“And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me,” saith the Lord of hosts.
-Malachi 3:5, KJV (quotation marks and emphasis added)
This verse followers the infamous and oft mis-applied quote regarding God’s hatred of divorce. Notice who is not included in the list of people about to experience God’s judgment:
The focus of God’s judgment is upon those who violate the marriage covenant by committing adultery. This tells me that the pastoral focus ought to be more upon turning people from committing adultery (and/or repenting from it) than on avoiding divorce.
Divorce Minister is not a blog that is anti-marriage. I dearly hope all those in marriages avoid such evil sin that adultery is. However, I am frustrated by Christian leaders making the focus on avoiding divorce while God clearly takes avoiding adultery more seriously.
I am not opposed to godly reconciliation after adultery. However…
I am opposed to those sort of reconciliations where the adultery and lies are swept under the rug or blamed on the victim of said sins. That is not godly reconciliation. God is not fooled by such behavior.
Personally, I would rather watch a couple get divorced than to watch an adulterer enabled and supported in further blaming and abusing his faithful wife.
Yes, God highly regards marriage (see Hebrews 13:4).
But Jesus didn’t die for your marriage. He died for your soul!
Jesus taught us that human marriage is only of this world and not of the next (see Matthew 22:23-33). Would you rather gain your “marriage” (e.g. Mark 8:36) and forfeit your soul?
The focus ought to be on soul-care over marriage-care. Or put another way, the needs of souls ought to trump “saving” the marriage if it comes to that in pastoral care. Those are God’s priorities as I see them in the Bible.
No reconciliation without real repentance from adultery. Otherwise, the message is sent that the adulterous party is spiritually safe when he or she is not.