Is a Sexless Marriage Biblical Grounds for Divorce? A Christian Perspective

A sexless marriage, defined as a marriage with little or no sexual intimacy, can be a source of frustration, loneliness, and pain for many couples.

Is a Sexless Marriage Biblical Grounds for Divorce
Is a Sexless Marriage Biblical Grounds for Divorce

It can also affect their emotional, physical, and spiritual health, as well as their relationship with God and others.

But is a sexless marriage a valid reason to end the marriage according to the Bible?

What does the Scripture say about this issue and how can Christian couples deal with it in a God-honoring way?

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What the Bible Says About Sex in Marriage

The Bible is clear that sex is a gift from God and a vital part of marriage.

It is not only a physical act, but also a way of expressing love, intimacy, and unity between husband and wife.

God created sex to be enjoyed within the covenant of marriage, and to reflect His own love and relationship with His people.

Some of the biblical passages that affirm the importance and purpose of sex in marriage are:

Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Song of Solomon 4:10-11: “How fair is your love, my sister, my spouse! How much better than wine is your love, and the scent of your perfumes than all spices! Your lips, O my spouse, drip as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under your tongue; and the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.”

1 Corinthians 7:3-5: “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.

The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does.

And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

These verses show that sex in marriage is not only a duty, but also a delight.

It is a way of honoring God and each other, and of strengthening the bond and the joy of the marriage.

It is also a way of protecting the marriage from temptation and sin, as well as a means of procreation and blessing.

What the Bible Says About Divorce?

The Bible also has a lot to say about divorce, and it is not a positive view.

A Divorcing couple
Is a Sexless Marriage Biblical Grounds for Divorce| Courtship

God hates divorce and considers it a violation of His original design and intention for marriage.

Divorce causes pain, brokenness, and damage to the individuals, the families, and the society.

It also dishonors God and His covenant with His people.

Some of the biblical passages that condemn divorce and affirm the permanence and sanctity of marriage are:

What the Bible Says About Divorce?
But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.

So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.”

These verses show that God’s ideal for marriage is a lifelong, exclusive, and faithful union between one man and one woman. Divorce is not part of God’s plan and it breaks His heart.

It also breaks the covenant that He has established with His people and that He expects them to uphold.

What the Bible Says About Exceptions for Divorce

However, the Bible also recognizes that we live in a fallen world, where sin and evil have corrupted God’s good creation and His perfect will.

Therefore, the Bible also provides some exceptions for divorce, where it may be permitted, but not commanded, in certain extreme situations.

These exceptions are not meant to be loopholes or excuses for divorce, but rather concessions for the sake of mercy and justice.

The main exception that the Bible gives for divorce is sexual immorality, or adultery.

This is when one spouse violates the marriage covenant by having sexual relations with someone other than their spouse.

This is a serious sin that breaks the trust, the intimacy, and the unity of the marriage.

It also dishonors God and His holy standards.

Jesus Himself taught that sexual immorality is the only valid ground for divorce, and that anyone who divorces for any other reason and remarries commits adultery.

He said in Matthew 5:31-32: “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’

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.”

He repeated this teaching in Matthew 19:9: “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

The apostle Paul also affirmed this teaching in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11: “Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.”

However, Paul also gave another exception for divorce, which is desertion by an unbelieving spouse.

This is when one spouse is a Christian and the other is not, and the unbelieving spouse decides to leave the marriage because of their different faiths.

This is a situation that may arise when one spouse converts to Christianity after getting married, or when a Christian marries a non-Christian, which is not advisable in the first place.

Paul addressed this situation in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16: “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. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.

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.

For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband?

Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?”

However, if the unbelieving spouse decides to leave, the Christian spouse is not obligated to stay in the marriage.

In such cases, divorce may be allowed, but not required, as God’s desire is still for peace and reconciliation.

How to Deal with a Sexless

A sexless marriage is a sign of a deeper problem in the relationship, and it needs to be addressed and resolved with love, grace, and wisdom.

Here are some practical steps that a Christian couple can take to deal with a sexless marriage.

Pray.

The first and most important step is to pray to God for His help, guidance, and healing.

Pray individually and as a couple, and ask God to reveal the root cause of the problem.

Pray also for God’s protection from temptation and.

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