Divorcing Second Husband to Remarry First Husband?

Divorcing Second Husband to Remarry First Husband?

There are people who believe that if a woman has been divorced and then married another man, she is living in continual adultery and needs to divorce her second husband and try to be reconciled to her first husband or remain single for the rest of her life. Because I don’t agree with this, I have been accused of supporting divorce and remarriage so I want to set the record straight. I hate divorce as God hates it and I do everything I can to strengthen and save marriages.

I strongly believe in the permanence of marriage until death does a couple part and what God has put together let NO man separate. This is what I will teach until I no longer have a voice. Divorce is devastating on all involved even affecting future generations. “Divorce, no matter what the reason, does something to children that is unholy” (Michael Pearl) and this is why the Apostle Paul urges believers to stay with unbelievers because they sanctify the unsaved spouse and children by their godly presence. God allowed divorce only because of the hardness of heart and gives an out for adultery and abandonment but never recommends, encourages, or commands divorce.

I am going to share what three godly men wrote about this issue because I believe they say my thoughts about it better than I can:

Michael Pearl in his book Divorce and Remarriage wrote this: “If you come to Christ having been the guilty part in terminating a marriage, and discover to your shame that you committed adultery when you remarried, Paul says you are to remain in the state you were in when you came to Christ. The adultery is initial, not perpetual. Your original sin of adultery is forgiven when you repent, and your marriage is now sanctified. ‘Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God’ (1 Corinthians 7:24).”

“There are some cult-like groups that have committed great abomination and defiled marriages by insisting that a man or woman in their second (or more) marriage should leave their family – spouse and children – and return to the original spouse, insisting that they are living in adultery otherwise. While God has permitted divorce and remarriage on account of hard hearts (in the case of adultery and abandonment), he has never permitted a man or woman to leave a second spouse and return to the first. That remains an abomination. Anyone who would encourage a man or woman to leave their present spouse due to a former marriage is an enemy of God (Deuteronomy 24:1-4).

Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord (Deuteronomy 24:4).

“If it were true that second marriages are not marriages at all, and that a person remains married to their first spouse until death, and their relationship with their second spouse is an ongoing state of adultery, then Jesus missed the point, for He acknowledged that the woman at the well had indeed had ‘five husbands,’ and the man she was presently with was not her husband” (Michael Pearl).

“Divorced people who have married again should not break the second marriage. The second marriage has broken the first marriage. God Himself holds the second marriage binding. To break it would do no good, but would do great harm…DO NOT BREAK THE SECOND MARRIAGE! Two wrongs never made a right. It would usually be impossible to restore the first marriage, and the Bible does not command it, even if it were possible. Confess the sin of the past, but do not sin again by another divorce or separation” (Dr. John Rice).

“The prohibition of a wife returning to her first husband even after her second husband dies (because it is an abomination) suggests very strongly that today no second marriage should be broken up in order to restore a first one” (John Piper).

76 thoughts on “Divorcing Second Husband to Remarry First Husband?

  1. Ma’am with all respect, in think you should stay silent on this issue because you will be held accountable for what you are teaching. If you are not sure about then it’s best to seek the Lord only and not man’s teachings. If you read the entire book of Hosea, this is a prime example of a wife returning to her husband, even though she committed whoredom.

    And David sent messengers to Ish–bosheth Saul’s son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines. And Ish–bosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Phaltiel the son of Laish. And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned.
    2 Samuel 3:14‭-‬16 KJV
    The scripture does not contradict itself, so Let God be true and every man a liar. Seek the Lord for understanding.

  2. Yes, she committed “whoredom” but she never married another man and divorced him or them to go back to Hosea. It’s completely different. There are different words in the Bible for adultery, fornication, and divorce and Hosea’s wife never divorced another man to go back to him.

    I have mentored women whose husbands are committing adultery but they fight for their marriage and win back their husbands to themselves but I will never tell a woman whose husband has remarried to fight for her ex-husband. He has broken his vow to her and the marriage is null and void.

  3. And David sent messengers to Ish–bosheth Saul’s son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines. And Ish–bosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Phaltiel the son of Laish. And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned.
    2 Samuel 3:14‭-‬16 KJV
    The scripture does not contradict itself, so Let God be true and every man a liar. Seek the Lord for understanding.

    Michal had five sons with another man, and David the King went to go get her. Would you say that what David did was unrighteous? You didn’t speak on this. David was a man after God’s own heart and what David did was righteous. That’s why I said you have to be careful of youremotions because your emotions are contrary to the truth…

  4. I am not being led by my emotions but from the study of the Word and from godly men who have studied this topic in depth. The OT people are not our guidebook for living. They are the history of God’s great love story to us but we aren’t to model our lives after them. Yes, we can learn about God’s mind by studying the Law but we live under the New Covenant now and if the Apostle Paul thought a divorced and remarried person was living in continual adultery and should return to their first spouse, he would have stated such in 1 Corinthians where he wrote about all the different scenarios in marriage and divorce.

  5. Thank you Lori, I have been agonizing, praying about this very subject. I am in a remarriage with a blended family of six children, I came to Christ during this second marriage and have since repented. My ex-husband has also remarried. Thank you for this teaching , so timely!

  6. Ma’am you said that we are not under the old covenant but yet you used Dueteronomy 24: 1-4 as a reference scripture?

  7. David did a lot of things which were wrong, including murdering Uriah in order to cover up his sin of adultery with Uriah’s wife. So claiming it must be righteous because David did it is very misguided. David was a man after God’s heart because he sought to please God and was repentant when he had sinned, not because he always did the right thing.

    When it comes to the example given in the scripture by fallible human beings versus the clear teaching on morality from God Himself, always go with the latter.

    The scripture clearly teaches in Deuteronomy 24 and Jeremiah 3 that it is an abomination to go back to a first spouse after remarriage. These were words from God Himself, not just things that happened and were recorded like what David did with Michal. You can’t override God’s commands as to what we should not do by saying, in essence, “But David did it.”

    Those who teach that a person should go back to a first spouse after remarrying are contradicting the word of God. It’s that simple. They are telling people that they must do what God called an abomination.

  8. I agree with you Lori….and I too have a strong hate of divorce. If it does happen…I do not agree with remarriage. I do not see it as biblical. However, if the remarriage does happen….it *is* a marriage and indeed should remain that way. It is biblical and right. I do not celebrate in the remarriage after divorce (with bridal showers etc.) but I acknowledge it is a marriage after it has happened and love the people! 🙂

    I totally see your point as biblical here Lori and am thankful for it! 🙂

  9. Is it still adultery, if say a married woman had an affair with a married man, they divorced their spouses and they got married?

    I’m rather upset still with a particular Christian singer who did several years ago because two families have been destroyed as a result.

    Thank you Lori for any insight you might have on this.

  10. I used something from the Law which shows the heart and mind of God – what His opinions are about everything. You used an example of an OT King who was an adulterer, murderer, polygamist, etc. and not to be used as an example for us.

  11. You’re welcome, Annie! Yes, I believe it’s important to acknowledge sins we have committed and confess them, but then stop looking behind, receive God’s forgiveness and grace, then walk in newness of life. There are scars and consequences from past sins but they have all been forgiven at the cross.

  12. My Pastor told us that we never condone divorce but neither do we condemn the divorced. They have and will suffer the consequences of their actions and need to be encouraged to now grow into Christ-likeness.

  13. I know who you are referring to, Regina, and I was grieved over this blatant disregard for the Word. I am sure they have all suffered because of their sin, including all of the children involved and ex-spouses. They were indeed very wrong but now they must live with their choices and remain in the state in which they are in; staying married to the person to whom they are married.

  14. I’ve read Michael Pearl’s and John Piper’s statements on this. Thanks for quoting them here. I was once told on a forum that my marriage was invalid and God didn’t care about my children, because they were “bastards,” and I should leave my children behind and go back to my ex. There’s some pretty damaging teaching out there on this subject.

    Thank you, Lori, for bravely tackling this topic!

  15. Amen, again! Lori, you are showing a true Christian heart with this attitude and teaching. Thank you.

  16. What you have stated and shared is very good and the men you quote are all basing their statements on solid biblical principles. They are looking out at people who are hurting and needing forgiveness, not more coals heaped on their heads. We have a forgiving God.

    Divorce is not part of God’s original plan. But because of man’s harden heart he has given guidelines and principles, Christ reaffirmed this concept in his sermon on the mount.

    Remarriage is the tricky one and has to be viewed on a case by case basis. We cannot and should not bring in Hosea because he was commanded to marry the prostitute in the first place. Also please do not make David out to be anything greater than a normal sinful man as he was. Yes he was a king of Isreal and was anointed by God through Samuel. Yet he sinned just like the rest of us. He also had a contrite heart and sought out God’s forgiveness – read the story of David and his lust for Another man’s wife then losing the child as a result of his relationship with that woman.

