Can I Divorce My Unbelieving Spouse
Paul answers another question about unbelieving spouses:
12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace .
So the advice here is to stay with the unbelieving spouse if they are willing to live in peace, but if not, they are free to let the unbeliever go. But after that, does it say they can remarry? No, it doesnât. All it means is that they are ânot under bondageâ to the marriage. They donât need to stay in a relationship with a person whoâs disrupting their peace, and quite possibly, their spiritual growth.
More about divorce:
The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will only in the Lord .
And Paul repeats it in Romans:
While it seems there is no hope for remarriage after divorce, there are two other exceptions for men.
What Is Gods Will For Divorce And Remarriage
Does God permit a divorced person to remarry while their former spouse is still alive? If a divorced person has already remarried, should they get divorced again? How does God feel when 2 people who were divorced get back together with each other in again?
God hates divorce and only allows for it in the case of unfaithfulness by one or the other spouse . Even in the case of unfaithfulness, God does not require or desire divorce but merely permits it . When there has been unfaithfulness or other sins that have torn apart the relationship, it is Gods desire that both partners would repent. They have to forgive one another, and .
What Should I Consider Before Getting Married Again
If you are seeking to get married again, here are some basic questions you should ask yourself to help you make sure this is what you truly desire to do. This is not all encompassing, but it at least gets you thinking.
1. Have you healed from the previous ?
Whether your marriage ended through death or divorce it can be painful. Make sure you are healed from your past before you try to begin a future with another person.
2. Have you learned from the previous marriage?
If your marriage ended in death, you need to consider whether or not you are ready to go down that emotional road again. It is okay if you dont want to, but you need to walk into the marriage with the reality that it could happen again. Are you ready for that?
If your marriage ended in divorce, then are there characteristics or traits that you saw in the person you were previously married to that you want to avoid in the next person?
3. Are you ready for another marriage?
It is perfectly okay to not remarry, but if you want to remarry then dont be so quick to rush into it. Take your time so that you dont make a mistake in the process. You should pray and it is probably wise to have some pre-marital counseling to address some of the issues you may face in the remarriage.
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Who Can Marry Whom According To The Bible
Malachi 2:11-12 says Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem for Judah has profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loves, and has married the daughter of a strange god. The NIV version says the Lord is angry with Judah because they married women who worship foreign gods. What does it mean that it was an abomination or sin for Jews to marry women who worshiped foreign deities? It means that God gave specific instructions regarding marriage to ancient Jewish people, not all human beings throughout history. For example, ancient Jewish men were not allowed to marry women who worship other gods. Therefore, the principle taught in these verses is that God wants Christians to only marry those who share similar beliefs and values as them.
The Grounds For Divorce
The only New Testament grounds for divorce are sexual sin or desertion by an unbeliever. The first is found in Jesus use of the Greek word porneia . This is a general term that encompasses sexual sin such as adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, and incest. When one partner violates the unity and intimacy of a marriage by sexual sinand forsakes his or her covenant obligationthe faithful partner is placed in an extremely difficult situation. After all means are exhausted to bring the sinning partner to repentance, the Bible permits release for the faithful partner through divorce .
The second reason for permitting a divorce is in cases where an unbelieving mate does not desire to live with his or her believing spouse . Because God has called us to peace , divorce is allowed and may be preferable in such situations. When an unbeliever desires to leave, trying to keep him or her in the marriage may only create greater tension and conflict. Also, if the unbeliever leaves the marital relationship permanently but is not willing to file for divorce, perhaps because of lifestyle, irresponsibility, or to avoid monetary obligations, then the believer is in an impossible situation of having legal and moral obligations that he or she cannot fulfill. Because the brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases and is therefore no longer obligated to remain married, the believer may file for divorce without fearing the displeasure of God.
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Lets Look Deeper At Whether A Divorced Christian Has To Remain Single
Lets look a little deeper at two verses that bring up the concerns about whether a divorced Christian has to remain single and see what we find out. Well start with Matthew 19:8-9.
In this Scripture Jesus answers a direct question cited in Matthew 19:3. Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?
Jesus replied, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.
Jesus was saying that God designed marriage to be a lifetime union. Moses allowed for divorce because people sometimes have hard hearts and fall short of Gods perfect plan. As suggested by the question in verse 3, many men were divorcing their wives for trivial reasons not in keeping with the law, this often left women on the streets. Jesus was saying that for a man to dismiss his wife in a frivolous way that is not in keeping with the law is the same as committing adultery.
The NIV Study Bible says this about the phrasecommits adultery
This speaks only of the man who divorces his wife unlawfully. In such a case, his remarriage is adulterous. Jesuss motivation is to re-establish the permanency of marriage.
