The word translated “divorce” in the New Testament is “apostasion”, which means, “a defection”. Imagine a soldier who has been enlisted and drafted in the army, who runs away without permission. He is a defector. If he is arrested he is likely to be shot. The dictionary meaning of defect is “to forsake a party”.
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
- Mark 10:9
A divorce not only affects the individuals concerned but also the whole family. Most divorced couples blame the divorce on their partner or on circumstances. But marriage rests on the shoulders of the man, just the same way divorce also does. God places the responsibility of cleaving on the man. He leaves and cleaves (glues) to his wife. Divorce occurs when he is not able to cleave tightly enough to become inseparable. Whatever happens in the home is the man’s responsibility, although it may not be his fault. God, generally, does not like broken fellowship of any sort. The concept of broken homes or broken lives hurts God.
Complications of Divorce
- An unending hurt is inflicted
- A bitter personality is created
- There is a permanent break-up of relationship/fellowship
- There is destruction of homes and unhappiness
- There are broken/wounded spirits and emotions: tearing apart of soul ties.
- Both partners are often destroyed, sometimes beyond full recovery.
- There is tremendous pain.
- There are permanent scars.
- One becomes handicapped: There are things one can’t do well anymore.
- There is distress–similar to the feeling of bereavement that follows the death of someone close to you.
- There is depression: this stems from feelings of rejection which can lead to withdrawal from everybody. It is also caused by contrasting how you thought things were going to be for the rest of your life and how they apparently will be following the divorce.
Difficulties of Remarriage and Singlehood
- You will probably encounter the same problems again.
- You will always wonder whether you could not have made your marriage work.
- The children will be greatly affected and may become social deviants - this is very common.
- You may always suffer from a broken/wounded spirit, bitterness and deep-seated resentment, which will have a very bad effect on your spiritual and prayer life.
Predisposing Factors to Divorce
- Unresolved hurts and offences leading to a state of chronic unhappiness and depression.
- Violence in the marriage
- Long separation
- Interference from relatives and friends-- Too much parental influence and control.
- A bad attitude––a persistent and deliberate bad attitude that cannot respond to advice, rebuke, admonishing or entreaties from anyone, including pastors.
Excerpt from one of the best books on marriage counseling, Model Marriage by Dag Heward-Mills.