    So what is the church supposed to do with those who are divorced and remarried? Are we to continue beating people up over this sin? What about other sins such as pride, coveting, lustful thoughts, and idolotry? God see all sin the same, and we all have to ask for forgiveness and accept the price He paid on the Cross for our sins. Read Romans where Paul reminds us of this fact. So when we sit here we need to see the whole story. If a man walks out on his wife and marries his mistress how do we handle the wife and children left behind? What about a man who has been abandoned by his wife for another man or woman?

    Another thing to think about. Who is the one granting marriage licenses? Is it the church or is it the pagan government? Who grants the divorce and following remarriages? This is one area we the church need to take back and do what ever needs to be done to preserve the first marriage so there will not be second, third, fourth, etc. marriages. We also need to preserve the current marriage even if it is born out of sin.

  17. Again if you would read the scripture in its entirety then you would understanding the word of God. Everyone wants to taken old testament scriptures and use it as a reference to justify there actions. The only reason why I used a old testament scripture was to explain the circumstances between David and Michal. David was a man after God’s own heart, David did things that were wicked yes but what did he do?He repented! The whole bible is speaking of a marriage. We are in a bethroal period not yet married to Christ. WHEN He returns if there is uncleanness in us then He will put us away. The fornication clause is only mentioned in matthew. Why? Because the Jews understood what Jesus was talking about in regards to fornication. Matthew 1 explains this case with Mary and Joseph. They were espoused to each other but they did not yet consumate the marriage. That’s why Joseph was going to put her away privately because she was found pregnant. If during the bethroal/engagement period the women messes around with someone else then she shall be put away. This is the reason of the fornication clause.

  18. As a side, where does it say Michael had 5 sons? I’ve missed that, in fact, I thought she died childless.

  19. But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:
    2 Samuel 21:8 KJV

    These are the sons she had from another man. This is why David sent for her because she is his wife.

  20. Submissive, you make me want to bang my head against a wall.

    Lori, awesome job. I couldnt agree more.

    Marriage is held in high regard because it involves making a vow before Almighty God and declaring it before man that you will fulfill that vow as long as you live. And copulation seals the deal. Adultery is borne out of sinful intentions and is often not intended as a lifelong commitment. Just a quickie so called fix to someones problems. Second marriage includes a vow as well. Do you notice a pattern here? VOWS ARE BEING MADE. If you were not saved when your first marriage ended. How can God hold you accountable? If you become saved after your second marriage, as a believer you must honor that vow. If your spouse is an unbeliever, to divorce him or her in the name of God would do nothing but cause hatred and resentment toward God for breaking up their marriage. Your job as a believer is to live out 1 Peter 3 before your spouse. If divorce saved your second spouse, it would of said so. Divorce doesnt solve anything, no matter how many times you do it. If you have done it once, DO NOT DO IT TWICE AND THINK YOU ARE BEING A MATYR BECAUSE YOU ARE DOING IT IN THE NAME OF CHRIST. Stop the evil cycle. Make beauty out of ashes. What is done is done.

    Whether you are giving a speech or singing, you are not told if you stumble to go back to the start and begin again. You are told every time you stumble, ignore it, and keep on going as if nothing went wrong. Similar correlation here. You married once, you stuffed up and married a second time, you find out you stuffed up again. All you can do is keep going and make the best out of it. To accuse a fellow believer of continual adultery is condemning them. And here is NO condemnation to them in Christ Jesus! They have been made clean. If your first spouse has remarried as have you, what you are asking is for someone to break up two otherwise happy marriages in order to gain a sense of righteousness. And that is evil and sick. Not only are you making a bad name for Christ infront of spouse #2. But infront of your children and your former spouses new partner and their children as well. As well as any family and friends around you and them.

    Well done, Lori. Enjoyed this post very much. God bless.

  21. May God richly bless your marriage Annie! I say that with all sincerity, and partially to get up submissive’s nose. Lol.

  22. My version has Merab not the younger daughter Michal. Also committed adultery with Palti not Adriel 1 Samuel 25:44 . In 2 Sam. 6:23 it says she had no children till the day of her death.

  23. Submissive, to clarify, i love the Kjv. Thats all i use. But i dont go quoting bible verses unless i check, them double check they are in context and relevant to the conversation. Unfortunately, you seem to quote more bible verses out of context more than most people ive met. You also claim to aproach others whom you believe to be in error with humility and a learning spirit. And yet all i see is arrogance and an unwillingness to learn from others whom have gone before and may have wisdom that you dont. And i find that so sad. People can churn out as many bible verses within context to you, and yet you always shoot back with a haughty answer and out of context or twisted scripture to try and prove your point. You have your beliefs and thats just it. They are yours. We are all here to learn, glean wisdom and ask questions. We are all at different stages in our relationship wih God. And we must show some grace. Barraging people with emails telling them they are wrong or throwing around scripture to suit their agenda is a dispicable practice. I read Lori’s posts, seek to clarify some things she says by asking my husband or looking into the word myself, pray about it, and i either agree or disagree. But i usually let it be. You really need to watch the way you come across to others. As it can come across as really offensive. Im sure you are genuine in your desire to seek God and obey Him with your whole heart. Thats a great desire. But i fear you may of lost something in the process. I will no longer carry on a dialogue with you as i feel at this stage it is fruitless. Id have more impact talking to my cat. Unless i sense a change in the way you craft your arguments and use of scripture.
    I have no idea how old you are, but regardless, you need to learn to have respect for those who are older than you. Both in number and in the spiritual sense. And i am yet to see it.

  24. You’re welcome, Lisa. Yes, I believe that is dangerous teaching since it’s clear from the passage in Deut. that this is not God’s will for this situation.

  25. Interesting article. No one really talks about it. All I know is that the men at my church who have been divorced are are remarried can not serve in leadership positions (such as deacon and elder) because it is not their first wife. Thoughts?

  26. Thank you for this post Lori, it is very interesting. I’m not sure where I stand on this one as my understanding of the scripture is not very clear around this subject. However, in my family, my parents are separated, my father has remained single (stayed in the church) and my mother (left the church) has a partner but never married him. Although my parents have been apart a number of years, they never divorced, so I guess they’re still legally married. In this situation, I’m guessing there would be no sin in my parents reconciling. I don’t think it’s going to happen, at least not in the near future, but it would be nice if it did. At least then, my mother would come back to church with my father, and her soul might be saved.

  27. @M…But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.
    1 Samuel 25:44 KJV
    Notice how the scripture points out that Michal is DAVID’S WIFE.

    Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
    2 Samuel 6:23 KJV
    She dies childless from David. She had five sons from her other husband, that David killed.

  28. Yes, since they never divorced and broke their covenant, they can remarry so keep praying! You never know what God can do with our prayers. He just may answer them the way we request.

  29. @Submissive
    Yes, that is what my Bible says as well. The part that is different is that in your quote about David taking Michal’s sons to be executed, in mine is written Merab’s sons.
    “So the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, Armoni and Mephibosheth whom she had borne to Saul, and the five sons of Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite.” 2 Sam. 21:8.

    So I have always understood David to have married the younger daughter Michal but that she was childless. It is a difference of the KJV and others. If you read the other description of Michal it says that she was given to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim, not Adriel the son of Barzillai (whose sons were killed).

    But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim. 1 Sam. 25:44

    Furthermore it says that Michal died childless
    23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death. 2 Sam. 6:23

  30. Hi,
    out of curiosity, I looked up the verse Submissive quotes and this is what Bible Gateway came up with:

    2 Samuel 21:8King James Version (KJV)
    8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:

    And

    2 Samuel 21:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
    8 The king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Merab[a] the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite;

    The ESV has the following footnote:
    2 Samuel 21:8 Two Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts Michal

    I guess both are correct. I don’t think it serves the purpose of supporting the point Submissive tries to make, but she did quote the verse as it appears in the KJV.

  31. Hi yes I see what you mean Im not sure why it’s written that way though. I was wondering this when I read this earlier.

  32. Ruth,
    That may be how it appears, but we need to look at the context and if it is relevent to the topic being discussed. If it is within context, thats great. But if its not relevent theres not much point. If is wife is running around on her husband. Yes, its adultery. But in this instance he would be free to divorce her or, show mercy and welcome her back. However, if she does the run around, a divorce is the result and she marries. A new vow has been made. And therefore it cannot be broken. At least not without grave consequences. She shouldnt of broken the first one. But alas, she did. Furthermore if she broke the second vow to try and redeem the first, it is an abomination. People in biblical times understood the gravity of making a vow before the Lord, then breaking it. (Please read Judges 11 v 30-39) Staying in a second marriage will have its consequences. But it is what it is. Acknowledge it, repent and keep your vow to the Lord. Breaking one vow is bad enough. Breaking a vow a second time to try and restore the first one is foolish. And does more damage than good.

