Divorce: Assigning blame, why bother?

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“For I, the LORD, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them.”

-Isaiah 61:8, NLT

When I was going through my ecclesiastical trial to keep my ministerial credentials, the question was raised over why my former denomination was so fixated on assigning blame for the divorce. This was viewed and treated as contrary to a healing or pastoral approach to my first marriage’s ending. While I appreciate the sympathy such individual(s) expressed with those sentiments, I actually agree with my former denomination that blame does matter when it comes to divorce and–especially–when it comes to adultery.

If you blame the wrong person… 

If you spread the blame around to both partners for adultery…

If you keep silent in the face of gross mistreatment of the faithful party…

You treat the adultery victim unjustly!

Does it matter who is to blame for a divorce following adultery?

It only matters if you think justice matters and caring for victims of wickedness matters. 

And one can be certain that both matter to God.

He cares about justice, and hates evil, which adultery is (e.g. Deut. 22:22).

The shame of a divorce ought not to be so equally distributed upon both parties. A divorced faithful spouse does not deserve such shame or reproach. That is why assigning blame matters.

Faithful spouses are divorced because they were violated by their cheating ex-partners. Their ex-partners are divorced because they cheated.

That is an important distinction to maintain and acknowledge if one is to keep from sliding into a state of further unjust treatment of infidelity victims!

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