Divorce and Remarriage

There are many hot topics in Christian circles. These hot topics usually come from areas of life of which the Bible is not totally clear. Divorce and remarriage is one of those hot topics. There are many different opinions on this topic. Here is some information about this topic and my personal conclusions:

Divorce and Remarriage

Overview: This is a topic of concern for many. There are many views as to what the Bible really teaches on the subject of divorce and remarriage.

Principles to consider:

  1. Accept the Bible for what it says in the most literal way possible.
  2. Understand that we are sinful people and our interpretation of scripture will be fogged because of our minds that are tainted with sin.
  3. God is a God of love and grace. Always seek to give grace as God has given us grace.

Views concerning divorce and remarriage:

  1. Neither divorce nor remarriage are allowed.
  2. Divorce is okay, but remarriage is not.
  3. Divorce is okay and remarriage is okay in cases of adultery or desertion.
  4. Divorce is okay for many reasons and remarriage is okay.
  5. Divorce is okay in cases of marriage breakdown and remarriage is okay.

Principles from scripture:

Matthew 5:31-32
1. Divorce is allowed in cases of fornication.
2. Divorce outside of fornication is adultery.
3. Remarriage is adultery, unless the divorce was in the case of fornication.

Matthew 19:4-9
1. God’s intent for marriage is that it be life-long commitment.
2. God included provision for divorce in the Mosaic law.
3. If someone divorces and remarry apart from the case of fornication, they are committing adultery.
3. There is no adultery being committed if the divorce is in the case of fornication.

Mark 10:2-12
1. God’s intent for marriage is that it be a life-long commitment.
2. God included provision for divorce in the Mosaic law.
3. God provides a provision for divorce because of our sin nature. Knowing that man can fall into fornication, God provided a permissible provision for divorce in the case of fornication. This is grace.

Luke 16:18
1. Divorce is okay, but remarriage is adultery.

NOTE: In Matthew, Jesus includes the provision concerning fornication when it comes to divorce. Mark and Luke does not mention specifically that provision. However, when studying scripture, you must consider the entire context of the Bible and compare scripture with scripture. Keep in mind, Jesus would not say something that He did not mean.

1 Corinthians 7:10-17
1. If a couple is separated, the ideal conclusion is to remain unmarried or to reconcile.
2. In the case of an unequally yoked marriage: If the unbeliever abandons or breaks the marriage vow by committing adultery, divorce is allowed.

Final Observations:

1. It is God’s intent and design that marriage follow the pattern of Christ and the church. Therefore, marriage should be a life-long commitment.
2. Knowing man’s tendency toward sin, God gives grace by making provisions for divorce under certain circumstances.

Conclusion:

After examining scripture it appears that the rightful conclusion is the view that divorce is okay and remarriage is okay in the case of fornication and also in the case of abandonment from an unbelieving spouse. However, this does not mean that divorce is a good thing. There are a lot of things that are permissible but may not be the best thing. Divorce is permissible in the case of fornication, however, the ideal is for reconciliation to be made and for the marriage to be patterned after Christ and the church, the way God intended it to be.

Divorce and remarriage along with other such hot topics should never be viewed dogmatically. Every life is different and every situation is unique. Before making a judgment on such issues, it is important that we carefully and prayerfully examine the scriptures and see how they apply to particular and unique situations. One rule of thumb to go by on such issues is to always consider the grace of God. When I think of how much grace God has given me, how much more so should I give grace to others? Think about it.

 

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One thought on “Divorce and Remarriage

  1. Someone (maybe MacArthur) described divorce not as a contractual matter, but, rather, as a “bloody beheading” because of the NT imagery of Christ and the church. I’ve never forgotten that, and whenever I hear about another divorce it’s the image that comes to my mind. Very tragic and violent.

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