  33. Hi Anon M,
    I only offered the two quotes, both from the KJV and the ESV with footnote to prove that the verse Submissive quoted was right. It was a response to M’s question asking where it says that Michal had 5 sons.

    As for the topic of divorce, remarriage and going back to the first spouse, I agree with you. Context is important when offering Scripture to support one’s argument, although I disagree with this practice (of using Scripture to support one’s argument) as I think we should go to Scripture and let it teach us, not go to it looking for support for our ideas.

    I agree with Submissive’s point that we need to understand certain scriptures in the light of the whole of the Bible and I do believe that studying further than just a verse or two, leads us to the conclusion that a second marriage should be honored. Jesus honored the 5 marriages of the woman at the well. I’ve never heard anyone teach that a person should leave their second spouse and go back to the first one.

  34. Make sense. I guess the best thing to do is just stick to Scripture and what Scripture says!

    Re: the whole thing about divorce damaging children. Sadly, it seems to be part of the whole mess-up world full of messed-up people, which is why God allowed it in the first place. Which is why, at the end of the day, we just need salvation and we need Him to intervene and change us. That has to be our bottom line, time and time again.

    I’m sure there are cases where children are better off not living with a parent, for example, if one parent is actively trying to expose them to filth and sin or destroy their faith. This is not because of anything except human sinfulness.

  35. I was just wondering, lets just imagine a married couple, wife goes off and ‘has a bit on the side’ so to speak. Has she committed whoredom? Is it only adultery if she has made a vow to another man? Or is it adultery regardless? I am just trying to work out if one could say Hosea’s wife was committing adultery because she was prostituting herself/running around with other men. Or was it just considered whoredom because she did not make a vow to stay with another man.

  36. Hi Anon M,
    You seem to be trying to differentiate the difference between whoredom and adultery?

    A married person commits adultery by sleeping with anyone who is not their spouse. To commit whoredom one sleeps with multiple persons while being married or unmarried, whether prostituting or simply sleeping around.

    Hosea’s wife was committing adultery by sleeping with another man, and also whoredom by sleeping with multiple men, not just one other, as in having an affair.

  37. Lori – are you familiar with this family? Much of what they believe, I also believe, but I’m not sure about this divorce part. I’m not sure that I understand what they say they believe about divorce, but I *think* they’re saying they believe divorce is okay when one spouse cheats. I don’t believe this to be true at all. What do you think? I know that Ken has a great deal of understanding of the Bible around this matter and I would be very interested in hearing both yours and his opinion, if you have the time.

  38. Someone please tell me if I would be sinning in this situation..i wa married when I was 19 got a divorce at a older age..than I remarried..but me and my second husband divorced too..cause I relized it was wrong to remarry and I had a living husband…so now my first husband has passed away….so now can anyone tell me would it be a sin to get married now that my first husband has passed,,,,

  39. Hi, thank you for posting on this topic. Divorce has caused so much pain in many peoples’ lives.

    I’m a divorced man and come from a blended family. Although @submissive’s responses might offend, I think her overall point is right.

    Paul said that marriage was a picture of Christ and the church in Ephesians 5:31-32, right? It’s a picture of the gospel; of God’s love for us. That despite how bad we’ve sinned, if we repent and turn to him he’ll welcome us with open arms like his parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15. I think this is the point made in Hosea too where in Chapter 3:1 he says: “Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.”

    I thought about some of the verses in 1 Corinthians 7 as giving an ok to remarry in the past as the pain from being alone and seeing your spouse with another man hurts to the core but he talks about the permanence of marriage at the conclusion of the chapter in verse 39: “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.” (which confirms what he said in Romans 7:1-3)

    I think the disciples also recognized the permanence of marriage when after Jesus talked about whosoever marries another (except for fornication), commits adultery in Matthew 19, they said in response: “If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.” (verse 10) Sounds like they were shocked that Jesus was saying once married, it’s till death do you part. (they were shocked at the level of forgiveness that Jesus commanded too–till seventy times seven)

    I don’t believe the Bible supports a prohibition on returning to a former spouse after remarriage. In fact, I believe God supersedes it. Just like in the gospels where Jesus repeatedly responds to “it hath been said/they say/Moses suffered you” with “But I say.” God does the same in response to Deuteronomy 24:1-4, where in Jeremiah 3:1 he says: “They say, if a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me saith the LORD.” He says “They say” and refers back to Deut. 24 but then gives his will. He then goes on to say in verse 8 that he gave Israel a bill of divorce because of adultery (spiritual) but then says they’re still married in verse 14.

    If, like @Ken said, adultery is sleeping with anyone who is not their spouse, how can a man or woman commit adultery by putting the other away and marrying someone else? (Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18) Wouldn’t they be free from their first marriage? Isn’t Jesus saying he still recognizes the original marriage so that if I remarry, I’m committing ad

  40. I don’t believe the Bible supports a prohibition on returning to a former spouse after remarriage. In fact, I believe God supersedes it. Just like in the gospels where Jesus repeatedly responds to “it hath been said/they say/Moses suffered you” with “But I say.” God does the same in response to Deuteronomy 24:1-4, where in Jeremiah 3:1 he says: “They say, if a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me saith the LORD.” He says “They say” and refers back to Deut. 24 but then gives his will. He then goes on to say in verse 8 that he gave Israel a bill of divorce because of adultery (spiritual) but then says they’re still married in verse 14.

    If, like @Ken said, adultery is sleeping with anyone who is not their spouse, how can a man or woman commit adultery by putting the other away and marrying someone else? (Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18) Wouldn’t they be free from their first marriage? Isn’t Jesus saying he still recognizes the original marriage so that if I remarry, I’m committing adultery against my first wife?

    I think this along with the two statements by Paul in Romans 7:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 7:39, imply that the adultery is continuous until repented of (turned from, stop doing: Proverbs 28:13 “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”). —if someone kidnaps a young child then turns to Christ, is he allowed to keep that child because his past sins are forgiven?–if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.–this isn’t what is meant right? I believe the same is true for marriage; if God calls remarriage adultery, how can we stay in it with another man’s wife or another woman’s husband and think this is ok in his sight?

    What if I remarry and my first wife finds Jesus and seeks to obey and honor him by following 1 Corinthians 7:11…have I not then cut off her ability to do that? How hurt would she be? Shouldn’t I rather commit my energy into praying for her repentance and salvation and wait for her like the father and the prodigal son? Has he not given us the ministry of reconciliation? (2 Corinthians 5:18)

    Isn’t this the love of God that despite what we’ve done, he’s there to receive us? Isn’t this the beauty of the gospel? And, as we know, marriage is supposed to be a picture of this. How then are we showing that same love to our first spouses if we go and marry another? How is that any different than the world? How do I show my kids God’s love if I marry another, effectively giving up on their mom?

    I know there are a lot of hurting people (spouses, kids, family members, etc.), and I know there are some bad situations. I’m not here to force a decision but this is what I see in the scriptures. Every one of us needs to take any of these issues to the LORD in prayer and let the Holy Spirit guide us through his word.

    I hope I haven’t offended anyone here, that’s not my intent and if I did, I’m sorry. I know we worship and serve the God of the impossible and no situation is ever too far gone. I’ve read and heard of many, many marriages that were restored; many which were very bad situations and thought impossible by most. What a great witness of God’s healing hand, forgiveness, hope and love than a restored marriage to proclaim the truth of the gospel to those around us?

    I’m praying for you all and whatever situations you’re in. May God guide you and bless you in Jesus name.

  41. Hi Lynette,

    If you can bear my long winded comment below this, I think it answers you’re question from my understanding. I don’t believe you would be sinning in getting married now that your first husband has passed (I’m sorry to hear). But please don’t take from me; like others have said on here, ask God in prayer and he will guide you through his word.

  42. This is a good message. Thanks. I have a page, too, going over the many ways that I believe the MDR groups (those that teach all remarriage is adultery that sends one to hell) is damaging and not dividing the Word properly.

    facebook.com/StopPromotingDivorce

  43. Pls read if you want to know the truth about divorce and remarriage and why Jesus calls it adultery…

    False teachings are derived from our inability to accept that it’s God’s will for us to suffer for someone else’s sake. Teachings that allow remarriage when Jesus explicitly calls it ADULTERY allures to the flesh and takes away the responsibility of us denying ourselves and bearing our cross. We must obey our Lord even at the expense of self.

