Divorce in the Bible New Testament

Divorce In The Bible New Testament

Divorce in the Bible is a tricky topic to discuss. There are times when divorce is talked about in a positive light, especially if husband and wife’s marriage was not going well.

But in most cases, divorce is looked upon as an unforgivable sin by Christians around the world.

This can lead to unnecessary problems between both parties involved which can be avoided with proper knowledge of what is discussed in this article.

Divorce in the Bible new testament KJV

Divorce is a life changing experience. Divorce affects everyone – the adults, children, and the family unit in which they live. In most cultures it is considered taboo to divorce so the Bible became a guide for married couples in cases of separation or divorce.

Luke 16:18 – Whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

Luke 16:18 (KJV)

Luke 16_18 - Whoever Marries A Divorced Woman Commits Adultery

If a man divorces his wife for any reason other than defiling his bed and marries another woman, he committeth adultery: with the woman, because his marriage with the former continues, and cannot be rendered void by such a divorce.

And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery with the woman he marries, because despite her husband’s divorce from her and his subsequent marriage to her, she still remains his lawful and proper wife.

1 Peter 3:1 – Submission does not imply abandoning your mind or will at the altar.

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

1 Peter 3:1 (KJV)

1 Peter 3_1 - Submission Does Not Imply Abandoning Your Mind Or Will At The Altar

Peter instructs the wives to be submissive to their husbands, including unbelieving husbands. Submission does not imply that you must agree with everything your husband says.

Submission does not imply abandoning your mind or will at the altar. Submission does not imply that a wife should act in fear. It is the willingness to defer to a husband’s authority and yield to his leadership.

God’s plan for the church — and the Christian wife who represents it — is for her to have eternal holy joy. Christ died for them in order for that to happen.

Matthew 19:9 – Jesus declares divorce to be sinful.

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Matthew 19:9 (KJV)

Matthew 19_9 - Jesus Declares Divorce To Be Sinful

Jesus responds in very specific terms. Except in cases of sexual immorality, any man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery. In short, except in cases of sexual immorality, Jesus declares divorce to be sinful.

If a wife commits sexual sin, it is considered unfaithful, and the husband has the legal right to divorce her. Aside from this one exception, any man who divorces his wife will be guilty of adultery as soon as he marries or has sexual relations with another woman.

This is due to the fact that his previous marriage will not have been legally ended. Bottom line: God desires that divorce never occur, but human hearts are hard and sinful.

Matthew 5:32 – God intends marriages to last a lifetime.

But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Matthew 5:32 (KJV)

Matthew 5_32 - God Intends Marriages To Last A Lifetime

God intends marriages to last a lifetime. Rather than agreeing that marriages can or should be annulled for trivial reasons, Christ declares divorces motivated by anything other than sexual immorality to be invalid.

That is not to say that this is the only or even the most compelling reason for a divorce. The main point is that a man cannot legally divorce his wife unless she violates the marriage by engaging in adultery or other sexual immorality.

Because the divorce is invalid, the man is committing adultery by causing his wife to remarry another man. Similarly, a man who marries a woman whose divorce was not for a valid reason commits adultery.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11 – She should not marry.

And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11 (KJV)

1 Corinthians 7_10-11 - She Should Not Marry

It is absolutely against the Lord’s will, according to Paul, for a wife to divorce her husband. Paul now adds that if a woman does or has done this, she should not marry.

The intention appears to be a wish for her to reconcile with her husband after they have been separated. Otherwise, she will commit adultery if she marries another man, according to Jesus’ teaching in Mark 10:12.

Except for sexual immorality, Jesus forbade divorce in all cases (Matthew 5:32). Following that, Paul issues a similar command to husbands, forbidding them from divorcing their wives, especially if they want to achieve a higher spiritual connection with the Lord.

Throughout the passage, Paul emphasizes that married Christians should remain married.

Matthew 5:31-32 – Love one another as Christ loved the church.

It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Matthew 5:31-32 (KJV)

Matthew 5_31-32 - Love One Another As Christ Loved The Church

If a man divorces his wife for any reason other than fornication and she marries again, that man is the cause of her adulterous marriage. When a husband and wife “cleave to,” “love,” and are “one flesh” to each other, there will be no divorce or desire to marry again for the rest of their lives. The best way to avoid divorce and remarriage is for both partners to love one another as Christ loved the church.

Mark 10:11 – The Mosaic law allows for divorce for indecency in the wife.

