When God Allows Divorce
“In the house the disciples asked again about this matter. And he said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.’ “
Given modern no-fault divorce laws and the allowance for divorce in cases of “irreconcilable differences,” both of which reflect a disdain for Christ’s teaching on marriage , it is unsurprising that many Christians believe divorce is never acceptable. Moreover, passages such as today’s text, at least on first reading, seem to lend credence to the idea that divorce is always wrong. As a rule, however, we want to make sure our views are driven by an accurate interpretation of God’s Word and not our cultural context. It is possible to overreact to sin in such a way that we make the law more restrictive than the Lord intends.
Jesus’ teaching on marriage and divorce gives us a proper framework for lawful sexual activity. Christ reaffirms Genesis’ teaching that the only God-approved sexual relationship is that between one man and one woman in a lawful marriage . This rules out all homosexual acts as well as all premarital and extramarital sexual relationships between men and women.
What Does The Bible Say
The New Testament presents a problem in understanding both what the text says about divorce and its pastoral implications. Jesus appears to say that divorce is allowed only if adultery has occurred. Whoever divorces a wife, except for sexual indecency, and remarries, commits adultery . However, this has been interpreted in many different ways. Most say that Jesus allows divorce only for adultery. But some argue that Jesus originally didnt allow even that. Only in Matthew does he offer an out from marriage: except for sexual indecency. Beyond what Jesus says, Paul also allows divorce. He permits it for abandonment by a nonbeliever . Many theologians add this as a second ground for divorce.
Yet some pastors have found this teaching difficult to accept, because it seems so impractical. Even cruel in certain situations. It suggests there can be no divorce for physical or emotional abuse, and Paul even seems to forbid separation .
Jesus Talks About When Divorce Is Adultery
Matthew 5:32But 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.
And he said to them, Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.
Luke 16:18Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.
The topic of divorce will always be a hotly debated subject. It is sad that such a large percentage of marriages will end in divorce. Jesus clearly allows for divorce under certain conditions but it is always important to recognize that divorce was never the intention or the will of God for His people. Maybe you are reading today and considering a divorce if this is the case I would encourage to seek wise counsel. A great place to find great Biblical advice is from the pastor from a local church that teaches the Bible accurately. Most pastors would love to listen to you and try to help you. Maybe there will be a hope of reconciliation for you and your marriage. Divorce affects both spouses, any kids that may be involved, and even both families that are involved. My prayer for you this day is for healing for your marriage as you seek the will of God for your life.
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Is It Ok For Christians To Get A Divorce
You might believe in some of these misconceptions.
The thought of being a divorced Christian is scary, right? The term itself comes with a lot of stigma, and can make the divorcee feel like theyre wearing a scarlet letter. They may feel miserable in their church because they no longer seem to fit in. They dont always mesh well with the singles, and the married couples they once bonded with cant connect to them like they used to. Everyone around them has their happy little families, while their world is crumbling around them.
There are the well-meaning Christians who tell divorced Christians that they have failed Christ through getting a divorce, and that if they choose to remarry they are sure to end up forever in hell. The only option is to pray and do whatever is possible to reconcile with their ex-spouse. This only makes the divorced person feel worse and even further from God.
Can God ever forgive someone who got a divorce? Is it possible that a God-fearing relationship could one day fall apart? The divorced Christian, or those thinking about getting a divorce, has so many questions and few answers.
Christians as a whole have a lot of misconceptions about what the Bible really says about divorce, and what God really thinks about it.
Is Divorce Ever Gods Will
What does the Bible say about divorce? Is divorce ever Gods will? Get the truth about Biblical divorce here.
PinA few months ago, I was doing some research on how marriage should be a 50/50 kind of thing. You know each doing our fair share.
The key take-away was that in a good, Godly marriage, you should stop worrying about whether or not your spouse is pulling HIS weight and focus instead on making sure YOU are the best spouse you can be.
After all, your actions are the only ones you can really control anyways. So you worry about you, and let God worry about your husband.
But what happens when your spouse doesnt hold up his end of the bargain? Like ever. For years. When do you say enough is enough?
You see, its all well and good to say that Christian wives should be submissive and give without worry.
But serving a Godly husband who forgets to pick up his socks one too many times is a lot different than serving a husband who couldnt care less about God and who lives a lifestyle to prove it.
What then? Is divorce ever Gods will?
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As Christian women, we know all too well how God views divorce. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament make it quite plain: God hates divorce.
But what if divorce isnt the worst sin of all?
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How Can We Be So Sure That Physical Abuse Emotional Abuse Financial Abuse Substance Abuse And Severe Neglect Are Serious In God’s Eyes
How do we know? Because the Bible says God doesn’t want abusive people in the church. The apostle Paul told the Christians in Corinth to end their association with any sexually immoral, drunk, emotionally or financially abusive person.
1. We should not associate with people who claim to be Christians but are immoral. Not even to eat with them.
1 Cor 5:11-12 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
Eph 5:3-7 NIVBut among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for Gods holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy personsuch a person is an idolaterhas any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things Gods wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
Eph 5:11-13 NIVHave nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visibleand everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
The Biblical Grounds For Divorce:
Based on the passages above, we can say with confidence that a believer may initiate divorce in the following cases:
1. Her husband has committed adultery with another mans wife.2. Her husband has had homosexual sex with a man.3. Her husband has had sex with an animal.4. Her husband has had sex with a relative.5. Her husband no longer wishes to be married to her because of her Christian faith.
