When is it alright for a married couple to separate?

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As we might not always support married couples to separate, the Bible does address the matter: “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” (1 Corinthians 7:10,11).

The command of Jesus leaves no room for the many excuses for couples to separate that are accepted by the civil courts today, such as incompatibility, mental cruelty, and others of a more trivial nature. The Greek and Roman laws allowed separation of husband and wife for trifling reasons. The same was true also among the Jews (Matt. 5:32). This condition of society no doubt influenced the Christians to raise the question of the propriety of separation among believers. The answer is clearly stated; divorce is not in God’s perfect plan for humanity. God’s ideal is that we work out our problems and sustain our marriages. The only reason for which separation and divorce is permitted is adultery (Matt. 19:9).

But if a person puts others in the family in a life threatening situation, couples are advised to separate. At that point, separation isn’t an option, it’s survival.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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