Interestingly, on the heels of the laws regulating divorce, Moses writes of another law regarding the first year of marriage.
“5 “When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.” (Deu 24:5 NASB)
God prioritizes family over warfare.
Men were prohibited from being drafted into military service, nor could they be assigned any travel duties the entire first year of marriage. The placement of this law is telling, in that divorce may be prevented by the faithful adherence to this law which narrowed a man’s focus on his wife, in a special way, in his first year of marriage. This also would naturally increase opportunities for the marital bond and thus serve to make it more probable that children would be born to the couple as early in marriage as possible.
Such a law of exemption fostered healthy, happy, harmonious marriages and families; it afforded the opportunity for husband-wife affections to take a firm root; it enabled God to bless the couple with children. These provide strong guards against divorce.
It is interesting that many Christians today put off having children, when God teaches the exact opposite. God is so concerned about the marital bond and fruitfulness in marriage that he writes it into law!
One final note, modern Christians often wait until their children are grown and out of the house before they divorce. In this common cultural practice, we see that children can be a protection against divorce. God hates divorce. Christian couples need to work to put away sin, fulfill their God-given roles, and strengthen their marriages.
It is never too late to follow God’s law, and seek to implement His principles. God’s law is wise and for our good.