Divorce among Christians
Table of Contents Divorce among Christians
The Biblical Rationale 5
Common Views for the Different Interpretations 5
Lexical Analysis 6
Instructions for Divorce among Christians 8
Stressors in Marital Distress or Instability among Ghanaian Immigrant Couples in America 11
Relevance of the Stressors to the Exception Clause in Matthew 19:9 and 5:32 13
Divorce among Christians
Undoubtedly, religion is, and continues to be, a fundamental element in most marriages in different parts of the world. As an institution, marriage is crucial to human existence and further serves as a crucial avenue for people to partake in God’s creative activities through creation. God’s command, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ (Genesis 1: 28), can only be fulfilled in the context of marriage.
As a result, marriage is considered a precursor to the formation of a family, and given this, all cultures recognize its importance despite relativism. Among Christians, marriage is expected to be a life contract, hence the phrase, ‘till death do us part.’ This implies that divorce or separation is no option regardless of the circumstances.
However, the divorce and separation rates reported in today’s society have become problematic to Christians as marriages are crashing over irreconcilable differences. The socio-ethical impact of divorce is apparent, and solutions are elusive, regardless of the various measures applied by the Church, marriage counselors, and other concerned individuals or groups to minimize its recurrence.
As an African country, Ghana thrives with a rich cultural and religious heritage that informs and governs its people’s lives and activities. Culture and religion are significantly intertwined in a system referred to as religio-culture, which, when translated to marriage, highlights numerous challenges that include changes of family, ethnic group (clan, village, or tribe), and residence establishment in a new house by the newly wedded couple.
[What page is this from? I doubt if Brako said religio-culture breeds challenges for marriage] Nonetheless, different researchers concur that a correlation between restrictions, dreams, agencies, and realities serve as the pillars to family dynamics in transnational African migration to the United States or European countries.
Migration to an international destination produces profound social changes in receiving societies. As pointed out by sociodemographic studies, international migration can significantly increase divorce due to various reasons. Among the reasons identified include the fact that moving entails a stressful and life-changing event that leads to a higher divorce likelihood, especially when international borders are crossed.
Divorce among Christians
Additionally, migration policies applied in different nations have become more stringent, making it challenging for families to migrate. As a result, more couples and families end up separated geographically and challenged with the need to arrange family life transitions, which causes marital stress and eventually divorce [Source?] Therefore, this chapter’s essence entails exploring migration issues impacting Ghanaian Christian couples’ marriages in North America.
Divorce among Christians
It will determine the factors or stressors leading to distress and instability in marriages, including intimate conflict between couples, separation, or divorce among Ghanaian Christian couples who immigrate to America. Moreover, the project will analyze the role played by migration, whether the interpretation of marriage and divorce in biblical scriptures factors in the experiences of African’s traditional values and cultural norms.
These will be coupled with the determination of the steps the Church has taken to revert such occurrences and optimally address the issue. [That is not the purpose of this chapter. This chapter is to use Scripture to provide rationale for the project. This whole page is not needed]
Divorce among Christians
The Biblical Rationale
The increase in globalization and migration among Africans to other countries has contributed to socio-cultural dynamics affecting their marriages, leading to separation and divorce. Specifically, marriages have become unstable while divorce rates have skyrocketed [Really, where did you get this from, source?] among American populations in industrialized areas, particularly for unemployed women. As pointed out by König & and Regt, [Use their full names at first appearance] African couples in the diaspora are constantly grappled with numerous challenges in their marriage due to intimate partner violence as one of the significant factors driving high divorce rates. As a holy institution, the foundation of marriage traces back to the Biblical Eden, followed by several other analogies implying God’s decision and take on the union between man and woman. For instance, in Ephesians 5: 22-23, God likens marriage to the Church, while in Luke 14: 7-14, the parable of the wedding feast describes an eschatological rendition. Despite the significance of married highlighted, Arugu points out that each society faces distinct situations characterized by falling marriages, and couples can no longer tolerate each other, leading to divorce.
