Throughout the Bible, the scriptures underscore the solemnity of marriage vows while also acknowledging the complexities of human relationships and societal realities.
I have personal experience with divorce, and it is my opinion that divorce is a weapon of the enemy. While divorce is Biblically justified in some situations, if at all possible, I would fight divorce at all costs.
It leaves a barrage of destruction in its path. If anyone ever says or hears, “the kids will be o.k.”, as a comfort to the spouse, this is simply not true. The kids will not be alright. They will survive, of course. But the potential to “thrive” diminishes once the divorce happens.
On that last point, I highly recommend the book by Leila Miller, “Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak.“
“For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
The Bible presents divorce as a topic of considerable gravity, emphasizing the sanctity of marriage as a covenant before God. Starting in the Old Testament, Malachi 2:16 conveys God’s disapproval of divorce, associating it with acts of violence and faithlessness. In the New Testament, Jesus deepens the discourse, reminding believers of the divine intention behind marriage.
“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
“And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, ‘Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’ They said to him, ‘Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.'”
In Matthew 19:3-9, when questioned by the Pharisees, Jesus reiterates the Genesis account where God designed marriage to be a union of two becoming one flesh. Consequently, what God has joined together, man shouldn’t separate. Jesus acknowledges that Moses permitted divorce due to the hardness of people’s hearts but asserts that it wasn’t the original divine intention.
“And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ They said, ‘Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.” “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’ And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. And he said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.'”
“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”
1 Corinthians 7:10-15
“To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.”
Paul stipulates that divorcing, except on the grounds of sexual immorality, and then remarrying equates to adultery. 1 Corinthians 7:10-15 introduces another layer to the discussion, highlighting scenarios involving believers married to unbelievers.