Many women are reluctant to approach their church leaders with their
stories of abuse, and with good reason. Some may have heard, or read that other women found no solace in the church
at all. And still others are advised to make personal changes within themselves in order to make the violence stop. Countless
battered women have been advised to make self-sacrificing efforts that only served to destroy them to the core. Numerous women
have been advised to cook better, be more spiritual, be more creative in bed, or just keep silent and say nothing to upset
Granted, marriage is a sacred and holy institution created by Almighty God.
In fact, God Himself “hates divorce.” But what is it about divorce that He hates? In Malachi chapter 2
we shall find the answers. First the priests were rebuked for profaning the holy things of God. They violated the covenant
with Levi, and managed their office in a way that was most profitable for themselves and not for the glory of God. By their
erroneous doctrine and partiality concerning the teachings of the law, they caused the people to stumble. Worst of all, the
priests allowed the taking of foreign wives of heathen nations.
Israel was holy unto the Lord, but by marrying foreign wives, they profaned
this holiness. Israel was prohibited from marrying heathens, but they abused and put away the wives
they had of their own nation. Many of the priests bore guilt for this sin, and showed contempt for the marriage covenant as
well. The wives flooded the Lord’s altar with their tears, and He heard them. The husband’s dealt treacherously
with their wives, and they did not perform their promises to them, but took in concubines to share in the affections that
were meant for their wives only. They abused, divorced their wives, and sent them away.
By dealing treacherously with their wives, the prayers of the husbands were
hindered, I Peter 3:7. They became, “deceptive, untrustworthy, and unreliable.” 1
The men were even a “danger” to their wives as they abused them before sending them away.
The Lord no longer accepted the offerings from their hands, and they could not understand why, yet here is the reason:
"Yet you say, 'For what reason?' Because the LORD has been a witness
between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife
by covenant," (verse 14). They were further advised to "Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against
the wife of your youth.”
When a man abuses his wife, he is dealing treacherously with the wife of
his youth. To advise an abused woman to stay with her husband because God hates divorce is wrong. As shown
in Malachi chapter 2, God was very concerned about the way the wives were being treated. So much so, He was very angry, and
reminded the husbands that their prayers would be hindered.
No, God doesn’t like divorce, but let’s not stay stuck on that
verse alone. God has much to say about the way wives should be treated. She is part of a holy covenant, and should be honored
as an equal in that covenant. She is a partner within that covenant. And the covenant gives her many rights, especially one
of high honor.
Therefore, the right advice to the husbands should be, “Take heed then
to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth.” Read and study Malachi chapter 2,
and you will feel the love that God has for women, especially the wives of covenant. He hears their prayers, and dries their
tears with His love.
Do not be deceived,
God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
1. "treacherous." Dictionary.com Unabridged
(v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 26 Dec. 2007. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/treacherous>.