The Question of Divorce

To understand why “God hates divorce” you have understand a little about the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is described in many ways, and being the God of the universe, He has an infinite number of attributes.  However, a simple description of God, one that Jesus uses to describe Himself is that of a good shepherd.  A good shepherd’s primary concern is for the safety and well-being of his sheep.  He does not want anything bad to happen to them.  When you understand this, you see what is behind the various laws and pronouncement in the Bible.   The laws are for our good.  So when He gives the Ten Commandments it is because those laws are good for his sheep.  If you think about it – if everyone followed the Ten Commandments the world would be a better place.  And so it goes with God “hating” divorce.  He hates divorce because of what divorce does to women and children and ultimately the fathers who traditionally wielded the power of divorce.

The United States has a culture of divorce.  The United States has the second highest divorce rate in the world; second only to Russia.  Americans love marriage but they also apparently love divorce.  So…Americans are supposed to be very religious but they also have very high divorce rates (some studies show that the most conservative States have the highest divorce rates).  Why then does God hate divorce?  Probably because he knows what it does to his sheep.

If you are contemplating divorce here are some things to consider:  Divorce is financially devastating.  The economics of marriage is such that it takes two incomes in order to be part of the middle class.  Let me repeat – two incomes.  If you get divorced, studies show that the woman’s finances drop in half.  Think about living on half of your income.  Studies show that males lose about a third of their means.  Men, on average, are hurt a little less by a divorce (they often re-marry quickly).  The husband and the wife risk losing a middle class life.  If there are children – the mom becomes a single mom statistic – a sad reality.  Divorce separates children and parents.  Think you have trouble with kids now?  Wait to you no longer have a partner around to help with the heavy lifting.  Wait till you have no money to keep your children in the lifestyle to which they are accustomed.  The reality is, divorce leads to resentment.  Children resent that they have to move back and forth between two parents.  They also resent that they spend so little time with their parents.  Divorce separates children and parents because now they have only half the time together than they used to.  Whatever time you have with your children must be cut in half.  After all the time that is factored in to for work there is precious little time for your kids. Dads who divorce often say to me, “after the divorce I will spend more time with my kids”.  This is a nice sentiment, but the research shows that fathers spend even less time with their kids after divorce.  Divorce separates children from God.  Recent studies show that children of divorce are often less religious than their parents.  Children of divorce feel lonely much of the time because they lack a parent (usually a dad) and this tends to make them feel less close to God.  Families are the environment that nurtures religious sentiment but non-intact families have a hard time modeling biblical view of God the Father that is healthy.

Separation from a spouse is the purpose of divorce.  However divorce separates parents from their financial stability, it separates them from their children more than they realize, and ultimately it can make it more difficult for them to have a healthy view of God.  Divorce generally hurts women and children and that is why God hates it.  He hates things that threaten the well-being of his sheep.  But Jesus did allow for divorce – he allowed divorce specifically for infidelity because unfaithfulness sends a very different wrong message about God’s character.  God is a faithful God and He will care for you; married or divorced.  However, if you are thinking about divorce make sure you count the full cost.

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