Tragically, the divorce rate is about the same rate for Christians as it is for non-Christians so what are 5 unbiblical reasons to not leave or divorce a spouse?
I’m Not Happy
Do you think Christ was happy to go to the cross and drink the cup that was before Him? No, Jesus prayed more than once to have the cup of the dregs of human depravity and sin removed but it was necessary (Luke 22:39-46). Jesus’ soul was “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Mark 14:34) but He knew that He had to go to the cross to die for our sins. Imagine if Jesus thought, “Well, this is not making me happy…I am not happy right now about this so I think I’ll not go through with it.” Thankfully He did go through with Calvary or we’d be without hope. The Bible never promises happiness so leaving or divorcing a spouse just because they’re not a happy is totally unbiblical.
He/She’s Not the Person I Married
Again, there are no biblical grounds for leaving or divorcing a spouse because they are not who you thought they were after you married them. Marriage is a covenant and most marriage vows are “till death do you part” and “in good times and bad, in sickness in health, and for richer or poorer” but there is no out for a marriage or separation where the person is not who you think they were when you married them (Rom 7:2).
One is Not a Believer
The Bible never gives permission to leave a spouse who is an unbeliever. In fact, the very opposite is proclaimed in Scripture where Paul writes “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” (1 Cor 7:12-13). God could be using you to bring your spouse to faith in Christ as again Paul writes “For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife” (1 Cor 7:16)? It is unbiblical, and therefore sin, for a believer to leave or divorce a spouse just because they’re not a believer.
Not Satisfying Me
I have found no Scriptures that support the idea that a man or a woman who isn’t satisfying their spouse can divorce or leave them. If a man or woman is cold or withholds what God commands them to not withhold, it is sin but it is not biblical grounds for divorce or reasons for leaving them. Paul writes “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Cor 7:5) but there isn’t even a hint that this is are grounds for divorce or for leaving a spouse.
My Spouse has Changed
People change. Only God never does (Mal 3:6). Even though a spouse changes during or after a marriage is no reason to divorce them or leave them. Jesus, Paul, Peter or any of the other writers in the Bible give even a hint that a person can divorce or leave their spouse if they change. These changes could be not having a desire to be with the spouse anymore, changes in the work ethic, changes in parenting styles, changes in desires or any number of other changes that occur but as you can read in the conclusion, there are no exceptions to leaving or divorcing a spouse. If a spouse or their children are being physically abused, they absolutely need to leave that home for both the safety of the spouse and the children and the abuser must be reported to the authorities for criminal prosecution but to leave or divorce just because a person changes is not biblical.
Jesus gave us grounds for divorce in Matthew 5:32 “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.” If you have already been divorced there is grace available from God because even though God hates divorce, He still loves divorced people so since God forgives so you must forgive yourself.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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