What Does The Bible Say About Divorce And Remarriage
Jesus indicated that if adultery is the reason for the divorce, it is not a sin to remarry.
And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife,except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.
What about if the divorce was because an unsaved spouse wanted out of the marriage? Paul said that the believing spouse is not under bondage, which might imply that remarriage is permitted, but isnt explicitly stated.
43. If the unbelieving one is leaving, let him leave the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases.
Divorce Should Never Be Used As A Threat To Try To Get Someone To Change
Rather, it is a declaration of what has already happened. He has already left you, has emotionally cut himself off from you, has indicated that he is not interested in fulfilling his vows to you, has no willingness to live as a husband to you. Its just time to face reality and legally declare what has already happened spiritually.
And this is exactly what the Bible says about divorce. In Matthew 19 and Matthew 5, we see the Pharisees asking Jesus whether its OK to divorce your wife for any reason at all. Jesus said that its not OK to just dismissively discard someone like that. The only reason to dismissively send away your spouse is if your spouse has committed adultery.
They responded, Then why did Moses command us to give our wives a certificate of divorce and send her away? Jesus said that Moses commanded a certificate of divorce because they were doing what they should not be doing anyway – their hearts were hard. This sending away left wives legally bound to someone who no longer supported them, making it impossible for them to remarry or receive support from their families whom theyd left in order to become one with their husband. However, if they received the certificate of divorce commanded by Moses a legal annunciation of divorce they could remarry and not be left without support.
Gods Purposes For Marriage
it tears at the very heart of Gods redemptive plan for the world
And He answered and said, Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.
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What Key Bible Verses Say About Divorce
Even religious men and women wonder, “What does the Bible say about divorce?” when experiencing extreme difficulty within their marriages. Christian couples often look to the Bible for guidance on how God wants you to deal with thoughts of divorce or what to do when one partner files for divorce. Learn what the Bible says about divorce so you can make a divorce decision you’ll feel good about.
What Does The Bible Say About Divorce: Matthew : 31
While short, Matthew 5:31-32 is an often quoted text as to what the Bible says about divorce. Again, the problem is that we impose our understanding of divorce onto this text. So the first thing we need to remind ourselves of is the context of the culture to which Jesus is speaking.
The first thing we should take note of is who this is addressed too the husbands, the men. They are the ones that are making the decision to divorce, so Jesus directs this towards them. That might seem odd to us, but knowing the context that makes sense. Not only does Jesus direct this towards the men, but he shows them that they arent getting off so free and clean as they thought.
anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
What a strange thought, right? At least at first glance. Most people read this literally. But Jesus is using a metaphor, comparing divorce to adultery figuratively. Jesus is not saying that divorce = adultery. Rather he is saying divorce is like adultery in that the consequences are the same.
When a man divorces his wife the foundation of commitment is broken, thus the marriage is dissolved. When one commits adultery, the foundation of faithfulness is destroyed, thus the marriage is broken. Both divorce and adultery end the same way. So in that way, they are the same. What Jesus is saying is the practical result of divorce is the same as that of adultery.
Jesus is flipping the script and offering protection for the women of the day.
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What Should You Do When Your Spouse Wants Out
Do Be PatientPatience buys time. No matter how difficult, take life one day at a time. Make decisions one by one. Overcome obstacles separately. Start with matters you can do something about. Patiently work out how to deal with situations or problems that seem overwhelming. Take time to seek wise counsel.
Do Ask a Trusted Third PartyDo you know someone that your departing spouse holds in high esteem? If so, ask that person to intervene in your marriage. It may be a pastor, a friend, her parent, or even one or more of your children . Ask the person to spend time with your mate, to listen to her, and to do everything possible to influence her to agree to marriage counseling or our intensive marriage weekend workshop. Our experience is that often a spouse who absolutely refuses counseling or a workshop when asked by a spouse will agree, if reluctantly, when urged by a third party that they deeply care for.