    Pls read carefully and prayerfully:

    http://www.holybibleprophecy.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Divorce-and-Remarriage-booklet.pdf

  44. I totally agree with what you are saying Lori Alexander. God has kept me in a place of celebacy for 18 years in order for my ex husband to return. The one time that I tried to go out of his Will, he removed the person I started dating!

  45. Romans
    Romans 7:2 King James Version (KJV)
    2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

    King James Version (KJV)
    Public Domain

    «Romans 6
    Romans 7 (Listen)
    Romans 8»
    Romans 7:3 King James Version (KJV)
    3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

    Praise Yahshua for truth!
    1 Corinthians 6:9-11

  46. Betrothal is marriage. Review betrothal of Joseph and Mary, and the putting her away silently. We are married to Yeshua…and awaiting return for consummation. Christ himself did not remarry His first wife until He died on the cross. See Jeremiah 3.8, Romans 7, and Matthew 10.6 . Christ died so that we could be free from the law of De 24.4, allowing us (Israel) to remarry Him without contradicting the Torah (or law)(De 24.4).

    Finally, a slight segway from this discussion:
    “17 ¶ “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others [to do] the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches [them,] he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:17-19 NAS95)

    As far as I can tell, heaven and earth have not passed away since the given of these Words from the Living Torah Himself (John 1.1,14, ראשׁית , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmnUkNT55gU&list=PLPzrHNnF_3SoA-g-atLN1iSW61GEoh7Ux)

    Shalom and Wisdom!

  47. I believe you are absolutely correct. Leaving a second, Christian marriage to return to a spouse that doesnt want you or worse remaining single after breaking up and destroying a family are actually worse than the former sin because of the destruction caused to the wife and children. For sure if the children rebel against God due to the husband leaving wife to return to the 1st wife or remain single will bring judgment on that man.

  48. First, God never okayed divorce,. That was Moses. Really should read the bible.

    REMARRIED PERSON’s [ADULTERER] WILL GO TO HELL and or THE LAKE OF FIRE, IF THEY DO NOT REPENT

    It is a continuous act adultery for a divorced person to marry. Mat. 5:31-32; 19:9; Mark 10:1-12; Luke 16:15-18; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11.

    a. Jesus teaches it is a sin for a divorced person to marry [while their spouse of covenant lives]

    i. Luke 16:18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery, and the one who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

    ii. Mark 10:11 So he told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

    1. It is a continuous act of adultery for a divorce man to marry another woman while his first covenant wife lives.

    2. It is a continuous act of adultery for a divorced woman to marry man while her first covenant husband lives.

    3. The first through the third century Christian church taught that is was a sin to marry while divorced. In fact, there was not any major division of this understanding until the Protestant Reformation period ie, the 16th Century. The heretical Roman Catholic Priest named Erasmus is said to have compromised the text [by Dr. Leslie McFall]. In addition, he is also said to have made this heretical teaching to appease a friend that wanted to get rid of his first wife.

    b. The New Testament teaches that death alone ends a one flesh marriage covenant. If someone marries again while their first spouse lives, they will be stuck in adultery.

    i. Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brothers —for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

    ii. 1Corinthians 7:39 A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

    iii. Historically: This was the churches understanding for about 1500 years after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus/Yeshua Christ — divorced person’s that were married again were refused holy communion and were understood to be adulterers. The false exception clause teaching took off, during the Protestant Reformation period. It was accredited to heretic Erasmus. Adultery and fornication are listed as different sins, 6 times, in the New Testament [Matthew 5:32, 15:19, 19:9; Mark 7:21; Galatians 5:19; Hebrews 13:4]. Divorce under Mosaic law [see Dueteronomy 24:1-4] was permitted but Jesus/Yeshua reinstates marriage back to God’s original plan and says,“

    Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

    The exception clause is not even found in some older textual families. One theory is that Jesus is having a Jewish conversation about the Mosaic Law, addressing betrothal marriage [See Deuteronomy 22:13-21; Matthew 1:18-25; John 8:41]. Many of the early Christians understood that a covenant wife commits porneia [fornication] when she has sex with another man [Matthew 5:32]. Hermas believed it was the man’s duty to separate from his wife until she stopped having sex with another man. However, the early Christians [understanding the teachings of Jesus] forbade the abandoned spouse to marry again unless their covenant spouse had die [1 Corinthians 7:10-11, 39; Romans 7:1-3]. If the abandoned spouse married again, they would marry into a state of adultery.

    God hates divorce [Malachi 2:11-16]. It is an issue of salvation to divorce and refuse to reconcile, if the person repents of their sin, loves and obey Jesus and, seeks reconciliation. Bitterness and unforgiveness is sin. The person shows that are not forgiving their spouse subsequently will die spiritually and eventually end of in eternal fire, if they do not repent. Divorced persons’ cannot marry, without entering a state of adultery. All that have married whilst their first spouse lives [that is to say, their covenant spouse] are adulterers. The adulterer must forsake their adulterous relationship to be right with Jesus. No adulterer will inherit the Kingdom of God [1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:15-20].

    Justin Martyr said, “And, Whoever shall marry her that is divorced from another husband, commits adultery.” And, “There are some who have been eunuchs of men, and some who were born eunuchs, and some who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake; but all cannot receive this saying.” So that all who, by human law, are twice married, are in the eyes of our Master are sinners, and those who look upon a woman to lust after her.” Approximately 100CE – 165CE
    Clement Of Alexandria said, “ That Scripture counsels marriage, however, and never allows any release from the union is expressly contained in the law: ‘You shall not divorce a wife, except for reason of immorality.’ And it regards as adultery the marriage of a spouse while the one from whom a separation was made is still alive. ‘Whoever takes a divorced woman as wife commits adultery,’ it says; for ‘if anyone divorce his wife, he debauches her’; that is, he compels her to commit adultery. And not only does he that divorces her become the cause of this, but also he that takes the woman and gives her the opportunity of sinning; for if he did not take her, she would return to her husband.” (A.D. 208)

    Origen said “Just as a woman is an adulteress even though she seems to be married to a man while a former husband yet lives, so also the man who seems to marry her who has been divorced does not marry her, but, according to the declaration of our Savior, he commits adultery with her.” (248 A.D.)

    Note: There are many early Christian writers that agree that is it a state of adultery for a divorced person marry while their covenant spouse lives. There is approximately 2000 years of rich Christian history that explains this truth. Whether we hold to betrothal view and or to the early Christians understanding, one thing that we can be sure of is that Jesus says it is a habitual act of adultery to marry a divorced person. Take heed.

  49. I believe if there is still a spouse standing for their marriage, God honors that covenant regardless.

  50. Tough subject. To hear some of you explain the sin side of it. A spouse could change their adulterous marriage by simply killing their spouse. God will forgive you for murder but not your 2nd marriage.

    Hmmmm just thinking out loud. For those of you hyper sensitive people. I am in no way suggesting the murder part, just reasoning with your logic

  51. LOL! I agree! Of course this post could go on forever and forever. I have had to do some studying to understand l this myself. I am a Beleiver who’s unsaved spouse decided to abandon the marriage. I made the decision to marry prior to coming to Christ and I became a Believer literally like 10 days before getting married. So to make a long story short, he decided to file for a divorce after 2 almost 3 years of marriage. I did everything I knew to do to hold my marriage together. Counseling, being meek in spirit. But he made his decision to leave, he wanted to live a life I could not support him in. In this process it has given me the desire to research. And every scripture has to be in context. I do not condone divorce which is why I wasn’t the one to initiate it in my case. But there are times in scripture where divorce is condoned, for example in Ezra, the Israel men rebuilding the temple divorced their pagan wives and sent the wives and children away in order to be holy and rebuild the temple. There is also a sin of marriage that no one ever addresses, the scripture in Malachi that speaks that God hates divorce also states the men that had married pagan women should be cut off from Israel because they were instructed not to marry outside of Israel. To be short I feel there is a sin in marriage, divorce, and remarriage within context. But all of which can we repented of. And as you said, to believe someone can be forgiven of murder but not divorce is absurd. We should be holy for God is holy and seek to please him, not taking advantage of grace. Jesus didn’t comndemn the woman, He without sin cast the first stone, but He also told her to go and sin no more. Jesus had a way of addressing sin, but also extending grace. And I know plenty of divorced and remarried individuals that live for Christ and the fruit is obvious. Because God’s grace reaches far beyond our comprehension and He can cleanse us from ANYTHING. May we all have a heart of repentance!

  52. I am looking for counselling on this very thing and I don’t know what to do.I want to do what is right in God’s eyes.

