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Topic: Causes of Divorce in Marriage

Objective: To lead each learner to be committed to help people overcome divorce.

Memory Verse: Malachi 2:16: “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel. “I hate it when one of you does such a cruel thing to his wife. Make sure that you do not break your promise to be faithful to your wife”

Name some people you know, who have divorced. Did you ever talk with them? What did they tell you were the causes of their divorce? Name some of the causes they shared with you.

In this lesson, it will be a good thing that you contribute your experiences with divorced people. This lesson may not be able to cover all the causes that you know. During the meeting, do well to share your experiences.

Causes of Divorce
In our African Society in general and Cameroon in particular, the things that provoke divorce can be grouped under two main points – internal and external causes.

1. Internal Causes of Divorce.
These are causes that come as a result of one or two of the couples’ behaviour. It means what takes place between the husband and the wife

a). Unfaithfulness: In Matthew 5:32, Jesus says the only reason one can divorce is when one partner becomes unfaithful (i.e. having sex with another man or woman apart from your husband or wife). This is a betrayal of trust.

b). Refusal of Sexual Relationship: Stronger sex partners have always forced weaker ones to resort to divorce. This is because they cannot bear their strength. In line with this too is sexual weakness mostly in the part of the man. People with this problem often become unfaithful and end up divorcing (1 Cor. 7:4-5).

c). Absences: Another internal cause of divorce is the regular absence of one partner in the home. What time do you come back to the home? Do you inform your partner where you always go? Absences from home cause many divorces.

d). Poverty: It also causes divorce. God commanded man to work and keep his home (Gen. 2:15). A lazy couple will hardly stay together for life. Where poverty is the problem, couples must remember to pray for God’s provision, instead of despising one another.

e). Lack of Communication: Many marriages have broken because of the lack of communication. If husband and wife cannot freely discuss their problems, there will always be problems.

f). Lack of basic Education: When one partner has no basic education, the tendency is that the other partner looks low on the other. Lack of basic education has broken marriages. Isn’t it good for everybody to attend primary school? What about moral education by parents?

g). Other Causes include stealing, lies telling, provocative talks, drunkenness, jealousy, lack of love and cooperation, etc. How do you feel when your husband or wife does the above mentioned ills? This attitude has led to divorce in some homes. If these behaviors are in a home, the couple should avoid them so as to stay happily together.

2. External Causes of Divorce.
Here we are making references to causes that are influenced by other people outside the marriage home.

a). The Influence of Parents-In-Law: Many divorces have occurred as a result of the intervention of parents-in-law. How do parents-in-law break up marriages? Name some marriages that were broken due to the intervention of parents-in-law cause divorces due the following reasons:
i). When the woman is not able to bring forth children: Barrenness has brought about many divorces in Africa. The purpose of marriage should not be to have children in order to stay together.
ii). Bad attitude of the woman towards the in-laws and vice versa: This comes as a result of pride, jealousy, hatred, lack of harmony, etc. The attitude of mothers and daughters-in-law should be like that of Naomi and Ruth.
iii). The persistent death of children: The parents-in-law would not tolerate a marriage where children delivered always die. Accept God’s will in such a case and pray for a change.

b). The Marriage Imposed by Parents: Most imposed marriages, most often, end up in divorce. This is because the individuals did not make the choice. Is it good to force a wife or husband on your children? If you have done that or you are planning to do that, the consequences may be divorce, if care is not taken. Even if your marriage was imposed, learn to love yourselves.

c). The Secular Law Court Encourages Divorce: People no longer take time to pray and seek for advice when there is a problem, since the law allows for divorce. In the western world, this is very common. The right of women has caused many homes in the west to be put apart. What do you understand, by “Women Liberation”? The changing world is bringing many new ideas. Let us not accept things which the Bible does not accept. How do you celebrate Women’s Day?

d). Unfaithful couples receive bad doctrines from friends or the ones with whom they commit sin: Sex outside marriage has brought sickness that has caused divorce. How faithful are you in your marriage home?

The causes above and many others are there to guide couples on how they live their lives as husbands and wives. Let every woman know and master all these causes of divorce. This knowledge is to help women and those who come to them for help. The next lesson on “solution to divorce” will be of help to all women who face this crisis.
1. What do you understand by the term “unfaithfulness”?
2. Is barrenness a sin? Should this bring about divorce?
3. What hinders communication in marriage?
4. To what extent should the role parents-in-law influence a marriage home?