John & Virginia Makumbe

It is true that sometimes two married people may fail to continue to love each other the way they did before and soon after their marriage. This situation is worsened when one of the spouses begins to see other people outside of the marriage. The sad case of a Government Minister reported in the papers recently is illustrative of the folly of infidelity. Somebody likened marriage to two pieces of paper that have been glued together. Any attempt to separate them will result in both of them being torn and damaged. Perhaps that is why God hates divorce. Nobody walks out of a marriage unharmed. Married couples should therefore do their best to resolve their differences through talking and getting good counselling from pastors, friends and relatives. Couples should try and forgive each other instead of rushing into divorce.

 

We are not in any way implying that divorce is inevitable where there has been infidelity. Sexual sin is not the unpardonable sin. It should be possible for a couple to forgive each other and re-commit to their marriage. Problems often arise where one spouse repeats the folly of infidelity after being forgiven first time. In this terrible era of the HIV/Aids pandemic the dangers associated with infidelity can only be categorised as fatal. In our counselling activities, we have seen many men or husbands abandon their spouses to move in with a ‘small house’ (aka “smell house”), only to come back a few months later when they are sick and dying. They expect the wife to take them back into the family home and care for them “…until death do us part.” This is, obviously, unfair to the wife. We have often advised the wife to forgive her husband and, if possible, to take him back into the matrimonial home. She does not have an obligation to have sexual intercourse with him, but she does not have to divorce him either.

 

When parents divorce, the children are also hurt very badly. Some may even be permanently harmed in their present and future relationships. Spouses considering divorce need to pause and think about their children and their present and future relationships. Here again, the Minister’s divorce case referred to above is sadly illustrative. The Minister’s daughter is quoted as complaining bitterly to her father about his “womanising.” This is very unfortunate since the Bible cautions all children to honour their parents so that they can live long in this world and things will go well for them. We always advise children not to get involved in their parents’ disputes, whatever their nature. Children run the risk of taking sides, supporting one of the parents while dishonouring the other. This effectively threatens the children’s own relationships and lives; that is what the Bible teaches. The Minister’s daughter should be advised to quickly apologise to her father and to stay out of the dispute between her parents. The question of who is right and who is wrong between the parents is irrelevant.

 

Some couples think that if they divorce then they will be able to marry someone else and live happily ever after. That is the lie of the devil. In most cases, such people may end up divorcing again and trying again – serial divorcees. It can become an addiction and all the time, the pain is accumulating. One of our friends is now on wife number three, and he has had children with each of the wives. Needless to say, there is little love lost among his children. Divorce has this tendency of birthing a deep hatred towards the former spouse. May God rescue us from this worldly practice of thinking that we can change spouses just as easily and quickly as we can change our clothes.

Note: The views expressed in this article remain those of Prof. and Mrs Makumbe and may not necessarily be the same as those of the owner of the website. 


About the Author

I am a banker by profession. I am married with three adult children - all girls! The two older ones are now married. I became a Christian in my first year of University in the late seventies and have never looked back since. It has been a great adventure, I'd say. I am a senior elder in my local church responsible for the Bible teaching programs. I enjoy that. My wife and I are involved in a Marriage Ministry called HAPPY HOME PROMOTIONS which started way back in 1987. Through this, we have addressed scores of Marriage Seminars and counselled many, many couples - married and premarriage. The ministry seeks to fight divorce in all its forms. I still enjoy the ocassional game of soccer, albeit at a S-L-O-W pace now. I am a keen photographer, a fisherman, a carpenter as well as a beekeeper.

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