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What Does The Bible Say About Divorce And Remarriage?

What does the Bible say about divorce and remarriage?


Not everyone begins a loving marriage relationship to divorce sometime in the future.

Everyone, or most people, wants to live happily with their partner forever.

Interestingly, this is God’s will for all married people.

He wants a home where a man and woman cleave together and become one inseparable flesh and a home where the father and mother stay together to raise godly children. 

Unfortunately, that is not always the case; love often becomes soar for so many reasons to the point where both parties involved in a marriage can no longer tolerate each other and seek a divorce.

Even Christians get to a point in their marriage where they say enough is enough; it’s time to move on. However, they are not sure if the Bible supports divorce and starting a new marriage. 

Divorce and remarriage are hot topics in the Christian communities. However, some questions are yet unanswered and need clarification.

This article sheds light on the Bible’s position on divorce and remarriage.

God’s purpose for marriagecan a divorced woman remarry according to the bible

Before we discuss divorce and remarriage within the biblical context, it is crucial to understand God’s intent and purpose when He instituted marriage. Firstly, marriage is meant to reflect God’s relationship with the church.

The Bible refers to Jesus Christ as the Bridegroom and the church as the Bride (Ephesians 5:25–27).

Christ’s marriage with the bride is an eternal union (Revelation 19:7–9). So, God’s plan for marriage is that a man and a woman live together as husband and wife till death separates them.

The second purpose of marriage can be found in Genesis 2:24. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

From this verse, it can be deduced that marriage is meant to be between one man and one woman.

That is why God prohibited adultery. Marriage is a union between two people who come together to become one flesh.

In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve as the first family or marriage.

So God wants these two people who have decided to become one flesh to cleave to themselves and remain committed for the rest of their lives. 

Another purpose for marriage is for two mature people to legally satisfy sexual needs and to curb sexual sin (1 Corinthians 7:2). So, a married man or woman is not expected to seek sexual satisfaction from a third party.

Their spouse must fulfill their sexual needs (1 Corinthians 7:2-6). Going against his rule can cause a problem. 

Finally, God instituted marriage to populate the earth.

God’s ordained marriage as a means to procreate and replenish the earth. That is why God gave people the ability to give birth to children.

Fruitfulness and reproduction are crucial in marriages. Above all, active participation by both parents in caring for their little ones is crucial in marriage. 

What does the Bible say about divorce?what does the bible say about divorce

The Bible is clear about divorce.

Jesus spoke about it.

That shows how important marriage is to God. But before we discuss divorce or biblical grounds for divorce, we must first state that God does not want any marriage relationship to break.

In fact, Malachi 2:16 states that God hates divorce.

A healthy marriage is the foundation of any society and nation.

A dysfunctional family will ultimately lead to a dysfunctional society.

Also, a broken marriage can destroy the lives of children in many ways.

For example, statistics have proven that children from broken families are liable to go into crime compared to those from complete families. 

Jesus knew how crucial staying married is and its positive impact on children and society.

He said, “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6). Simply put, Jesus is saying, no divorce. No one should attempt to break the union between a married couple. 

However, Jesus gave a reason why divorce is acceptable. 

The case of adulterydoes god recognize a second marriage

According to Matthew 19:9, Jesus said, “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” 

Jesus states clearly that divorce is only permissible on the grounds of sexual immorality.

Any sexual activity outside the confines of marriage is sexual immorality.

Therefore, a married man or woman commits sexual immorality if they have a sexual relationship with someone other than their spouse. That is adultery.

Adultery breaks the sacred code of marriage in Genesis 2:24 because it causes a separation between two people who have cleaved to each other and become one flesh.

Sleeping with someone other than one’s spouse means that such a fellow is joined to another person and has caused an unholy spiritual union. 

Maintaining a relationship with a spouse who commits adultery is dangerous physically and spiritually. An adulterous spouse can contract sexually transmitted diseases and transmit them to their innocent spouse.

Spiritually, adultery leads to a transfer of demons, trauma, and negative energy. Having sexual relations with such a spouse opens one up to demonic possession.remarry after divorce biblical

Also, knowing that your spouse cheated on you might lead to mental and emotional pain that may likely not heal.

It can lead to disgust and hatred, especially when staying under the same roof with such a person and seeing them every day. 

These, among other reasons, may be why Jesus says that divorce can be filled when a spouse commits adultery.

Unbelieving partner

The Apostle Paul gives us another instance where divorce is valid.

He says if a Christian or believer gets married to an unbeliever, and the unbelieving partner decides to leave the marriage, let them go. 

“But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.” (1 Corinthians 7:15)

Based on that scripture, the unbelieving spouse must leave willingly and not be provoked or compelled into leaving their marriage. Therefore, a believer must strive to live in peace with their spouse whether they share the same faith in Jesus or not.

