We all marry for love. We marry for the dreams we envision together and the experiences we will have with our spouses, but sometimes, those dreams and that love can come crashing down around us. Divorce is a scary and often touchy subject for those in the Christian faith, especially when we look at the statistics surrounding it. 40% of marriages in the US end in divorce. As Christians, what can we do when our entire world comes crashing down around us due to divorce?
Let’s first explore why Christian marriages can end in divorce. In court, the terminology “irreconcilable differences” is often cited in divorce documents, yet it is typically more nuanced than that. A marriage can end in divorce for a menagerie of reasons, some of which include:
- Financial Issues
- Sexual Frustration
- Drug/Alcohol Abuse
- Domestic Abuse
Whatever reason you and your spouse may have had for ending your marriage, divorce can be an incredibly painful process. Every aspect of our life can be changed, from our job to our living situation to how often we see our children. Emotions aplenty arise during and after divorce proceedings. You may feel guilty, anxious, and depressed. Some people also turn to alcohol/substance abuse or have an identity crisis while trying to figure out how to cope with their new situation.
Even our physical bodies are prone to damage from a divorce event. A weakened immune system, metabolic issues, and weight loss/gain are common when going through the divorce process. It is important to realize that the emotions and side effects of divorce are valid and that these feelings of guilt, loss, or depression are normal when confronting such a major event in our lives.
However, as Christians, we are faced with an important question; does God hate divorce?
Family members, coworkers, and even fellow church attendees can respond to divorce in hurtful ways. These people can offer unsolicited advice on how to “save the marriage” and will cite God’s word as a way of shaming those who are going through a divorce. Specifically, Micah 2:16, “For I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.”
“God hates divorce” is a hard thing to hear. God is pretty straightforward here, but like divorce, it is a bit more nuanced than things would appear. Why does God hate divorce, and what exactly does He hate about it?
God wants us to be whole and happy in His love. When spouses break the covenant of marriage, it puts us in the exact opposite space God desires us to be in! Divorce is catastrophic to our mental/emotional/ spiritual health, so of course, God hates it! This is where the verse in Micah can be weaponized and used to hurt already hurting people if not dealt with in context. If we read Micah, we realize that the verse above is directed toward someone who is unfaithful in covenant with their spouse and divorces them based on unbiblical principles (i.e., abandonment and adultery.)
For those victims of unbiblical divorce, take comfort that God is walking through this dark time alongside you. When you cry, He cries. When you feel alone and lost, He is there to show you the way toward victory. God is there to comfort you and help you heal throughout the entire divorce process.
God knows your heart is broken and how to guide you to brighter times. There is life after divorce! This is the time to better understand yourself and your relationship with God. NuWell Chrisitan Counseling can help Christian victims of divorce cope in a healthy manner and discover what God has in store for them. Reach out today, and let NuWell Christian Counseling help you with the troubles of divorce today.