Biblical Reasons To Divorce For Abandonment

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Few biblical reasons to divorce for abandonment are cited in the Word of God. I Corinthians, Chapter 7 offers guidance on how to respond when a spouse decides to leave. "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away" (I Corinthians 7:10-13).

According to the verse below, biblical reasons to divorce for abandonment also apply to spouses married to unsaved partners: "And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches" (I Corinthians 7:14-17).

In the 10th verse, Paul is explicit in admonishing Christian wives not to depart from, or leave, their husbands. Marriage, a holy institution ordained by God, is designed to create a lifelong monogamous union. The Apostle Paul is simply saying that he is well aware of the troubles that can plague marriage. Yet there must be a willingness to endure the difficult times and not be so quick to divorce when times get tough, except where biblical reasons to divorce for abandonment apply. According to verse 11, the wife who finds the relationship unbearable and insists on leaving should remain unmarried or go back to her husband and be reconciled. But the consequences of leaving might mean that the woman must live the rest of life without a male companion. Trusting God to rectify relationship issues is the best solution for troubled marriages. Men and women must understand that a husband or wife undergoes changes in personality and temperament. By allowing the Holy Spirit to govern, guide, or renew a wounded spirit, couples can experience more peace and harmony on the home front.

It may be well to note that Paul also addressed husbands who may be tempted to put away, or leave, their wives. Verse 11 exhorts men not to leave a wife who really prefers to stay in the marriage. In today's modern society, spouses would be less apt to use biblical reasons to divorce for abandonment if they understood the consequences of their actions. If biblical grounds for marital dissolution were applied today, ex-wives would have to remain single and remarriage to other spouses would be prohibited. A woman's inability to remarry someone else would make staying in the first relationship more appealing. And over time, husbands and wives do learn how to live together in peace and harmony.

The passage in I Corinthians, chapter 7 also deals with marriages between believers and non-believers in Jesus Christ. Paul understood, by way of the Holy Spirit, that biblical reasons to divorce for abandonment might apply to Christians who married non-Christians. If a non-believer wanted to stay with their spouse, regardless of a difference or lack of faith in Christ, there would be no just cause to separate or divorce. Indeed, a non-believing spouse was sanctified or spiritually cleansed by the Christian spouse for the purpose of bearing children. This sanctification, however, did not negate the fact that the unbeliever still needed to become born again in order to inherit eternal life. The New Birth process would make husband and wife equally yoked.

For some Christians, being married to an unsaved spouse presents some formidable challenges; including biblical reasons to divorce for abandonment. A life devoted to serving God can be disrupted by the desires and demands of spouses whose lives are devoted to serving Satan. And one does not have to be a satanic worshiper or worker of curious arts to serve the devil. In this world there are only two types of people: saved and unsaved, or those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and those who have not. People who are not born again Christians serve the lesser god of this world, the devil, and their own flesh. There is little hope for a lasting marital relationship without conflict when one spouse loves and serves God and the other does the bidding of the god of this world. Sooner or later, there is bound to be a split.

Definitive biblical reasons to divorce for abandonment are clearly stated in I Corinthians, verse 15: if an unbelieving spouse cannot abide in the marriage, the Bible gives a Christian husband or wife the right to file for divorce, releasing them from the bonds of holy matrimony to pursue a life of peace and contentment in Christ. In conclusion, couples seeking to wed should first seek a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. If a prospective husband or wife opposes God by refusing the free gift of eternal life through Christ, serious consideration should be given to calling off the engagement. Biblical reasons to divorce for abandonment provide grounds for separation or divorce should a non-believing spouse refuse to cohabitate with a believer. Otherwise, a Christian husband or wife could spend years tossed between pleasing God and pleasing a non-believing spouse in order to keep the peace.

Biblical Reasons To Divorce For Abuse

Battered spouses seeking biblical reasons to divorce for abuse will find scriptures to support a decision to end an unsavory relationship. When marriages turn sour because of one partner's tendency to inflict physical, mental, emotional, or sexual harm, the Bible offers some sound advice. While God hates divorce, or "putting away," He does not condone staying in an abusive union. In Ephesians, Chapter 5, husbands are commanded to love their wives and cherish them as their own flesh; and wives are charged to reverence the husband. No where in the Holy Word of God is there justification to beat or berate a spouse; and a battered man or woman has a right to dissolve a marriage that causes undue distress or harm.

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of the water by the word, That He might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth it, even as the Lord the church" (Ephesians 5:25-29). Biblical reasons to divorce for abuse may apply when a husband fails to treat the wife with loving care. Just as Christ sanctifies and nourishes the Body of Christ, which is His Bride; exercising care to keep her unspotted and free from blemish; so should a man exercise care not to inflict blemishes and bruises on a beloved wife. Men are to love their wives, cleansing and pampering the female just as they would care for their own bodies. "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband" (Ephesians 5:33).

I Corinthians, Chapter 7 addresses believers married to non-believers who also may be in abusive relationships. Biblical reasons to divorce for abuse include non-believers who are not "pleased to dwell" with a saved spouse. In many cases, non-Christians become violently opposed to a believer's lifestyle; some resort to physical or emotional battering to try and control the spouse who desires to serve God. The more a husband or wife who desires to follow Christ strives to attend church or become involved in fellowship with other believers, the more abusive a non-believing spouse can become.

The problem is that couples who are unequally yoked because of faith or a lack thereof are diametrically opposed. A Christian man or woman has professed a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and has a desire to walk out a personal salvation through regular church attendance, prayer, worship, and holy living. Conversely, an unsaved mate not only serves the impulses of an unregenerated fleshly nature; but also can be used as a tool of Satan to torment the believer. Because of the intimate union of married life, believers are often forced to choose between the wishes and whims of an unsaved spouse versus those of the Savior. A battle of the wills can sometimes lead to domestic violence, including name calling, cursing, hitting, or a the very worse, sexual enslavement. All of these are biblical reasons to divorce for abuse. No one should stay in a home where their life or emotional well being is threatened. Help is available through the church or social service agencies offering counseling or temporary shelter for battered spouses, especially women with children.

If an unsaved spouse abandons a Christian mate, scriptures give biblical reasons to divorce for abuse and provide a way of escape for the believer: "But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace" (I Corinthians 7:15). A Christian spouse, therefore, has the right to divorce a mate who abandons the marriage, especially when physical, mental or emotional mistreatment is involved. God's purpose for marriage is not to allow His children to live in fear of their lives or safety, or to become a whipping post for an abusive spouse. Biblical reasons to divorce for abuse are clearly stated in the Holy Word of God. A believer who lives with an unsaved mate should exemplify a holy lifestyle; but there is no guarantee that a non-believing spouse will become a born-again Christian. "For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?" (I Corinthians 7:16).

While the institution of marriage was designed to create a lifelong bond between one man and one woman, God never intended marriage to be bondage. Husbands or wives who find themselves in intolerable situations or are victims of repeated domestic violence, including emotional, mental or physical abuse, should not tolerate mistreatment. Biblical reasons to divorce for abuse can be found in the Holy Scriptures which allows Christian spouses to dissolve the union. In some cases, believers who are married to non-believers are also free to divorce if abandoned by a husband or wife. However, scripture prohibits remarriage after marital dissolution, except if the cause of the breakup was fornication or adultery. Biblical reasons to divorce for abuse are justifiable, but couples in crisis should seek marriage or relationship counseling from qualified professionals or clergy. Abusive spouses may need to attend behavior modification courses to reveal the root cause of a desire to inflict injury to a loved one. With the help of professional or spiritual adviser and prayer, God will lead those who are hurting to an equitable solution for both parties.

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