As I too have read through threads concerning divorce, an attempt to defend the truth of Scripture without mercy, I thought it good to show and make plain the biblical teaching of divorce found in Scripture. It is my hope in doing so that God's truth and His glory will be at the forefront, and that truth will work a measure of freedom to His people who feel weighed down through the teachings of others who give a false understanding of the subject. To speak of divorce it is helpful to shed light on marriage. When did marriage begin? Why did it begin? Marriage began in the garden of Eden. It was a union between one man and one woman for life. See Genesis 2:21-24 and Mark 10:1-9 Because of man's sinful nature, the godly union of one man with one woman became quickly corrupted, evidenced by polygamy and the sin of adultery. Divorce was permissable under the Law of God under the Old Covenant. See Deut 24:1-4. Our Lord Jesus gave us the understanding that God permitted this because of hardness of hearts. Jesus unequivically said concernign marriage that what God has joined together let to man seperate. Matt 10:9 But is divorce ever permissable? Under the Old Covenant it was. It is every permissable under the New Covenant? Yes. Adultery is one permissable reason for divorce. Let's look at this biblically: They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Matthew 19:7-9 Let's break this down into points: 1. Moses in the Law permitted divorce, but it was not God's will. There was no permissiveness for divorce until the Law, and no biblical evidence that divorce was permitted from Adam until the Law. 2. If a man puts away his wife, whom he has joined with and God has joined, but he puts away, and marries another, commits adultery. The woman that is put away, if she marries again, commits adultery. And the reverse would be true. The one causes the other to commit adultery because if the other marries again, then he/she marries someone who is not their lawful spouse, and so they both commit adultery. 3. The exception. The exception is fornication. Porneia in Greek, from where we get our word pornography. All sexual immorality is biblical grounds for lawful divorce according to the Son of God. Try not to lose the immediate context of what is happening here, namely, don't forget the question that was asked of Jesus. "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?" And don't lose sight of why they were asking this..."The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him..." They asked a question of lawfulness. When is it lawful to divorce? Jesus tells them it is not lawful to divorce for any reason EXCEPT fornication. "ei mē" a conjuction used conditionally. Jesus meaning and speech here is not ambiguos. He is telling us that no divorce is truly lawful except on the ground of sexual immorality. Why would Jesus permit it for this reason? Here is my understanding: Marriage is a conditional covenant between a man and a woman. When a man knows his wife, they become one flesh. God has joined them together and they are bound together by the covenant of marriage. When a man or woman joins with another or commits other forms of fornication, they break that bond and the terms of their marriage covenant. The other is free as if the one died. They are no longer bound to the covenant. Is fornication the only way a man or woman may break their covenant? No. Look at 1 Corinthians 7 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. This is the self-same as what Jesus taught. Why would the apostle say for the one who departs not to marry again? Because the Lord said if they did they commit adultery. Now what happens in a marriage where the unbeliever leaves the believer? Or other such issues of abandonment? "But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace." If a man leaves his wife, abandons her, she is not under bondage in such cases. She is NO LONGER BOUND TO HER HUSBAND. The idea that divorce is never permitted by God under any circumstance is an unbiblical teaching. Many women are langusihing in adulterous marriages where the husband is either actively engaged with another woman (or man) or else he is addicted to pornography. Marriages suffering through these circumstances are NOT beyond reconciliation, forgiveness, and restoration. But this is another discussion. I pray this helps add some clarification of the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles concerning divorce. I believe divorce is always bad no matter what the circumstances. We know the Lord hates it. But the woman (or man) who has suffered with an adulterous spouse should not bear the weight of guilt for divorcing her husband. If she chooses to stay and forgive that is HER decision. She is no longer bound to her husband.