What does the Bible say about Divorce?

To understand what the Bible says about marriage and divorce, we must first understand what the Bible says about God’s loving heart regarding His intention for marriage, and the hardened heart of mankind due to his fallen nature and tendency to commit sin. God’s original intention for marriage was for a man and a woman to complement one another and contribute to the unity of their relationship with mutual love, benefit, and childbearing (Gen. 2:18-24). God is very clear about how He feels about divorce in Malachi 2:16where He says, “I hate divorce.”God hates divorce because it was not His original intention for the marriage covenant. So, does that mean that God is not tolerant of divorce?

God’s loving nature is tolerant of divorce because of His love and care of everyone in the marriage. He even made provisions for divorce in the Law of Moses. Deuteronomy 24:1says “If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce.”Because there is no specific reason for divorce stated in that scripture, and quick divorce became a common occurrence by the time of Jesus. The religious leaders asked Jesus about divorce and his reply is very telling: “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning“(Matt 19:8). God’s tolerance (often called “longsuffering” in Scripture) was due to mankind’s hardened heart. It was hardened against God’s intention for marriage to be a lifetime covenant between man and woman.

New Testament scriptures also make provisions for divorce and remarriage. 1 Corinthians 7:27-28 says, “Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned.”

God’s love and concern is not limited to the covenant of marriage itself but extends to all those in that covenant. The mental health, safety, and well-being of the husband, wife, and children are also concerns of God. When the husband or wife’s heart becomes hardened and the safety and wellbeing of the family becomes threatened, Scripture tells us that God understands and tolerates divorce.

For a more detailed study on this subject, see the links below:




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