    My ex and I had been married for 10yrs during that time he has been unfaithful twice and I forgave him.Foremost in my mind was keeping what we did have together.He never asked me to leave soon stayed.
    After his mom passee he pressured me for a divorce and I did but he didn’t want me to leave even after the divorce.I honestly had no where to go in my mind and I thought we would get back together officially.Eventhough we were divorced we lived as we always did.

    Until I found out that he had divorced me to marry someone he met online.She was overseas and I was here.He still didn’t want me to leave and so I stayed.

    He would go visit her lying to me saying he was going to visit friends.I admit that deep down I knew.But I kept thinking he would see reason.The relationship between them was violent and toxic and he came to find out she had bipolar disorder.

    Long story short he divorced her but while he was overseas filing for divorce I left and came to my sister’s.He says he is sorry for what he put me through and though we speak daily;I haven’t been home for a year.

    He wants us to reconcile and though I love him I’m not sure if I should.Mainly because I am not sure if it would be right.

    They both commited adultery willingly against me.And when they got married I was still with him.
    I am just confused because now he is crying to have me come back.I just don’t know if it right.

  53. Two verses that seem to have been overlooked. God wants to be very clear on this subject…

    Hosea 2:7 And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.
    -How does God record this story in the Word? It says FIRST husband.
    What does that imply?
    If she didn’t get a second one, the Holy Spirit would’ve just said “returned to my husband”.

    And second,
    God commands that: 1 Corinthians 7:11 “if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband”
    That’s her only options that God gives her.

    Remember Ishmael?
    What did God say to Abraham.
    “Take your son, your ONLY son Isaac and sacrifice him.”
    But wasn’t Ishmael his son? Yes, but God doesn’t acknowledge it; it’s a work of the flesh.

    So too, you leave your husband without biblical grounds, divorce & remarry, it’s a work of the flesh. The government my acknowledgment your marriage but God doesn’t acknowledge it. What part of “remain single or reconcile with your first husband” don’t people understand?

    It’s because people want to justify unbiblical remarriage.
    Sad.

    “Ye err not knowing the scripture.”

  54. Acts 24:16: And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of of fence toward God, and toward mem.

    Romans 10:4: For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.

    Psalm 51:7 : ……wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

    For those of you who believe all unscriptural remarriages must be condemned and dissolved, perhaps you should first examine your own life: James 2:10: For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

  55. I believe you rightly divide the word between two covenants. Thanks for speaking up

  56. Mike you are spot on. If people would use their thinking caps, according to 1Corinthians Chapter 7, there should NOT be a SECOND marriage in the first place. This is why it says to remain UNMARRIED until the two can come together and reconcile. There is no second third fourth or fifth marriage. ANYTHING past ONE is an adultress relationship no two ways about it. God Bless…

  57. There is no remarriage except when a spouse has had adultery committed against them. They then have the choice to forgive the offense or to divorce. The second is when one is released from the marriage after the other spouse has died.

  58. i didnt want a divorce….i prayed, begged for reconciliation, but my ex husband remarried his lover. We met Christ and we were saved years before this. He said that he “fell in love” and left his family, after 24 years of marriage. What the scriptures say about this? Is he committing adultery or because he remarried is not an adulterer anymore? Please help me

  59. LORIE!! you are truly a Woman of God with wisdom, Knowlege and Understanding. I’m very pleased with the answers you gave. May God Holy Spirit continues to work with you in explaining these, Critical topicks. God bless you as a Woman of wisdom
    Goodnight.

  60. GOD’S UNION OF MARRIAGE

    When God created every living creature in the cosmos; He gifted them with the ability to interact with one another. Each species contained male and female members, and they were all given the ability to reproduce after their kind. However, the man differed from every other species in the earth because he was the only one that was made in the image of God. Although being made in the image of God came with divine favor and blessing beyond measure, there still remained one issue. There is no one like God and there is none beside Him. Therefore when man was made in His image, he was made with no like companion.
    “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him”. (Gen. 2:18)
    God looked down and saw Adam’s curiosity. Adam quickly noticed that he was the only one of his kind (Gen. 2:20). God observed his lonely state and declared “it is not good for the man to be alone”. Then God proceeded to make Adam a “help meet”. The phrase “help meet” simply means “a helper of like kind”. She would be created as Adam’s female equivalent, and she would be someone Adam could rely on to help and assist him through all aspects of life.
    “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman and brought her unto the man” (Gen. 2:21-22)
    Notice that God did not form the woman from the dust of the earth, nor did He breathe into her the breath of life like He did with Adam (Gen. 2:7). God did not create her as if He was creating an entirely separate individual. Rather, she was taken from Adam’s own body and from Adam’s own spirit. God did not create her separately because He does not consider a married couple as two separate individuals. Let us examine the unique terminology used by the bible to define the first ever union of marriage.
    “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:23-24)
    In verses 23 and 24 of Genesis, Adam is expressing the unique union that he has with his newly created wife. He says “she is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh”. He then goes on to say “for this reason shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh”. The Hebrew word dâbaq interpreted “cleave” in verse 24 means to “join together”. Moreover, Adam is saying that he and his wife are not two, but they are uniquely joined together as “one flesh”. Malachi elaborates on this union and says “Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union.” (Mal. 2:15, NLT) Here the prophet Malachi speaks of the union of marriage and says “Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife?” in body and in spirit you are his…” He conveys that the union of marriage is one in body and one in spirit. That is why God did not form Eve’s body from the dust as He did Adam’s. Instead, He created her from Adam’s own rib. He also did not breathe into her a separate spirit of life. Rather, He used the spirit of life that already resided in Adam. He was illustrating to us the eternal union of marriage. In the eyes of God, marriage goes far beyond a legal document. When a couple is united together in marriage, they become one flesh; one in body and one in spirit.
    Furthermore, Jesus testifies of this unique union in Mark’s Gospel. He reiterates God’s concept of marriage and says…
    “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain (two) shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh”. (Mark 10:7-8)

    THE SIGNIFICANCE OF A VOW TO GOD

    Oftentimes, people who are in desperate need of divine intervention make this statement to God… “God, if you’ll just let me of the hook this time, I’ll never do it again”. Most of the time, the individual making this statement is not sincere at all. However, there are certain times in life where individuals make a whole hearted sincere vow unto God, and they have every intention of performing it (ex. ministerial ordination, baby dedication, or wedding ceremony). The content of this section will discuss the biblical significance of keeping any vow made before God.
    “When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee; but if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee”. (Deu. 23:21-22)
    In this passage, God addresses any individual who makes a vow unto Him. He exhorts them to fulfill their vow because He will “surely require it of them”. God’s strong usage of the words “surely” and “require” shows us His uncompromisable expectancy for the one making the vow to fulfill it. God’s expectancy is further reinforced when He provides the consequence for anyone who fails to uphold their end of a vow. If one fails to fulfill it, He says “it shall be sin in thee”. This consequence may seem harsh to some therefore, God gives us an easy solution to help keep us from falling into the sin of unfaithfulness. In verse 22 he says “but if thou shalt forbear (not allow yourself) to vow, it shall be no sin in thee”. God is not the type of God who seeks to label us as sinners. That is why He gave us the option not to vow. He is perfectly content with us not taking on the responsibility of a vow. However, if one does embrace that responsibility, he or she must be willing to fulfill it, or except the consequences.
    These passages also testify of God’s expectation of those who vow before Him…
    “That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the LORD thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth” (Deu. 23:23)
    “If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth” (Num. 30:2)
    In Ecclesiastes 5:4-6, Solomon shares his wisdom concerning those who choose not to perform their vow. During the examination of this passage, we will compare his writing with those of Moses in order to gain further understanding of this topic.
    “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed” (Ecc. 5:4)
    In the passage above, Solomon references any individual who defers (chooses not) to perform their vow unto God. In Deuteronomy 23:21, Moses declares that it would be sin not to fulfill your vow, but here Solomon adds another aspect to the individual’s unfaithfulness. He describes that the Lord “has no pleasure” in those who fail to perform their vow. So Solomon begins his exhortation to provoke us to honor our vows by revealing that an individual, who is not faithful to their word, is not pleasing in the eyes of God. In other words, it is impossible to disregard any vow made unto God, and still live a life that is pleasing to Him.
    “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay” (Ecc. 5:5)
    Here Solomon’s words are nearly identical to Moses’ words in Deuteronomy 23:22. He is trying to provoke us not to vow if there is any chance that we will not perform it.
    “Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands” (Ecc. 5:6)
    In verse 6, Solomon expresses that not performing your vow is an act of sin. Moses arrived at this same conclusion in Deuteronomy 23:21. Solomon says “Suffer (allow) not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin”. He is encouraging us not to engage in any vow that has the potential to eventually be abandoned. He is so persistent about this principle because the failure to fulfill any vow will result in sin, and will jeopardize our relationship with God. Essentially, Solomon is telling us not to let our mouths write a check that our butts can’t cash.
    Oftentimes, people try to dismiss the responsibility of their vow by simply writing it off as a mistake. However, Solomon addresses that mentality as well. He says “neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands”. Even if it truly was a genuine mistake that you made, God still requires us to be men and women of our word, and fulfill our promise made to Him.

