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 Does God Hate Divorce?

Yesterday while downloading some free music from Don Francisco's website I came across this article that he had written. I wonder what y'alls spin on this is. I disagree with this completely... but wonder what everyone else thinks. Point of interest: Don Francisco has been thru a divorce. (Thats not a judgement against him! It's merely a fact that you should know when reading this because I think it sheds light on his own perspective.)


[b]Does God Hate Divorce?[/b]

[i]Of course, marriages are intended to be lifelong. But in this imperfect world divorce can sometimes be lifesaving. (Even God has been through a divorce. That's right, click on the above link, "Is Divorce A Sin?") The widely used verse in Malachi, where God seems to state that He "hates divorce", is mistranslated. What God hates is literally "the putting out" of a woman.

Putting out is altogether different than divorce in Jewish culture. A man would permanently kick his wife out, denying her the Jewish divorce certificate. This woman would still be legally married, but with no home. Her dowry and children would be retained by the husband. She would have already surrendered her virginity to him. She would be ineligible to remarry, since technically, she was still legally bound to her husband. Further, her culture would label her as an adulteress since she did not have a valid divorce certificate. And this lady couldn't just rent an apartment and get a job teaching kindergarten - there was no place for a put out woman in Jewish culture of that day except prostitution. Since the marriages were most often arranged, this whole horrible chain of events would have been completely out of her control.

The husband, however, was free to marry again and to do this as much as he liked. That is why Moses required a divorce certificate to be given... so that the marriage was legally, fairly, and religiously terminated and the woman would be free to remarry and go on with life.

For more info about this topic, do a search on the word "agunah". That means "chained women". The act of putting a woman out is still happening and today there are 1000s of "chained women" in Israel! A Jewish divorce certificate is so valuable that often after a man puts out a woman, he will legally obtain the certificate and then sell it to the highest bidder. "Agunah" is one of the greatest problems faced by orthodox Judaism today.

All over the Bible we have ignorantly and clumsily translated "put out" as "divorce". This has caused many errant doctrines to be formed and made a terrible mess out of millions of people's lives. The toll in human suffering because of our ignorance is overwhelming. The Bible simply does not say that God hates divorce. It says that God hates the putting away.

In the New Testament, Jesus continues to address this cruel breach of human rights. Nearly all of the verses translated "divorce" in the Gospels actually say "put away". It is a completely different situation which we have no equivalent for. Knowing this makes a world of difference. For instance, many believe that Christian remarriage is adultery. But Jesus did not say that if a man marries a divorced woman, he would be committing adultery. He said that if a man married a "put out" woman, he would be committing adultery. This is because she was technically still married! In Israel, putting a woman out is a devastating, intentional ruination of a woman's life. God still hates it.

We have mangled the meaning of what is going on here and used it to place people under a different type of legalism. The worst result of this mistake is that when a marriage does break down, people will often believe that God rejects them, and they will lose their faith just when they need it the most.

There are myriads of reasons why marriage relationships break down. God hates it when a heavy, inflexible grid of legalism is imposed on people and they are broken and turn away from Him as a result. It is obvious that marriages are intended to be lifelong and that every attempt should be made to reconcile and to recapture the first love that founded the relationship. But in this imperfect world, God's provision of divorce is sometimes vital, and can be lifesaving.[/i]

 2006/11/28 9:59

 Re: Does God Hate Divorce?

Hi Krispy,

Before this thread gets off the ground, I would like to refer you to Don's Live Concert, in which he makes a comment about divorce before he sings Love Is Not A Feeling.

Also, I'm going to own up to asking Jordan to post the thread about Don's music, because it had helped me immensely at a deeply spiritual level both before and after I left my husband, and certainly not only because of that circumstance in which I found myself.

I know you know a bit about my personal story..... well, as it happens (seeing you've posted this thread), I know a bit about Don's. I've met him three times. The first time, he prayed for me, and God really touched something of my inner-man numbness, and healed it. The second time, I (with two other Christians) prayed for him - at his request specifically pertaining to his marriage. (I have no intention of being drawn to discuss those details either here in public, [u]or privately[/u].) The third time, I met his second wife briefly, and testified to them both of God's healing work in my life.

You will know I've contributed extensively to a different thread on this subject (divorce), and have not completed all which should be answered there (as I intend to).

I would like to point out that Romans 7:1 - 3 has the roles reversed regarding the possibility of a second marriage [b]while a first one is still in force[/b]. I feel this backs up Don's main point - that [u]a divorce certificate[/u] sets a person free to remarry.

As I've said in other threads, this does not, of itself, put a person's [b]heart[/b] right with God over any sin (sexual or otherwise) which they may have committed (related or not to their marriage); therefore, it is necessary clearly to separate in one's thinking the difference between marriage being a matter of the flesh, and sin being a matter of the spirit.

 2006/11/28 10:30


Hold on... before we get off the ground, let me state emphatically that this is [b]NOT[/b] about Don Francisco! This is about what was written in this article, which is not a new argument. I've heard this before. I posted this article because it was articulate, to the point and brief.

My hope is that this thread focuses on this teaching, and not the person who wrote it.

Don has been gifted by God, and I have been very blessed by his music. I dont consider him to be a false teacher just because I disagree with this article. I'm sure I'm off base in some of my theology too. Don has written many good articles to which I say a hearty amen.

So lets discuss this article, and not Don. As far as I know Don is not an elder or pastor... he is a minstrel. There is nothing in scripture that says he can not minister in that vein.


 2006/11/28 10:45

 oh Steve.

