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What Does the Bible Say About...Separation from a Spouse?

What does the bible say "if anything" about separating from your spouse (NOT DIVORCE - JUST A SEPARATION)? Does the bible talk about forgiving your spouse and falling back in love with them?


Solomon said, “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” (Proverbs 21:9) I don’t think, though, that the separation you meant was only on two different sides of the house.

Actually, Paul is the only one in the Bible who seems to say anything about a separation without divorce. “Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away the wife. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. … But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.” In the context, he is talking to people who were recently converted to Christianity. He tells some that they should not marry because of the persecution that is coming. He tells those who are already married to remain so. But if the unbelieving spouse should want to leave because the other followed Christianity, the unbeliever may leave and the believer should not feel guilty. But they also should not remarry. If possible they should get back together.

Even in cases of “fornications,” which may allow a divorce, there is never a requirement to divorce or separate. The ideal, if at all possible, is for the party at fault to ask forgiveness and the injured party to grant it. If it is not requested, there is no obligation to grant it, but that would also be ideal. Forgiveness is always an option.

The Bible doesn’t talk about “falling in love” with your spouse. Marrying for love is only a recent idea. Throughout most of history, people have married because their parents arranged the marriage, and then they might learn to love the spouse. The Bible seems to expect spouses to remain together, whether they love each other romantically or not.