What Does It Say In The Bible About Divorce

Marriage is a covenant of sorts, but the Bible does not weigh in heavily on the concept of divorce. The occasional mention of divorce alludes to a larger belief that it is, in some cases, an acceptable solution. Regardless of the situation, one aspect is constant — the pain and sorrow that divorce brings. The impact of divorce continues to be felt by the people it touches and it affects not just the immediate family but all who know them.

Christians have long held the view that divorce was sad and in God’s sight, far from the ideal. However, for specific reasons mentioned in the Bible, divorce is seen as permissible. The key Biblical passage related to divorce is Mathew 19: 3-9 which states, “Some Pharisees came to him, trying to trap him in his words. They asked, “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

One of the most difficult concepts to grasp is why God allows the permissibility of divorce. However, God’s grace and mercy should be a source of comfort to those who find themselves in a difficult situation. The Bible does acknowledge that in certain cases, divorce is allowed. For example, Jesus said, “…anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, causes her to become an adulteress and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery” (Matthew 5: 32). Jesus also said, “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery” (Mathew 19:9).

What constitutes a “serious reason” though? The Bible makes it clear that only severe cases of adultery and abuse provide a legitimate basis for divorce. In cases such as these, it may be that the only recourse to escape further injury or suffering is to end the marriage. Paul warns against a hasty decision to divorce as “…this should give rise to serious sexual immorality, you should not divorce.” (1 Corinthians 7:11).

From a practical perspective, divorce has its impact on children, the elderly, the community and both parties involved. In spite of its hardship and heartache, divorce can be the most loving and appropriate sparing of senseless suffering if spouses fail to act compassionately towards each other.

The Bible also speaks of restoration and reconciliation. Divorce doesn’t have to be the last option—itneed not define the end of a relationship. The Bible instructs us to focus on understanding each other, resolving conflicts and showing mercy. Sometimes, a marriage can recover and even thrive, often with the help of a third-party resource such as counseling or therapy. God is unchanging in His relational characteristics, and He offers all of us the same grace and mercy.

Biblical Views on Parental Responsibility

It is a God-mandated duty of all parents to provide for their children’s basic needs and to invest in their spiritual and physical development. Every child has the right to a safe home and to benefit from the support and guidance of both parents. Scripture is clear- rebuilding broken relationships is preferable to severing them. God’s hand is not in any divorce, but He can restore and redeem both persons in the difficult situation.

In cases of divorce and remarriage following a divorce, the Bible outlines parental responsibilities for both divorced parents and for their children. Specifically, the Bible indicates that parents should have equal access to their children in cases of divorce and remarriage (Exodus 21:10) as well as provide a stable and secure home and adequate financial support (Deuteronomy 24:5). Furthermore, Scripture makes clear that both parents have an equal responsibility to support and nurture their children; the love and provision of each parent should always be a priority.

The Bible also encourages parents to focus on raising their children with Biblical standards and to exemplify God’s love and mercy to their children (Ephesians 6:4). God’s unconditional love should be highlighted in a child’s home, to counteract any feelings of rejection and insecurity which may arise from a divorce. A child’s well-being must be kept foremost in the hearts and minds of both parents as they navigate through this difficult situation as best as possible.

Counseling and Care

Those suffering from a divorce can benefit greatly from a support system such as counseling or therapy. For those who are struggling to understand the events that caused the divorce, the first step is to gain understanding and insight. Professional guidance can be extremely beneficial in helping to understand the situation and find ways to move forward and heal.

In addition to counseling, divorced individuals can benefit from the spiritual support of church communities and friends. As individuals seek resources to cope with the emotional impact of divorce, Christian friends and mentors can provide a safe, understanding and meaningful support system as they take steps to rebuild their lives. Church communities can help to provide this support and guidance, as well as family, friends, or therapists.

In seeking help and guidance from church communities, friends, and counselors, it is important to consult with qualified individuals who can provide sound advice. Support from qualified sources can provide valuable help in overcoming the hurts and betrayals that often accompany divorce.

Divorce & Remarriage

The Bible is clear on God’s views on divorce: He hates it. He shows no favor concerning the person who makes the decision to break a sacred covenant. At the same time, God’s grace encompasses those who have made the unfortunate decision to divorce.

Jesus said, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her and if a woman divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:11-12). Jesus plainly instructed followers not to engage in remarriage after divorce, yet the New Testament does not completely close the door on remarriage after divorce in certain cases.

When remarriage does become an option, wise counsel should be sought. It can be a great source of healing if both parties involve their church community and seek marriage counseling from a qualified Christian advisor or minister. This can be an essential part of the process for couples beginning to rebuild their relationship, or for a complete reconciliation in some cases.


The Bible does provide guidance on marriage, divorce and remarriage. Divorce is a difficult decision, and should not be entered into lightly. God’s grace and mercy offers a source of comfort to those affected by divorce. In whatever situation they find themselves, divorced individuals can experience healing and hope as they trust in the Lord and accept His love.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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