Traditional Family Values Part 6: The Biblical Perspective on Divorce

Traditional Family Values

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Introduction

In our previous discussions in this series, we have explored the foundational principles of traditional family values (Part 1), the biblical foundation of marriage (Part 2), how marriage contributes to human happiness (Part 3), the universal institution of marriage (Part 4), and the critical role of parents in a traditional family (Part 5). Building on these insights, this week we will delve into the biblical perspective on divorce. Understanding God’s view on divorce and the permissible reasons for it helps us appreciate the sanctity of marriage and the importance of commitment.

God’s View on Divorce

The Bible provides clear guidance on God’s perspective regarding divorce. God’s design for marriage is that it is a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman. This sacred bond is meant to reflect the unbreakable relationship between Christ and His Church. Therefore, divorce is something that God views with great seriousness.

Malachi 2:16 states, “For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.” This verse underscores God’s strong disapproval of divorce, indicating that He hates it because it tears apart what He intended to be a permanent union.

In the New Testament, Jesus reaffirms the sanctity of marriage and addresses the issue of divorce directly. Matthew 19:4-6 records Jesus saying, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”


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Permissible Reasons for Divorce

While the Bible upholds the sanctity of marriage, it also acknowledges that there are certain circumstances where divorce may be permissible. Jesus provides a specific exception in Matthew 19:9: “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” In this verse, Jesus indicates that sexual immorality is a valid ground for divorce.

The Apostle Paul adds another consideration in his writings. In 1 Corinthians 7:15, Paul states, “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.” This passage suggests that if an unbelieving spouse chooses to leave the marriage, the believing spouse is not bound to maintain the marriage.

Adultery and Its Consequences

Adultery is a major reason why divorce is permitted in the Bible. The word adultery is related to the word adulterate, which means “to render something poorer in quality by adding another substance.” Adultery adulterates marriage by adding a third person. This act is condemned strongly in the Bible.

Exodus 20:14 clearly states, “You shall not commit adultery.” The prohibition is clear and straightforward, indicating that the meaning of adultery was well understood when Moses gave the law. Jesus takes it further in Matthew 5:27-28: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” This explanation by Jesus shows that even lustful thoughts can be considered adultery.

Adultery is serious and brings significant consequences. Proverbs 6:32 warns, “A man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself.” The Bible is consistent in its prohibition against adultery and its emphasis on the sanctity of marriage.

Divorce and Remarriage

Jesus addresses the issue of divorce and remarriage in Luke 16:18: “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery.” This statement makes it clear that divorce does not circumvent the prohibition against adultery. If a married man sees another woman, desires her sexually, divorces his wife, and marries the other woman, he still commits adultery. The marriage bond is intended to last a lifetime, and divorce does not release one from the responsibility to be faithful to the original spouse.

The Path to Reconciliation and Healing

For those who have experienced divorce, it is important to remember that God offers grace, forgiveness, and a path to healing. The Bible encourages believers to seek reconciliation wherever possible. 1 Corinthians 7:11 advises, “But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” This verse emphasizes the possibility of reconciliation and the importance of striving for restoration in broken relationships.

Additionally, the Church plays a vital role in supporting individuals and families affected by divorce. Providing compassionate care, counseling, and community support can help individuals heal and find hope in God’s redemptive plan.

Conclusion

The biblical perspective on divorce highlights the sanctity and seriousness of marriage as a lifelong covenant. While there are permissible reasons for divorce, such as sexual immorality and abandonment by an unbelieving spouse, the overarching message is one of commitment, reconciliation, and healing. As we continue this series, let us strive to uphold the biblical principles of marriage and seek God’s guidance in nurturing and preserving our marital relationships.

Call to Action

As we reflect on the biblical perspective on divorce, let us commit to honoring God’s design for marriage in our own lives and communities. By embracing the principles of commitment, forgiveness, and reconciliation, we can strengthen our families and create a supportive environment for those facing marital challenges. Let us pray for wisdom, compassion, and strength as we uphold the sanctity of marriage and support one another in our journey of faith.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

About the Author

Jeff Bayard
Diligent Content Manager and composer at the Virginia Christian Alliance, curating and managing articles that uphold Christian values, conservative ideals, and the enduring principles of the U.S. Constitution. With a keen eye for detail and a heart for truth, ensuring that our content resonates with our readers and stays true to our mission. Work: A seasoned professional at a leading freight forwarding company, dedicated to helping logistics and supply chain professionals eliminate disruptions, increase shipment visibility, and accelerate sales growth. With his extensive experience and expertise, Jeff ensures seamless and efficient operations, driving success for his clients.