What Does The Bible Say About Divorce? Biblical Grounds For Divorce In The Bible

Have you considered the following questions? What does the Bible say about divorce? What are the biblical grounds for divorce? God Hates Abuse, right? The Bible has much to say about this. Divorce is a touchy topic for many, especially when you have tried everything to make your marriage work. The first half of this post is written by guest Merry Usman. After her bio is my written section. Plus, you may be surprised where some well-known Pastors and Christian communities stand on biblical grounds for divorce.

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What Does The Bible Say About Divorce? Biblical Grounds For Divorce displaying two wedding rings with the word Divorce between them with a brown string between the rings


What Does The Bible Say About Divorce? Biblical Grounds For Divorce In The Bible

No one gets married intending to divorce, yet nearly half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. Given the high rate of divorce, it’s understandable that you may be wondering what God has to say about divorce.

What Does The Bible Say about Divorce?

The Bible does not give a clear answer on the issue of divorce. However, there are verses that deal with divorce, and they offer some insight into what God thinks about the situation. Matthew 19:3-9 They are posted further down for reference.

Jesus answers questions and gives a response that is both compassionate and firm. He makes it clear that divorce is not something that He desires for His people.

Divorce is always a difficult and emotional topic, no matter what the circumstances are. People who are considering divorce or who are going through a divorce often wonder what God has to say about it. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that question. 

What does the Bible say about divorce?

No other sin so easily entangles us as the sin of divorce. It not only hurts those involved but also damages the community of believers.

And yet, divorce is such a common occurrence that it’s hard to avoid its effects. To gain an understanding of what the bible says about divorce.

The Bible doesn’t directly address the issue of divorce, but there are a few passages that talk about it indirectly.

In the Old Testament, God allowed divorce under certain circumstances, but he never commanded it.

In the New Testament, Jesus teaches that divorce should only happen in cases of adultery.

So what does that mean for us today? If you’re facing divorce, know that God is with you and he knows the pain you’re going through.

He promised to be a husband to the widow and a father to the fatherless, and that includes those who are going through a divorce. Trust that God will give you the strength to get through this difficult time.

Biblical Covenant on What Does The Bible Say About Divorce?

In our society, divorce has become commonplace. God’s standard for marriage is lifetime fidelity. When we divorce, are we admitting that we failed to keep our covenant with God as Christians?

We are also admitting that we do not believe God can help us overcome our difficulties. Is divorce a sign or a lack of faith?

When two people marry, they make a covenant with each other and with God. This covenant is a sacred promise to love and cherish each other for the rest of their lives.

When one spouse breaks this covenant by divorcing the other, it is a sign of a lack of faith. God does not take lightly those who break their covenant with Him. In the Bible, He says that He hates divorce.

“The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. Malachi 2:16

He also says that it is a sin to divorce your wife, except in the case of sexual immorality. He desires for you to have a strong faith and to keep your covenant with Him.

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Matthew 5:32

What Does God Say About Divorce?

How to know if God is Leading you to Divorce. When you’re considering divorce, it’s important to know what God says about the matter. After all, He is the one who instituted marriage and He knows what’s best for us.

Here are some things to consider when trying to determine if God is leading you to divorce.

What Is Commitment?

First and foremost, are you and your spouse both committed to following Jesus? If you are both committed to Christ and His teachings, then you have a strong foundation to work through any difficult marriage issues.

However, if only one of you are committed to Christ, it can be difficult to find common ground.

No one enters into a marriage expecting to divorce, but unfortunately, it is a reality for many couples. When a marriage is no longer working, it can be difficult to know what to do.

Some people may feel like they are being led by God to divorce, but how can they be sure?

In this blog post, you find what the Bible says about divorce and how to know if God is leading you to divorce. You will read some verses to see what God’s Word has to say on the matter.

Bible Verses About Divorce

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” Matthew 19:3

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female. Matthew 19:4

And said, ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? Matthew 19:5

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:6

“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Matthew 19:7

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. Matthew 19:8

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Matthew 19:9

To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 1 Corinthians 7:10

But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:11

To the rest, I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 1 Corinthians 7:12

And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 1 Corinthians 7:13

For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 1 Corinthians 7:14

But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 1 Corinthians 7:15

How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? 1 Corinthians 7:16

Is Divorce a Sign of Or a Lack of Commitment You Made To God?

In our modern world, divorce has become increasingly common. Though it may seem like a simple solution to a difficult problem, divorce is a sign of a lack of commitment.

marriage is a sacred covenant

In the eyes of God, marriage is a sacred covenant that should not be taken lightly. If you are considering divorce, it is important to seek counsel from God and His Word to see what He has to say about this difficult decision.