Common Views for the Different Interpretations [Wrong sub sectioning]
Although different opinions and ideologies exist on interpreting B biblical [Bible is B, biblical is small b] teachings on marriage and divorce, Christians generally agree on various aspects. On the one hand, Christians agree that the intended design for marriage, as put forth by God, comprised a covenant union [But in your conclusion and elsewhere, you said is a contract, stick to marriage as a covenant and why that impacts quality and stability, where in Scripture that it say a covenant, not just what “Christians” say] between a man and a woman for the rest of their lives. Specifically, Genesis 2: 24 exemplifies the one-flesh union that consists of one man and one woman who come together to establish a lifelong covenant. [This is where technical commentaries are needed. The source you mentioned does not deal with theological of covenant so why is it here? Please don’t make things up, not good] This union portrays a bond that should not be separated and that follows a design meant to promote the most fulfilling and satisfying life for humans. Thus, it is considered an elaborate depiction of God’s promise and loyalty to his people and the Church through Jesus. [How is this related to the dissertation or justify the need for the project?]
On the other hand, even though divorce is legal, [On other pages you mentioned that irrespective of the issues there is no divorce, which is which?] biblical teachings urge people to avoid it at all costs. Divorce among Christians is considered failure to adhere to God’s command and design for marriage and sin that has rendered humans unable to live as per the standard stipulated in scriptures such as Genesis 1 and 2. Specifically, most Christians are aware of the adverse eventualities associated with divorce and can identify its significance due to the Church’s cases. [How is this related to the dissertation or justify the need for the project?]
Lexical Analysis [This whole section is completely unnecessary because it does not tie to any preposition or why this project is needed. Besides it is poorly written, and I already have already written more on this that I could have easily copied but this is a dissertation and biblical rationale chapter]
In Matthew 19:1-12, Jesus engaged in a dialogue with the Pharisees after he entered Judea, a Gentile region.6 Akin to his travel in other regions, Jesus’ opponents approached him with a question aimed at trapping him into uttering words that would anger Herod or contradict Moses’ teachings. In verse three, the Pharisees posed a question to Jesus, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?’7 Entrenched in cultural, legal, and biblical grounds, Jesus understood their intentions and opted to reframe it based on marriage’s biblical foundation. [Poor writing] In verse four, he responded, ‘Haven’t you read…,’ implying that his listeners would better understand what he was about to say. [Wrong syntax analysis] Paradoxically, Jesus referenced the Torah from which the Pharisees drew their understanding of divorce law. [Not true Jesus referred to Genesis 1:26-27 and 2:24-25 and there is nothing about divorce in those texts. I doubt the theological skills being applied here, wow!] In his initial response, he urged [Really, Jesus urged them to ask a question?] the Pharisees to pose a second question, which he knew would trap him into saying something blasphemous.[What does this mean?] In verse 7, the Pharisees asked Jesus, ‘Why then did Moses command us to give divorce papers and send her away?’ in this question, and the Pharisees sought to provoke Jesus into the claim that Moses’ teachings were wrong. However, Jesus responded that the real reason Moses condoned divorce entailed ‘the hardness of their hearts’ mentioned in verse 8. Genesis 1: 9, Jesus taught about divorce, alongside the exception clause, which perplexed his disciples more than the Pharisees. In disgust, the disciples asked Jesus, ‘If the relationship of a man with his wife is as such, it’s better not to marry.’
Similarly, Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 7 portrays marriage from the perspective of the cross. More precisely, Paul’s interactions with the Corinthians fostered the teaching that marriage can distract spouses from the cross, and for single people, there are situations not to pursue it. Paul’s sentiment, ‘It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman,’ does not allude to his opposition to sex. God created the life-long union between man and woman, implying that he endorses sexual relations. Besides, Paul held high regard for marriage and sex. However, in a letter to the Corinthians, Paul sought to teach them to abide by their wives and the holy institution of marriage. Specifically, in the phrase, διὰ δὲ τὰς πορνείας ἕκαστος τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα ἐχέτω καὶ ἑκάστη τὸν ἴδιον ἄνδρα ἐχέτω, [What is this doing here? When I ask for skills in Biblical Greek as a requirement, it does not mean peppering the paper with a Greek sentences to prove a point. Where are the commentaries saying and what are the specifics of the tect impacting the subject of the research. For example 1 Cor 7:15 talks about ἄπιστος or unbeliever who might dissert and in “such cases” ἐν τοῖς τοιούτοιςwhat are the interpretation of such in relation to divorce, should in such cases include abuse as theologians like Wayne Grudem are advancing] can be translated to mean that ‘due to fornication after fornication, each on (of you husbands) should continue (in the sexual relationship) with (your) one wife, and each one (of you wives) should continue (in the sexual relationship) with your husband.’10 In this statement, Paul used the plural, πορνείας, to highlight the infamous sexual sins in Corinth. Most fundamentally, Paul recognized that fornication was running rampant in Corinth, but merely uttering words would not curb the sin.
