Sunday, August 3, 2014

Divorce is NOT the answer.

Divorce is something no one talks about at a wedding. In fact, the very word speaks of pain, betrayal, bitterness, infidelity, fear, and despair. Divorce is for those who believe in the death of a marriage. Yet, statistics show that the effects of divorce last many lifetimes in not only those divorced, but in the lives effected by divorce. Children of divorce pay a heavy price they never wanted. Often these children live with this pain deep into adulthood. Divorce is a heavy price to pay.

Though a divorce supposedly ends a marriage, there is still times where both ex-spouse’s will have to coordinate visitation rights of small children. In some cases, this usually involves attorneys and legal matters. Do a simple search of the cost of attorney and court fees for those who divorce and you will see a multi-billion dollar industry all for the destruction of marriage.  
Before you divorce, you must answer these questions…

1.      Will a divorce end my marriage?

2.      What will be the consequences of a divorce?

3.      What is the financial cost of divorce?

4.      What will happen to my children if I divorce?

5.      What will my family, friends, and church say if I divorce?

6.      Is marriage a one-flesh covenant that no man may break?

7.      What does God have to say about divorce?

The first and last question answers all the other questions in between. If a divorce does not break a marriage because God says that divorce does not end a marriage, then it is imperative that we understand what must be done to remain in a marriage.
The first question asks a specific question. Does a divorce end marriage? If scripture is the word of God, then we must determine what God has to say. We need to look no further than Genesis 2.

Genesis 2:18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

It is not good for man to be alone…God designed all things from the beginning and these things were good. Marriage is good. God created man in His image and God desired that a man should not be alone. 

Genesis 2:21And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

This design for marriage is repeated to the Pharisees who ask why then did Moses permit divorce and these men asked Jesus if it was lawful” for a man to put away his wife?…

Matthew 19:4-6 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

In Mark’s Gospel we see the same response…

Mark 10:5-9 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Very little argument for divorce could evolve from these words. In a nutshell, the Lord Jesus Christ is saying that marriage is from the beginning and this was God’s intention for His creation. Divorce is man’s choice, not God’s command. Divorce was permitted by Moses, not God, because of the hardheartedness of man. This Old Testament provision is not applicable to a born-again believe in Christ. Divorce is for those who want to live under law and not under grace.

The consequences of divorce are devastating. Since divorce is bread from a hard heart, forgiveness, repentance and reconciliation are out the window. Combine this with a legal system that is steeped in greed, and you have a volatile situation that lasts a lifetime. Family court lawyers always deny the need for reconciliation and restoration of the marriage because their job is to suck as much money from you as possible. They care little for your lives or the lives of your children. Expect to lose a lot of money if litigating through the corruption of the family court system.  

Then there is the children…Except in rare cases where physical violence is involved (I must note here that “abuse” is not grounds for divorce), these children never asked for a divorce. A child needs a stable God-fearing family to provide them with the means in which to become God-fearing adults. Divorce causes fear, anxiety, emotional stress, and hopelessness in a child. Divorce often causes a child to grow up believing that marriage is an option to divorce. 

Friends and family can mean well, but if their council is not according to the word of God, it will only make matters worse. Friends and family tend to care about how the divorce effects them personally. Thus, many friends and family will withdraw because they do not know what to say. Those who do care for you will support you in a way that best seems right to them. This can be very detrimental to the restoration of the marriage. 

After all, if God joined a man and woman in a one-flesh bond of marriage, God expects the full restoration of the marriage. This requires one or both spouses to forgive and repent of sin wherever this is applicable. Divorce breeds from a sin that one or both do not care to recognize or one or both choose to ignore. This is where church discipline is necessary.

Matthew 18:15-17 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Church discipline applies equally to marriage than it applies to any other situation. A spouse sins against you, what is our response? In the example of physical abuse, if this occurs for the first time in a marriage (regardless if a husband strikes a wife or a wife strikes a husband) and is not resolved immediately, then it is a sin to let it continue. An abused spouse that continually lets an abusive spouse continue to remain in sin is not loving his or her spouse. Church discipline at the fullest extent would land an abusive spouse behind bars. There is no greater love than to send an unrepentant sinner to jail. God provides the judicial system to protect citizens from assault and battery. God also provides the means in which to chastise a man or woman to repentance. 

The fact that the professing church has caused more harm to the sacred covenant of marriage is no lie. The greatest testament to the failure of marriage is the twisted and perverted teachings of the reformed church. One need read the early teaching of the church fathers and you will find that if divorce was the last option, this hardhearted divorce decision required singleness and/or full restoration of the marriage. In plain truth, divorce, a divorce decree, divorce paper, or divorce document does not end as marriage. Plain scripture speaks to this fact. 

