How should Christians view Divorce – Mark 10:1-12

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I’m excited to return back to the Gospel of Mark, but what we covered in our short series “Living out our Identity in Christ” was indeed refreshing and a beautiful reminder.

The passage we will be looking at today is from Mark 10:1-12 and the subject we will be dealing with is “How should Christians view Divorce“?

I want you to know that as I am preaching on the topic of Divorce this morning, both Jane and I have been dealing with a divorce situation with a very close Christian family.

The husband, who is also a father of two children, came home one day and told his wife that he is no more in love with her, he doesn’t find her attractive and that he has no feelings for her. And therefore, he wants a divorce from her.

As we walk with the family, we’re experiencing how devastating and painful it is for the wife and for the children. And while preparing for this sermon, I couldn’t stop thinking of how immature and foolish we can behave without having the right understanding of the Gospel truth concerning marriage.

We think we know these truths but when hardships, trails & temptations come our way they reveal the true state of our heart.

Today as we walk through Mark 10:1-12 and talk about Divorce I am happy for the opportunity God has given me to give you a godly perspective on this topic. As most of you sitting here are young men and women who are yet to get married, I want you to listen carefully and allow the Holy Spirit to convict your heart of sin patterns that if not dealt with can destroy your future relationships.

And as God reveals those sin patterns repent and believe in the Gospel and let these gospel truths transform your life.

I also believe this sermon will present to you the Church’s position on the subject of divorce so that you know what to expect from the leaders when such a situation arises.

If you have your bibles, let’s turn to Mark 10:1-12

To give you the context of this passage, as Jesus continues his ministry, the Pharisees envied him for his fan following and would look for opportunities to trap him. Their main intention was to turn the people against him.

Today’s passage is one such incident where the Pharisees pose a controversial question to Jesus. And the question was “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?“.

There may have been a couple of reasons why the Pharisees asked that question, and I don’t think I want to spend time exploring that aspect. But whatever the motives of the Pharisees were I’m glad that it opened an opportunity for us to get a godly perspective on the matter of divorce, and that too from the author of life himself.

When the Pharisees posed the question on divorce, Jesus replies with another question saying “What did Moses command you?” and they answered saying “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”

And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.”

In other words, what Jesus was saying to them was that “it was not meant to be that way, but because of your hardness of heart & unwillingness to change Moses had to write that. If Moses hadn’t permitted divorce in that situation, you men would have done something even worse.”

And then Jesus goes on to tell them how in the beginning when God created male and female, the idea of joining them together was God’s design and that no man has the right to separate what God joined, and if a divorced man or women re-marries while the other partner is still alive or single, it is sinful in the eyes of God.

Obviously, there are a lot of practical questions in your mind relating to each one of the statements mentioned above, perhaps I will answer some of them. But what I want to do today is to turn our hearts to God because the goal of this message is not to give tips on how to protect your marriage from divorce.

The purpose of the message is to help us love Jesus and seek his Kingdom more than our spouse. It’s also to show you how in doing so, God protects and preserves our marriage, ultimately Glorifying His name on the Earth.

I want to put across three words that will help you unpack this passage for us and help us meet our goal.


There are two basic kinds of relationships – Consumer relationship and Covenant relationship.

Consumer relationship is the kind of relationship we have with our local vegetable vendor. As long as he supplies fresh vegetables for a reasonable price, we will buy vegetables from him. But the day he stops giving us fresh, good quality vegetables, we will quit going to him and instead approach another vegetable vendor.

In a consumer relationship, our needs are more important than the relationship itself.

This is how the ungodly view Marriage, as long as they get what they want they will stick with that relationship. The day they stop getting what they want they want to get out of that relationship.

On the other hand, a Covenant relationship is a kind of relationship between a parent and the child. No matter how much mischief our children get into and the tantrums they throw, we don’t abandon them and go pick up another child.

Concerning marriage when Jesus said “At the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

From the words of Jesus we clearly understand that marriage was meant to be a Covenant relationship and not a Consumer type relationship.

The term “one flesh” comes from the Genesis account of the creation of Eve. Genesis 2:21-24 describes the process by which God created Eve from a rib taken from Adam’s side as he slept.

Adam recognized that Eve was part of him—they were in fact “one flesh.” The term “one flesh” means that just as our bodies are one whole entity and cannot be divided into pieces and still be a whole, so God intended it to be with the marriage relationship. There are no longer two entities (two individuals), but now there is one entity (a married couple).

And therefore, in a covenant relationship, the relationship between the two is more important than the interest of each individual before they were united.

An even better example of the covenant relationship is the relationship between God the Father, the creator of this universe, with his chosen children, us.

