Just before Naghmeh Sabedini reiterated her charges of abuse against her persecuted husband, Christian Today published: Why evangelicals pray for persecuted pastors rather than battered women.*
Ed Cyzewski explains that God only hates divorce when it doesn’t come with cash and prizes:
It won’t serve us well to simply drop the teachings of Jesus on divorce into today’s context. At the time of Jesus, women had few rights, and Jewish men were permitted to divorce their wives for the slightest infraction, simply stating in public that they are now divorced. Women were then left destitute with few options to support themselves.
Where would these women live? How would they earn money? How would they arrange to have another marriage?
These concerns, that are quite foreign to us, were at the forefront of Jesus’ teaching (see Matthew 19:1-9). When he limited divorce to marital unfaithfulness, he was intending to primarily limit the men, not the women. Jesus didn’t provide a timeless template. He was providing a culturally recognisable protection for women. The clear implications of Jesus’ teaching on marriage in his context are that the safety and well-being of women is a top priority because a divorced woman in his day was highly vulnerable.
*H/T David Wiley