Divorce doctrine in Christian denominations is definitely a touchy subject with a lot of people.
Divorce is a cancer that is literally tearing apart the fabric or our society. Nearly half of all marriages now end in divorce. One might think that this percentage might be better with Christians, but this is not the case.
This means that we can't just sweep divorce doctrine in Christian denominations under the rug anymore. Divorce is close to home for almost everyone. Pretty much everyone can tell a sad story about someone in their family that has been ruined by divorce. There's a very good chance that they've been involved in one themselves.
These circumstances have made divorce doctrine in Christian denominations an important topic. What does the Bible have to say about divorce? This is the most important question one must ask. The different denominations of Christianity can have all the theories they want, but unless it's based on the Bible, you might as well call the psychic hotline for answers. The Bible is the only authority that you need answer to.
It doesn't have to come down to divorce. If you're having problems within your marriage, you can fix them. In fact, a great resource that can help during these tough times is found here. The most important thing to remember is that marriage in the eyes of the Lord is sacred. Marriage is not something that should be taken lightly. The best defense against divorce is to not rush into marriage with someone you don't love.
Countless people don't trust their instincts before they go through with the wedding. Their family, friends, and innocent bystanders might tell them that their boyfriend/girlfriend are not good for them. However, they cast all logic aside and get married anyway.
Then...astoundingly, in two months they wonder what they ever saw in this person. They let the pressure of the impending wedding get the best of them.
Who wants to cancel with the caterer and the photographer the day before the wedding? "My parents would kill me."
Just a word of advice...Don't ever base your decision of who you are going to spend your life with come down to the convenience level of the caterer. They'll get over it. They'll have another wedding next week that they can cook terrible food for. You don't get a second chance to avoid a divorce.
In Matthew 19 we learn what Jesus has to say about divorce. This is what pretty much all divorce doctrine in Christian denominations is based on. "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
He later goes on to say, "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."
In this chapter, Jesus basically said that the only acceptable reason for divorce is marital unfaithfullness. So if your spouse cheats on you, it's ok to divorce. However, this is not the ideal situation. If you can get past it, don't just use your "Get out of jail free card" and move along...especially if you have kids.
If it is possible for you to forgive the other person for their mistakes, this is the best route. God forgives us for everything, so we should in turn forgive others...especially our spouse.
Sometimes it is best to go your separate ways. If infidelity leads to constant fighting, it may be dangerous to stay. It's best to look at this on a case-by-case basis.
So is this the end of the story? If you divorce and remarry, according to the Bible, you are committing adultery. Most divorce doctrine in Christian denominations likes to leave it at that. But let's remember the nature of God. In 1 John 1:9 it says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins."
Does this mean every sin except adultery? I don't think so.
Therefore, while it is not ideal to divorce and remarry in any circumstance, God will forgive you if you repent of your sin. This does not mean that we should make a habit of it. You should not try out a few different spouses and keep asking for forgiveness.
This is merely meant as help to those that may be struggling with this issue. If you are worried about your relationship with God, keep in mind that he is the definition of love. He continues to love you and be there for you. While divorce is a terrible thing to go through, it is much easier to go through with God.
Divorce doctrine in Christian denominations may not say all of these things. However, let your relationship with God be the determining factor. He alone can judge us and He alone can forgive us.