Skip to content

What does the Bible say about divorce and remarriage?

divorce and remarriage
Spread the love

What does the Bible say about divorce and remarriage?

Matthew 19.6 (KJV) “So man and woman are no longer two but one flesh. So let no man separate what God has joined together.

It is God who instituted marriage, the union of two beings, a man and a woman, for life. 

The origin of the word “ divorce ” in Greek is “ Apostasion ” which means “ repudiation ”.

Moses institutes divorce.

There is a lot of debate about divorce and remarriage, but God stands firm on His position. In Malachi 2:16 (KJV) He will tell the people what He thinks of their behavior:

For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously

For God, marriage is a lifetime commitment. It was Moses who allowed the law of divorce. In Deuteronomy 24.1-4 he gave the procedure because the woman had no right, much less choice; the husband was the authority. In case of divorce, he had to give a letter and state the reason. Therefore, the woman was released from the bond of marriage and free to remarry, but in no case could she return to her first husband.

On the other hand, if she had been an adulteress she was condemned to death because this practice was prohibited.

Divorce in case of adultery.

Jesus explains to the Pharisees, the conditions of divorce and remarriage, in Matthew 5:31; Matthew 19:7-8:

Matthew 19.8-9 (KJV) He answered them, It was because of the hardness of your heart that Moses allowed you to put away your wives; in the beginning, it was not so. But I tell you that he who divorces his wife, except for infidelity, and marries another, commits adultery.

He exhorts them and tells them in the beginning it was not so, that in His plan God had not provided for divorce. And that the cause was human: “the heart was hardened”. He specifies all the same, that there is only one valid reason to repudiate (his) or (his) spouse, it is infidelity. At that time, divorce is possible and remarriage too.

On the other hand, whatever the reason, other than adultery, it is not valid according to the Word of God.
In His eyes, an unjustified divorce is an injustice (Malachi 2:16). Jesus says in 
Mark 10.9 (KJV): Therefore let no man separate what God has joined together.

In Malachi 2:13-15 (KJV) the prophet warns the people and urges them to turn back from their evil ways: This is what you do again: You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and groaning, so that He no longer regards the offerings and cannot accept anything from your hands.  And you say, Why?… Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you were unfaithful, although she was your companion and the wife of your covenant. No one did that, with a remnant of common sense. Only one did, and why? Because he was looking for the posterity that God had promised him. So take care in your mind, And let no one be unfaithful to the wife of his youth!

Nowadays, and despite the warnings, some men are unfaithful to the woman of the alliance, whom they had married, and want to leave her to marry a younger one, or their mistress. Why? Because of pride, evil desires, and lusts; they have not surrendered their life to the Holy Spirit; they are rebellious and disobedient to divine law.

1 Corinthians 6.9-10 KJV) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Make no mistake about it: neither the fornicators, nor the idolaters, nor the adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor the infamous, nor the thieves, nor the greedy, nor the drunkards, nor the outrageous, nor the kidnappers, will inherit the Kingdom of God.

Moreover, God also turns away from them, from their prayers, from their offerings; He does not approve of anything, they are abominable in His eyes. Unless they turn from their evil ways, reverse their decision, and return to their wife.

Hosea 2.9 (KJV) She will pursue her lovers and will not overtake them, she will seek them and will not find them. Then she will say: I want to go back to my first husband because I was happier then than now.

Staying married and honoring your commitment is what pleases God!

Proverbs 5:18 (KJV) “Fill it with happiness, find your joy in the companion of your youth

If the adulterous spouse refuses to stop, parting will be conducive to a time of restoration and reflection, to pray and seek God’s direction. Starting divorce proceedings immediately would not be reasonable.

2 Corinthians 6.14-15(KJV) Do not put yourselves with the infidels under a foreign yoke. For what connection is there between justice and iniquity? Or what do light and darkness have in common? What agreement is there between Christ and Belial? Or what part has the faithful with the infidel? 

According to this verse, the one who divorces because of the infidelity of his spouse, should not suffer any reproach. If they have children, they must be accompanied and supported in prayer. But if we are Christians and married according to the will of God, we know that love triumphs over all and forgiveness is always preferable to divorce.

praying without ceasing

what to do When you are married to an unbeliever?

We find Paul’s recommendations regarding divorce and remarriage, in the event that one is married to an unbeliever, in 1 Corinthians 7:10-16 (KJV) he says: 

To those who are married, I command, not I, but the Lord, that the woman not separate from her husband, (if she is separated, that she remain unmarried or that she be reconciled with her husband), and that the husband not divorce his wife. To others, it is not the Lord, it is I who say: If a brother has an unbelieving wife, and she consents to live with him, let him not divorce her; and if a woman has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to dwell with her, let her not divorce her husband. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the brother; otherwise, your children would be unclean, whereas now they are holy. If the unbeliever separates, let him separate; the sibling is not related in these cases. God has called us to live in peace. For what do you know, wife, if you will save your husband? Or what do you know, husband, if you’ll save your wife?

