Should a wife divorce her drug addict husband?

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By BibleAsk Team


Drug Addiction and Divorce 

The Bible does not allow divorce in the case of drug addiction. Divorce is only permitted in the case of adultery. Jesus said, “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery” (Matthew 5:32). Husbands and wives who thus apply this instruction, and who are willing by the grace of God to live right, will find that there is no problem, however serious it may appear to be, that cannot be fixed if both spouses are willing.  

However, if there is physical abuse, the Christian wife may separate (not divorce) from her drug addicted husband in order to protect the family. But before she can do that, she needs to give him a warning first to seek immediate professional medical help for his addiction problem. The believer should set limits and follow the guidelines of Matthew 18:15-17. The drug addict should be informed that if he refuses to seek help, the wife will resort to separation in order to first motivate him to change and to protect the family.

The drug addict spouse should not get the message that the wife wants to abandon him at his time of greatest need but that she merely seeks his deliverance and is only prompting him to change. Separation may give the addicted spouse the chance to re-evaluate his choices and lifestyle. It may urge him to come to his senses like the prodigal Son, who came back to his senses when he lost all that he had (Luke 15:11-32).  

The Bible ties drugs with sorcery and witchcraft (Galatians 5:19-21). The word pharmakeia is where we get our words pharmaceuticals and pharmacy. The Greek definition of the word “witchcraft” is: pharmakeia, literally, “poison,” “magic potion,” “the administering of drugs,” and thus “sorcery” (Exodus 7:11), the supposed ability to produce magic spells. The mind-altering chemicals places the user under Satan’s control. 

The drug addict husband should realize that instead of being under the control of the Holy Spirit, he is now under the control of addictive drugs and Satan. And no one can be controlled by two Masters (Matthew 6:24). The act of depending on addictive substances to control a person’s life is idolatry. And idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9–10; Revelation 21:8). 

Divine Victory 

Point the drug addicted husband to Christ as the source of all power as he fights the war with drugs. Jesus said, “without me, ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). To experience victory over his sinful habit, he needs to claim the promises of God. All of God’s blessings are available to him and he can receive them by faith.  The Lord assures him, you can be “saved to the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25), be “more than conqueror” (Romans 8:37) and “always triumph” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

The Lord also promised that He will give “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). In fact, the promises get unlimited when He says you will “be filled with all the fullness of God” (verse 19). The human mind can’t even comprehend fully the greatness of what is provided for victory over sin. Millions found total deliverance from all addictions through Christ’s power. 

If the addicted spouse agrees to stay connected to God through daily study of His word and prayer, he can experience victory. But if he cut his connection with God, he will lose the supply of grace. Jesus said, “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit…” (John 15:5).  As the addicted holds on Christ, he will be able to declare triumphantly, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). The phrase “All things” means power over drugs, appetite and every sin that would rob a person of eternal life

In His service, 
BibleAsk Team 

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