What Does Christianity Teach About Marriage and Divorce?

Navigating the murky waters of marriage and divorce can be challenging, especially when trying to reconcile personal experiences with Christian teachings. Did you know that Christianity offers clear insights on these very topics? This article will demystify what the Bible says about marriage and divorce, guiding those seeking answers in their faith journey.

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Key Takeaways

  • Christianity views marriage as a sacred bond created by God, with specific roles and responsibilities for husband and wife.
  • Divorce is considered a last resort in Christianity, only to be pursued after all efforts for reconciliation have been exhausted.
  • The Bible provides clear grounds for divorce, including adultery, abandonment by an unbelieving spouse, and physical or emotional abuse.
  • Christian views on remarriage after divorce vary, with some accepting it under certain circumstances such as adultery or abandonment.

The Institution of Marriage According to Christianity

In Christianity, the institution of marriage is seen as a sacred bond created by God, with specific roles and responsibilities for husband and wife.

God’s design for marriage

God’s design for marriage, as depicted in Christian teachings, intricately binds two individuals into a lifelong commitment. This divine bond transcends beyond physicality and emotional connection — it is spiritual.

The Bible portrays marriage as an emblem of God’s unbreakable relationship with humanity. Just like God’s enduring love for His people never wavers, so should the married couple keep their pledge to one another till death do them part.

This is further reinforced by Jesus’s teachings that whoever divorces their spouse without just cause commits adultery — a strong admonishment against breaking the marital bond.

The roles and responsibilities of husband and wife

In Christian marriages, the roles and responsibilities of husband and wife are seen as complementary and based on mutual love, respect, and submission to God’s will. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  1. Husbands are called to be leaders:
  • They are to love their wives sacrificially, just as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25).
  • They should provide for their families, both physically and spiritually (1 Timothy 5:8).
  • They are to lead by example, setting a godly standard in their words and actions.
  1. Wives are called to be supportive:
  • They should respect and submit to their husbands’ leadership, just as the church submits to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-24).
  • They should nurture their families, creating a warm and loving environment (Proverbs 31:27-28).
  • They can exercise influence through gentle persuasion and wise counsel.
  1. Both spouses share equal value:
  • The Bible teaches that men and women were created in God’s image (Genesis 1: 27), implying equal worth.
  • Both partners are called to fulfill their unique roles while working together as a team.
  1. Mutual submission is crucial:
  • In Ephesians 5: 21, it is stated that believers should “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
  • This implies that both husband and wife should serve one another selflessly.
  1. Communication is vital:
  • Effective communication builds trust, understanding, and intimacy within a marriage.
  • Listening attentively, speaking honestly but respectfully, and seeking resolutions together are essential.
  1. Building a strong foundation in faith:
  • Couples must prioritize spiritual growth individually and collectively.
  • Praying together, studying the Bible together, attending church services regularly are important practices.

The Sanctity of Marriage and Divorce in Christianity

In Christianity, marriage is considered sacred and divorce is viewed as a last resort when all efforts for reconciliation have been exhausted.

The importance of commitment and fidelity

Commitment and fidelity are essential values within the Christian faith when it comes to marriage. The Bible teaches that marriage is a sacred bond between a husband and wife, symbolizing the unbreakable covenant God has with humanity.

As such, Christians are encouraged to prioritize their commitment to their spouse above all else. This means being faithful, trustworthy, and dedicated to nurturing the relationship through good times and bad.

Divorce should only be considered as a last resort in cases of serious breaches of trust or safety. Ultimately, Christians believe that by honoring our commitment and remaining faithful, we reflect God’s enduring love for us.

Divorce as a last resort

Divorce is regarded by Christianity as a last resort option when all efforts for reconciliation have been exhausted. While the Bible does not explicitly endorse divorce, it recognizes that there are circumstances where marital relationships become irreparable and unsafe.

The emphasis within Christianity is on the preservation of marriage and seeking reconciliation, but in cases of abuse, adultery, or abandonment, divorce may be seen as a viable option to protect individuals from harm.

It is important for Christians to approach divorce with prayerful consideration and seek guidance from their faith community to navigate this difficult decision with compassion and grace towards all parties involved.

Biblical Grounds for Divorce

The Bible provides clear grounds for divorce, including adultery, abandonment by an unbelieving spouse, and physical or emotional abuse.


One of the biblical grounds for divorce in Christianity is adultery. Adultery refers to a spouse engaging in sexual relations outside the marriage. According to Jesus’ teachings, this act breaks the commitment and trust within the marriage, thus allowing for divorce.

