Blog Devotionals

What the Bible Says about Divorce and the Church

January 29, 2024 | Sam Rainer

Divorce is unfortunately common. Approximately 9 out of 10 Americans will get married. And about one-half of them will get a divorce. Many will then remarry. What these stats mean is the issue of divorce applies to all of us. Perhaps you have been through a divorce. Maybe you were a child when your parents divorced. Almost every married person will face a season or moment where divorce feels like a good option.

Since divorce is common, there are many opinions and hurt surrounding the subject. But when a common problem in society has a biblical solution, it’s a big opportunity for the church to help people.  First, remember Christ’s forgiveness drives you, not shame. Divorce is not an unforgivable sin. The church should not treat divorced people with shame. Divorce is not an automatic disqualifier for church leadership. What makes divorce difficult is how it is public. It’s hard to hide, if not impossible. When you get a divorce, people notice. Now, take a moment and think about this question. What if some of your private sins were broadcast publicly? You’d likely feel an intense amount of shame. We tend to treat public sins with greater disdain than private sins. But we should not.

In John 8, Jesus tells the adulteress woman to stop sinning, but He doesn’t shame her. When Peter shamefully denied Christ (three times!), Jesus didn’t disown him. Consider this passage in Luke’s gospel.  But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:62 (NLT) 

The kingdom of God calls us forward. You should not stay fixated on something you can’t undo. Church, we can’t leave divorced people on the outside. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “Shame someone to Jesus!” We’ll cover chapters 5 and 19 in Matthew’s gospel on Sunday. Jesus had a lot to say about divorce. While this topic is controversial, Jesus’ teachings are clear. Join us as we dive deeper into what the Bible says about divorce.