Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.
-Hosea 2:2b, NIV
What drives me nuts about how some pastors speak of divorce is how they assume a “good” option is left on the table for a faithful spouse.
Sadly, following infidelity this just isn’t the case!
The faithful spouse may have wanted a good marriage. But that was taken off the table when the cheater violated their marriage vows.
Condemning divorce and citing all the negative consequences of divorce practically teaches faithful spouses that God has a bigger problem with divorce than He does with adultery.
That is a lie (see post here).
The reality is that faithful spouses are presented with a “Buffet of Bad Options” following the discovery that their partner cheated.
This is not a simple matter between choosing between what God considers good and bad. A consequence of marital infidelity is that the cheater took the good option off the table–namely, a marriage free of infidelity.
Even with true repentance, that option is never placed back upon the table. It will always be true that one spouse defied God’s plan for marriage by choosing to cheat.
Divorce is not good. The good option is to have a marriage not ravaged by infidelity. And possibly, a second–yet not close one, IMO–is a marriage restored after the cheater truly fully owns repents of his adulterous, deceptive sins.
Many of us never were offered the second option.
So, we had to decide between divorce or tolerating unrepentant adultery.
That’s real life. Life in a world were people live in willful sin. I wish more pastors understood this reality and extended empathy to faithful spouses stuck in that awful reality.
Speaking as if divorce is a bad option without acknowledging this reality–namely, no good options remain for the faithful spouse–is cruel and unmerciful.
In other words, it’s ungodly.