Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. – Hebrews 13:4, NIV
For all the sermons and teaching on divorce in church, one might think God intends to judge the divorcee and not the adulterer as this verse states. It is interesting to dwell on this clear teaching. The evil as God sees it is not the divorce per se.
The evil is adultery.
While Malachi 2 is often used to talk about God’s displeasure concerning divorce, does God ever call divorce evil? I suggested elsewhere that God uses strong language in Malachi 2 to emphasize adultery is still happening even with a veneer of divorce proceedings having taken place prior to the remarriage. God’s extension of mercy–in the form of divorce–is not to be abused to pursue sin. God saw the heart of the divorcing Jewish men and called them out in Malachi 2 on their adulterous ways.
Pastorally, I believe our efforts would be better served preaching against adultery and affairs (emotional and otherwise) from the pulpit than focusing on divorce per se. Adultery was God’s concern in these matters. Remember: Jesus never teaches about divorce without putting adultery into the conversation.
We would do well putting emphasis where Jesus put emphasis–i.e. not so much on divorce but rather on how it may or may not be a conduit to adultery.
Adultery is THE PROBLEM.