Churches Of Christ/Divorce


I have read your Questions and Answers on Divorce/Remarriage. As you encourage I continue to study on my own. I'm wondering about pornography.  If a husband uses pornography to the point of refusing to sleep with his wife can that be adultery?  The man has looked at countless pictures of naked women desiring them to the point of masturbating rather than sleeping with his wife. He refused to sleep with his wife for at least 2 years.  He was and still is also emotionally abusive to his wife and children. Also for years he refused to work to support his family. After trying  marriage counseling the abuse was to much and the wife committed a one time adultery in hopes he would grant a divorce. He didn't grant one, but the wife eventually got her divorce. The wife claims that the husband's use of pornography and the emotional abuse was the grounds for her.  Can she remarry?

Hi Vivian,

I want to thank you for asking me your questions. Obviously the husband who uses pornography is sinning and refusing to sleep with his wife is also a sin. When a couple is married each belongs to the other and neither should withhold themselves from each other unless mutually agreed upon to focus on prayer according to Paul in the early part of 1 Corinthians 7. Adultery can be and often is used to refer to unfaithfulness and so this husband you speak of has sinned in several ways - all of which show unfaithfulness to his marriage vows. He refused to sleep with his wife, he verbally and mentally abused her and their children, he was constantly viewing and masturbating to pornography, and he refused to be a provider for his family.

The wife sinned too by her one time adultery. Both in essence committed adultery. Christians are supposed to do their best to follow God's original purpose in marriage - one man joining one woman for life. Often this sadly doesn't happen because too many let sin destroy the marriage. Nothing the husband did made it okay for the wife to have sex with a man who was not her husband. What so many don't understand though is that you can't unscramble an egg. This whole situation was a huge mess and there is no way to undo the mess. They are divorced and divorce always ends a marriage.

There is nothing in the New Testament written to Christians that indicates anyone is every not allowed to remarry if they at some point become divorced. Also repentance never looks back to the past. It looks forward and so when we repent we are saying from this moment on we are going to turn from a specific sin. The sin was not marriage. The sin was breaking vows, showing unfaithfulness in several ways by the husband and the wife committing adultery by having sex with a man who was not her husband.

The husband who was viewing porn and doing all the other sinful things can repent of his sins and if one day he has turned from porn and being verbally and mentally abusive as well as being willing to work and provide for a family, he can have a new marriage and make that new marriage what God desires. The wife who committed adultery can turn from that sin and marry someone new, vowing to make that marriage what God desires it to be as well and remaining faithful to the new husband and staying married for life.

I hope this response is acceptable. Please feel free to ask a follow up question if you need anything clarified or have more questions. It is my desire to help you understand God's Word and remove confusion.

In Christian Love, Joe Norman

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Joe Norman


I can answer questions regarding acceptable worship, organization of the church, or any apsect of the Christian life. I am the son of a preacher and have studied the Bible from cover to cover since I was 12 years old. I am strong in my research skills and do not follow teachings of men. Many will label me as conservative and some might label me as liberal, but I just seek to be biblical. I understand proper exegesis and hermeneutics and apply them. My desire is to share my knowledge of God's Word with others. Please always keep in mind that none of us who are listed as experts here are divinely inspired and therefore it is possible to get incorrect answers from any one of us. Study the Scriptures and decide for yourself if what is taught is true.


I am the 4th generation in my family to be a faithful member of the church of Christ. I was raised by a preacher and have studied the Bible everyday since I was twelve. I am 45 yrs old now. I am not a "scholar", but I am very familiar with the scriptures.

member of the church of Christ, served as a Deacon for a few years at LakeShore church of Christ in Waco, Tx. I currently live in the North Dallas area and am still very active within the church of Christ teaching, leading Bible Studies, and songleading as well. I am also actively involved in online ministry. I hope to open my own webpage eventually.

School of hard knocks

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