Navigating Divorce and Strengthening Christian Marriages

Navigating Divorce and Strengthening Christian Marriages

Divorce is a life-changing event that impacts not only the two individuals involved but also the family that has grown from and around them. It is a painful experience that affects many aspects of life, and it is important for Christians to approach this topic with grace, wisdom, and an understanding of God’s perspective. Let’s explore what the Bible says about divorce, how Christians should respond to divorce, and ways to reinforce Christian marriages to withstand the storms of life.

Jesus’ Teaching on Divorce

“Jesus answered, ‘Haven’t you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.'” Matthew 19:4-6 (MSG)

In Matthew 19, Jesus is approached by some Pharisees who intended to test Him about His theology on divorce. Jesus, being the Law-Creator, knew their hearts and responded by taking them back to the beginning of creation. He emphasized that God’s intention for marriage was for a man and a woman to become one flesh, and what God has joined together, no man should separate.

Understanding God’s Design for Marriage

“This is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become ‘one flesh.'” Genesis 2:24 (MSG)

Marriage, as designed by God, is a profound union that reflects His own nature. It is not merely a legal contract or a temporary arrangement, but a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman. God’s intention for marriage is unity, where two individuals become one in every aspect of their lives, including emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

The Reality of Divorce and Its Impact

“‘I hate divorce,’ says the God of Israel. God-of-the-Angel-Armies says, ‘I hate the violent dismembering of the ‘one flesh’ of marriage.'” Malachi 2:16 (MSG)

Sadly, divorce has become prevalent in our society, tearing apart families and causing immense pain. However, as Christians, we must approach divorce with compassion and understanding. It is crucial to acknowledge that divorce is a complex issue, and the causes are not always easy to comprehend. God desires for us to seek answers in His Word, as it provides guidance for building up lives and promoting His character.

Applying Jesus’ Teaching on Divorce

“Jesus said, ‘Moses provided for divorce as a concession to your hard heartedness, but it is not part of God’s original plan.'” Matthew 19:9 (MSG)

For believers in Jesus, divorce should be the last resort. Jesus did not forbid divorce, but He put it in the context of infidelity and unforgiveness. If both parties cannot reach an agreement or solution to preserve the marriage, divorce may be allowed. However, it is important to remember that divorce should never be taken lightly, as it brings forth a tidal wave of pain and additional problems.

Responding to Divorce within the Christian Community

“‘To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person.'” Luke 6:27-28 (MSG)

As Christians, we should respond to those who are going through divorce with love, compassion, and support. We must remember that we were once lost until Jesus revealed Himself to us. Just as Jesus showed us love and grace when we were unworthy, we should extend the same kindness to those experiencing divorce within the Christian community.

Addressing Abuse and Seeking Freedom

“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So, take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” Galatians 5:1 (MSG)

While divorce should not be taken lightly, it is essential to understand that God does not expect anyone to endure abuse within a marriage. Abuse goes against God’s desire for love, respect, and the well-being of individuals. If one spouse is experiencing abuse, it is crucial to seek help and support, recognizing that God desires freedom for His children.

Reinforcing Christian Marriages

“By yourself, you’re unprotected. With a friend, you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 (MSG)

Christian marriages are not immune to challenges, but by trusting in Jesus and striving to live lives that please Him, we can reinforce our relationships and weather the storms of life together. Building a strong foundation in Christ, cultivating open communication, practicing forgiveness, and seeking wise counsel from mature believers can all contribute to a thriving marriage.

While divorce may sometimes be the unfortunate outcome, it should always be the last resort after all attempts at reconciliation have been exhausted. By reinforcing our Christian marriages through trust in Jesus, communication, forgiveness, and seeking support from the Christian community, we can build resilient marriages that reflect God’s love and bring glory to Him.

5 Things to do When Divorce is Considered

  1. Seek guidance from God’s Word: Turn to the Scriptures for wisdom and guidance on how to navigate marriage and potential challenges.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

  1. Prioritize open communication: Foster a safe and transparent environment within your marriage where both spouses can express their thoughts, concerns, and needs.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)

  1. Practice forgiveness and grace: Extend forgiveness to one another as Christ has forgiven us, and approach challenges with grace, seeking reconciliation.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

  1. Seek wise counsel: Engage with mature believers or seek the guidance of a pastor or marriage counselor who can provide biblical perspectives and practical advice.

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)

  1. Foster a supportive community: Surround yourselves with fellow believers who can offer encouragement, prayer, and support during difficult times.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

Make Marriages Stronger

“May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all.” Romans 15:5 (MSG)

To reinforce Christian marriages, we must trust in Jesus and make efforts to live lives that honor and please Him. Building a strong foundation in Christ, cultivating open communication, practicing forgiveness, and seeking wise counsel from mature believers can all contribute to the resilience of our marriages.

By applying the principles of God’s Word, extending love and support to those experiencing divorce, and reinforcing our own marriages, we can navigate the challenges that arise and strive to reflect God’s love and grace in our relationships.

Remember, divorce is not the end of the journey. God is a God of healing, restoration, and new beginnings. With His guidance and grace, we can find hope and strength to rebuild our lives and relationships, even in the aftermath of divorce.

“He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 (MSG)

May we lean on God’s wisdom and His unfailing love as we navigate the complexities of divorce, always seeking His guidance and extending His grace to those around us.

About The Author

Jesse Velez

Although Jesse Velez will forever carry the essence of a Native New Yorker, he currently calls the sun-soaked city of Miami, Florida, his home. Celebrating a marriage of 31+ years to Eusebia, he proudly embraces his role as the father of five grown children. Jesse has cultivated a profound grasp of the Bible over the span of 40+ years, dedicated to following and serving Jesus while engaging in extensive reading and in-depth study of the scriptures.