(NIV) Malachi 2: 15 -16, “Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. ‘I hate divorce,’ says the LORD GOD of Israel . . .”
(NIV) Matthew 19: 9, “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
From these verses, God makes it clear that divorce is not permissible in His eyes. The question becomes, “Why”? What reasons does our Holy God have for making these statements. From these verses, we can glean 3 major points.
First, God joins couples as one both physically and spiritually when vows are exchanged. Once a couple decides to enter into a marriage covenant, they don’t have authority over it, God does and He sees them as one. Marriage was His idea and is subject to the guidelines He has shared in Scripture regarding this relationship. Scripture shares the roles for each the husband and the wife and how a couple is to conduct the relationship according to God’s ways.
Second, another purpose God has for marriage is to raise godly children. He knew that the family unit is the best unit to supply the love, attention, provision, nurturing, teaching, and discipline needed to raise children who will follow Christ. With sin in this world, God designed and organized the family unit as a means to overcome being left alone, isolated, and being left to one’s own accord. He knew we needed discipleship; therefore, He provided us with family where the man is the spiritual leader and the wife is the helpmeet in raising children who would find salvation in Jesus Christ.
But, most importantly God hates unfaithfulness. He hates man’s unfaithfulness to the vows he makes. He designed man in His image and as His image bearers, He expects us to follow after Him. God is a faithful God who keeps His covenants, vows, and promises. He is the God of truth. Even though marital unfaithfulness is given as the only situation allowed for seeking divorce, it is God’s heart for the couple to reconcile this issue and to restore the marriage. But, knowing that we were human, He allowed this one exception only to be used when the offended spouse had trouble trusting the offending spouse due to marital unfaithfulness. God’s heart is for man to follow His lead and to remain faithful in keeping vows and honoring covenants regardless of the circumstances.