Saturday, September 25, 2010

Doctor Larry's response to the statement "God hates divorce."

God loves those that He created and hates to see them hurt. We tend to frame 'church' issues about divorce today in our own social and cultural contexts. However, in the days of Moses God told His people (Deuteronomy 24:1-3) that a man could give his wife a divorce certificate if he found something 'unclean' (indecent - not adultery which carried the penalty of death) in her she would have to leave and he would be free to marry whoever else he desired.

This to us sounds very harsh, however, God was trying to improve the lot of women when He gave Moses this regulation to stop the process of simply sending a wife that was no longer desirable away with no explanation. In these days a woman who was no longer a virgin (yes, they kept the undergarment they wore the night of their marriage to prove they were a virgin on the night of their marriage) being sent away was effectively taking all support away from her because property - the source of wealth - followed the husband's family line. What did she have left to support herself? Not much - s*x trade or selling themselves as slaves were their only options if they were not received back into their father's house (which they might well not be due to the affront to the family honor).

What is God doing? He is trying to elevate the status of the women that He created to be the equal to the men that He created. Jesus commented on divorce (Matthew 5:31) and said that the only grounds for divorce was adultery by the woman. He is again elevating women and their position in society by restricting capricious marriage/divorce because someone more attractive or socially/financially better connected is now available to them. He is essentially saying to the men of His day that when you marry a woman, you are to love, honor and care for her forever. If she is always faithful to you, you are to never divorce her. In so doing He is providing for support for them and their children throughout their lives in a day when there was no welfare or Social Security.

In fact, if the man took a second wife, he was required to still give the birth right (a double portion of the father's possessions) to the oldest son of his FIRST wife, even if she was no longer his favorite wife. God had to spell this out because Jacob didn't get it right.

Yes, God hates divorce because of the way it hurts - REALLY hurts - the women (and the children they have borne) that He created, loves passionately and died to save.

Please do not ever take anything in Scripture as pushing you as a woman away from God. God loves women and is very hurt and upset with the way men treat the women that they marry and then do not love the way God loves the church (remember: He DIED for the church). Until we as husbands have loved our wives as God does, there is no option for divorce in God's eyes. I believe that we, as men, will be called to account in the judgement for the way we have treated our wives.

This is not to say that wives have free license to abuse and mistreat their husbands either. But historically the 'power' was with the husbands and too often was abused.

Christ and His apostles, including Paul, uplifted the rights of women to/toward their rightful status that they had at creation.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.



Blogger DonnaMarie said...

(((applause))) Thank you for this encouraging message. I will pass it along.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Grace Harbor said...

I'm glad this is posted here. Now, if I cannot find it, I know to come looking right here!

2:35 PM  

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