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Divorce and the Bible

JoanMiro 150x150 Divorce and the BibleMatthew 5:31 “It was said, ‘WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE';
Matthew 5:32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Jesus isn’t giving the one reason to divorce in Matthew 5:32, infidelity. He assumes the 1st century Jewish woman is going to remarry. Since the two becoming one in a spiritual sense continues, the remarried woman commits adultery with the second husband. Jesus adds the clause, and this is how we know the actual meaning, unless the woman is not already cheating she is made an adulteress. If she is already cheating she is already an adulteress, so can’t be made one. That’s why he adds the clause. And this is why the last part says a guy who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. The one flesh relationship with her 1st husband remains. Read it and see what you think. Weird how we’ve taken this one out of context.

The following example is similarly constructed.

Anyone makes his wife have an abortion, except for the wife who has committed homicide, causes her to become a murderer.

Yes it’s a bad example. But it’s the proper construction for Matthew 5:32. Does this say it is okay to make your wife have an abortion if she has already killed someone in the past, so grounds for abortion?

God doesn’t want anyone to divorce. He hates it. I hate it. But he gave into our demands. And let’s not forget. If you had a physical partner before your spouse, that is probably the one flesh relationship the Bible is talking about. Most importantly, if a man is mentally, verbally or physically abusing his wife, he is in no way treating her with the love as God instructed; Ephesians 5:25. Depending on the situation, divorce may or may not be the immediate or longer term decision. But no one should be led to believe the Bible only stipulates, actually stipulates for, divorce in the case of infidelity. That’s falsely adding guilt to an already awful situation. Or allowing and possibly causing people to throw in the towel in the case of infidelity when the marriage can be saved.

Seek the counsel of the elders in the church. But make sure they clearly understand Matthew 5 is not a condition for divorce. Marriage should be fought for. But when physical violence takes over in the marriage, something needs to change or the marriage needs to end.

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