God hates divorce

According to what the Bible says, God hates divorce.

Malachi 2:16

16 “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the LORD Almighty.
So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.

There is a law of marriage from which one is released upon death of the spouse.

Romans 7:1-3

1Do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to men who know the law—that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? 2For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. 3So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.

Having said that, we need to realize that anyone who divorces, causes the one being left to become an adulterer, as well as the one who marries the divorced person.

Matthew 5:31-32;

31“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce. 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

When asked if it is lawful for someone to divorce for any reason, Christ said what God has joined together, no man should separate. When pressed, Jesus said that Moses PERMITTED divorce because of the hard hearts of the people, but that it was not that way from the beginning. The only permissible reason Jesus mentioned for divorce is infidelity.

Matthew 19:3-9

3Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

4“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

7“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

8Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

Luke 16:18

“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Believing spouses should not separate, but especially should not divorce:

1 Corinthians 7:10-11

10To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate 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.

But if an unbelieving spouse leaves a believing one, the believer is free, not bound in such a circumstance.

1 Corinthians 7:12-15

12To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

15But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.

So then, God hates divorce. While divorce is permissible, it is never required. But there are some cases in which divorce is permissible. One of those would be marital infidelity on the part of the other. Another case where divorce is allowed is where an unbelieving spouse leaves a believing one.

2 Responses

  1. Actually your interpretation of what Jesus is saying from the Gospels is too simplistic and is not taking into consideration the Jewish laws about divorce, and the context of why Jesus is saying what he did.

    He is actually rebuking the Scribes and Phariscees who precribed to the oral law that a man could divorce his wife for any reason…

    The law you fail to mention and one that Jesus does not speak into is where women could divorce their husbands for not providing for them, giving them intimacy, and being overly harsh with them… see exodus.
    In Jesus day women could divorce their husbands, though it was the husband who had to grant it. If the husband didn’t the priests would have him flogged till he gave it.

    So we see a tension happening here in the Gospels that the men are arguing they can divorce their wifes for any reason and better they blame the woman on it…before they are blamed by the woman.

    The other issue you have not mentioned is about Abuse, whether it be physical, emotional, verbal, spiritual… I wholeheartedly believe its ok for a spouse to divorce the other in those circumstances.

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