Better Divorced Than Damned!


“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 divorced!

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!

Priorities people!!!

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.


6 thoughts on “Better Divorced Than Damned!”

  1. You have a good point. Boundaries and consequences can be a blessing to those who are self-destructing. I know some guys at church who are recovering alcoholics. You know what motivated them to seek recovery? Their wives left. After they sought recovery from alcoholism, their marriages also recovered. By having boundaries, those wives actually helped their husbands.

  2. Over at another blog that I appreciate so much, A Cry for Justice (Abuse/Divorce/Christianity), there is a book review on Gary Chapman’s book “Hope For The Separated” (Moody Press). This is the same man who wrote the extremely popular book “The Five Love Languages”.

    While admitting that he has some good advice to impart, it seems that the good advice stops when it comes to Christian spouses who are innocent victims of adultery.

    * * *
    The reviewer quotes the following from the book:

    “What if your spouse is having an affair and is now separated from you?. . . First realize that the third person is never the full reason for separation . . . your failures and those of your spouse brought about the demise of your marriage. Unresolved conflict, unmet needs, and stubborn selfishness eat away at the relationship. . . therefore each partner must work toward reconciliation.

    Refuse to let the affair be the issue. . . Your spouse may not break off the affair immediately but the more you can do to resolve conflicts and communicate hope, the more attractive reconciliation becomes. When you are lashing out in anger or failing apart in self-pity you do not make reconciliation very desirable. (pp27-28)”
    * * *

    And it seems that this isn’t the worst advice in the book. Mr. Chapman also recommends that wives reconcile with husbands/fathers who have sexually abuse their children!!!! Very destructive counsel, yet he is a very popular and successful writer.

    1. I actually went through The Five Love Languages as a study, within a church small group with my now ex-wife. I’d have to go back and re-read it. At the time it sounded good, but in retrospect I’m not sure those concepts are biblical. I guess that’s why he’s popular because on the surface its feel good counsel. I sure did know he helps to perpetuate the shared responsibility lie. That makes me question the rest of his stuff even further.

    2. That is just horrible!! That end part where he says “if you are lashing out in anger or falling apart in self pity you do not make reconciliation very desirable”. WOW! How can anyone contain the pain and anger that occurs when you have just received the worst wound imaginable?!!

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