Merry Usman

Author Bio: Merry is a singer, songwriter, blogger, book marketer, and recovering worship leader. For two years, Merry had the amazing opportunity to minister to Christian youth with her Mom, who also served as a Sunday school teacher. She is now happily living with her four sisters and both parents. She also enjoys traveling, photography, and playing with her two dogs. Follow her on Twitter.

Miss Merry nailed it regarding what the Bible says about marriage and divorce and what it’s SUPPOSED to be like and I will be the first to admit that. Christians or non-Christians. Merry was correct in stating no one gets married intending to divorce, they want their happy forever love story, right? Unfortunately, life doesn’t always end up the way you expect it to do so.

What Does The Bible Say About Biblical Grounds For Divorce | Angela Cleary


If you are new here or have been a faithful reader you’ll find in my testimony that I tried everything to make my first marriage work. I was raised Pentecostal and once you made a vow in marriage before God there was no breaking it…PERIOD! As humans ALL are flawed and full of sin, that’s why a Savior is needed on the behalf of everyone’s sin. Past | Present | Future | Jesus finished work on the Cross and Christ’s resurrection saves everyone who seeks Him and His forgiveness and draws them to himself.

When you have time to read my mini e-book you’ll gain a broader picture of why divorce was my only option. I endured many different types of abuse that no one should EVER have to go through.


FINALLY FREE: A Story of Healing From Abuse

As you’ll read in the mini e-book the first time my ex-husband started abusing me physically I was pregnant with our first child. I was speechless. Here’s a man who promised to love, honor, and cherish me, and he did none of these things.

Long story short I thought I found my MR Right but He ended up being a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He was like DR Jeckel and MR Hyde.

We met at Church, I led the choir back then (I can no longer lead the choir due to massive hearing loss now) and he ran the sound booth. I thought it was God’s will for us to get married at the time.

He called one night almost in a panic asking me to marry him as soon as possible. I didn’t understand the rush at the moment, and it was over the phone. That should’ve been my BIG RED FLAG, right?

After we were married I found not only was he in a relationship with this one particular woman but they had a child together. Their daughter had a crush on our son all through school. Neither said a word so I believe this was cowardness on both parties.

His family asked repeatedly if this girl was His child and the answer was always the same, NO! She looks almost identical to our daughter. Years later the truth finally came out. I knew in my heart all along she was, BUT in my eyes DIVORCE was wrong…regardless of the reason.

What Are The Signs Of Abuse?

Abuse Checklist

I endured almost 15 years of abuse in numerous areas. That said, however, within Christian circles, and the Church itself women are made to feel like regardless of their situation, DIVORCE SHOULD NEVER be an option, even if abuse is the reason.

In fact, in many cases the Church makes you feel as though you are the one to blame. The Church lays tons of guilt and shame upon you. What’s even worse is when “WELL MEANING PEOPLE” accuses you of committing adultery without even knowing you or your story.

One particular night the abuse had gotten so bad the lies of satan caused me to attempt suicide. “Don’t you think you’d be better off dead than keep dealing with the pain you’re enduring? Your children would be better off.”

Thankfully God saved me from me that night and I will be forever grateful. Again, details are in the e-book.

Statistics On Suicide Should Wake People up, Especially The Church

I found a graph I’d love to share with you on stats but I know you can’t simply just use it without permission. I’m linking to it so you can check it out for yourself.

As I said in the above paragraph I was almost a statistic myself, numerous times, and once by my own choosing. I couldn’t take it anymore but thanks to God’s divine intervention God saved me from myself.

What saddens me is learning about Pastor Franklin Graham and his stance on abuse. I thought so highly of him, but not anymore. He plainly states abuse is ONLY if the husband drinks a six-pack of beer and hits you every night! What? There’s so much more to abuse than that!

Listen and watch for yourself. There are recordings, emails, and so much more. Any woman who has been abused will understand why Franklin’s stance on this is 100% wrong. I know he’s human but He needs to come forward and apologize to ALL women of abuse. End of story!

What Love Is According To I Corinthians 13: 4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. I Corinthians 13:4

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. I Corinthians 13:5

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. I Corinthians 13:6

It always protects, always trusts always hopes, and always perseveres. I Corinthians 13:7

Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:8

Below is what I wanted to add to what does the Bible say about divorce?

What Love Is Not

Physical abuse is defined as any deliberate act, behavior, or physical force by an individual or individuals against someone which causes them bodily harm, injury, trauma, or puts their life in danger.

20 Examples of Abuse

  1. Restrain through force
  2. Block you from leaving a room
  3. Threatening you
  4. Pulling Hair
  5. Assaulting you
  6. Punching you
  7. Shoving you
  8. Grabbing you
  9. Hitting you
  10. Slapping you
  11. Beating you
  12. Choking you
  13. Kicking you
  14. Spitting on you
  15. Throwing food on you
  16. Stalking you
  17. Verbal Abuse
  18. Emotional Abuse
  19. Sexual Abuse
  20. Breaking a restraining order

All of these were done to me and more…have you ever had food thrown on you?

