What Does The Bible Say About Divorcing

Divorce is a heartbreaking reality for many couples who find themselves unable to stay together. The Bible offers several references on the subject of divorce, with different contexts and nuances that are often misunderstood or taken out of context. To fully understand what the Bible has to say about divorce, it is important to look at the various scriptures that reference it.

In the Old Testament of the Bible, Deuteronomy declares that if a man divorces his wife, he must write her a certificate of divorce and send her away. Leviticus tells us that if a man divorces his wife, he must also provide her with some goods, likely to serve as financial support.

Turning to the New Testament, the primary scripture on divorce is found in the book of Mark, which states that anyone who divorces and remarries, commits adultery. This verse is often cited to support the view that Christians should not remarry after getting a divorce. However, it is important to note that this passage refers to a specific situation in which a man divorced his wife for another woman.

In a more instructive context, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians addressed the issue of divorce as it applied to believers and non-believers. Paul wrote that, if an unbelieving partner leaves, the believing spouse “is not bound in such cases” — meaning that the Christian spouse is not obliged to follow the rules of the marriage.

Lastly, Paul writes in Romans that separate living should be avoided, since it will often lead to immorality. He proposed that the couple should seek to reconcile and work through the conflict.

The Theme of Reconciliation

Although divorce is sometimes necessary, the Bible affirms the God-sanctioned importance of marriage, as well as the hope that we should have in reconciliation. While these verses may seem to lean in favor of divorce in certain cases, they are primarily intended to express the value of marriage, and to encourage believers to seek peace and reconciliation first.

These scriptures make it clear that the ideal situation is for couples to remain together and seek to work out any conflicts, even if divorce is a possibility. God clearly has no intention of causing suffering in a marriage, but instead seeks for all relationships to be restored.

Divorce can be a difficult and emotionally overwhelming experience, but it is important for couples to remember that God does not condemn a separated couple, but instead seeks to bring both parties comfort and compassion and restore the marriage — should the couple so choose.

Seeking Help and Support

Couples that are struggling should remember that there is always hope, and should seek out help in order to work through any issues. It is important to recognize that many successful marriages have emerged after a period of marital difficulties, and with the help of a qualified counselor, couples can learn to communicate in healthy, respectful ways. Here are some steps that couples can take to ensure that they have the best chance of resolving conflicts and finding reconciliation:

  • Be aware of cultural differences that can hurt your relationship.
  • Find a qualified marriage counselor to help you work through issues in a safe, neutral setting.
  • Remember that forgiveness is possible and that reconciliation is both possible and desirable.
  • Don’t give up hope — with God’s help, you can overcome your marital difficulties.

Clearly Defining Divorce

The Bible does not define divorce as an unforgivable sin, as some interpret it to be. Rather, it speaks of divorce as a sometimes necessary consequence of two people who are not able to stay together, and encourages reconciliation and restoration. In all cases, couples are encouraged to seek help and support, as this will give them the best chance of restoring their marriage.

Guiding Us Toward Restoration

Ultimately, the Bible offers us guidance on how to approach divorce and reconciliation. God does not condone divorce, but in cases where it is inevitable, he encourages us to seek out help and supports the hope of restoring relationships. Finding the path to reconciliation may not be easy, but it is worth the effort, for love and marriage are both gifts from God, to be cherished and respected.

Knowing When to Seek Help

Couples who are struggling in their marriage are encouraged to seek help and guidance as soon as possible. The earlier a couple seeks help, the more likely they are to resolve their issues. A marriage counselor can provide the tools and techniques needed to help couples overcome their issues and move forward in a healthy and positive way.

Remaining United in Prayer

Divorce can be a traumatic experience, but God does not intend for couples to be bound by suffering. Instead of seeking divorce, couples can draw strength from prayer and an understanding of God’s grace and mercy. By uniting themselves in prayer, couples can find peace and comfort in their relationship, and strive for greater understanding and reconciliation.

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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