Many who hold the “no divorce for any reason” position take a couple of verses from 1 Corinthians 7 out of context and use them to overturn scores if not hundreds of passages of scripture that would indicate something far different than the conclusion these people prefer. They are insistent on their argumentation that as long as an unbelieving spouse consents to stay with their believing spouse that the believer is obligated by a command of scripture to stay in that marriage regardless of the fact that their unbelieving spouse repeatedly breaks the conditions of their covenant and regardless of the believing spouses having to break with their conscience in response to the command Paul gives in II Cor. 6:14-18 that we must not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.
If these verses in 1 Corinthians 7 did in fact represent a clear universal command for all believers to obey, then our Lord’s exception clause, “except for pornia” that establishes the right for a faithful spouse to divorce an unfaithful spouse would be disallowed whenever the unbeliever wants to remain in the marriage. Do you see the problem with this? Not only would an unbeliever be free to commit sexual sins without consequences in this lifetime, but the believing spouse would be forced to engage in sexual relations with their unfaithful spouse exposing them to every venereal disease imaginable. And that is just the physical danger that the believer would be exposed to in this scenario. The worst exposure would be the damage done to their spiritual development and the spiritual development of any children from the marriage. Matthew Henry in his comments on Nehemiah’s last chapter says that in unequally yoked marriages the children receive an undue influence from the unbelieving spouse. My personal experience in a 27 year marriage to an unbeliever would strongly support his statements. And my children have made big strides in the less than three years since my divorce.
Seeing 1 Corinthians 7: 12-13 in this light has created a man-made doctrine that is inconsistent with Jesus’ exception clause and with much of scripture on the subject of unequally yoked marriages. As I understand their teachings on the subject R. C. Sproul and John MacCarthur are among many in the body of Christ who disagree with this view as held by those who so much desire to restrict divorce more than scripture itself. Sadly they want to restrict divorce to those who badly need to be freed from a godless partner and united to a fellow saint.