From the statement found in Malachi 2:16 that “God hates divorce,” many have concluded that there is no circumstance possible where God accepts divorce.


There are two things which need to be understood in forming a proper conclusion. 1. That is a true statement, and any conclusion held must also comply with all other Scripture for it to be truth. 2. God hates Hell, for the very same reason that He hates divorce – both are the outcome of sin, which He will not ignore or overlook.


The simple truth is stated by Jesus in Matthew 19:9, where He gave just one exception for divorce to be acceptable to God, that of fornication, which is adultery. It must also be remembered that the “guilty party” - with or without the divorce, which may result – is rejected by God as His child, without His forgiveness of his sin. Without which he remains doomed to eternal Hell. This remains true whether or not he remarries.


When Jesus said, “He that lusts after a woman has committed adultery, in his heart, with her” Matthew 5:28, it is a necessary inference that either he, she, or both, are married people. Otherwise the word would be fornication. All fornication is not adultery, but all adultery is fornication. Where there is no marriage, there is no adultery. Not even after a Scriptural divorce, which has the only result of making married people again as spouseless as it’s possible to be, whether they be an “innocent” or “guilty” party. As a result both parties can go on to commit fornication – if they have no regard for their souls – but neither can “commit adultery” with spouseless people. It becomes impossibility.


If either one is “loosed” 1 Corinthians 7:27-28, of necessity, so is the other; there is no such thing as a half marriage, where either one is free, while the other remains bound. The only law that God has for sinners that He does not have for saints is Hell.


Both parties escape God’s law for marriage by scriptural divorce, but that does not mean they may escape His law for sinners. Bible teaching on any subject is scriptural, even if it involves teaching on Hell or divorce. God’s teaching on marriage is not binding on any spouseless people, whether they were made spouseless by scriptural divorce, or have never been anything other than spouseless. The only difference between them is, one can claim to be “loosed from a spouse” while the other never had a spouse to be “bound” to – otherwise their status is identical. Neither is “bound” to anything - but both are equally free of marriage, even if not right with God.  


      Scripture is needed – but cannot be given – which teaches that one made spouseless by scriptural divorce – in particular a “guilty party” who remains guilty of former adultery – must remain spouseless, while the other may remarry.


The charge has been made that this claim is a doctrine of imagination, and until such time that Scripture, which so teaches – which has not happened, and never will – is given, it remains so. It may be an emotional argument that satisfied many, but that is no more of a justification than the false teaching of infant baptism, or denominationalism.


If a spouseless person of marriageable age is capable, and desirous, of it, he can be assured of God’s blessing. We are simply not talking about eunuchs, who are not capable or desirous, not even those who made themselves eunuchs “for the kingdom’s sake,” like Paul did, but he defended his right to marry.


Do you now see the issue?


Max Burgin