In verses 10-11 He is opposed to divorce: “ Let the wife not separate from her husband…and the husband forsake his wife ”; the marriage would be indissoluble, however, he advises separation in case the situation gets complicated; it’s all about being at peace. In the most absolute way, as long as one of the spouses is alive, only death can release this bond (Romans 7.2-3 and 1 Corinthians 7.39).

There are some special cases other than infidelity where divorce is recommended. These are situations that are dangerous and possibly detrimental to the life or safety of one of the spouses or children: severe alcoholism, beaten spouse, mistreated or abused children, a marriage of interest where one of the spouses seeks the death of the other to recover his heritage, etc. Such cases and others still require compassion on the part of the entourage but not judgment; it is God alone who judges.

Remarriage is possible when one of the spouses dies as it is written in (1 Corinthians 7.39 KJV) A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if the husband dies, she is free to marry whomever she wishes; only let it be in the Lord. And (Romans 7.2-3 KJV) Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is alive; but if the husband dies, she is released from the law which bound her to her husband. If therefore, during the lifetime of her husband, she becomes the wife of another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if the husband dies, she is freed from the law, so that she is not an adulteress by becoming another’s wife.

CHECKOUT:

Is divorce an unforgivable sin before God?

Power of Christ

When we talk about marriage, we don’t think of divorce at all, especially when you’re single and expecting this memorable day. As a single person, you don’t see marriage from this angle, you only have one desire, one hurry, one aspiration, to get married and live happily ever after. your days. Yet couples come to divorce. 

These two beings who had made a commitment to live together for life and who today can no longer bear each other, talk to each other, see each other, listen to each other, understand each other, … nevertheless loved each other at a given moment in their life. 

The look we have on marriage as a single person seems far removed from reality, which is quite different. Statistics reveal that more than half of couples who get married end up in divorce. It’s huge, more than one out of two marriages is therefore doomed to failure according to these figures. But we, as disciples of Jesus Christ, can ask ourselves the question, was this the will of God?

God’s will.

God created man, then seeing him alone, He said a sentence known to all. It is found in Genesis 2: 18 (KJV) “The Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper like him. 

The wonderful creation of our God! He created marriage, He is its Author! In other words, He allows two beings, a man and a woman to be able to live together and to have the assurance and the guarantee that whatever happens, they will share each day of their life, one the side of the other.

God is the God of fidelity, which means that, for Him, at no time can He create an alliance, a union between two individuals whose final goal would be a rupture. 

Divorce is the death of a relationship. Now, we have a God of life and victory. Our marriage on earth represents, on an earthly, human scale, this marvelous eternal marriage that God promises us for eternity. And His wish is that we can honor this extraordinarily wonderful symbolism.

Jabez's Prayer

God hates divorce, did you know that?

Malachi 2:16 (KJV) “For I hate putting away, saith the LORD, the God of Israel, and he that covers his garment with violence, saith the LORD of hosts. Take heed therefore in your mind, and do not be unfaithful! 

In another passage, we also have what Jesus answered to the Pharisees in the New Testament when they asked him a question about the putting away. At the time, in Israel, only men could ask for a divorce or repudiate their wives. But, nowadays, women have this possibility according to the law of Men but that will not change what Jesus thinks of this decision.

 Matthew 19:3-11 (KJV) “The Pharisees came to Him, and said, to test Him, Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason? He replied: Have you not read that the Creator, in the beginning, made man and woman and said: Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and cleave to his woman, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but they are one flesh. So let no man separate what God has joined together. Why then, they said to him, did Moses command to give the woman a letter of divorce and to put her away? He answered them: It was because of the hardness of your heart that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives; in the beginning, it was not so. But I tell you that he who divorces his wife, except for infidelity, and whoever marries another, commits adultery. His disciples said to him: If such is the condition of a man with respect to a woman, it is not advantageous to marry. He answered them: All do not understand this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 

To repudiate, according to the Larousse dictionary, means: “To dismiss his wife under legal provisions, by a unilateral decision of the husband”. And the synonyms are abandon, challenge, and divorce. So the message is clear God hates divorce! And in general, God hates sin. 

He is not in favor of it. So we can say that to divorce is to commit a sin. Because sin is missing the mark! By divorcing, you miss the very will of God which is that we can show that by being Christians, we can live Love with a capital “A” in Fidelity with a capital “F” and for Life with a capital “V”. The question is: Will God forgive me or has He forgiven me for the divorce when marriage is one of the dearest projects in His eyes?

Is sin forgiven or not?

