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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Dear Colleagues,

DIVORCE WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH?

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In an age where every man [is doing] that which [is] right in his own eyes, (Judg. 21:25b) it behooves us to set the Biblical record straight on this important subject. The fact is God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16):

 #1 Jesus was against divorce. His detractors (the rabbis) tried to draw him into their controversy on the  subject. (Matt. 19:3-9; Mk. 10: 2-12). Divorce was allowed by Moses  (Deut. 24:1-4) said Jesus, not because God was for it, but rather to accommodate their hard hearts.

 #2 Gods original intent was one man with one woman for life. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created themFor this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.  (Gen. 1:27; 2:24)

 #3 Anyone who divorces his spouse (except for marital unfaithfulness), and marries another commits adultery. Anyone who marries the divorced spouse commits adultery.  (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; Mk. 10:11; Lk. 16:18) I Corinthians 6:9 informs us that adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

 #4 Paul sided with Jesus in teaching that a Christian man should not divorce his wife, and the Christian woman should not separate from her husband. (I Cor. 7:10-14)

 #5 In the matter of a Christian married to a nonbeliever, Paul did not have a specific teaching from Jesus. However, under the guidance of Gods Spirit he stated that a Christian was not to take the initiative to divorce the nonbeliever. So long as the nonbeliever was willing to live in a proper marriage relationship, the Christian was to maintain that relationship. (I Cor. 10:12-14)

 #6 The Scripture does not give specific instructions as to what a divorced person should do. The nearest is Pauls advice that the woman who separates from her husband should remain single or else be reconciled with her husband.  But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.  (Cor. 7:11) This advice was given in a context where Paul urged the single state for anyone who was not married.

 #7 Jesus showed the consequences of divorce in the lives of people. If a man divorced his wife, he made her an adulteress unless the basis of the divorce was her own immorality.  (Matt. 5:31,32)1

 God grant us the courage and integrity to live by Biblical imperatives and not side with Debbie Boone, It cant be wrong when  it feels so right. God will judge us by his righteous standards, not by how good it feels.

 

1 This statement has been understood in various ways. One idea is that Jesus was giving here a justifiable ground for divorce. If the wife violated her marriage vows, the husband had the right to divorce her. However, another suggestion is that Jesus was not making a law. Instead, he was saying that the husband would make the wife become an adulteress unless she had already become one by her own action. A divorced woman in Palestine of that day had few choices. To survive she could remarry or become a prostitute. In either case she was guilty of adultery. In a few instances, the divorced wife might have been able to return to live with her parents. Whichever interpretation of Jesus statement is considered best, He indicated that Gods intention was permanent marriage. (Holeman Study Bible Dictionary)

2  Many of the key points have been derived from the Holeman Study Bible Dictionary 

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