The marriage vows: Is divorce allowed?


Let me stir the pot a bit this afternoon. Please bear with me…. (don’t crucify me yet o)

Imagine on your wedding day during the vows – Your husband says – I take this woman as my lawfully wedded wife, to treat her for better or for worse — to abuse and treat her as I wish. To make sure she meets all my needs; to hurt her as often as I desire because she is now my wife and cannot escape; I own her. I can have sex with anyone I desire because as a man I am polygamous in nature and I can do as I please regardless of her feelings, till death do us part.”

How many people will agree to the covenant above? I am sure many won’t. But that is what the wedding vows have turned into these day, only we don’t usually hear it or we pass it as just a minor issue, because we are excited. A covenant is a ‘coming together’, a binding agreement. An agreement has to take place between 2 people. A coming together to agree. One person cannot agree, there has to be 2 or more. For you to agree you will make sure that you trust the other person to keep their agreement. Unfortunately, somehow this is not the case. Many people have turned liars just to get married. They lie through their wedding vows, (ofcourse we do not know its a lie, even when we have seen the signs during courtship), the unsuspecting spouse innocently signs the agreement in the joy of the moment, promise for better for worse and then they are stuck.

Now if we look at the vows closely, it says – for better of for worse (together against the world, not against each other), to have and to hold, to cherish and to love – these are the conditions that hold the marriage agreement whereby each person commits not to INTENTIONALLY bring harm in anyway to the marriage; but rather, to build it up.

We can all agree that a marriage covenant is like the marriage between Christ and his bride (the church). That also means that when we violate God’s covenant (His commandments) and choose not to change and turn away from our “wicked ways,” our intimate relationship with God is broken. Right? So when the marriage covenant is violated, and the other party chooses not to change from the cheating ways, their battering ways, their lack of commitment to their vows, their inability to cherish and to love – then it is safe to say that the intimate union with the spouse is broken. Right? If a marriage partner does not stop breaking the marriage covenant and make necessary corrections, a permanently broken union will be inevitable.

The first thing God does when we break our covenant with him is to deal with us by correcting us in order to restore our intimate relationship with Him. This is exactly what is supposed to happen in a marriage relationship between a husband and wife. When you let your marriage go wrong for so long, when you look the other way while your spouse lives in sin – it breaths divorce or a very unhappy life full of problems. It then makes it much harder to correct the violations.

Now before you say I agree to divorce – I DO NOT. The bible is very clear – God hates divorce.

God hates divorce but He would not expect a married person to remain married to a spouse that remains in an adulterous situation. (Jeremiah 3:8 – I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries). Yes, God hates divorce, but even he has a condition. It is hoped that there is always room for repentance, counseling, and reconciliation (just like he forgave Isreal over and over again) – but if it doesn’t occur, and sexual sins outside of marriage persist, the victim of such a marriage is not bound by the law and God would not call that sin. God hates divorce, but He would not expect a married person to remain married to an abusive spouse. It’s true it says ’till death do you part’ but that should be natural death, not one inflicted by the spouse. A wife may leave an abusive husband; but rather, she should not divorce him. (1 Corinthians 7:17).

God hates divorce. It is the sin of hate, unforgiveness and hypocrisy. There is no such thing as irreconcilable difference. So God will not hate you if you decide to separate from your spouse for your safety, but forgiveness is always better and should always in order. 70 x 7 times.

….to be continued

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