When Joseph found out his fiancee Mary was already pregnant before they were married, by the law he had a right to have her stoned to death, but he chose the way of kindness, expressed by giving her mercy: “And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.”The reason it bothers me is because I'm worried someone will think it means that in their situation getting a divorce would be a kindness. Certainly it was in this circumstance, but the reason it was in this situation is because the other option would be to stone Mary to death for infidelity. Joseph's kindness was that he was willing to put his own reputation on the line and let her live.
In most societies these days, there is no death penalty for infidelity. And indeed, the Bible makes it clear that divorce is really not a good first option, even in the case of adultery. Jesus said on several occasions, "...everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery." The apostle Paul wrote, "To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife."
That said, the Scripture does allow for divorces. My belief is that divorce should be a final option to end physical or mental abuse by one partner who refuses to stop. That said, the Bible uses marriage as a symbol of the relationship between Christ and the Church, so if both partners are fully willing to reconcile, it can become a beautiful picture of how loved each of us is by our Father God.
Divorce is not a kindness. Divorce rarely does more harm than good. If you feel yourself seriously considering that as an option, spend some time in prayer first, and please get some good solid counseling from a qualified Christian marriage counselor before you go that route.
For references to the Scriptures quoted above and for more Scriptures about Divorce and some great ones about Marriage too, visit our sister site, ScriptureMenu.com.