    III. DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

    Before we go deeper into the next section, let us first briefly review what we have already studied. In the first section we examined God’s perception of the union of marriage. There we saw that God considers the husband and wife as one flesh (Mark 10:7-8). We also saw in that section that God, by His power, has made them one in body and in spirit (Mal. 2:15). In the second section we examined the scriptural necessity of fulfilling any vow made before God. There we saw that God requires us to fulfill our promise, and we also saw that it will be sin to us if we neglect to perform it (Deu. 23:21, Ecc. 5:4-6). The information discussed in sections one and two are essential in order to understand what takes place in a marriage ceremony. When two people vow before God and say “for rich or for poor, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part”, they are obligated by God to fulfill all that was spoken. Also, when the newlyweds consummate their covenant intimately, they have been uniquely joined together as “one flesh”, and are made one in body and spirit by God.
    In light of all we have studied thus far, I cannot help but to pose the question “How does God feel about divorce?” To find the answer, we will go to the Holy Scriptures.
    In Malachi 2:13-16, the prophet depicts God’s frustration with the people who professed their love toward Him. He begins by saying…
    “Here’s something else you do. You flood the Lord’s altar with your tears. You sob and cry because he doesn’t pay attention to your offerings anymore. He doesn’t accept them from your hands with pleasure” Mal. 2:13 (NIRV)
    In verse 13, we clearly see that God is displeased with His people. Verses 14-16, the prophet tells us the reason behind Gods displeasure.
    “You ask, “Why?” It’s because the Lord is holding you accountable. He watches how you treat the wife you married when you were young. You have broken your promise to her. You did it even though she’s your partner. You promised to stay married to her. And the Lord was a witness to it. Hasn’t he made the two of you one? Both of you belong to him in body and spirit. And why has he made you one? Because he was looking for godly children. So guard yourself in your spirit. Don’t break your promise to the wife you married when you were young” Mal. 2:14-15 (NIRV)
    The source of God’s frustration toward His people was rooted in their unwillingness to honor the marriage vows that they made with their spouse. This caused God to turn a deaf ear to their prayers, and to reject their worship. Verse 16 of this passage goes on to answer the question we posed earlier, “How does God feel about divorce?”
    “I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel. “I hate it when people do anything that harms others,” says the Lord who rules over all” Mal. 2:16 (NIRV)
    God clearly tells us how he feels about divorce through the mouth of His prophet. Verse 16 tells us that “God hates divorce”. He hates it because it is humanity’s attempt to destroy the very thing that He united together in body and in spirit. He also hates it because it causes people to fall into the sin of unfaithfulness, and refuse to live up to their promise. Not to mention the long term effects that a broken home has on children who grow up without an active father or mother in their lives.
    When I look at God’s sincerity toward the union of marriage and His expectancy for us to fulfill our promise, I have to ask “why were God’s people getting divorced in the book of Malachi? Didn’t they know the truth about marriage?” To be entirely honest, they were justifying their divorce by using scripture. There is one particular passage in the bible which truly is contradictory to the rest of God’s teachings concerning marriage. In fact, Jesus addressed it during His ministry and explains why it was written, and who the true author was (I will further explain this in section IV). Now to examine the controversial passage…
    “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house” (Deut. 24:1)
    In this passage, Moses permitted men to write a bill of divorcement if their wife no longer has favor in their eyes. This verse is very bazar because it is dis-harmonious with the rest of the Old Testament. It is also unclear as to what exactly “uncleanness” means. This verse caused a great deal of debate amongst the Jewish nation. So much in fact, that scholar brought this topic to Jesus in order to find out His view of this highly disputed passage. (See section IV for continued discussion of this topic)

    IV. JESUS’ REINSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE

    In the previous section, we discussed how God felt about divorce. We saw the strong rebuke given by the prophet Malachi, and saw God’s displeasure toward His people for not honoring their marriage covenant. God clearly provided His position on their actions when He said “I hate divorce…” (Mal. 2:16). Lastly, we covered that controversial passage in Deuteronomy which allowed men to write their wife a bill of divorcement. We will continue our study with Jesus’ understanding of that passage, and seek to find the truth about divorce, as revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ.
    “And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? Tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?” (Mark 10:2-3)
    At this point in Christ’s ministry, He is confronted with His view of the very same issue that we are discussing. The scholarly Jews approached Jesus looking for a theological discussion on divorce. So they proceeded to ask Jesus, “Is it lawful for a man to put away (divorce) his wife?” Jesus answered their question with a question of his own. He asked, “what did Moses command you?” They answered Him in verse four…
    “And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away”. (Mark 10:4)
    Here, the argumentative scholars replied to Jesus’ question by referring to Deuteronomy 24:1. This is the same controversial passage that we are seeking the answer for now.
    “And Jesus answered and said unto them, for the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:5-9)
    Jesus begins to address their concept of divorce and says, “for the hardness of your heart he (Moses) wrote you this…” Jesus first disqualifies Moses’ commandment in Deuteronomy 24:1, by revealing that Moses was the author of the commandment, and not God. Moses wrote it to a stiff necked generation who was more concerned with pleasing their own desires, then they were with pleasing God’s (see 1 Cor. 10:1-13). He wrote it because of the hardness of their hearts. Moses knew that they would not honor the true sanctity of marriage, so he allowed them to write a bill of divorcement. Moreover, Jesus discredited Moses’ commandment from being a genuine commandment from God. Mathew also reiterates Jesus’ understanding of Deuteronomy 24:1. Mathew 19:8 says “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so”. Jesus taught that divorce was never allowed by God from the beginning. It was just a carnal solution for hard hearted people that Moses instituted. After Jesus discredits the commandment given by Moses, He then proceeds to reinstitute God’s true law of marriage.
    “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:6-9)
    While Jesus is expressing God’s original intent for marriage, He refers back to Adam and Eve and explains how they were made “one flesh”. He was referring to God’s super natural union of marriage. It is when God unites the man and the woman as “one flesh”, one in body and one in spirit. Jesus concludes His description of God’s original intent of marriage by including God’s true plan concerning divorce. He says “what therefor God has joined together, let not man put asunder”. Jesus is commanding men not to try and separate (put asunder) what God has united in marriage. Ultimately He is teaching us that no legal document written by man has the power to determine whether or not a couple is married. Even though a man oversees the wedding ceremony, scripture teaches that God is the only person with the authority to make a couple one (Mal. 2:15). If God is the only one who can truly unite, then God is the only one who can truly divide. That means that a bill of divorcement is only legal, and has no significance in the eyes of God. Mathew taught this same principle in his Gospel…
    “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mat. 19:3-6)
    After Jesus publicly corrected His contemporaries’ misconception of marriage, His disciples begin to privately ask Him more details concerning the issue of divorce
    “And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter” (Mark 10:10)
    Jesus answered their questions, and discussed the consequences of divorce.
    “And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery” (Mark 10:11-12)
    Jesus began to express His understanding of those who have been divorced and remarried, by using the term “whosoever”. That term is entirely in-discriminatory because it does not exclude any man, woman, ethnicity, or people group. It simply means that these words pertain to anyone, in any stage of life who has embraced the responsibility of marriage. He said “whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her”. Here Jesus is not calling those who divorce adulterers. Sometimes life brings about unhealthy circumstances and separation is in the best interest of the couple. However, the adultery comes into play when one is divorced from their spouse, and then is married to another. The act of remarriage is adultery because God still considers the couple to be one flesh. Why, you may ask? It is because a manmade document does not determine whether or not the couple is one in body and spirit. Only God has the authority to do that (Mat. 19:8). Also, the married couple’s change of feelings is not enough to erase the lifelong vow that they made to God (Num. 30:2). Moreover, feelings may change and circumstances may come and go, but God will always see you as one with the husband or wife that you first made vows with, until the vow is performed (i.e. till death). That is why it becomes adultery when a divorced spouse enters into another marriage. Please note that God gives the same commandment to both the male and female genders in Mark 10:11-12.
    “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery” (Luke 16:18)
    As we examine Luke 16:18, we will find that there is another element added into the remarriage issue. In Mark 10:11-12, Jesus’ addresses the one who puts away (divorces) their spouse. It teaches that the one who divorces their spouse and remarries another person commits adultery. Luke teaches that same truth in the first part of this verse. It states, “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery”. However, Luke also records Jesus’ teaching concerning the one who is put away (divorced) from their spouse. Jesus says, “Whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery”. Jesus is teaching us that even the one who was divorced is guilty of adultery, if they enter into a second marriage. He also points out that the third party who marries the divorced spouse, is guilty of adultery as well, “whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery”. Jesus is teaching us that whosoever is remarried, whether they were divorced or did the divorcing, will be adulterers if they engage in a second marriage. Even if someone who has never been married, decides to marry someone who has been divorced, they are committing adultery as well. No one who has engaged in a second marriage, or has become someone’s second marriage, will be innocent of this sin. Please note that these principles apply to any amount of marriages that occur after the first.
    “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Mat. 5:32)
    Mathew 5:32 is one of the most unique passages on divorce and remarriage. It is very different in purpose from Mark and Luke’s records. Mark and Luke focus on divorced men and women committing adultery by remarrying and third parties committing adultery by marrying those who have been divorced. However, Mathew mentions a different aspect of the consequences of divorce. He says, “Whosoever shall put away his wife… causeth her to commit adultery”. Notice that Mathew is focusing on “causing” the divorced spouse to commit adultery. In other words, a person who is no longer willing to honor their wedding vows and divorces their spouse will be guilty of causing their divorced spouse to have post-marital relations. For example, if there is a woman who is willing to make the marriage work, but the husband has emotionally moved on and divorces her. Then if the woman cannot abstain from her natural sexual desires and decides to remarry, then her adulteress remarriage is a result of her first husband’s decision to divorce. Why is that you may ask? It’s because the husband decided to divorce the wife, in spite of her willingness to stay. Therefore, she is left alone and has to try and withstand her natural desires by herself (something she would not have to do if she were still married). Moreover, the husband’s unwillingness to remain married is what put her in that predicament. Therefore, he has “caused” her to commit adultery and will be held responsible for her actions. Please note that this principle can be applied to both men and women.
    According to Mathew’s writing, there is only one thing that allows a husband or wife to divorce their spouse, and not be held responsible for their future intimate relationships. Let’s examine Mathew’s exception.
    “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery…” (Mat. 5:32)
    If you read the verse without the exception it would read, “but I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, causeth her to commit adultery”. However, with the exception, it reads “but I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, {saving (except) for the cause of fornication}, causeth her to commit adultery”. He is saying that if you divorce your spouse, you will be responsible for causing their adultery, unless you were divorced because of “fornication”. In order for us to understand what this means, we must first understand what “fornication” means. The Greek word porneia which is translated “fornication” in Mathew 5:32; is the root word that our modern term “pornography” comes from. The word is used in the bible to describe any type of sexual act which occurs outside of a biblical marriage between a man and a woman. So essentially Mathew is letting us know that you can rightfully divorce someone who has been sexually unfaithful to you, and not be held responsible for their adultery after your divorce. Apparently God understands one’s desire to divorce after their spouse is sexually unfaithful, so He gives His approval to divorce in an unhealthy relationship such as that. However, Mathew’s record of Jesus’ teaching in this passage does NOT give those who divorce their unfaithful spouse the right to remarry. It only gives them the right to divorce and not be held responsible for their future actions. Please note that “fornication” is also a reason to divorce in Mathew 19:9 as well, but remarriage is not permitted in ANY passage.
    “…and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Mat. 5:32)
    “…and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (Mat. 19:9)
    Jesus’ reinstitution of God’s union of marriage seems hard to swallow after first hearing it, but that is a completely normal reaction. Even the apostles had that same response. After they heard it, they said “If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry” (Mat. 19:10). Jesus replied to their reaction of the truth of marriage and said, “All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given”. Jesus was telling us that everyone will not be spiritual enough to receive His teaching on marriage. Only the ones who have solely committed their lives to His comandments, and are willing to follow Him where ever He takes them (see John 10:26-27).

