Divorce in COC

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
do someone knows any quotes from Bible about divorce in coptic church, is it allowed and in which situation? does the couple is able to re-merry even if the other is still alive? if the husband leaves her wife, can he remerry?
thanks in advance


  • i think it is only allowed in the case of adultery.
    i don't know about remarriage.
    for general advice on problems with adultery in marriage see the 'office affair' thread in personal issues.
    however if there is violence, my general advice (am not a priest!) is for the affected partner (its not always the woman) to leave with the children and go somewhere safe and ask the church to mediate and find a long-term solution. in these sort of situations, church members should be ready to come forward with food, heating etc.

    if its not about violence or adultery, i strongly recommend the partners speak to someone neutral (not the parents!!) like their father of confession or a trusted mature friend or a marriage guidance counsellor to get help.
    if your partner refuses to go to anyone about the problem, talk discretely with 1 or 2 close friends who love the partner who is hurting you and who won't gossip about it so you get support and spend lots of time in prayer, remembering none of us have yet gone through the trials that Jesus went through in gethsemane.

    sometimes in these situations your own spiritual health is not great, so spend time studying the Bible for yourself and asking a mature friend in the church (someone who does not spend their spare time gossiping or buying their 5th mp3 player or 10th pair of shoes) to pray with you and explain the Bible to you better. then you will be better equipped to listen to and understand the sermons and the liturgy in church.
    may God guide us all,
    and pray for me, a sinner.
  • thank you for this answer. do you know any quotes explaining this in the Bible? what about not beeing able to get pregnant, problems with health or psycho-health of the partner which lets says comes few years later after?
  • May I speak as a man who has been married nearly 20 years.

    Marriage should not be rooted in a desire for personal happiness or fulfillment. If it is then when disappoints of various kinds come then the foundations of the marriage will be shaken. Marriage is a spiritual vocation for those of us who are Christian. We enter into the married state to find our salvation in that relationship.

    It seems to me that it is entirely analagous to the monastic state and that the Orthodox Christian is called to live as a monastic in the world in the monastery of the family. To abandon the family because of the desire for fulfillment in some other situation is as disastrous to the spiritual life as to abandon the monastic life because of a desire for some other fulfillment. A monks makes a commitment and must see it through to the end to be saved. Likewise as a husband I am here in this place and it is only here that I can be saved.

    Let me make some comparisons. A monk is called to a life of stability. That is, he should not seek to wander here and there, but as the Fathers teach, he goes into his cell, shuts the door, and finds salvation there. The grass is not greener somewhere else for a monk. Nor is it any greener for a married person. Indeed we often see those who are married several times having shorter and shorter relationships as they are constantly looking for the perfect relationship. The truth is that nothing is perfect, and if it were then we would not grow as Christians in faith and grace. Just as the monk must live with people who are not perfect, so the married person discovers that the marriage partner is not perfect, has annoying habits, is demanding, does not want the same things in life. But to leave is to abandon the journey to life. It is only here that we can be saved. Often it is difficult, painful even. Both for the monk and the married person. But we are not called to be happy. We are called to be faithful, not least to the vows we make when becoming a monk or entering into a marriage.

    Secondly the monk is called to be obedient, and we can read in the Fathers of those monks who were commended for jumping up from their work when their Abbot called so that they left even the letter they were writing unfinished. Within a marriage we are also called to such an obedience. In my own situation it has been easy for me to believe that my studies were more important than my vocation as a husband and father, and often I would more or less ignore the request of my wife to do some chore because I was busy reading St Severus or St Cyril. It is an effort to recognise that obedience is more important than my intellectual interests. And though I am still a poor example of a married Christian, I try now to jump up immediately when she asks for help so that I can learn to be obedient and to put myself second. Likewise with the needs of my children. They can be demanding, but I am called to a vocation of fatherhood and must put myself second. This is the same obedience which a monk is called to. And the Fathers are in agreement that without such obedience we cannot learn humility which saves us. It is not easy. But I am not sure it is meant to be easy.

    And the third monastic virtue is that of chastity, and the married person is called to this within the context of a full married life. Chastity does not mean celibacy, but it rather describes how we are to live at all times in the presence of God such that all of our activities are made holy. Within a married situation this means especially that we are to commit ourselves to one person, and we are not to look at others as if they could be substitutes for that one we have committed ourselves to. We are to offer ourselves for that other person rather than for ourselves and we are not to use that other person to meet our own needs. Living for another person and seeking that other persons fulfillment in all things before our own is not easy, but it is not meant to be.

    The married state can be a difficult vocation. Yet it is the place and the means by which we are saved. There is no way out. If we abandon our vocation then we are like the builder who started the job but left it unfinished. It hardly matters if a marriage results in no children. We are not married to have children but to be saved with our marriage partber. It does not matter if our partner develops some mental problem, or becomes terminally ill. We bear it all as God's will for us.

    There can be great happiness in a marriage, but this is not why we enter into it. There can be much pain. It is the place where God is working out his salvation in us. We are called to be committed to the end. It has been up and down in my own marriage, as in most, but after 20 years I can safely say that there is real spiritual growth and increasing peace and joy. There will be further trials I am sure, but God must give grace for us to work through them, not avoid them.

    In Christ


  • Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.  And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there.  The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”  And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”  He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.  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.”  His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”  But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”

    this story is mentioned throughout the new testament

    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. 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

    these are only from the New Testament....

    neshkor Allah... akhadna el baraka!
  • All I know is that you can remarry if your spouse passes away... but other than that, I'm not sure about remarrying.
  • all great posts :)
    if yr marriage makes u want to be a monk, or yr monastic or single life is so hard u want to be married, read peter's post above. it puts it all nicely into perspective.
  • [quote author=jlomloj link=topic=7561.msg99355#msg99355 date=1232101281]
    what about not beeing able to get pregnant

    Infertility is a problem that involves both husband and wife equally. More than 10% of reproductive-aged couples are infertile which is defined as the absence of conception after at least 12 months.

    Usually the causes of infertility are multiple. Isolated conditions of the female are responsible for infertility in 35% of cases, isolated conditions of the male in 30%, conditions of both the male and female in 20%, and unexplained causes in 15%. Even if one partner has an obvious cause for the infertility, a thorough evaluation of the couple for completeness is prudent. In otherword, both husband and wife are responsible for infertility. The good news is that there are many ways to get the wife pregnant. During the past 2 decades a number of advances and improvements in fertility treatments have been investigated with unexpectedly higher success rate…..  some are even covered by health insurance.

    There is always hope.
  • i know a couple who both had chronic illness when they got married, because of this they were never able to have children. they accepted this and got married for love and have been a massive encouragement to their spiritual children with their humility and great care for one another.
    remember no-one has a 'right' to have a child and if you bear your suffering with great humility, like our saviour Jesus Christ, then you will also share in his glory.
    i wish u all very many spiritual children and peace and patience in life.
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