 - 22). I think that the only ways to please God are the forgiveness and the reconciliation, to not consider the marriage as to be without importance and the divorce as the only possible exit to a difficult relationship. The christians not should act as the people of the world, but show that they are the God's children and act as such. Paul says us : 'This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindeness of their heart : who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleaness with greediness.' (Ephesians 4 : 17 - 19) and he adds : ' Be ye angry, and sin not : let not the sun go down upon your wrath : neither give place to the devil.' (Ephesians 4 : 26 - 27). Therefore before to take the decision to divorce, take the time to see what God says in His Word about this subject. If you hope to divorce in order to find another spouse who should more correspond to your wishes, in my opinion you make a mistake because you have to remember that nobody is perfect, and you would go from disillusionments to disillusionments because you would then broken a marriage blessed by God. He would not approve a such situation.

The biblical verses come from the King James Version