Becky heavily accented the "d" word as we made our way through the park on that beautiful summer day. I was stunned by her tone. I wanted to cry. It was bad enough that my pastor had urged me to stay in my marriage. Breaking my marriage vows had been the most difficult decision I had ever made. No one could really know what I had been through. I had been certain Becky would understand. She had seen me struggle and agonize over the decision to ask for a divorce. It was not the easy way out.
I felt the need to convince everyone that I had no alternative, and I had to continually convince myself. My husband's abuse was as insidious as it was clever. He never hit me. He never had an affair. He was never unemployed. He kissed me goodbye every morning and was home every night after work.
How can a Christian man or woman make the decision to leave their marriage, to seek a divorce, when their faith screams from all angles that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16 NIV Study Bible)? In Ephesians (5:22-33) we find Christians being taught that husbands are to love their wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Wives are to submit to their husbands as to the Lord. We are told over and over by Sunday school teachers, church family, and our pastors that God is enough for us. We should be content in the Lord (Philippians 4: 12-13). What kind of Christian is not content with God and his son Jesus Christ? It seems blasphemous or prideful to utter the thought that we cannot overcome the adversity in our marriage when God himself invented the holy union. The Bible is clear that marriage is to remain forever intact, unmarred by circumstance. As a result many Christians remain in marriages that are not only unhealthy for themselves but also for the children that resulted from the union. Is Divorce a Sin?
Is the Bible teaching us the black and white rules for life? Can the Ten Commandments be overruled by man? The story in Luke 13:10-17 reveals Jesus Christ healing a woman on the Sabbath. The commandment is clear that Christians are to keep the Sabbath holy. Jesus broke that commandment. It sends the message that the commandments and the teachings are in spirit and not intended to be the letter of the law. Jesus chose to do the right thing by setting the woman free of infirmity.
Chris Gray, Pastor of the Greater Valley First Assembly of God church in Sayre, Pennsylvania, says the belief of the denomination is that marriages should be saved. He sees a fine line between supporting a union and encouraging someone to stay in an abusive situation. He does not believe one person in a marriage should serve as fodder for the other. However, Wade Clauser, Pastor of Hope Baptist church in Herrickville Pennsylvania, fights doggedly through counseling and teaching of the scripture to preserve marriage. Divorce is not an option.