Now lets consider Romans 7:3
What Does Marriage According To Gods Word Look Like
What does Christian marriage according to the Bible look like? In the Book of Ephesians, the Bible teaches that marriage should be entered into with a one-flesh bond , and this includes husband and wife who are saved by Jesus Christ. This does not mean a Christian Marriage has to include vows or ceremoniesbut it should point to an eternal relationship between one man and one woman.
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What Does The Bible Say About Remarriage
Everybody loves a good wedding story, and there is nothing better than two people falling in love and deciding to bind their love in marriage. Oh, the romance of it all.
Unfortunately, as we know, all marriages dont last. Some end because death does them part, and for many others they end through divorce. Regardless of how you got there, whether through death or divorce, you may find yourself in a situation where you have gone from being married to being unmarried. For many people in this position, they may desire to get remarried, but what does the Bible say about remarriage and how can you apply this to your life if you are in this situation?
The Key Passages In Scripture:
In developing Biblical perspectives and policies on divorce and remarriage in the church, pastors and elders will want to begin by wrestling with the teaching on this topic recorded in Matthew 19.
And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, Is it lawful to divorce ones wife for any cause? He answered, Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast 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 not man separate. They said to him, Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away? He said to them, Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.
The key word in the above passage for our purposes is the Greek word pornea translated in the ESV as sexual immorality. The word has a range of meanings, but is almost certainly a reference to the entirety of the Holiness Code as recorded in Leviticus. The Holiness Code exhaustively itemizes prohibited forms of sexuality:
Thus by pornea we can safely conclude that Jesus considered adultery, homosexual sex, incest and bestiality as constituting grounds for divorce.
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Does God Forgive Divorce
Will God forgive me if I get a divorce?
Will God punish me, or ignore my prayers if I get a divorce?
Can I get remarried if I had a divorce?
First, I want everyone to know that I do not condone divorce. In fact, if you are still married, and struggling, may I encourage you to watch my video on advice for Married Christians.
This video was created for people that are ALREADY divorced and perhaps struggling with how God may view them.
One of the most common questions asked by Christians is does God forgive divorce? and/or how does God respond to believers that have been divorced. Heres the biblical truth to these questions about divorce.
If you listen to most teachings, you may be thinking that God doesnt forgive divorce, or at the very least, that God will dole out some punishment if you were to get divorced. But neither is true, or even biblical.
Before I explain this, I want to give my typical disclosure, so I can cut off the angry punches at the start.
I do not condone divorce!
If youre married to a believing spouse then I firmly believe that Gods heart is that we remain married.
If you are considering divorce, I encourage you to seek counseling. See a pastor. See a trusting friend. Talk to each other. Do whatever it takes to save your marriage.
It is through our marriage that Christians show Christ to the world. We do this by living out our identity in Christ through our marriage.
God promises to never leave us and never forsake us. Romans 12: 18 tells us:
What To Do If Your Spouse Wants A Divorce And You Dont
It is not an easy or straightforward situation, but you can take the following steps.
Take a deep and honest look at your home to know what is really wrong.
Know that you may be the cause of the problem, hence do not ignore or fail to acknowledge where you have contributed to the issue on ground.
That is the only hope you have, to get a real and permanent solution, call God into it.
Confess your sins, and that of your spouse, and ask him to touch his heart, and heal your marriage.
If your partner is someone you can still talk to, even as you are praying over the matter, discuss what you have discovered together, as you take the approach of someone who wants settlement.
Dont blame him over any issue, just let him realize the problems that your separation will cause.
Let him bear all his mind, and state what he actually wants in the marriage.
Continue with your prayer, and ask others who can, to join you, God can turn the situation around to favor you.
What does God say about divorce for those whose marriages are under threat?
They are to commit the situation to Gods hands. He is the only one that can reverse the irreversible.
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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.
Jesus On Divorce And Remarriage:
Furthermore it has been said, Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce. But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?And He answered and said to them, Have you not read that He who made them at 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 then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.They said to Him, Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?He said to them, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.His disciples said to Him, If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.But He said to them, All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given
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What Is The Biblical Definition Of Marriage According To Gods Word
In short, a man and a woman should get married only if they love one another and share a common faith in Jesus Christ. The definition for Christian marriage according to the Bible is that its when two people from opposite sexes fall in lovejoin together as husband and wifeshare a common faith in Jesus Christand consummate their union sexually with each other.
Gods Children Live Forever
But what is most interesting is what Jesus said about divorce.
Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection and they asked him, saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a mans brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed. And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise. And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also. In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.
And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage but are as the angels which are in heaven. And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.
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Paul On Divorce And Remarriage:
Or do you not know, brethren , that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.
1 Corinthians 7:10-11
Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.
It is very clear from Gods Word that He has instituted marriage to be between one man and one woman, and that the marriage contract is binding as long as both partners are alive. Even though the Bible does open for divorce in some cases, it also makes it very clear that this does not lift the commitment to faithfulness for either partner, and they may not remarry as long as the other partner is still alive.
knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20-21.