A Good Divorce

Divorce happens.

It is not supposed to. God’s design for marriage has been and is “one man, one woman, until death do they part.” Here is the Bible’s last word on the subject:

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. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 (NIV)

It was never in God’s mind for a man to marry a woman and then dismiss her from his care and concern, to send her away and take no further notice of her.

Even though God does not condone divorce when it comes to marriage, He does condone it when it comes to our sins.

The word rendered divorce in the above passage is the Greek word aphiemi. Most everywhere else in the New Testament this word is translated as forgive or forgiveness. We find this word in the Lord’s Prayer, in Romans 4:7 where Paul wrote, “blessed are they whose sins are forgiven”, and in 1 John 1:9 and 2:12. This last verse is one of my favorites in the word of God: “I write to you dear children because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.”

When the Bible speaks of forgiveness it is saying to us that God has divorced us from our sins. Which means He has…

  • Removed our sins from us – Psalm 103:12
  • Sent our sins away – Hebrews 9:28
  • Dismissed our sins – Romans 4:7
  • Let our sins go from His further notice or care – Hebrews 10:17, 18
  • Released us from our relationship with sin and death and set us free to experience new life in Christ – Romans 8:1, 2.

Only God has the authority and the power to forgive. Through the shed blood of Christ He has forgiven us once and for all. He has divorced us from our sins and raised us to walk in the newness of life.

Divorce happens, but when it comes to our sins it is a good divorce.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jeff Stewart

    Only the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, can cure us men of selfishness. Thankyou, Bob C!

  • patty

    Me and a co-worker have recently discussed this issue and had friendly disagreement. Her husband divorced her and married the woman he cheated with. This was more than 15 years ago. She is born again and states her husband was also when they were married. She believes her ex is living in a constant state of adultery because of Jesus statement that if you marry a divorce person you commit adultery. She said he is going to hell unless he divorce the woman, repent and remain single for life. I disageee, I believe adultery occured but once her ex remarried that relationship is a real marriage and as long as neither is cheating God considers them married. The new wife is born again. The co worker is also remarried. Am I wrong? If so, give me scriptures. Thanks.

    • Mark

      Our behavior doesn’t have anything to do with “maintaining” our salvation. I certainly don’t support cheating in marriage, however, Christians sin in a variety of different ways. Why would this be treated any different by God than stealing or murder or (you name it)? Either Christ paid the price by his death on the cross for all of our sins past, present and future or he didn’t. Why is it we christians handle this sin so much differently than any other sin? Does God see it differently some how?

    • Gloria

      I believe the first marriage is only what God sees. Unless one from the couple dies, the first marriage is only seen in God’s eyes. It doesn’t matter how many times a person is married. When someone divorces his or her spouse because of adultery and remarries it doesn’t make it right. To me the new marriage covers up the sin of what happened in the last marriage and then the first marriage is never completely finished. The only way it is completely finished is God causing it by death of one of the couple.

    • Colleen G

      I once read a very good article answering this very question. Remember the woman at the well that Jesus spoke with? He told that she had five husbands but was currently living with a man who was not her husband. Jesus counted each of her marriages as “real” marriages even though there were many of them.

      • Gloria S.

        In the Bible it says:

        Matthew 5:32
        English Standard Version (ESV)

        But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

        In God’s eyes, as you see, it is adultery. Why when one marries the Pastor, Priest, official says “till death do us part”. The only time marriage is truly severed in God’s eyes is through death, because that is His will.

        It doesn’t matter to me what others do, but I follow what the Bible says. God has placed it on my heart. God wants us to take our marriages seriously. Not to get married and think “if it doesn’t work out I can get a divorce”. That is the wrong thinking. People don’t take their marriages seriously. They marry hoping it works out but they also think they have an option to divorce if they feel it’s not good for them. Divorce is wrong in God’s eyes.

  • Karla Helton

    To Mark: No, God doesn’t see divorce differently than any other sin. Thanks for pointing that out.
    To Bob Christoper: Thank you for sharing God’s amazing wordsmith abilities! We are completely, forever, finally divorced from our sins. How wonderfully this word describes our complete separation from all of our sins for as long as we live.
    To Jesus: Thank You!

  • http://sundaygotomeeting.wordpress.com Lisa

    I have to admit, I never thought about God “divorcing” us from our sin. But that’s a pretty good description of it.
    @ Patty, sounds like your coworker might resent the ex. Hate that it happened, certainly don’t condone adultery, but like Mark pointed out, our behavior, good or bad, doesn’t maintain or lose our salvation.
    Perhaps try pointing the coworker off of the ex’s life, good or bad, and point her towards the life of Christ. She’ll be lots happier if her focus was on Jesus, instead of what the ex is doing/not doing.