SCRIPTURES ON DIVORCE

Dollar Photo Rings on BibleWe’re asked the question often, “Should I get a divorce?” Our answer to them is, “that’s not for us to tell you. We’re told in the Bible that “what God has put together let no man tear apart.” That includes us. Instead, we encourage them to pray and to read the Bible, asking God to lead them. This is a personal decision between them and God —”a cord of three strands.

With that in mind, here is a starting point for you. Carefully and prayerfully read the following scriptures that concern divorce:

Deuteronomy 24:1-4:

If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the LORD. Do not bring sin upon the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.

Malachi 2:13-16:

Another thing you do: You flood the LORD’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accept them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring.

So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself [or his wife] with violence as well as with his garment,” says the LORD Almighty.

Matthew 5:31-32:

[Jesus said] It has been said, “Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.” But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 19:3-9:

Some Pharisees came to him [Jesus] to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

Mark 10:2-12:

Some Pharisees came and tested him [Jesus] by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” “What did Moses command you?” he replied. They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

Luke 16:18:

Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Romans 7:2-3:

By law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress, even though she marries another man.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11:

To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:12-14:

To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

1 Corinthians 7:15-16:

But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

1 Corinthians 7:27:

Are you married? Do not seek a divorce.

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99 responses to “SCRIPTURES ON DIVORCE

  1. (U.S.A.) Rita, There is another wonderful website for spouses who are "standing in faith" for the restoration of their marriage, divorced or not. It’s called, rejoicemarriageministries.com. With your husband’s name being Lazarus I believe your marriage will be resurrected from the dead just as Jesus’ friend Lazarus was resurrected in the Bible. Keep standing and believing, never give up, "nothing is too hard for God!" God bless you!

  2. (UNITED STATES) Thank you so much for this website. I’m also a divorced Christian woman, still in love with my former husband and I am "standing in faith" that God will restore our marriage. I had an extra marital affair over 3 years ago and have been divorced only 1 year. He cannot get over the past and says there’s no way we will ever be together again. I’m not giving up and I’m not giving in until God brings him back to me. No one else is for me but my former husband.

  3. (UNITED STATES) I entered a comment the other day before I read the scripture at the very top in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Does this mean due to me having an affair, and my former husband was the one that filed for divorce, does that mean it’s an abomination if he were to come back to me? I’m confused.

  4. (USA) Hi Gloria, This section of verses you mention, in how I read it, only refers to if you had already married another. Your previous post (above this latest one) says that your husband divorced you but that you are hoping for reconciliation so my impression is that you have not remarried (and neither has he).

    Another note, not necessarily related to your current situation, is to keep in mind that Deuteronomy is part of Moses’ law – that the "old law/old covenant" that the Israelites kept before Christ came. It was a rather harsh law. Additionally, Christ said to the Pharisees that the only reason Moses allowed divorce at all was because of the "hardness of their hearts." See Matt. 19:8 If you also notice, he says from the beginning it wasn’t so. In other words, that men shouldn’t be putting their wives away. You’ve already said your husband is in a state of unforgiveness of you – that’s what causes people to leave their spouses or "put them away."

    That’s something your husband has to work through, if he wants to. I like your repentance at having the affair and your desire for reconciliation. Perhaps your husband will come to a state of forgiveness of you and you two can reconcile.

    If you want to know the New Testament laws on marriage and divorce, and you don’t already know them, you should read I Corinthians 7. I Corinthians 7 is the current standing law (as opposed to the Old Law in Deuteronomy). Keep in mind when Christ died on the cross the veil was rent in two meaning we no longer go through priests (like the Jews did) to get to God. We no longer make sacrifices – we go to God directly and pray to God directly and have a relationship with Him directly. (Incidentally, this is why some Christians have a problem with the Catholic religion – because they are using priests as a "go-between" between the people and Christ, having people confess their sins to a priest and pray to saints instead of Christ, which flies in the face of why Christ was crucified).

    So, Christ’s crucifixion was to replace the Old Law. That doesn’t mean that the Old Testament is null and void- quite the contrary. There are MANY really good verses and resources in the Old Testament, as well as a lot of prophecy. It’s just that the Old Law does not apply anymore because Christ is the "fulfillment" of the Old Law and came to die for us and our sins thereby doing away with the Old Law – we are to follow the New Covenant as laid out in the New Testament.

    Hope this helps. With love, LT

  5. (SOUTH AFRICA) Please pray for me, my name is Harold. I have been married for 18 years. My wife Heather wants to divorce and move to the UK, leaving me and the kids here. We have two kids. I have prayed so much. I think God wants to tell me something but I don’t know how to listen. I love Heather very much but somewhere I went wrong. Please pray for us; I know we can sort this out. Thank you so much. Harold

  6. (SOUTH AFRICA) Rita, my name is Harold. My wife wants a divorce so I can’t give you any advice. All I can do for you is pray. All you have to do is keep looking up. God knows best. I know what you are going through. It is not easy. Ask Jesus to help you, and I will pray for you and your family as long as I have to. Your friend in Jesus always.

  7. (US)  (US) (US) LT, I forgot to mention, no, I have not remarried and neither has my former husband. Please keep us in your prayers.

