What The Bible Says About Divorce – Is It Ok?
Divorce is not something we should take lightly as Christians, we need to understand the sanctity of marriage and the very few circumstances where divorce is accepted and ok.
“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Divorce is becoming more and more common among married couples of all ages. In fact, in today’s world, it is seen as a normal part of life. If, for whatever reason, you don’t like your spouse, society encourages you to simply leave him or her and find someone else. But this careless, foolish way of life is completely contrary to God’s plan for marriage. So what does the Word of God have to say about divorce? Jesus’ words on divorce may be hard to hear, but they are undeniable truth.
In Matthew 5:32, Jesus says “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.” No matter which way you look at this verse, you will find absolutely no justification for divorce without a dire reason. Jesus even associates divorce with adultery, a practice that is condemned as sin all throughout scripture. He says this, however, not to condemn His followers, but to warn them.
He wants us to understand that marriage is not some casual fling that we can just cast aside when we’re feeling bored or frustrated. Marriage is a sacred covenant, blessed by God, made to unite a man and a woman in love for each other and for their Creator. Most importantly, marriage is ultimately meant to reflect Christ’s relationship with His bride – the Church. Christ’s love is a love that pursues, perseveres, and forgives in all circumstances. So if we are called to be like Him, we are called to love our own spouses just as He has loved us.
Of course, the circumstances surrounding divorce can be very complicated. Sometimes people end up in marriages that are destructive to their spiritual, emotional, or even physical health. These situations are the only exceptions to God’s command to remain with our spouse. As mentioned in the verse above, Jesus makes it clear that sexual immorality is grounds for divorce. It also goes without saying that in cases of abuse, a person should leave his or her spouse as quickly as possible. And as with any relationship, if a marriage causes you to sin or turn away from God, there must be no compromises. Jesus comes first in all our interactions with people here on earth.
And so, it’s easy to see that the sanctity of marriage has been forgotten in our culture. This is a reality that should grieve our hearts as believers. There are people who seem to change marriages as often as they change their clothes – and we have to remember that they are just as lost as we were. To the unbelieving divorcees, we should always point them toward the love of Christ that never lets go. To believers who have not repented of constant, flippant divorce, we should lovingly guide them and pray that God would show them His true will for their lives.