Is Catholicism the only religion to uphold the indissolubility of marriage? If not, which others do?
I feel that this question can be answered without a list. Honestly I learned throughout many leadership courses in the Navy that the only foolish question is the one that remains unasked. Therefore I feel that at least a Scriptural answer to this question may be appropriate. In our culture today many see divorce as a positive solution to a troubled marriage. But Harvard sociologist Armand Nicholi III concluded, "Divorce is not a solution, but an exchange of problems." In a more personal way, novelist Pat Conroy said of his own marriage break-up, "Each divorce is the death of a small civilization."
Malachi 2:16 states: "For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the LORD of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit that you do not deal treacherously. And why does He hate divorce? One reason is that marriage is meant to be a special covenant between a man, a woman, and their God.
Any covenant—including the marriage covenant—is a binding, weighty obligation.
In Proverbs 20:25 we read, "It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows" (NIV).
Deuteronomy 23:23 says, "You shall be careful to perform what goes out from your lips, just as you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised."
Jesus said that "every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36).
Another reason God hates divorce is because it tears at the very heart of God's redemptive plan for the world. It is interesting to note the conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees in Matthew 19:3-9.
- When the Pharisees ask, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?'' Jesus answers by pointing them to God's purposes for marriage:
"Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
- One of God's major purposes for marriage is to mirror His image. After God created the earth and the animals, He said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." The account continues, "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:26–27).
- Halley, H. (1927). Halley's Bible Handbook. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing. Jackson, W. (2014, March 15).
- Marriage: As Designed by God. Retrieved from The Christian Courier
- The Holy Bible: New American Standard Version. (1971). Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing.