Marriage Divorce and Scripture


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Enjoy your present marriage and live in it to the glory of God without recrimination. However, for Christians who have divorced after being born again for reasons other than adultery or desertion, I believe they should either be reconciled to their Christian mates or remain unmarried. Finally, in these complex personal matters I recommend prayer, study of the Bible, and that you counsel with a wise and godly pastor in you own community.

Is Cruelty Grounds for Divorce? I do not think mental cruelty is grounds for divorce if mental cruelty concerns the way a mate twists the toothpaste tube or hangs stockings in the bathroom. That type of mental cruelty has been defined in so many different contexts it has no meaning. However, I do think physical brutality and abuse, and mental abuse of a nature that endangers the person's mind or body, are clearly grounds for divorce. The Pauline privilege, which I mentioned earlier, 1 Corinthians 7: For mental cruelty to be grounds for divorce, it must involve conduct which makes it impossible to live with the spouse without endangering oneself.


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The sort of cruelty I have in mind would not spring from a criticism of a souffle or a brother-in-law. Minor irritations need loving attention, but should not be allowed to rupture a holy relationship. Obviously, a couple composed of two born-again Christians does not fall under the Pauline privilege. Divorce and remarriage for any reason are truly unthinkable for two people who sincerely love God and are trying to serve Him. Scripture references are taken form the New American Standard translation of the Bible. The Christian Broadcasting Network. Are you seeking answers in life?

Are you facing a difficult situation? Call Email your prayer request. And it is not a command from me, for this is what the Lord himself has said: A wife must not leave her husband. But if she is separated from him, let her remain single or else go back to him. And the husband must not divorce his wife. We must make an effort each and every day to keep our marriages strong and not let them drift toward divorce.

(Part 1 of a Bible Study on Commitment, God, and Divorce)

We must put aside our anger, forgive our spouse a million times over, always be faithful, subdue our pride and ego, and always let true Christian love guide our actions. Professional counseling may help resolve marital problems before the relationship deteriorates beyond repair.

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. The Bible does not have a specific teaching about other intolerable situations.

What does the Bible say about remarriage after divorce?

The other partner must take whatever actions are necessary to escape from the situation and to protect self and children. Reconciliation is preferable, but if that is not possible, different church denominations have different procedures for formally ending the marriage.

Levirate marriage was practiced in Old Testament times. If a man died leaving no male heir, his brother was expected to marry his widow and produce children Deuteronomy This, and other forms of polygamy, were acceptable in Biblical times, although only wealthy men could afford multiple wives. Similarly couples of today may have to be temporarily apart because of family situations, jobs or military service. However, if a couple separates because of marital problems, they are no longer living according to the Biblical model of marriage Genesis 2: The New Testament does not have a specific teaching on this topic.

However, if ex-spouses can be reconciled, remarriage seems to be in accordance with the spirit of New Testament teachings Mark However, Paul was writing about the case where a couple has separated but have not divorced and remarried. The additional sin of another divorce and the emotional pain caused to the current spouse and others involved would violate other Bible principles. In most cases, the first marriage could not be restored.

When these factors are considered, intentionally breaking up a second marriage seems like an unworkable and unwise choice. Protestant churches have varying degrees of acceptance of divorce and remarriage. Many allow remarriage in the church under at least some circumstances.

Three Biblical reasons for divorce.

Most do not impose sanctions against their members who have divorced and remarried in civil ceremonies. Anyone contemplating divorce or remarriage should find out the policies of his or her own church. The Roman Catholic Church does not recognize a remarriage after divorce as being valid unless the original marriage has been annulled by a Catholic Church tribunal. Persons who remarry without annulment are barred from receiving Communion in the Church.

Frequent grounds for annulment include "lack of due discretion" in choosing a spouse, "defective consent," meaning fraud by one of the parties, "psychic incapacity" to fulfill the obligations of marriage, "defect of form," meaning the original wedding was not performed in the Catholic Church, and "prior bond," meaning one of the partners was married to someone else at the time of the wedding 8.

You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. In other words, if you divorce for unscriptural reasons, you drive a wedge between yourself and God, for you are rebelling against him. Unscriptural divorce almost always brings painful consequences. Not only do you distance yourself from God when you divorce, you also damage your spouse, wound your children, injure other family members, hurt friends, set the stage for future pain for yourself, and bring shame upon the name of Christ.

On the other hand, when you disobey God, problems eventually come. If you divorce for unscriptural reasons, the odds are high that you will regret it before you die. You are certain to regret it when you stand before God. Suggesting divorce without scriptural reasons opens the door to sin. Although the Bible stresses the importance and permanence of marriage, it permits divorce in two circumstances.

Jesus said you may divorce if your spouse is sexually unfaithful. Notice, however, that he did not command you to divorce. He merely said it is permissible. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery. Jesus said God only allowed divorce in the Old Testament because of the hardness of our hearts Matthew Some people think this means Christians never should divorce since Jesus took away our hard hearts when we were born again.

What Does the Bible Say About Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage?

However, this contradicts what Jesus said in Matthew He would not have given an exception unless he meant it. However, it is usually better to rebuild a marriage than divorce. There are many marriages in which the offender asked for forgiveness, the betrayed partner forgave, and the two successfully rebuilt their relationship. The process was painful and involved hard work, but the results were worth the effort. God was glorified, and they ended up with great marriages. To the rest I say this I, not the Lord: For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband.

20 Top Divorce Bible Verses - What Does Scripture Say?

Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances.


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Some say the previous verses justify divorce even if their spouse does not physically leave home. They state they are free to divorce if their mate has been unpleasant, financially irresponsible, sexually unavailable, or emotionally removed. How do they come to such a conclusion? Paul was writing about leaving physically. The guidelines in this online Bible study on commitment, God, and divorce cover the vast majority of the reasons people consider divorce.

For example, if your mate is jailed for physically abusing you, this could qualify as a time when divorce is permissible since your unbelieving spouse left you.

If you divorced for unbiblical reasons, particularly if you were a Christian when you did so, you need to face the seriousness of your sin. I am concerned for Christians who divorce for unscriptural reasons and are not willing to face their sin. When we choose to sin, we harden our hearts toward God and his commandments.

Rather than genuinely confessing, we justify our actions. It was not Jesus who told them it was okay to divorce. He commanded us not to divorce and added that if we divorce for unscriptural reasons and remarry, we commit adultery Matthew They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. His response, even as he went through the divorce proceedings, was to give her angry speeches, saying she must forgive him because she was a Christian.

He divorced her, married another woman, and now attends church where he says Shelly divorced him. Margaret told her husband Richard she intended to divorce him and then marry a man who was divorcing his wife. She said they planned to approach their church and ask for forgiveness after marrying. She clearly was playing games with God and choosing to rebel against his word.

Marriage Divorce and Scripture Marriage Divorce and Scripture
Marriage Divorce and Scripture Marriage Divorce and Scripture
Marriage Divorce and Scripture Marriage Divorce and Scripture
Marriage Divorce and Scripture Marriage Divorce and Scripture
Marriage Divorce and Scripture Marriage Divorce and Scripture
Marriage Divorce and Scripture Marriage Divorce and Scripture
Marriage Divorce and Scripture Marriage Divorce and Scripture
Marriage Divorce and Scripture Marriage Divorce and Scripture

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