It is important what is conveyed about a supposed loving God’s thoughts on divorce and remarriage since so many are impacted. If God conceived of marriage, it is naturally to look to the Creator for guidance on such relationships. The Bible is not a book of rules, and if you mess up God is pissed. It is true there are consequences for our actions in marriage, but that is true for all relationships. What is also true is that God is by our side always wanting to help not live in the past but create a new future. Seek God’s help whether making amends or getting more involved in your kid’s lives.
Jesus didn’t sugarcoat the truth but Jesus never said God is only interested in a relationship if we live up to certain standards. Jesus said what we tell our children about divorce. Marriage for a lifetime is ideal for individuals and families (Mt. 19:6, Mk. 10:9). Who doesn’t know love isn’t kicking partners to the curb to enjoy your current fantasy whether in marriage, business, or friendship. But, Jesus is not in the condemnation business. Jesus simply encouraged the adulterous woman to leave a life of self-destruction for her own good (Jn. 8:11). Jesus didn’t blast the woman at the well for being married five times but offered a better way (Jn. 4:17-26).
Many are familiar with biblical texts on the subject, so for more of a detailed treatment of certain passages please see here. The Gospels accounts speak of the importance of marriage being for a lifetime. Matthew includes the sexual sin exception because his Jewish audience was familiar what the Old Testament said for this situation (Mt. 5:32, 19:9). Does the supposed Messiah not agree with laws given to Moses by God! Jesus agreed with Moses that sexual sins can lead to divorce, but Jesus’ would also say true regrets and forgiveness are always possibilities.
Jesus is often accused of saying any divorce, except for certain sexual betrayals, is a sin and to remarry is committing adultery. Moses’ circumstances lead him to address the issue of sexual sins driving a wedge through marriage, but any harmful action that a partner is unwilling to take responsibility for and change endangers a marriage. Make no mistake God hates divorce as often betrayal and injustice is involved (Mal 2: 16), but God doesn’t heap on the innocent and want the guilty to think new beginnings are not possible. Couples who care what God thinks have enough guilt. It is appropriate at times to emphasize the importance of the marriage commitment, but we shouldn’t go further than Jesus in advising what God may think in someone’s situation.
Paul’s teachings and applications appear to be the same as Jesus’. God isn’t preachy but desirous of behaviors always in our best interests. Jesus would never tell one to never divorce or remarry regardless of their circumstances. A spouse may need to divorce for their safety and for the safety of the children. Remarriage is best determined according to one’s circumstances. Jesus might suggest to young couples to not enter marriage with only one foot in the door. It is always better to be proactive in the beginning than reactive during challenges when making such a lifelong commitment. But, divorce is inevitable in a world where we have the freedom to be selfish rather than selfless. Spouses are not responsible for each other’s actions. Divorcing a spouse is not always selfish and divorce and remarriage can be God’s desire as well.