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Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Should Christians Ever Divorce? Part I

"'For I hate divorce,' says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'and him who covers his garment with wrong,' says the LORD of hosts. 'So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.'"1

A question that arises from time to time asked by Daily Encounter readers has to do with divorce: Should a Christian ever get divorced?

I've worked in the area of Divorce and Grief Recovery for the past decade, so I have regular contact with people struggling with this issue. For most, it is an extremely painful experience, and terribly disillusioning especially for Christians who sincerely want to do the Lord's will.

I know one man who right now is going through divorce. I believe he has done everything in his power to save his marriage. He has been in counseling for many months working on his side of the marital conflict but, sad to say, his wife has refused to continue in counseling and emphatically declares that her husband is the one who needs to change.

There are many more wives who are in a similar situation.

So what should these people do? Should they stay in a toxic, destructive relationship? And what should or can they do when and if their partner files for divorce?

Some fight the divorce but for many they have no choice!

True, God hates divorce and he does so because it is so hurtful to those whom he loves. Most divorcees understandably hate divorce too.

But let us remember that God also hates everything else that is harmful to his children. This includes covering up wrong, gossip, lying, cheating, dishonesty, jealousy, pride, legalism, and destructive, abusive or hateful relationships, and hypocritical relationships that put on a good show in public but behind closed doors are anything but loving and kind.

Unfortunately, some who "preach that God hates divorce" to those going through it are blind to the fact that God hates their judgmental attitude just as much as he hates divorce.

To be continued ...

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me not to be judgmental of those going through divorce, but rather help me to see my shortcomings, failures and sins and with your help, overcome these. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Malachi 2:16 (NASB).


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