This situation is worsened when one of the spouses begins to see other people outside of the marriage. The sad case of Minister Nguni reported in the papers last week is illustrative of the folly of infidelity.
Somebody likened marriage to two pieces of paper glued together. Any attempt to separate them will result in both of them being torn and damaged. Perhaps that is why God hates divorce.
Married couples should do their best to resolve their differences through talking and getting good counselling from pastors, friends and relatives. Couples should try and forgive each other instead of rushing into divorce.
We are not saying divorce is sinful; neither are we implying that it is inevitable where there has been infidelity. As we stated last week, the sexual sin is not the unpardonable sin. It should be possible for a couple to forgive each other and re-commit to their marriage.
Problems often arise where one spouse repeats the folly of infidelity after being forgiven first time. In this terrible era of the HIV/Aids pandemic the dangers associated with infidelity can only be categorised as fatal.
In our counselling activities, we have seen many men or husbands abandon their spouses to go and live with a small house (aka “smell house”), only to come back a few months later when they are sick and dying. They expect the wife to take them back into the family house and care for them “…until death do us part.”
This is, obviously, unfair to the wife. We have often advised the wife to forgive her husband and, if possible to take him into the matrimonial home. She does not have an obligation to have sexual intercourse with him, but she does not have to divorce him either.
When parents divorce, their children are also hurt very badly. Some may even be permanently harmed in their present and future relationships. Spouses considering divorce need to pause and think about their children and their present and future relationships.
Here again, the Nguni divorce case is sadly illustrative. The Minister’s daughter is quoted as complaining bitterly to her father about his “womanising.” This is very unfortunate since the Bible cautions all children to honour their parents so that they can live long in this world and things will go well for them.
We always advise children not to get involved in their parents’ disputes, whatever their nature. Children run the risk of supporting one of the parents while dishonouring the other. This effectively threatens the children’s own relationships and lives; that is what the Bible teaches.
Nguni’s daughter should be advised to quickly apologise to her father and to stay out of the dispute between her parents. The question of who is right and who is wrong among the parents is irrelevant.
Some couples think that if they divorce then they will be able to marry someone else and live happily ever after. That is the lie of the devil. In most cases, such people may end up divorcing again and trying again. It can become an addiction and all the time, the pain is accumulating.
One of our friends is now on wife number three, and each of the wives has had children with him. Needless to say there is little love lost among his children. Divorce has this tendency to give birth to a deep hatred towards the former spouse. May God rescue us from this worldly practice of thinking that we can change spouses just as easily as we can change our clothes.Post published in: Opinions & Analysis