Do Prove You Have ChangedRather than focusing only on the faults of your spouse, admit your own weaknesses. When you begin working on improving yourself in those areas, you benefit yourself. You also make strides toward salvaging your marriage.
Will God Forgive You If You Get Divorced
The answer is an undeniable YES, God DOES FORGIVE DIVORCE.
I want you to think back to what saved you? Jesus did. He shed His blood on a cross to take away all of your sins.
The same thing that saves you, is the same thing you need to hold on to when you wonder how God responds to divorce.
God does not have a bucket of some sins Christians can be forgiven of, and some that arent.
You are not in some holding tank waiting for you to somehow engage in some religious activity to get back in good standing with God. Jesus applies the same forgiveness to divorce as he does lying, cheating on taxes, or any other sin.
What Does The Bible Teach About Divorce
I do believe that the Bible gives two clear-cut grounds where divorce is possible. Never mandated, but it’s possible. And those are the classic grounds of adultery and desertion by the unbeliever. And that said, there are also some grounds that really make you, they’re not trying to throw a flood gate open on easy divorce, but where you’ve got criminal violence is one of those that thoughtful Christians of all generations have really wrestled with. There’s something so wrong with that. And it’s such both desertion and adultery, like violence, are such betrayals of the fundamental call of marriage to dwell lovingly with one another.
But let’s say you’ve got a person who has been divorced. As a church process that, seeks to help that man or woman, the first thing that I think that’s going to be on the table is was it a biblical or unbiblical divorce? Was it just for convenience? Was it groundless or irreconcilable differences, which is kind of a catchall for just means we didn’t get along? And there may well be that the first step is to really think through is there repair work, a reconciliation that can be done.
A good book on the topic that I think just very sweetly reasoned, comprehensive, is Jay Adam’s book, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible. It’s just sound, sensible, good, balanced teaching reflects what I think is probably, as you look at the whole 2000 years of church history, has been the consensus view of the church’s wise, thoughtful theologians.
Fight For Your Marriage
Remember, Satan hates marriage because it is an illustration of Christ and the church. He and his demons work overtime to destroy marriage. You need to be aware of this and on the alert for his attacks on your marriage. Refuse to allow him to drive a wedge in your relationship. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
When self or your sin nature is running the show, marital discord is inevitable. But when youre operating in the Spirit, conflicts are quickly resolved, youre less likely to offend or be offended, and you are quick to forgive.
Establish a daily family altar time where you read and discuss the Scripture, and worship, sing, and pray together. When you are spiritually intimate, everything else falls into place.
Practice successful conflict management. Learn to agreeably disagree. Learn to peacefully discuss your problems without exploding in anger, getting defensive, or turning it into a confrontation.
Its okay to ask for help! Seek wise counselors your pastor, a Christian marriage therapist, an older happily-married couple. Theyve probably worked through the same issues youre facing and can give you helpful counsel.
57. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed perplexed, but not in despair persecuted, but not abandoned struck down, but not destroyed.
58. Psalm 147:3 The Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
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Will God Punish You Or Ignore Prayers If You Get A Divorce
Absolutely not, God would never punish or ignore the prayers of His children. That comes from a distorted teaching in 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.
This is not God not answering your prayers. This is about married people who are arguing and fighting, and as a result, not praying together. God is not hindered, and his answers to your prayers are not hindered. The only thing hindered is you and your spouses prayer time.
What Does God Say About Divorce
God hates divorce. He said that one of the reasons He allowed for divorce was because mans heart was hardened and he didnt have enough compassion for his wife. The Bible says, Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning, it has not been this way. . We are all sinners and we deserve to be separated from God. But by His grace, we can be restored to Him through Jesus Christ .
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What The Bible Says How To Work On Marital Problems
Now that we understand how the Biblical reasons for divorce are hard and only limited to extreme circumstances, we would, of course, think of ways on how the Bible will teach us on how we can handle marital troubles.