In 1 Corinthians 7:2, Paul stated that an individual should have his spouse sexually and each wife should have her husband. Based on these words, Paul attempted to help the Corinthians develop a full appreciation for the physical marriage-bond put in place by their creator. Conversely, in verses 10 and 11, Paul addressed Christian couples who may have been considering divorce or separation. In Corinth, the divorce context was not considered Rabbinic Judaism since it was in Jesus’ day. Instead, across the Greek and Roman cities, the divorce law was interpreted to be that if an individual’s partner decided to divorce their spouse, they could do so by leaving. Similarly, divorce was interpreted as, if the individual owned the house, he or she should insist that the partner leaves. During this time, Paul’s teachings indicated that divorce ought to have been handled through separation based on no-fault or contest. However, no regulations or provisions existed protecting women as the requirement Judaism. If the couple proceeded to divorce in court, it was meant to determine how the property would be distributed instead of determining if they should break off their marriage. Akin to today’s society, when the couple divorced, society the partners as free individuals who would remmary.12
Instructions for Divorce among Christians
Following verses 10 and 11, Paul attempted to teach believers on whether they should divorce. For instance, he stated that God prohibited divorce or separation after marriage, or in the event of separation, another marriage. Similar sentiments are echoed in Malachi 2: 14-16, which states that although God hated divorce and initially created marriage for men and women, a provision or exception exists in Pentateuch’s divorce, especially across issues that involve uncleanness, which has been translated to imply adultery. In Jesus’ era, this provision has been interpreted by Rabbi Hillel’s followers as condoning divorce for any reason that did not please the husband. When confronted by the Pharisees about this issue, Jesus did not condone the widespread interpretation that accommodated divorce for any reason and further limited it to sexual immorality, porneia, meaning adultery in Matthew 5: 32; 19: 6-9.
In 1 Corinthians 7: 10-11, Paul interpreted Jesus’ words to the Christian believers who were married. For instance, Paul stated that ‘10To the married, I give this command (not I, but the Lord: A wife must not separate (chōrizō) from her husband. 11But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife).’ Under the NIV version, divorce is translated to aphiēmi, which implies releasing or dismissing someone from a particular place or situation. In the Greco-Roman context, Paul is portrayed to be referring to couples in which both partners are Christians, similar to the way Jesus addressed couples within the Jewish context.
Subsequently, Paul affirmed that the marriage binds the couple until death, echoed in Matthew 19: 4-6. Precisely, Paul stated that ‘Haven’t you read… that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female,’ and ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So, they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate.’ [The guide says don’t insert full passages into the text] In today’s society, divorce is associated with intense pain, distress, and psychological issues, even among Christians left to ponder over several issues, [Poor sentence structure] including whether they can remarry. [You mean Gravningen et al said this, which page?] For instance, when a spouse migrates to an international destination such as the United States, why is it challenging to maintain the marriage, or why does the couple drift away from the bond that initially brought them together. As Arugu puts it, the major contributor to the increase in rates of divorce in the twentieth century entails the widespread acceptance in society. More precisely, the increase in society’s tolerance of divorce has emanated from the relaxation of negative attitudes in Church. Besides, divorce is no longer perceived as sin by most religious denominations, and most nations, including Ghana, have adopted relatively moderate divorce laws.
Additional attributions to the increase in divorce rates in today’s society include less satisfaction among couples with their marriages than biblical times or a few decades ago. Similarly, the variation in cultural norms, social constructs, and realities between the two contexts, Ghana and North America, trigger different relationship experiences and determine the standard predictors of marriage outcomes. On the one hand, Ghana’s cultural and religious systems help its people in formulating internalized social constructs and norms that serve as the primary sources behavior patterns in a relationship. At the same time, marriage ceases to be a fundamental element in the society and transitions into a social construct. Although several studies exist on marriage and religion, they have been limited to the basic aspects of religiosity, including church attendance and affiliations. However, some researchers have extended their studies to proximal aspects of religion, fostering a better understanding of how married couples connect their religious faith to family life. This objective’s attainment has included aspects such as specific belief systems, the processes applied in meaning-making, and the impacts of religion on such meaning-making, alongside religious behaviors that extend beyond church attendance.
