Contact Us 402.509.7033
Search Contact Us 402.509.7033

What Does the Bible Say About Divorce?

Discover what the Bible says about divorce and how it connects with contemporary legal practices in today's society.

Maybe you’re here because you’re interested in finding ways to resolve your marriage through counseling, or maybe you’re worried your marriage is too far gone and you’re unsure what the future ahead looks like. Either way, many individuals turn to the Bible for guidance on ethical issues, such as marriage and divorce. David Crum, managing attorney at Nebraska Legal Group, cautions against using the Bible simply to justify what is “permissible” in marriage. For individuals who are married to emotionally abusive, violent and/or promiscuous partners, and truly feel there’s no way of reconciliation, you may have a religious way out (if that’s what you seek).

How Jesus Perceives Divorce & Marriage

The Bible sees marriage as a special promise, not just a simple agreement. This promise is sacred, made between two people and God. It’s a big deal in Christianity because it’s about love, support, and respect, much like the bond between Christ and His disciples. However, as life is complicated, the Bible also addresses the subject of divorce, offering guidance and parameters for those facing such a difficult time in their lives.

Crum emphasizes that the true challenge is understanding what is expected of us, which can be illustrated using two passages from Matthew’s gospel that focus on Jesus’s teachings about marriage and divorce. These texts have been the focus of constant scrutiny over many hundreds of years.

In one notable passage, Jesus is quoted: “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, except on the grounds of porneia (sexual immorality), makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Matthew 5:31-32). In another passage, the Pharisees question Jesus, saying: “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for any cause?” And Jesus answers by attributing that command to their “hardness of heart” (Mark 10:5). Even though it is highly interpreted that Jesus does not approve of divorce according to the bible, there are reasons why he also finds it permissible – especially in the case of adultery and domestic abuse.

Adultery and Divorce in the Bible

If we revisit Matthew’s depiction of divorce, adultery, and “hardness of heart” that keeps man and woman from “becoming one flesh”, as God intended. “When a partner is sexually promiscuous behind the other’s back, have they not broken that bond of flesh and have thus broken the bond of their marriage?”

For Christians, we highly encourage counseling before considering legal avenues. There are marriages that can absolutely be saved through professional therapy and prayer, but other times, a poor-mannered partner may repeat undesirable actions and put the victimized partner at great health risk to their body, mind, and overall well-being.

Daniel 9:9 (NIV) “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.” Life can sometimes throw us some curveballs, but Daniel 9:9 reminds us of the powerful message of forgiveness in the Bible: that God is merciful toward us and loves us even when we’re struggling to live within his expectations.

Insights on Divorce in the Bible

When we talk about divorce in the Bible, we dive into how the Bible discusses ending a marriage. The Bible does talk about divorce, but there is some hesitance around it. For instance, in the chapter of Matthew, Jesus talks about separation, stressing that marriage is meant to last, but he also mentions that there are certain acts that make an exception for separation to be a reality, like adultery.

Within the Christian community, interpretations of what the Bible teaches about divorce vary widely. On one end of the spectrum, some groups adhere to a strict viewpoint, grounded in the belief that marriage is a divine union not to be dissolved by human action. Conversely, other denominations draw on scriptures to argue that the Bible acknowledges circumstances under which separation may be unavoidable, for instance, if one partner abandons the other. This range of perspectives highlights the complexity and nuance in biblical teachings on separation, reflecting the diversity of thought within Christianity on how to approach marital dissolution in a way that aligns with faith.

Ultimately, the decision about whether separation is acceptable according to the Bible comes down to personal belief and individual interpretation. This shows how important your own faith and understanding are in deciding the best way to go about a tough situation like divorce.

Impact of Divorce on Families from a Biblical and Legal Perspective

Many people, while going through the process of divorce, find themselves balancing the teachings of their faith with the realities of legal requirements. The impact of separation on families can be viewed through two distinct but equally important lenses: within Biblical teachings and through modern legal frameworks. Both perspectives offer valuable insights and guidance for families in transition, aiming to reduce the strain of this life-changing event while prioritizing the well-being and stability of all involved. 

Biblical Perspective

Divorce profoundly affects every member of the family, a truth that the Bible acknowledges while emphasizing the importance of family unity. The scriptures caution against separation, urging families to seek reconciliation, forgiveness, and to uphold the bonds of love and commitment whenever possible. In the Bible’s view, the aim is always to preserve the family unit, ensuring it remains as whole and healthy as possible, particularly for the well-being of children.

When we see divorce in the Bible, it’s usually about trying to keep the family together, especially for the kids’ sake. However, staying together may not always be what is best for the family unit. Each family is unique and no one knows better than you what the best choice for the future is.

Legal Perspective

Conversely, modern family law recognizes the complexity of relationships and the reality that separation, at times, may be inevitable. Legal provisions aim to lessen the blow of divorce on families, making sure kids especially get what they need to live a healthy life.  Laws concerning custody, financial support, and maintaining a strong relationship with both parents post-divorce are crafted to ensure a stable and healthy environment for children amidst family changes.

