Dear Pastor:

    How does God look upon divorce and remarriage in the Bible? Pt. 1.

Dear Reader,

    The Bible seems to be quite clear on the topic of divorce and remarriage.  The Lord Jesus Christ has made it explicit enough for us to know what our duties are towards our spouses.

    In tackling this question we must first of all review what God said when he married Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Here is what we read: (Gen 2:23 KJV) And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  (Gen 2:24 KJV) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

     The first thing we learn from this passage is that God said that a man must forsake all and cleave unto his wife.  Then how does God look upon 'uncleaving' from, or, divorcing one's wife or husband?  We find a very interesting statement in Moses.  He wrote: (Deu 24:1 KJV) 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.  In this passage Moses says that if any man wishes to divorce his wife, then in order to do so one has to furnish her with a bill of divorcement. 

     The reason why Moses demanded a bill of divorcement, without which one could not divorce, is that women must be treated fairly and kindly, living at that time in a male dominated society.  Because women were treated unfairly in society at that time (although under the Jews the lot of women was a lot better than in many other societies), Moses sought to protect them and preserve morality among the Jews.  But there is something more that we can add to this picture that is not explicit when we read the passage in Deuteronomy.  And Jesus Christ completed this picture.  Here is what he said: (Mark 10:5 KJV) And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.  (Mark 10:6 KJV) But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.  (Mark 10:7 KJV) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; (Mark 10:8 KJV) And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.  (Mark 10:9 KJV) What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

     These passages tell us that Jesus said that it was never God's intention that men should divorce their wives, or, for today, that women should divorce their husbands.  And God, himself, actually said something about divorcing; here is what he said: (Mal 2:14 KJV)...Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.  (Mal 2:15 KJV) And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.  (Mal 2:16 KJV) For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

     This passage actually tells us that God hates divorces, and dealing "treacherously" or unfaithfully with one's wife or husband.  So we can say then, that God never intended that men and women should divorce.  Marriage was to be until death.  But in our sinful world men and women do things that are quite contrary to what God wants.  God has therefore given us guidance in approaching divorce and remarriage should that ever have to be an option.  In my next article we shall look at that guidance.  Let us as far as we can, however, seek to be faithful to God's admonitions, and love and cherish our spouses.  This will make for a healthier, happier, and purer society.  God bless.

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