  8. (UNITED STATES) Thanks Harold, my friend came back from work and gave me Isaiah 30:21 and said that God said to tell my Spirit and mind to hush. I thank you for praying for me because I will pray for you and your wife. God is Good though. It’s funny how we can give others advice but we can’t take are on advice. I want you to look to God even when things seem to be going crazy. God is Good. What always comes back to me is “hat God has joined together let no man tear apart.” I realize our tongue is for life or death. I just start to say what I want to happen; but while you’re asking God to change you, ask him to change your wife while he is changing you.

  9. (SOUTH AFRICA)  Hi Rita as I read the Bible on how to love my wife I know I failed. I ask God every day to restore my marriage and all the marriages that need help. I know that God wanted to show us the way and that there is a lesson to be learned. I have put my trust in God. I know God is good and that He hates divorce. Sometimes we don’t understand why these things are happening to us but we must be strong and believe that God has a plan for our lives. I love my wife so much and the more I pray the more I love her. Every day I pray that God will heal all the troubled marriages and show all the people the way to real love and to bring them closer to Him. Keep on praying and trusting God.

  10. (UNITED STATES) I know that God is going to restore my marriage and heal every area in our marriage and our home. i will do Exceedingly and Abundantly above all that we ask or think. I know that at times that are circumstances get in the way of us letting Go and Letting God do what he wants with us.

    THE FOUR BLESSED LOOKS
    Look back and ‘Thank’ God.
    Look forward and ‘Trust’ God.
    Look around and ‘Serve’ God.
    Look within and ‘Find’ God!’
    ‘I asked God, ‘How do I get the best out of life?’ God said, ‘Face your past without regrets. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear!”
    ‘Without God, our week is: Mournday, Tearsday, Wasteday, Thirstday, Fightday, Shatterday and Sinday. So, allow Him to be with you every day!’
    ‘Life is short, so forgive quickly. Believe slowly.. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably. Never regret anything that makes you happy. And have a wonderful journey!!

  11. (SOUTH AFRICA)  I am married for 8 years now and I have a 4 year old son. I have contemplated divorce for almost 3 times because of my mother-in-law. Ever since my father-in-law passed away she has become very dependent on my husband who is the only son. He has 3 sisters, as well. I feel i don’t have enough time with him. I feel he is slowly slipping away from me. We don’t communicate well.

    While I am asleep he is watching TV and we don’t have quality time together. I don’t want a divorce especially because of my baby, but what about my feelings to me? It is like his mother always takes first place and I take second. What do I do? Speaking to her does not help because then she gets sick and lands in the hospital. After her husband died she becomes depressed easily. Which other way can I deal with this? Thanks.

  12. (UNITED STATES)  I am a concerned sister, my brother is going through so much. He is very young. In High School he got his girlfriend pregnant and has ended up in a bad situation. He is not living with his ex and the baby. She lives in Arizona and he lives in Colorado.

    He works full-time and has been giving a chunk of his pay check and has supported his baby. He has been trying to visit his baby on his days off but they have purposely avoided him. He has been so sad and to make it worse now, they have put a restraining order against him.

    From my point of view they are trying to hurt him in all ways possible. One after another, she leads him on and then pushes him away. I understand if she’s over him, but that doesn’t give her a reason to keep their daughter from seeing him. He just needs lots of prayer. I love him and I hate to see him sad. I am a mother myself and I can’t imagine missing the first year of my daughter’s life because they were so precious. (Tear) Thank you, and May God bless you all.

  13. (USA)  My husband has abandoned me, accused me, and confided any personal problem we’ve had to all of his friends.

    All but one of them have formed this terrible opinion of me because of all he’s divulged to them… Most of his friends are female, and a specific one with an agenda. People I don’t even know. He gave one of them my phone numbers and my email addresses, the one whom has such hatred for me, and I feel violated by that… He chose to believe the worst about me and forsook me for other people… When he had to make a choice to defend a person, it wasn’t the one he made his vows to, but it was to his posy of women friends…

    What was supposed to be under the blood and forgiven, he has made me re-live over and over until I can not repent anymore…

    I have never even so much as looked at another man, so there’s no adultery nor fornication involved in our separation. He is now publicly declaring his singleness and actually made public statements online to a sister that he and I are "no longer"… If I were to do this very same thing (which I haven’t and wouldn’t), he would call me an adulteress and say that I was seeking for another man… Yet he is public that he is single and available!

    We haven’t spoken in almost 2 weeks, which I suppose is good because he just hurts my feelings anyway and accuses, so I’m better off not listening to the negative things he has to say about me, but I’m still hurting… I am bound to my covenant and will never never betray my vows… Please pray for me…

  14. (USA)  Please pray for my family and I. There has been a lot of anger and lack of communication in our marriage. My wife left the state I am living in with the children to see family 3 weeks ago; now she says she is not coming back and is filing for separation.

    I have confessed to her and God my wrong doings and my part in this and have told herI am willing to do anything and everything to reconcile, but she says she has been too hurt and is not willing to go on. Please pray for her healing, I know I have not treated her fairly, and ask God for His will to be done in this. Thank You.