Summary: This was used in a sunday school class. A basic Biblical perspective on divorce.

On Divorce

Sunday School Lesson

November 10, 2002

Malachi 2:13-16

(2:13) Another thing you do: You flood the LORD’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands.

(2:14) You ask, "Why?" It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

(2:15) 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.

(2:16) "I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment," says the LORD Almighty.

So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.


People divorce, lots of them do. Statistically, more than half of the people in this room are the children of divorced parents. Again, according to statistics, almost half of you who will get married will also get divorced.

Is it wrong for a couple to divorce? Let’s look at the passage for an answer to this question.

I. Divorce is the breaking of a sacred covenant. (2:13-14)

A. These verses declare consequences of breaking faith with a spouse.

1. Vain worship.

2. Unanswered prayers

1 Peter (3:7) Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

B. There are consequences for breaking covenants:

1. Credit ratings

2. Cell-phone contracts

3. Construction deals

C. God entrusts his will to couples that choose to marry. If you refuse to fulfill a contract with a spouse, how can God trust you with anything of His?

II. Divorce violates God’s will for marriage. (2:15)

A. This passage clearly states that God designed marriage in order to create more people to serve God. Through marriage, God seeks godly offspring.

B. Two ways offspring are created for God.

1. Least effective, lead people to salvation who have already experienced sin.

2. Most effective, devoted followers of Christ have babies and teach them to also follow Christ.

C. Intense anger causes people to throw out God’s plan for their lives and seek to end the covenant of marriage. That is why the command in given, "guard yourself in your spirit."

III. Divorce is an act of social violence.


A. Divorce is the act of ripping two people who are bound in intimacy apart. When children are involved, the children rarely escape severe emotional problems.

B. Divorce is considered the greatest problem facing children in Osceola and Mecosta counties, according to a statement by the HSCB.

C. Feelings of anger, a desire for retribution and/or withdrawal lead to divorce. The feelings originate in the spirit. Therefore, you must learn, even while you are years away from getting married, to forgive and restore relationships.


God’s view of divorce is easily summed up with His words, "I hate divorce." This hatred does not apply only to believers, but to all people.

Discussion Questions

What is the best way to avoid getting a divorce?

What consequences of divorce have you observed?

What do you say to someone who is suffering from a parental divorce?

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