How Should We Respond to Friends Who Are Considering Divorce?

The following is an edited transcription of the audio.

How should we respond to friends who are considering divorce?

With tears in your eyes you should pursue them and plead with them not to shatter the image of Christ and his Church.

The reason God says not to divorce—and why he calls it adultery when someone does divorce and marry another—is because he ordained that Christ's relationship to the Church be clearly portrayed in the marriages of his people. Indeed, he has ordained it in marriage in general.

Christ never divorces his church—never, under any circumstances. And he calls us to be faithful like him.

So I would plead with my friend, Don't do it! Then I would come alongside them and ask, What is it? What's the problem? Then I would help them, either through finances, counsel, rebuke, to address whatever it is that is making the marriage look unworkable.

Sometimes you can rescue it. But we've also lost people at Bethlehem. We had to put one man out of the church recently because he resisted every form of counsel, love and exhortation that we gave him to help him not walk away from his wife.

I'm discouraged about this issue somewhat, because there are a lot of believers today who are finding scholarly warrants for making divorce easier. Frankly, in our culture we need to make it harder—not easier—for people to get a divorce.

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John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including A Peculiar Glory.

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