What Nobody Tells You About Divorce By Pastor Kingsley Okonkwo is a thrilling and insightful teaching on one of the most controversial teachings in our world today. it is no doubt that divorce has become an everyday affair. We see divorce among our pastors, celebrities and common people. Is this the intent of God?
God says I hate the violent dismembering of married people. What is God’s view about divorce?
Malachi 2: 16. MSG “I hate divorce,” says the GOD of Israel. GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies says, “I hate the violent dismembering of the ‘one flesh’ of marriage.” So watch yourselves. Don’t let your guard down.
This is like a popular scripture we quote about divorce. Clearly God does not like divorce but this doesn’t mean that God hates the divorcee. You must not put anybody in a judgmental position. It is not in your position to judge others.
Why does God hate Divorce?
God hates divorce because marriage is a covenant. He says he hates the violent dismembering of the one flesh of marriage. Once two people become married, they have become one flesh. Hence,, dismembering them must be violent and tough.
The reason God hates sin is not for the sins sake. It is simply because of the impact of the sin. God abhors and frowns at divorce because of the impact it will have on the divorcees and the children as well. Now does this means that Christians can’t divorce if there’s need for that? That’s not what the Bible says. In fact, the Bible provides instances where married people can seek for divorce. If that is the case, I simply do not understand why divorce is such a controversial issue.
No one wants divorce for anyone. I’m sure you don’t want divorce for your kids. Same way God doesn’t want that for you and me because the impact from it can be very disastrous.
Another bone of contention here is that Jesus said if you divorce, you should never remarry. Well, friends Jesus never said that. I want you to know that there two major instances where Jesus talked about divorce in the Bible. The rest of the place is just a repetition of these two. Let’s take a look at first place,
Matthew 5:31-32 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: but I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
Following the scripture above, putting away is separation and then writing of letter is divorcement proper. However, people now confuse the two as one. Verse 32 goes on to say that whosoever that put away his wife except for fornication is setting the woman up for more immorality. Remember, putting away is not divorce. It is separation.
It is important we understand the context of the scripture before we start making interpretations. At this time, people have already started putting away and divorcing their wives for the wrong reasons. Hence, Jesus had to correct that. He didn’t say when there’s a proper divorce you can’t remarry
Matthew 19: 1-9 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]?
6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
The teaching on divorce is not for you to get succinct reasons why you should divorce. This is because if you are already looking for reasons for divorce, you will get a handful. The teaching on divorce is to make you understand that divorce was not part of the plan in the beginning. I tell couples a lot, if you come into marriage with the mindset that if the marriage is not working, ill leave. Trust me when I say that you will find enough reasons to leave. But if you come with the mindset that this is for life, that divorce should be the last resort. Then, it will be for you.
People now interpret this verse 9 as once you divorce and remarry, you are committing adultery. That’s not what the Bible says. The bible is clear on what it says. If you marry someone who is separated from his or spouse, then you are committing adultery. Until you are properly divorced, you are not divorced. This is where Jesus answered the first question that the Pharisees asked him. He first dealt with the mindset of the people before answering the question.
Three reasons why the Bible Gives Permission for Divorce
Any sexual immorality is adultery. Deuteronomy 24: 2
Jesus wasn’t contradicting Deuteronomy 24, he was only explaining it. Put away simply means sending away not divorce. This doesn’t mean that you cant forgive your spouse if you want to. There are so many people who have moved past this and are still enjoying their marriages but God leaves that decision to you.
Exodus 21:9-11. This talks about all forms of abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and so on. The covenant of life is more important to the covenant of marriage. You need to be alive to honor the covenant of marriage. The Bible is not saying you should leave immediately. I mean there are people who have fought through all these and won. However, if they persist, and you can’t handle them, you might as well leave if you want. Many pastors do not understand this. The Bible didn’t say you can never divorce. There are conditions for divorce in the Bible. The Bible only says that it is not a great idea or option but you can choose this option when you have exhausted all other options.
1 corinthians 7:15 : But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved.
If your spouse has left you for a long period of time, then you are free to remarry.