A Confusing Passage?


A lady friend tells me she couldn’t marry me unless her current husband becomes unfaithful leading to a divorce. She quotes 1 Cor. 7 and says she would have to remain single if she divorces because of extreme unhappiness. I’ve read the passage several times and, like most of the Bible’s verses, I am confused. What is the best way for me to gain understanding of 1 Cor. 7? By the way, this is hypothetical, part of a Bible study. I’m not romantically involved with her.


1 Corinthians 7:10-11 says,

“To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.”

I don’t see anything confusing about it. Jesus taught that the only acceptable reason for divorce is marital unfaithfulness (Matt. 19:9). If your friend leaves her husband for any other reason, the Bible says she is supposed to remain single. Marrying someone else would be a sin.

The Christians who have divorced and re-married when marital unfaithfulness was not the cause should all thank the Lord every day that they live in the Age of Grace where all our sins are forgiven, washed away by the blood of the Lamb (Colossians 2:13-14). Otherwise they would be in real trouble.