It happened again, I heard of a pastor (whom I respect), telling a wife that she had grounds for a divorce. Sexual immorality...porn addiction. "Every time he looked, he broke his vow."
My heart breaks for her, for her situation and for her pastoral advice. And my heart breaks for God - for how His marriage covenant - the promise, the commitment - has become so tainted over the centuries and is barely even recognized as a covenant in modern society, even Christian society, among His people.
To clarify up front, this is NOT a condemnation for the divorced nor a condoning of sexual immorality; for we all are probably friends with someone divorced and many of us affected by the pain and brokenness of divorce. “He who is sinless cast the first stone;” (John 8) I do not stand as judge nor can I stand as judge (I believe my sin of harsh, disrespectful words and the ways he fails to fully love me are just as ugly sins in God’s eyes – physical adultery and adultery with words both offend God’s holy design for marriage). And yet there is A Judge who has established the standard for marriage, even created it to model the relationship He has with His people.
I only want to voice how I see the Bible portraying marriage and divorce in hopes to spark in people's minds a transformed (Rom 12:2- not conformed to the pattern of this world) understanding that maybe, just maybe will be a spark that starts a radical passion for marriage that flames strong in The Church, fighting against the deceit the crafty serpent has demised.
So, God creating marriage to model His relationship with His people…and that is modeled after the union He has in the Trinity! (Genesis 2, Ephesians 5)
So what does God’s relationship with His people look like? He extends His covenantal love, grace, forgiveness, faithfulness, protection, provision to an appreciative, faithful, loving people – right? No! - He again and again reaches out to an ungrateful, faithless, idolatrous/adulterous, grumbling group of people. His people (Israel and The Church – think Peter, Saul) sin against Him and each other regularly, not just every once in a while. And He forgives them and embraces them in His covenantal love each time – no doubt with sadness, even anger…but the picture of our God is to initiate toward us in our sin…and yet again. (cf. Hosea)
Is this the picture - the model - the people of God are giving as a witness of God’s love to the watching world?
I think most would agree, “No.”
When my best friend from high school was separated from her husband and contemplating divorce, as one who stood as a witness to her marriage covenant vow, I was motivated to seek what the Bible really says about divorce (as opposed to what our itching ears have become accustomed to hearing these days – 2 Timothy 4:3).
That study can be found HERE.