What Does The Bible Say About Divorce?
- Edward C. Miller
Divorce is a sensitive and complex issue that affects many families around the world. As a society, we have become increasingly accepting of divorce as a solution to marital problems. However, for Christians, understanding what the Bible says about divorce is crucial in making informed decisions about marriage and family life.
The Bible provides guidance on how to build and maintain healthy relationships, including marriage. It offers wisdom on how to navigate challenges that arise in marriage and provides principles for resolving conflicts. In this article, we will explore what the Bible says about divorce and its implications for Christians today.
Whether you are married or single, young or old, understanding biblical teachings on divorce can help you make wise choices in your relationships. Let us delve into this important topic together.
- 1 The Biblical View on Marriage
- 2 Biblical Grounds for Divorce
- 3 Jesus’ Teachings on Divorce
- 4 Paul’s Teachings on Divorce
- 5 Divorce and Remarriage in the Church Today
The Biblical View on Marriage
Marriage is a sacred institution that has been defined by the Bible as the union between one man and one woman. In Genesis 2:24, it says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. ” This definition of marriage has been upheld throughout the Bible, including in the New Testament where Jesus reaffirms this definition in Matthew 19:4-6.
The purpose of marriage in the Bible is to reflect the relationship between Christ and His Church. Ephesians 5:22-33 describes how husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, while wives are to submit to their husbands as the Church submits to Christ. This relationship is meant to be a picture of God’s love for His people. Marriage also serves as a means for procreation and raising children in a godly manner.
Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. ” Children are seen as a blessing from God and should be raised in accordance with His Word. In addition to these purposes, marriage provides companionship and support for each other. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 states that two are better than one because they can help each other when one falls down.
It is important for couples entering into marriage to understand these biblical teachings on marriage so that they can build their relationship on a strong foundation. Couples should strive to love each other sacrificially, submit to each other out of reverence for Christ, raise their children according to God’s Word, and support each other through all of life’s challenges.
|Characteristics||Biblical View on Marriage||Secular View on Marriage|
|Purpose||To reflect the relationship between Christ and His Church, procreation, raising godly children, companionship and support.||To fulfill personal desires for love and companionship.|
|Definition||The union between one man and one woman.||The union between any two consenting adults.|
|Roles||Husbands are to love their wives sacrificially, while wives are to submit to their husbands out of reverence for Christ.||Roles can be interchangeable or non-existent depending on personal preference.|
Interesting fact: – Seek guidance from a trusted spiritual leader or counselor before making any decisions about divorce.
Biblical Grounds for Divorce
According to the Bible, there are two grounds for divorce: adultery and abandonment. Adultery is defined as sexual infidelity by one spouse, while abandonment refers to a situation where one spouse leaves the marriage without just cause.
The Bible provides several scriptural references supporting these grounds. In Matthew 5:32, Jesus states that adultery is a legitimate reason for divorce, saying “But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. ” Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 7:15, Paul addresses abandonment as a valid reason for divorce when he 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. “.
|Sexual infidelity by one spouse||One spouse leaves the marriage without just cause|
|Valid reason for divorce according to Jesus in Matthew 5:32||Valid reason for divorce according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:15|
It’s important to note that while these are considered biblical grounds for divorce, they do not necessarily mean that divorce is required or encouraged in these situations. The Bible also emphasizes the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation within marriage.
In cases where a couple is considering divorce due to adultery or abandonment, seeking guidance from a trusted pastor or Christian counselor can be helpful in navigating this difficult decision and finding healing and restoration.
Interesting fact: – Take time to reflect on the reasons for considering divorce and explore all possible solutions before taking action.
Jesus’ Teachings on Divorce
Jesus’ teachings on divorce are found in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. In Matthew 19:3-9, Jesus is asked by the Pharisees whether it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason. Jesus responds by saying that God intended for marriage to be a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman, and that divorce was only allowed because of the hardness of people’s hearts.
He then goes on to say that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another commits adultery. .
In Mark 10:2-12, Jesus again addresses the topic of divorce and remarriage. The Pharisees ask him if it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife. Jesus responds by asking them what Moses commanded regarding divorce. They answer that Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away. Jesus then explains that this was only allowed because of the hardness of people’s hearts, but from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female and intended for them to become one flesh in marriage.
He then says that whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. .
Analysis of Matthew 19:3-9 and Mark 10:2-12
From these passages, we can see that Jesus had a high view of marriage as a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman. He did allow for divorce in cases where sexual immorality had occurred, but otherwise considered remarriage after divorce to be adultery.
|Matthew 19:3-9||Mark 10:2-12|
|Pharisees ask if it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason||Pharisees ask if it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife|
|Jesus responds that God intended marriage to be lifelong, and that divorce was only allowed because of the hardness of people’s hearts||Jesus asks what Moses commanded regarding divorce, and explains that it was only allowed because of the hardness of people’s hearts|
|Jesus allows for divorce in cases where sexual immorality has occurred, but otherwise considers remarriage after divorce to be adultery||Jesus says that whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her|
As Christians, we should take Jesus’ teachings on divorce seriously and strive to uphold the sanctity of marriage. While divorce may sometimes be necessary due to circumstances such as abuse or abandonment, we should always seek reconciliation and forgiveness whenever possible.
Interesting fact: – Consider the impact of divorce on children, family members, and the community before proceeding.
Paul’s Teachings on Divorce
Paul, one of the most influential figures in early Christianity, wrote extensively on the topic of marriage and divorce. In his letters to the Corinthians and Romans, he provides guidance to believers facing marital difficulties.
1 Corinthians 7:10-16
In this passage, Paul addresses believers who are married to non-believers. He advises them that if their spouse is willing to stay with them, they should not seek a divorce. However, if the non-believing spouse chooses to leave, the believer is not bound to try and keep them in the marriage.
Paul emphasizes that while divorce should be avoided whenever possible, it is sometimes necessary for the well-being of those involved. He also stresses that remarriage after divorce is acceptable in certain circumstances.
Comparison of Paul’s Teachings with Jesus’ Teachings
|Jesus’ Teachings||Paul’s Teachings|
|Biblical Grounds for Divorce||Adultery and abandonment||No specific grounds mentioned|
|Remarriage After Divorce||Only permissible in cases of adultery by one spouse||Possible in certain circumstances where divorce was necessary for well-being of those involved|
Interesting fact: – Remember that divorce should be a last resort and not taken lightly, as it can have long-lasting emotional, financial, and spiritual consequences.
Divorce and Remarriage in the Church Today
Divorce is a sensitive topic that has been debated within the Christian community for centuries. While the Bible provides clear guidelines on divorce, different churches interpret and apply these teachings in various ways. Some churches believe that divorce is never acceptable, while others allow it under certain circumstances such as adultery or abandonment.
One of the main issues surrounding divorce in the church today is remarriage after divorce. Some churches believe that remarriage after divorce is always sinful, while others permit it under certain conditions. For example, some churches require a period of celibacy before remarrying, while others allow remarriage if the previous spouse has died. The Catholic Church, for instance, does not recognize civil divorces and considers marriage to be a lifelong commitment.
Therefore, Catholics who remarry without obtaining an annulment from their previous marriage are considered to be living in sin. On the other hand, many Protestant denominations allow divorced individuals to remarry under certain circumstances. Another issue that arises with divorce and remarriage in the church is how to minister to those who have gone through a divorce.
Churches must balance compassion with biblical truth when dealing with individuals who have experienced this painful event. Many churches offer support groups or counseling services for those going through a divorce or struggling with its aftermath.