Divorce, Contrary to God's Word

God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16). Moses allowed divorce, but, as Jesus explained, he did so only because of the hardness of men's hearts, that is their unbelief, and that it had not been so from the beginning. Jesus taught: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:6; Mark 10:9).

The effects of increasing divorce are evident in our society. Truly divorce, in a person's innermost being, is always a wounding and pivotal change-not to mention the degree to which children and youth suffer when their parents part ways.

Because God established marriage as a lifelong covenant it ends only when one of the spouses dies. According to the Bible remarriage is acceptable only after a spouse has died (Luke 16:18; 1 Cor. 7:39).-(LLC Position Statement, Section 4, Item 3)


Number of Divorces Increase

During the past fifty years, divorce rates have increased in the Western World. Currently, about 50 percent of all marriages in the United States are expected to end in divorce. Adultery and general acceptance of divorce as individual right in our society are the main reasons for increasing divorce numbers. The general emphasis on individualism and selfishness has spilled over to God's kingdom as well. During the past decades the struggles of many Christian marriages have surfaced and help has been sought and given. As suggested by the serpent's example in Paradise, the human mind has raised the question: “Has God really said not to divorce in any circumstance?”

Divorce Is Contrary to God's Word

Moses allowed divorce in Deuteronomy 24:1,2. Jesus referred to that allowance in Matthew 19:8, where He stated that it had not been so from the beginning and that Moses allowed it because of the hardness of men's hearts. Jesus emphasized in His teaching that man is not to “put asunder” that which God has joined (Matt. 19:6; Mark 10:9).

In unbelief the corruption of the flesh takes control over life. Faith dies, as the apostle writes: “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom. 8:13). Jesus calls the condition of living in unbelief the “hardness of your heart.” The writing of a bill of divorce was part of the civil law of the Israelites. Jesus pointed out that it was for the case of unbelievers that Moses was compelled to make a law which controlled the reckless and hurtful practice of breaking marriages. For the same reason adultery was criminalized in the Law of Moses.

The rendering of Jesus' words in Matthew 19:9: “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery” have sometimes been misunderstood. In cases of adultery many churches allow divorce and remarriage. Not even Martin Luther was clear in this matter. In his writing on the “Estate of Marriage,” in 1522, he gives two alternative actions to a Christian spouse if his or her spouse has committed adultery: either privately rebuke and let the offending spouse stay if he or she promises to mend the offence, or publicly divorce and remarry.


Laestadian Lutheran Church
212 W 3rd St
Monticello, MN 55362

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1607
Monticello, MN 55362