Is It Lawful For Man To Divorce For Any Reason?

Written By: on Sep 18th, 2009 and filed under Columns.

Children are the most hapless victims. Children need the love and care of mother and father both, grandparents and close relatives to develop positive attitude about life, toward family and society. Children living with parents who constantly argue and fight, single parent, foster parent, etc are more susceptible to all sorts of wild feelings than those who live in lovable family atmosphere. Children, who are isolated from the love of parents live in seclusion, and suffer low esteem. Wantonness induces abuses, addiction to drug, alcohol and sex which in turn incites violence, psychological disorders and ultimately become threat to themselves and society. Words fail to express the havoc that divorce brings into the lives of spouses and children but the staggering question is; who cares? I am yet to come across one single opinion supporting divorce, addiction and violence and yet there is no end in sight; rather addiction, violence and divorce increase unabated. We can point fingers and write volumes on the many reasons and aspects that lead to divorce and all the chaos that it creates. All of them could be condensed in one sentence and that is; humanity driven by outlandish ego first divorced God from life; thus lost the standard point of reference as to what is right and wrong or good and evil. In this case Satan is the victor.

My humble attempt is to search the biblical perspective on divorce. Divorce discussed in Mathew 19:3-9 is the basis of my discussion. Marriage and divorce are two separate subjects meriting detailed discussions because both are closely intertwined and touching on both subjects is inevitable to discuss either one. Chief point of discourse here is divorce; not marriage.

However it is essential to consider Mark’s version on the same subject, Mk 10:1-12, without which discussion on divorce will be inconclusive. A remarkable difference in the two passages is the condition that Mathew says, “except for sexual immorality,”v9, to divorce. Scholars also say that the conditional clause in Mathew 19:9, “except for sexual immorality,” is not found in the oldest manuscripts of Mathew’s Gospel. Similar to the portion in Mark 16:9-20 this was added later by someone more liberal. Liberal thinkers like Baber and Jay Adams think that Jesus justified divorce. This interpretation serves a guide to ‘tidal increase in divorce.’ This condition induces immorality; to commit adultery and divorce; thus rendered more damage than good to the all-time burning issue of divorce. Mark does not mention it at all as a condition to divorce. We need to analytically view both passages. Mark’s presentation is more a natural dialogue than that of Mathew. Most scholars, especially ancient Churches, Orthodox and Roman Catholic, agree that Mark is the first evangelist who wrote a Gospel of our Lord. Mark as the faithful disciple of St Peter wrote his Gospel as per St Peter’s advice and it is undoubtedly the Gospel of Peter himself. Both Mathew and Luke considered the Gospel of Mark as their base. Gospel of Mark is thus more accurate rendering of events. Luke deserves distinction too; he does not mention this lengthy discussion at all. He says, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery,” Luke 16:18. This is a précis statement banning all kinds of divorce. Surely, Jesus did not conceive a conditional divorce in opposition to the original intent of creator because Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me,” John 4:34.

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