1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When the subject of divorce arises, there are numerous questions that people have, including the reasons divorce is permitted according to the Bible. This subject is one of the most debated and complicated in all of Scripture, largely because of the complex nature of the marriage relationship and great emotions surrounding the family. Here are four scenarios, or grounds, for a possible divorce according to the Bible:
- Romans 7:2 – “…a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.”
- 1 Corinthians 7:39 – “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.”
- 1 Corinthians 7:15 – “…if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved…”
3. Adultery and Sexual Immorality
- Deuteronomy 22:22 – “If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die…” (Old Covenant)
- Matthew 5:32 – “…everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality…” (New Covenant)
- Matthew 19:9 – “…whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery”. (New Covenant)
4. Hardness of heart
- Mark 10:4-9 – “They said, ‘Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.” “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’”
What happens if you have been divorced, but are either certain that it was not warranted clearly by God’s Word, or you had an acceptable reason for it but are still fault haunted and nagged by the dissolution of your marriage? The answer to the question? That’s an easy yes. That’s our God. He’s a God of forgiveness and healing.
The issue is, as soon as you talk about the grace of God, there are immediately people who say “Well, they’re going to abuse the grace of God.” You know what? We’re not supposed to abuse the grace of God, but we are supposed to use the grace of God because we need the grace of God.
At the end of the day, I don’t know what happened in your first marriage if you’ve been divorced. I don’t know the circumstances and every journey is different. Nobody will die and give an account to me; I’m not the judge of the living and the dead. WE all need to be careful to not render judgments over things we are not called to speak into and the facts of which we are uncertain of.
Even if the divorce was not godly and justified, can God draw a straight line with a crooked stick? Yes! Can God put grace on a broken thing and mend it? Yes! Can God bring something to life that was dead? Yes!
To be sure, marriage is not honored as it ought to be in our day, and after 30 years of faithful marriage, my wife Grace and I are fully devoted to godly marriage. As Pastor Jimmy Evans often says, the couple that obeys God’s Word has a 100% chance of success in marriage.
Unfortunately, like everything else in life, we are sinners and sin leads to death…including sometimes the tragic death of our marriage. I believe my God can take broken and dead things and He can make beauty and life out of them. Some people might say “You can’t say that about marriage” and I would say that about everything, because I believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If there’s anything you need to ask God for forgiveness for, do it right now with a sincere heart. He wants to meet you with grace and forgiveness no matter what you’ve done.
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