What Does The Bible Say About Divorce? (Explained)


Are you struggling with questions about divorce and what the Bible says? You are not alone. Many people face confusion and uncertainty when their marriage is on shaky ground.

Understanding God’s perspective can provide comfort and guidance during these challenging times.

The Bible addresses divorce in several passages, offering insights into Jesus’s teachings and Paul’s advice to early Christians. One striking fact is that adultery stands out as a significant reason mentioned for divorce within many churches, reflecting Jesus’s words in Matthew’s gospel.

This article will help clarify Biblical principles on divorce, including permissible grounds according to Scripture, tips for healing post-divorce, and how to seek godly counsel. You’ll find support and answers here.

Read on!

Table of Contents [Hide]

  1. Biblical Foundations on Divorce
  2. What Jesus Said About Divorce
  3. Paul's Teachings on Divorce
  4. Biblical Grounds for Divorce
  5. Restoration and Forgiveness Post-Divorce
  6. Navigating Divorce as a Christian
  7. Biblical Guidance for Healing and Moving Forward
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Final Thoughts

Biblical Foundations on Divorce

God intended marriage to be a lasting union between husband and wife. Sin has caused brokenness in many marriages, leading to divorce.

God’s Original Design for Marriage

God created humanity in his image, male and female (Genesis 1:27). Marriage is a special union between man and woman. This bond reflects God’s love.

Ephesians 5:22-33 teaches that love and respect are keys to a good marriage. Husbands should love their wives as Christ loves the church. Wives should respect their husbands.

Sin’s Impact on Marriage

Sin causes a break in the bond between you and God. This separation affects your relationship with your spouse. The Bible teaches that sin leads to hurt, mistrust, and issues like adultery or emotional abuse.

In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve’s actions introduced sin into the world. Their disobedience broke their connection with God. This original sin still impacts marriages today, causing struggles and pain within relationships.

What Jesus Said About Divorce

Jesus spoke clearly about divorce. He said it’s not what God intended for marriage.

Permanence of Marriage

Marriage is meant to be permanent. In Matthew 19:3-9, Jesus talks about marriage and its importance. He says that God intended marriage to last a lifetime from the beginning. Divorce happens because of “hardness of heart.” This shows our human imperfection.

According to Genesis, God created males and females to forever unite them in holy matrimony. Jesus emphasizes this design by quoting Genesis during his teachings on the permanence of marriage.

The bond between a married couple reflects God’s unchanging love for us.

Conditions Where Divorce Is Permitted

Jesus spoke about divorce in the Bible. He mentioned that sexual immorality is one condition where divorce is permitted. Matthew 5:31-32 states that anyone who divorces their spouse, except for sexual immorality, makes them commit adultery.

This teaching emphasizes the seriousness of breaking the marriage covenant.

Moreover, according to Paul’s teachings in 1 Corinthians 7:15, abandonment by an unbelieving spouse also permits divorce. If an unbeliever leaves, a believer isn’t bound in such cases and can seek peace.

These conditions aim to protect individuals from harm while respecting the sanctity of marriage.

Paul’s Teachings on Divorce

1 Corinthians contains Paul’s teachings on divorce. He discusses staying married but also addresses separation and reconciliation.

Instructions in 1 Corinthians 7

In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul talks about marriage and divorce. He advises that married couples should not separate or divorce. But if they do, they must stay unmarried or reconcile with their spouse.

Paul also addresses marriages between Christians and non-Christians. If the unbelieving partner wants to leave, let them go. This falls under willful desertion, which nullifies the marriage covenant.

Reconciliation and Unbelieving Spouses

God desires married couples to stay together. Even if one spouse does not share the same faith, reconciliation should be sought whenever possible. The Bible teaches that a believing spouse can positively influence an unbelieving partner.

Your loving actions and faithfulness could lead your spouse toward God.

The apostle Paul discusses this in 1 Corinthians 7. He advises believers to remain with their unbelieving spouses if they are willing to live peacefully together. This harmony can sanctify the home and children, making it holy through the believer’s faith.

Your marriage’s unity reflects God’s love for everyone, showing patience and grace even in challenging situations.

Biblical Grounds for Divorce

Divorce can be very challenging and painful. The Bible allows it under specific conditions set by God’s teachings in the scriptures.


Adultery breaks the sacred bond of marriage. Jesus stated in Matthew 5:31-32 that if anyone divorces their spouse except for sexual immorality, they cause them to commit adultery. This teaching places a high value on marital faithfulness.

According to the Bible, God designed marriage as a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman. When someone engages in extra-marital affairs, it goes against this divine plan.

Sexual relations outside of marriage harm trust and unity within the relationship.

Abandonment by an Unbelieving Spouse

Abandonment by an unbelieving spouse is a recognized reason for divorce in the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 7:15, Paul states if the unbeliever departs, the spouse left behind is not bound to that marriage.

This means you are free from your marital vows because willful desertion breaks the marriage covenant.

