Divorce: What the Bible Says

Clearly God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).  “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matt 19:6).   In Matthew 19:9 Jesus said,  “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”   Mark 10:11-12:  “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.  And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

In 1 Corinthians 7, we see an excellent overview of marriage and sexual conduct for both single and married believers.  Here Paul lays down the command for Christians married to non-Christians, to continue living and being married as they are.  In 1 Corinthians 7:17, 20 he says, “ Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them.”

If a husband or wife dies, then the surviving spouse can remarry, which is what Paul was specific about in 1 Corinthians 7:39:  “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.”

What about those who are unequally yoked?  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7:12-17,  “If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.  And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.  For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.  But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?”

This is an amazing passage of Scripture.  Paul is saying that it is possible for an unbelieving spouse to come to faith in Christ because of the believing spouse.

Are There Biblical Grounds For Divorce?                                        

Yes.  Adultery is biblical grounds. Sexual abuse of the children is another form of adultery.  Any adultery that is ongoing and unrepentant is grounds for divorce.  It’s important to seek counseling with a pastor or a Christian marriage counselor. In the case of child abuse or physical abuse, they should move out immediately and report this to the police.  In the USA, trained advocates are available 24/7 at the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233   or   800-787-3224.  There are no fees, no names, no judgment. All phone chats are confidential.

Divorce is a last resort, but if adultery persists with no signs of remorse, repentance or change, then divorce is permitted.  Hopefully, there is room for repentance, counseling and reconciliation – but if it does not occur, and sexual sins outside of marriage persist, the victim of such a marriage is not bound.



[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity


About Kathleen

God delights in working through His people as they submit to Him. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15). No matter where we live on this planet, people are separated from God because of sin. We ALL need a Savior, and there’s only ONE. It brings me great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. I’ve found myself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the juvenile facility for incarcerated teens sharing God’s message of love. I also serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. I’ve seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. These are some of my experiences. NOTE: My stories have been altered, removing any and all identifying factors. This includes names and other particulars in order to protect confidentiality and anonymity.
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9 Responses to Divorce: What the Bible Says

  1. Liana says:

    I pray that this wonderfully written post will help someone who is crying out for help in a situation which they think is hopeless. May they see the turmoil they’re in through the eyes of our precious Lord and Saviour. May they find the answer to problems which seem insurmountable. With God anything is possible.

  2. Mel Thompson says:

    A good and well thought out biblical account regarding an oh, too popular social topic.

    Forgiveness, after one repents, is biblical, but sometimes difficult to accept. And TRUST thereafter…that’s another topic of biblical understanding.

  3. Kathleen says:

    Yes,of course forgiveness is biblical! But I’m sure that trust thereafter, would be a major hurdle.

  4. Kristi Ann says:

    Amen-Amein Sister in Christ-MESSIAH Jesus-Yeshua Kathleen!!

    Love 💕 Always and Shalom, YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

  5. Frank King says:

    Amen, Kathleen. Thank God for His Word that speaks to this unpopular subject. Even the Christian church has become too lax in the area of divorce and remarriage. Going the route of divorce is never to be taken lightly. It should be the last resort.

  6. Ronald says:

    This is a very inspiring read. I also like the fact that you gave in the number that would help people who truly need help in an abusive relationship. I really enjoyed your read. This also inspires me to write something that will help people in my country who suffer violence in their relations. Thank you

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