Marriage, according to the Bible, is a lifetime commitment. Matthew 19:6 clearly says that what God has joined together, let no man divide.” Does this mean that divorce is a sin in the Bible?
Divorce is a complex and controversial topic, as people have different views regarding this issue. People divorce for various reasons, including adultery, abuse, financial difficulties, or falling out of love. Given its nature, we ought to approach this topic with great grace.
In this post, we will discuss what the Bible says about divorce and if it is a sin against God.
What Does the Bible Say About Divorce?
God created marriage with the intent of keeping it for life. However, it is not always the case. Since marriages involve two sinful human beings, God realized that divorces would happen.
Hence, He established some laws in the Old Testament to protect the rights of divorcees (Deuteronomy 24:1–4). Jesus pointed out that these laws were enacted due to the hardness of people’s hearts, not because God desired such laws (Matthew 19:8).
Jesus does mention divorce in the gospels. When you read what he says, you can begin to shape your answer to the question, “Is divorce a sin?” (Matthew 5:31-32).
He also reiterated a similar thought in Mark 10:10-12. In the verses mentioned above, Jesus defines legal grounds for divorce. In this case, it is marital infidelity or adultery.
In Jewish culture during Jesus’ time, there were two schools of thought regarding the reasons for divorce. One stated that you could divorce for any reason you wanted. The other was more conservative, limiting divorce to cases of sexual immorality by a woman.
It is worth noting that only men could initiate divorce in Jewish culture. In Roman culture, however, women had the authority to seek divorce.
Remarriage After Divorce
Any breach of that bond by sexual interactions outside of marriage may be grounds for divorce. Jesus also thinks about remarriage in this passage if this is the case.
The statement “and marries another” (Matthew 19:9) indicates divorce and remarriage are permitted. It should be noted that only the innocent party is allowed to remarry.
Although not stated in the text, the allowance for remarriage after divorce seems to be God’s grace for the one who was wronged. There may be circumstances in which the guilty person is permitted to remarry, but they are not mentioned in this text.
Many people want to remarry quickly after a divorce when God may want them to remain single. God occasionally calls people to be single so that their focus is not divided 1 Corinthians 7:32–35).
Remarriage after a divorce may be a choice in some situations, but it is not the only option.
The Bible clearly states that God despises divorce (Malachi 2:16). It also says that a believer’s life should be marked by reconciliation and forgiveness (Luke 11:4; Ephesians 4:32).
God acknowledges that divorce will happen, even among His children. Even if the divorce or remarriage does not fall under the possible exception clause of Matthew 19:9, a divorced and remarried person of faith should not feel any less loved by God.