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What Does The Bible Say About Divorce?

Human beings struggle through the consideration and decision to divorce. It doesn’t matter whether a person is a Christian or not; divorce is a serious dissolution of a marital union. Regardless of whether or not you still love the person, filing a divorce can cause sorrow and pain. This is because human beings have an innate desire to belong to a union or relationship. As Christians, it is vital that we have a clear view on this topic. Our guide in understanding divorce should be the Bible, and while the Bible’s teaching regarding divorce is broad, we will narrow our focus to Jesus’ teaching.

There are actually two specific things that the Bible says about divorce: a Christian may divorce their non-Christian spouse if the non-Christian spouse wants a divorce (1 Corinthians 7:12-16), and adultery is considered grounds for divorce (Matthew 5:31-33). 

God Hates Divorce

No matter what view one takes regarding the issue of divorce, it is important to note that the God of Israel, the one true God, hates divorce. He said in Malachi 2:16, “I hate divorce.” God designed marriage to be a lifetime commitment. In fact, it is said in Matthew 19:6: “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 

The Pharisees tested Jesus Christ on the issue of divorce in Mark 10:2-9 and the response of our Lord was focused on the “two becoming one flesh”. In verse 10, the disciples asked Jesus to explain His answer. As was His custom, He explained His teaching to His disciples, stating that marriage should be a permanent bond between one man and one woman. Jesus emphasized that whoever divorces his or her spouse and marries another is committing sin (10:11-12). It is clear how Jesus affirmed the permanence of a marital union or marriage bond. However, since He knows about the depravity of man’s heart, a marriage or marital union can be dissolved under certain circumstances, which are mentioned in Matthew 19.

Christians Should Hate Divorce

Since our God hates divorce, we Christians should hate it as well. Remember that the path to hope is not the path of divorce. Planning a divorce is planning a sin, which is not accompanied by the promises of Jesus. The reason we should prohibit the dissolution of marriage is that marriage was created by God from the very beginning. It is an expression of the covenant-keeping love of Jesus Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:22-33).

Put divorce out of your mind and obey God. Don’t ever think about it or consider it. Declare this to yourself in the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit, This is not an option for me. There is no way I am going to pursue this. It might seem like a better way, but I love Jesus and my heart rests on His commandments. If your spouse has wronged you, practice forgiveness first. Pray to God and remember what Jesus did. He is a merciful God and can restore whatever brokenness there is in our hearts and in our marriage. Pray long and hard and remember that hope does not disappoint. Pray that your partner will change, but don’t stake your happiness on that change, as this can lead to anger and disappointment.

Hold fast to what is true. Think of what Jesus did for His bride, which is His church. Don’t stop believing in miracles. There might be some suffering or hardship along the way, but this should not be a reason for you to separate what God has joined together.

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