And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

Mark 10:11 (KJV)

Mark 10_11 - The Mosaic Law Allows For Divorce For Indecency In The Wife

Yes, according to Jesus, the Mosaic law allows for divorce for indecency in the wife. However, if a man divorces his wife for any reason other than her adultery (Matthew 5:32; Luke 16:18), he is committing adultery.

If a couple of divorces, Paul believes that they should either remarry or remain unmarried (1 Corinthians 7:11). However, if either remarries after divorcing for reasons other than infidelity or abandonment (1 Corinthians 7:15), the act of remarrying, not the state of being remarried, is the sin of adultery.

1 Corinthians 7:15 – Only one possible exception exists.

But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

1 Corinthians 7:15 (KJV)

1 Corinthians 7:15 - Only One Possible Exception Exists.

Divorce is unjust. It is sinful and contradicts God’s predetermined plan from the beginning of time. Only one possible exception exists. That is if one party is unfaithful. A husband is commanded to love his wife in the same way that Christ loved the church.

This includes times when she does not deserve it. What did God do when people sinned repeatedly? He is always willing to forgive. That should also be the attitude in marriage.

The side who continues to commit adultery is likely to seek a divorce on his or her own. In this case, it appears that the person is already an unbeliever because he or she is living in willful rebellion.

In that case, 1 Corinthians 7 tells the believer to stay with the unbeliever if he is willing but to let him go if he wishes.

Matthew 19:6 – God described the natural state of things before sin entered the world.

Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Matthew 19:6 (KJV)

Matthew 19_6 - God Described The Natural State Of Things Before Sin Entered The World

He has stated from the beginning of the creation that marriage was God’s design for humanity. After all, He created us as male and female (Genesis 1:27). God described the natural state of things before sin entered the world as a man leaving his parents and holding fast to his wife, becoming one flesh with her (Genesis 2:24).

Marriage is not something that humans created for themselves through tradition and custom. This is something God does. In this way, he brings a man and a woman together.

And no mere human should dare to divide or separate what God has joined. God’s deepest and truest intention is that those that God joins in marriage are not meant to be separated by divorce.

Mark 10:12 – Getting married after being divorced for unbiblical reasons is considered adultery.

And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Mark 10:12 (KJV)

Mark 10_12 - Getting Married After Being Divorced For Unbiblical Reasons Is Considered Adultery

If a man divorces his wife for any reason other than adultery, he “makes her commit adultery,” according to Jesus. Women were not permitted to own property. Their sons were usually there to support them. Her survival may necessitate another marriage, but doing so would be adultery.

The words of Jesus here respond to a question posed by the Pharisees in order to trap Him. He is condemning men who send their wives away for insignificant reasons.

He is not speaking to someone who is distraught over the prospect of divorce, is trapped in an abusive marriage, or is considering remarriage after a divorce. Getting married after being divorced for unbiblical reasons is considered adultery.

 

1 Corinthians 7:39 – Those who are already married should remain so.

The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 7:39 (KJV)

Paul emphasizes yet again that those who are already married should remain so. A wife is obligated to her husband for the duration of his or her life. Only death should end a Christian marriage in almost all cases.

If the woman’s husband dies, she is free to marry whomever she wants. “Only in the Lord,” Paul says, as a condition. To put it another way, a Christian widow should not marry an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14).

Bible Verses on Divorce New Testament

Divorce is a major factor in the Bible. It is portrayed several times as something that God does not want, and it is the mother of the opposite extreme – Christians who do not allow for divorce.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11

To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.  But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
1 Corinthians 7:10-11
If it is true that a woman cannot be persuaded to stay with her husband, but actually abandons him because of some difference between them, let her remain unmarried: her departure does not make the marriage void; nor is it to be made void by any difference between them, either on religious or civil accounts, except in case of adultery; and thus, if she marries after such separation, she is guilty of adultery:

1 Corinthians 7:15

But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
1 Corinthians 7:15
Nobody should get divorced in order to become closer to God. God intends marriage to be a lifelong commitment that can only be broken in very specific circumstances.
Christians should not divorce even unbelieving spouses, and they should not resist if an unsaved spouse divorces them. In fact, by remaining in the marriage, a Christian may have the opportunity to lead his or her spouse to Christ.

Matthew 19:6

 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
Matthew 19:6
The point of Jesus’ statement is that a married couple is something that “God has joined together.” Marriage is not of human origin; it was created by God and is part of how God intended the human race to live.
Jesus taught that divorce is not God’s plan when he said, “Let no one separate us.” When a couple marries, God Himself joins them together, and the union is intended to last forever.
This principle holds true regardless of the couple’s faith (or lack thereof). Whether two atheists recognize it or not, they have been joined together by God. If God has joined them, no human being has the authority to break that bond.

