What’s the problem with Divorce?

Bear with me while we unveil a rather lengthy thought from the Apostle Paul. Please remember these thoughts are not about our past; it is under the blood, but they are about how we live this day and the choices we make through it.  

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth

Ephesians1: 7-10

I want you to see from verse nine, it is the desire of God for us to know the mystery of His will which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fulness time. Paul wrote,  This is according to His purpose, which is, to unite all things in Him.  

If it’s the Fathers ultimate goal to have everything and everyone united as one, then we can begin to understand the problem with divorce from God’s perspective.  Divorce is simply a separation.  As my David says, divorce occurs in the heart before it ever shows up on a piece of paper or a closed door.  It is not easy to divorce someone naturally without first divorcing, some part of ourselves, from the Father.  

Jesus said divorce occurs only because of the hardness of heart. 

I know the church today is filled with men and women who have entered into legal separations and divorces, but these painful and life changing experiences can never supersede the heart and mind of God. There is a reason, beyond a mindless adherence to good behavior that caused the Lord, the essence of love Himself, to take the position of truth that He took: the destruction.  

God FULLY understands all aspects of divorce, the beginnings, the middle and the end.  He sees the pain, the rejection, the betrayal.  He nurses the wounded spirit and binds up the broken hearts. He works in the heart and soul of man to renew trust, validation, acceptance, placement, and love.  This doesn’t even begin to explain the damage done in the heart and mind of a child, or a wounded partner.  

In truth, all are damaged. After Pastoring for nearly 40 years, we have watched the pain that comes with divorce.  We’ve counseled couples, families, church members, and churches and the same root problem always exists ~ hurt and anger. And after all these years, we have not found one example of anyone escaping undamaged.  Our heart is to see, if at all possible, reconciliation.  Sometimes this is just not possible with what lies in the heart of man.  Today’s world is filled with violence and unfortunately it takes place in the home.  I’m not advocating for anyone to stay in a violent and abusive situation.  The bottom line is the peace we are called to live within our relationships.  I like to prevent the situation before it can occur by wise counsel and hearing ears.  Human love can be not only blind, but foolish as well.  

Malachi reminds us that God HATES divorce.  We are instructed to hate what God hates.  Why does God hate this?  The Bible says it covers ones garments with violence.  The admonition from Malachi 2:15 is to guard your spirit and not be faithless.  The issues flow from the heart.  Jesus said it was from the heart that evil occurs.   

Paul wrote that in the case of the unbelieving partner wanting to leave, the believer is to let them leave. God had called us to peace.  I’m not trying to be legalistic in any of this, simply biblical.  What God has joined together is not to be set apart by man.  How can two walk together unless they be agreed is not an admonition to separate but to find the place of agreement and unity.   Jesus’ final prayer on earth was that we would be one with the Father one with each other and by this display of love and unity all men would know we are His disciples.  He prays for us to become “perfectly one”.  Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us and I am confident this is an ongoing prayer of His in Heaven. 

Divorce from a spouse, a family member, a child, a life long relationship, wherever and whenever it occurs, absolutely works against God’s purpose of oneness.  Where God has set us and divinely connected us in His body, we are to remain and we remain as we stay vitally united to Him and with each other.  These relationships are to flow from the Head to our heart and renew our soulish realms.

I’m thankful that He is a God of mercy and there is grace that is available for all as we come to Him.  I’m thankful the blood of Jesus not only forgives and cleanses of all unrighteousness for me but it works in my spouse, family and other divine connections.

Let us be mindful; watchful, of every thought and feeling that would lead us to draw back and harbor offense.  Let us guard our mouths and not join with the accuser, throwing out words that sow strife and discord, but rather keep ourselves rooted and grounded in the love of God guarding the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  

As much as lies within us, let us live peacefully with all ~ believe the best of each other.  

What shall I say?

Now my soul is troubled and what shall I say?  Father save me from this hour? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.   

John 12:27

A crossroads is where you find yourself standing with the ability to take an alternate course.  A choice is required.  Do we choose to pursue a narrow way where the course before us is obscure and difficult or the wide, smooth and easy way?   What shall we say, “Father save me from this hour or glorify your name?”

I often think about the moments of crisis in Jesus‘s earthly ministry where it is so natural for man to desire avoidance. The Bible tells us Jesus was a man of sorrow acquainted with grief, betrayal and rejection and in it all, continually set his face to pursue his father’s purpose. 

Jesus said, Now my soul is troubled. At this crossroads that demands a choice, Jesus reminds us, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  We are encouraged to pray that we do not enter into temptation.  A natural man would not choose this narrow path, but a dead man could.  Jesus, tempted in all points yet without sin, shows us we too can walk this road in our hour but must first answer this same question.  What shall I say, “Father save me from this hour or glorify your name?”

In John chapter 12 we find the beginning of the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. He is preparing not only himself but the men to whom he has committed his life’s work. His hour, his crossroads stands before him. Facing the cross, understanding that a seed must die to bring forth life He chooses a narrow way that not only brought him life but provided the way for others. 

First Peter chapter 2 tells us Jesus has been set as an example for us to follow. It’s a very high standard. He tells his disciples in chapter 16 of John, “I have said all these things to keep you from falling away......I have said these things to you that when your hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.”

These words were sufficient to hold them steady in their hour.  His word remains sufficient to hold us and keep us from falling in our hour.  

Everyone one of us lives to face our own hour.  The question stands, What shall I say?  Save me from this hour or Father, glorify your name?