Matthew 19- Jesus On Divorce

The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. Matthew 19:3-8

The topic of divorce is obviously a very complicated topic and is not black or white by any means. But Jesus did touch on this subject, so we can gain wisdom into his teachings. It’s important to note though, Jesus didn’t teach on this topic totally in depth, so I think there are alot of gray areas where many people make assumptions, we need to be careful in making wrong judgements on divorce.

Notice it says the Pharisees came to “test” or “tempt” Christ, we see this over and over again in the gospels, the religious leaders trying to trap Jesus with his interpretations of The Law. Now The Lord reveals a few things about marriage right here, first he declares God established the Covenant of Marriage in Genesis. Humans don’t have the power or authority to change the rules of marriage. Secondly, marriage is between One Man and One Woman, period. Any other arrangement outside of this is not a valid marriage in God’s eyes and is immoral. The third thing Christ reveals is marriage was designed to be eternal, “what God has joined, let nobody separate”

The religious leaders than came back to challenge Christ, “Why did Moses then allow divorce” ? And Jesus replied “Because of the hardness of your hearts” So to sum this up, Marriage was originally designed by God to be eternal, but because we live in a fallen world (Genesis 3) because we are sinners , God has allowed divorce under different circumstances.

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. Matthew 19:9-12

Now comes the gray areas of divorce, Jesus mentions adultery as a valid reason to get divorced, but is that the only reason? Now honestly I don’t think Jesus was doing an in-depth teaching on this topic, he was just listing a valid reason. Meaning I believe there are other valid reasons you can get divorced such as abuse, ect. Now with that said, we shouldn’t strive to get divorced, however sometimes divorce is necessary in some circumstances. Again living in a fallen world as fallen people

Don’t get me wrong I know “God hates divorce” (Malachi 2:16) however God also understands and has mercy and compassion. God divorced Israel (Jeremiah 3:8-10) Divorce is an unfortunate and painful separation that was not part of Gods original design, however there is mercy and healing through Jesus Christ, Amen! 

15 thoughts on “Matthew 19- Jesus On Divorce

  1. Pingback: Matthew 19- Jesus On Divorce – Tonya LaLonde

  2. Lisa Beth

    Good points on a difficult subject. While I do believe that most couples, Christian or not, seek divorce for selfish reasons, many church leaders and mentors wrongly pressure a suffering spouse to stay.
    Abused spouses have enough betrayal, helplessness, and loneliness without spiritual guilt. May the onus be on the abuser and adulterer to answer to God.

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  3. BerryBunch.family

    Such a hard one to conisder

    The idea of not striving for divorce is a good one

    I think not settling for a divorce is another good idea.

    We also need to take it away from our normal vocabulary within marriage – divorce is never the solution, but it may well be a solution – it is one we should enter reluctantly, not joyfully. It can protect a person from further hurts, but it also has consequences and is not a pain free option, even when it is a righteous course of action.

    If the marriage covenent has been broken, that is when I think Jesus was saying divorce is acceptable, such as after adultery…but there is also redemption and plenty of marriages thavwork through that adultery – with God’s help.

    As part of our own efforts to celebrate God’s gift of marriage in our podcast, we always stay away from such subjects because we want to focus on the good of marriage. We want to focus on God’s best. We have much experience of the flip side, but don’t use it as that isn’t out calling at this time.

    A good post – thanks for being willing to write it and risking the flip side of stating biblical truths!

    ndy B

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    1. Unashamed of Jesus Post author

      Amen brother! Well said I totally agree with you….my main point is abuse is also a valid reason for divorce, as Paul said Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church…alot of Churches have wrongfully consulted abused woman to stay in marriages, I agree divorce should only be a final option…God bless brother

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      1. BerryBunch.family

        That one is one I struggle with in particular…taking scripture so out of context and trapping victims of domestic violence in their homes!! It truly makes me weep 😔

        So many men and women have been, well, lied to…

        If you’re being abused, whatever form it takes, whether male or female, your marriage covenant has been broken…it isn’t complex, but it sure has been made to be

        Mind you, the early religious leaders did exactly the same when they conflated the 10 commandments.

        Blessings

        Andy B

        Liked by 2 people

      2. JohnAllman.UK

        One way to look at so-called “abuse” as a ground for divorce is as the manifestation of a de facto unwillingness on the part of an abusive and unbelieving spouse to live with the believer (as in 1 Cor 7), in which case the believer is no longer “tied” to the unbeliever. If the abuser professes faith in Christ, then either pursuit of church discipline will end the abuse, or it will result in an entitlement on the part of the abused party to treat the abuser as an unbeliever, whether or not he or she professes faith with his or her lips.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. JohnAllman.UK

        Abuse isn’t an objective binary, whereby one is either abused or not. Abused simply means sinned against, and that is a continuum, a scale, a spectrum. To some extent, that is subjective, although the Lord has an objective view of what is going on.

        Abuse is also (often, if not always or – more -likely – usually), mutual (i.e. reciprocal), though not necessarily equal in both directions, of course.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. JohnAllman.UK

        If any abuse is severe enough to amount to an expression of unwillingness to live (in peace) with the abused, 1 Cor 7 appears to cover the circumstances. Please refer to my reply to BerryBunch.family for a longer explanation of this point.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. JohnAllman.UK

        I have never posted on my own blog about marriage & divorce. You may be remembering that I did post satirically about a different topic that you also posted about, commenting on your post with a link to mine.

        Liked by 1 person

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