Does God Permit Divorce?
Bible we see that God does permit divorce under certain
circumstances. God’s law given to the Israelites through Moses
permitted divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1-4).
When asked about divorce, Jesus referred to this Old
Testament law, and said there were two valid causes for divorce: adultery and hardness of
permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard.
But it was not this way from the beginning.
I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for
marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits
adds that this also applies to a
wife who initiates divorces against her husband:
said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of
divorce and send her away. “It
was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this
law," Jesus replied. But at the beginning of creation God
'made them male and female. For
this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united
to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So
they are no longer two, but one.
what God has joined together, let man not separate."
When they were in the house again, the disciples asked
Jesus about this. He
answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another
woman commits adultery against her.
she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits
doesn’t the Bible say in Malachi 2:16
that God hates divorce?
Let’s look at Malachi 2:16:
LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your
youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your
partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. So guard yourself in
your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
“I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of
passage shows that like divorce, God also hates violence in
marriage. Is it
divorce or violence that violates the marriage covenant?
This scripture implies that both do. Certainly
domestic violence and abuse are “hardness of heart” that
violate marriage vows to honor and protect.
Though God does not want divorce, this may not mean that it
isn’t necessary in some cases. God, Himself, divorced the
northern tribes of
Bible also validates divorce in the case of a believing spouse
married to an unbeliever who wishes to leave the relationship.
In Paul's view, if an unbelieving spouse does not wish to
stay in a marriage with a believer, the believing spouse is
released from his/her marriage vows:
To 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. And
if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing
to live with her, she must not divorce him.
But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing
man or woman is not bound in such circumstances.
(1 Corinthians 7:12-13 NIV)
may be difficult as at times to fully understand how to apply the
scriptures concerning divorce.
Seeking godly counsel and the guidance of the Holy Spirit
can help. We have the
comfort of knowing that God understands us and knows our heart.
If we truly try to follow Him, our hearts need not condemn
us (Romans 8:1,2)
Guy. Divorce and
Remarriage, 1967. Bethany
Lugt, Herb. Divorce And Remarriage In Cases Of Abuse, 2005.