What the Bible Says about
Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

John Coblentz

Does God still overlook divorce?
Pages 22 - 23

"And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Mark 10:4-9).

In responding to the Pharisees, Jesus pointed to the root problem in troubled marriages -- hard hearts. He also hinted at the weakness of the Mosaic dispensation. Under Moses, numerous practices fell beneath the ideal. This was a preparatory dispensation, and as Paul said at Athens, "The times of this ignorance God winked at" (Acts 17:30). Jesus made it very clear, however, that what God had permitted under Moses was no longer acceptable.

Divorce indicates a heart problem, but it does not solve that heart problem. It only bypasses it. Under the New Covenant, hardhearted husbands and wives can be given new hearts by the transforming power of the Spirit. Jesus the heart-changer has come, and God's standards for marriage can be restored to His intention "from the beginning." Certainly, the new birth does not automatically solve all marriage problems, but it does deal with the hard heart from which marriage problems arise, and it does open us to God's provisions for solving those problems. In the age of the Spirit, therefore, God commands, "Let not man put asunder."

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