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Both my wife and I were victims of adulterous partners and despite trying over a number of years to reconcile in both cases it was not to be. Fortunately we found each other and live our marriage in honour to God. However, one of my sons was the subjected victim of an abusive marriage which, despite many hours of prayer and intervention to sort it out, it became very obvious that for safety and for the well-being of the children they had to separate. Divorce is now imminent and we pray that in future God will give him a wife that will bring honour to him. I have advised my son that he needs to be mindful of Mathew 5:32 before he with God's grace gets married again.
I plan on studying your question out more in the future but at first thought, the scripture in 1 Cor is probably phrased in a way that meets the needs of the church in Corinth. They were known for sexual immorality and not having learned the basics of the faith, a divorced person might just end up in the same situation with a new spouse. The scripture in Matthew may have been addressed to more mature believers therefore with a higher standard.
It will seem as if 1Cor 7:10-11, is giving no room for divorce at all. Quote- To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife". I wonder how these two commands can be harnessed. Mt. 5:32 and Mt. 19:9 give marital infidelity as an acceptable reason for divorce while 1 Cor gives us no room at all.
The answer to 1 Cor 7:10-11 is 1 Cor 7:12 & 15! "But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace." The key phrase here is "not under bondage" meaning the believer is free from the marriage covenant because the unbelieving spouse has obtained a divorce and has abandoned the believer. Forty four years ago I found myself in this exact situation. My unbelieving wife was in an adulterous affair with another person and she was not willing to reconcile. Against my wishes she divorced so she could be free to be with her new lover. Since I was free from the marriage covenant I sought a Christian woman, and seven weeks after the divorce I met her. We have been happily married now for 43 years.
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