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Is violence a biblical ground for divorce?

Is violence a biblical ground for divorce?

The Bible has several things to say about divorce, but it does not speak directly to domestic violence and abuse. However, we do know that God desires that we love our neighbors as ourselves, which surely means we should not harm them in any way. The Apostle Paul writes that “husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church” (Ephesians 5:25). Christian husbands should be willing to lay down their own lives for their wives, not physically abuse them.

Two grounds for divorce

Divorce was never a part of God’s plan for marriage.

The New Testament provides two grounds for divorce: an unbelieving spouse leaves and/or a spouse commits adultery (Matthew 5:32; 1 Corinthians 5:1). To be clear, Jesus never commands divorce. In Matthew 19:8, Jesus says, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.” Divorce was never a part of God’s plan for marriage. We know from Malachi 2:16 that God, in fact, hates divorce. Divorce is the breaking of a special covenant between a man and a woman for life. The Bible says that marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church, according to Ephesians 5:32. So, divorce greatly twists and distorts this holy picture.

All domestic abuse is evil and never right

With that being said, all domestic abuse is evil and is never right. It should always be reported to the governing authorities regardless of who it might incriminate. Amos 5:24 says, “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Justice is what the Lord desires in every situation. For those in abusive relationships, please tell someone you trust that you need help today. Pray for your spouse to come to know the Lord, if they don’t already. If they truly love you, they will not purposefully cause you physical or emotional pain. Remember that only God can change a person’s heart. And only God can truly restore and heal a marriage. If you can reconcile with your spouse, you should because this testifies to the power of the Gospel. Marriage counseling and/or a time of separation may be helpful in this reconciliation process. But if your spouse remains unrepentant, it could be that they do not know the Lord. If they decide to leave you because of this, then based on 1 Corinthians 5:1, there are grounds for divorce.

How does this Bible teaching speak to you? Please share your thoughts below!

Also read What is Gods view of divorce?

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