God Hates Divorce. But Why?

Most likely, you’re well aware of the numbers.  Research professionals tell us there is not much difference between the failure of marriages, whether those involved claim Christianity or not.  The Old Testament has much to say about divorce – the reasons permissible, those that are not, and the result of a dissolution.  The prophet Malachi speaks of God divorcing the Israelites because of their sin.  After all, God cannot coexist with evil.  In the New Testament, those concerned with the Law, attempted to trap Jesus with their questions about divorce.  Paul also had a few things to say about the subject.

Here’s something to chew on.  The marriage relationship is about several facets – spiritual, emotional, and yes, even physical.  A Biblical view of marriage entails giving up one’s selfishness to live in a selfless community.  The writer of Genesis is clear about this community when he writes of the two “becoming one flesh” (2:24).  When relationships are based upon God and His principles, selfishness isn’t an issue.  However, when one or both parties remove God from the equation, trouble will ensue.  And often times, trouble leads to demise.

So what’s the problem?  It’s been said, “Sin causes divorce.”  Although that’s true, in many ways it’s an oversimplification.

Divorce means a severing of community.  Of course this involves a marriage but also involves relationships in general.  God created mankind to live with each other, to live in relationship.  Sadly, all too often, relationships are dissolved because there is no relationship.  Sure!  We know about each other.  But do we really know each other?  In other words, relationship entails a knowledge much deeper than surface level stuff.  Relationships require effort.  And the fact of the matter is, unless God is involved in every genuine relationship you have, divorce will most likely follow.

Jesus Himself speaks of divorce in the Sermon on the Mount.  It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.  But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the grounds of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matt 5:31-32 ESV)

Based upon that text, how important was community to Jesus?  If one leaves a relationship simply to begin another, they are deemed an adulterer.  Not only that, but notice that even the one who is the “third party” commits adultery.

We think of divorce as being the end of a relationship between a man and wife.  However, it’s much more significant.  Divorce eliminates community.  Lack of community promotes arrogance and pride.

Do everything you possibly can to live in community!  As Jesus prayed in John 17:20 ff for unity, so we must also.  Relationship involves that with our Father and that with those around us.


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