The situation of divorce often occurs in the testimonies of single women. It is an unfortunate but common circumstance that requires discernment, especially regarding a future spouse because it may be considered a “tare”.
Dictionary.com defines “Discernment” as “acuteness of judgment, and understanding”. It is the ability to recognize the differences between opposites, and what makes one choice right and another wrong. In the spiritual realm, discernment is critical. Unless you’re able to distinguish between acts that are from the hand of God, and those that are instigated by the devil, you can easily become confused, with disastrous results. Discernment is especially necessary when you’re confronting trials, sufferings, and adverse circumstances, and need to know the difference between what is intended for your good and what is designed for your destruction.
Although we all marry with the idea that our union will be as strong and enduring as the redwoods in this photo, matrimony is not an easy commitment to uphold. Building and maintaining a good marriage requires more hard work and effort than most people ever imagine. If it were problem-free, our Father would not have made it so tough to get out of, because if we could easily bail, many people would. But that’s not the Lord’s plan. The marital vow is intended by Him to be permanent. It is not a promise that can be broken, or an emotional connection which can shift. Instead it is a covenant pledge with God and with our spouse, and is unbreakable because He forms the third cord in this marriage bond.
However, divorce is no stranger in the church world today, and there are many Christian ladies who are formerly married, often by their own choice. But although we might wish it to be different, the sole scriptural option that God allows for Believers to break their marriage covenant is for the sin of fornication committed by the other partner. Matthew 19: 9 admonishes “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” And even in the presence of this sin, the Lord’s preference is always that we work through the trauma of infidelity by utilizing His power within us to forgive.
However, there’s a very good reason for allowing the dissolution of a marriage because of adultery. The decision to bring another person into the marriage bed actually intrudes them into the covenant itself. It attempts to discard the pledge between the original partners and substitute a new person instead. For this act of betrayal, God allows the injured person the option of a non-recrimination divorce. Because the marriage vow has been breached, she is freed from further entanglement with the adulterous mate, and there are no constraints against forming a new marital relationship.
This isn’t the case, however, if you choose to leave a marriage for any other reason. Even being unsaved and ignorant of Christ when you experienced the processes of marriage and divorce is not justification in the sight of the Lord, and in leaving you haven’t yet voided the covenant that still exists with God. A husband may have been abusive, alcoholic, a drug addict, or more, and absolutely, yes, you must take steps to protect or distance yourself and your children from his harmful actions. Yet to our Father, if he has been physically faithful, he remains your mate regardless of other circumstances.
Of course, in our times people get divorced for a variety of causes aside from infidelity, because bottom-line is they no longer want to be in covenant with that partner. Listen to the voice of Holy Spirit, and seek the true reasons for your possible mate’s divorce…they will become pertinent to you. And if you yourself initiated a biblically unjustified divorce, as a Follower of Jesus, you must make your actions right by asking Him for forgiveness. In doing so, you acknowledge that you have committed a sin against the Lord by breaking your marital vows. And you may also be called to seek forgiveness from that ex-husband as well.
More to come on this controversial topic…Joy and Shalom!