God hates a lot of things. Proverbs 6:16-19 gives us seven of them. It reads, “There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” But no matter how much we preach or how much we might teach, there will always be the sin of pride, those who lie, those who cause discord, and hands that attack the innocent without cause. Malachi teaches us that God also hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), yet regardless of the church’s best efforts, divorces will still take place.

God hates divorce for the same reason he hates all the other sins mentioned. They hurt people! He doesn’t hate people! He loves people regardless of what is happening in their lives. He hates the sins of people because sins hurt people, and God loves people. Divorce hurts people! There are many pains associated with divorce. One writer put it this way, “There are many aftershocks to the earthquake of divorce.” One of the most devastating aftershocks is the emotional trauma suffered by all involved. According to Dennis Rainey, “Those who have been through divorce often cannot find adequate words to describe the range of feelings. The following piece, entitled, ‘I Am Divorced,’ gives us a little peek into what a person experiences when the marriage covenant is severed. ‘I have lost my husband, but I’m not supposed to mourn. I have lost my children—they don’t know to whom they belong. I have lost my relatives. They do not approve. I have lost his relatives. They blame me. I have lost my friends. They don’t know how to act. I feel I have lost my church. Do they think I have sinned too much? I’m afraid of the future. I’m ashamed of the past. I’m confused about the present. I’m so alone. I feel so lost. God, please stay by me. You are all I have left.’”

Regardless of the sin that haunts our past, God will never desert us. Paul says, “I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” You and I are secure in God’s love. It’s His undying love that teaches us how to live in ways that bring the greatest happiness to others as well as ourselves. Divorce brings pain to everyone involved. As a Pastor and simply as a Christian, I join God’s desire that marital oneness be maintained and restored whenever possible. From the Bible and from personal experience, I know that God restores broken people and broken marriages by His grace. Forty-five years ago, I finally professed my personal faith in Jesus Christ at Martin Road Gospel Chapel in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Thanks to God’s love in taking me back, my wife and I will celebrate 55 years of marriage in November of this year.