God has laid out his plan for marriage as a lifelong union. God knows this design is best. Straying from His plan has negative consequences. I have not directly been affected by divorce, but have seen the effect it has had on those close to me. My father was raised in a divorced home, as well as cousins and close friends. The rippling effects of divorce are far-reaching. It would be difficult in our culture to find someone far removed from the impact of divorce.
Marriage is the first institution created by God. It is also noteworthy that marriage was instituted before sin entered into the world. Scripture teaches that marriage is sacred, and God hates divorce, while still loving the divorcee. The Bible does not teach that God hates people who have been divorced. What God hates is the devastation of divorce, meaning all that leads up to it and flows from it. He detests what it does to those He loves.
God hates divorce because it tears apart the foundation of society – the family. However, the Scriptures acknowledge that sometimes separation is necessary and even unavoidable. In our fallen world, sin negatively impacts people and relationships. Nonetheless, those experiencing marriage difficulties should first seek counseling and restoration when possible and advisable. In our culture, many divorces are neither necessary nor unavoidable. When promises and covenants are easily broken, the very fabric of society is threatened. This is not good for any of us.
I don’t believe anyone enters into marriage and says, “I do,” thinking that the relationship won’t last. Divorce is not the goal of any sane person. There is so much heartbreak in a dissolved marriage. It is the death of a dream. The good news is that God offers redemption and restoration to all of us. His desire for those struggling with the aftereffects of divorce is for them to receive healing wrapped in His loving care. Divorce is never presented in Scripture as unforgivable, and a divorcee is never beyond God’s redemptive healing power.
I have a good friend who went through a horrific divorce, and she has graciously allowed me to share her story. Her parents divorced while she was a child, and she barely has any memories of her father. When she got married, she had God-sized dreams for her marriage, and as they had children for her family. She did not have a perfect marriage, no one does, but God used her and her husband to make a real difference in the lives of others. It was devastating for her when her husband began to make some destructive decisions culminating in his abandoning her and their children. After some time, she got a divorce. It was heart-wrenching seeing the effect divorce had on her and their children. After some time, her faith in Christ led her on a journey of healing. It was not easy, but the Lord was faithful. God has done such a work in her life that she now helps others hurt through a divorce. There is life after divorce. There are hope and healing for all who place their trust in Christ.
I would encourage anyone reeling from the pain of divorce to seek help from God. Allow His church to surround you with His love and support. The path to healing is open to everyone willing to take it with the help of God’s Spirit. In Christ, there is always hope, healing, and love.
No doubt, God’s design for marriage is for it to be a lifelong union. Unfortunately, divorce is one of the devastating results of The Fall. God detests divorce but has a deep love for the divorcee. He desires for all of us no matter what we have done or experienced to find oneness with Him and wholeness in Christ. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!