My Understanding of Scriptural Reasons for Allowing Divorce
God's standard is marriage until one spouse dies. God's standard is never to steal, never to lie, never to covet, never to blaspheme, but we all know it happens. Sometimes marriages are wrong. Hence, my thoughts.
2017 Update 19 Apr 19
B1 God’s will
D1 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24, NKJV)
D2 “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:6, NKJV)
C1 Some may not want marriage
C2 Some may want but won’t be married
D1 No one available
D2 Eunuchs for the kingdom, or by force (as from a King)
E1 But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only [those] to whom it has been given: “For there are eunuchs who were born thus from [their] mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept [it,] let him accept [it.”] (Matthew 19:11-12, NKJV)
E2 Jesus answered, “This teaching does not apply to everyone, but only to those to whom God has given it. For there are different reasons why men cannot marry: some, because they were born that way; others, because men made them that way; and others do not marry for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Let him who can accept this teaching do so.” (Matthew 19:11-12, GNB92)
D3 No one asked
B2 God blesses
C1 And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." (Genesis 2:18, NKJV)
C2 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4, NKJV).
C3 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love. For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, And be embraced in the arms of a seductress? (Proverbs 5:18-20, NKJV).
C4 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 9:9, NKJV)
C5 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 9:4-8a, NKJV)
C6 And many other verses
B1 Not God’s will: This is another thing you do. You drown the LORD's altar with tears, weeping and wailing because he no longer accepts the offerings you bring him. You ask why he no longer accepts them. It is because he knows you have broken your promise to the wife you married when you were young. She was your partner, and you have broken your promise to her, although you promised before God that you would be faithful to her. Didn't God make you one body and spirit with her? What was his purpose in this? It was that you should have children who are truly God's people. So make sure that none of you breaks his promise to his wife. “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel. “I hate it when one of you does such a cruel thing to his wife. Make sure that you do not break your promise to be faithful to your wife.” (Malachi 2:13-16, GNB92)
B2 By permission
C1 Sexual sins
E1 The LORD gave the following regulations. Do not have sexual intercourse with any of your relatives. Do not disgrace your father by having intercourse with your mother. You must not disgrace your own mother. Do not disgrace your father by having intercourse with any of his other wives. Do not have intercourse with your sister or your stepsister, whether or not she was brought up in the same house with you. Do not have intercourse with your granddaughter; that would be a disgrace to you. Do not have intercourse with a half sister; she, too, is your sister. Do not have intercourse with an aunt, whether she is your father's sister or your mother's sister. --- Do not have intercourse with your uncle's wife; she, too, is your aunt. Do not have intercourse with your daughter-in-law or with your brother's wife. Do not have intercourse with the daughter or granddaughter of a woman with whom you have had intercourse; they may be related to you, and that would be incest. Do not take your wife's sister as one of your wives, as long as your wife is living. (Leviticus 18:6-18, GNB92)
E2 Compare the sin happening in Corinth. 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 PickNT It is actually reported that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as not even pagans talk about—that someone has his father's wife! 2 And you are puffed up and not even grieved, so as to exclude the one who has done this deed from your fellowship. 3 For I indeed, as present in spirit though absent in body, have already judged the one who created this situation, as though I were present: 4 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you and my spirit being together, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 we must hand such a one over to Satan for a destruction of the 'flesh', that the spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus.
F1 When Jesus finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the territory of Judea on the other side of the Jordan River. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. Some Pharisees came to him and tried to trap him by asking, “Does our Law allow a man to divorce his wife for whatever reason he wishes?” Jesus answered, “Haven't you read the scripture that says that in the beginning the Creator made people male and female? And God said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.’ So they are no longer two, but one. No human being must separate, then, what God has joined together.” The Pharisees asked him, “Why, then, did Moses give the law for a man to hand his wife a divorce notice and send her away?” Jesus answered, “Moses gave you permission to divorce your wives because you are so hard to teach. But it was not like that at the time of creation. I tell you, then, that any man who divorces his wife for any cause other than her unfaithfulness, commits adultery if he marries some other woman.” (Matthew 19:1-9, GNB92)
F2 “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. (Matthew 5:32, NKJV)
F1 Does not mean you must divorce
F2 Does mean it is allowed. Often this is preferred.
