Divorce. It’s an ugly word that no one likes to hear, much less say. Maybe you’re feeling guilty because you’re considering a divorce or, perhaps, you’re on the brink of marriage and wondering if you have an “out” if things go south.
Nobody gets married, hoping for a divorce. When you tie the knot, the experience is filled with love, laughter and a lot of glitter. Somewhere along the way, though, people lose sight of why they got married. In fact, “In Western cultures, more than 90 percent of people marry by age 50,” according the American Psychological Association. The APA also notes, though, that somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of marriages within the United States end in divorce. Now, that’s a staggeringly sad statistic, right?
If you grew up in the Church, you’ve probably heard it said a time or two that divorce isn’t an option because it’s what the Bible says. In the same breath, you may have also jokingly heard the phrase “… but murder is.” But Jesus doesn’t condone that either. Ultimately, you just need some answers because you don’t want to go to hell for getting a divorce. Let us ease your mind, you will not go to hell if you get a divorce.
So, the question remains: What did Jesus say about divorce? Jesus didn’t advocate for divorce by any means. In fact, Jesus says, “Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 2:9). But, that’s probably not a surprise to you. That’s also not all He said about divorce, either.
Reasons for divorce
Want to hear a secret? There are, in fact, Biblical reasons for divorce. Most pastors and churches don’t talk often about why you could get a divorce, according to what the Bible says, because they hope that everyone will be able to resolve their issues. This is noble, and every effort should be made to reconcile, but, sometimes, a change needs to be made. Let’s discuss two reasons:
The first Biblical out for marriage is adultery. Although, this is one of the reasons that divorce is accepted in the Bible, many have been able to forgive their spouse and go on to have a strong marriage. You should try to work things out with your spouse to repair your relationship through counseling and mentorship before you make the decision to end your marriage.
The second reason for divorce is abuse. Hear this loud and clear: Jesus is not asking you to endure an abusive marriage. He’s just not, no matter what anyone may say. God wants what is best for you. And, if your life is in danger, it’s time to get out. Call someone – a friend, family member, a pastor or, in some cases, the authorities – to help you.
Now you know some of the things that Jesus said about divorce. He doesn’t advocate for divorce by any means, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay in a marriage that’s harmful. If you’re unsure about whether you should stay in your marriage, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help you navigate this weighty decision.