Divorce–A Christian Perspective

Divorce is one of those things that gets very different treatment in different Christian denominations. The red letters are pretty clear as to what Jesus thought of it.

Matt 5:31-32

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’  But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matt 19:8-9

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

Most Protestant denominations don’t put much weight behind these words of Jesus. Many seem to be almost flippant about this sin. Statistics show us that the rate of divorce among Christians is actually a little higher than the non-religious population so maybe there is a reason for minimizing these particular red letters.  Jesus made it pretty clear that for the most part once you are married you are married until death do you part. What Jesus said doesn’t mean you have to stay in a marriage no matter the conditions. But if you leave a marriage you can’t then go on to another one without committing the grievous sin of adultery.

Many say that Homosexuality is a grievous sin and if you stay in a homosexual relationship you are non-repentant and therefore your sin is not forgiven.  I question whether by those same standards remarrying after a divorce should also be  treated as a non-repentant and therefore a sin that is also not forgiven!  Is it up to us to pick and choose which sins are not forgiven?  But let’s stay on topic here.  I think only Catholics and maybe some of the Anabaptist denominations actually treat divorce in a serious manner.

But even Catholics “sneak” around this rule when it is convenient. I am very personally a witness to this fact. My mother’s eleven year marriage in a Catholic church to my father which resulted in the births of me and my younger brother was later voided by the the Catholic Church when she wanted to marry another Catholic twenty years later!  Declaring me and my brother bastards because the marriage “officially” didn’t happen was one of the reasons I left the Catholic church so many years ago. So in some ways the Catholic church is worse than its Protestant brothers in that they only appear to take Jesus’ word to heart.

It grieves me that this is by no means the only place where the current day Christians organizations don’t treat Jesus’ words  as “gospel” (pun intended). We seem to pick and choose where sins are forgiven or where they are not. I have more personal thoughts about that but will hold them for another post.

One thought on “Divorce–A Christian Perspective

  1. “we seem to pick and choose where sins are forgiven or where they are not”, although I can agree with this statement, I must say that God views all sin as equal. Sin is sin in his eyes, none is greater than another. So choosing what is forgiven or not is much too human. If we sincerely repent, Jesus’ blood has washed us clean no matter the sin.

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