In Nebraska, the legal system encourages resolutions that minimize conflict, promote fairness, and prioritize the emotional and physical security of children. The legal framework supports amicable settlement processes, echoing the biblical encouragement for peace and cooperation, aiming to reduce the emotional strain on families and facilitate a positive transition into new beginnings.

Bridging Biblical Wisdom with Legal Support

Both the wisdom from the Bible and the modern legal system stress how important it is to think about how separation affects everyone involved. They tell us to look for a compassionate, healing approach during these challenging times, highlighting the importance of mutual care and respect. Despite the hardship of separation, with appropriate support and guidance, families have the potential to move forward with hope and stability. 

Bringing together divorce in the Bible with today’s laws shows a common aim: to handle the tough journey of separation with a lot of heart, looking after everyone’s best interest, and upholding your values even when the process can be difficult. Whether through the lens of faith or law, the message remains consistent—family matters, and ensuring the well-being of each member during transitions is the most important aspect of paving the way for a hopeful and stable future.

How Can I Integrate Faith Into My Legal Divorce Proceedings?

Going through a divorce in Nebraska can feel overwhelming, especially for couples who want to make sure they stick to their religious beliefs. Talking about divorce in the Bible alongside modern legal steps might seem tricky, but it’s possible. Focusing on mediation and collaborative law as two main paths, couples in Nebraska can navigate divorce while keeping their faith in the process.

Mediation: A Peaceful Approach

Mediation is a great option for couples who want to sort out their divorce calmly and in line with their religious views. This method lets both people come together to talk about and decide on the terms of their separation with the help of a neutral person. It’s a way to respect the Bible’s teachings on peace and getting along, allowing for open talks and respect. Many find this route fits better with their faith and leads to a smoother end to their marriage, focusing on agreeing together rather than fighting.

Collaborative Law: Keeping Faith and Law in Balance

Collaborative law is another way to handle divorce that respects both legal and religious needs. Here, each person has their own lawyer, but the goal is to solve things without going to court. This choice is often preferred by those who want to keep their separation in line with their religious beliefs by avoiding the fight of a courtroom battle. Collaborative law is all about respect, dignity, and looking after the whole family’s well-being, mirroring the values found in religious teachings on divorce.

Annulment: A Religious Alternative to Divorce

For many individuals guided by their religious beliefs, annulment presents a preferable alternative to divorce. Unlike divorce, which legally ends a marriage, an annulment treats the marriage as though it never legally existed. This distinction can be a favorable option for those whose faith may restrict the idea of divorce. However, it’s important to understand that the criteria for qualifying for an annulment are very strict and many marriages do not meet these legal specifications.

Given the complex nature of annulment laws and the specific conditions that must be met, it is important to consult with an experienced divorce attorney. A skilled divorce attorney can help you determine whether your situation qualifies for an annulment, ensuring that you make informed decisions that align with both your legal rights and your religious values.

Finding a Way Through Faith and Law

For Nebraska couples, aligning your divorce with your religious beliefs is something you can do with the help of options like mediation and collaborative law. These choices, along with finding the right attorney, help honor your faith while you navigate the legal bits of a separation. In the end, even though divorce in the Bible and today’s divorce laws might seem like they’re worlds apart, there’s a real path that brings them together. 

Exploring Legal Separation Within a Biblical Framework

The Bible offers a wealth of wisdom on the subjects of marriage, commitment, and the conditions under which separation might be considered. While the concept of “divorce” is addressed specifically in several scriptures, the process of legal separation, as understood in today’s terms, allows individuals to address marital issues within a structured legal framework without the finality of divorce.

In cases where the relationship faces seemingly insurmountable challenges, such as neglect, abuse, or infidelity—issues that are implicitly addressed in biblical texts—legal separation can provide the space for reflection, healing, and decision-making. It offers a way for individuals to take practical steps toward addressing personal and familial needs without stepping outside biblical teachings.

For those in Nebraska considering this path, it’s still important to consult with legal experts who are sensitive to and respectful of your religious beliefs. They can help guide you through the complexities of the law while ensuring that your actions remain in harmony with your faith.

Finding the Right Representation 

At Nebraska Legal Group, we understand the profound strain that comes from trying to align your divorce proceedings with religious beliefs. Navigating this delicate balance requires not only legal expertise but also a deep sense of empathy and respect for the personal values of our clients. Our team of experienced divorce attorneys is well-versed in addressing the unique concerns that arise when faith plays a role in the decision-making process. We are committed to providing compassionate, tailored advice that respects both your legal rights and your religious principles. Whether you’re exploring mediation, collaborative law, or need guidance on protecting your interests and those of your family, we’re here to help every step of the way.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the complexities of divorcing within the framework of your faith, contact Nebraska Legal Group today to schedule a consultation. Let us support you in finding a path that honors your beliefs while navigating the legal landscape of your separation. Your peace of mind is our priority, and we’re here to ensure that your journey through this challenging time is handled with care and respect.