I really want to get divorced. I don’t have a “Biblical” reason, but I know that God doesn’t want me to be unhappy and He will forgive me for my sin. Don’t you agree?
No, I do not agree.
First of all, God DOES want us to be happy, but He promises happiness as a by-product of our obedience and living life the way He wants. Read the Beatitudes (Matt 5) which say “Blessed are…” meaning “Happy are…” (actually that is just one part of the meaning of the phrase; but that is what is applicable here).
There are times when God DOES want us to be unhappy, and that is when we are sinning or out of fellowship with Him. If we are happy” (superficially anyway) during those times, then we are in real trouble spiritually.
Will God forgive you? God will forgive any Christian of any sin, any time that Christian genuinely asks (1John 1:9). No doubt about that. But there are two problems with your “plan”:
- Playing fast and loose with God’s forgiveness and grace is both dangerous and insulting to the sacrifice Jesus made. The Apostle Paul warns us that we are not to commit sin simply because we know God will forgive us:
Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (NKJV)
Being forgiven of sin is not the same thing as being relieved of it’s consequences.
I have personally known many people who have chosen this route both concerning divorce, sexual sin or other obvious wrongs. They convince themselves, with no small help from Satan’s buddies, that God understands their situation and because God feels sorry for them, He will forgive them or worse, excuse them.
People with this mindset aren’t really saying, “God will forgive of this obvious wrong I’m going to commit”. What they are really saying is, “what I’m about to do isn’t really wrong in this situation because of the circumstances, and I know God will understand and say ‘it’s okay'”. It’s relativism cloaked in the Christian language of “forgiveness”.
However, will God forgive someone who chooses divorce unBiblically, and then repents later? Of course. Will they escape the consequences and “live happily ever after”? Doubt it.
And here’s where I finish with some pratical and simple advice: DON’T DO IT! YOU WILL REGRET IT!
I know people who chose this route 10 or 20 years ago, and today their life is still a mess, still in turmoil, and now they are MUCH more unhappy and miserable than they thought they were before.
I know people who have left their spouse and married “the person God really meant for me to have”. I have known people who have actually said that “God put us together”, talking about the “new” person, WHILE still married to the first! How shameful to give God credit for such wickedness. Let’s throw a little blasphemy in with our adultery (which is not too much different from “I’ll go ahead and sin, God will excuse me because He understands”).
I cannot tell you ONE example of a person who chose the “it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission” approach who ended up happy and fulfilled. So from a practical standpoint, DON’T DO IT! You will NOT find the happiness you think is around the corner. You will hurt yourself, your spouse, your kids, your parents, your extended family and the generations to come.
But hey, your personal “happiness” is most important… right? More important than your faith. More important than your marriage vows. More important than your children’s right to an unbroken home. More important than your influence on them. More important than both of your extended families. More important than every other person’s feeelings and happiness. Right? WOW!!! Your personal happiness is REALLY the MOST important thing to consider isn’t it….
I once knew of a situation where one ready-to-divorce-spouse asked a “Christian counselor”: Should I stay married just because it’s the right thing to do? Doesn’t God want me to be happy?
Shockingly (or not so shocking I guess), the Christian counselor responded with the “God will forgive you. He wants you to be happy. He doesn’t expect you to live the rest of your life unhappy” routine. I propose that the “Christian counselor” will be held just as guilty for that divorce and subsequent adultery as the person who did it.
It is time for clarity and courage in the face of this kind of nonsense concerning the most important institution in God’s creation.
Of course, there is a Biblical principle here that screams for our attention:
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. (NKJV)
You are fooling yourself if you think you are going to ride off into the sunset because “God will forgive me”. The very best, in my opinion, you can hope for is that God WILL forgive you in the event of your genuine repentance BUT you can expect severe consequence for the long term in the form of unhappiness, turmoil, broken hearts, confusion, resentment and family chaos.
Don’t fool yourself. God IS NOT mocked.