Emotional Abuse, Faith, Grace, Guilt, Hope, marriage, Surviving Adultery and Divorce

Why I Am Pro-Divorce

I am often accused of heresy and false teachings because I am pro-divorce. 

The truth is, I couldn’t be more anti-divorce. I honestly don’t know anyone who has suffered the unimaginable pain of divorce who is truly pro-divorce. 

I am staunchly anti-divorce and unapologetically pro-divorced people. 

I hear all the time how God hates divorce, how divorce breaks a covenant God created…and I completely agree. 

Malachi 2:14-16 speaks of the pain of divorce, how the abuse and devastation caused by divorce breaks the heart of God. If we take this at face value, we could interpret the scripture to mean God never allows divorce. However, if we read carefully, we find it’s the unfaithfulness of a spouse that breaks God’s heart. It’s the rampant sin and abuse that He hates. 

It’s the oppression of one spouse heaped upon another that angers God. 

It’s not the legal ending of a marriage (divorce) that He hates, but it’s the sin and abuse that often happens within the realm of marriage the He hates. 

We often hear that financial problems or incompatibility are the number one causes of divorce. We hear about how easy it is for two people to end their marriage. We hear how our culture has a throw-away mentality when it comes to marriage. While I am certain there are people who deal with these issues, I have yet to receive a single email from anyone who had these issues.

Instead, I repeatedly hear from women and men who are suffering abuse, adultery, and addiction within the bonds of their marriage. I hear from Christians who are desperate to save their marriage, who have fought valiantly only to have their spouse walk away. I hear from those who have suffered for years because good Christians keep praying and hoping and never give up. 

And in the process, they’ve come to believe that being abused is the cross they must pay to be a good Christian. 

I can’t find anywhere in scripture where God calls us to allow others to abuse us. Instead, He calls us to live a life of freedom. He calls us a life of healing and wholeness. He calls us to a great purpose for which He created us.

If we are wasting away in an abusive marriage where we are forbidden to live the life to which we are called, how does that mesh with scripture?

Didn’t God call us to love and serve the oppressed? Does that not apply to the divorced person who has suffered unthinkable evils? Shouldn’t we love the single mom struggling to provide for her kids just as we are called to love the orphan and widow? 

I’m not sure where we as a culture decided that the person who has suffered the pain and devastation of divorce is somehow less worthy of the love and forgiveness of our Savior. That’s certainly not a concept I can find in scripture. In fact, I see Him reaching out to the lonely and harassed and oppressed—while reserving His harshest words for the arrogant religious teachers who would look down in judgement on those who had somehow been abused and oppressed. 

“There are six things the Lord hates— no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭6:16-19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: God hates divorce because of the pain and devastation it causes His children. He hates the actions that lead to divorce. He hates the haughty arrogance of religious people who would condemn an innocent spouse to a life of pain and abuse because his/her spouse has chosen the world over His way. 

But He loves divorced people more than we will ever understand! He longs to take our pain and leverage it for our good and His glory. He wants to use the pain in our lives to mold us into His image. He wants to purify our hearts through the pain and create a compassion we never knew could exist. He wants to draw us into an intimate relationship with Him that transforms our hearts and minds and lives. 

And He calls us to nothing less. We are called to love those who are broken, to comfort them with the comfort we have received. We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ to those who are most in need of His kindness. 

Divorce will always break my heart…just as it breaks my Father’s heart. And I will never apologize for being pro-divorced people.

