The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:7-11; ESV).
To me, this is just more than a "tag-line" on my business card. It reminds me that, in an imperfect world, God's word can be relied upon in all situations.
There are laws concerning divorce. In Deuteronomy, a husband could write a certificate of divorce if is wife "finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her." In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Later in Matthew, Jesus explained to the Pharisees, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so." (Mt 19:8).
There are those that use these passages to forbid divorce- and that would be ideal. This is not an ideal world, it is a fallen world. We see in Jeremiah "If a man divorces a his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? declares the LORD. Life up your eyes to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been ravished? By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers like an Arab in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your vile whoredom." It continues, Israel's sister Judah "saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Isreal, I had her sent away with a decree of divorce." (Jer 3:1-2, 8). Even Joseph, "being a just man and unwilling to put [Mary] to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly." (Matt 1:19). The divorce in Jeremiah is figurative, but God through His profit demonstrates the result of Israel's unfaithfulness. Joseph considered divorce but was ultimately swayed by an angel of God. We should not use a fallen world as an excuse but recognize the fallen world of mankind as the reason for ALL of our sins. As long as we continue to live in the world, there will be divorce. What then should we do?
I believe that Nehemiah provides some guidance. When confronted with a problem, his first action was prayer. After Nehemiah prayed, he did his research. Nehemiah examined the problem before him and arrived at a plan. Nehemiah gathered the people who would help him and dealt with opposition. Nehemiah realized that there would be those who opposed him, but he did not strike back- he prayed for help and guidance. Finally, he held himself and others accountable so that he was an example to the people.
With Nehemiah in mind, my plan is set forth is I Corinthians 6. Rather than go before the Court to settle matters, I prefer to settle matters through reasoned and reasonable discourse. Paul asks, "Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute...?" If both parties and both attorneys keep this in mind and humble themselves to seek guidance, I believe that most lawsuits can be avoided. Even if situations devolve into acrimony I, with God's help, try to maintain a reasoned and reasonable attitude.