We at Samuel's Church stand squarely behind making marriages work. We grieve over the
destructive effect divorce brings upon a couple, their children, and the many who are touched
by their lives, and we are committed to doing anything we can to assist couples to turn from
divorce and work at healing their marriage. Yet, realizing that divorce is a real part of many
people's lives, we at Samuel's Church adopt the following statement on divorce and
1. Marriage was intended by God to be an unbreakable union (Matt. 19:6) for the purpose of
companionship (Gen. 2:18), procreation (Gen. 2:24) and pleasure (Deut. 24:5). God hates
divorce (Mal. 2:16), but allows it as an accommodation to man's sin (Mat. 19:8).
2. The only Biblical grounds for divorce are (1) fornication and (2) the desertion of an
unbelieving spouse. Fornication includes all sexual perversions, such as homosexuality,
bestiality, incest, as well as adultery (Mat. 5:32; 19:9). The desertion of an unbelieving spouse
means a non-believer no longer desires to remain married to a Christian spouse (1 Cor. 7:15).
In these two cases alone, God allows for divorce, although He certainly does not require it.
The response God desires is illustrated in Hosea's treatment of his adulterous wife, Gomer.
Instead of divorcing her when she committed adultery, Hosea forgave her and restored their
marriage (Hosea 3:1-2). It is church policy to never advise divorce, but rather to work at
restoring the one caught in sin (Gal. 6:1) and then work at restoring the marriage through
forgiveness (Eph. 4:31-32).
3. Remarriage is permitted only if a divorce was based on one of the two Biblical grounds.
In cases where a divorce was not on Biblical grounds, God still views the parties as married,
even though the state may not. Becoming sexually involved with another or remarrying
commits adultery (Mat. 19:9), and the person who marries someone divorced on nonbiblical
grounds also commits adultery (Luke16:18).
4. Believers who pursue divorce on nonbiblical grounds are subject to church discipline
because they openly reject the Word of God (Mat. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:1-13). The one who
obtains a divorce on nonbiblical grounds and remarries lives in a state of adultery, since
God still views them as married to their original spouse (Mat. 5:32; Mark 10:11,12).
5. If a divorce based on nonbiblical grounds has become final both parties should make no
attempt at justifying their action, but rather should seek God's forgiveness (1 John 1:9). God
intends they either seek to reconcile their marriage or remain single (1 Cor. 7:11). If a
remarriage has taken place, the person should remain faithful to his or her present marriage
6. Both the innocent party of a divorce and the repentant party of a nonbiblical divorce are
free to serve the Lord. Forgiveness and the ensuing privilege to serve is the right of every
child of God, but since the church has a responsibility to uphold the Biblical ideal of marriage,
especially in the example of its leadership, the appointment to any leadership position must
be handled individually and on the basis of their present character qualifications and marriage
7. Should one partner be experiencing either physical or emotional abuse that becomes
intolerable, and there is no Biblical ground for divorce, that person may seek legal separation
for their own protection and that of the children. Legal and/or professional help should be
sought in order that reconciliation may be achieved.
Divorce And Remarriage
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