Divorce In The Bible

So, that said let’s go straight to the source, the Bible, on what the Biblical grounds for divorce are and what divorce in the Bible says about this much-needed topic to help women of abuse know they are not alone in this matter.

What Are Biblical Grounds For Divorce?

When a man and woman get married they make a covenant with one another and a vow to God to love, honor, and cherish for better or worse, this is how it’s INTENDED to be.

What Is A Vow?

A pledge, solemn promise, or personal commitment.

My Vow before God is the main reason I endured the abuse for as long as I did, and of course, my two children played a HUGE factor as well. When you’re told if you leave you’ll never see your children again that puts fear in you as well.

Once I redirected my life to Christ I had numerous months of counseling with one of the Church Pastors that I trusted. I felt I couldn’t return to God because I broke my marriage vows. He showed me where I had biblical grounds for divorce in the bible.

In the paragraph above I linked to a post that spoke to heart and spirit so very much. As I read through the comments, one stood out the most to me by Stacie because I too was treated this way by many.

THANK YOU. My abusive husband left me and our children 8 years ago. I have since remarried a wonderful man. I have heard over and over and over again how I’m adulterous, I’ve now made my husband adulterous, I’ve forfeited my right to God’s blessings and purpose…etc. I’ve carried this for years! And then your post…thank you so much. So very much.


Trust me, it was NOT an easy road for me. God’s love is unconditional and God forgives everything except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit but I could NOT forgive myself.

As was previously stated, well-meaning people didn’t make it easy for me either. I knew I HAD to learn to forgive like Jesus, and that included forgiving myself, as well as learning to forgive my ex-husband.

My ex-husband belittled me on a regular basis. Did he break the vows to love, honor, and cherish as described in I Corinthians 13: 4-8? Absolutely, Yes! Indeed He did!

Our God Is An Awesome God, I’m So Thankful He’s The Judge…Not Man!

Aren’t you thankful that God is our judge instead of well-meaning people who know nothing whatsoever about the abusive circumstances in an abuser’s life? When “people” try to judge you it’s NOT their place, it’s God’s alone.

Judging Others

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. Matthew 7:1

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:2

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3

How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:4

The Bible allows divorce for two Specific reasons According To My Pastor

Biblical grounds for divorce are permissible for sexual immorality otherwise known as adultery. Divorce is allowed, especially in cases where the sinning spouse persists in an adulterous relationship.

1. sexual immorality And/Or Adultery


I Am So Much More Than You Told Me I Was

My Pastor told me that I fell under the area of biblical grounds for divorce due to adultery. As I stated, in the beginning, my ex-husband had a child with His other “woman” and as it turns out after our divorce I learned there were “numerous” women I didn’t even know about.

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Matthew 19:9

It reminds me of when the Pharisees brought the women caught in the act of adultery to Jesus. Jesus said, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. They dropped the stones one by one.

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. John 8:1

At dawn, he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. John 8:2

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group. John 8:3

And said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. John 8:4

In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now, what do you say?” John 8:5

They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. John 8:6

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7

Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. John 8:8

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. John 8:9

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” John 8:10

“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:11

2. Physical Abuse | Emotional Abuse | Verbal Abuse | Sexual Abuse


What Does The Bible Say About Divorce?

My Pastor told me my ex-husband broke his commitment to me because of His constant physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse, therefore violating the “one flesh” union. Since my ex-husband was supposed to be one flesh with me, he certainly did not treat me as one flesh.

You must use your discretion and pray to God for guidance and direction. I waited much longer than I should have but I believed the lies and was full of fear and how people would judge me. In all honestly, it’s downright cruel to make someone remain in an abusive situation.

A women’s SAFETY MUST come first and if you feel threatened it’s time to seek guidance from someone you trust. Counseling is a great tool but I highly recommend avoiding doing marriage counseling together. An abused wife would not be able to speak openly and freely in front of her abuser.

In the end, I finally chose to leave and file for divorce. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that if I had not let left, breaking the hold He had on me, went to see a judge and he immediately filed a legal protection safety order. If I had NOT done this I would NOT be here today.

Your Turn

If you are being emotionally, verbally, physically, or sexually abused and married to someone who constantly hurts you, or commits adultery I completely understand your desperation. I want you to know I’ve been in your shoes and I understand what you’re going through. Please don’t feel like God will punish you if you feel it’s time to end your marriage. Just pray for His guidance and direction.

Note: All information on this site is for educational purposes only. Resounding His Love does not provide medical advice. Please consult a physician if you suspect medical problems or need professional advice.

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