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What Does The Bible Say About Divorce? | A Balanced Exposition

The Fact About Divorce

Divorce is a prevalent issue. It occurs in every part of the world. In fact, it has become a norm. Because of this, we cannot turn a blind eye to it. There are many causes of divorce. This is why it is very prevalent.

Now, considering the consequences of divorce, the big question is: “Is it right to divorce one’s spouse?” I mean, can there ever be a good reason to do so?

When the Pharisees asked Jesus in Matthew chapter 19 if a man can divorce his wife for any reason, he told them that what God has joined together, let man not separate. He further said that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman, commits adultery.(Matthew 19:4-6, 9)

READ ALSO: Is Marrying A Divorced Woman Or Man Adultery?

Those responses show that God hates divorce. But Jesus gave them one reason that warrants divorce, which is sexual immorality.

Now, is Sexual Immorality the Only Reason for Divorce?

A careful study of God’s will on marriage shows that there are other reasons that necessitate divorce. Jesus gave the Pharisees only one reason because their spiritual immaturity would have caused them to misunderstand and misapply anything else that he would have said.

God Instituted Marriage For our Benefit

Marriage was instituted by God for the benefit of humanity but not to serve as a trap that will keep anyone in bondage and misery perpetually. God did not just institute marriage but also made rules that will govern it to prevent divorce. The summary of these rules is that husbands must love their wives and wives must respect their husbands.(Ephesians 5:22-29; 1Peter 3:1-2; Colossians 3:18-19). Any violation of these precepts automatically invalidates a marriage.

Should Christians Divorce an Unbelieving Spouse?

Christians, who are already married to unbelievers who are not willing to stay with them can divorce them. Nevertheless, if their unbelieving spouse is willing to stay with them, that is they are not hindering the believing spouse from serving God and they are not cruel, the believer should not seek divorce.(1Corinthians 7:12-16)

Divorce is Right if a Marriage Threatens One’s Relationship With God

We can cope with divorce. So, it is necessary to remember that the Bible says anything that causes you to sin or threatens your faith must be cut off. This includes marriage. Marriage is a divine institution and is honoured by God but it does not take precedence over God’s word.(Mark 9:43-48)

Divorce is Right if it Violates One’s Freewill

Furthermore, any marriage that is contrary to the freewill of any of the parties involved must be terminated right away. Even God who introduced marriage does not violate anyone’s freewill. Since this is the case with God himself, how did marriage acquire the right to violate anybody’s freewill?

If you are a man, you don’t need to be afraid because you can deal with divorce as a man. If you are a woman, it is unnecessary to fear because you can also deal with divorce as a woman.

The traditions and doctrines of men, in connection with marriage and divorce, which often stems from the rejection or misunderstanding of God’s word must be discontinued no matter who started them, where they were started or how long they have existed.(Mark 7:7-9; Colossians 2:8)


Although God hates divorce, He also loves obedience to His word and the welfare of His children. Because He hates divorce, He does not want people to do it over reasons like depreciating beauty, inability to cook very well, barrenness, illness, spousal loss of wealth, differing views on insignificant matters, failngs due to human imperfection among others. finally, since God loves obedience to His word and the welfare of His children, any marriage that threatens this reality is unacceptable to Him and it must be terminated.(Nehemiah 13:26-28; 2Corinthians 6:14-18)


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