All quotes taken from podcasted answers to FAQs on the Saddleback Church’s website, drawn from Warren’s sermons. When asked if a “miserable” marriage needs to remain intact, Warren said:
The Bible answer is yes. Does God expect me to stay in a miserable marriage, and why would he do that to me? I often say to people when they’re facing this decision, really, you’re choosing your pain in this moment because it’s going to be painful either way. If you stay in your marriage there is the opportunity for reconciliation and for the loss of pain, but there is going to be short-term pain on the way there. … There is lifelong pain in divorce. … I wish there was a way to say there is a choice here where you’re not going to have pain but there is pain in relationships. Now, God understands that… He can be with us in our pain and he can comfort us, he can strengthen us, he can give us perspective. He can also give us wisdom. Does God expect me to live with this pain? No. I think he expects us to ask for wisdom to do the things that would cause the pain to begin to be solved. … The Bible says the husband is to sacrifice for his wife and the wife is to respect her husband and if that doesn’t happen you have the right to keep pushing for that.
Answering whether or not an abusive relationship must stand, he replied “yes,” unless there is “adultery” or “abandonment”:
I’d always rather choose a short-term pain and find God’s solution for long-term gain than try and find a short-term solution that’s going to involve long-term pain. … [In scripture] adultery is one [reason for divorce] and abandonment is a second. I wish there were a third in scripture. Having been involved as a pastor in situations of abuse there’s something in me that wishes there was a Bible verse that says if they abuse you in this and such kind of way then you have a right to leave them. … If you’re in this kind of situation I strongly recommend that you take advantage of our lay counseling ministers.