When most people think about divorce, they think about the legal proceeding in which a couple dissolves their marriage. However, there is another aspect to divorce that is less discussed but just as important: the spiritual side of things.
In Malachi 2, God speaks very clearly about His thoughts on divorce. There are four scenarios in which the Bible permits divorce.
In this article, we will explore each of these grounds for divorce. It is important to note that while these are the only grounds for a biblical divorce, they are not the only reasons why a marriage might end.
There are many other factors that can contribute to a break-up of a marriage relationship but below are four biblical reasons for divorce;
This is probably the most well-known reason for a biblical divorce. When one spouse commits adultery, it is considered an act of betrayal and unfaithfulness that destroys the marriage covenant. The Bible says that if your spouse has committed adultery, you are free to divorce them and remarry (Matthew 19:8).
#2: Sexual Immortality
Another reason for a biblical divorce is sexual immorality. This could include anything from pornography to premarital sex. When one spouse is not sexually faithful to the other, it can cause great damage to the marriage relationship.
The Bible says that if your spouse has been involved in sexual immorality, you are free to divorce them and remarry (Matthew 19:9).
#3. Abandonment – Hardness of Heart
The third reason for a biblical divorce is abandonment. This occurs when one spouse leaves the other without any intention of returning. The Bible says that if your spouse has abandoned you, you are free to divorce them and remarry.
“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” – 1 Timothy 5:8
“if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved”. – 1 Corinthians 7:15
“Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” – Matthew 19:8
While death is not a scenario that anyone wants to think about, it is still an important factor to consider when talking about divorce. If one spouse dies, the other is free to remarry (Romans widow/widower).
“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” – Romans 7:2
“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 7:39
As you can see, there are several grounds for a biblical divorce. It is important to note that these are not the only reasons why a marriage might end, but they are the only grounds for a biblical divorce.
If you are facing divorce, it is important to seek counsel from your pastor or a trusted Christian friend. They can help you navigate this difficult time and make decisions that are in line with God’s will for your life.
Divorce is never an easy decision, but if you are facing one of the four scenarios listed above, the Bible says that you are free to divorce your spouse and remarry.
This may be a tough time in your life, so it is best to pray more and ask God for guidance as well as surround yourself with friends and family who love and supports you.