Living with someone who doesn’t share your faith can be challenging. If one partner chooses to leave because of this difference, it affects both partners. This separation shows a clear break from their commitment.

You should seek guidance from Christian counseling during such hard times to help navigate emotional and spiritual challenges.

Abuse as a Consideration

Abuse should be considered a valid reason for divorce. The Bible teaches love and respect in marriage, reflecting the image of God. Domestic violence breaks this sacred bond. Jesus’s teachings show compassion and mercy towards those suffering.

Rabbis, during Jesus’ time, recognized abuse as grounds for divorce along with abandonment. Today, even evangelical churches support leaving abusive relationships to protect one’s well-being and righteousness.

Seek guidance from a Christian counselor or church community when facing such situations.

Restoration and Forgiveness Post-Divorce

God offers grace and healing to those who have gone through divorce. The church can provide support and understanding during this time.

God’s Grace for the Divorced

God’s grace shines brightly for divorced people. He extends forgiveness and love to everyone, no matter their past. Sinfulness can break a marriage, but through repentance, healing begins.

God calls you to repent and seek His mercy.

The church plays a vital role in supporting divorced individuals. Church members can provide comfort and help rebuild trust. Surrounding yourself with caring people who reflect God’s love for you is essential.

Embrace the new beginning that God offers through His infinite grace.

Importance of Church Support

Church support plays a vital role for those experiencing divorce. It offers a community that provides love, prayer, and practical assistance, which can help ease the emotional burden placed on divorced individuals.

The church extends grace and guidance through tough times. Offering counseling sessions and group meetings creates safe spaces for sharing feelings and seeking advice. This helps the healing process immensely for everyone involved.

You can seek Godly counsel during this challenging time. Focus on family stability and the well-being of children.

Seeking Godly Counsel

Seek help from a trusted pastor or Christian counselor. They can offer guidance rooted in the Bible. These professionals understand your faith and provide support during tough times.

Your church community is also a valuable resource. Fellow believers often have wisdom and experiences to share. Don’t hesitate to ask for prayer and advice from those facing similar challenges.

Prioritizing Children and Family Stability

Children need stability, especially during a divorce. As a parent, ensure the kids feel safe and loved and keep their routines as normal as possible.

Talking to your children about the changes is crucial. Be honest but gentle with your words. Please encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings without fear or shame.

Family support systems play a big role, too. Reach out to friends, relatives, and church members for help. These people can provide emotional comfort and practical assistance.

A stable family life helps children cope better with divorce’s impact on faith and daily life.

Biblical Guidance for Healing and Moving Forward

God offers healing and hope through His Word. The Psalms provide comfort and guidance, while Proverbs offers guidance. Luke Timothy Johnson advises focusing on what is asked of you, not justifying your actions.

Support from a church community aids emotional recovery. Lean on trusted friends who pray with you and offer wise counsel. Seek God’s direction through prayer and scripture reading, trusting He has a purpose for you beyond this pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many people have questions about divorce and remarriage. You might wonder if it’s allowed to remarry after a divorce.

Is Remarriage Permissible?

Jesus taught that marriage was meant to be permanent. But he also made exceptions. Matthew 5:32 says, “Anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery.” This means remarriage can be permissible if there has been adultery.

Paul also gave guidance on this issue in 1 Corinthians 7. He said a believer should not divorce an unbelieving spouse unless the spouse leaves first. If the unbeliever departs, the believer is not bound and may remarry.

God understands human failures and offers grace for those who have experienced divorce due to broken vows or sins like abandonment and abuse. The Bible shows different situations where remarriage might align with faith and respect for God’s design for marriage.

How to Handle Marital Unfaithfulness

Marital unfaithfulness can deeply hurt. Seek Godly counsel for guidance and support. The Bible commands sinners to repent, which includes acknowledging wrongs in the marriage. Allowed reasons for divorce include sexual immorality, as stated in Matthew 19:3-9.

God’s grace offers a path to forgiveness and healing. While Jesus speaks against divorce, he also mentions sexual immorality as an exception. Reconciliation is essential but may not always be possible if severe breaches occur.

Prioritize family stability during these challenging times with church support and prayer.

Impact of Divorce on Faith

Divorce can shake your faith. The Bible teaches forgiveness and love, but the pain of divorce might cause doubt. Jesus spoke about marriage’s permanence in Matthew, saying it should only end due to sexual immorality.

This strict view can lead you to question church teachings if you face different hardships like abuse or abandonment.

Your relationship with God may feel strained during this time. You might wonder why such suffering happens if God loves you so much. Seeking support through prayer and community helps maintain a strong faith foundation.

Church support is key in providing guidance and comfort as you heal.

Final Thoughts

Divorce is a tough topic in any faith, and the Bible has strong views on it. Adultery is one clear reason for divorce. The Bible also talks about staying together if possible. Jesus spoke about the importance of marriage.

Paul advised those struggling in their marriages, too.

It’s critical to seek help from your church community during such times. God offers grace and understanding to those who have gone through a divorce.

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