The marriage that God ordained - Divorce was never an option in the eyes of God
Divorce was never an option in the eyes of God
There is a very simple reason why God hates divorce and we need not weave some doctrinal or theological synthesis around this. It is for the simple reason that is in line with the plans which he had, when he made them man and woman. They were to become united as one in order for them to be able to fulfil his will for them on earth:
For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.” – Malachi 2:16
There are a number of reasons why God frowns at divorce, as a result when what God designed to be an everlasting union breaks down we need not look too far before we realise there must have been so much treachery, pain and bitterness involved. We need not look too far to see the pain, the anger and the acrimony. And when such marriages involve children, we cannot use enough words to adequately capture the devastating effect and scar it leaves on the ‘children, the very ones whom God wanted the family unit to protect and give the security of a home and to bring them up in the knowledge of God. This scripture verse sums it all saying:
For it covers one’s garment with violence
Let us ponder over this again, what does this verse mean? A whole lot which only those who have gone through the bitter feud of divorce can best understand. There are no winners in this war, because everyone walks away from this battle ground feeling defeated and guilty.
Therefore, no amount of theology or explanation to support divorce can negate this truth and the fact that God frowns upon divorce. The Pharisees waved the theology of divorce at Jesus and they tried to use the law of Moses to back up their claims, forgetting that the laws of man cannot stand neither can it negate the laws of God. Jesus made it clear to them the unchanging position of God with regards to the institution of marriage as ordained right from the beginning:
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Mathew 19:4-6.
Clearly stated for all intent and purpose is the fact that the one who ordained the institution of marriage ordained the union, to be an everlasting one which can only be annulled in death. For in his eyes and according to his will, they are no longer two, but one flesh, one spirit and one soul. As a result, he decreed that what he in his sovereign will has joined together let not man separate. You see when as a male and female both come together in the union of marriage, God no longer sees them as two individuals, he now sees them as an indivisible being, he sees them as having become one in body, spirit and soul. He relates to both as one and treats them as one. The truth is he can never see them as two again, because he cannot void his own word.
Of course the question remains why then did Moses allow for divorce? He did because of the hardness of the heart of man, the separation brought about by divorce is not of God, it was part of the disobedience and rebellion of man against the will of God (Mathew 19:8). This is the position of divorce and it remains forever so no matter how we chose to explain it or cushion what it truly represent, it remains an act of rebellion of man carried out in order to annul what God has joined together and declared as one.
For in the eyes of God, even in divorce it is the first union that he recognises and he declared as a result, every other union illegal, as revealed to us by the words of our Lord Jesus:
And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” – Mathew 19:9.
There is only one condition under which this union can be broken and it is on the condition that is brought about by the breach of the sanctity of the union through the act of the sexual sin of adultery, an offence whose gravity can be measured by the severity of the punishment meted out under the law to those found guilty of the act.
The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death. – Leviticus 20:10.
The truth need be told, God did not take an unreasonable position on marriage and the arising issue of divorce, neither did he take a position that was not feasible or practical to attain, it is only when we ignore the principles which he has put in place in the first place to ensure that this position is attainable that we would begin to contemplate such an idea. It is those who are either ignorant of why he has taken this position that would even contemplate this. These are the people whom Jesus described with this sentence:
He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so – Mathew 19:8.
There is a position from which God made his unchanging stand about the institution of marriage and it is from a position that says this union is an everlasting one and this is possible as long as the principles that guide and make it possible are carefully noted and adhered to. I want to state that I am not here to argue about marriage and divorce, my aim is not to bring believers who have suffered the unfortunate break up of their marriages and homes to ridicule or condemnation, rather it is to state clearly the position of God on the issue. It is my prayers that those who have had to suffer the pains of divorce would receive healing from this exposition and for those who are still in the union or contemplating going into it (marriage) be equipped to have an enduring and rewarding union that is built upon the solid principles laid down by the one who ordained this institution, in Jesus name Amen.