Top 20 Bible Verses About Divorce (With Commentary)

Top 20 Bible Verses About Divorce (With Commentary)

Divorce is a painful and complex topic that affects many individuals and families. The Bible offers guidance, compassion, and hope for those facing the challenges of divorce. Join me as we delve into a selection of Bible verses that provide insights on divorce, offer healing and restoration, and encourage us to seek God’s wisdom and grace in navigating this difficult season of life.

Bible Verses About Divorce

Malachi 2:16

“For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

This verse expresses God’s strong disapproval of divorce, particularly when it is the result of a lack of love and faithfulness in the marriage. It emphasizes the importance of valuing the sanctity and covenant of marriage.

Matthew 5:31-32

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

This passage highlights Jesus’ teachings on divorce and remarriage. He asserts that divorce should only be permissible in cases of adultery, and remarriage after divorce is considered adultery. This emphasizes the seriousness and gravity of considering divorce and remarriage.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11

“To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.”

Here, Paul emphasizes the importance of preserving the covenant of marriage and discouraging divorce. He advises married couples to remain committed to each other and to seek reconciliation rather than separation.

Matthew 19:8-9

“He said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.’”

Here, Jesus references Moses’ allowance of divorce due to the hardness of human hearts. However, Jesus also stresses that divorce and remarriage should only occur in cases of sexual immorality to avoid committing adultery.

Mark 10:11-12

“And he said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.’”

In this verse, Jesus emphasizes that both men and women are held accountable for the sin of adultery when they divorce their spouse and remarry. It highlights the seriousness of breaking the covenant of marriage and the need for accountability to avoid engaging in such acts.

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Malachi 2:14-15

“But you say, ‘Why does he not?’ Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.”

This verse emphasizes the significance of marriage as a covenant relationship between a man and a woman. It highlights the importance of being faithful to one’s spouse and the resulting sanctity of marriage relationship for the purposes of godly offspring and preserving the faith in generations to come.

Matthew 19:6

“So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Here, Jesus emphasizes the unbreakable nature of the bond between a husband and wife in marriage. The phrase “one flesh” implies an inseparable, intimate bond. Jesus asserts that human beings should not attempt to separate what God has joined together in marriage, emphasizing the sacred nature of the union.

1 Corinthians 7:15

“But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.”

In certain circumstances, where there is an unbelieving partner or other issues, the Bible acknowledges the possibility of divorce. However, this verse also emphasizes the importance of seeking peace in these situations, and emotional and spiritual well-being over the other things like property or other concerns with divorce.

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.”

This verse provides guidance for widows, reminding them that they are free to remarry only if they choose to marry someone who is “in the Lord” or a believer, emphasizing the importance of faith and morals in decision-making process related to remarriage.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

While this passage does not specifically mention divorce, it highlights the importance of righteous living and the consequences of sin. It emphasizes the need to avoid immoral behavior and the gravity of engaging in such acts.

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1 Corinthians 7:12-13

“To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.”

This passage provides guidance for couples where one spouse is an unbeliever. It encourages the believer to stay committed to their marriage, rather than resorting to divorce, focusing on positive living and love rather than on difference in faith.

Genesis 2:24

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

This verse speaks to the creation and institution of marriage, describing its original and sacred design by God. It emphasizes the importance of commitment and unity between a husband and wife and highlights the divine plan for marriage as the foundation of family, society and the community.

Ephesians 5:22-24

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”

While not directly mentioning divorce, this verse speaks to the roles and responsibilities of husbands and wives. It emphasizes the importance of submission and unity within the marital relationship and urges couples to preserve the sanctity of marriage and remain committed to their covenant before God.

John 4:16-18

“Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’ The woman answered him, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right in saying, “I have no husband;” for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.’”

In this passage, Jesus encounters a woman who has been chronically divorced and remarried. He stresses the importance of commitment and fidelity in relationships and brings to light the hurt and pain associated with multiple divorces, highlighting the devastating impact that divorce can have on both individuals and families.

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Hebrews 13:4

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

This verse emphasizes the importance of marriage and the need to treat it as a sacred and honorable institution. It calls on couples to remain faithful in their relationships, urging fidelity and purity. This passage also emphasizes the gravity of engaging in immoral and adulterous behavior, reminding individuals of the ultimate accountability they face before God for such actions.

Mark 10:9

“Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Here, Jesus reminds us that marriage is a sacred and divine institution, with a covenant and a solemn commitment between husband and wife, made before God, it represents a sacred and holy union that should not be treated lightly.

What does the Bible say About Divorce?

The Bible addresses the topic of divorce in several passages, mainly in the Old and New Testaments. Generally, the Bible takes a conservative stance on divorce, emphasizing the sanctity and permanence of marriage. In the book of Genesis, it states that a man and a woman shall leave their parents and become one flesh, emphasizing the unity and lifelong commitment in marriage.

In the New Testament, Jesus reaffirms the sacredness of marriage and teaches against divorce in most circumstances. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:6, NIV) He allows divorce only in cases of sexual immorality (Matthew 19:9) but discourages it, stating that it was permitted because of the hardness of human hearts.

The Apostle Paul also addresses divorce in his letters. In 1 Corinthians 7, he encourages believers to remain married and suggests that a believing spouse should not divorce an unbelieving spouse if they are willing to live together. However, if an unbelieving spouse chooses to leave, the believer is not bound to the marriage in such cases.

It’s essential to note that the Bible’s teachings on divorce are interpreted and applied differently by various Christian denominations and theologians. Some Christian traditions are more lenient, allowing divorce and remarriage under certain circumstances like abandonment or abuse. Others adhere more strictly to the biblical stance of divorce being a last resort.

Ultimately, the Bible’s teachings on divorce emphasize the seriousness of the marital covenant and the need for individuals to seek reconciliation and forgiveness in troubled marriages. The focus is on preserving the sanctity of marriage and promoting the well-being of all parties involved.

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