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Short Essat on Marriage & Divorce

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Short Essay on Marriage & Divorce Recently, my friends Tom and Jane approached me about something very personal. They both feel as though they should start considering their “options” regarding their marriage. After we talked about their reasoning behind this desire, I wanted to let them know some things the Bible says about divorce and let them know of some resources that may be able to help them through the process… no matter which path they decided to take. I first wanted to let them know some things the Bible teaches on marriage. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of god he created him; male and female he created them.” Man and woman were created to be together… God created each in his own image and designed us to be one man and one woman. Another thing important regarding marriage is its exclusiveness. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Since these two are to become one flesh, God tells us, “therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” This passage of Scripture shows us that God did not intend for man and woman to be separated once they were joined. This was also a warning to those who would try to seduce a married person… this person was not to try to separate the union between the husband and wife. When it comes to marriage, I believe the Bible considers a couple married when a few things occur. First, I believe the couple should submit to governmental authority. By doing so, we see that things such as incest can be avoided. Another thing I believe has to take place in the couples life is they need to understand that “marriage is for those who have grown up.” By this, relative maturity is what is being implied. The reason the couple should be “grown up” is because there are many things that happen in marriage that children or those with a child-like nature would not be able to handle. This view however, is much different than people believe nowadays. Many people whom I have met believe that there should be nothing “legal” about marriage. When it comes to divorce, two verses stand out in my mind. “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery” and “But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.” The first verse here, speaking of immorality, is referring to the Greek work porneia. The word pornography is derived from this Greek word and it is the sexual immorality (i.e., adultery) that would be grounds for divorce according to Jesus. The second verse is speaking of abandonment. Paul wrote this speaking of husband and wife. Both of these verses show reasons for divorce however, nowadays people divorce over anything… debt, dislikes, money, etc. In today’s society, marriage is not held to the high standards it once was. Unfortunately, I know some people who have committed adultery and believe that there was nothing wrong with it and that it wasn’t grounds for divorce. As we can clearly see in the Scripture above (Matt. 19:9), Jesus described sexual immorality as a reason for divorce. Today, there are so many different views on what adultery is that if someone commits adultery, the definition of it could easily point to something else. This is unfortunate because adultery not only hurts the spouse but ultimately, it hurts everyone involved. Personally, I feel very strongly about adultery and see reason to stay in a marriage when one partner (or both) is committing adultery. Remarriage after divorce is acceptable in a few cases. “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.” In this verse we see that if a woman leaves her husband she must either stay single or reconcile with her husband. We do see that if a woman leaves and marries someone else, she is considered an adulteress. The man then is “loosed” from her and he may remarry although the Bible states he would be better off remaining single. Regarding remarriage, Paul states “But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned… Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.” I believe there are many negative impacts divorce has on the church and in society today. For starters, divorce hurts families. This is seen over and over again with children lashing out at one parent and not the other or by extended family taking sides in a divorce. Divorce can tear families apart. The societal impact divorce has is also great. There are so many parents left to raise children on their own that unfortunately, many of them fall into categories listing them as “low income”, “poverty level”, etc. In conclusion, I believe divorce is something that should NOT be taken with a grain of sand. Divorce affects everyone involved and everyone around. God intended a marriage to be a union of two people for a lifetime and unless sexual immorality or abandonment occurs, I strongly believe couples should fight for their marriage and fight for their family!
Bibliography
Granberg, L.I. & Root, J.R. “Marriage, Theology of.” In Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, edited by Walter A Elwell, 2nd ed., 743-44. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2001.

Bibliography: Granberg, L.I. & Root, J.R. “Marriage, Theology of.” In Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, edited by Walter A Elwell, 2nd ed., 743-44. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2001.

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