On a gushing Facebook post, a parent proudly proclaims with an abundance of heart emojis, “I love my kids to the moon and back!” Do you, really?
Scrolling through Facebook, I sometimes see a Christian friend whose wife does not look the same as I remember her, or else she has mysteriously disappeared from all of his pictures. I then realize that his old wife is gone. Divorce has struck another home! It breaks my heart to see so many marriages dissolving within the body of Christ.
At the end of the day, the adults will give an account to God for their choices. However, what bothers me the most is the blank, hurt looks on the faces of their children.
The most traumatic event in a child’s life is the divorce of his parents.* I acknowledge that many kids are born into single-parent homes and never know what it is like to have two parents—a situation that God never intended; but that’s a topic for another day.
Couples used to say to each other, “Let’s stay together for the sake of the kids.” Is that a valid reason to stay married and not get a divorce? Absolutely!
The Bible allows for divorce in two circumstances: Infidelity (Mt 5:31-32; 19:8-9) and abandonment (1 Cor 7:15). Certainly, if there is abuse in the relationship, the one who is being abused should move out.
Barring any of these extenuating circumstances, the Bible clearly and categorically condemns divorce (Mal 2:16, Mt 19:3-6). What about a mixed marriage—where a Christian finds himself married to an unbeliever? First Corinthians 7:10-16 deals with this issue.
The Old Testament Law forbids marriages between God’s children and unbelievers. Second Corinthians 6:14 agrees, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?” Sadly, Christians sometimes disobey God in this area, and they eventually have to deal with the consequences of that decision.
First Corinthians 7:12-13 teach,
If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
Why should a Christian not leave an unsaved/ungodly spouse? Why should two Christians stay together even if they do not feel like it? Verse 14 explains, “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.”
What is meant by “sanctified” (a word that is synonymous with “holy”) is understood by reading verse 16, “For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife.”
The Bible teaches that a child is more likely to become a Christian when a couple with even just one believer stays together. God holds the two-parent family in high esteem because that is how He originally designed it. Frankly, a child might ask the parent who professes Christ, “If God cannot save our home, why should I believe that He will save my soul?”
It has been said that a successful marriage is like a triangle. It is a union between a husband, a wife, and God. Christian marriages begin to fail when Bible reading and prayer are neglected in the home and church is neglected on the Lord’s Day.
Is your marriage teetering on the brink of divorce? It honors God to stay together for the sake of the kids. Their eternal destinies are greatly affected by it. And perhaps, by the time the children have grown up, you and your spouse will have grown in your relationship with the Lord and each other as well.