Sometimes when people announce their divorce, we can ask ourselves the following question: “Have they been single?”. Because being single, you think of only one thing: marriage and not divorce. When we hear that a person wishes to divorce, other questions arise: “has he/she forgotten what celibacy is?” Did you get married and finally become single again?

Divorce is a tragic and traumatic episode in the hearts, minds, and lives of those involved. Divorce is the ultimate tragedy of the unique relationship that is experienced within marriage.

we can realize the suffering that certain people can experience and endure within their homes. Women are beaten, abused, and raped.
We often hear about women but there are more and more men who silently suffer misdeeds from their wives too.

Therefore, when we have the grace to be in Christ, let us not seek to marry someone who does not submit to the Word of God or who does not yet have Christ in his life. Because this person will not be able to manifest the love of Christ towards us and will not seek our happiness but his own.

Regarding God’s forgiveness, there is only one sin that God does not forgive and we can read it in:

Matthew 12:32 (Martin) “And if anyone has spoken against the Son of man, it will be forgiven him; but if anyone has spoken against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him either in this age or in the one to come.

In the Louis Segond version “Whoever speaks against the Son of Man, he will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him either in this age or in the age to come.

The difference between the two translations is that one is in the past and the other in the future. It seemed important to me to share the two versions. 

Indeed, it is clear with these, that it is a question of irremissible sin, that is to say unforgivable, which cannot change, irremediable, therefore no turning back that it was done yesterday, today.

today, or tomorrow. Therefore, if the only sin that is unforgivable is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (rejecting His conviction for the salvation of our souls), then divorce is a God-forgiving sin. 

It’s not an excuse to take action and say, God will forgive me anyway, it’s not that simple. If you can fight to save your marriage, do it. Do not opt ​​for the solution of “radicality” because Jesus says it well “it is because of the hardness of your hearts”

Fortunately, seeing us, God does not say to himself, you are too harsh and wicked, I no longer send my son on the clouds for His advent! Marriage is worth fighting for, doing everything to not get to this point.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (KJV) “And if any man is stronger than one, both can resist him; and the three-ply rope is not easily broken. 

By reading the passage carefully, we realize that it is not written that the rope does not break, it is written that it will not be easy to break it. 

This means, again, that God leaves us free to make our choices. But we can, by putting God at the center, make this separation difficult or even impossible. 

You have to learn to put your pride aside. Don’t let pride destroy your marriage. Look where pride has led satan, straight to hell! Jesus, on the other hand, showed humility, He agreed to endorse everything when He Himself was the incarnation of the Truth. 

When we look at the example of Jesus, we find that humility precedes glory. My wish is not that by reading this article you will say to yourself: “Yippee, great, I will be forgiven so I can divorce”!Quite the contrary. And then, with each of our decisions, there will always be consequences.

The results!

It is true that God forgives us but let’s not forget that divorce leaves the door open to adultery but also to a difficult life. In His Perfect Plan, God established a natural rule. For there to be the conception of a baby, it takes two: a man and a woman. In addition, he also added a preliminary framework: marriage. 

The indirect message is as follows: it takes two to be able to educate them and provide them with the emotional, educational and social balance they need during their development. 

It is also necessary to be married to ensure the sustainability of this benevolent atmosphere. 

This implies that the divorce will disturb the balance of the children. So you will tell me that it is preferable that it be so rather than hearing in the newspaper that there has been a death following a family tragedy.

Marriage is a school and you have to be ready to assume its positive consequences, sometimes those that will lead us to grow in patience, gentleness, love, temperance, benevolence,…

Paul warns us in 1 Corinthians 7:28 (Martin)

“If you marry, you sin not; and if the virgin marries, she also does not sin; but those who are married will have afflictions in the flesh, but I spare you. 

And if you’re not married yet and you’re reading this article, think twice because the end goal of marriage is by no means divorce. 

Divorce has terrible consequences in the life of the protagonists but also in that of their children if they have any.
And to divorce, there is an essential prerequisite to being married.

If you are single, you cannot divorce… So if you are not yet married, know that you will succeed in your marriage if you succeed in your celibacy. Because within the marriage, we do not bring anything “new” to our person. 

On the other hand, you expose all your points to improve, in other words, your “defects”.

A question that we can ask ourselves is:  “would you advise your sister or your brother to marry a person like you?  by being sincere and true to yourself, knowing that you are aware of everything you do even in secret. 

Let’s go further, would you have married yourself? So the key to your marriage is already in your celibacy.

Dr. Myles MUNROE said this: “Divorce is a death without a burial”. By taking the option of divorce, know that God will forgive you but you will live a difficult life. 

God is the God of resurrection and life. He is able to breathe new life into your marriage, to resuscitate the love that is almost extinct. Don’t tell yourself that it’s all over but cry out to God He is capable of doing much more.

Love is the first patient. I invite you to arm yourself with patience and to look to God, He can change everything. Don’t pray to be happy. But pray that your spouse will draw closer to God and that their desire is to be in accordance with the Word of God.

