Marriage and Divorce: Is Giving Up the Answer?

Divorce stat

It’s such a big statistic. Why are so many people walking away from their marriage? They fall in love and they feel happy together. And then they get married but when they realize it’s not that easy, then they walk away. So if it’s so easy to walk away from marriage, why did God even create it?

God created marriage for the purpose of the happiness of the husband and the wife. When God created marriage, he never meant for the couple to end up in divorce. In fact, the Bible says that God hates divorce, and we can read this in the book of Malachi 2:15-16 Good News Translation:

 Didn’t God make you one body and spirit with her? What was his purpose in this? It was that you should have children who are truly God’s people. So make sure that none of you breaks his promise to his wife. “I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel. “I hate it when one of you does such a cruel thing to his wife. Make sure you do not break your promise to be faithful to your wife.”

It’s very clear that God hates divorce. If God hates it, it must be bad for the couple. If God hates it then it must be a great sin before God. Nothing good ever comes out of sin. We know that divorce brings devastating results not only in the couple’s lives, but also in their children’s lives. In fact, the Bible even says, it’s a cruel thing to do. So nobody wins.

One of the things that we read is that it leaves a legacy. That relationship impacts your children, your children’s children, and your family for generations to come. So, not only does it impact your family but, it impacts society.

What’s most unfortunate is that the children themselves absorb all that negativity. They kind of remember and repeat the patterns that led to the divorce. All the selfishness, all the shouting, all of the offenses; they repeat that and so they too get divorced, and so the downward spiral continues until society is ruined.

With all that being said, it’s obvious that marriage is something worth fighting for.

Yes, absolutely. Marriage is something worth saving. A lot of times, the reason why there’s divorce is because commandments of God are being broken. Divorce doesn’t happen overnight, right? Nobody plans to get divorced. Nobody enters the sanctuary, to say their “I do’s”, then get married, only to divorce. Nobody has divorce in their plans. So something must have happened between the “I do’s” and the day of the divorce. And so, what we need to do is identify what led to that and avoid it, because the Bible says we don’t have the option of divorcing. God hates it, and God says, “Make sure you do not break your promise to be faithful to your wife.”

The main reasons people get divorced in this country are infidelity, financial reasons, selfishness. One of the other big reasons is cultural mismatch, such as spiritual mismatch, when they don’t match in their faith.

Those problems are common when it comes to marriage. However, it doesn’t mean those problems are not solvable. Like what they say, prevention is better than cure. And so, when we fulfill the word of God—if we know what God wants from us, if we develop a godly character—we will not be selfish, we will not commit infidelity, we will learn how to wisely spend our money and our income. If we follow the commandments of God, we avoid many of those problems that produce strain in the relationship.

We mentioned “spiritual mismatch”hen a couple gets together and they believe in different things. You know, in the beginning, they were just happy, having a good time, and they thought it was a good match. They get married and later on, they realize, “Well, you believe in that, and I believe in this.” Especially when children come into the picture. How are they going to raise their children? That’s when the problems really arise.

In terms of the religion they belong to, the beliefs they have concerning God, how to worship God, it makes sense, doesn’t it? If the husband and wife don’t agree at something so foundational as their faith, then how are they going to build a relationship on that faulty foundation? This is why Apostle Paul gave us the following message from God, in 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 New King James Version:

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ have with Belial? Or what part has a believer have with an unbeliever?

Apostle Paul says, “do not be unequally yoked” with an unbeliever. If one’s faith is different from the faith of his or her spouse, then you’re trying to be yoked together even though it’s going to bring about a lot of discomfort. It’s like two oxen that are supposed to be yoked together so they can work on the field. One ox can be really huge, really large, or the other ox is very small, and you try to yoke them together—it’s not going to work. They’re not going to be able to do the work correctly and comfortably. It is like trying to force Christ and Belial to be in union. It is incompatible! Hence, it’s a great sin before God for a member of the Church of Christ to marry or even have a romantic relationship with a nonmember.  A godly and successful marriage can only be achieved by two faithful members of the Church of Christ. Because if they are equally yoked, if they’re of the same faith, then it will work.

One of the most common reasons that I hear of people getting divorced is that “they’re just not in love anymore.”

Love is not just an emotion. This is why you don’t “fall out of love.” When people say, “I’m falling out of love,” what he or she is actually saying is, “I don’t feel the emotion, that romantic love anymore.” However, the solution to that is not divorce, but to work it out through biblical love. In I Corinthians 13:4-7 Good News Translation:

Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail.

So love never gives up, and love requires that we work on the relationship.

So love isn’t just a feeling; it’s actually an action. It takes a lot of work. Maybe the by-product of that action, of that work, is that feeling of love.

Exactly. This is why when a person senses, you know, “I’m losing that loving feeling,” then he needs to do something to rekindle that, because one can choose to love. Love is more expressed by what we do than just a simple feeling. It’s nice to have that feeling, but we have a commitment to God. We have a commitment to each other that whenever that feeling is gone, we have to work and fight to get it back. That’s what love does. When we choose to do the work of love, then the manifestation of love’s romantic side can be rekindled.

We hope that this has inspired couples to work on their marriage and to not give up, so that through God’s help they can leave a wonderful legacy for years to come.

Now we know there’s no perfect marriage, but if it’s done the way God wants, then that’s what we want too. Let’s take a step toward each other, and toward the One who brought us together.

(Transcript from “Saving Marriage” Faith & Family Episode)