Shortly after my divorce, a well-intentioned Christian asked to meet with me personally. He had a heavy heart, and was very sympathetic to what my children and I were going through. He quoted a verse in the Bible found in the book of Malachi 2:16 which states that God hates divorce.
His insinuation was that I was disappointing God, and should have done more to save my marriage.
Christians who use this verse to instill guilt upon divorced people are really missing the point. God does hate divorce.
Because God himself knows what it is like to be divorced. In Jeremiah chapter 3, God “divorced” Israel because of her continued unfaithfulness worshiping idols. He was so hurt by that unfaithfulness, as you read the passage it is much like a spouse reeling from the death of dreams and a shared future.
Rather than insinuating the “wrongness” of divorce God was declaring the incredible, excruciating pain that divorce imparts. The God of the universe was crying out that his own people whom he had shown love and patience through centuries continued to give their affections to another, and he was devastated.
His heart breaks when he sees us going through a breakup. Because he knows what that is like. And that’s the reason he hates divorce…He hates the consequences.
In the same chapter, God says, “Oh Israel, my faithless people, come home to me again for I am merciful” (Jeremiah 3:12 NLT). God seems like a heart sick husband who longs for his unfaithful wife to return, and gives her the opportunity to do so.
Why would he do that?
Because nothing keeps God from loving. Nothing.
So God hates the pain caused by divorce. But make no mistake…God loves divorced people.