By directing your prayers in this direction, you will see the change if you manifest the fruit of the Spirit by hoping and believing that God is Almighty to act.

Be this conqueror victorious; fight with spiritual weapons and no longer carnal! I recommend this film full of meaning, inspiration, and encouragement to help you save your marriage: “War room”

Psalms 37:5 (KJV) “Commit your fate to the Lord, put your trust in Him, and He will act.

 

Can a Christian remarry?

We live in a society with a lot of divorces and remarriages. According to a study by Insee (the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies) published in 2016, 10% of divorced couples have remarried, including some Christians. This seems like a small percentage, nevertheless, it involves a lot of people.

We speak of remarriage when a first marriage has already taken place and it has been broken, either by divorce or by widowhood. 

The reasons for remarriage are multiple for Man. This may be shocking to some people but yes, God’s Word condones remarriage, even if it is not in His plan ( Malachi 2:16 ). But under what conditions?

Unfaithfulness

God established marriage between a man and a woman for life. The Word of God tells us in Matthew 19:6 (KJV) “So they are no longer two, but are one flesh. Let a man therefore not separate what God has joined together. So God is not for separation, whether between Christians or not.

However, this same chapter explains to us a valid reason for divorce.

Matthew 19:8-9 (KJV) “And he said unto them, It was because of the hardness of your hearts that Moses permitted you to put away your wives; in the beginning, it was not so. But I tell you that he who divorces his wife, except for infidelity, and marries another, commits adultery. 

Infidelity is having an extramarital affair with a third party. This, therefore, consists in not being faithful to one’s spouse.

Infidelity involves a lot of things like hurt, loss of trust in yourself and others, arguments, depression, and worse. In this case, divorce and remarriage are possible.

Case of widowhood

Marriage is a sacred bond that must last until death separates the two spouses. The wording of vows “till death do us part” is not biblical but is drawn from a biblical principle.

Romans 7:2 So a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives. But if he dies, she is freed from the law that bound her to him. 

At that time, the widows and widowers no longer have ties with the deceased person and can consider a new romantic relationship. Of course, starting from scratch and respecting the divine rules of Christ: celibacy, no fornication, etc.

In the Bible, we find the story of Ruth who lost her husband Machlon.
Subsequently, and with the help of her mother-in-law, Ruth meets Boaz, who eventually becomes her husband. Remarriage for a widower is a good thing.

1 Timothy 5:14  “Therefore I much prefer that young widows marry, have children, and manage their household well so as not to expose themselves to criticism from our adversaries. 

Married to a non-Christian

When God places a person in our path (in the context of marriage), it is because we share the same destiny. Some people marry non-Christians. God does not prohibit, does not condemn but the journey can be more complicated. There is also the case of the non-Christian couple where one of the two becomes so, then goes through baptism.

1 Corinthians 7:12 to 16  is a Pauline privilege (words of the Apostle Paul and not of the Lord) which explains the reason why a non-Christian can separate from the believer.

“For other couples, in the absence of indication from the Lord, here is what I say: if a Christian brother is married to an unbelieving woman and she agrees to stay with him, let him don’t leave her. Likewise, if a woman has an unbelieving husband and he agrees to stay with her, let her not leave him. Because of his union with his wife, the unbelieving husband is indeed a legitimate husband in the eyes of God and likewise, because of his union with her Christian husband, the unbelieving wife is indeed a legitimate wife in the eyes of God. of God. Otherwise, their children would be natural children, when in reality they are legitimate. But if the unbelieving spouse is determined to file for divorce, well, do it; in this case, the sibling is not related. God has called you to live in peace. Because you, woman, you may bring your husband to salvation, but in fact what do you know? Likewise, you, husband, may bring your wife to salvation, but in fact, what do you know? 

Marriage remains legitimate in the sight of God. Nevertheless, the non-Christian person can live very badly with the faith of his spouse, especially if it is a new person in Christ. She can therefore separate and the two can start a new life legally. Attention, the apostle Paul strongly advises remarriage with a Christian person ( 1 Corinthians 7: 39b  “But if the husband dies, she is free to remarry whomever she wants, provided, of course, that it is with a Christian” ).

Other cases?

The Bible does not specifically mention this, but it is important to realize that now we live under the law of freedom. So think of people who live with an alcoholic, a violent spouse, who abuses their children, or who abuses their spouses.

These are delicate subjects that require a lot of thought and no judgment. Only God can tell you what to do in these specific cases, although some would say common sense dictates parting ways.

Remarriage is only possible in these 3 cases and for no other reason. Of course, just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it should be done. 

God wants peace in couples, and He wants forgiveness and reconciliation. He is the One who can help us overcome every trial. 

Let us therefore constantly place our couples in His hands.