There it is in black and white: “God hates divorce.” It’s Malachi 2:16 and it doesn’t leave much wiggle room. That’s how God feels about divorce. But then there’s what he actually allows. Jesus made a couple of references* to divorce being permissible in cases of marital unfaithfulness, so it seems that God makes allowances for extreme situations.
A number of my college friends have gotten a divorce. And even now some of my friends are headed down that path. You can’t help but empathize with them. Modern marriage is a dicey proposition with a high failure rate – not for the faint of heart. Like any of you who have been married a while, Karen and I have had our moments. Dave Pitt shared the following story with me that gives perspective on what to do when your marriage seems to be on the rocks:
Peter Lord was my pastor in the ’70’s. I have read all his books and have never met a man like him. If I attempted to write about him here there would not be sufficient space. But this does need to be passed on: While living in Titusville I decided to tell my wife of two years that I wanted a divorce. She convinced me to go see Peter. After just a minute or two he asked me, “What do you want them to put on your tombstone?”
Attempting to be as self-serving as I could be, I said, “He gave all he had.” This undoubtedly came from my years of playing sports and coaching.
He said, “Gave all you had to what?”
After a few more minutes of talking about why I wanted a divorce, he said, “Your problem is not that you don’t love your sweet wife. Your problem is that you don’t love God. You learn to love Him first and He will let you love your wife like you never believed you could.”
We celebrate our 38th anniversary last April……
Irreconcilable differences isn’t in Scripture. Unfaithfulness is. If you’re in a tough marriage, remember, you play to an audience of one. He knows your heart. He knows how much you can take. Seek wise counsel and see the Lord’s opinion in the matter. For more info, here’s a good resource.