E1 Verse: “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. (Matthew 5:32, NKJV)
F1 The word for sexual immorality is πορνεία porneia.
F2 The word includes adultery, incest, and porn
F3 This is a serious addiction that God hates.
F4 It is adultery in the heart.
F5 Can be repented of but not common.
D1 Physical leaving
E1 Verse: But if the unbelieving partners leave, let them go. Under these circumstances a Christian man or Christian woman is not bound by a marriage vow. God has called you to live in peace. (I Corinthians 7:15 [GodsWord])
F1 Not all agree with this interpretation
F2 Many do
F3 The individual must decide
D2 Spiritual leaving
E1 This is becoming an agnostic, atheist, or abandoning Christ for another religion.
E2 This is allowed, because it is a denial of one’s vows and a spiritual danger to the believing spouse.
E3 Divorce is recommended.
E4 Remarriage is allowed.
E1 This is not because the toilet paper unrolls the wrong way.
E2 It is physical, sexual, spiritual, financial, mental, emotional, verbal, etc. abuse.
E3 This is desertion of the marriage vows.
E4 Divorce is recommended.
E5 No contact to low contact is necessary.
E6 Remarriage is allowed.
E7 1 Corinthians 5:11 GW Now, what I meant was that you should not associate with people who call themselves brothers or sisters in the Christian faith but live in sexual sin, are greedy, worship false gods, use abusive language, get drunk, or are dishonest. Don't eat with such people.
C3 If you stay, you or your children may lose salvation and faith
D1 A relationship that might lead to a denial of Jesus Christ
F1 All these men had foreign wives. They divorced them and sent them and their children away. (Ezra 10:44, GNB92)
F2 “The LORD your God will bring you into the land that you are going to occupy, and he will drive many nations out of it. As you advance, he will drive out seven nations larger and more powerful than you: the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. When the LORD your God places these people in your power and you defeat them, you must put them all to death. Do not make an alliance with them or show them any mercy. Do not marry any of them, and do not let your children marry any of them, because then they would lead your children away from the LORD to worship other gods. If that happens, the LORD will be angry with you and destroy you at once. So then, tear down their altars, break their sacred stone pillars in pieces, cut down their symbols of the goddess Asherah, and burn their idols. Do this because you belong to the LORD your God. From all the peoples on earth he chose you to be his own special people. (Deuteronomy 7:1-6, GNB92)
F1 Marrying non-Israelite women within the boundaries of Israel was forbidden for the reason given above. Deuteronomy 7:1-6
F2 Marrying non-Israelite women outside the boundaries of Israel was allowed
G1 “When you go to attack a city, first give its people a chance to surrender. If they open the gates and surrender, they are all to become your slaves and do forced labor for you. But if the people of that city will not surrender, but choose to fight, surround it with your army. Then, when the LORD your God lets you capture the city, kill every man in it. You may, however, take for yourselves the women, the children, the livestock, and everything else in the city. You may use everything that belongs to your enemies. The LORD has given it to you. That is how you are to deal with those cities that are far away from the land you will settle in. (Deuteronomy 20:10-15, GNB92)
G2 “When the LORD your God gives you victory in battle and you take prisoners, you may see among them a beautiful woman that you like and want to marry. Take her to your home, where she will shave her head, cut her fingernails, and change her clothes. She is to stay in your home and mourn for her parents for a month; after that, you may marry her. Later, if you no longer want her, you are to let her go free. Since you forced her to have intercourse with you, you cannot treat her as a slave and sell her. (Deuteronomy 21:10-14, GNB92)
D2 Might lead to a type of abuse, spiritual abuse.
B1 Not necessary
B2 If wished
C1 Allowable for
D1 Death: For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to [her] husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of [her] husband. So then if, while [her] husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. (Romans 7:2-3, NKJV)
D2 Permissible reasons (listed above)
C2 Only in the Lord: A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:39, NKJV)
For sexual sins as incest (Leviticus 18:6-18), adultery (Matthew 19:1-9), porn, which is adultery (Matthew 19:1-9), desertion (1 Corinthians 7:15), if spouse causes spiritual danger (false religion, religiously militant, violent)(Ezra 10:44, Deuteronomy 7:1-6), abuse (including physical, spiritual, verbal, financial, sexual, emotional, etc. This is a desertion of marriage vows, and they always need to divorce)(see 1 Corinthians 5:11, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).