As a committed Christian, I’ve learned that when I attempt to live by God’s standards, I’m often in conflict with my culture. I think the general culture we live in today in America is hostile to biblical values. Television shows, movies, school curricula, and even mainline news are something that needs to be evaluated through the eyes of a Christian Ethic. I remember back in the 90s when I used to warn people about certain shows that promoted anti-Christian values. If you do a search today on the media and Christian values, things have been reversed. The general media has so abandoned Christian values, that the focus now is on what you can watch. Almost everything reeks of an anti-biblical view. We must face the fact that we live in a culture that, in general, is hostile to biblical values. They are not only hostile to the values themselves but also to those who would proclaim them.

The family unit was designed by God. After the creation account, God looked around and made comments about the only thing that “wasn’t good.” The only thing that wasn’t good was that the man was alone. That’s not good. He created a woman and brought her to man, and the man said, “This is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh.” The two shall become one. Jesus also commented that what God “has joined together let no man tear apart.” Then, in Matthew 19:8, Jesus said, “Because of your hardness of heart, Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.” Marriage is designed for a man and woman in a permanent relationship. It is God’s priority plan for man. The culture we live in is so alien to God’s plan for man that it’s impossible for me to preach about it, write about it, or even speak to people singly about it without worrying about offending someone.  Yet, it’s probably one of the most important teachings of God’s word.  Fifty years ago, when the divorce rate in America surpassed 50%, one writer blamed the church.  J. Carl Laney, in “The Divorce Myth,” said, “I am convinced that if a strict view on divorce and remarriage were taught in our churches, there would be fewer divorces among believers. Marriage would be entered into with more caution, and marriage partners would seek to preserve that union at all cost.”

Because of the situation in our culture as well as in our churches, it’s difficult to preach Malachi 2:16, which says, “God hates divorce.” But it shouldn’t be! First of all, God hates divorce, but he doesn’t hate divorced people.  As David Jeremiah says, “He hates divorce because of what it does to people and how it violates His original provision for meeting the needs of men and women for a lifetime.” I know that there are divorced people reading this, and when I quoted this passage in a sermon, I knew there were divorced people listening to me.  Haddon Robinson, a preaching professor, says, “Those of you who are divorced…understand why God hates divorce. Not because he hates divorced people but because of what divorce does to people. You have the scars. Your children have the scars. You can testify to what it does. God hates divorce because he loves you.”