How Many Times Does Jesus Say He Hates Divorce?


How many times does Jesus say that he hates divorce?




Not once.

This might surprise you if you’ve heard teachings on this from the pulpit. You probably have heard messages about how God hates divorce. However, well-meaning Christian leaders usually omit that this passage (Malachi 2:16) is really about using divorce to commit adultery (see more of my thoughts on Malachi 2:16 here). God is consistent in His hatred of this “Top Ten” sin–i.e. adultery (NOT divorce). It’s explicitly named and prohibited in the Ten Commandments for good reason!

While Jesus never professes his hatred of divorce in the New Testament, Jesus does say multiple times not to commit adultery (see Mt 5:27, Mt. 19:18, Mk 10:19, etc.) Also, he never teaches on divorce without talking about adultery.

Adultery is the issue; not divorce as I see it in Jesus’ own words.

God always hates sin.

Adultery is always a sin.

Divorce is not (see Jeremiah 3:8).



3 thoughts on “How Many Times Does Jesus Say He Hates Divorce?”

  1. Hi Divorce Minister: Something I have heard from other Christians a lot this week is that we need to “hate the sin but love the sinner.” Which I think means just get over it. I am tired of hearing this! What is your response to this?

    1. BrokenHearted Believer,

      I might respond something like this (if I had my wits about me in the moment):

      “I agree that we must hate the sin and love the sinner. The greatest act of love for such a sinner is to call him to repentance. Anything less is to love the SIN and HATE the SINNER. I do not want to hate him by saying what he did is no big deal because it is. His soul may be damned to Hell if he does not repent of adultery as Scripture clearly states. You don’t want that, do you?”

      Or a version thereof…

      Really, it is a matter of calling their assumption. You aren’t being unloving by demanding repentance. Actually, they are being unloving by NOT calling him to repentance. Plus, it is hard to love someone who continues to sin against you. That’s happening by the continuation of lies and–in some cases–continued infidelity. Love isn’t wimpy or passive. It is fierce and jealous like our God!

      Hope that helps!

      1. That helps a lot and thank you for acknowledging that we don’t always have our wits about us when we hear something like this. I just feel so angry when says something like this. You are right the greatest act of love for a sinner is to call them to repentance. That’s what tough love really is! Thank you!

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