May a Christian file for divorce?

In most western countries, almost half of the marriages end up in a divorce. That’s a very sad thing to hear. You might think, that this high divorce rate applies only to non-believers, but unfortunately that’s not true. Many marriages of believers also end in a divorce. But why do so many people in the church get a divorce? The answer is, because most Christians are not born again, and stay carnal. This might be a shocking thing to read, but it’s true.

Most Christians stay carnal, and live like the world. They stay the old creation, and live after the flesh. They are being led by their senses, emotions, thoughts, feelings, will, lusts, desires, etc. Instead of being led by the Spirit and by the Word.   

The new creation

When you become born again, you become a new creation. You’ve changed from the old creation into the new creation. The new creation is born of the Spirit of God, and has received the nature of God, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

delivered from the power of darkness, redeemed by His bloodThrough Jesus Christ, by His blood, you were reconciled with God. You have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness, into the Kingdom of God, and therefore you are no longer a henchman of the devil anymore. You are no longer his son, but you have become a son of God.

Before you became born again, you were the old creation. You were carnal and lived after the flesh. The devil was the ruler of your life, and he wanted you to keep living in sin. Because by sinning, he could keep you in his bondage.

All characteristics of the devil were present in you: selfishness, haughtiness, pride, a desire of being worshipped and exalted by others, impatience, angriness, agitation, jealousy, envy, gossip, speak evil about others (which is killing others with your words) etc.

But when you became a new creation, you received a new nature; the nature of God. You exchanged your old carnal nature, with its evil character for a new godly nature with a righteous character. This new character contains: love (love for God, love for your neighbour), joy, peace, long-suffering, tolerance, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, patience, temperance, life etc.

It’s not about you, but about Him

When you became a new creation, it was no longer about you, but about Him. It was no longer about, what you want, but what God wants; what the Word says.

You’ve died in Jesus Christ, and buried your ‘self’, the old creation, through the baptism. From that moment on, it’s no longer the carnal you, who live, but Jesus Christ in you.

If we would all die to our ‘self’, and begin to live after the Spirit, doing  what the Word says, then there would be unity; unity in church, unity among the saints, unity in marriage, unity in families, etc.

So, if there is so much disharmony among the children of God, we can conclude that the ‘self’ has not died yet. Everyone still has its own opinions, instead of having God’s opinion.

Now with all this in mind, let’s have a look at the subject divorce, and what kind of arguments believers use, as opposed to what the Word says. What does the Bible say about divorce? Under what conditions may a Christian file for divorce?

‘Don’t be so old-fashioned,
divorces are part of the age we live in!’

This is a big lie of the devil. During all ages, divorces were part of humanity: before and during the time of Moses, during the time of Jesus, and also Paul and Peter talk about marriage and divorce.

What we do see, is that we live in the end of the last days. We see an increase of sins and iniquities. People do what they want and live after their own desires, and lusts of the flesh. They are selfish, have no respect. They don’t listen to or obey the Word of God, and therefore they don’t live after the Word of God anymore.

The love for themselves and the world is greater than the love for God. Because if they would love God, and love Jesus, then they would obey His Word. They would keep His commandments and live according to His will.

Moses’ writing of divorcement 

Let’s have a look at what Jesus said regarding the divorce letter that Moses gave: Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives:but from the beginning it was not so (Mat 19:8).

If people want to get a divorce, than Jesus says, that the cause is a hardness of the heart.

When we look at the translation of hardness of the heart, we see that the Greek word is ‘sklērokardía‘ (G4641 Strong’s concordance) and means: hard-heartedness, i.e. (specially), destitution of (spiritual) perception:—hardness of heart

Their heart was not converted, they lived after their own will, lusts, and desires. In other words, they lived after the flesh.  They didn’t want to submit themselves to the will of God; to His commandments.

Hardness of the heart means spiritual poverty. If the Spirit doesn’t reign in someones live, the flesh reigns. And if the flesh reigns, it means that the person is spiritually poor. The believer is carnal, and will bear the fruit of the flesh, instead of the Spirit.