As Christians, we would, of course, want to be pleasant in the eyes of our God and to do this, we need to make sure that we do our best to save our marriage and to work for it under the guidance of our Lord.
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. -1 Peter 3:7
It clearly says here that a man will leave his family and dedicate his life for this wife and children. He will honor the woman he chose to marry and will be guided by Gods teachings.
Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Colossians 3:19
Husbands, as you are the stronger one. Dont use your strength to hurt your wife and kids but to protect them.
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Hebrews 13:4
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Ephesians 5:22-24
But The Bible Doesnt Say That God Hates Divorce
That declaration is garnered from Malachi 2: 16 where it says:
the man who hates and divorces his wife does violence to the one he should protect
and in the KJV: the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment
and in the ESV: the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence,
The context here is not that God hates divorce but that hatred and sending a spouse away are acts of violence toward a spouse. Those are things that God hates.
Here are some other things that God hates :
How many of those characteristics describe the character of your husband? Not just his behavior, but his character his repeated, ongoing way of doing life.
We are all guilty of some of those at times, but godly people would never be described that way. Those descriptors have no part in godly character. So, if your husband is marked by those characteristics, this leads me to another Bible discourse that mentions divorce:
It brings into question whether someone is a believer and, if they are not, what is a spouse to do?
Many people point to this passage as a command to not separate, but to use the passage that way is to overlook Pauls concession for separation when he says that a wife should not separate: he says but if she does . . .
Can A Rightly Divorced Person Remarry
When the Bible permits divorce, it is so that the wronged or abandoned party may remarry. Thats what a certificate of divorce is. Therefore, in any case where a divorce is biblically permissible, it is by definition also permissible for the wronged or abandoned party to remarry. In Matthew 5:31-32 Jesus says:
It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce. But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Here Jesus is simply saying that if a divorce is not legitimate, then the remarriage is not legitimate. If the divorce is legitimate , then the remarriage is legitimate.
Similarly the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7 that if the unbelieving spouse does not want to stay in the marriage and does not want to live with an active and obvious Christian, then the believer should let them go. In such cases the believer is not bound that is to say they are free to remarry. The Pillar Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7 makes that point clearly:
Not bound here refers to freedom to remarry. Instone-Brewer explains: The only freedom that makes any sense in this context is the freedom to remarry ll Jewish divorce certificates and most Greco-Roman ones contained the words you are free to marry any man you wish, or something very similar.
Divorce In The Old Testament
Weve already discussed the Malachi 2 passage about how God hates divorce. Lets look at the law of Moses regarding divorce :
When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens, if she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, that he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her away from his house, and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another mans wife, and the latter husband turns against her, writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand, and sends her away from his house, or if the latter husband who took her to be his wife dies, then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled for that is an abomination before the LORD.
First, what does indecency mean in this passage? It comes from the Hebrew word ervah, which can be translated as nakedness, indecency, shame, uncleanness. It seems to imply a sexual sin, but probably not adultery because in that case, the woman and her lover would receive the death sentence . But it clearly seems to be some sort of serious moral offense.
Jesus commented on this in Matthew 19, saying that those whom God joined in marriage, let no one separate. But when the Pharisees pressed him about Moses law, Jesus said the man was permitted to divorce his wife because of the hardness of his heart. Gods intent was no divorce at all. He was not commanding or condoning divorce
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At The Heart Of Every Passage On Divorce Is The Desire Of God For Us To Keep Our Lives Pure
God doesnt want us to break the commandment that says you shall not commit adultery because he knows how much damage that does. Dismissively discarding someone leads to adultery. When the disciples asked Jesus why divorce isnt OK except for in instances of adultery, he said that its because anyone who divorces and marries another commits adultery. Its always about adultery and being careful not to break that commandment. The certificate of divorce eliminates the sin of adultery, making the separation legal .