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Divorce and Remarriage

God hates divorce. He hates it because it always involves unfaithfulness to the solemn covenant of marriage that two partners have entered into before Him, and because it brings harmful consequences to those partners and their children (Mal. 2:14-16). Divorce in the Scripture is permitted only because of man.s sin. Since divorce is only a concession to man.s sin and is not part of God.s original plan for marriage, all believers should hate divorce as God does and pursue it only when there is no other recourse. With God.s help a marriage can survive the worst sins.

In Matthew 19:3-9, Christ teaches clearly that divorce is an accommodation to man.s sin that violates God.s original purpose for the intimate unity and permanence of the marriage bond (Gen. 2:24). He taught that God.s law allowed divorce only because of 'hardness of heart' (Matt. 19:8). Legal divorce was a concession for the faithful partner due to the sexual sin or abandonment by the sinning partner, so that the faithful partner was no longer bound to the marriage (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; 1 Cor. 7:12-15). Although Jesus did say that divorce is permitted in some situations, we must remember that His primary point in this discourse is to correct the Jews. idea that they could divorce one another 'for any cause at all' (Matt. 19:3), and to show them the gravity of pursuing a sinful divorce.

Therefore, the believer should never consider divorce except in specific circumstances, and even in those circumstances it should only be pursued reluctantly because there is no other recourse.

The only New Testament grounds for divorce are sexual sin or desertion by an unbeliever. The first is found in Jesus. use of the Greek word porneia (Matt. 5:32; 19:9). This is a general term that encompasses sexual sin such as adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, and incest. When one partner violates the unity and intimacy of a marriage by sexual sin.and forsakes his or her covenant obligation.the faithful partner is placed in an extremely difficult situation. After all means are exhausted to bring the sinning partner to repentance, the Bible permits release for the faithful partner through divorce (Matt. 5:32; 1 Cor. 7:15). The second reason for permitting a divorce is in cases where an unbelieving mate does not desire to live with his or her believing spouse (1 Cor. 7:12-15). Because .God has called us to peace. (v. 15), divorce is allowed and may be preferable in such situations. When an unbeliever desires to leave, trying to keep him or her in the marriage may only create greater tension and conflict. Also, if the unbeliever leaves the marital relationship permanently but is not willing to file for divorce, perhaps because of lifestyle, irresponsibility, or to avoid monetary obligations, then the believer is in an impossible situation of having legal and moral obligations that he or she cannot fulfill. Because .the brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases. (1Cor. 7:15) and is therefore no longer obligated to remain married, the believer may file for divorce without fearing the displeasure of God.