I gotta get a young man squared away for travel, so I cant really....engage, but i wlll say this, as the Lord leads:

Grace is grace, and God is love, now if that is a "touchy-feely" Gospel, (and people have made that reference before) so be it.

so be it.


 2006/11/28 13:25

 Re: oh Steve.

God is love, of that I am sure. And God is merciful and full of grace.

But God will not do anything that contradicts His Word.


 2006/11/28 14:12

Joined: 2006/11/23
Posts: 397


I disagree with Don in some sense. He didn't emphasize a lot that I woud've. Marriage is a covenant that you enter into. If you enter into that covenant at maturity in the Spirit, you may not leave it (like it's not a big deal)-- if you do, it would be a tragedy of tragedies-- much like exiting the covenant you make with God at maturity. (For example, if Peter had denied Christ after his maturity climatic point, which I would declare to be around Pentecost, and after Pentecost said, 'I don't know Jesus!'-- he would be in such a grave, sinful area that I know not if he woudl be spared, for his maturity and responsibility at that level-- compared to his immaturity and child spirit before the.. power came from on high etc. etc.)

If you enter into that (covenant, marriage) as a child in the Spirit and so-forth, I'd suppose you are fine to leave it insofar as you are not responsible for your actions to a degree when you were apart of the world etc. (Does one hold a baby's mistakes truly against them in the future/present etc.? No. A mature adult? Yes.)

Nonetheless it is between you and God and no one else. The mature person in the Spirit should not enter into a marriage covenant with a person of a reprobate mind. If they do, they are walking on very very dangerous waters of which I know not.

I could be wrong of course but that's just what I think God means when he says he hates divorce. He doesn't hate all divorces, just the divorces of a person who entered into it at maturity in the Spirit. Also, when it comes to abusive relationships, I believe that if you entered into it at maturity in the Spirit, you should not divorce, still, but I could be wrong. It is really again just between you and God. No one but you (or, God really) can say if you were at maturity in the Spirit when you entered into that covenant.


 2006/11/28 14:33Profile


Jordan... the Bible says God hates divorce. It doesnt attempt to qualify that statement. It says "God hates divorce". It's pretty dangerous to not just take the Word at face value, but instead attempt to make it mean something that it's not saying.


 2006/11/28 14:40

Joined: 2006/11/23
Posts: 397


Krispy, if you take the things the Bible says out of context in God's Divine Plan/Nature revealed in the Bible, you can attempt to qualify any statement you want to through all the verses. It's dangerous to take the Word at its face value when you need to take it into context to His Nature/Plan etc. etc. You must not have understood a word that I said, which I am sorry for. If you can't understand the comparison of the marriage covenant to the Jesus covenant, where both are the same in nature, I can't convince you with anything. The Spirit must show you this Divine Truth.

I will try to simplify.

The marriage covenant, much like the Jesus covenant, cannot be broken in immaturity and childness of the Spirit. As the child and immaturity of the Spirit are not held accountable insofar as the mature and adult of the Spirit are. I pray the Spirit will reveal that to you.

Of course, God still hates divorce, always. Even in the immaturity of Spirit of a person, he still hates it, of course. I'm just saying it's not like you're bound by the marriage for ever if you had entered into it at immaturity of the Spirit. Nor are you somehow denied going into the ministry if you had a divorce in your immaturity and childness of Spirit.

[Edit: I apologize for saying that God doesn't hate all divorces in previous post, he does, just noticed I said that. I meant though that he doesn't hold the divorce to the person (of immaturity) as he would a person of maturity in the Spirit. So I now sorta get what you meant, although you still didn't show any sign of understanding of what I was saying.]


 2006/11/28 14:49Profile

Joined: 2006/11/28
Posts: 1

 Re: Does God Hate Divorce?

Here are some scriptures that I think should be heard out. I would reference you to the gospels where Jesus plainly states that the ONLY reason that God allows divorce is because of the hardness of hearts; Scripturally, God does not want us to divorce (I would still agree that this means that God hates divorce - "the putting out of a woman" still means that a man is doing what he ought not to do scripturally as a husband) - verse references:

1 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there.3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” 8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
10 His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” Matt 19:1-10

31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
Matt 5:31-32

1 Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again.
2 The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him.
3 And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?”
4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.”
5 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh’;[b] so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
10 In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter. 11 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
Mark 10:1-15

18 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.
Luke 16:18

10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.
12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
1 Cor 7:10-16

By these verses, it seems that outside of Malachi that God seems to imply that He still hates divorce. "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate (Mat 19:6)."

 2006/11/28 14:49Profile

Joined: 2006/8/17
Posts: 111
Middlebury, Indiana


I have honestly never heard this teaching! How does this jive with 1 Cor. 7:39 "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord." This is very similar to Romans 7:1-3 and would also be consistant with the teachings of Jesus about marrying a divorced man or woman being adultery.

However, this isn't about remarriage as much as it is about what is putting away--divorce or some twisted practice where the man will not divorce. Seems to me divorce. Hey, lets look to the Pharisee's for the answer! The answer is in Mk 10:2-4,

Pharisee's ask is it lawful to put away a wife.
Jesus--what did Moses command
Pharisee's--write a bill of divorcement
Jesus--Moses wrote this precept be/c hardness of hearts. Then sights Genesis 2 about the "rules" of marriage and says What God has joined, let not man put asunder.

Seems to me that they are talking divorce, divorce, divorce. Why would the Pharisee's be talking about something and Jesus about another matter almost entirely. I would think that Jesus would confront putting away if that really wasn't divorce.

Neil Long

 2006/11/28 16:07Profile

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