Marriage, Divorce, & Remarriage

Examining the Meaning of Marriage and How Christians Handle Brokenness in Marriage

Curated by Trey Suey


Genesis 2:18–24: “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him.” The Lord God formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal; but for the man no helper was found corresponding to him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place. Then the Lord God made the rib he had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. And the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called “woman,” for she was taken from man. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.”

Matthew 5:31–32: “It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce. But I tell you, everyone who divorces his wife, except in a case of sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Matthew 19:4-12: “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that he who created them in the beginning made them male and female,” and he also said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” “Why then,” they asked him, “did Moses command us to give divorce papers and to send her away?” He told them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts, but it was not like that from the beginning. I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another commits adultery.” His disciples said to him, “If the relationship of a man with his wife is like this, it’s better not to marry.” He responded, “Not everyone can accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs who were made by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who is able to accept it should accept it.”

Mark 10:9: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

1 Corinthians 7:1-15: “Now in response to the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to use a woman for sex.” But because sexual immorality is so common, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife,and each woman should have sexual relations with her own husband. A husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband. A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. Do not deprive one another—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all people were as I am. But each has his own gift from God, one person has this gift, another has that. I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them if they remain as I am. But if they do not have self-control, they should marry, since it is better to marry than to burn with desire. To the married I give this command—not I, but the Lord—a wife is not to leave her husband. But if she does leave, she must remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband—and a husband is not to divorce his wife. But I (not the Lord) say to the rest: If any brother has an unbelieving wife and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. Also, if any woman has an unbelieving husband and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce her husband. For the unbelieving husband is made holy by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy by the husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to live in peace.”

1 Corinthians 11:9-12:
 “Neither was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for the sake of man. This is why a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, and man is not independent of woman. For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman, and all things come from God.”

Ephesians 5:22–32: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church.”

Colossians 3:18-19:
 “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and don’t be bitter toward them.”

Hebrews 13:4: “Marriage is to be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.”

1 Peter 3:7: “Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker partner, showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”


Marriage is a shadow of a deeper, more fundamental reality. The holy covenant made between one man and one woman points to something far greater than a mere social construction. Rather, it is designed to point to the intimacy and fidelity of Christ and his bride. Thus, as these momentary marriages are to be glorious reflections of this heavenly reality, both groom and bride are called to a life of sacrificial love, unbroken fidelity, and harmonious unity, in complete dependence on the Father, who is the preeminent sustainer and supplier of covenant faithfulness (Eph. 5:31-32; Mk. 10:9).

Preserving the purity of the marriage bed, between one man and one woman, is a matter of preserving the purity of the Bride of Christ. Thus, for a Christian to be found as an adulterer in the context of our momentary marital unions, is to be found to be an adulterer in the context of the eternal marital union of Christ and the Church. A spouse is to continuously set their mind on their counterpart, just as the Bride of Christ is to set her heart’s desire on her bridegroom continuously, in order that their affections may flourish and manifest themselves in intense and glorious intimacy, within in the context of their covenant relationship (Heb. 13:4; Matt. 5:8). 

  • Marriage and Sexuality: Part 1

    Daniel Akin & Russell D. Moore

Reflection Questions
  1. How is the Church to respond to those experiencing marital turmoil?
  2. What avenues should a married couple pursue in order to gain help and encouragement in the process of restoration?
  3. How should a married person view their responsibility to love their spouse?
  4. Marriage is primarily a covenant before God. How does this affect our view of the marriage commitment?

Additional Resources
  • Marriage and Sexuality: Part 2

    Daniel Akin & Russell D. Moore

  • Why Is Biblical Marriage So Important?

    Michael Allen

  • Sherif Girgis - Better Together: Marriage and the Common goodRuntime: 33 min


Entering into a marriage covenant is not merely the actualization of romantic feelings, but it is the entering into a one-flesh union, just as the Church has been grafted into the body of Christ. It is the establishment of an institution in which a kind of new life should flourish. Thus, the issue of marital fidelity is intrinsically a gospel issue, thus infidelity is not just the breaking of marital unity, but it is the marring of what is supposed to be a reflection of the glory of the gospel (Matt. 5:31-32).

Sexual immorality and abandonment of one’s spouse are decisive breaks of the marital covenant. It is a definite rejection, not only of the spouse, but of God himself as the supreme judge, witness, and covenant-maker. The abandoned spouse is freed from feeling the need to control their unrepentant spouse to establish some kind of pseudo-peace in the household, but rather is called to rest in the peace of Christ, who will never leave them, nor forsake them (1 Cor. 7:15; Deut. 31:6).

  • What Are The Biblical Grounds For Divorce And Remarriage?

    Sandy Willson

  • Buster Brown

  • Erwin Lutzer


Broken marriages are part of broken humanity stemming from the fall of our first parents. This chaos pitted the man against the woman and resulted in relational chaos that exists even now. Divorce is a very real outcome of this brokenness, but what does this mean for remarriage? Different pastors and scholars have come to different opinions on this issue. We recommend the following resources (admittedly coming from several different perspectives) to wade through this topic. The D. A.
Carson address below will help provide a framework for the various views.

  • D. A. Carson – Divorce and RemarriageRuntime: 58 min

    Dr. Carson lays out the three major views on divorce and remarriage, analyzes key passages related to the issue, and answers a number of practical and pastoral questions on the topic.

Additional Resources