If you're new to my blog, read this first.  I'm a committed Christian who started leading Christian divorce recovery groups in Evangelical churches in 1998. I write about "life-saving divorces," those divorces that are for very serious reasons. "Life-saving divorces" make up nearly half of divorces in the United States. Read the definition HERE.  If you want to know why you should should have a nuanced view of divorce, see THIS. And here is the biblical rationale for condoning life-saving divorces. Although I believe many divorces are treacherous and/or sinful, I believe a loving God gave divorce to protect the lives of his beloved people, who are made in his image, by allowing them to get out of destructive marriages.


Jesus’ Greatest Divorce Sermon


Jesus said plenty of things about divorce, he said that God intended marriage to be loving and lifelong, but he also said that divorce had been allowed due to the hardness of people's hearts. In other words, some people are just too mean and uncaring to be a good, safe marriage partner.

So let’s look at Luke 13:10-16. This is the story of Jesus healing a disabled woman on the Sabbath. You may have heard it before, but this time, focus on the areas I have underlined.

"Now [Jesus] was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” —Luke 13:10-16 (ESV)

Watch the video, or continue reading below.

Luke 13: 10-16 Jesus Heals on the Sabbath Comparison Chart shows how Jesus reacted to the disabled women and contrasts it with how the synagogue leader did

Compassion for a Woman in Bondage

Jesus had noticed the woman who was trapped by a disabling spirit. It was a hostile spirit, one that wanted to control her so she would live a life of infirmity. That was the spirit’s goal. Jesus said he came to set the captives free—free from the bonds of torment. Jesus was willing to stand up to the leaders of his day to rescue people and release them from bondage. Jesus defied the religious leader’s attempt to control him, and he healed the woman on the Sabbath, an act that leader considered a violation of the Ten Commandments. But Jesus said it was good and right to release her from bondage.

Satan's Goal Is to Bind and Torment People

Look closely at this story. The woman in this passage had been disabled for many years. The Bible says she lived a miserable life brought on by an evil spirit that wanted her to suffer. Evidently the synagogue leader wasn’t all that concerned about her suffering. Jesus said Satan had bound her.  Then Jesus gave the woman a choice. He called her to come to him. She knew the synagogue leader would be angry. She did it anyway. And Jesus set her free.

Freedom Brings Glory to God

She straightened up and glorified God!  Setting people free brings glory to God. Ignoring suffering and keeping people in bondage brings glory… to Satan. The ruler of the synagogue was indifferent to her suffering. He was a strict legalist and was angry at Jesus. He said Jesus should have waited, that the people who wanted healing shouldn’t make a big deal about it. He thought Jesus should have healed the woman on another day of the week.

Jesus Deliberately Angered the Religious Leader By Setting Her Free

Of course, Jesus could have healed her on another day, but he deliberately did it on the Sabbath. Jesus was trying to make a point: Rescuing people comes ahead of legalism.

Jesus Condemns Hardhearted Religious Leaders

Then it was Jesus’ turn to be angry at the ruler of the synagogue and his allies— “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” —Luke 13:15-16 (NIV)

Jesus Saw Her as a Person of Worth

That leader did not recognize the woman as a person of worth. He didn’t care about her suffering. He thought she should just endure it. He didn’t even treat her as well as an animal. But Jesus saw her as valuable.  Jesus sees you as valuable. You were made in the image of God. You are precious, and you should not be trapped in an unsafe marriage.

Does Jesus Love Your Marital Status More than He Loves You?

Let me ask you something: Does Jesus love your marital status more than he loves you and your kids?  Are you being tormented by a hardhearted spouse who has no conscience, who doesn't care how they treat you? You, like that woman can make a choice, you can defy other people’s spiritual control. Jesus is calling. You can walk over to Jesus, and be set free—and bring Glory to God.


If you're in bondage and want to reach to Jesus for freedom, you can do so. Also, for more on this read Chapter 5 in my book The Life-Saving Divorce.

Are you going through a life-saving divorce? I’d like to invite you to my private Facebook group, "Life-Saving Divorce for Separated or Divorced Christians." Just click the link and ANSWER the 3 QUESTIONS. This is a group for women and men of faith who have walked this path, or are considering it. Supporters and people helpers are also welcome.  I’ve written a book about spiritual abuse and divorce for Christians. Also, sign up for my email list below.



Start Here

Physical and Emotional Abuse & Infidelity

God Allows Divorce to Protect Victims


Does God Hate Divorce? No, Most English Bible Translations Don’t Say That


How to Find a Good Supportive Church


What If My Pastor Says It Would Be Wrong to Get Divorced for Abuse?


Divorce Saves Lives: The Surprising (Wonderful!) Truth About Divorce Nobody Told You

Will I Ever Find Love Again? Dating After Divorce: Good News

Finding Happiness and Health After Divorce


Thriving After Divorce: These Christians Tell their Stories

Self-Doubt, Second-Guessing Ourselves, and Gaslighting

Children and Divorce: Researchers Give Hope


High Conflict Divorce and Parenting

Recommended Reading List and Free Resources for Christians and Other People of Faith


Common Myths






GET THE BOOK! The Life-Saving Divorce is about divorces for very serious reasons: a pattern of sexual immorality, physical abuse, chronic emotional abuse, life-altering addictions, abandonment, or severe neglect. This book will give you hope for your future, and optimism about your children. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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