How fair is it for spouses to stay in the family if they don’t get along? Do they have to stay together just for the sake of the children? Is it right before the Lord for spouses to stay together if they quarrel a lot?
What God has joined together, no person is to separate
In the Gospel of Matthew in chapter 19 it reads:
Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no person is to separate.” They *said to Him, “Why, then, did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.”(Matthew 19:3-10 NASB)
Here, the Lord reminds the Pharisees that it was not the people who created this institution of marriage. God is the One who created it, that is why it is not so easy for a man to take this institution and separate it.
Jesus Christ left only one reason why someone might divorce. This reason is adultery, not quarrels or other problems. The disciples understood the words of the Lord Jesus very well, so they told him that if this is the case with marriage, then it is useless to get married. So a man cannot divorce for any reason.
The Lord commands that married people should not separate
In Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 7 addresses various family-related topics. At the beginning, Paul talks about the intimate relationship, the sexual relationship. The Corinthians lived in such a debauched context that they no longer knew what was right and what was wrong. The apostle Paul taught husbands how to build a sexual relationship in marriage:
But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife is not to leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband is not to divorce his wife. (Corinthians 7:10-11 NASB)
If an impossible situation has been reached, when it seems to the spouses that they can no longer remain under the same roof and they separate, they must remain unmarried. However, the Lord commands that married people should not separate.
God hates separation in marriage
In the Book of the Prophet Malachi, God says:
“For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with violence,” says the Lord of armies. “So be careful about your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”( Maleachi 2:16 NASB)
Divorce begins in the human mind. God is the one who tells us that he hates divorce. He created man and woman and joined them in marriage to be one.
You have to fight for your marriage
If you have conflicts, try to identify the cause. Look for solutions to overcome them. Pray and fast. Go talk to the pastor. Seek spiritual counseling, because people often start arguing over trivial matters. They do not know how to communicate with each other. They do not know how to resolve conflicts and how to maintain harmony and peace in the house. To avoid these misunderstandings, start studying the Holy Scriptures. By studying, you will gain answers and spiritual growth to overcome these problems.
Marriage is an image of a heavenly reality
Marriage is not just for our satisfaction. Marriage is more than that, it is an image of a reality in heaven. In the Epistle to the Ephesians, men are compared to Christ, and wives to the Church, and the relationship between husband and wife to the relationship between Christ and His church.
Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are parts of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, as for you individually, each husband is to love his own wife the same as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:22-33 NASB)
Here we see that the wife must be subject to the man, which means to respect him and to not want to upset him. This is how God established a relationship. If we behave as He has ordained, we will have harmony in our families.
When the church does not behave as it should, causing great quarrels with Christ, He does not leave the Church, but seeks to win us over.
Wives must be subject to their husbands
In the first Gospel of Peter it is written thus:
In the same way, you wives, be subject to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won over without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your pure and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely the external—braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or putting on apparel; but it should be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way the holy women of former times, who hoped in God, also used to adorn themselves, being subject to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; and you have proved to be her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.(1 Peter 3:1-6 NASB)
Maybe many of the quarrels occur precisely because you are not subject to your husband. Do you see the respect Sara showed for her husband? She was submissive to him and called him “my lord.” So, a clean life, in fear, respect and obedience to the man, removes many reasons for quarrel. A gentle and quiet spirit does not provoke quarrels, but calms them down.
Men must behave wisely towards their wives
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.(1 Peter 3:1-6 NASB)
Men must honor the woman as a weaker vessel. A weaker vessel means a more fragile vessel that can be damaged quickly, so men must behave wisely towards their wives. They have to be careful. He who does not have a good relationship with his marriage partner cannot have a good relationship with God.
If you are in a desperate situation, with constant quarrels in your marriage, do everything in your power to resolve these situations and be able to stay together. It is true that quarrels hurt children, but if you divorce, then you will do worse.
May God help us to understand this.
Translated by Ina Croitoru.