The Bible clearly states that adultery undermines the sacredness of marriage, as it goes against God’s design for faithful and exclusive marital relationships. In instances where one partner has committed adultery, seeking forgiveness and reconciliation should be pursued; however, if repentance is not found or if there is a lack of genuine remorse, divorce may be considered as an option in order to preserve the well-being and integrity of both spouses involved.

Abandonment by an unbelieving spouse

In the context of marriage and divorce in Christianity, abandonment by an unbelieving spouse is recognized as a valid biblical ground for divorce. The Bible acknowledges that not all marriages are harmonious, especially when one partner does not share the same faith.

In such cases, if the unbelieving spouse chooses to leave the marriage and there is no hope of reconciliation or repentance, divorce may be permitted. This allowance recognizes the importance of maintaining a healthy and God-centered relationship within the confines of marriage.

It emphasizes that while divorce should always be approached with caution and seeking reconciliation is encouraged, there are instances where it may be necessary to protect oneself from continued harm in a destructive union.

Physical or emotional abuse

Physical or emotional abuse within a marriage is a difficult and painful reality that many couples unfortunately face. In the context of Christianity, it is important to recognize that God’s intention for marriage is one of love, respect, and mutual support.

Physical or emotional abuse goes against these principles and can cause significant harm to individuals and their relationships. While the Bible does not explicitly mention physical or emotional abuse as grounds for divorce, it does emphasize the importance of love, kindness, and safety within a marital relationship.

It is essential for those facing abuse to prioritize their well-being and seek help from trusted sources such as counselors, pastors, or organizations specializing in domestic violence. No one should have to endure abuse within their marriage, and seeking professional assistance can lead to healing and restoration.

Christian Views on Remarriage after Divorce

Christian views on remarriage after divorce vary within different denominations and interpretations of biblical teachings. Some Christians believe that remarriage is acceptable in certain circumstances, such as when the previous marriage ended due to adultery or abandonment, while others believe that remarriage should be avoided unless the spouse has passed away.

Acceptance of remarriage in certain circumstances

In certain circumstances, Christianity accepts the idea of remarriage after divorce. While marriage is meant to be a lifelong commitment, the Bible recognizes that situations arise where divorce becomes necessary.

In cases of adultery, abandonment by an unbelieving spouse, or instances of physical or emotional abuse, remarriage can be seen as a path towards healing and restoration. However, it is important for individuals seeking remarriage to seek forgiveness and reconciliation before moving forward.

Ultimately, each situation should be approached prayerfully and with guidance from spiritual leaders to ensure alignment with Christian principles and values.

The importance of seeking forgiveness and reconciliation

In the context of marriage and divorce, Christians believe in the importance of seeking forgiveness and reconciliation. It is understood that no relationship is perfect, and conflicts can arise even in the most loving marriages.

However, instead of immediately resorting to divorce, Christianity encourages couples to seek forgiveness and work towards healing their relationship. This involves acknowledging one’s own mistakes, offering sincere apologies, and making a genuine effort to resolve conflicts through open communication and compromise.

By prioritizing forgiveness and reconciliation, Christians strive to restore trust and strengthen the bond between spouses while upholding the sanctity of marriage as taught in the Bible.


In conclusion, Christianity teaches that marriage is a sacred institution designed by God, meant to be a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman. While the Bible allows for certain grounds for divorce, it emphasizes the importance of seeking forgiveness, reconciliation, and avoiding divorce whenever possible.

The Christian perspective on marriage and divorce ultimately strives to uphold the sanctity of the marital union while also recognizing the complexities and challenges that can arise in relationships.


1. What is the Christian view on divorce?

Christianity teaches that marriage is a sacred bond that should be entered into with lifelong commitment. Divorce is generally discouraged, and it is viewed as a dissolution of the covenant between spouses.

2. Does Christianity allow for any exceptions to divorce?

In some cases, Christianity acknowledges that divorce may be necessary due to instances of infidelity (adultery) or abandonment by an unbelieving spouse. However, reconciliation and forgiveness are always encouraged whenever possible.

3. Can Christians remarry after getting a divorce?

The views on remarriage after divorce vary among different Christian denominations. Some allow for remarriage in certain circumstances, such as when the divorce was granted due to adultery or desertion, while others discourage it altogether.

4. How can Christians support those going through marital difficulties?

Christians are called to show love and compassion towards those experiencing marital difficulties. This can include offering emotional support, praying for them, providing resources for counseling or seeking guidance from spiritual leaders within their community or church.

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