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SPEAKER: LESTER A.

AGONCILLO
Church Minister in the Ecclesiastical District of Metro Manila South

CHURCH’S STAND ON THE ISSUE


The Lord hates divorce because he loves people and divorce is devastating to humankind.

OVERVIEW OF THE TOPIC


Biblical teaching is unequivocal. God created man. Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a
man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined to his wife; and they shall become one
flesh. (Gen. 2:23-24).

In a discussion with the Pharisees, Jesus cited this Old Testament evidence, and declared: “So they are
no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew
19:6).

Here is a crucial point. If it is the case that marriage was designed and inaugurated by the Creator, then
He has the authority to set the rules. Men and women do not have the right to treat this sacred human
relationship in a cavalier, self-directed manner.

Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate. (Mark 10:9)

DISCUSSION(S)

Why is the church against divorce?


The marriage union is intended to be a lifelong arrangement. Husband and wife are considered one flesh
(Gen. 2:24). Jesus emphasized that man should not separate what God has joined together (Mat. 19:6),
because, ideally, the husband and wife are bound together by law of the church and law of the land,
until the death of one of these parties, provided, that he/she too is in the Lord. (Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:39).
Though it is the fad in our modern world, husbands and wives do not have the right to change marital
partners as easily as they would change a garment!

The purpose of Marriage


Having given some consideration to the sacred traits of the marriage union, it is now appropriate that
we raise this question: Why did God ordain marriage?

First, marriage accommodates our social needs. “No man is an island,” wrote the poet, and the song
lyrics assert, “people need people.” There is a sense, then, in which we have “inherited” a need for
companionship. The need is most ideally fulfilled in the marriage union. Our Lord God said, “It isn’t good
for man to be alone; I will make a companion for him, a helper suited to his needs.” (Gen. 2:18).

Second, a home sanctified by marriage affords the ideal environment for the rearing of children. The
conception of children is to follow marriage (Gen. 4:1; 1 Tim. 5:14), not the reverse. The Lord never
intended that human beings “breed” like beasts. How heartbreaking it is that so many are bringing
children into this world without the benefit of a two-parent home.
The marriage relationship is the “cement” that binds society together. Professor Mark McVann
describes the family arrangement as “the foundation of society itself” (p. 77). When family life unravels,
national devastation is certain to follow eventually.

It is within the marriage-blessed home that children first learn the principles of responsibility, justice,
and the respect for authority. When these virtues have been neglected in a youngster, he or she makes
a poor candidate for the gospel.

Too, the warm love between husband and wife is frequently used in scripture as an apt illustration for
the affection and devotion that God has for his people (cf. Ezek. 16:6ff; Eph. 5:22ff).

Here’s why these points are so crucial. They help explain why the laws regarding marriage are so strict. A
breakdown in this institution undermines the teachings of the bible.

Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder
brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents
and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on
society.

PRO(s) AND CON(s)


Consider some of the following factors:

Alcoholism is much more likely to be a problem among those who have been divorced than those who
have not. Those divorced only once have almost twice the rate of alcoholism as those who have never
been divorced. Folks divorced more than once are almost three times as likely to have drinking
problems.

The suicide rate is almost three times higher among the divorced than among life-long spouses.

The National Institute of Mental Health advises that the divorced are about four times as likely to have
problems with depression as are the never-divorced.

Studies have shown that the prevalence of suffering from any psychiatric disorder over a lifetime was
significantly lower for those in stable marriages.

Statistical data have revealed that children of divorced parents are much more likely to drop out of
school than children from one-time-married couples.

Children from broken homes are much more likely to have a difficult time obtaining and maintaining
steady employment.

The children of divorced parents are more likely to become “teen parents,” producing out-of-wedlock
babies, than the children of life-long married parents.

The offspring of divorced parents are twenty to thirty percent more likely to have health problems, or to
be injury-prone than youngsters whose original parents are still together.
The children of divorced parents are three times more likely to have emotional or behavioral problems
than they will have if their biological parents stay together.

FINAL WORDS
The evidence is all too clear. The Creator knew what he was doing when he gave strict regulations for
the preservation of the original family. In view of this, Christian parents will make every effort possible
to keep their marriages intact. Moreover, they will instruct their children in the concept of the
permanency of marriage as designed by God.