Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

Introductory Thoughts

Because of the hardness of man’s heart, God permitted man to seek a divorce. The Pharisees, who generally sought to broaden the law’s reach and its application, sought to expand the justification for a divorce. The Lord never condoned this type of perversion of truth but quickly told the Pharisees that God never intended for marriage to have an escape clause when a man grew weary or discontented. God introduced the bill of divorcement because of the hardness of men’s hearts. Even then, the Lord indicated very limited grounds for a biblical divorce. Divorce was never intended to be an option for the masses, and even in those cases where a bill of divorcement was justified or allowed, the Lord still preferred reconciliation between the husband and wife.

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): The Pharisees were known for strictly carrying out the law. They knew the answers to their own questions. Jesus said, “Have ye not read?” When we stubbornly refuse to turn from wrongdoing in spite of warnings, our hearts will become hardened (Hebrews 3:12-13).

• (For everyone): Why did the Lord introduce the bill of divorcement? What was God’s original intent in marriage? Why do men always seek justification to violate God’s intention?

• What should your mindset be when entering into marriage? What steps should you take prior to marriage to ensure a healthy and holy marriage?

Prayer Thoughts

• Thank God for the godly homes and ask Him to preserve them.

• Ask the Lord to help you understand the reason for divorce.