Can a Marriage Be Dissolved Because of Spiritual Fornication?


We must emphasize this: God does NOT want divorces. He wants married couples to fight for love, for truth, for respect:

However, what to do when one of the spouses has completely lost themselves?
What advice does the Bible give here?
When is a marriage to be dissolved?

“But I tell you, everyone who divorces (630) his wife, except in a case of sexual (4202) immorality, causes her to commit adultery (3429). And whoever marries (1060) a divorced woman commits adultery (3429).” – Matthew 5:32

“Why then,” they asked Him, “did Moses command us to give divorce (647) papers and to send her away?” – Matthew 19:9.

“I tell you, whoever divorces (630) his wife, except for sexual (4202) immorality, and marries (1060) another commits adultery (3429).

The word 4202 means:
Strong’s paper dictionary:
• in relation to human sexuality: sexual promiscuity, sexual promiscuity, perversions, pornography,
• sexual debauchery, fornication (including pre-marital), homosexuality, bestiality, etc.,
• sexual intercourse with a close relative.
• figuratively: idol worship.
biblehub dictionary:

  • • porneía – pornography, which comes from pernaō: „to sell”. Promiscuity of any (any) kind. Adultery, fornication (including incest);
    • figuratively: idolatry – fornication:
  • • is used metaphorically in reference to idol worship: Revelation 14:8, Revelation 17:2-4, Revelation 18:3, Revelation 19:2, we were not born of fornication (we are not of a people prone to idolatry), we have one Father, God, John 8:41, on the defilement of idolatry by eating sacrifices offered to idols.
    The word 4202 comes from the word 4203:
    4203 porneúō means – to commit debauchery (sexual immorality); (figuratively) being unfaithful to Christ by pretending to be His true follower.

Divorce due to adultery
Our spouse cheated on us.
What choice do we have then?
We should always forgive. To forgive does not mean to forget. To forgive means not to feel hatred, to arouse love for that person.
The next step is to decide whether our marriage can continue.
When a partner apologizes, shows remorse, and reveals
their problems, we have a reason to give them another chance.

When a partner leaves for another person, when we do not see remorse, we do not see honesty, we have a reason for divorce. Not just a civil divorce, but a divorce before God.
A civil marriage and a marriage concluded before God have an important difference.
Every follower of Christ marries before God. A civil wedding is necessary for several reasons: for the state, for the law, for people, for finances, etc.
Can we divorce because of our spouse’s spiritual fornication?
And here’s an interesting topic.
Does the Bible allow divorce when a spouse has abandoned the true Christ and pretends to be His follower?
In a situation where
they committed sin against the Holy Spirit?

If your brother sins against you, go tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he won’t listen, take one or two others with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. If he doesn’t pay attention to them, tell the congregation. If he doesn’t pay attention even to the congregation, let him be like a Gentile (1482) and a tax collector (5057) to you.” – Matthew 18:15-17.



In Matthew 5:32 and 19:9, Christ gives reasons for divorce. The word 4202 describes this reason, it represents a possible cause for divorce. It is sexuality with a third person.
Also the reason is idolatry, leaving the true Christ and serving other deities.
The word 4202 comes from the word 4203. Here we have something specific:

to be unfaithful to Christ by pretending to be His true follower.”

The Bible calls such pretenders of Christ: false prophets, false teachers:

“When they had traveled the whole island as far as Paphos, they came across a sorcerer, a Judean false prophet (3097) named Bar-Yeshu.” – Acts 13:6.

“But Elymas the sorcerer (3097) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul — also called Paul — filled with the Holy Spirit, stared straight at Elymas and said, “You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery, you son of the devil and enemy of all that is right. Won’t you ever stop perverting the straight paths of the Lord? Now, look, the Lord’s hand is against you. You are going to be blind, and will not see the sun for a time.” Immediately a mist and darkness fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. Then, when he saw what happened, the proconsul believed, because he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.” – Acts 13:8-12.

Can a marriage be dissolved because of the spiritual debauchery of a spouse?
When your spouse pretends to be a servant of the true God, but in reality
they cause divisions, quarrels, spreads lies, gossips, etc.?
Is this a ground for divorce?
Matthew 18:17 gives us some suggestions:
„let him be to you as a pagan/stranger/outside the covenant of God(1482) and as a tax collector(5057)”
and Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9:
“except in the matter of fornication/pornography/spiritual immorality” – “if not because of fornication/pornography/spiritual immorality.”
And further verses about people who have strayed from the true faith, who have betrayed the true Christ:

„Then Yeshu spoke to the crowds and to His disciples: “The scribes and the pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses. Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach. They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. They do everything to be seen by others: They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by people. “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ because you have one Teachser, and you are all brothers and sisters. Do not call anyone on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is in heaven. You are not to be called instructors either, because you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. “Woe to you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you don’t go in, and you don’t allow those entering to go in. “Woe to you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to make one convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a child of hell as you are!” – Matthew 23:1-15.

“For you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy (4145) and need nothing (4147),’ and you don’t realize that you are wretched (4434) , pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.” – Revelation 3:17.



Christ allows for a divorce in the event of a spouse’s infidelity with a third party. Reconciliation can occur when one party repents and the other party forgives.
In a situation where there is no possibility of further marriage, adultery is a reason for divorce of a marriage concluded before God, and therefore a civil marriage.
What to do when your spouse has left the true God, when
they lack love, when they split, lie, slander, when they don’t want to change?
Does Christ also allow divorce here?

The translation of words 4202 and 4203 from Matthew 5:32 and 19:6 gives such a possibility.
It is a matter of conscience, where the spouse decides for
himself/herself whether they can continue to live in marriage with a person who has committed spiritual betrayal, betrayal of Christ, when they pretend to be a true follower.
Before making a decision, you should carefully analyze whether such betrayal has occurred or whether there has been a sin against the Holy Spirit:

Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for all sins and whatever blasphemies they utter (987). But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” Mark 3:28-29.

He said to them,Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. Also, if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” – Mark 10:11-12.

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.” – 1 Corinthians 7:10-11.

A wife is bound as long as her husband is living. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to anyone she wants — only in the Lord. But she is happier if she remains as she is, in my opinion. And I think that I also have the Spirit of God.” – 1 Corinthians 7:39:40.

Author: Robert Brzoza

Translation: Hubert Brzoza

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