Does Jesus Allow Divorce for Fornication?
By David J. Stewart
"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
I'm so sick and tired of hearing unforgiving people say that Jesus permits divorce. Did Jesus teach that it's ok to file for divorce if your spouse commits fornication? Not on your life!!! Only an unforgiving, selfish and woefully ignorant person would teach such a thing! Did not Jesus teach that we are to forgive 7 times 70? Yes, He most certainly did... “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21,22). Yet, multitudes of unforgiving angry people nowadays are filing for divorce, including professed Christians, with no consideration of the Lord's command to forgive.
No one is perfect and; therefore, no one has the right to dishonor the Lord by breaking their marriage vows by divorcing. In filing for divorce, one is saying, “You are a bigger sinner than me and I have a right to disown you.” What if God disowned us when we greatly sinned? Woe unto those who divorce!
So what did Jesus mean? Jesus taught that it's a sin for a man to divorce his wife and marry another. This is adultery. The same holds true for a woman who divorces her husband and marries another man. It is evil. Divorce is a sin. The exception to the rule is when a man's wife abandons him to run off with another. In such a case of fornication on the part of the departing spouse, the husband is placed into a no-win-situation. What is a husband supposed to do if his wife abandons him? What is a wife supposed to do if her husband runs off with another?
The Christian who's spouse has abandoned them for someone else (and is remarried) has two options:
- Remain celibate
This is the only context in which Jesus permits divorce and remarriage, i.e., if one's spouse mercilessly abandons and runs off in fornication with someone else. The Bible teaches that it is a treacherous thing to abandon one's spouse...
“Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.” —Jeremiah 3:20
Jesus WASN'T teaching that it's ok for a wife to divorce her husband because he sins. A woman recently told me that she divorced her husband because he looked at porno and went with a prostitute. I seem to recall a story in the Bible about an adulterous woman, caught in the very act of adultery, and an angry mob wanted to stone her to death. A lot of self-righteous wives today would fit in well with that angry mob. I'm not condoning any sin, I'm just saying that EVERYONE sins and what gives anyone the right to file for divorce? According to James 2:10 we are all very horrible sinners... “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” Think about that.
If Jesus permits divorce in the case of fornication, then what about murder, stealing and others sins/crimes? Does a wife have a right to divorce her husband if he unlawfully kills someone? What about a spouse who is sentenced to life in prison? Is it ok to divorce and “move on” as so many people selfishly do nowadays? No, God hates all divorce!
The Biblical term “putteth away” or “put away” (Greek: apoluo) means to send away, loose, let go. It is QUITTING, giving up, throwing away, disowning one's spouse, as you would toss a piece of trash into the garbage. It means telling your spouse, “I don't love you anymore.” Those are the cruelest words you'll ever say to someone. If you don't love your spouse now, it's only because you never did to begin with. The world's fake “love” is synthetic, shallow and conditional. God's love is unconditional.
We are not supposed to throw away our spouse and give up on them when they sin. We are not to "put away" our spouse. Jesus taught us to forgive. There is NO forgiveness in divorce—it is cruel, malicious, selfish, self-righteous, and it's consequences last a lifetime. God will weigh each situation, knowing every minute detail, and no one will be able to hide behind their self-righteousness on Judgment Day. The sin of divorce is rooted in self-righteousness!!!
You know what really bothers me? Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne have been married since July 4th, 1982 in Honolulu and are still going strong. Ozzy is infamous for his Satanism, blasphemy against God and rejection of Jesus Christ; but at least their marriage has lasted longer than MOST professed Christian marriages today. Think about that for a moment. If Sharon Osbourne can remain loyal to her Satanist husband, then why can't Christian wives remain loyal to their Christian husbands? If Ozzy can hang in there, then why can't Christian men today? Something is very wrong with America's churches today.
We are living in an evil and adulterous generation that persistently searches for excuses to justify their wickedness. Woe unto the pastors, pastor's wives and so-called "Christian" workers today who subtly encourage, nurture and promote divorce. It is wickedness!!!
"Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." —Matthew 19:8
Divorce is a Sin!
Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!