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Grounds for Divorce (Matthew 19:9)

Introductory Thoughts

The world justifies an almost unlimited range of reasons for divorce, but the Lord is much more narrow-minded. In fact, the Lord only offered one just cause for divorce in Matthew 19:9. An excellent cross reference (Deuteronomy 24:1) indicates that the fornication mentioned involves an uncleanness found within the woman that took place prior to marriage. If this be true, even adultery fails to qualify as scriptural grounds for divorce. One might argue that the Lord broadened this scope when speaking of the unbelieving spouse leaving the believer, but even there the Lord said to the believing husband, “let him not put her away” (1 Corinthians 7:12) and to the believing wife, “let her not leave him” (1 Corinthians 7:13).

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Abigail was a godly woman married to a wicked husband (1 Samuel 25:3, 17c). She remained with Nabal until his death (1 Samuel 25:38). She then became Davids wife (1 Samuel 25:39-42).
  • (For everyone): What does Gods narrow viewpoint concerning divorce suggest about how highly He values the marriage relationship? Why is it important that we adopt His respect for the sanctity of marriage?
  • Have you been divorced or know someone who has been divorced? Can God use those who have been divorced? Give some examples of God graciously using those with troubled pasts.

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to build strong homes within your church.
  • Thank the Lord for placing such a high value on marriage.