In 1 Corinthians 7:12-14, Paul admonishes that believers must not divorce their unbelieving spouse based on faith, especially if they are willing to stay.

He also adds that the unbelieving spouse is sanctified by the believing spouse. 

Other grounds for divorcewhat does the bible say about remarriage

Other grounds for divorce are not stated in the Bible but are recognized by the church today.

The Bible encourages believers to seek wise counsel from the elders in the church (Acts 15:1-2).

That is because these people are experienced in their work with God, leading people, teaching the word, settling disputes, and giving counsel.

They have spiritual knowledge and are skilled in handling complex situations with the help of the Holy Spirit. The church and elders have given some other peculiar reasons that validate divorce. They include,

Deceit and falsehoodwhat does the bible say about remarrying

Many people deceive their partners at the dating stage.

They hide crucial areas of their lives and their past that they know will impact their marriage with the claim that they do not want to lose their spouse. 

The Bible encourages truthfulness and transparency.

That is the purpose of marriage. Genesis 2:25 says, “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” Nakedness here does not only mean physical nakedness but openness and lack of judgment. 

Relationships leading to marriage should portray openness to a great degree.

There should be no secrets or information hidden from one’s spouse.

For example, health challenges that can impact the relationship, like terminal diseases, impotence, erectile dysfunction, etc., must be revealed to one’s partner before marriage. 

Also, the person one wants to get married to must know if their partner has children out of wedlock or was once married.

If marriage is completed before this information is revealed, divorce can be filled because the marriage was built on lies, pretense, and falsehood and not genuine love. 

Threat to life

Another situation in which the church encourages divorce is when the life of one partner is at stake through constant beating and other forms of violence like throwing objects, the denial of food, and the destruction of property.

Our lives are precious to God. God does not want anyone to die because of marriage.

One should instead be divorced rather than die without fulfilling one purpose or continuously nurse pain for the rest of one’s life.

Marriage should be enjoyed, not endured.

Therefore, once an abusive partner fails to change and keeps threatening the life of their spouse, then it is time to let go of that union.

What does the Bible say about remarriage?

Remarry when adultery has taken placeWhat does the Bible say about remarriage

Matthew 19:9 states that whoever divorces his wife and remarries commits adultery. However, if the divorce was inspired by adultery, then remarriage is permitted. Therefore, a believer must not remarry if the cause of the divorce is not adultery.

Remarry when a spouse dies

Another situation that permits remarriage is when a spouse dies.

Death is supposed to be what ends a marriage. And in a case where it happens, the living spouse has been released from all their marital vows and can carry on with marrying another spouse.

Abraham practiced this even though monogamy was not in vogue during their time.

After the death of Sarah, Abraham married Keturah (Genesis 25:1). Therefore, one is free to get another life partner if they die and need companionship or help to care for their children.

However, Paul has a different view about divorce and remarry, especially those whose marriage ended based on abandonment from an unbelieving partner.

In 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, he encourages such partner to remain unmarried or be reconciled to their spouse. “Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.” 

So, Paul believes that abandonment is not enough reason for a believer to remarry.

If their partner walks out of the marriage, then they should remain unmarried, maybe until he dies or commits adultery, before they consider remarrying. Or, they should reconcile their differences. 

Forgiveness and healing in marriagecan you remarry if your spouse commits adultery bible

There is no perfect marriage. All marriages have their ups and downs.

Sometimes, these challenges are easily solved, while they are overwhelming in some other cases. But the truth is that not all marriages facing challenges must end in divorce. 

The enemy has launched an attack against marriages.

Divorces are rapidly increasing like never before. And Christian homes are not spared. 

A loving marriage and a united couple terrorize the kingdom of darkness. Deuteronomy 32:30 says one will chase a thousand, and two will put ten thousand to flight.

Also, Matthew 18:19-20 shows the power of agreement prayer. These, including fulfilling God’s multiplication agenda, are parts of the reasons the enemy wants to destroy the marriage institution.

But, we must learn to tolerate one another, bearing in mind that no one is perfect (Ephesians 4:1-3). Marriage involves two people from two different backgrounds and experiences.

So, there must be conflicts. But we must choose peace and forgiveness as believers. Ephesians 4:32 says, ” And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Peter asked Jesus how many times one should forgive in a day.

Jesus replied seventy times seven (Matthew 18: 21-22). But separation should be the best option if offenses are too unbearable or irreconcilable differences.

Separation allows each spouse to evaluate themselves and their marriage.

It also helps them to cool off and see things with a clear mind. It gives room for accountability and forgiveness.

So, instead of jumping straight to divorce, each spouse can take a short break and return to continue their lifelong journey.


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