When we find our relationship on shaky ground, as Christians we try to find ways to strengthen our foundation and rebuild the connection between husband and wife. Many times we are successful in achieving this goal, but in some cases, the couple chooses to admit their defeat in this battle.
A variety of emotions come into play when we are in the midst of divorce. In a sense, it is similar to a grieving process. We are in fact mourning a life that we’ve come to realize will never be. There are emotions of sadness, anger, and even resentment. For many, the emotion that consumes us most is the feeling of failure. We ask ourselves, “Maybe if I had done this more, or did that less, it would have made a difference in the outcome of my marriage.” In this life, we tend to be our own worst critics. However, we must remember that judging our actions in this lifetime is not our mission. That task belongs to God on our judgment day.
If you get divorced, will you truly be forgiven in the eyes of God? When asked this question, some people will say that God doesn’t believe in divorce. Others will tell you that complete absolution depends upon the reasons for dissolving the marriage. So which way of thinking is correct? The subject of divorce and how it is viewed by Jesus needs to be examined in greater detail.
The life-long commitment of marriage is not entered into lightly. We exchange wedding vows that include words similar to: “For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.” We make these promises to one another before God and ask him to bless the marriage. Scripture tells us that the general meaning of marriage is a union that lasts until our days on earth have ended.
But to the married I command—not I, but the Lord—that the wife not leave her husband (but if she departs, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband not leave his wife. —1 Corinthians 7:10-11
Upon reading this passage, it seems that His expectation is for us to remain married. But there are other Scriptures providing us with exceptions regarding divorce. How Jesus views divorce largely depends on the circumstances that led up to the unraveling of marital ties.
One action that is cited in Scripture as an acceptable reason for divorce is adultery. The following verses are clear in their resolve about this act of deceit.
Everyone who divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery. He who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery. —Luke 16:18
I tell you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries her when she is divorced commits adultery. —Matthew 19:9
So what happens if the reasons behind your divorce didn’t include adultery? Will you be forgiven by Jesus? Although you’ve gone against God’s Word and haven’t been living a Christian lifestyle, you can repent for your sins and ask forgiveness. In the Bible we have learned that forgiveness is achievable if we confess our sins with an open heart.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. —1 John 1:9
In doing so, you must also reaffirm your commitment to God. Each day is a blessing and we must live it by honoring the Glory of God. It’s not enough to just talk the talk; you must also walk the walk. Once you’ve asked for forgiveness, you must also promise to live your life following strong Christian values.