Overview: This is Myth 17 of 27 Myths about divorce that aren't likely to be true of committed Christians who love God and take their faith seriously. These messages make us worry if we're pleasing God. They make us second-guess ourselves when we try to get ourselves and our children to safety. Many of us have heard these messages all our lives and wanted to avoid them.  So although these myths may be true for people who are selfish or immature, they aren't true for a person who invested their heart and soul into the relationship, even when the other person didn't.  See all the myths on one page. See the next myth.

MYTH: Marriage is God’s best way to mature you.

TRUTH : God matures us in many ways, not only through marriage. He can mature us through a life-saving divorce and through rebuilding our lives afterward.

This myth says that marriage is God’s greatest tool for making people mature. Many pastors preach that the highest calling for Christians is marriage and children; and as a corollary to this, they warn believers that to divorce is to walk away from God’s best plan for your life.

Although this may sound good, there’s no biblical basis to the idea that marriage matures a person more than other influences in life. Jesus wasn’t married, and the Apostle Paul was single. Certainly, they matured without being married. They also both taught that singleness was an honorable and godly state of being.

It’s important to remember that, at the time of Jesus, in the Roman Empire under Caesar Augustus, it was illegal for a widow to stay single more than two years or for a divorced woman to stay single more than eighteen months.[1] In the ancient world, including Judea at the time of Jesus, it was unthinkable that a person would remain single after a divorce or widowhood. It was their fundamental right and obligation to remarry. [2]

So when we see in the Bible that Jesus and Paul taught that singleness and marriage are both options (Matthew 19:10-11; 1 Corinthians 7:6-7), we recognize what a radical concept this was at their time. Paul even put singleness above marriage. Many early church fathers did, too.

A lot of people develop maturity and character from their jobs, their friendships, good parents, teachers, pastors, platoon leaders, and supervisors.

God has many ways of maturing us, and marriage is just one of many. When it comes to an abusive or dangerous marriage, sometimes getting out is the path to maturity in Christ!


1 “Marriage, Weddings and Love in Ancient Rome,” Facts and Details (2018), accessed 9/2/19, http://factsanddetails.com/world/cat56/sub369/item2074.html.

2  David Instone-Brewer, Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), 299.

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