Matthew 19:9

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Matthew 19:9
Marriage with a divorced wife is only properly defined as adultery if the vinculum remains intact. Marriage’s binding nature is determined not by the will or actions of the parties, but by its fundamental character and institution.
By repealing the Mosaic relaxation and restoring marriage to its original principle, Christ not only enforces the high dignity of this ordinance but also eliminates many opportunities for wickedness, such as collusion between husband and wife in order to obtain freedom for marriage with others.

Matthew 19:8

 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.
Matthew 19:8
Jesus now responds that Moses permitted divorce due to the hardness of the Israelites’ hearts. This means that God established a set of guidelines to limit the harm that divorce could cause. Jesus goes on to say that this was not always the case.
In other words, God’s intention in creating a human marriage between man and woman was for it to be lifelong. It was a violation of God’s design to separate what God had joined.
However, because of the people’s sin-hardened hearts, Israel was allowed to break the design under Moses, with limits and restraints on the practice.

Romans 7:2

 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage.
Romans 7:2
Only those who are alive are subject to Moses’ law. Similarly, the law of marriage binds two living people together. When a woman’s husband dies, the legal obligation to that relationship ends. Death is the condition that renders that law null and void.

What does the Bible say about Divorce in the New Testament

Divorce is not condoned by God. The apostle Paul tells us that it is an abuse of freedom that can never be justified. The Christian practice of marriage is to be based on love and mutual commitment, not on feelings or physical attraction.

The Bible condemns all forms of divorce as sinful. But what happens when one member of a couple decides to leave? What does the Bible say about divorce in this situation?

The Bible says that while there are exceptions, divorce should never be allowed when one spouse seeks to withdraw from the relationship (1 Corinthians 7:15-16).

While marital separation is allowed under certain circumstances (e.g., fornication), it is always wrong for one spouse to seek a divorce from their marriage just because they don’t want to deal with their spouse any more.

Is divorce mentioned in the new testament

Yes, divorce is mentioned in the new testament. it is mentioned in Matthew 5 and Matthew 19.

32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 5:32

 

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

Matthew 19:9 (NIV)

On what grounds does the Bible allow divorce?

There are two excellent scriptural arguments in favor of divorce. Adultery and other sexually immoral behavior come first.

It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 5:31-32

The second explicitly scriptural basis for granting the divorce is desertion from the marriage (1 Corinthians 7), where the spirit of return, repentance, and forgiveness is missing from either one person or both partners.

In this text, the Bible confesses the stark reality of our sinfulness and natural depravity. The marriage covenant is destroyed as a result of this sinfulness, and either one or both partners refuse to make it right.

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  1. 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    Matthew 5:32 This speaks of the betrothal period before the actual marriage, if it was after the marriage it is always called adultery. Modern wording would be cheating while engaged to be married.

    The Bible condemns all forms of divorce as sinful. But what happens when one member of a couple decides to leave? What does the Bible say about divorce in this situation? But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
    1 Corinthians 7:15

    This means you are not bound to serve them or chase after them while they are in the wilderness, but to pray for them and grow your walk with the Lord, not divorce them, trusting God to work in them and you.

    The second explicitly scriptural basis for granting the divorce is desertion from the marriage (1 Corinthians 7), where the spirit of return, repentance, and forgiveness is missing from either one person or both partners.

    “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (Romans 12:14)

    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

    “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)

    “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2)

    “I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.” (Psalm 17:6)

    “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” -Mark 11:24

    “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-37)

    “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” ( Galatians 6:2)

    “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)

    In context of the whole of Scripture, it seems we are not to simply “give up” on a troubled marriage.

    Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.
    Matthew 19:8
    Jesus now responds that Moses permitted divorce due to the hardness of the Israelites’ hearts. This means that God established a set of guidelines to limit the harm that divorce could cause. Jesus goes on to say that this was not always the case.
    In other words, God’s intention in creating a human marriage between man and woman was for it to be lifelong. It was a violation of God’s design to separate what God had joined.
    However, because of the people’s sin-hardened hearts, Israel was allowed to break the design under Moses, with limits and restraints on the practice.

    We are no longer under the Law of Moses, our marriages are to reflect Jesus and His church, God has not given up on His church and we are to do the same in our marriages.

    God’s truth matters, our fleeting feelings do not, God allows hard times to build us, and in those times we are to pray and grow, we may very well be opening the door for someone else to know Christ.

    May God richly bless you and your family.

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