Paul sums this up with two verses in the letter to the church at Corinth….

 I Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

This is universal scripture for ANY marriage between a man and a woman throughout the world. The ONLY exception is ANY remarriage after a divorce of a living spouse. In this case, anyone who marries a man or woman who is still in a marriage covenant commits adultery. (Luke 16:18) This is a real problem in the modern Evangelical church. A very large percent of married couples in the churches across North America are in second, third and fourth marriages. This is because they were taught to believe that exception clauses (Matthew 5:32 and 19) and Pauline privileges (1 Cor 7:15) permit them to divorce and remarry. Yet, these verse alone contradict Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-12; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:2,3; 1 Cor 7:10,11; 39 and Hebrews 13:4. 

An unlawful marriage is described in Mark 6. It is where John the Baptist died because he pointed out the truth of an unlawful marriage that was adultery. This is true today. A person that voices the truth about the permanence of marriage comes under scrutiny by the majority that wants to divorce and remarry. The professing church has ignored the truth that divorce is a hardhearted decision that is not applicable to the born-again believer. It is coming back to haunt them with the rise of same-sex marriage and the sodomite agenda of destroying the sacred covenant of marriage. The sodomites are the first to cry that the heterosexual Christian divorces from marriage, yet they too will divorce from a same-sex marriage ordained by a church that has long since abandoned the truth of scripture.  The sick perversion of divorce and remarriage is bearing fruit of those who ignored scripture because they divorced and remarried to appease their flesh. 

Divorce is not the answer. Marriage is sacred and holy. Remarriage is a perverted fruit of divorce. Divorce is not the answer…unless you entered in to a second remarriage. Repentance from adultery is breaking the false unlawful union and remaining single and/or reconciling the one-flesh covenant you abandoned in the first place. This is not what the world would do. The world would make excuses to say that …”God blesses my remarriage.” The world would say…”Grace covers my remarriage.”  Question…Does grace cover your unwillingness to forgive your spouse and remain in a covenant in which you vowed before God? Is not God a witness to the vow that your spouse made to you? 

Divorce can be explained in the same way the devil tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. Divorce is a product of the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-17) The love of this world trumped the word of God when a person believes that a divorce ends a marriage. It make no difference if you initiated the divorce or you were a victim of divorce. You believed a divorce ends your marriage, when it does not. There is hope. There is time to make things right.
 If you are thinking about getting a divorce…stop. You need to trust in God in this season. No where will you find that life is going to be a bed of roses. You will find in scripture that God requires that we trust in Him by faith. Since the Gospel saves us by faith, it is best to trust God by faith in ALL things. A temporary separation in order that a spouse repents is in order. Once there is repentance of sin, there must be total forgiveness of sin. We are to forgive 70 x 7. Grace is evident in those who are saved by grace, not in those who seek divorce. 

If you are in a remarriage while you covenant spouse is still living, you need to end this now. God is on our side when we humble ourselves with contrite hearts. Right now you are in a world system that includes the majority of the professing Evangelical circles. Very soon the light will expose these worldly institutions (This is already happening with the thousands sliding into apostasy with tolerating same-sex marriage). Some Christian circles are starting to see that the permanence of marriage means more to God than they thought possible. They are backed into the corner of trying to defend marriage when they have failed in defending marriage from divorce and remarriage. Many must humble themselves and repent.   

Here is where the Gospel will shine in this dark hour. God is patient with us all. He has not given us what we all rightly deserve. He cannot stand sin. It is not in His character. YET, In His love and mercy, God provided a scape goat on our behalf. He sent His only begotten Son to take on the penalty of sin that we deserve. The Lord Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and fulfilled the perfect law that we could not. He is our propitiator. When we believe in Him by faith, we will stand justified before God. His death and resurrection paved the way for the forgiveness of our sins and the restoration of our souls for all eternity. 

Marriage is a temporary grace given example for our time here on Earth. We must reflect the love of Christ in the foundations of a union that is supernatural in origin so that grace is defined, exhibited, and extended for all to see. Marriage is a perfect example of Christ’s love for His bride, the church. Please extend this grace when it seems impossible. Only God can restore us to Him, and we must trust in Him to restore a marriage we vowed to never leave in the first place. After all, a vow to God is applicable only when we trust that God was part of the vow in the first place.

In Christ’s love,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Novotnak,

I cannot thank you enough for your testimony. I have thought for 14 years that the Bible says there is only one marriage and you are living it. My husband does not agree with me so I have suffered for this principle. Thank you! I have sent this on forward and pray for you.

Mrs. Mona Nottveit