Despite the approaches used in determining religion’s role in curbing divorce rates, especially among couples who migrated to international destinations, [Migration is not just about people who migrated already married, check the project worksheet and the proposal outline to understand the research] the biblical interpretation of marriage, remarriage, and divorce follows the commands postulated across various scriptures. For instance, in 1 Corinthians 7: 10-11, Paul passed on commands from Jesus to shape marriages and deter divorce rates. Among these commands include that Christians should not get divorced or separated from their spouses. However, if divorce or separation are inevitable, the believers should remain divorced, single, or work towards reconciling their marriage. [Orr and Walter, never said anything like this, what page?]
Stressors in Marital Distress or Instability among Ghanaian Immigrant couples in America
Despite the underlying pressure to abide by specific cultural norms and social constructions in African countries, Christian couples experience various stress factors that significantly contribute to the prevalence of divorce rates. These stressors’ experience is primarily experienced by Christian couples who immigrate to different parts of the world, including the United States, as they are constantly expected to maintain their African traditions and further assimilate into the host nation’s cultures. For women, immigrating to North America from Ghana necessitates acquiring a new language and culture, alongside social status and income levels. In the Ghanaian context, women may have been predisposed and limited to relying on the husband as the sole income earner. Still, upon immigration, they face stressors that include finding employment, discrimination, culture shock, and linguistic changes. These stress factors are coupled with cultural barriers to necessary health and social services, lack of professional accreditation, and the need to secure affordable and safe housing.
Divorce among Christians
Conversely, for some women who migrate with their husbands, the process may translate to economic independence, social mobility, and relative autonomy. These elements occur when immigration is accompanied by a significant increase in participation in the labor market. The exposure to increased responsibilities in the economy and throughout society tends to alter the power distribution processes within the family, culminating in increased participation and authority over household decision-making and control over resources. At the same time, increased participation in the labor force intensifies the burden carried by Ghanaian women until they identify different ways of handling the conventional roles and responsibilities, including those of childcare and housework. These occurrences bring about a dramatic change in the power relationship within the marriage. Despite situations in which immigrating may improve the women’s social status, it does not change their roles and position within the family. [THIS WHOLE SECTION IS NOT NEEDED, I NEED BIBLICAL RATIONALE]
Relevance of the Stressors to the Exception Clause in Matthew 19:9 and 5:32
Following the stress factors faced by women in Christian marriages and who migrate with their husbands from Ghana to the United States, several allusions can be deduced in terms of their relevance to interpreting the exemption clause passed by Jesus. Specifically, in Matthew 5:23; 19:9, Jesus provided an exception that warranted divorce and remarriage if the reason for separation was adultery or sexual immorality. Among Christians, this exception indicates that unless the husband or wife commits adultery, the couple should abide by Paul’s command and in reference to Jesus’ teachings. It further indicates a consensus among Christians applied since its introduction by Erasmus in the sixteenth century. Nonetheless, the interpretation of this exception has, over time, changed to favor specific circumstances in which a couple seeks to separate.
As pointed out by Ferrante, the variations and challenges in interpreting the exception clause are based on the phrase ‘porneia.’ Different people hold distinct views regarding the phrase’s interpretation, with the least adoption option referring to an incestuous relationship. Nevertheless, the most likely held view is in reference to biblical chapters, such as Acts 15:20 and 29, which has interpreted the phrase porneia as forbidden marriages, as per Lev 18:6-18. Similarly, another set of interpretations of the phrase entails a forbidden or prohibited relationship between a Jew and a gentile through mixed marriage. These two interpretations are characterized by the Jewish context of Matthew’s Gospel, which may not be considered legitimate marriages that should be dissolved instead of involving the divorce process. The interpretation that best fits today’s Christian world and marriages entail the view of porneia as unchastity of betrothed men and women. Under this view, the interpretation of the phrase as sexual immorality without reference to marital unfaithfulness is based on its use in describing a situation in which the betrothed and not married yet.
As described herein, the various stressors facing Ghanaian women in Christian marriages and who have migrated to North America predisposes them to conditions that disregard and change gender roles and marital quality. Although the women or men in these marriages do not necessarily commit adultery, they engage in activities that lead to sexual immorality without reference to marital unfaithfulness. These circumstances further lead to divorce. The couple is forced to compromise by accepting the changes in gender roles and marital quality instead of adhering to the cultural norms, social constructions, and Christian values that initially bound them together. In Matthew 1:19, when Mary and Joseph were betrothed, she conceived Jesus. The verse further points out that ‘her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.’ In this case, Mary and Joseph are considered betrothed, mnesteuo, but Joseph is still considered her husband, aner.
