20 Biblical Teachings About Divorce and Its Consequences

Marriage is a holy and blessed union between a man and a woman. However, as humans, it’s easy to fall into temptation, thus plaguing one’s marriage with sins—sins that can inevitably cause one’s relationship to crumble. When this happens, couples start to consider divorce as their solution. However, as countless teachings and passages in the Bible say, divorce is never an option—especially if it’s done for one’s selfish desires.

Divorce Is Equal to Adultery

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According to the Bible, God intends for marriages to be lifelong and not to be dissolved for trivial reasons. In fact, any reason for divorce that’s less than that of sexual immorality means the person asking for divorce is an adulterer. In the same way, a person who takes in and accepts a divorcee constitutes the same level of adultery (Matthew 5:32). This highlights the importance of commitment in marriage and shows how important it is to be committed to its highs and lows.

Divorce Means Going Against God

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Professor Luke Timothy Johnson of Emory University says that though some passages in the Bible seem to show that divorce is allowed, we must think about what is asked of us versus what is allowed. In Mark 10:9, we conclude that Jesus disapproves of divorce. This is because marriage, or the union of man and woman, is something that God has done. And whatever God has done, no man should ever separate or retract.

Divorce Doesn’t Come Without Consequences

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Enduring Word, a website dedicated to promoting Christian discipleship, says that in modern times, it’s not uncommon for a woman to return to her first husband after divorce, especially after marrying or being with another man. However, this goes against the message of Jeremiah 3:1, which emphasizes the importance of marriage and the seriousness of divorce. God wanted to clarify that divorce and remarriage should not be taken lightly; it’s a sacrament that must be respected and upheld at all times, no matter what.

Divorce Is Violence Toward the One Whom You Should Protect

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Many people mistakenly believe that the Old Testament is primarily pro-divorce. However, its laws were not an endorsement of divorce but rather a way to mitigate its impact. The well-known Bible passage, Malachi 2:16, associates divorce with faithlessness and spiritual danger. These laws were essential for protecting women’s rights, as they depended heavily on their husbands and children for support in that culture.

Divorce Is Painful, and God Hates Divorce

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Another part highlighted in Malachi 2:16 is how God hates divorce. This is because God has experienced the pain of betrayal when his people turned away from their covenant relationship. Therefore, divorce deeply affects God. The hardness of one’s heart not only affects one’s spouse; it pains God, too.

Only Those With a Hard Heart Ask for Divorce

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When asked by the Pharisees, Jesus stated that God never intended for a man to divorce his wife. According to Matthew 19:8, Adam and Eve were joined in a lifelong union—an example and foundation of God’s original plan for marriage. Despite this, divorce became necessary due to the sinful nature of humanity.

Divorce Doesn’t Have to Happen for a Husband or Wife to Become an Adulterer

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Some people may mistake Matthew 5:27-28 as the Bible condemning every man who so much glances at a woman. However, as Rudy Gray of The Courier said, in this passage, Jesus talks about a “deep-seated desire that consumes a person mentally.” Thus, this means simply glancing or looking accidentally is not a sin. However, if you glance and look with an obsessive and “wrongful” sexual desire, that’s when it becomes a sin; within his mind, this person’s imagination will undoubtedly lead him to commit adultery in his heart and mind.

Divorce Is Final

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Deuteronomy 24:1-4 focuses on the fact that a man is prohibited from remarrying his ex-wife, especially if she had already married another man after their divorce. In many ways, this chapter and passage in the Bible aim to prevent the people of that time from committing exploitative practices, which some may refer to as wife-swapping. Like Jeremiah 3:1, this Deuteronomy passage seeks to promote love and care for others, making couples think about their union and separation multiple times before divorce.

