When Till Death Do Us Part Isn’t an Option: Understanding Evangelical Christian Divorce


Divorce is a common issue in modern society. Many couples choose to end their marriages due to irreconcilable differences, infidelity, and abuse. However, for Evangelical Christians, divorce is not always an option. Evangelicals believe that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman and that it is designed to last until death. Despite this, there are times when divorce may become necessary. So when is divorce acceptable according to Evangelical Christianity?

The Bible is the ultimate authority for Evangelicals, and it provides guidance on the issue of divorce. A passage from Matthew 19:4-6 in the New Testament states that “’Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So, they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’” This passage shows that marriage is a union that should not be broken.

However, the Bible also recognizes that there are certain situations where divorce may be necessary. For instance, adultery is considered to be a valid reason for divorce in the Bible. In Matthew 5:32, Jesus says, “But I say to you 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.” In this passage, Jesus makes it clear that adultery is a valid ground for divorce.

Similarly, abuse is another situation in which divorce may become necessary. The Bible does not condone violence or abuse within a marriage. In fact, Paul’s letter to the Ephesians states that husbands are supposed to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and that they are to care for their wives as they care for their own bodies (Ephesians 5:25-29). If a husband is physically or emotionally abusive towards his wife, then she has the right to leave the marriage according to Evangelical Christianity.

In addition to these situations, the Bible recognizes that there may be times when divorce becomes necessary due to irreconcilable differences. In 1 Corinthians 7:15, Paul says, “But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases, the brother or sister is not bound. God has called you to peace.” This passage shows that if one spouse has left the marriage and there is no possibility of reconciliation, then the other spouse is released from their marital obligations.

In conclusion, Evangelical Christianity emphasizes the sanctity of marriage and the importance of keeping the marriage covenant until death. However, there are situations where divorce may become necessary, such as in cases of adultery, abuse, and irreconcilable differences. In such cases, Evangelicals believe that the individual should seek wise counsel and guidance from church leaders, as well as seek God’s guidance through prayer and reading the Bible. Ultimately, divorce should be considered as a last resort, and every effort should be made to preserve the marriage and honor God’s design for it.

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