Should Divorced Christians Remarry
Honestly no matter how much we study the Word, only God can truly answer this question. Brothers and sisters are encouraged to spend extended time in the Word and obedience to it, as well as extended times of prayer and fasting, and seeking God for wisdom and protection. All destructive relationships and toxic counsel must be severed as you seek to answer this question.
God does not want us in situations that put us in danger or harm and asks us to be wise about our about the decisions we make in our lives. We must always seek His guidance (Psalm 32:8). Can I remarry after I commit adultery is one of a few questions that I will answer in this time we have together, God Bless and Let’s get started.
The other day I was asked ” What Does The Bible Say About Me Being Divorced And Being Remarried”. This question coming from a person that is new to the walk of God and having that hunger for the Word, I had to make sure to answer the question the best Biblical way possible. First we have to remember that there is not one sin that God does not forgive and that includes adultery (1 John 1:9).
Peter also says in (Acts 2:38) to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. The word repent in the Bible means “to change one’s mind”, it teaches us that true repentance will result in a change of actions (Luke 3:8-14). So when I was asked this question I immediately thought that God would forgive her sins (which in part is true) and all she had to do was truly repent. The answer might not be as easy as it seems.
Many Christians are divided on this issue. Some believe that re-marriage to another is never allowed unless one of the spouse’s dies, but others suggest that it is permissible when adultery and abandonment occur. Most of the controversy centers on (Matthew 5:32) where Jesus says, “But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
Remarriage is not the issue here; manipulation and abandonment are. The normal understanding of (Matthew 5:32) runs the danger of leaving the woman involved a double victim: she has been divorced by a husband who may well have rejected her at his own whim and is now to be barred from any new relationship because she bears the stigma of the ‘divorcee’.
Matthew 5:32 has a twofold warning: 1. Do not divorce without cause. 2. Do not pursue a relationship with someone who has abandoned their spouse. Unfortunately, many add, “If you’ve experienced divorce, you cannot remarry—period.” Not only does the text not say this, this statement actually condemns someone for the actions of another: Forbidding remarriage because of the actions of the previous spouse.
One thing is certain, if the Scriptures on marriage and divorce were fully taught and acknowledged, it would create more serious consideration before marriage, and would be a great deterrent to divorce. Lack of regard for the Scriptures has taken us to the other extreme – no fault divorce.
The Apostle Paul warns us in (2 Corinthians 6:14) being careful not to marry an unbeliever. Scripture also tells us (1 Corinthians 7:12-16) if a woman marries an unbeliever and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.
Same thing would be for a man that marries an unbeliever and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. For the unbelieving wife or husband is made holy because of the believing spouse. Paul mentions that if the unbelieving spouse separates then let be so and in such a case the brother or sister is not enslaved. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife.
God has called us to peace. God hates divorce (Malachi 2:15) reconciliation is pleasing to Him. There are instances, in my opinion, when one is released through adultery and/or abandonment; however, reconcile should still be sought. God’s will is that we walk in integrity, follow His principles, use wisdom, be patient, and seek Him during the journey. For some, reconciliation may result, for others it may not but, it should always be our first option.
When reconciliation does not occur, the enemy often resurrects past failures to hinder peace and joy. We become very fearful…we do not want to experience the pain of divorce again.
If you are separated, or recently divorced, and are lacking peace and joy, I encourage you to re-think your current situation. Confusion, anxiety, fear, and some forms of depression are sometimes indicators that we are outside of God’s will.
One of the biggest obstacles when considering restoration or seeking direction is becoming involved with someone soon after you divorce or separate. This can severely hinder your chance for reconciliation, as well as your ability to follow God’s lead.
Avoid this at all costs. Paul says (1 Corinthians 7:8-9) that the unmarried and the widows, it is good for them to remain single like him but, if you cannot exercise self-control you should marry. Being unmarried according to Paul gives you the liberty to serve God suited to their powers and circumstances, of which others often are very unfit judges. All must determine themselves, seeking counsel from God how they ought to act.
God has given us the freedom to choose, and, in marriage, the choices of one will affect the life of the other. If your spouse has left, and you’ve waited and have done all that you can do biblically, I believe that God will consider your heart more than your circumstances.
King David was not able to build the temple because of his past – he was a man of war, but God said, “Whereas it was in your heart to build a temple for My name, you did well in that it was in your heart” (2 Chronicles 6:8). Contextually, this verse is not dealing with marriage, but the overlapping principle applies: Because David’s heart was right, God continued to direct him.
Divorce is not the unpardonable sin; rejecting Christ is. Clearly understand that I’m not advocating divorce, nor am I saying that if you are currently separated that divorce become an option because better opportunities await you. God hates divorce and anyone who has been there knows why. We also have to take into account if the divorce happened before we came to Christ, then it is something that was forgiven when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Now if we are walking with Christ and divorce, then that is a different story, then we have to take our questions to God and pray for his answer. There are also certain circumstances that are important to take a look at as well. A husband or wife in an abusive marriage or marriages where the husband or wife impedes the believer to worship and serve God.
Those are the things that we have to take to God and let Him lead us to the right decision. God is faithful and wants the best for us so, He will not lead us astray. We must pray and have that communion with God, we must pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1).
Let me reiterate: I believe, first and foremost, in reconciliation and restoration but these are not always options. That’s why a personal relationship with Jesus and obedience to God’s word is profoundly important. Through that relationship you will be able to make the right decision. It won’t be easy because lives have been damaged, dreams destroyed, and promises broken, but God continually redeems us through His forgiveness as we forgive others. God desires that we know His will and follow His lead, especially during the detours of life.
Many divorced Christians carry years of regret into future relationships. If God is doing a new thing, it’s vitally important that past brokenness does not prevent future plans. But if God is ministering restoration in your spirit, wait for it; contend for it; pray fervently for it.
I also encourage you to remove everything that may hinder restoration (e.g., wrong relationships, strongholds, addictions, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, etc.), and seek Him wholeheartedly and unconditionally. He will direct you, this I can tell you by experience.