By Tyson Thorne

February 25, 2014

Divorce large

Two weeks ago I published a paper on this site that emphasized the meaning of marriage as being between a man and a woman. As much as homosexuality is a hot button issue in our culture, there is a more dangerous and insidious evil that has infiltrated and even gained acceptance in the Christian Community: divorce.

In the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi 2.16) God says, “I hate divorce.” He even goes as far as to state that a reason people often feel alienated from God is because they have been unfaithful to their spouse. It is a sin that drives God’s presence from us.

With such a stern warning, why is it that divorce in the Christian community has risen above that in the secular world? According to studies, the divorce rate among believers equaled that of the secular community in 2008, and has since risen to overwhelming levels. Some have concluded that an evangelical environment isn’t healthy for marriage, a conclusion directly contradicting the Bible. So what is the cause, the reason, for this phenomenon?

In a word, selfishness. I want to be clear that I’m not speaking to those who have been divorced due to the unfaithfulness of a spouse. If one member of a marriage breaks the covenant by having sex outside of the marriage then God permits divorce. The Bible is also clear that it prefers restoration, but should the selfishness of the adulterer overcome his (or her) desire to be restored with their spouse and God, then cutting them loose is the final option. And make no mistake, it is the final option. Once divorced Scripture forbids the couple from reuniting (Deuteronomy 24.1-.4).

Divorce is not always evil. One friend of mine divorced his wife because of her unfaithfulness and due to her lack of repentance. He went on to remarry (years later) and has a very successful marriage today. Another friend of mine also had an unfaithful wife, but she broke of the adulterous relationship and came to her husband and before God for forgiveness. He did, over time, forgive her and their marriage was saved. Both followed the Bible’s conditions, and both have a vibrant relationship with their Creator.

Why did the spouse in both of these cases commit adultery in the first place? We come back to selfishness. This is a root sin of humanity and it has become accepted among Christians and is not only destroying marriages but the power and authority of the church as well. The divorce rate among believers and the lack of power a church has in its community is directly related to the health of the Christian community, and that health has waned to a critical level due to selfishness.

Tomorrow and the next day will be the two most important posts yet on this site. They will directly confront this error in our thinking and outline a way to restore our health and relationship with God and others. If you believe that loving God and loving others are the two greatest responsibilities of man, then I implore you to come back this week with an open mind and heart.

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