I Don't Believe In Divorce: My Favorite Ridiculous Christian Euphemism

As a "Christian," and I use the term loosely, as it is far too generic to truly envelop the truth of Christ taken at his word that permeates to my deepest being, I am obligated to say that I "don't believe in divorce."
Most Christians, especially those who are dating, courting, or married, will repeat this phrase any time the dissolution of marriage is brought up in conversations. It's basically a masking statement meant to express the fact that they know, somewhere in the great, deep, and extensive living text of the Lord, it says something to do with marriage and it being negative to.. you know.. suddenly not be married.
That seems to pretty much sum up the extent of the Christian population's take on divorce.
It's funny though to think how many of these young couples spouting off about what they "don't believe" in will be quick to threaten that they are in fact, divorcing their spouse. Suddenly, five years down the road, "I don't believe in divorce" becomes "I don't believe in divorce unless..."
I can't honestly say for certain why so many God-fearing Christians end their marriages at the first sign of distress, but I can speculate - we all know I'm great at that.
I imagine it largely has to do with the fact that saying "I don't believe in divorce" ironically reveals young Christians' major weakness; they often repeat what they've heard, knowing it is somehow biblical, without ever reading it or researching it for themselves.
I have read it, and I have researched it. And you know what? I DO believe in divorce. I see it happen on a near-daily basis and it is perfectly legal today. It definitely exists, so assuming it is not a real thing would make me a fool. I totally and wholly believe in it. So to say "I don't believe in it" kind of makes me look stupid...and maybe a little crazy. But most importantly, ill-informed and lacking.
The other thing is the basis of most Christian faults, which we often get pinned to us, and therefore become labeled as hypocrites - we are imperfect. Just because a Christian, young, old, what have you, may know that divorce is the wrong choice, does not necessarily mean that they are going to make the right one. If they've been treated badly for long enough, dealt with too much, or found "irreconcilable differences," they are not impervious to taking the easy (in some cases) way out.

Now... here it is! Drumroll please!! Bible verses!!
Just kidding.
But there really are bible verses.

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.
Matthew 19:9

Most christians agree that you probably shouldn't divorce over "irreconcilable differences"...cause you know... God hates divorce. 
"I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment," says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith. Mal 2:16
Buuuuuuuuut..... He DOES say, plainly enough, that if I get cheated on, I CAN divorce my spouse....right? This is the narrow interpretation that most people make that have given up. They are totally ready to do whatever they can to get out of the crappy situation they are in.
However, I don't believe that this is the correct interpretation for this scripture.

Except for sexual unfaithfulness. 

This is the loophole to righteousness that has dragged down many a Christian marriage, being twisted to the interpretation that can justify anyone's actions. I have even heard someone go so far as to say their spouse had an emotional affair, which is even more grossly misinterpreted to make it seem like divorce is totally justifiable.
When we look at the whole picture, though, I don't know how we can deny that divorce should never be looked to as the answer to our problems.
The chapter, in context, paints a slightly different picture to those open to receive it.

Matthew 19:3-12

Common English Bible (CEB)
Some Pharisees came to him. In order to test him, they said, “Does the Law allow a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
Jesus answered, “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the creator made them male and female?[a] And God said, ‘Because of this a man should leave his father and mother and be joined together with his wife, and the two will be one flesh.’[b]  So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, humans must not pull apart what God has put together.”
The Pharisees said to him, “Then why did Moses command us to give a divorce certificate and divorce her?[c]
Jesus replied, “Moses allowed you to divorce your wives because your hearts are unyielding. But it wasn’t that way from the beginning.  I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
10 His disciples said to him, “If that’s the way things are between a man and his wife, then it’s better not to marry.”
11 He replied, “Not everybody can accept this teaching, but only those who have received the ability to accept it. 12  For there are eunuchs who have been eunuchs from birth. And there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by other people. And there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs because of the kingdom of heaven. Those who can accept it should accept it.”

So...for anyone who doesn't know...
The Pharisees (and we all know how messed up those guys were) came to Jesus and were trying to trick him yet again. "Divorce is okay, right?"
Um, no. 
"Man should...be joined together with his wife, and the two shall be one flesh. Humans must not pull apart what God has put together."
Which part of that screams "divorce is totally a viable option"?? Anyways...
So the Pharisees, never knowing when to shut their trap holes, go on. 
"Oh yeah? Well then how come Moses said divorce certificate??? Huh? HUH???" 

"Moses allowed you to divorce your wives {this part really speaks to me... Jesus is not saying that it was just, or within the law necessarily... he is saying MOSES let you do that}because your hearts were unyielding {remember that part too... unyielding hearts... I'll bring it up again later}. But it wasn't that way from the beginning {from the beginning...so, even before Moses... so, like, from creation, maybe?}. I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."
And... facepalm to the Pharisees, yet again. 
The funny part is, he mentions that any divorce outside of sexual unfaithfulness resulting in remarriage is adultery. He doesn't say that a divorce and remarriage *with* sexual unfaithfulness is adultery, or is not adultery. He doesn't say it's a grand old thing or a one-way ticket to hell.  So how does everyone draw that it is perfectly fine to do so? After all, GOD HATES DIVORCE. Why would anyone want to do something that God obviously hates?