The lexical correlation between these interpretations and those in today’s society exemplifies the significance of betrothal in Jesus’ era compared to engagement in the contemporary world. In the latter era, being betrothed meant the same as marriage as the couple had their intentions to get married or further made the necessary arrangements. The only difference between betrothal and marriage entailed abstinence from sexual intercourse until the coupled is united. Marcus. For instance, when Joseph decided to divorce apolysai, Mary quietly portrayed the end of a betrothal based on perceived porneia, committing adultery. The incident coincides with divorce in an entire marriage, which was considered a just act as it was at par with Jewish customs and the standards put in place by Jesus. Christian couples who have migrated to North America get divorced for reasons that do not include porneia, sexual immorality. Although the circumstances slightly differ, they have significantly contributed to the increase in divorce rates today. Besides, the Church does not reinforce marriage fundamentals before and after a couple enters the holy institution. [Apart from the quality of writing, what has all this got to do with the research at hand?]
Based on these factors, divorces among Ghanaian couples who have migrated to North America follow the interpretation in Joseph’s and Mary’s case. The circumstances leading to separation fall under the category of adultery. For instance, stressors such as lack of marital satisfaction, intimate partner violence, and different forms of distress play a fundamental role in the destabilization of marriage, leading to divorce. Before migrating, the couple understood and abided by the traditional and cultural norms that defined their family roles. Extended family members had a significant influence on the activities carried out in the family, while social constructs defined gender roles and participation in societal events. However, over time, these trends have drastically changed as people have become increasingly individualistic and further taken the laws into their hands. As a result, family values have significantly eroded, resulting in an increase in divorce in contemporary society.
Traditionally, both husbands and wives understood marriage as an indissoluble, sacred, and stable institution based on biblical teachings related to ‘what God puts together, no one should separate or put asunder,’ Matthew 19:6. [This is completely unnecessary statement, what does it proof?] Akin to the biblical allusions,[allusions overused term] marriage in Ghana and other African countries meant that no couples had the privilege [divorce is not a privilege] of discontinuing or dissolving the Christian relationship. For instance, after the marital exchange of vows, couples promised each other to remain in the marriage until death separated them. Upon migration in today’s society, numerous things have changed, and marriage is no longer a stable and steady institution. [This is below master’s level writing let alone PhD, please is anyone checking?] When in a new country with different cultures, social constructs, values, and rules, privileges, and opportunities, among others, a Christian couple is often faced with various issues that might dissolve their relationship. The cross-culturalization between these distinct nations influences the attitudes of the couple concerning marriage and divorce. For instance, the woman may want freedom from the traditional roles of childcare and looking after the family. At the same time, the man may desire to explore different cultures or pursue a different path.
Divorce among Christians
After conducting an in-depth exegetical analysis of the applicable scriptures, this project has further analyzed existing literature to acquire the relevant data related to the effects of migration on Ghanaian Christian couples’ marital quality and stability in North America. By harnessing Bbiblical teachings and principles applied in different contexts, the study has generated immense insights that may strengthen marriage and minimize divorce rates. Besides, the congruency between the biblical allusions and the scientific studies has played a fundamental role in questions such as how migrations affect the quality and stability of sub-Saharan African Christian couples in North America. Although the biblical allusions do not provide facts about the appropriate steps that should be taken [About what?], they provide relevance to Jesus’ teachings, among other scriptures that conform to God’s intention for humans. [Are you separating the Bible from Jesus?] More precisely, the biblical teachings indicated that marriage is an institution crucial to human existence and further serves as a crucial avenue for people to partake in God’s creative activities through creation. As per God’s command, for humans to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, marriage serves as the fulfillment and a precursor to a family’s formation. Given this, all cultures recognize its importance despite relativism.
Among Christians, marriage is expected to be a life contract bidding the parties involved commitment till death separates them.[Bad grammar] This implies that divorce or separation is not an acceptable option regardless of the circumstances.[Is that true, but you mentioned Jesus provided an exception?] However, the divorce and separation rates reported in today’s society have become a concern, even for Christians, as marriages are crashing over irreconcilable differences.[Bad writing] The social and ethical effects of divorce have thus become apparent. At the same time, solutions are undeniably elusive, and regardless of the various measures applied by the Church, marriage counselors, and other concerned individuals or groups to minimize its recurrence. Therefore, based on this section’s findings, different theoretical and analytical methods should be applied in determining the precise variables and measures that would foster answering the project questions.
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Divorce among Christians