Bill Smith, a fellow teaching elder in the PCA, has put together a great piece on divorce over at his blog The Christian Curmudgeon. The Westminster Confession of Faith has given two reasons for divorce. The first is that of adultery, in which the offending party has had actual physical relations with someone other than their spouse, thereby breaking the one-flesh union of the couple. The other is desertion, in which one spouse leaves the other.
He discusses both positions and shows that the two reasons are biblical. He also gives us a good section on the church’s responsibility in the matter:
What is the responsibility of the church? The church’s responsibility is (1) to train its youth according to the Biblical teaching regarding sexuality and marriage; (2) to do everything possible to strengthen the marriages of its members; (3) to uphold Biblical standards regarding the grounds for divorce; (4) to approach every troubled couple with love, understanding, and help with the goal of restoring the relationship; (5) to support the party who does not cause the divorce*; (6) to minister to the needs of children for whom divorce is almost always destructive; (7) to seek pastorally, with humility and showing grace, to help the erring party to repent and find forgiveness, according to his/her profession; and (8) as a last resort to use the Bible’s disciplinary process (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Galatians 6:1) to uphold the honor of Christ, to protect the purity of the church, and to reclaim the person who (it is be hoped) had temporarily gone astray.
Read the rest of the article here.