When is a divorce permissible?

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It is to be remembered, that the break-up of a home and marriage is never the will of God, for God wants every marriage and every home to remain intact. But if the marriage has actually already been broken by the unfaithfulness of a spouse, God’s Word gives the innocent spouse permission to obtain a legal divorce and to marry again. Nevertheless, if possible, efforts should be made to restore the broken marriage. God’s Word also grants permission for a new marriage, when an unbelieving spouse deserts a believing spouse because of his or her faith. In that case the believer has the right to remarry. (Other marriage-related facts: see Matt. 19:10-12).

Matt.19:9: Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery.

1 Cor. 7:5: But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God hath called us to peace.

The Lutheran Confessions: “Unjust also is the tradition which forbids an innocent person to marry after the divorce.” (Of the Power and Jurisdiction of Bishops, 78).

Note: Society approves of divorce on a much broader basis, because it includes not only Christians but also unbelievers.