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Into the Light Ministries Christian Flag
 

Is There Forgiveness After Divorce?

One of the most frequently asked questions is, "If I get a divorce, will God forgive me? "Before I answer that question, let's take a look at the subject of divorce. First, let's examine what divorce isn't:

  • Divorce is not a convenient answer to your marital problems.
  • Divorce is not a bargaining chip in the tug of war that sometimes plagues all relationships.
  • Divorce is not an 'easy way out' for someone who just can't deal with commitment anymore.
  • Divorce is not conflict resolution.

Next, let's take a good, long, hard look at what divorce is:

  • Divorce is too easy to obtain.
  • Divorce is a means to make lawyers rich.
  • Divorce is painful to everyone involved in one way or another.
  • Divorce is the catalyst that adds despair and hopelessness to relationships.
  • Divorce is the sword that puts the family unit to death.
  • Divorce is the nightmare that causes your children to wake up screaming in the night and next to adultery.
  • Divorce is the greatest tool the devil has today to destroy the plan of God.

Years ago, when our grandparents got married, it was a lifetime commitment they made. No matter what hand life dealt them, no matter how rich or poor, how sick or healthy, divorce was never an option. Somehow, someway they worked their problems out together and they stayed together until death parted them. Times were much harder then. There was a world war, then a depression, and in the middle of it all, the stock market crashed. There were far fewer modern conveniences and far more physical labors. People had more children then and women stayed at home to care for them. Her 'career' was her family and she was happy in that blessed place. Crime rates were lower and domestic violence and child pornography were almost unheard of.

Years went by and when our parents were old enough to get married, for the most part, they too made a lifetime commitment to one another. At least that was their attitude of heart at the time of the wedding. The world was looking at the end of the second world war and a time of prosperity loomed on the horizon. Suddenly, jobs were plentiful and along with the influx of money to spend came all sorts of new technology to spend it on. Televisions, automatic this and automatic that, new modern homes, newer, faster, more affordable cars and many other luxuries were now more than just a pipe dream - they were a reality. The family unit was the center of American society and couples learned to hide their problems from the children and the neighbors. Women still held the role of housewife and mother as their main purpose in life and, for the most part, they were still fairly happy and contented with their lot. That is, until some very bitter, unhappy and dissatisfied women, who were more masculine than feminine, convinced them they couldn't possibly be happy just caring for some ungrateful man and a bunch of snot-nosed kids. So, women went to work and the divorce rate rose.

Now, I'm not saying women's liberation is 100% responsible for divorce, but it certainly didn't help matters any. With all the "new freedoms' coming in, crime became much more of a problem for everyone, the incidence of alcoholism, (or drunkenness as the Bible so names it,) rose considerably, and bit by bit, those qualities that were once greatly admired and respected were being exchanged for the Devil's perversities. Divorce, too, became 'the last resort.' Yet, even though couples were beginning to use divorce as a way out of marital problems, with the exception of a few couples, for the most part, they waited until the kids got older so the situation wouldn't be quite so traumatic.

More years passed and our generation began to marry and have families. Divorce was much more common, but it was still the "D" word. Something pretty catastrophic had to happen before you went to that extreme. More common was the 'trial separation' which, more often than not, resulted in the couple reuniting. Marriage, although more 'relaxed' than in our parents day, was still a serious commitment that one hoped would last forever. Now, life was much easier. The opportunities for financial advancement were tremendous and technology took a giant leap forward. Soon there were more and more women entering the workplace, usually on a part-time or volunteer basis because once the kids were in school, she was bored just sitting around the house all day. Couples began to take separate vacations. The husband had his night out with the guys and the wife had her night out with the girls. Is it any wonder people began to drift apart? Although divorce was still a messy business, it was becoming more popular as the answer to what became known as "irreconcilable differences." Couples no longer waited for the kids to grow up and the custody wars began.

