Divorce should always be the last resort in ending a marriage, not an easy way out of it. Unfortunately, in our modern societies, it’s usually easier to get divorced than it is to get married. There’s a reason courting comes before betrothal and betrothal comes before marriage. It’s to make sure the partners are completely compatible before taking that last step.
As a follower of Jesus, it’s my duty to tell you what the Holy Bible says about divorce and why it’s not supposed to be an easy way out.
Just as Jesus was the foundation of the original Christian church, the man is the foundation of the family. I’m sure there are women who won’t agree with me but my source is biblical, not societal.
Alternative lifestyles, allowed by societal norms, are not biblically endorsed. I’m focusing on the biblical and traditional form of marriage, which is between a man and a woman.
Before you read the quotes, I want to tell you that his name was not Jesus or Jesus Christ, like so many preachers like to preach. His full name was “Yehoshuah” (in English) while his common name (or nickname) was “Yeshua”. His name was closer to the modern “Joshua” than “Jesus”. He was “the Christ”, the English version of the word that meant “the savior”.
Continuing on, here’s what Jesus had to say:
Matthew, Chapter 19, Verse 8:
Jesus said to them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of your hard hearts, but from the beginning it was not this way. Now I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another commits adultery.”
Mark, Chapter 10, Verse 11:
So he told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
What he was saying, without saying it, was that it was better to forgive a wife than to divorce her. This was all focused on men because women weren’t allowed to divorce their husbands. Adultery was the only valid basis for divorce, so it wasn’t an easy thing to do.
In many societies, there’s no such thing as a legal divorce. In cases where the husband and the wife can no longer live with each other, they simply live apart. They may even live with other partners, committing adultery if they have sexual relations.
Here’s what some people in the Philippines do to get around the lack of legal divorces. Although they’re married in the Philippines, the Philippines recognizes some foreign divorces. One spouse goes to the United States and divorces the other. When they return to the Philippines, they can then marry someone else and it’s legal. To go to that length is anything but “an easy way out”.
Separation doesn’t always mean what people think it means. Sometimes it’s just a geographical separation. I’ve often heard silly phrases like “it isn’t cheating if it’s a different zip code (or area code)”. I’m sorry, but cheating is cheating regardless of where you do it. A geographical separation isn’t the same as a legal separation and that fact should be obvious. Even so, a legal separation isn’t an excuse to take part in extramarital affairs. Legal separations sometimes end with reconciliations instead of divorces. Extramarital affairs can make reconciliations impossible.
Courtship, or dating if you want to call it that, is the first step to make sure complete compatibility exists between partners. It should never be rushed. The period of betrothal, also called engagement, shouldn’t be rushed either.
The reason so many marriages fail isn’t because of something as simple as “love”. It’s more likely to be that the partners don’t even know each other before getting married. Arranged marriages (and contract marriages) still exist and love doesn’t always have a lot to do with it (and sometimes not at all).
If you do your own research into successful marriages and long-lasting families, you’ll realize that once the relationship is firm, divorce may not only difficult, it may not even be a consideration. Using my marriage as an example, my wife and I come from two different cultures and our “courtship” lasted about a year and a half. We’ve been married nearly 30 years and we haven’t considered divorce once.
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