Anytime you speak about permissible divorce, all the happily marrieds chime in "God hates divorce." Thank you friend. I promise, those of us who have gone through it do not take divorce lightly in the least! Divorce is brutal and harsh.
In fact, I'd go out on a limb and say divorce is the worst possible thing that any married person would have to go through and yes, worse then death. With death, there is a seperation. An unspoken "I love you and will see you later." There is insurance meant to cover the left behind beloved. There are orders and matters to be attended to, all that draw you into a closer and more cherishing love with your lost one. Photos to be paged through, some smiles and tears, and fond memories and even some laughter mixed with tears.
But divorce is quite the opposite. Divorce is a tearing apart of two people who have become one. It's ripping in half what God has joined together and it's not a clean break. There are finances to split, which leaves two people in far worse financial standing then before. Homes and children to split too. Just the orders alone are enough to wreck a person, but as actions and intentions are shown, there is an unspoken "I hate you. I can't believe you would do this to me. I hope I never have to see you again." And possibly even an "I wish you would just die." Divorce is brutal, selfish, cruel, painful. It's destroying to your own soul and to the soul of your beloved. Even if your desire still remains to love, but you are forced into this dark place of hate where you can't escape and the only way out is God. But this is where God can meet you, if you let His light into it. This is WHY God hates divorce.
Just like Jesus said that the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath, is the same situation. God permitted divorce. It wasn't so that those who are forced into that dark pit can be condemned along the way or convinced into staying in a broken, selfish, abusive relationship. Divorce was permitted, though it a terrible valley to walk through, for the sake of those abused who find themselves at the end. There is no choice but divorce or death. This is why God permitted it and yes, this is also why He hates it. He wouldn't choose this for you. His ideal plan was a good one, but He will make good of this if you allow Him to walk with you through it.
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where
“‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’
When I was in The Middle (check out our bookstore to get a copy of the book and read the whole story), God came with me. He didn't abandon me, and in fact He became a light before me, a shield behind me, and a friend beside me. He walked me through, step by step. He wants to do the same for you.
My divorce was permissible. I was a week away from our final hearing. My ex had not shown up to our first final hearing and the judge had offered me enough money in alimony and child support to bankrupt my ex. Instead, I asked him to reschedule the final hearing date so that my ex could represent himself properly and not be as broken. I had the chance to destroy him, but God didn't allow that. As I was praying, I begged God please not to let this happen. My ex was the offender and I the offended. I didn't want our marriage to end still. But God was so gracious in that moment. He showed me these words in Mark that helped me to understand when He told me "I need this divorce to go through. It is for the sake of your soul and his that this be broken."
I was one with a man who was living in sin. He was dragging me into his sin. I was not only an accomplice. I was an active participant. I was living in the world and turning my eyes from God. Two had become one. So God called me to chop off my husband, the arm that I was one with and the foot that I was one with in order to be turned towards Christ. I love the way the MSG version puts this.
"If your hand or foot gets in God's way, chop it off and throw it away. You're better off maimed or lame and alive then the proud owner of two hands and two feet, godless in a furnace of eternal fire."
God would love to rescue both. I know in my marriage, God wanted both me and my husband. But I was willing to turn. My husband was not.
My life is far better now. I recieved mercy and God poured out blessings in the form of grace. The world might see it all differently of course. My ex is remarried and they have a home and he has a good job. They have a very pretty facebook life, the proud owners of two hands and two feet. Still my prayers go up to God daily for both of them, for their salvation. They might have their bodies all in tact, but they don't know the Lord and that hurts Him and it hurts me too.
My life looks quite different. I'm single, raising two kids, a home that we're managing to pay for, kids in Christian school. It's not the glamorous facebook life that the world wants, but it is the best life I could have ever imagined. But my life is rich in the Lord. Rich in kisses and cuddles, in smiles and laughs. Rich in chores to do around the house and homework to help with for Bible class. Rich in community with believers. Rich in my husband that is God. Rich in a dad for my kids that is God. He takes care of us. Every time we need, He provides it. Courage, money, strength, joy, peace, love, kindness. He gives us everything we need and far more then I ask for.
Ultimately, understand that yes, for the sake of the ones that God loves, He does hate divorce. It's not a ridgid and legalistic "you must obey me" kind of hate. It's a loving "I wish you didn't have to endure this my sweet child" kind of hate. But Romans 8:28 says "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." God called me to divorce in order to set me and my kids free from my unbelieving spouse.
Submit your circumstances to the Lord. If you need help or encouragement, please feel free to contact us. I'd love to hear the circumstance of your marriage and point you to God's word so that He can guide you in the path He has for you.