    V. PAUL’S TESTIMONY OF THE UNION OF MARRIAGE

    In the previous section, we examined Jesus’ reinstitution of God’s true law of marriage. There we saw in very plain language the truth concerning the controversy of divorce and remarriage. Jesus told us that anyone who divorces their spouse and remarries another is an adulterer (Mark 10:11-12). He also taught that if the one who is divorced decides to get remarried, then they too are an adulterer, as is the one who marries the divorced spouse (Luke 16:18). We also saw that Jesus did permit divorce under one condition. That was if their spouse was sexually unfaithful to them (Mat. 5:32). However, in each of these circumstances, remarriage is never permitted. In this section we will examine Paul’s teachings concerning divorce and remarriage and see how they harmonize with those of Christ’s.
    “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man” (Rom. 7:1-3)
    In Romans 7:1-3, Paul addresses the Church at Rome concerning the early Churches teachings of divorce and remarriage. He begins by saying, “know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law)…” The phrase “know ye not?” would simply be worded “don’t you know?” in our modern English. Paul speaks to the Church with the assumption that they already know, and are familiar with the apostle’s teachings of divorce and remarriage. After he says “know ye not?” he then says “for I speak unto them that know the law”. Oftentimes, people disregard this truth because it uses the phrase “law”. Many Christians feel as if the “law” does not apply to them at all, but that is not the case. The law had three divisions; the ceremonial law, the civil law, and the moral law. The ceremonial laws addressed the religious ceremonies that a worshiper of Jehovah would have to partake in, in order to receive atonement for sins, or be made ceremonially clean. These ceremonies were abolished in Christ because He has become our atonement and eternal sacrifice, and His blood cleanses us and redeems us from all iniquity. The civil law referred to Israel’s judicial system and their capital punishment for certain crimes. The civil law is done away with simply because we are not tried for our crimes in a Jewish court room, nor do we live under Jewish governing authorities. However, the moral law is different from the ceremonial and civil law. It is God’s basic moral code and contains His statutes of what is right and wrong. This will never change with time. Christians are still responsible to obey God’s moral law under the new covenant. We are still not allowed to kill, we are still not allowed to steal, and we are still not allowed to commit adultery etc.
    In Romans 7:1-3, there are three main points that need to be gathered from Paul’s teaching.
    • As long as both the husband and the wife are alive, they are considered to be married in the eyes of God.
    “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth” (Rom. 7:2)
    Here, Paul is communicating that the woman (wife) is bound by the law (married) to her husband as long as he is alive. He gives no exceptions or change of circumstances that can liberate someone from the unity of marriage. As long as both parties are alive, they are married to the recipient of their vows until death. Paul’s says “for the woman who is married is {bound by the law}…” When two people stand before God and swear by an oath, they have bound themselves to one another with a unique law, one that does not apply to people who have not entered into the covenant of marriage. It is that law binding oath that both parties have sworn to fulfill that is in effect as long as they are alive.
    • Death is the only thing that liberates someone from the bonds of marriage.
    “…but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband” (Rom. 7:2)
    In the latter half of verse two, Paul reveals the only way that one can be freed from the bond of marriage. That is with the death of one of the spouses. If one of the parties dies, the other is no longer able to love and cherish them for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, or for rich or for poor. Therefore, the vow is fulfilled and death has “done them part”. Paul also taught this same principle to the Church at Corinth.
    “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:39)
    • If an already married man or woman enters into another marriage, while their first spouse is still alive, they are committing adultery.
    “So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man” (Rom. 7:3)
    In the above passage, Paul reveals the only way that an individual can enter into a second marriage without committing adultery. That is if their first spouse has already passed away. Then they are freed from their first marriage and are at liberty to remarry. Paul says “while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress”. Here, the apostle labels the individual who enters into a second marriage as an “adulteress”. Notice that phrase “adulteress”. It is not referring to a one time act of sin. It is referring to a constant state of recommitting adultery. That is not something which can be forgiven by a simple prayer of confession. It is a constant state of a sinful lifestyle which one must repent of and turn away from in order to receive forgiveness (See these passages for the consequence of the sin of adultery, Rom. 6:1, 1 Cor. 6:9-10, Gal. 5:19-21, Heb. 13:4). It is important to point out that Paul’s doctrine of marriage is identical to that of Jesus’ in Mark 10:11-12 and Luke 16:18.
    In light of the consequences of remarriage, what does someone do when their marriage is unhealthy and even unsafe? Though God requires us to perform any oath that we make with Him, He still understands the dangerous conditions that can be created in an unhealthy relationship. Therefore God, through the pen of the apostle Paul commands us…
    “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife” (1 Cor. 7:10-11)
    In verse ten, Paul says “unto the married I command, yet not I but the Lord”. Paul made sure that we understood that these commandments are not coming from his own thoughts. Rather, they are coming directly from God. There are two commandments in verses 10-11 that God gives to the married.
    • Let not the wife depart from the husband. (1 Cor. 7:10)
    God hates divorce. He clearly states that in Malachi 2:16. In light of His feelings on divorce, He says “let not the wife depart from her husband”. The fulfilling of this commandment is the perfect will of God for a marriage. Even though not departing from your spouse is God’s perfect will, we know that God has an “acceptable will” according to Romans 12:2. It is acceptable because God does not take pleasure in it as He does His perfect will, but He certainly understands and will not penalize anyone for those things that He accepts. Some marriages have to separate for the mental, physical, and spiritual safety of the husband or wife. God is merciful in that He understands our needing to separate in those circumstances. However, His second commandment is addressed to those who have separated from their spouse.
    • If she departs, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. (1 Cor. 7:11)
    God will always consider a man and woman who has entered into a marriage covenant with one another as married until one of them is deceased. Moreover, God will not condone a separated or divorced spouse to engage in a second marriage, seeing as how He will not permit adultery. Therefore, God’s commandment to the separated is to “remain unmarried” in order to avoid adultery, or “be reconciled” once conditions are healthy and stable. Once again, remarriage is not permitted by God, unless death has broken the bond of marriage.
    Many people try and twist the meaning of 1 Corinthians 7:12-15 in order to support them getting remarried. However, their interpretation of this passage is a direct contradiction to the teaching of Jesus, and even makes Paul contradict himself in the same chapter. Let us rightly divide this passage in order to ensure that the bible does not contradict itself.
    “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace” (1 Cor. 7:12-15). We must first note that Paul did not confirm that these commandments are from God. Instead, he reveals them as being his own advice for people who are involved in situations such as this. He says “but to the rest speak I, not the Lord”.
    The real debate is concerning verse 15. It states “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace”. People interpret the phrase in verse 15 “not under bondage” to mean that their marriage is no longer valid if the unbelieving spouse walks away. However, this interpretation is a direct contradiction to Paul’s testimony that death is the only thing that breaks the bond of marriage found in verse 39 of this same chapter and in Romans 7:1-3. Also, that understanding is completely disharmonious to God’s previous commandment given in verses 10-11. I think it is safer to say that Paul is relieving the husbands and wives of their required duties if their unbelieving spouse abandoned them. For example; a husband is obligated by God to provide for his family, or he is considered less than an infidel (1 Tim. 5:8). He is also obligated by God not to withhold himself from his wife when she desires to have a time of intimacy (1 Cor. 7:3-5). These obligations are ones that would not be required of the husband if the unbelieving spouse departs. He would no longer be required to provide for her financially (not including any form of child support), and would no longer be required to submit to her physical needs. Even Jesus liberated the innocent spouse from their responsibility in Mathew 5:32. However, Jesus, identical to Paul, did not give the permission to remarry. They only freed them from their marital responsibilities under unhealthy circumstances.

