Dear Pastor:

    How does God look upon divorce and remarriage in the Bible? Pt. 2.

Dear Reader,

    As we said in our previous article, the Bible seems to be quite clear on the topic of divorce and remarriage.  The Lord Jesus Christ has made it explicit enough for us to know what our duties are towards our spouses.

   However, there can, and does, come the time when one has to divorce or separate from one's wife or husband, as unfortunate as that is.  We live in a sinful world; and sin oftentimes, too often certainly, brings separation and divorce in families.  As we look at the biblical reason for divorce, let us bear in mind, first, that in the eyes of God marriage is for life, and nothing, nor no one, but death should ever dissolve that union.  Remember His words when He married Adam and Eve, (Gen 2:24 KJV) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  And the words of Jesus, who performed that first marriage, (Mark 10:9 KJV) What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

     If ever the couple is to rescind their vows to one another and to God it must be as the Lord has directed.

     Secondly, we should also bear in mind that even though a couple may marry, that does not mean that the pair cannot take out a legal separation due to behaviour that threatens the well being of a spouse or the children.  God has not given spouses the authority to ill treat or abuse, or use violence against the other.  One has to protect oneself, and children if there are any, and that may entail separation.  This action can often be healed and reconciliation effected; but sometimes it carries over into divorce.

     The biblical authority or permission for divorce is found in the admonition of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We find this in the Gospels, (Mat 5:32 KJV) But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

     These are very strong words.  Today we divorce for any reason; in fact, we now can take out "no fault divorces" easily.  But if we love the Lord and wish to follow Him, then we have to adhere to His admonitions.  Of course many of us have disregarded this admonition given by Jesus; but God is a forgiving God.  And if we repent of our actions and seek not to repeat them, then He will gladly forgive us.  And this does not necessarily mean that we must dissolve our second marriage and return to the first.

     In order to fathom the depth of Christ's admonition in Matthew 5 we must look at the word 'fornication,' or in Greek, 'porneia.'  The meaning of the Greek word 'porneia' (translated fornication in the KJV) is sexual immorality or perversity.  In the Enhanced Strong's Lexicon 'porneia' covers illicit sexual actions such as: "fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, and so on."  See Enhanced Strong's Lexicon, G 4202.  So then, on account of any of these activities, and any other immorality sexuality, one is allowed to divorce one's spouse.

     Finally, and in closing, we must all bear in mind that sexual error on the part of a spouse does not have to lead to separation or divorce.  If both parties love each other and are willing to seek counsel and repentance and healing, the marriage can be saved.  We do well to remember that to err is human, but to forgive is divine.  I do not say this glibly; for I know the hurt and trauma that one experiences when such unfortunate incidents take place.  If, however, both parties are willing, and if it is in the interest of the family, reconciliation is preferable.

     Let us always seek to love and cherish our spouses; let us always seek to bind our conjugal unions with the cords of God's love and grace.  Let every family always pray together morning and evening, asking for God's care, protection, grace, and love.  Soon Jesus will return to this earth; let us with our spouses be ready  to meet Him. God bless.

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