‘But my husband isn’t a believer,
and therefore I have a very tough live,
and I’m not sure how long I can take this’

The Word says, that by the woman’s walk; by her way of living, by her behaviour, the husband will be drawn to the Kingdom of God (Read also How to convert your spouse’)

Therefore if your spouse is not converted yet, then he is not the only one, who is responsible and the cause of all your disagreements, fights etc.. But it is also because of your behaviour, and your walk. Take a look at your life and look at what kind of fruit you bear.

convert your spouseYou may have another opinion or experience, but the Word is the truth, and goes beyond your opinion, and experience. Are you going through a rough time? Then turn to the Word, listen what the Word has to say, and obey the word. Remember that the Lord says, that His commandments are not heavy at all.

The Word encourages you, and gives you strength, and peace. The Lord says: I give you peace. He doesn’t say: I give you depression. Therefore,  when you are exhausted, wearied, depressed, and about to give up, return to the Word, and stay in Him.

When you walk in the Word, and walk after the Spirit, you shall bear the fruit of the Spirit, and then your spouse will be drawn to Jesus, and will repent.

Because the Word says that by your walk; your behaviour, your husband shall repent.

Yes, but my pastor has approved to get a divorce’

A pastor should be an ambassador of the Kingdom of God, he should represent the Word of God, and live a life, like Jesus. That means, that he should know the Word, and be a doer of the Word. He should always keep the Word of God, because it’s not about what he wants, or his opinion, but it’s all about what God wants: what is God’s will in this matter?

So, if your pastor has approved to get a divorce, and the reason is not fornication or that the unbeliever has left you, then my question to you is: “who do you obey? Your pastor or God?”

‘I have received a word from God;
He told me to divorce my spouse.
He approved and instructed me to get a divorce’

Some people receive a word, dream, vision, prophecy, about their spouse, in which God is telling them, that their marriage is not God’s will, and that He wants that person to get a divorce, in order to serve Him.

the devil as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devourIf you have received a similar word, than you can reject that word immediately! It’s amazing how many people receive these words, and believe that it’s from God. This cannot be a word, dream, vision, or prophecy from God, because God cannot contradict Himself. In Malachi 2:16 He says that He hates divorce.

If God hates it, then how can He instruct you to get a divorce, or approve your divorce? That’s impossible!

The Holy Spirit, and the Word always cooperate together. They cannot contradict Each Other.

When you have received a word (or a dream, vision, prophecy etc) which is not in agreement with the Word of God, then you must reject it.

The word, dream, vision or prophecy you have received, apparently came from the angel of light (the devil), who tried to lead you into temptation, in order to sin against God.

Under what conditions may a Christian file for divorce?

The Bible says that when a man (or woman) commits fornication, then the spouse has a right to get a divorce (Mat 5:32). Another reason is when the unbeliever leaves his spouse, who is a believer (1Co 7:15)

What does the Word say about divorce?

First of all, you must know that when you get married, you are in a marriage covenant. Every covenant is holy for the Lord. Just like we are in a new covenant, through Jesus Christ. The marriage covenant ends when one, of the two, dies (1Co 7:39, Rom 7:1-3)

But let’s have a look what God says about divorce:

And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts:therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously (Mal 2:15-16)

It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery. (Mat 5:31-32)

‘What God has joined together, let no man put asunder’

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives:but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery:and whoso marries her which is put away doth commit adultery (Mat 19:4-9)

What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Mar 10:9)

Paul wrote to the church of Corinth the following:

And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband:and let not the husband put away his wife (1Co 7:10-11)

Getting a divorce is not the will of God

We can conclude, that divorce is not the will of God. He hates it! As a son of God, it’s not about what you want, but it’s all about He wants. He is your Lord, and you should live according to His will. It is therefore impossible, as a son or daughter of God, to file for divorce.

If you are getting a divorce, you should ask yourself the following question: “do you really serve God? Or do you serve yourself?

the two great commandments, If you love Me keep My commandmentsIf you really serve God, than you ought to know His Word, apply His Word, and be a doer of His Word. If you don’t study His Word, and live according to our own will, and findings, then you are equal to a runaway boat without a rudder

No one forces you to do His will. You have made Jesus Lord of your life. You have made the choice, to serve Him. If you have made the choice to serve Him, than that means, that you should really serve Him, and do His will, and not yours.

Doing God’s will in a marriage, means that you will serve one another. It’s not about taking, but it’s all about giving.

Jesus commanded, to love your neighbour as yourself. In marriage it means, that you should love your spouse as yourself. It means that you should treat the other, the way you want to be treated.

When you start doing this, you shall see that your marriage, and your life, shall change.

‘Be the salt of the earth’ 

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