Thursday, September 24, 2015

Are You Contemplating Divorce?

I found family law really interesting when I was a student.The cases we studied were peculiar, especially divorce cases, the petitioners mostly bore same surname as the respondent alluding to the bond they both used to share. Some facts of some of the cases were downright ugly but in our naivety, we seemed to find it funny. We would laugh and pass silly comments. Thinking back now, there was absolutely nothing funny about a marital union gone bad.

PhotoCredit:static.guim.co.uk
I have witnessed many more unions break since that time and the names on some files I treat, have faces to them. It is so hard to work out how people go from being very in love to wanting to draw blood in one lifetime . One thing I know for sure is God didn’t intend divorce and there is something foundationally wrong with dissolution of marriage.

The idea of marriage has been seriously watered down. What some people want is an exclusive sexual arrangement devoid of sacrifices or responsibilities. There seem to be no room for mistakes or forgiveness.

We have coined our own comfortable definition for marriage and divorce premised on our ‘civilised’ and ‘liberal’ views. But no matter the kind of definition we come up with, it would fall short if it does not reflect God’s original plan for marriage. He intended marriage for exclusivity, procreation, enjoyment, companionship, permanence.

 "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, "FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." Matt 19:3-9

For I hate divorce, says the Lord. Malachi 2:16

So if God doesn’t want it, why do people still divorce? Why are there so many divorces?

It seems our individualistic antenna has never been more sensitive. We run at the sight of the barest pain, we are always seeking the easy way out. We forget that our wedding vows were not ordinary words but a covenant that we swore to keep till death comes calling.

1 Cor.7:15-17 stated the grounds of divorce as sexual immorality or desertion by an unbelieving spouse.

In my few years as a law student and even now as a practicing lawyer, I can boldly say that these reasons are hardly grounds cited by spouses for divorce. Mostly cited are irreconcilable differences which could mean the couple has fallen out of love or they no longer share a common vision,lack of trust or there is someone new. These reasons most times don’t fall within the biblical context.

We are imperfect beings. Events are bound to happen but we need to make room for each other’s shortcomings. Bearing this in mind, we ought to be more open minded about our marriages and really take on the cloak of Christ. We should be opened to mending whatever is broken by taking conscious physical steps, praying tirelessly and seeking God’s heart on our marriage. Even sexual immorality doesn’t necessarily have to spell the end. It just takes for us to bear in mind the lessons of forgiveness and reconciliation taught at different times in the bible.Asides, divorce comes with more casualties than the two people involved.

Are you contemplating divorce? What steps have you taken towards reconciliation? Is the damage done totally irreparable? Have you sought counselling? Have you prayed? Have you given it lots of thought? Perhaps, you should give it time. Divorce is not meant to be the first option, it is not even meant to be an option at all unless in extreme situations.

P.S If you are in an abusive marriage, please speak out. Contact your pastor,support group etc. You need lots of prayer and counselling and you might probably have to separate while you are trying to resolve your issues.

I found this blog post on the said topic very enlightening. Please read HERE

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