Answer to question on divorce

Answer to question on divorce

Pls I have a question- discuss Mark 10:1-12 in the light of a brother/ deacon divorcing his wife or being divorced and marrying another

My response

I assume that they were properly and truly married, ab initio.

Let’s include Matthew 5:32 and 19:1-10, same account, but detailed.

1) Jesus permitted divorce on the grounds of unfaithfulness. If a partner cheated, it is enough to terminate the marriage. It doesn’t mean that you must divorce: unfaithfulness is a forgiveable wrong/ sin/ offence.

2) Marrying someone who was not rightly divorced makes you an adulterer. In other words, you have committed adultery by marrying someone who divorced based on reasons other than the permitted reasons for divorce in the Bible. The marriage is not valid according to the Bible.

3) Separation is permitted for whatever reason e.g. violence. But when partners choose to separate they are to remain unmarried. They can only reunite with their own partners.

Note that separation is different from divorce.

“But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.” I Corinthians 7:11 NKJV

4) Another permissible reason for divorce is if an unbelieving partner chooses to quit the marriage because of the faith of the believing spouse.

For instance, A & B got married while unbelievers, and B later got born again. If A chooses to divorce B because of her faith, B is free to remarry.

“But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.” I Corinthians 7:12‭-‬13‭, ‬15 NKJV

5) A man once complained on a Christian television show that his wife had denied him of sex for 18 years! And he was faithful to her all along. He wanted advice. Well, he was advised to divorce her; that it is enough grounds for divorce.

I heard a popular Nigerian preacher say recently, that a person could terminate a marriage if they discovered that the spouse withheld vital information about their health before the marriage. He said that the marriage was built on lies, so divorce is permitted.

I have no scriptural references to support such decisions.

The brother/ deacon can only divorce his wife if she was unfaithful to him. And he can only remarry if his ex-wife was an unbeliever and she chose to leave/ divorce him because of his faith.

According to the Bible, those are the only permissible reasons.

Question

I had a Christian brother say that when Jesus was talking about the grounds of divorce, he was talking to Jews who because of their hard hearts Moses permitted them to divorce. That Jesus was referring to that so it doesn’t apply to us. Hence no grounds for divorce. Any thoughts 💭?

My response

In 1 Corinthians 7:10 which is the New Testament, Apostle Paul said, “Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord…” referring to the words of Jesus.

What Moses did was to permit divorce for ANY REASON. It’s there in Matthew 19:3. They asked Jesus, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife FOR JUST ANY REASON?”

Then in verse 7, they quoted Moses’ law, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”

Those were the exact words of the law Jesus addressed in Matthew 5:31-32

“Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 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.”

Forgiveness is encouraged, but it’s not mandatory. Even God takes marriage seriously. Hebrews 13:4 says that marriage is honourable. Adultery is the breaking of a covenant; it has spiritual implications too, since marriage makes two become one. Having sex with a third party affects the “union”.

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