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  • Is Divorce a Sin for Slavic Christians?

    Dear Slavic Christians, 

    I often hear people say, “Divorce is a sin,” while these same individuals minimize or deny the other sins that are taking place in our community such as emotional, physical, sexual, psychological, or spiritual abuse. As long as this remains the case, survivors will stay in bondage to their abusers and the latter will continue to inflict pain that will continue to go unpunished. 

    We either say everything that scripture calls a sin (such as the latter) is a sin or we choose the doctrine we want to follow based on whether we agree with it or not. 

    Abuse is just as wrong in God’s eyes as two people joined in heaven that break their covenant and chose not to stay together until “death do them part.”

     The difference is, divorce doesn’t attack one’s identity and soul like abuse or sexual sin does (at least it doesn’t have to). 

    Many women in my community are coming to my office seeking answers on how they should act in the case that their narcissistic spouse destroys them mentally, emotionally, and/or physically and often end their question with, “What do I do about my pain if divorce is a sin, do I continue to tolerate it? What about my children’s safety and mental health?” 

    I ask them, “Is your spouse’s abusive behavior less of a sin if it’s a direct attack on you, God’s creation? Is violating your body, mind, and spirit less worthy of conviction than walking away from such a spouse? Is the example they’re setting for your children worth living with?” 

    Clients often struggle with how to respond because they’re never been told that they had value in God’s eyes and deserve to be respected and treated as such. 

    As we continue to process through the incongruencies of the messages our culture teaches, I tell my clients that each person makes their own decision of the life they want to live and with whom (God gave them free will to make), but it all comes down to one thing: “Will walking away from an abuser honor God if it repairs your faith, hope, and security in Christ compared to staying in an environment that wrecks it and turns you away from Him (as is often the case with victims)?”

    A follow-up question that I ask is, “Does your spouse even want to change, or does staying with them support these destructive patterns and make it continue?”

    Dear Slavic Christian reader and the greater community, these questions are worth asking. 

    These observations are worth exploring from the pulpit and in couples counseling by pastors. 

    To say that divorce is a sin but turning a blind eye to abuse is not, dishonors God and His creation.

    There are too many spiritual, emotional, and physical lives at stake if these misconceptions are taught without teaching the value of the person being hurt. There are too many perpetrators that will continue to inflict pain upon generations (as has been done to them previously) if we stay silent about these issues.