As each successive generation comes of age and makes the decision of whether or not to spend the rest of their lives with one person, the once sacred institution of marriage is falling by the wayside. Now, divorce isn't even the major problem. Heck, now days couples don't even bother to get married, they just live together. We have same sex marriages, and wife and husband swapping is a big thing. Commitment means nothing, devotion means nothing, and love means nothing. What really means something is the bottom line. Is it going to be more financially advantageous if we get married or just live together? If, by chance, couples do decide to 'tie the knot,' if after a while things don't work out they can go to the library, photocopy the right forms and file for divorce on their own. They don't even need an attorney anymore. It's a sad, sad situation. There are more kids being raised in single parent homes than in two parent homes. How God must grieve when He sees how we have trampled in the mud the precious gift He has given us.

Do you see a pattern here? As life gets easier and technology gives us more and more automation, we drift further and further apart as couples - as families. We have become so very 'modern.' We have gained so much in the way of knowledge and lost so much in the way of life. As we become more and more dependant on things, we become less and less dependant on people. The richer we become financially, the poorer we become emotionally. In fact, as a species we're nearly bankrupt. Is it any wonder kids no longer have any respect for anyone or anything? Is it any wonder they look at marriage with distaste? Because the one thing that hasn't changed, and will never change, is the pain and devastation caused by divorce. Everyone gets hurts. No, more than hurt - traumatized. There is no such thing as an easy divorce.

People today no longer feel as though they need to 'work' at their marriage. Marriage counselors and therapists tell couples to try but if it doesn't work, rather than stress themselves out, just get a divorce. Even the clergy is beginning to tell people that sometimes divorce just can't be helped. We not only encourage divorce, we applaud divorce as a solution to a relationship that has hit a snag.

But what does God have to say about divorce? Check out Matthew 5:21, Matthew 19:8-9, Luke 16:18, 1 Corinthians 7:11, 27 and the scripture in Malachi 2:16 where we can find out how God really feels about it: "'I HATE DIVORCE,' saith the Lord God!" Marriage represents the union between Christ and His bride - the church. No wonder divorce is so very painful. The two are supposed to become as one flesh, no longer separate but joined together with such completeness they become a single unit, and what God has joined together, let no man tear apart.

The Bible speaks much on the subject of marriage and divorce, and as with many scriptures, anyone who really wants to justify themselves can take scriptures out of context and twist them to make himself and maybe even others believe that it is okay with God if you get that divorce, but really, Malachi 2:16 is pretty hard to ignore.

Will God forgive you if you get a divorce? There are only two instances in scripture where the forgiveness of God does not extend: the sin of Eli's sons and blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. For all other sins and iniquities there is forgiveness, for that is what we were given when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and it is given each time we repent.

Sometimes it is out a person's hands whether a divorce happens or not. I am convinced, after 20 plus years of being in the ministry with my husband and counseling perhaps thousands of people on the issues of marriage and divorce, if people would wait patiently on the Lord for the one He has for them to marry and then, together, consecrate your marriage unto the Lord, divorce would not be an option.

When we were married nearly 30 years ago we agreed before God we would never use the "D" word. No matter what, we would work together to work it out. Divorce was simply not an option. Even though we were not saved when we got married, we made that commitment in earnest. When we did get saved we gave our marriage to the Lord and since that day have let Him have His way. Life has not always been easy and we have had our share of stormy weather, but never have we gone to bed angry to the point of considering divorce. Quite frankly, I know I am the most blessed woman alive to have my husband, and so much more. He is my life, and next to Jesus, I love him more than anything in this world. God has truly blessed us and our marriage.

It is possible to have and to hold till death do us part. It's possible to work out any and all problems without considering divorce if you will agree to: 1.) allow God to be your mediator and your marriage counselor, 2.) never go to bed too angry to tell your husband or wife how very much you love them and, 3.) never, never ever allow the word divorce to even enter your mind.

May the Lord bless you and keep you as you go through life together and, if you are divorced or on the verge of an inevitable divorce, may you feel His compassion, mercy, and unfailing love - now and always.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about this article.

 
Everyone must die sometime.
"...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment..." Hebrews 9:27

 
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