What do Mennonites believe about Divorce ( Mennonite view of Divorce and Remarriage)?

In the past fifteen years as a Christian religious scholar, I have developed a deep passion for different religions and their way of life. During my last year in a theology school, I traveled around the world, living among other religious communities and learning their traditions and beliefs. Among the religions I visited was the Mennonite religion, so when a young man asked me to explain their view on Divorce during our college crusade last weekend, I had the answers at my fingertips. So, what is the Mennonites believe about Divorce?

Mennonites believe that marriage is sacred and should be a long life commitment. Divorce is seen as a wrong and regrettable outcome of marriage and is avoided at all costs. However, in some Mennonite communities, Divorce may be allowed in the event of adultery or spouse abandonment.

In this article, I dive deeper into the Mennonite view of Divorce and remarriage. I will answer the following popular questions about Mennonite divorce. What is Mennonite belief about marriage? Can Mennonites divorce? Can Mennonites remarry after Divorce? What are the leading causes of Divorce among Mennonites, and what happens when Mennonite Divorce?

What are the Mennonites believe about marriage?

Mennonites believe marriage Is a sacred and long-life commitment between one man and one woman. They believe that marriage is the most intimate relationship in all human relationships. Mennonites, like every other conservative Christian religion, believe that God initiated marriage for companionship and reproduction.

The Mennonite sanctity of marriage dictates that once a couple is married, they must leave their homes and live together in a separate community until death do their part. In the Mennonite community, Divorce is shunned, and more conservative Mennonites in the past punished couples who divorced by excommunicating them from the district a team is experiencing difficulties in their marriage; the community offers them help, like counseling and mediating between them. Divorce is only seen as the last result and a lamentable outcome of a marriage. However, the modern-day Mennonites are more lenient and allow Divorce in case of spousal abuse or infidelity.

The Mennonite community believes that men and women are equal in marriage. However, it is a more patriarchal community, where women raise children and care for them, while the men become leaders in the community and the church.

Can Mennonites divorce?

Mennonite view of Divorce and Remarriage
Can Mennonites divorce? Image source: Freepik

Mennonites, like every other conservative religion, regard marriage as a sacred institution. Mennonite teachings insist on the need to uphold the sanctity and permanence of marriage. Divorce is discouraged in the Mennonite community and is only done in unresolvable cases, such as abandonment by a spouse or adultery. Even in such cases, the couple is advised to go for counseling and reconciliation sessions. However, if there is no way to solve the differences between a couple, they can divorce. Divorce in Mennonite communities varies depending on the group. For instance, more modernized Mennonites may be more open to Divorce than traditional Mennonites.

Can Mennonites remarry after Divorce?

The topic of remarriage after Divorce is a sensitive topic among Mennonites. In most cases, unless the Divorce resulted from the demise of a partner, divorced Mennonites either stay single or reconcile with their previous partners. Mennonites strictly adhere to the teachings in Corinthians 7:39, which states that marriage is for eternity and not until Divorce does them part.

What are the leading causes of Divorce among Mennonites?

Although Divorce among Mennonites is highly disregarded, some Mennonite communities allow Divorce under exceptional circumstances. Some of these circumstances include:

  • Adultery– Committing adultery breaks the sacred agreement of marriage. Therefore, a couple can part ways in the event of continued unfaithfulness in marriage. Divorce only happens if the attempt of forgiveness and reconciliation fails.
  • Spousal abuse- Abuse of a spouse undermines peace in any marriage. Therefore, if a spouse is proven to be continuously abused by their spouse, then Divorce is permitted.
  • Spouse abandonment- if their spouse abandons one for unjust reasons, some modern Mennonite communities may allow them to divorce

It is important to note that the causes of Divorce among Mennonites vary from different communities, depending on their view of Divorce.

What happens when Mennonite divorces?

Mennonite view of Divorce and Remarriage
What happens when Mennonite divorces? Image source: Pinterest

The aftermath of a divorce in a Mennonite community may vary from one community to another. Some churches may provide the victim spiritual and emotional support through counseling and guidance from pastors as they go through the Divorce. Modernized Mennonite societies may even help through the legal process of Divorce. However, traditional Mennonite communities have a stigma around Divorce which often causes divorced people to withdraw from such communities and seek refuge in more accommodating churches.

Leave a Comment