The exception clause is found in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9. Jesus said, “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.”; “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
These verses mean that if a person gets a divorce and then remarries, it is considered adultery unless the exception clause is in effect. The phrase “marital unfaithfulness” is a translation of the Greek word porneia, the word from which we get our modern word “pornography.” The essential meaning of porneia is “sexual perversion.” In Greek literature around the same time as the New Testament, porneia was used to refer to adultery, fornication, prostitution, incest, and idolatry.
If one spouse commits adultery, or any act of sexual perversion, and a divorce results, the “innocent” spouse is free to remarry without being considered adulterous.
Jesus is only giving allowance for divorce and remarriage but He is not declaring divorce and remarriage to be the best or only option there. Repentance, forgiveness, counseling, and restoration are always God’s will for the broken marriage.
Men who yield to sin become its captives and slaves (John 8:34; Rom. 6:16). But praise the Lord, Christ came to free men from the bondage of evil and to make them free in Him (John 8:36; Rom. 6:1–23). “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isaiah 61:1). God will heal all the broken marriages when the spouses are willing to do His will.
In His service,
A closing message from BibleAsk:
Thank you for visiting BibleAsk – an online ministry dedicated to providing Bible based answers to your questions. If you enjoyed and agree with this answer, please like and share! If you don’t agree, please leave a comment below, and we’ll be sure to respond! If you have another question you would like to ask, please click here and someone from our team will personally answer it (don’t worry, your email address will never be shared). Check out our Bible Answers page to see just Bible verses answering thousands of questions. If you feel impressed to support this ministry, kindly visit our donate page to send a tax-deductible love gift to BibleAsk. Any donation size helps 🙂