13 thoughts on “Why I Am Pro-Divorce”

  1. Thank you, Dena for understanding the complexities of this issue. As a child who endured abuse, violence and alcoholism – unless you have been through this hell you can’t judge others. I recall sticking my fingers in my ears each night, repeatedly reciting “this will never happen to me” as my dad abused my mother, screaming at her and shoving her into walls while she cried as us kids cowered like frightened rabbits in our beds. We had to lock our doors and I constantly imagined which window I would jump out of to run for safety if he broke the door down to beat us – which did happen at times, calling me a whore as a child and beating me with all his might. He ending up committing suicide when I was 21 leaving me to care for my mother and 12 year old sister. Thanks, Dad. I ended up in an abusive marriage myself (no surprise) and left so that my kids would not be stuck in the same hell I had to endure. Unless you’ve walked a mile in anyone’s shoes, don’t judge – it is more damaging for a child to be trapped in hell with no hope and bravo for us who left these situations and fought for change. My sister has resigned herself to an abusive 30 year marriage and several of her kids are suicidal and cutting. When you feel helpless, so do your kids. God love us and does not want us to suffer and be prisoners – when we submit to abusers we violate his will for us which is to prosper and do good in this world – and not be bent over and beaten like a broken donkey. The harvest is here – God Bless! Christina Rose http://www.chrisinarose.org – author of “My Appeal to Heaven”.

    1. I am so thankful I chose FREEDOM for my kids and me! They are not without scars, but I can’t imagine how much worse it would have been if I had stayed. He came to set the prisoners free!

  2. Thank you for writing this Dena.

    This very much echos my own thoughts, most people do not have the courage to say this. My former pastor informed me that because of my divorce, I should shut down my web sites, never ever teach or write about Jesus again etc. I was made to feel more than a little un-welcome in my own church. Not by everyone, but it was enough. I was also clearly made to understand that I was no longer welcome in various church ministries. No one who has not gone through this has even a clue. It seems many in the Church miss the fact that our God is a forgiving God. Yes divorce IS wrong, but it does happen. I wonder how many people realize that the Apostle Paul would have been married when he was a Pharisee? Then obviously divorced. And presided over a murder – funny, God still used him, and powerfully so. Nowhere can you be so attacked, vilified, or ostracized as one can be in the “Church.”

    1. Greg. In response to your comments on feeling unwelcome by some in church, by a pastor that thought you should no more teach about Jesus—don’t let those wrong reactions stop you from “contending for the faith”. Jude 3. The enemy of our souls would desire for the Truth to cease to be shared and for believers to be discouraged and disabled. Maybe that is one reason why marriages are one of satan’s favorite targets. Keep following Jesus who made it his mission to teach, love, serve, and forgive. “ Keep yourselves in the love of God…” Jude 21

  3. Thank you for tenderly speaking about this. For years I lived with guilt after I *had to leave my ex husband. The marriage was *already full of hatefulness and harm. I stopped trusting God during my marriage. When I saw Him, I’d see my husband, hurling verbal weapons, and it made me question God’s love for me. I cannot express enough how I am not pro-divorce…..but I am anti-abuse. I always explain to people, our child would have been orphaned had I not left. One of us was going to end up in jail and the other dead. And I was on the brink of snapping because I could not take it anymore. Sometimes, divorce is absolutely necessary to protect our children and to save lives. Jesus heals and does not condemn. He knows what happens behind closed doors. Abuse absolutely breaks His heart and would want for none of His creation to live in that pain, that causes many to turn away from Him. ❤️❤️

    1. Behind closed doors… No one knows unless they are with us behind those doors. I’m with you. I see the stories of murder/suicide, and I’m so thankful my kids and I escaped. Praise God for freedom!!

  4. Hopefully the people who criticize you are people who have not carefully read and followed your story. I sometimes see a friend criticizing a public figure on Facebook and posting someone else’s criticism of the person. Then I read what the criticized person actually said. And they have been misquoted. We must go to the person themselves to find out the truth. As people age they gain a greater knowledge that supersedes their pat answers! I’m glad that you speak out for hurting people, especially in the church.

    1. Sadly, there are camps within Christianity that teach that divorce for ANY reason condemns one to hell. Remarriage is even worse. I’ve caught the eye of many of these modern-day Pharisees over the years. From supporting well known Christian leaders caught in unwanted divorces to speaking about the grace of Christ, I’ve had words and attacks launched at me. Just let’s me know I’m doing something right. 😀

  5. Thank you for writing this. Such a tough journey. So many emotions. So many judgements. Added heartache to the ache already there. Thank you for being a light in a difficult time 💚

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