How Christians handle divorce can be a touchy subject. I’m approaching this subject today because someone I hold very dear is going through it. They are both Christians and this can’t be easy for either of them. In this particular case the desire for the divorce is only one-sided. Does the fact that only one party wants the divorce dictate how Christians handle divorce? With one willing to save the marriage and one just wanting out, how would scripture come into play. I’ve tried to put myself in both sets of shoes and just can’t come up with an answer by myself.
Ideally, Paul’s opinion in I Cor. 7:10,11 would be followed, ‘To the married I give this command(not I but the LORD): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does let her remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.’ If it was there wouldn’t be divorces. Also, in Matthew 19 Jesus states, ”Haven’t you read, that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh so they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” When he was asked if Moses commanded a man to be given a divorce certificate and be sent away he replied, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” These biblical statements make it difficult for Christians to get divorced.
The decision for a Christian to divorce is always a difficult one. There are few exceptions to the rules set down in Corinthians and Matthew. Adultery is the strongest reason for divorce; but, still we are encouraged to forgive rather than give up. Divorce is also recognized in the case of one person not being a believer. If the person filing for the divorce finds it unbearable to live under these circumstances they may leave and remarry. The remarriage must be to someone who, “is in the Lord”. Irreconcilable differences (by today’s definitions) are not mentioned anywhere in scripture.
Today’s world is more complicated than the world in which Jesus lived. Infidelity, fornication, and divorce are a given fact of life, even among members of the clergy. With these things happening it’s understandable why so many ‘regular’ Christians decide that divorce is alright.
Christians considering divorce need to remember that God is there to help them through the decision-making process. It’s only by approaching every aspect prayerfully and with an open heart that this couple and everyone else will know how Christians handle divorce. My prayers are with them and all other Christian couples going through a divorce. I stumbled upon this site that gives insight into one person’s views on how Christians handle divorce. I think it offers some great ideas and perspectives.
How Christians Handle Divorce