"GOD HATES DIVORCE!" INTRODUCTION 1. A troubling trend was revealed by a recent survey from The Barna Group... a. Born again Christians are just as likely to divorce as are non-Christians. b. Among married born again Christians, 35% have experienced a divorce. That figure is identical to the outcome among married adults who are not born again: 35%. c. Barna's figures show that nearly one-quarter of the married born agains (23%) get divorced two or more times. -- cf. The Barna Group (

2. The apparent reason? Evidently many do not believe divorce can be
a. Although Bible scholars and teachers point out that Jesus taught
that divorce was a sin unless adultery was involved, few Americans
buy that notion.
b. Only one out of every seven adults (15%) strongly agreed with the
statement “when a couple gets divorced without one of them having
committed adultery, they are committing a sin.”
c. A majority of both Protestants (58%) and Catholics (69%) disagreed
that divorce without adultery involved the commission of sin.
— ibid.

[A survey like this reveals the need for constant reminder of what God
has spoken concerning divorce. God hates divorce, and the reasons why He
has made that clear….]


1. Note carefully Deu 24:1-4
2. Moses forbid the first husband taking his wife back after she
had remarried (even if her second husband died)
3. The reason: despite the bill of divorce from the first
husband, marriage to the second husband had ‘defiled’ her!
– Deu 24:4
4. Notice these comments by Keil & Delitzsch..
a. “The second marriage of a woman who had been divorced is
designated by Moses a defilement of the woman…a moral
defilement, i.e., blemishing, desecration of the sexual
communion which was sanctified by marriage, in the same
sense in which adultery is called a defilement in Lev 18:20
and Num 5:13,14…”
b. “Thus the second marriage of a divorced woman was placed
implicit upon a par with adultery, and some approach was
made towards the teaching of Christ concerning marriage (Mt
— In the words of Moses, we begin to see why God hates divorce:
it can lead to moral defilement akin to adultery!

1. Note carefully Mal 2:13-16
2. God did not receive the sacrifices of the priests because they
had divorced their wives
3. God makes it clear that He hates divorce, and gives the reason
why – Mal 2:16
4. God hates divorce because:
a. It covers one’s garment with violence
b. It treats one’s spouse with treachery
— In the words of God Himself, divorce is a violent and
treacherous act; to which many innocent spouses and the
children of divorce can testify!

[Christians do well to seriously consider these words in the OT (cf. Ro
15:4; 2 Ti 3:16-17). Even more so, they should pay careful heed to what
God has said about divorce…]


1. Note carefully Mt 5:31-32
a. Many scribes and Pharisees taught that divorce was
permissible for any reason, as long as a certificate of
divorce was granted
b. Jesus taught that divorce led to adultery, unless
fornication was the cause of divorce
2. Note carefully Mt 19:3-9 (cf. Mk 10:11-12; Lk 16:18)
a. The Pharisees thought that divorce was permissible, as long
as a certificate of divorce was granted
b. Jesus first explained that Moses’ permitted divorce because
of the hardness of their hearts, but it was not God’s will
from the beginning (of creation)
c. Jesus then provides the only ground for divorce without it
leading to adultery: if the innocent spouse puts away his
or her spouse for fornication – Mt 19:9
— Jesus allows only one reason for divorce: when a spouse is
guilty of fornication!

1. Note carefully Ro 7:1-4
a. Here Paul is using what the Law taught on marriage for the
purpose of illustration
b. Even the Law taught that a woman was bound to her husband
for life
c. Even if she legally divorced her husband, she became an
adulteress when she remarried
2. Note carefully 1 Co 7:10-16
a. Paul reminds them of what the Lord Himself taught – 1 Co 7:
1) A wife is not to depart her husband; a husband is not to
divorce his wife
2) If a wife leaves her husband, she must remain unmarried
or be reconciled
b. Paul reveals more concerning marriages with unbelievers
– 1 Co 7:12-16
1) Believers are not to divorce unbelieving spouses if they
are willing to live with them
2) If unbelieving spouses depart, believers are not in
bondage (to fulfill their marital obligations, in my
— Paul reinforced Jesus’ teaching on divorce, and permitted
separation only when initiated by an unbeliever!


1. From what we have briefly considered, the following can be gleaned…
a. God intends for marriage to be for life
b. God hates divorce, for it is a violent and treacherous act
c. He does not release the married from their marriage simply because
they get a divorce
d. Unless divorce is for the grounds of fornication, any remarriage
results in adultery!
— And we do well to remember what is said about fornicators and
adulterers – He 13:4

2. What can be done to stem the tide of divorce? It requires commitment
a. Obeying God’s Word concerning marriage and divorce – Mt 7:21; Lk
b. Loving the spouses of your youth – Ecc 9:9; Pro 5:18
c. Applying commands concerning husbands and wives – Ep 5:22-33; Co
3:18-19; Ti 2:4
— Otherwise, it will be fruitless to claim to be followers of God
– cf. Psa 50:15-23

If we are guilty of causing adultery by divorcing, or are in an
adulterous marriage, there is forgiveness for those who repent… – 1 Co
6:9-11 (though it may require celibacy, cf. Mt 19:10-12)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2006

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