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Summary: God desires that Christians do not divorce. However, God is always ready for restoration when repentance happens.

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Marriage and Divorce

Matthew 19:1-12

Question: “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?”

God says: A man and a woman are to be married for life until someone dies.

(19:4-5, 1 Corinthians 7:39)

Moses says: People can get divorced because they have “hardened hearts.”

(19:8, Deuteronomy 24:1-4)

What does Jesus say about this apparent inconsistency?

Jesus says:

Christians should never divorce. (19:8, 1 Corinthians 7:10)

Christians who do divorce and remarry without repenting commits adultery (19:9) Why?

Jesus says one can divorce the other partner based on sexual immorality and yet

He says if you remarry after divorce, you commit adultery in the new marriage. (Matthew 5:32, Mark 10:11-12)

However,

Jesus forgives the woman who is committing sexual immorality

(even just cohabitation). (John 4:25-26)

Jesus forgives the woman accused of adultery and told her to sin no more - in

other words, to repent. (John 8:11)

So there must be repentance and forgiveness before remarriage occurs. As a result, there seems to be very little room to make a case for divorce.

Christians can live valuable lives as single people. (19:11-12).

Paul says:

Christians who have problems can separate, but not divorce. (1 Corinthians 7:11).

Christians who have married an unbelieving spouse should stay in the marriage. If their spouse abandons them, they are free to remarry. (1 Corinthians 7:12-16).

Christians who are single have freedom to

Christians who divorce their spouse can remarry but there will be consequences that extend to their family and the church. (loss of respect for marriage Hebrews 13:4; elders and deacons 1 Timothy 3:2, 12)

Peter says:

Christians who have married an unbelieving spouse should stay in the marriage.

(1 Peter 3:1-2)

Answer: There is very little reason to divorce in a Christian marriage. Christian couples should work at making their marriages an example for others to follow - a marriage full of respect, love, and forgiveness for one another.

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