Ground or Grounds for Divorce (Part II)
We saw in May’s issue of News from Bringing to Light that the Bible speaks of five grounds for divorce. They are (1) adultery; (2) abandonment; and (3-5) the withholding of food, clothing, and/or conjugal rights. You may be quick to quote Malachi 2:16 (Amp.), “For the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I hate divorce and marital separation and him who covers his garment [his wife] with violence. Therefore keep a watch upon your spirit [that it may be controlled by My Spirit], that you deal not treacherously and faithlessly [with your marriage mate].” Yes, God hates divorce. It was truly God’s will for marriage to be “…’til death do us part”. He knows the pain involved with divorce, as well. God knows all things because he is God; but in addition to that, He suffered divorce from Israel. We read in Jeremiah 3:8, “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her way, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.” God divorced Israel for adultery and for abandonment (See, Ezk. 16). Israel gave food to idols (Ezk. 16:19) and clothing and jewelry to idols (Ezk. 16:16-18). Also, notice that God says, “I hate … him who covers his wife with violence.”
A person may see the five grounds for divorce and determine that they have grounds and file today. That may or may not be God’s will. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5&6). No one can tell anybody else if they should or should not divorce or when they should divorce. Scripture says, “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” “Salvation” comes to us through Christ Jesus as we invited Him into our hearts to be Lord and Saviour (Rom. 10:8-13). Once we have salvation, we should acknowledge the Lord in our walk with Him. He may instruct you to handle a situation one way but me another. We all must seek God for His perfect will concerning us.
God did not divorce Israel the first time they bowed their knees to an idol (adultery); nor the second; nor the third or fourth; but was longsuffering, beckoning Israel to repent and turn to Him. We read in 1 Timothy 1:16 Amp., “But I obtained mercy for the reason that in me, as the foremost [of sinners], Jesus Christ might show forth and display all his perfect long-suffering and patience for an example to [encourage] those who would thereafter believe on him for [the gaining of] eternal life.” (Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12). God’s longsuffering was an example to us that we, too, should be long-suffering with our mates. Now, let me interject something here. If a husband/wife is physically and/or sexually being abused by their mate, they should separate themselves from them. One should see if the mate is willing to get counsel. If so, they should not return until they know in their hearts that their mate is truly changed. If they refuse counsel, do not return to the mate. I have counseled too many, who returned to a “so called” one who said that they were different, only to be abused again. (to be continued)