Gulf Ridge Park Baptist Church
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Your Question # 12
[#12] If the Bible says God hates divorce, how should we counsel a wife who wants to divorce from her husband whom she has been forced to illegally marry in early childhood?
Thanks for your question. It's a good one. For me to answer simply, I echo what you said. God hates divorce, mainly because of what it does to the family. I've been a pastor for over 30 years and to date, I've never seen children that fully understand why their family fell apart.
Also, the family is a picture of our relationship to the Lord. We are one in Him once we are saved. God does not divorce us when we go astray, He simply works to bring us back in line with His word and in fellowship with Him.
I have also noticed that even if one is able to offer godly counsel, people will still end up doing what they want IF they are not seeking to please the Lord.
People have said to me, 'I don't love them anymore' so that should be grounds for a divorce. No, it's not! Love is a verb and it means we must actively work at our marriage and our love for one another. Couples fall out of love because they have stopped working at loving one another.
Now this situation makes me ask, how did the woman become 'illegally' married to a man? Was the marriage in this country? Did she get pregnant and the family force her to marry the man? Was it an arranged marriage like still happens in other countries? Also, what does the husband say about this? This all factors into the answer I would offer.
I counsel the husband to do all he can to 'woo' his bride. If she doesn't love him or feels something was taken from her, perhaps he can alleviate any fears she may have about her future if he is willing to comfort and assure her he is there to provide for her. IF he is a domineering individual and believes, like some today, that his wife is 'property', then it will be very difficult to dissuade her from wanting a divorce.
If I am to offer counsel to you, I would say to ask her (or the couple) to find a godly Christian counselor/Pastor and see if they can help them.
Sorry if I couldn't be more specific, but need more facts in order to give an accurate answer to your question.
I will say it is good you to want to help the family. Keep them in prayer and ask God to intervene. He is more than able to heal this marriage.
Also, if you are a believer, find out if they are both saved. If they come to Christ, He can give them the kind of love that is required to make a marriage work.