There are just too many "biblical resources" that point Christians to it as a fact that if your spouse cheats, you get a free divorce pass. But this in itself works directly against the model that God intended for us for marriage. The bible depicts, in many places, human marriage mirroring the relationship Christ had with the Church. 

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

Eph. 5:31

Where does divorce fit into that? 
(Also, read this later because it's a really interesting tidbit on being married to Jesus - 

What therefore the Lord hath joined together, let no man put asunder. 

Okay, that one is kind of cheating because I already said it once, just in a different translation (it's Matt 19:6 again) but we used this at our wedding and it sounds prettier in KJV. If the Lord has joined you together, let NO MAN pull you apart. It doesn't say "Don't let any stranger or family member break up your marriage," it says "no man." Somehow, I think that might include yourselves. Don't dissolve your marriage, it's supposed to be permanent!

Aside from the obvious views that the Lord has on marriage and it's intended model of Jesus and his Bride, there are several extremely basic Christian principles that almost every Christian KNOWS he is supposed to follow. 

Therefore, as a prisoner for the Lord, I encourage you to live as people worthy of the call you received from God. Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love,  and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together.  You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope.
Eph 4:2

How can any Christian not apply this to their marriage and their relationship/dealings with others, especially a person they are married to? A divorce does not usually mean that you are showing gentleness, patience, or love. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
1 Cor. 13:4
How can divorce EVER be an example of keeping no record of wrongs? "It keeps no record of wrong..well, except in case of a romantic affair, and then it shows that record to its lawyer because of the pre-nup it signed..."
Jesus even told the Pharisees that Moses allowed them to divorce because their hearts were unyielding. Unyielding is not a warm, fuzzy thing. Unyielding is the OPPOSITE of what we should be in regards to our spouse. We are to love them and forgive them. Forgiveness, GOOD. Unyielding, baaaaaad. 
We are told to love each other, to forgive seventy times seven, to not let ourselves be put asunder, etc. Where does divorce truly fit into that, for any reason?
I believe in divorce - I know it's real and it happens all the time. For my marriage, I have chosen to not divorce. So I'd rather say divorce is not an option. Under any circumstance. For any reason. I have chosen to never "put asunder" the ties that the Lord has made between my husband and I. I have chosen to live by the Christian principle of forgiveness first, even if I've been cheated on. I have chosen to trust the Lord to make whole what was once whole if we ever stray and things begin to crumble. I have chosen to pray first and ask questions later. I have chosen to put Christ at the center of my marriage and do everything in my power to keep it heading in that direction instead of ever trying to annul what the Lord has blessed me with. I have chosen to make a pact with my husband that we will always be committed to working out our problems because no matter what happens, no matter what either of us does or drives the other one to, Christ's model for marriage IS PERMANENT.
His disciples said to him, “If that’s the way things are between a man and his wife, then it’s better not to marry.”
He replied, “Not everybody can accept this teaching, but only those who have received the ability to accept it. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been eunuchs from birth. And there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by other people. And there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs because of the kingdom of heaven. Those who can accept it should accept it.”

If we can't get divorced when we want to, it's better not to marry. 

Well, that assumption is probably accurate. Especially if you are a eunuch, apparently. 

My challenge to you is to Google "what does the bible say about divorce" and see how many articles put MORE emphasis on the biblical divorce "loophole" than on any points for divorce being unfavorable to the Lord. 


  1. I agree with what you have written, however I think we need to be mindful of the other variables. I got married at 16, I was not living a Christian life and didn't put much thought into who I was marrying , the next 4 years were let's say "unpleasant" and then he decided being a husband and father just wasn't for him and he wanted a divorce, some say I should have just stayed single for the rest of my life, I however don't feel that God expected me to be a single mom for the rest of my life with my children never having a father in their lives. I agree divorce like abortion is used as an easy way out all to often, but we need to be careful as Christians to consider that not everyones situation is the same and some have no choice in the matter, we can't control someone elses actions and choices. I will say however what I have been through has really affected the way my husband and I will guide our children when it comes to choosing a spouse!

    1. Just so you know, biblicly speaking, we are not REQUIRED to stay with an unbeliever. If they want to leave, we are to allow them to, as we are not to be un equally yoked.
      1 cor 7:12-17
      3" And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

      15 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. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

      17 Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him"

      And that can be paired with 1peter 3:1-2

      "Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, while they see your Godly behavior, and fear of the Lord."

      So yes, being married to someone who is not a believer was never Gods intention for His children. He didn't want us to be un equally yoked. You actually did obey scripture by not leaving him, but staying even though from what little I can see here was not a happy or easy marriage. You stuck it out until he left. Now that is not on your head. So please don't think ever that it was. According to scripture u did what was asked of you. Just wanted to drop a line of encouragment to you!

  2. That's not really a reflection on YOU though if your husband wanted a divorce (not that it's meant to be a reflection on you either way, that's NOT what this blog post is about). I don't think that biblically we are obligated to stay with someone that doesn't want to stay with us.
    Anyways, half the people I know are either divorcing or divorced - this post is not meant to make anyone feel guilty or blamed. It's meant to be informative and biblically based, and hopefully get people thinking :)

  3. Oh It didn't bother me, I just always tend to give my own experience in case it may help someone :)


Post a Comment