Does God hate divorce? I believe it’s because he hates the abuse which leads to divorce. Surely he is grieved by both, but make no mistake: An abusive marriage does not honor God, nor does staying in an abusive marriage.
In the groups I facilitate, a theme keeps re-surfacing. Women say, “I feel stuck because my husband isn’t repenting or changing, but I know God hates divorce, so I have no choice—I will just have to live this way.”
Another common factor I’ve noticed is that many have been married 20+ years, as I had, and have been thinking this way for most of their marriages.
Wives have endured physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, psychological, and financial abuse, yet there is pressure to stay married “no matter what”.
Churches have good intentions in wanting to keep marriages and families together, but many fail to identify abuse and therefore cannot offer helpful advice or counsel.
Without a changed heart, patterns of abuse continue. God will not change a person who doesn’t want to. Abusive marriages do not honor God. Accepting abuse in a marriage does not honor God.
“Pray, submit, forgive and forget” does not suffice when it comes to supporting a confused, hurting, hopeless, and desperate wives.
One friend was excommunicated from her church—not because she divorced but because she would not pursue marriage counseling.
But many churches do not realize “marriage counseling” is not productive when there is abuse going on. Until theses issues are addressed, healing a marriage won’t happen. A wiser choice would be separate therapy for both parties —prior to attempting counseling together.
Recovery is a choice. Some spouses refuse to pursue help, blaming their covenant partner for the choices they alone are responsible for. Once again, God could change things in an instant but he won’t if a person is unwilling.
Many churches are improving concerning treatment for abuse, but far too many remain in the dark. Let’s change the narrative and make a difference. Who’s all in?