What does the Bible say about remarriage after divorce?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
First of all, no matter what view one takes on the issue of divorce, it is important to remember Malachi 2:16: "I hate divorce, says the LORD God of Israel." According to the Bible, marriage is a l...

July 01 2013 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Terry Galloway Christ follower, Bible lover, mission of sharing the gospel
First, I think we need to remember that as born again Christians we are to seek God's will for our lives and desperately pray for equipping to obey His will. Marriage may be one of the hardest things in life to do according to His will, but His will is marriage is between one woman and one man for life until death do us part. It is the very covenant that represents God's relationship with the church.

I have found in my Christian walk of 9 years, that Jesus' teahing on divorce and remarriage is some of the most divisive in the church. Just like in Jesus' day there were schools of thought, there are many different schools of thought today. For me, I just have to simply go with Jesus and be the "stupid sheep" that obeys and depends on God's faithfulness to me. God's will for me was to not divorce my adulterous husband and to stay faithful to my marriage (and to God) by not dating or remarrying until he dies. While this has been upsetting to me and to many others, I do have the peace that transcends understanding because of knowing His will and being equipped to obey.

When God's internal voice told me not to divorce my husband, I was reminded about Hosea and Gomer. Hosea 14:8-9 says that righteous people walk in His pathway, but that those who walk in sin are not righteous.

Alot of people would say that God would never want you to be unhappy. Hosea wasn't happy, but he had the joy of being obedient to the Father. I have not been happy, but I am really, truly joyful in the Lord. I have intimacy with my Creator, husband, mentioned in Isaiah 54:5-8. He just gave me this passage a couple of weeks ago in the middle of the night. I have fought a divorce for four years and have been divorced unbiblically from my husband for 5.5 years, but God's days are not like ours. I am eternally-minded to be faithful to my vows, and I am well aware of many who are in my same position that are doing the same because we love God as number one. In America, we believers are not going to be put to death for being a Christian, but we must live differently from the world and be persecuted for being counter-cultural to be salt and light.

Matthew 5:32 says it all for me as to why I will not date and get remarried. I know that the person who marries me commits adultery since in God's eyes I am still married. There is no other reason that Jesus would say that and Jesus never lies. Romans 7:1-3 says that a person will be called an adulterer/ess if they marry someone else while their spouse is still alive. It even says that if the husband dies, then she is free from the law and does not commit adultery when she remarries.

Jesus also told his disciples who balked at his statements about the permancy of marriage and said not to get married if you can't accept what He says. This is a complicated issue which is easy to find answers that are easy to swallow and just divorce and remarry freely, but I believe that Jesus says that this is not so. Dying to self is the key here to take up our cross and follow.

John Piper has an extensive paper with this summary that I find in my own Bible study to be true. Teaching the truth without fear of man is what Ezekiel 2 and 3 are all about.

Conclusions and Applications

In the New Testament the question about remarriage after divorce is not determined by: 
1.The guilt or innocence of either spouse,
2.Nor by whether either spouse is a believer or not,
3.Nor by whether the divorce happened before or after either spouse's conversion,
4.Nor by the ease or difficulty of living as a single parent for the rest of life on earth,
5.Nor by whether there is adultery or desertion involved,
6.Nor by the on-going reality of the hardness of the human heart,
7.Nor by the cultural permissiveness of the surrounding society.

Rather it is determined by the fact that: He gives 5 :
1.Marriage is a "one-flesh" relationship of divine establishment and extraordinary significance in the eyes of God (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5

April 05 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Our Lord and his apostles re-established the integrity and sanctity of the marriage bond by the restriction of divorce to the case of fornication, and the prohibition of remarriage in all persons divorced on improper grounds. (Matthew 5:32; 19:9; Romans 7:3; 1 Corinthians 7:10,11).

A question of profound interest remains to be treated: Did Jesus allow under any circumstances the remarriage of a divorced person during the lifetime of the partner to the marriage? Or did He allow absolute divorce for any cause whatsoever? 

If we had only the gospels of Mark and Luke and the Epistles of Paul, there could be but one answer given: Christ did not allow absolute divorce for any cause (see Mk 10:2 ff; Lk 16:18; Gal 1:12; 1 Cor 7:10). The Old Testament permission was a concession, He teaches, to a low moral state and standard, and opposed to the ideal of marriage given in Genesis (Gen 2:23).

Two sayings attributed to Christ and recorded by the writer or editor of the first gospel (Mt 5:32; 19:9) seem directly to contravene His teaching as recorded in Mk and Luke. Here he seems to allow divorce for "fornication" (ei me epi porneia, save for fornication"), an exception which finds no place in the parallels (compare 1 Cor 7:15, which allows remarriage where a Christian partner is deserted by a heathen). 

The sense here demands that "fornication" be taken in its wider sense (Hos 2:5; Am 7:17; 1 Cor 5:1). Divorce to a Jew carried with it the right of remarriage, and the words `causeth her to commit adultery' (Mt 5:32) show that Jesus assumed that the divorced woman would marry again. Hence, if He allowed divorce, He also allowed remarriage. Believing that our Lord had not come to set aside the authority of Moses, but only certain Pharisaic exegesis, and supported, as doubtless he was, by a Jewish-Christian tradition of Palestine, he simply interpreted Mark's narrative by inserting what he regarded as the integral part of an eternal enactment of Yahweh. In doing this he was unconsciously inconsistent, not only with Mark and Luke, but also with the context of the first gospel itself, owing to his sincere but mistaken belief that the Law of Moses must not be broken. 

The view implied by the exception, of course, is that adultery ipso facto dissolves the union, and so opens the way to remarriage. But remarriage closes the door to reconciliation, which on Christian principles ought always to be possible (compare Hosea; Jer 3; Hermas, Mand iv.1).

The general principle expanded in the New Testament and the ideal held up before the Christians is high and clear. How far that ideal can be embodied in legislation and applied to the community as a whole all are agreed must depend upon social conditions and the general moral development and environment.

March 23 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Internet image Ben Jones Retired Professional Photographer
Yes, God hates divorce, no doubt about it, but God hates all sin regardless of the label we have attached to it. Man has divided sin into different categories. Some we say are "bad sins," like murder, adultery and divorce, while others are "not so bad sins," like gluttony or a single person sleeping with his or her significant other. "All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23. Some sinners have received forgiveness for all of their sins. They are called born again Christians. 

I was not a Christian when I married my non-Christian girlfriend, and the man performing the ceremony was not a Christian, either. Five years later my wife abandoned me for her secret lover and divorced me. I received Christ because of the divorce, and I joined a church. The day the elders discovered I had been previously married, two of them confronted me in the vestibule and said that I could never marry again. I went home and consulted the scriptures. Matthew 19:9 says, "And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery." The next week I asked them about this passage. They both said, "That was added later and was not in the original autographs." So I said, “What about Romans 7:15? 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." They said, "You can depart, but never remarry." Lastly I said, “Where is divorce listed in unforgivable sins?” They said, “Quit arguing.”

I have been happily married to my real wife for 47 years.

February 08 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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