In any of the five above cases the believer may pursue a divorce.
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What Does The Bible Say About Divorce When Is It Allowed
In our culture today many see divorce as a positive solution to a troubled marriage. But Harvard sociologist Armand Nicholi III concluded, Divorce is not a solution, but an exchange of problems. In a more personal way, novelist Pat Conroy said of his own marriage break-up, Each divorce is the death of a small civilization.
One woman wrote after her divorce, Our divorce has been the most painful, horrid, ulcer producing, agonizing event you can imagine. I wish I could put on this piece of paper for all the world to see, a picture of what divorce feels like. Maybe my picture would stop people before its too late.
Positive Things To Do After Divorce
1. Manage Conflict with PeaceJesus is a great example for how to conduct ourselves in the face of conflict. He kept himself calm by knowing God was still in control even as His enemies were attacking. He spoke out to His disciples sharing that He knew they were going to betray Him but He left the consequences of these actions in Gods hands. You cannot control how your spouse behaves during or after the divorce, but you can control how you act and treat other people. Treat them with the respect they deserve as the parent of your child, or at least as a fellow human being even if theyre acting like some sort of alien from outer space.
3. Challenge the Lonely Feelings with Benevolence While Single and HealingFeeling lonely after divorce is a real concern of many of the women I speak to. It seems to be the biggest struggle that Christian women face while working on healing. When the divorce wasnt wanted in the first place, feeling lonely seems to be an added consequence to an already mounting list. But we learn in the Bible that singleness is a gift from God. It may be hard to see it as such when youre feeling so much pain and loss. But its often an invitation to seek a relationship with the One who knows how to cure the pain and fill the void.
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Purpose #: To Multiply A Godly Legacy
Gods original plan called for the home to be a sort of greenhousea nurturing place where children grow up to learn character, values, and integrity. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 tells us, These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
What Did Jesus Say About Divorce
Jesus said many times that He did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. But like some people today, the Pharisees looked back at their history and either added to or misunderstood what Moses said about divorce. In Matthew 19:7, the Pharisees asked Jesus Why then did Moses command to give her a Certificate of Divorce and send her away? Through the ages, the Rabbis and Pharisees watered down or misinterpreted the law. Moses did not actually command a certificate of divorce. Jesus quickly rebukes them:
He said to them, Because of the hardness of your hearts, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery .
God does not change, nor does His Word. Even though we slice, dice, and split hairs, God doesnt. These two final passages purge any doubt and sharpen the focus of all who desire to hear and heed what Jesus the Son and God the Father have to say about divorce.
And it was said, Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery .
What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate .
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So When Does The Bible Allow For Divorce
So When Does the Bible Allow for Divorce?
Much of my work centers on getting people to realize the utter importance of their covenants. I feel strongly that promises should be kept. Our marriage covenants are among the most pivotal commitments we make. As such, we should do everything within our power to ensure that we remain true to our covenants.
That being said…
What about divorce? Divorce is obviously mentioned throughout the Bible. God Himself even experienced a divorce. So while we strive to live according to our “’til death do I part” vows, are there other Biblical reasons for a marriage to end? Is it possible to terminate a marriage covenant without sinning in the process?
This statement will be somewhat controversial, but… I believe so.
In looking at this matter, we need to consider a few things, which are separate matters but intertwined:
When Does The Bible Allow Divorce
Your best friend, Annie, finally works up the courage to make a coffee date with you and get real. I just cant do it anymore, she says, eyes downcast as she traces the outline of her cup. I constantly catch him watching pornography he puts me down all the time he is forceful in the bedroom. A couple times lately, he really lost his temper and scared the kids badly. I dont know what to do. God wants us to honor marriage no matter what, right? What do you say?
Another friend, Monica, calls you often with complaints about her husband. It seems he can never do anything right, and youre concerned that Monica has started to obsess about what a man of God your churchs new, single pastor is. You suspect Monica might be getting a bit infatuated. Youre concerned about her. Could she be considering divorce?
Meanwhile, a third friend, Mary Ann, is consumed with guilt about the past. After studying the Bible, she has come to the conclusion that she divorced for selfish reasons, not biblical ones. Because her ex-husband is remarried, Mary Ann cant remedy this wrong. She is having a terrible time hearing anything you tell her about Gods forgiveness.
When we face challenging marital circumstances , we may struggle with deep, hard questions: What are the biblical grounds for divorce? Are my marriage struggles just the product of two sinners marrying? Or are these struggles legitimate grounds for divorce? How can Gods Word help me discern what is right?
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Does The Bible Say I Should Separate From My Non
To the rest I say I and not the Lord that if any believer has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
Examples Of Divorce In The Bible
When you find yourself asking, what does the Bible say about divorce, perhaps youll look to Mary and Joseph for example.
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
Scandalous isnt it? Joseph wasnt even married to Mary, and he already had plans to divorce her.
The Bible talks a lot about divorce because just like today, divorce happened a lot. In fact, in the Old Testament, The Law, as described in Deuteronomy 24:1, says that it was fairly easy for a man to divorce his wife. As long as he felt she was displeasing to him or there was something indecent about her, he would write her a divorce certificate and send her from his house. A woman, however, could not initiate divorce in any form.
Obviously today its a little bit different than thator at least, we make it out to be. In 2018, we call it falling out of love, and women have more rights.
But when you look at the big picture, divorce today is a lot like divorce thousands of years ago as it is written in the Bible. Historically, divorce is two people separating for selfish, human reasons.
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