Divorce is a sensitive topic that people interpret differently. This topic is worth discussing since it can teach Christians what the Bible says about divorce. What many people want to understand is, does God release people from marriages?
Though God hates divorce, as explained in Malachi 2:16, the Bible gives the grounds for divorce. A couple can get divorced due to sexual immorality (Matthew 5:32) or abandonment by an unbeliever (1st Corinthians 7:15). However, the Bible suggests that divorce should be the last resort for a couple and does not encourage it among Christians.
When does the Bible allow couples to get a divorce? Why do some Christians think that divorce is a sin? Can a Christian remarry after divorce? These are some of the questions that this article will cover. By the end of it, one can also discover some Bible verses that talk about divorce. Read on to find out more!
When does the Bible allow couples to get a divorce?
People have been debating over the legitimate grounds for divorce since the time of Jesus. During this period, some scholars argued that a man could divorce his partner for any reason, while some claimed that it was moral only when the wife had committed adultery. Though the Lord says that he hates divorce, as explained in Malachi 2:16, it suggests two clear grounds for divorce.
According to the Bible, a couple can get divorced in case of sexual immorality. This is clearly explained in Matthew 5:32, which says, 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.
Sexual relations are a crucial part of a marital bond, as explained in Genesis 2:24. This verse says, therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Therefore, if one of the partners breaks the bond of sexual relations outside their marriage, it may be an acceptable reason for a divorce.
The Bible also suggests that a couple can get a divorce in case of abandonment by an unbeliever. This is explained in 1st Corinthians 7:15, which says, But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases, the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. This verse means that if the unbelieving spouse leaves the marriage, the spouse that stays is not bound to their commitment to the marriage. They are free to get a divorce.
Though these are the two biblical grounds for divorce, the Bible suggests that divorce should be a last resort. Before a couple divorces, they should take essential steps like forgiveness and consider reconciling.
Why do some Christians think that divorce is a sin?
Divorce is a controversial issue both inside and outside the church. Some Christians think that divorce is a sin since the Bible suggests that anyone who puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery, as explained in Luke 16:18. They assume that divorce is, therefore, a sin since the Bible suggests that adultery is a sin. The book of Exodus 20:13-14 says You shall not murder; you shall not commit adultery.
When God created marriage, the plan was for the couple to be together for life. This is explained in Matthew 19:6, which says they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. Some Christians think divorce is a sin since it goes against what God intended.
Others assume that because God said that he hates divorce, it must be a sin. Malachi 2:16 says, For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit and do not be faithless.
Other Christians think that divorce is a sin since it breaks wedding vows. During Christian marriages, the couple vows to be together for better or worse. They think divorce is a sin since Bible verses such as Ecclesiastes 5:5 state it is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. Matthew 5:33 also talks about not breaking vows.
Some Christians also argue that divorcing for other reasons apart from the biblical grounds earlier is a sin. The Bible suggests that sexual immorality and abandonment are the only grounds for divorce.
Can a Christian remarry after divorce?
The Bible suggests that a Christian can remarry after a divorce in some circumstances. Matthew 19:9 says, And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife except for immorality and marries another woman commits adultery. In this verse, the phrase marries another brings up the issue of remarriage. It suggests that divorcing a partner on the grounds of immorality frees the offended party to remarry without committing adultery.
1st Corinthians 7:15 also suggests that Christians can remarry in case their spouse has abandoned them. Based on the Biblical grounds of divorce, it is clear that the Bible does not permit remarriage in case of an unbiblical divorce.
The problem with many Christians is that they desire to remarry immediately after a divorce when God desires them to remain single. Sometimes, God calls Christians after a divorce to remain single to avoid undivided attention, as explained in 1st Corinthians 7:3.
Though one can get married after divorce, it is not the only option. A Christian should take some time to heal and reflect on why the previous marriage did not work in the first place. They can also think about the possibility of reconciling with the former spouse before considering remarriage. God urges Christians to learn how to forgive one another. Ephesians 4:31 says, Be Kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Bible verses on divorce
Since God created marriage to bless mankind and prosper his World, the Bible contains verses about divorce. For instance, Matthew 5:31-31 warns Christians about divorcing their wives. This verse 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.
This verse is closely related to Mark 10:11-12 which says, And he said to them, whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. If she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.
Christians can also learn about not divorcing and the importance of reconciling by focusing on 1st Corinthians 7:0-11. This verse says, To the married, I give this charge (not I but the Lord): the wife should not separate from the husband, but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband, and the husband should not divorce his wife.
Christians can also learn about divorce by reading Deuteronomy 21:1-4. These verses say, When a man takes a wife and marries her if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs off of his house, and if she goes and becomes another man’s wife, and the latter man hates her and writes a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife, then the former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the Lord. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that your God is giving you for an inheritance.
1st Corinthians 7:39 also warns Christians about divorce. It says A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes only in the Lord.
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- What does the Bible say about divorce and remarriage?
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.