Does God Condone Divorce?

Divorce has become an accepted way to get out of a marriage that doesn’t suit us. This is exactly why the “no fault divorce” came into being. You no longer have to have a reason for a divorce; you just have to want one.

Some statistics says that half of all marriages end in divorce. Other statistics say that it is higher than that. Another statistic says that the rate of divorces has been dropping. However, this does not take into account that the number of people that are getting married is also dropping. So if you live together (and are not legally married) and you separate, there is no legal divorce.

The Cause of Divorce

If you read the legal reasons for divorce, there are many but the most common one in our modern time is simply incompatibility. Why do couples become incompatible with each other (or for any other reason for that matter)? It is simply because one (or both) are saying, “I want my own way and I deserve what I want.” Yes, divorce happens simply because one (or both) put themselves and their desires above their spouses.

The problem is that in today’s society, this has become an accepted behavior. “My happiness is what is important.” But why do we say this? The reason is found in one word, “pride.” “I think that I and my feelings, wants and desires are more important than anything or anyone else. “In other words: “I am more important than anyone else.”

Think about this. Who is the father of pride? Read Isaiah 14 and you will find that it is Lucifer, who we know as Satan. When pride causes us to do what we do, who are we emulating? Think about it. When we divorce, who are we following, God or Satan?

Does God Condone Divorce?

Perhaps the strongest statement that God makes concerning divorce is found in Malachi 2. The people were wondering why God was rejecting their sacrifices and offerings.

Malachi 2:14-16 (NKJV): “Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously, yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. ‘For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,’ Says the Lord of hosts. ‘Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.’”

Here, God is telling the Israelites that He hates divorce so much that He is rejecting their sacrifices and offerings. Then He also tells them why. The men are divorcing their wives and destroying families. Why is this so important? Again, God tells them. “He seeks godly offspring.” You see, the only way to raise up God-fearing children is in a stable, God-fearing home.

I know, many single parents have raised up God-fearing children, but ask any of them. It was not easy. Neither is it very common. Look around you. Most single parent families are not raising God-fearing children. So what God said in Malachi 2 is correct.

Jesus Gives God’s View of Divorce

When the Pharisees asked Jesus why Moses allowed divorce, Jesus told them: Matthew 19:8 (NKJV) “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.”

Jesus went on to say that there was one exception to God’s rule of no divorce. Matthew 19:9 (NKJV) “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

Why is this an exception to God’s rule of no divorce? It is because the married person who commits adultery breaks the covenant that was created between him and his wife. The same is true when the wife commits adultery. Thus, the unfaithful spouse breaks the bond that God created between them. The innocent spouse is then set free from that bond.

God is saying that marriage is so sacred that nothing can destroy it except by one of the members of that marriage committing adultery and thus breaking the bond that God created.

Paul Gives God’s Command Concerning Divorce

Paul also says that he has a command directly from God concerning divorce. I Cor. 7:10-13 (NKJV) “Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband, who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.”

Notice that Paul’s second comment (that he says is from him, not God) is simply to further explain the command that God has given.

This certainly negates no-fault divorce. God is saying that there is no justification for divorce, even if you are married to a non-Christian.

Will God Forgive Divorce?

There is only one sin that cannot be forgiven and that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29). There has been much speculation as to what this sin is, but it certainly is not divorce. So, Yes, God will forgive divorce.

However, God’s forgiveness and the physical repercussions of divorce are two different things. While you are here on this earth, you must still live with the heartaches and problems caused by divorce. These include payments of ex-wife support and child support. It also includes the problems that are created in the lives of any children that are involved. So many times the children are so devastated by the divorce that they are never able to establish stable marriages themselves.

However, listen carefully to this. If you are planning a divorce and you say in your heart “All I have to do is ask God for forgiveness and He has to forgive me,” remember one thing. God will forgive only when you truly repent in your heart. If you divorce with the attitude that God has to forgive you, you will find it very hard to truly repent in your heart.

Also, remember this very important point. To repent means that you truly desire to turn things around and make things right again. Are you willing to reconcile with your wife/husband if the opportunity arises? If your wife/husband has not remarried, are you willing to remarry, or at least, (if you are the ex-husband) cheerfully support her. If not, how can you say that you have repented?

Yes, God will forgive divorce. However, keep in mind that repentance also includes the obligation to make right any damages that the divorce caused. To find out more about this read the section on “Divorce” in my article “What Is Marriage?


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