When we read the Bible, we see a plan that was established in eternity past when God, Son and the Holy Spirit covenanted together to redeem us. We understand how God keeps his covenant that even while we were sinners, he sent his son Jesus to die for our sake.

For God, relationship with us was more important.

Therefore, a marriage relationship can be protected from divorce only when we understand and Covenant relationship. And in a covenant relationship separation is not an option.


The second word I want us to remember is Violation.

Violation, in legal terms, means ‘the action of breaking a contract or an agreement.”

If marriage is a covenant, divorce is a violation of the covenant we make with our spouse. A marriage between two believers in God’s presence, witnessed by God’s people is a Sacred and Holy union – It is what God has joined together.

In verse 9 & 11, 12 Jesus said, “what God has joined together, let no one separate. Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Jesus is not just talking about outsiders who create divisions in a marriage, but the husband and wife themselves have no right to separate what God has joined  – No matter what excuse you have it doesn’t matter.

Separation through Divorce is a direct violation of Gods original design for marriage – even in case, the other partner is caught in adultery.

If you dig deep into the root of divorce, it is selfishness, pride, unwillingness to change, unwillingness to forgive, reluctance to bear with each other, unwillingness to humble one’s self; it is deeply rooted in sin.

In God’s loving kindness through his covenant relationship when He created us in his image, he gave us a free will, so that willfully we would obey him, honor him and Glorify him. But in the garden of Eden, we violated all his commands.

And because of Adam and Eve’s violation of God’s commands, we too are born sinful.

Since the time we were born all we do, day in and day out is violate God’s Holy commands and refuse to bind ourselves in God’s loving covenant relationship. We try to attain freedom and power and dominion without God, not realizing that the devil’s lies and deception.

The devil told Eve that by disobeying God “You will certainly not die”, “That when you eat from the tree (God commanded not to eat) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Instead, we had to face the consequences of our disobedience, our spirit died and became eternally condemned to death. God cast mankind out of the circle of trust, bond and fellowship they shared and more devastating was that it broke our relationship with our loving creator God who meant it all for good.

The evil we see around today in our generation is the repercussions of our broken relationship with our Creator. The tendency to violate God’s Holy command is what is also seen in a divorce situation.


But this is the beauty of Gods covenantal relationship with us. Even though we violated all his commands, we sinned, we rebelled, we disobeyed.

In Psalm 103:10 the psalmist writes “But God did not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved us, that he gave his only Son, to die for us, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

In Romans 5:8 Paul writes “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.

Isn’t that a beautiful expression of a covenant relationship?

In Jeremiah 2:13 the prophet says by worshiping idols under every green tree we committed adultery against the Lord, like a faithless wife who leaves her husband we too were drowning in our sin.

But Jesus, who is also called as our bridegroom came back for his bride, to take all our guilt and shame, clean us from all our iniquities and  restore our souls. He died for our sake and later rose again victoriously, sitting at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for us.

And all that is required from us it to repent of our sins and fall in love with Jesus and put our trust in him.

And when we find ourselves in a relational issue, especially marriage, here’s how our response should look like.

Just, as our heart and flesh tend to violate God’s commands day in and day out. We need to change this pattern by going to God day in and day out, repenting of our sins and putting our faith in his son Jesus – Remembering the Gospel, adorning Christ, mending back our relationship with our creator God.

And as we do that, the Spirit of God deals with the root Sin, deals with our selfishness, deals with our pride, with our unwillingness to change, our unwillingness to forgive, unwillingness to bear with one another. Eventually restoring our hearts back to God.

I believe if our friend who just decided to divorce his wife had a genuine love relationship with God, he would have never even thought of separation. Christ’s love would have compelled him to love his wife as Christ loved him. Not based on feelings or outward appearance but because of the covenant relationship, he was into.

Finally, based on what we’ve learnt so far, I want to share three practical advice that you should apply to your situation.

  1. If you are unmarried and looking out for a partner, don’t marry someone who merely calls himself/herself a believer, but marry the person who’ve truly understood the Gospel, knows what a covenant relationship means and is genuinely in love with Jesus.
  2. If you are already married, my advice to you is to live a Gospel-centered life, know that your marriage is covenant relationship united by God, love Jesus more than your spouse, and whether in good times or bad times, whether your partner is believer or an unbeliever – Let your life display the fruit of the Spirit. Love, Serve and Submit to one another in all humility.
  3. If you are divorced, my advice to you is repent before God, and believe in the Gospel. If your spouse is still alive, single, believer of Jesus and willing to reunite, make every effort to restore that relationship back.


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