What the Bible says about Divorce
Does the Bible state that God permits divorce? The answer is that the Bible might appear to permit divorce for Jews and even Christians, but is this the clear truth when the whole Bible is viewed, rather than just a few verses? Let’s look at the scriptures concerned.......
Deuteronomy 24:1&2 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give [it] in her hand, and send her out of his house.And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's [wife].
This would seem to indicate that divorce is permitted, at least for Jews, for whom Deuteronomy was written as a "rule book". However, what does the New Testament say? What does Jesus say?
Matthew 5:31&32 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
This is repeated in the Gospel of Luke, omitting the fornication element.
Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from [her] husband committeth adultery.
However, rather than place too much emphasis on whether or not the fornication issue is important, let us assume for a minute that there is a justified reason for which you can divorce, namely fornication/adultery. Is this therefore the chosen route for a true Christian? What does the Bible say?
Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
So clearly, even if our spouse had been unfaithful (the only reason - if any- for which divorce is permitted), we should be forgiving them, not divorcing them. That is the Christian way.
Also, how is divorce effected in most countries? Through the courts. Do the scriptures permit this? This is what the Bible says;
1 Corinthians 6:6&7 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather [suffer yourselves to] be defrauded?
So again, the scriptures show which direction should be taken, and it is not divorce. Yet has God changed His mind on this issue, between the Old and New Testaments?
Matthew 19:3-9 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made [them] at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
This was God's only plan. It was because of the hardness of human hearts that God overlooked such actions in the past, yet that time is gone. Clearly the Bible says that divorce is wrong.