When a man or woman looks at pornography, does the spouse have grounds (biblically speaking) to divorce him or her?
First, let’s be clear about the nature of the question. When we use the word “biblical,” the question is primarily a theological one. The person asking it wants to know what God thinks about the matter.
However, the motivation behind a question like this is also intensely personal. Chances are, if you are reading this article, you are in the midst of or know someone in the midst of a terrible situation. So, while the question is theological, this does not mean it is merely academic. Rather, it touches on two painful topics (porn and divorce) that should never be addressed in a cold, academic manner.
Second, let’s be clear about what we’re not asking. We are not asking whether a couple should get divorced (for porn or any other reason)? Having grounds for divorce and actually getting divorced are two very different things. I know many men and women who have come to points in their marriages where they believed they had biblical grounds for divorce but chose not get divorced. Many of them have experienced God’s redeeming power and love as a result.
Still, the question is a thorny one. What does the Bible have to say about this, if anything?
My friend Brad Hambrick, Pastor of Counseling at Summit Church, has posted his personal reply to this question. If you are curious about this topic, I recommend you read his brief paper.
I won’t pretend to have read enough about this to affirm 100% of what Brad has to say, but I found his response both warm and academically sound. Still, I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. How would you reply to Brad’s answer?