Marriage Is a Holy Union That One Shouldn’t Disrespect Through Divorce

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Hebrews 13:4 is one of the passages in the Bible that directly and straightforwardly addresses the debate on sexual purity within marriage. Marriage is a holy union between a man and a woman; it is only right to be faithful to one’s partner. As the passage reads, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

Divorce Doesn’t Give You the Right to Be With Someone Else

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The Bible passage, 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, encouraged husbands and wives to stay together and care for each other, as marriage is for life. However, the passage also recognizes that there were severe marital issues that may lead a spouse to separate from his or her partner, such as a wife experiencing cruelty under her husband. In cases like this, it is advised that the woman separates from her husband but does not remarry, effectively living life as an unmarried woman. Though separation is technically allowed, this Bible passage shows how wrong it is, in their culture, to marry another man while a woman’s husband is still alive.

Divorce Is the Last Resort

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Verse by Verse Commentary reminds us that in marriage, it’s essential to have a peaceful relationship, even if one partner is a non-believer. Divorce should only be considered as a last resort. If there is no peace in the marriage, remember 1 Corinthians 7:15: “But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases, the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.”

It Is Only Through Death—Not Divorce–That a Husband and Wife Can Separate

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Romans 7:2 focuses on the law that says a wife cannot marry another man while she is married. However, should her husband die, only then would she be free to do so. This legal limitation of marriage vows is dissolved immediately after the husband’s death. This then reiterates the vows, “Till death do us part.”

Divorce Hurts More Than Just the Husband and His Wife

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Divorce may seem easy, but it can cause chaos and destruction in the lives of those involved, especially the ex-spouse and any children. According to God’s teachings, like Mark 10:12, divorce without a valid reason is a grave sin, and remarriage after such a divorce is considered adultery. Marriage, after all, is a divine covenant between God, the husband, and the wife, and it should not be broken without just cause.

Marriage Turns Two Bodies Into One Flesh; It Should Not Be Dissolved

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Marriage is a divine institution created by God for the benefit and happiness of mankind. As part of this union, God makes two bodies into one flesh. They are forever intertwined, living by their vows: to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health, until death do them part.

Marriage Must Be Upheld and Respected and Never Defiled Through Divorce

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Hebrews 13:4 emphasizes the importance of sexual purity. While modern society has long let go of this teaching, history has shown that sex and its consequences can significantly impact a person’s life. With that, according to the Bible, maintaining a godly and healthy approach to sexuality involves fidelity within marriage and abstaining from sex until marriage.

Divorce Should Be Officially Documented

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In the olden days, only men had the right to divorce. So, to protect all women from unjust divorce, the Bible mentions men giving their wives a certificate of divorce (Matthew 5:31) to give women legal rights. However, this also prevented a husband from remarrying his ex-wife and vice versa.

Divorce Is Not a Way Out of One’s Problems

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Differences in personalities, beliefs, and culture are among the top reasons for divorce nowadays. However, Paul said that a Christian husband should not divorce his non-Christian wife as long as she is willing to stay married. Similarly, as noted in 1 Corinthians 7:13, a Christian wife should not end her marriage if her non-Christian husband is willing to remain married.

It’s Better to Be Single Than to Divorce

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1 Corinthians 7:27-28 goes, “Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife.” The first question and answer is clear enough: divorce is never an option for a married couple. However, Paul advises those who have not yet married during that time of persecution that singleness might be a better option than marriage. This is because married individuals may face more difficulties and dangers as they try to protect their families: many Christians were being martyred, imprisoned, and even killed for their beliefs, and it would be such an unbearable pain to see your family suffer.

Divorce Is Nothing but a Product of Sin

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God has established marriage since the beginning of time; in Genesis 2, it’s referred to as an intimate and lifelong partnership between a man and a woman. However, as sin—deceit, blame, power struggles, polygamy, and infidelity—entered the picture, slow but steady damage was inflicted upon the sacred sacrament of marriage. Divorce is a prime example of how sin slowly cracks a union and a relationship, not only between the husband and wife but also with God.

Divorce Comes With a Price

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In Deuteronomy 2:19, a man tried to divorce his wife, telling the people that she was not a virgin when they got married. However, the wife’s father had proof of her virginity, forcing the man to pay him a fine, and he’s been condemned not to be able to divorce her forever. The man’s false stories and punishment serve as a reminder of the sanctity of marriage and how important it is not to play around with the idea of divorce.

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Author: Karen Danao

Bio:

Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

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