Answering Questions on Christian Marriage and Divorce
This session on Marriage and Divorce begins our regular Question-And-Answer sessions here at Pray As A Step.
The reason we provide detailed Question-And-Answer sessions is that we have realized that many Christians need genuine help in interpreting Bible teachings and its application to personal life.
This is not the only session restricted to marriage and divorce.
We will be answering questions on various topics as readers submit them, so in case you have any question on Christian marriage and divorce not explained in this session, please submit your question at the end of the post. Our panel of teachers will then compile them and publish them in a subsequent post.
Marriage and Divorce
This issue of marriage and divorce is one of the most talked about and complicated issues believers find themselves in.
Actually let me rephrase…
It’s the issue of Christian divorce.
The issue of Christian divorce is complicated because the Bible states one position and as we all know, there are other issues that crop up that make for a compelling case for Christian divorce.
Take for example the matter of violence. How would you deal with that?
In as much as we would like to turn a blind eye to what the Bible really says about divorce based on the heavy nature of our situation, ignoring what God commands, is tantamount to disobedience.
Our Stand On Christian Marriage And Divorce
At Pray As A Step, the reason we are so concerned about Bible application to every day issues, is because if we pray without knowing God’s Will in any given matter, we pray amiss. Our prayers will not be answered.
So, it’s not as easy for a Christian going through marriage difficulties to come to you and say, “Pray for me!”
How will you know how to pray if you don’t know the issues concerning that prayer query?
This is the pivotal reason we decided to begin a regular Question-and-Answer session, so that when we give you practical prayer points, you can use them based on the right scriptural foundation.
That way, your prayers get answered and answered fast.
Tackling Christian Marriage And Divorce
With that said, over the last two months, readers have approached us with a number of questions related to Christian marriage and divorce that are pretty much related.
However, we decided to answer them in full, even at the risk of repeating ourselves with every subsequent answer. This way, we respect your submissions.
Please do note that for the sake of privacy, we will not publish the names or email addresses of those who have submitted these questions.
With that said, let’s dive into the questions submitted on Christian marriage and divorce over the last two months.
1. Are Christians allowed to divorce?
To get a clear understanding on God’s view on divorce, we need to study Mark 10, Matthew 19:3-20, and Matthew 5:32
32 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. Matthew 5:32. AKJV
Mark 10 and Matthew 19 are almost verbatim accounts of the same matter.
However, it’s important to note that in these cases, the Pharisees were seeking to trap Jesus on that debate. It’s important to read it in full context.
What comes out clearly is that from the beginning of time, God did not approve of divorce.
Jesus went on to say what I believe is the most important aspect in the entire debate, “Therefore, what God has put together, let no man put asunder.”
In the Bible, this is clearly God’s position on the matter, because when two people marry, they become one flesh and a lifetime covenant is formed.
However, when this covenant is broken by one party in the case of adultery, then the other party is free to remarry or stay single.
In this case of adultery, a Christian is allowed to divorce.
Christians are allowed to divorce if one partner has been unfaithful and committed adultery against his/her partner.
2. Can Christian woman divorce her husband?
If the husband has committed adultery, then a Christian woman is free to divorce.
See Matthew 5:32 for clear context and grounds for this matter.
3. Can a Christian divorce for physical abuse?
The Bible does not allow for any other grounds for divorce other than adultery.
That said, if a Christian is the victim of physical abuse, they should report the case to their local authorities.
I also recommend they move out of that abusive environment until the partner has BOTH REPENTED AND REFORMED.
Unless there has been a complete transformation of character, I do not recommend that both partners come together.
4. Can a Christian divorce for adultery?
Yes, a Christian can divorce for adultery.
5. Can a Christian divorce a drug addict?
No, they can’t.
6. Can Christian divorce a non believer?
In the New Testament, Paul clearly lays out the grounds for a Christian married to a non believer.
He says that if the non believer is willing to stay with the Christian then they should divorce.
However if he/she departs the Christian is not under law.
7. Can a Christian divorce for emotional abuse?
No, they can’t.
8. Why Christians divorce?
Christians divorce primarily for the same reason that non Christians divorce.
Cases of adultery, abandonment, violence are some of the top reasons why Christian divorce.
9. Why are Christian divorce rates so high?
Regrettably there are many cases of adultery where one partner goes astray and despite efforts to reconcile the couple, the situation proves irredeemable.
In cases like this, Christian couples can opt for a divorce.
In other cases, people get married when they had no business getting married to each other in the first place.
I wish people would fast and pray before getting married because they would then be able to figure out if they are compatible with each other and see if it was God’s Will for them to be together.
We need to understand God’s perspective on marriage. It’s not just to have a family and raise children.
It’s for destiny partners aligned to one single life goal to come together to realize and fulfill that common goal together.
Marriage is a union of two help-meets brought together by God -a destiny builder and a destiny shaper.
The man is the destiny builder. The woman is the destiny shaper.
If God was not involved in your dating and courtship and then you ask Him to bless your marriage, chances are high that He won’t, because He did not put you together.
In most cases, it was your own desires, attractions and preferences that made you choose your partner. while God may in His mercy, choose to shine on your relationship, you need to understand that He is under no obligation to bless and keep together what He didn’t put together.
“Therefore, what God has put together (my emphasis added), let no man put asunder.”
10. How Do Christians Divorce?
Christians divorce in the same way as everybody else.
The first step is filing a petition.
One of the parties, the petitioner, will need to hire legal representation and file a petition with the court asking for the divorce.
The petition will state the grounds for the divorce.
Both parties, the petitioner and the defendant, need lawyers to represent them in Court.
The petition includes important information regarding the marriage. It names the husband, wife and any children and states if there is any separate property or community property, child custody, and child or spousal support.
Serving the Divorce Petition
The petition must be served on the other spouse.
If both spouses agree to the divorce, the other spouse only needs to sign an acknowledgement of the receipt of service. However, if the other spouse refuses to sign or is difficult to locate, you can hire a professional process server to personally deliver the papers.
Divorce Petition Response
Filing a response shows both parties agree to the divorce. This makes it more likely the case will proceed without a court hearing, which could delay the process and cost more.
Generally, if a response is not filed within 30 days, the petitioner can request that a default be entered by the court.
The responding spouse can also use the response to disagree with information presented in the petition.
Final Steps of a Divorce
Both spouses are required to disclose information regarding their assets, liabilities, income and expenses.
If the divorce is uncontested and the spouses can agree on the terms of the divorce, that is the final step.
Once the court enters the judgment, the parties are issued with a ‘Decree finiti’
Between ‘Decree Finiti’ and the final paperwork ‘Decree Absolute’ is usually a period of 30 days where an external party or the partner can bring a plea before the court that may influence the final decision.
If none is forthcoming, the Court moves on to the final step.
However, the marriage is not formally dissolved until 30 days later when the Court issues a ‘Decree Absolute’ that declares the marriage is now officially dissolved in the eyes of the Court, man and Government.
11. Can A Christian Divorce For Abandonment?
Restricting ourselves to what the Bible teaches, no a Christian cannot divorce for abandonment.
In cases like this, I would encourage the believer to pray for the partner to come back, and for marriage restoration, much like the case of the prodigal son.
12. What Are The Reasons A Christian Divorces?
In the Bible, the reason given for divorce is adultery.
13. When Is Christian Divorce Allowed?
The same answer as above.
14. When Can A Christian Divorce And Remarry?
A Christian can divorce and remarry if and when the other partner was guilty of adultery.
If you have been blessed by this session, leave a comment in the comment box below.
In case you have other questions regarding marriage and divorce, feel free to share them by submitting them using our contact form or below in the comments section.