What Does God Think About Divorce?

What Does God Think About Divorce?


The pain of falling out of love with someone, or someone falling out of love with you, is as profound as any you will feel in this life.

The question of how God feels about divorce is a tricky one. The Bible doesn’t touch on the topic often, and Christians of different denominations and time periods have interpreted God’s word in very different ways. Some believe that divorce is never acceptable, while others believe it is acceptable under very specific conditions. Others take a more liberal view, believing that God understands that divorce is an important mechanism for some couples to move on from painful relationships.

Let’s take a look at God’s word for what He said about divorce.

Jesus’s Words

Jesus addresses the question of divorce in Matthew 19. His words refer the reader to Genesis and the creation of Adam and Eve. Noting that God made both man and woman, he further explains “therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”.

The joining of two into one is critical in this passage. So critical, in fact, that Jesus emphasizes it again, noting a married couple “are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate”.

Some have interpreted this as a condemnation of the practice of divorce altogether. However, Jesus elaborates when asked about Moses’s decision (through God’s will) to allow a man a certificate of divorce in Deuteronomy.

Exceptions to the Rule

Jesus explains it is because of mankind’s “hardness of heart” that Moses, speaking God’s words, allowed a divorce to occur in Deuteronomy. The “hardness of heart” in question is interpreted to refer to the Original Sin, when Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and found themselves cast out of the Garden of Eden.

So, while God once bound man and woman together in matrimony, humanity has since fallen. Because of this, some scenarios could necessitate divorce, a sad reality that Jesus sees as a symptom of humanity’s inherently sinful nature.

The Bible gives two examples of situations that make a divorce acceptable in God’s eyes: in the case of infidelity or when a non-Christian spouse wants a divorce from a Christian. In those specific cases, humanity’s “hardness of heart” has created situations in which a Christian can get a divorce and not run afoul of God’s law.

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