God hates divorce and thus admonishes we all guard ourselves in spirit and not break faith with the wife of our youth (Reference: Malachi 2:16). He however accepts that you can divorce on the grounds of infidelity, even though this “window of opportunity” as it seems to many wasn’t God’s original intent. The phrase “But it was not this way from the beginning” in Matthew 19:8 justifies that God’s original intent for instituting marriage between man and woman was for permanency. God wasn’t instituting something contractual that can be dissolved at will. His intent was not to create a marriage institution that must be entered with thoughts of and perhaps willingness for divorce in mind even before entering in a manner that warrants the signing of a prenuptial agreement.
Speak even to a number of Christians on the subject of divorce and the one thing that is clear is the very high willingness to divorce (as the very first resort) at the first sign of a spouse’s infidelity rather than to forgive. Nothing wrong but just that I feel that someway somehow, that “window of opportunity” is quite pushing some “Christian” married couples to treat their partners in ways that pushes them into the temptation of adultery. In many marriages today, the temptation for adultery is so high because of the feeling of deprivation of one thing or the other. Sadly some partners that feel unhappy with their spouses do treat them quite intentionally in unloving ways hoping it pushes them into adultery so they could have good “Christian” grounds to divorce them.
Granted you might even have experienced infidelity in your marriage. Will you let go or forgive? It’s a personal choice and there’s nothing wrong with both. Of course, infidelity shatters many things in a marriage just lie our sins do alienate us from God and His love for us. But if we have a heart as BIG as God and a love as agape as His and will show mercy and decide to “love in spite of” and not “because of”, any kind of wrong (including infidelity) should be possible to forgive. Rules are rules but MERCY changes the rules and God has demonstrated it towards us in our many cases of sinfulness and has set for us an example that it is possible to forgive and still live with and love as before a spouse that has cheated but seeks forgiveness.
“While adultery is grounds for divorce, it’s also grounds for forgiveness. And you will never be more like God than when you forgive”
For every good and successful Christian marriage, a lot of MERCY must be at work. Nonetheless, that must not be taken advantage of to keep doing wrong and offending.
Indeed, God’s intent and rules for marriage has become trivialized just like divorce became permitted simply because of man’s disobedient ways and hardness of heart. How do we expect marriage to last when we know we have created suitable conditions to come out of it at anytime we so desire? How will anybody give absolute commitment to or make all the hard work (which mostly require coming out of one’s comfort zone) for something that one can easily come out of at the least discomfort or displeasure?
In a matter of days my wife and I would be celebrating our first marriage/wedding anniversary and as I write this post I was again reminded of the words of the song we used as background music during the exchange of our vows:
I pray for Grace that we would go all the miles God has destined for our marriage!
Mark Gadogbe (McApple)