False Assumption: Divorce is sin.
Where to begin? I think I will begin with Jesus’ words about the Pharisees and Scribes. He says in Matthew 23:4 about them: “For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers” (NKJV). I mention this verse first because I sense many have had religious voices ingrain the message in them that they MUST reconcile with an adulterer/adulteress. While these religious individuals may have good intentions and love God, they have more in common with these devout Pharisees–adding to God’s requirements–than with Jesus on the matter of divorce. Those voices telling you that you, the faithful spouse, must remained married to a cheater are putting a burden on your shoulders that the God of the Bible does not. When Jesus teaches on divorce (e.g. Mt 5:31-32, Mt 19:1-12), He is denouncing it as a means to obtaining another sexual partner other than your spouse (i.e. adultery).
Divorce itself is not sin.
Once again, God is consistently making adultery the main issue.
Also, divorce must be morally acceptable theologically in some cases (e.g. where adultery is present), or we serve a God who sinned in divorcing Israel over repeated adulteries (Jeremiah 3:8). If God is not ashamed to declare His divorce of Israel (in rather graphic and angry language, I would add–see Jeremiah 3), then why should we be ashamed of divorcing someone unrepentant of adultery? Are we morally superior to God? Did God somehow fail as a covenant partner with Israel? I say these things not to bring further condemnation upon anyone but to highlight how absurd these old religious arguments against divorce following adultery are in light of the full witness of the Bible.
What about that passage about God hating divorce? (“‘For I hate divorce,’ says the Lord, the God of Israel…”-Malachi 2:17a, NASB).
Malachi 2 is a very misunderstood passage in Christianity. It is a passage abused to say that God hates divorced people. That is not at all what it says and is downright antithetical to God’s character. Have you read around the passage to gather the context of that verse? Malachi is denouncing a practice in God’s people of divorcing their old, Jewish wives for local, young pagan wives. In other words, this passage is more about denouncing adultery than denouncing divorce–per se.
You see, the first covenant with the Jewish wife is clearly still held as valid in God’s eyes. So, the Jewish men sleeping with their new pagan wives means they are committing de facto adultery. Once again, God is consistently denouncing the use of divorce as a means to obtain another sexual partner who is not your actual spouse (i.e. a means to adultery). Furthermore, God is calling these Jewish men out on their adulterous hearts as well as their self-righteous arrogance of coming to Him with offerings as if they had done nothing wrong! As if their adulterous behavior was not bad enough, these men sought God’s stamp of approval and favor upon them. Well, this passage makes it crystal clear that such behavior makes God very angry!
To follow in God’s example, Christian leaders and other followers of Christ ought be more concerned about adultery than whether or not a divorce takes place.
Remember: Adultery is the main problem here.