The Bible says when a man and woman marry, they become "one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). Marriage is only to be broken by death (Romans 7:3). Here are the two exceptions for divorce:
If your spouse commits "sexual immorality" you're permitted a divorce (Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9). These are the only two references in Scripture that permit divorce for sexual immorality - Jesus said we're permitted divorce because of the hardness of our hearts - divorce was never God's plan from the beginning (Matthew 19:8).
Second exception - if you're married to an unbeliever and the unbeliever leaves - you're to "let him leave" (1 Corinthians 7:15). God has called us to live in peace, not chase down your unbelieving husband.
These are the only two exceptions for biblical divorce - sexual immorality and if your unbelieving spouse leaves you. What about remarriage? If you're divorced, should a Christian remain single?
There is one exception for remarriage. If your spouse passes away you're released from your marriage vows (Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39). Jesus said marrying a divorced person is "adultery" (Luke 16:18). Deuteronomy 24:4 considers remarriage "detestable to the Lord."
What are you to do?
1. Discourage Divorce – it’s not God’s will – only permitted.
2. Discourage Remarriage – only death allows a person to remarry.
3. Encourage Biblical Marriage – encourage people to observe God’s standards and being faithful to their current spouse. If a divorced person has remarried, they need to remain in their marriage - keep your promise, don't break your vows a second time. Only God can end a marriage.
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