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DIVORCE AND LIVING SINGLE (AND CELIBATE)

bare left hand

This is going to be a relatively short one because Jesus has said everything that needs to be said about divorce and living single, and what he says is very clear. It just bears repeating, as some Christians appear to have forgotten or ignored it.

If you’re a Christian and you’re married to someone, you don’t divorce that person. You don’t divorce that person and you don’t sign papers agreeing to a divorce. Jesus said: “What God hath joined, let not man put asunder.” The marriage contract is not between you and your spouse; it’s between you and your spouse AND GOD. Contracts with God can NEVER be broken. The sole exception for divorce, as mentioned by Jesus, is FORNICATION, not adultery – FORNICATION. That means having relations before marriage. If there are extramarital relations during marriage, that’s adultery, but adultery is not grounds for divorce. It’s a broken Commandment and will cause all kinds of suffering to the adulterer and by extension to the marriage, but it is not grounds for divorce. FORNICATION is the only grounds for divorce, according to Jesus, and fornication occurs before marriage, not during it.

An example of fornication is an unmarried woman who has sex, becomes pregnant, and then marries a guy (not the father). If the guy the woman marries finds out after marrying her that the child is not his and he doesn’t want to raise the child, he can divorce the woman. This is a case of divorce based on fornication. These were the grounds that Joseph was going to use to “put Mary aside” when he found out she was pregnant (that is, after they were married but before they “came together”, as there used to be a waiting period between the “espousal” and the actual consumption of the marriage for just that purpose). But Joseph was informed by God’s angel that Mary was pregnant by God’s Spirit, not by another man, so he did not divorce her

Note that if your spouse is abusive, you separate from that person. God doesn’t expect you to stay in an abusive relationship, but abuse is not grounds for divorce. You separate from the abusive spouse, remain celibate, and PRAY for him or her.

If you’re a born-again believer (what I call a real Christian) you don’t marry. If you’re married when you’re born again, you separate from your spouse, like Jesus’ disciples did. In fact, the first thing Jesus’ disciples did was to quit their jobs and leave their wives, giving up their property in the process. They walked away from every personal and financial tie they had in order not to be burdened and side-tracked by them. Their focus was, from that point onward, God’s kingdom, and their loyalty was to Jesus and God only. God came first in their lives, not their spouse, not their children, not their business, and certainly not their property. Unfortunately, we do not see Jesus’ advice reflected in Christian ministers and pastors these days, as most of them are married with kids.

To recap – if you’re a Christian, you do not divorce except for grounds of fornication (not adultery). If you’re born-again (a real Christian), you don’t marry, and if you’re married when you become born again, you separate from your spouse and remain celibate for the rest of your life. You become (as scripture says) a eunuch for the Kingdom of God’s sake, like Jesus, like the disciples, and like Paul.

If you’re born again, but if having sex or having children means more to you than following Jesus, then you’ve made your choice, but it isn’t the right one, and you will regret it some day.

That’s all that needs to be said on the matter.


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