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What does the bible say about divorce?

God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. “Marriage is honourable”; It is Satan’s studied effort to pervert the marriage institution, to weaken its obligations and lessen its sacredness; through divorce and many other means as we see today. A woman may be legally divorced from her husband by the laws of the land, and yet not divorced in the sight of God and according to the higher law.

What was said at the institution of marriage?

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24


Cleave in hebrew means ‘dâbaq’ -cling, Adhere, be joined, stick.


Note: Therefore God intended for husbands and wives to stick together and to be joined.


How long is this joining (marriage) to be?

“The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth” 1 Corinthians 7:39

 Answer: As long as your husband/wife liveth! This is why a vow is usually made “till death do us part” when getting married. Every marriage engagement should be carefully considered, for marriage is a step taken for life. Both the man and the woman should carefully consider whether they can cleave to each other through the vicissitudes of life as long as they both shall live.

But is it necessary to keep a vow?

“A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” Psalm 15:1

Note: In other words who may enter into heaven

“He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. ” Psalm 15:4

Answer: One of the answers for the questions in verse 1 , is someone who made a promise though it may affect them negatively, they keep their promise/vow and does not change.

Can a husband and wife ever be loosed from their marriage vow?

“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. ” Romans 7:2

Answer: Upon the death of a spouse, the husband or wife is loosed from the law or from their marriage.

 So is it biblical to divorce my spouse?

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery:” Matthew 19:19

The greek word for fornication- “porneia” means harlotry (including adultery and incest); Idolatry


Answer: The word fornication here is the same thing as adultery. The only grounds for divorce given by the bible is adultery. There is no other reason given by the bible whereby we can divorce our spouse.

What was the reason for God to divorce his people of old?

“And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. ” Jeremiah 3:8

Answer: Whether we are committing adultery with our spouse or not, if we are committing spiritual adultery, the Lord divorces us as his people.  By mingling ourselves with false doctrines, keeping pagan holidays, departing from God’s law; we are indeed committing this sinful act of Idolatry.

But what if we are unequally yoke and my spouse does not believe in the word of God?

“But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” 1 Corinthians 7:12-14

Answer: The Lord teaches us not to put away our spouse, and by doing that we can minister unto them, leading them to the truth. The bible says the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife. Sanctified here from the Greek ‘hagiazō’ means – To make holy, purify or consecrate.

But what if my unbelieving spouse chooses to be divorced?

“But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. ” 1Corinthians 7:15

As it was in the days of Noah, every kind of evil is on the increase. Divorce and marriage is the order of the time. God gave only one cause why a wife should leave her husband, or the husband leave his wife, which was adultery. Let this ground be prayerfully considered.

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