It is true, part of Malachi 2:16 declares that God hates divorce. That is the part that I have constantly heard highlighted from preaching pulpits.
The context that I have heard has always been for the wronged party in a marriage to hang in there. It is for them to avoid divorce, no matter how painful the marriage has become, so as not to be legally wrong with God because He hates divorce.
The other version of the context has been directed at the one who decided to initiate divorce proceedings. They are made to feel guilty, ashamed and condemned. Maybe they should! But is that how God really wants the message to be understood?
Today I was prompted by a Proverbs 31 Ministries podcast that I listened to. I was prompted to read and grasp the context of why God hates divorce as stated in Malachi 2:13-16. I was touched by the compassion that God has for the divorced party, particularly the woman.
Here God was talking to the man who, instead of protecting his wife, became unfaithful to her and then also divorced her. Invariably an affair leads to the man hating his wife to the point of divorcing her.
What hurts God is the effect of that rejection, the pain it causes to the rejected one. It is the effect of that pain on a beloved child of His that God hates. Not only the rejected spouse is hurt, so are the children if there are any.
Out of the sadness that God’s heart has over the effects of divorce, He pronounces his hatred towards what it does. In today’s world, where women cheat on their husbands as well, God’s heart goes out to the rejected men too.
For me today, the focused reading of this passage cleared the fog that I had about starting divorce proceedings after nine years of separation. I was a bit confused as to why conviction from my prayers over the last 3 years told me to start divorce proceedings if God hated divorce.
It is not the legal documentation of marriage that is important to God. It is the state of the relationship. It is what the two in the marriage are doing to each other and to their children that counts.
The damage has already happened. What matters to God about my marriage has reached its ultimate position. I have dealt with the pain and hurt to the best of what could have been done from my end. My children came along the journey with me as we were physically together.
God said to me it’s time to pick up my pieces and move on. He has felt the pain for all of us over the last nine years. If it had been up to Him, we would have worked out our differences and been protected from the hurt that divorce brings with it.
Reality is that He is dealing with people who have the power of individual choice and so He cannot impose His will on us. By faith, God will bring out the bset for all of us as per His promise in Roman’s 8:28
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.Tweet
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True confidence comes from knowing that God loves you unconditionally.Teweet