There are five strong reasons in Malachi 2:13-16 that lead believers to remain faithful to their marriage vows. Our study of the first three reasons are in part one and part two of this series. They are: Remain faithful because of the divine covenant of marriage, because of the infinite power of the Holy Spirit, “yet had he a residue of the Spirit,” and because of the momentous goal in marriage, “that He might seek a godly seed.”
The fourth reason why you should stay married is because of the loving heart of God. Malachi 2:16a: “For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away.”
God continually, habitually and always will hate divorce because He continually, habitually, and always loves the marriage covenant relationship. God loves the family as He has defined and designed it because it illustrates His Gospel love to the world (Ephesians 5:22-27). Malachi states God’s hatred of divorce as a fact. God hates what threatens the best for His people. Should we not hate and love what He does?
We know what it is to hate or love something. When I was a kid for some reason I could not eat plain noodles. Strangely, I enjoyed them with the tomato sauce when it was called spaghetti, but I could not stomach them plain or with butter. Don’t ask me why — they made me nauseous. I hated them! I’ll never forget being made to eat five bites of noodles only to not finish that fifth bite before it all came up! I want to hate divorce the same way I hated plain noodles as a child.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does God want your best and does He want to bless you? Are you sure?
- Is God good? Are you really confident and do you really believe that He is good?
- Is God powerful? Do you really believe He is omnipotent? Will you be willing to trust His power?
- Do you want to please Him? Do you really desire to please Him?
I hope that your answer to these four questions is an emphatic “yes.” Having answered these questions so, then you should desire to stay in your marriage. Because He wants your best He says, He hates divorce. He is good and He says that He hates putting away. To desire to stay in your marriage you need a renewed faith in God, His goodness, power and His will. Desire to please HIM because of His loving heart.
A final reason to stay married is because of the destructive nature of divorce. This section concludes with a perplexing statement that one may skip over and wonder how it relates to divorce, but it does. Here is how Malachi concludes this passage:
Malachi 2:16b: For one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
What does Malachi mean by this? I believe the best interpretation is to see that Malachi is painting a word picture of divorce, and he portrays divorce as a willful and cruel act of violence against the home.
The word “violence” (Malachi 2:16) is a strong word used in Scripture of brutal acts that violate God’s order. This same word is translated cruelty, injustice, and oppressor in our KJV Bible. The first usage of this word describes the violent days of Noah that led to the destruction of all living things on the earth (Genesis 6:11, 13).
In his bold style (remember dung upon the face in Mal. 2:3?), Malachi paints a word picture of someone committing a violent act of pure injustice that leaves great harm. Divorce is similar to a lawbreaker stabbing his victim and then abandoning them while they drip in their own blood. The brutal criminal covers his crime by placing a garment over the victim. Would you do that? Of course not! But would you divorce your wife? Divorce is a violent action against the home similar to such an attack! It leaves family members in great pain and loss, wallowing in their misery. Malachi uses this strong analogy so that we will understand how unjust and harmful divorce is. Yes, if you see divorce like this, you understand the challenge to stay in your marriage.
Divorce violently fractures family and is a socially violent act. The consequences of divorce are innumerable. It is akin to an act of violence because it cuts open a relationship that was one.
No matter how broken the family unit may be in our present day, God’s Word still upholds the Lord’s original intention, and we are responsible to obey God and remain faithful to our marriage vows.
In conclusion, here are the five reasons you should stay in your marriage:
- Because of the Divine Covenant of Marriage: It is a one flesh covenant relationship: Did not he make ONE?
- Because of the Infinite Power of the Holy Spirit: yet had he a residue of the Spirit.
- Because of the Momentous Goal in Marriage: to raise a godly seed
- Because of the Loving Heart of God: He hates putting away:
- Because of Destructive Nature of Divorce, v.16b