Where does the bible talk about marriage and divorce?

Last updated on September 25th, 2022 at 01:36 pm

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The bible serves as a moral guide to millions of Christians around the world. This includes matters of marriage and divorce.

When you seek marriage advice from the Bible, it is important to not be shortsighted. According to a professor from Candler School of Theology, Luke Timothy Johnson, you need to dig deeper.

For instance, instead of reading the holy book to know what is allowed, you should ask yourself what god expects of you.

This article will enlighten you on the themes of marriage and divorce as per the Bible.


Marriage And Divorce In The Bible KJV

The KJV Bible refers to King James Version of the holy book. It was translated to English for the Church of England in the year 1604. There are 80 books under KJV in total.

When it comes to the topic of marriage and divorce, KJV Bible has a lot to say. The explanations of some of the relevant verses are mentioned below –

  • Luke 16:18 KJV: Any man who leaves his wife to marry another woman will be labelled an adulterer. And if the second woman was already married, then she is an adulterer to her former husband.
  • 1 Peter 3:1 KJV: Wives must remember that they are subjected to their own husbands.
  • Genesis 2:24 KJV: When a man marries he leaves his mother and father and unites with his wife as one flesh.
  • 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 KJV: God asks married couple to stay faithful to each other. If either of them leaves the other, let them reconcile soon.
  • Matthew 5:31-32 KJV: Marriages can end with the filing of divorce. But god will still look upon this action as adultery.
  • 1 Corinthians 7:15 KJV: Those who do not believe in the sanctity of the Bible can depart from any relationship. This does not apply to blood relations like parents and siblings.
  • Matthew 19:6 KJV: Once married, God conflates a man and a woman into one flesh. Let nobody defile this arrangement.
  • 1 Corinthians 7:39 KJV: If the husband dies before his time, the wife is allowed to marry the person she wants to.
  • Ephesians 5:33 KJV: A husband and a wife should love and care for each other like they would for themselves.

Many of the verses in the KJV Bible seem outdated in today’s societal context. However, it could also be a matter of misinterpretation.

As you can see, the concept of divorce exists in the Bible. However, it is not advised or recommended.

What Does The Bible Say About Marriage Problems?

It is true that perfection is an illusion. The idea of perfect marriages is only confined to stories and wishful thinking.

For a successful marriage, it is important to understand there will be highs and lows. The important thing is that both the partners are willing to make an effort.

Regarding the problems in marriage, the Bible has the following things to say

  • God blesses a man by providing him with a good wife. In return, a man must strive to be everything his wife wants him to be because she would do the same for him.
  • Cheating is a sin and anybody who is unfaithful to their spouse is considered an adulterer. If you have made that mistake, you can still be forgiven.
  • The road to forgiveness is not that simple though. You will have to confess your sins wholeheartedly to God and your partner. Then you must repent to move on.
  • A husband should love and take care of his wife like he would for himself. In return, his wife must respect him.
  • In case your marriage is wrought with fights and conflicts, do not give up easily. Seek professional help if necessary but try everything to save your marriage.
  • If your marriage is falling apart due to substance abuse, seek professional help immediately.
  • According to the Bible if you want to lead and pray for assistance, you must be of a clear and sober mind.
  • Many marriages fall apart due to financial problems. If this applies to you, work together to deal with your poverty. Alone you are weak, united you are strong.
  • Believing in the Lord requires you to give up on false, idealistic hopes. Life is not ideal. It is full of struggle. This is true for marriage as well.
  • It is important to have realistic expectations in life. This is how you avoid constant disappointments and learn to work with what you have.
  • If you are going through a tough marriage, try to focus less on stress and anxiety. Instead, look towards God for peace, strength and hope. You will receive the power to carry on.
  • Whenever you feel too much pressure, take a break. Being still in nature is akin to being in God’s presence. It will refresh your mind and allow you to think better.
  • Most marriage problems can be solved if couples practiced three things – eagerness to listen, thoughtfulness while speaking and patience during frustrating times.
  • As a married couple, you need to satisfy each other physically. Have deep conversations on the topic to understand each other better.

3 Reasons For Divorce In The Bible

The Bible has a provision for divorce, but does not recommend it in general. But there are specific circumstances where leaving your spouse is legally possible.

First, it is important to understand that marriage vows are not to be taken lightly. Ecclesiastes 5:5 says that it is better to not take a vow than to take one and not fulfil it.

Matthew 5:33-34 says if you make an oath to the Lord, you must never break it. Connecting this to marriage, Ephesians 5:31 says that once a man marries, he becomes one flesh with his wife.

However, if divorce is inevitable, it will be so under the following conditions –

If both the husband and the wife believe in God, their marriage is sanctified and their children would be legitimate.

But if either of the spouses is a non-believer, he or she can walk out of the marriage and abandon their family. This does not apply to blood relations.

If either the husband or the wife has been unfaithful to the other, this can lead to a divorce.

Adultery is also a legal crime and involves cheating on your spouse by having an affair with someone else.

Also, according to the Bible, if a man divorces a woman (who has been faithful) then she also becomes an adulterer.

  • God is genuinely against divorce

As per the Bible, Marriage is God’s work, not man’s. Therefore, only God has the right to decide whether spouses can walk out of their marriages.

Biblical Consequences Of Divorce

If you divorce your spouse, not only do you leave your partner but you also walk away from God’s light. This is according to the Bible.

In addition to hurting your partner, you also cause harm to your children, friends and other members of the family.

Divorce is considered a sin before God. However, there are special provisions that allow for divorce.

When Is Divorce Ok In The Bible?

As mentioned earlier, the Bible allows you to divorce your spouse under special circumstances. These include –

  • If adultery has occurred, spouses can divorce each other.
  • In case of domestic abuse, a woman may seek divorce from her violent husband.
  • If either of the spouses is unchaste, that is sexually unfaithful, they can file for divorce according to the Bible.

How Do I Know If God Wants Me To Leave a Relationship?

God has left behind his teachings in the Holy book for mortals to follow. You already know the special circumstances that allow you to divorce your spouse.

If you meet the criteria mentioned in the Bible then it is God’s wish that you leave the relationship.

Also, whenever in doubt, just pray. God will always answer to sincere prays.

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How Does The Bible Say To Deal With a Breakup?

First, the Bible suggests against leaving a relationship.

But if you must walk out, remember to repent for your sins later. You must first make a confession to God.

Then you must confess to your estranged partner and ask for forgiveness.

FAQ Related To Where Does The Bible Talk About Marriage And Divorce:

Does The Bible Say Divorce Is Okay?

No, the Bible does not want people to divorce each other. According to the holy book, marriage is a sacred contract overlooked by God himself.

Humans have no jurisdiction in the matters of the soul.

But if either of the spouses has committed adultery, abuse or betrayal then they can file for divorce. But even then, the Bible recommends working things out first.

Can You Divorce And Remarry According To The Bible?

Unfortunately, verses like Matthew 19:9 clearly state that no one can remarry unless God himself says so. But there has always been a provision for remarriage even in the past.

If you have confessed your sins and vowed to make the next marriage work, then by all means you should remarry.

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