Can we turn to the Bible for definitive answers on important issues such as marriage and divorce? While Scriptures provide solid guidance for virtuous living, we must embrace the totality of the biblical message and consider the cultural influences that shaped the text. Narrow interpretations can be conflicting. The author provides answers to these questions.
Is the Bible clear on divorce?
Biblical permissions on divorce do not apply well to modern times. Rather than adhering to rigid rules on passages taken out of context, we must explore current-day problems in light of biblical principles.
How does Jesus see divorce?
Jesus was vague when asked about divorce. He understood human suffering under the bondage of rigid rules and offered compassion, proclaiming: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27).”
What do ministers say?
“Our hands are tied by the Bible” is a frequent reply. This ambiguity troubles me because nowhere does the Bible say that we must stay in an unworkable marriage. Religious leaders must respect divorce as an immutable human right on which to draw when other options fail.
Where do church leaders stand on divorce?
Many churches do not reach out to broken families as they should. This aloofness caused my children to question religion. They became skeptical and stopped going to church. A helping hand would have softened the hurt and made the wounds heal faster.
How do divorcees feel?
Divorcing Christians are torn between strict church rules and the forbidden exit. Rejected, confused and entangled in a mire of religious dogma with little spiritual support by the church, many seek refuge in the secular world and find comfort there.
Do early church laws still stand?
Church fathers acknowledge dysfunctional marriages and want to restore spousal dignity and protect the family. Verse 2383 of the Catholic Catechism states that a union can and should be dissolved if the spouse causes problems. God is less concerned with rules than harmony and a stable home.
What is God’s plan for us?
God mandates that a marriage be permanent but allows exceptions. Romans 5:3-4 says: “We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character hope.” I place divorce for just cause equal to a serious illness, accident or death.