    VI. GOD’S TESTIMONY OF HIS LAW OF MARRIAGE

    In this final section of our study, we will examine the Old and New Testament passages that deal with God and His covenant wives. The word “covenant” simply means testament. The bible has two major distinctions that everyone is familiar with. They are the Old and New Testaments or Old and New Covenants. It is necessary for me to point out that the recipients of the Old Covenant were referred to as God’s wife, and the recipients of the New Covenant are also referred to as God’s wife (i.e. bride). In this study we will examine how God’s marriage, divorce, and remarriage testify of His own law concerning divorce and remarriage.
    In order for God to express to Israel the sanctity of the covenant He established with them, He would often describe their covenant using marital terminology.
    “Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine” (Eze. 16:8)
    “For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God” (Isa. 54:6)
    “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion” (Jer. 3:14)
    It was obvious that God loved and cherished the people of the covenant. He not only referred to them in marital terminology, but He went as far as to call Himself their husband.
    “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called” (Isa. 54:5)
    Israel was spiritually married to God, and God was spiritually married to them. Even in the way that the man gives his name to his wife, God called the nation of Israel by His name (2 Chr. 7:14, Isa. 43:7). Even though the nation of Israel was loved by God, they began to ignore their end of the covenant, and began to go after idols and commit spiritual adultery.
    “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorcement…” (Jer. 3:8)
    “Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away” (Isa. 50:1)
    Even though God hates divorce, He put His covenant wife away and wrote a bill of divorcement. He did this because of the spiritual adultery they committed with false gods. In fact, Jesus taught us that we are permitted do the same if our spouse deals with us in this same manner (Mat. 5:32).
    When we come to the New Testament (i.e. the New Covenant or New Marriage), we find that God is no longer married to the nation of Israel. Instead, He is married to His body, the body of Christ (see 2 Cor. 11:2, Eph. 5:22-31). One can only help but ask, how? If God does not allow us to put away our spouse and marry another, then why can He? Believe it or not, the answer to this question is found in the scriptures. Let us examine His word together.
    It was obvious that the Israelites marriage with Jehovah God was not healthy. Apparently they could not remain faithful to God, and their relationship did not possess enough substance to empower them to remain faithful. Therefore, God issued the promise for a New Covenant (i.e. New Marriage).
    “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer. 31:31-34)
    This New Covenant would not be one that required them to refer to the letter of the law to know right from wrong. Rather, God would dwell inside of them by way of His Spirit, and would lead them and guide their every step (Eze. 36:27, Gal. 5:16-25). In order for God to issue forth this New Covenant, He had to first eliminate the existence of the Old Covenant. According to God’s word, there is but one thing that can liberate anyone from the bonds of a covenant made before God. That is death (1 Cor. 7:39). So God took it upon Himself to liberate His people from the first covenant by way of death.
    It is revealed in the New Testament, that the God of the Old Testament was come to save His people (Isa. 35:4). The apostles constantly testified of this truth all throughout the New Testament writings. They would refer to Jesus as “God with us” (Mat. 1:21), the “I AM” (Jn. 8:58), “My Lord and My God” (Jn. 20:28), “Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36), “the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9), “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16), “the great God and our Savior” (Ti. 2:13), “the only wise God our Savior” (Jude v. 25), and “the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending… the one which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8). In fact, Paul wrote the Romans and revealed Jesus as the one who ministered the first covenant of circumcision to Abraham.
    “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers” (Rom. 15:8)
    Since Jesus is the God of the Old Testament. That means that Jesus is the God who also promised and willed the New Testament (Jer 31:31-34). However, the beneficiaries of His will could not receive their inheritance until the event of His death. The scripture states “In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living” (Heb. 9:16-18 NIV 1984). Moreover, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ would be the fulfillment of the death of the one who established the Old Covenant, and willed the New. His death would free us from the law of the letter, and qualify us for the law of the Spirit.
    “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Rom. 7:1-4).
    In Romans 7:1-4, Paul uses the law of marriage to testify of the liberating power of Christ’s death.
    Romans 7:4 states “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ…” He is revealing that Christ’s death has set us free from the first marriage (covenant), and has enabled us to be eligible for a second. The latter half of verse 4 tells us why He died. It says “that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God”. Christ’s death has given us the opportunity to engage in a second marriage, one that is not a covenant of flesh, but is a covenant with Him that rose from the dead and overcame the flesh; a new covenant with a new birth, and a new name that must be taken on (Jn. 3:5, Acts 2:38, 19:1-6). Though many things are made new in the New Covenant, it is the same old God which has done the work.
    “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28)
    “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself…” (2 Cor. 5:19)
    “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down his life for us…” (1 Jn. 3:16)
    God’s own actions are a testimony of His law of marriage. Even He did not engage in a second marriage without rightfully being liberated from the first by death.

    CONCLUSION
    When examining the whole council of God concerning divorce and remarriage, we find a truth that is not popular among society, or among many Christians today. However, we must be careful to never allow society or our own emotions to direct our spiritual behavior. The ways of the world are the enemy of God (Jam. 4:4), and we as Christians are called to crucify our own emotions and feelings, and walk after the ways of the Spirit (Gal. 5:24-25). Moreover, society may change and our emotions may come and go, but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever (Heb. 13:9)

  61. Well written Steve M.. It’s good to study your Bible well and know God’s mind about a matter like Divorce. I need to correct a notion, because Jesus told the woman that he knows she has had 5 husbands does say that he welcomed it because he expressly told her to go and sin no more, that a second marriage is not God’s agenda at all but people do it… eternity truly wait ….

  62. Hello,
    I’ve enjoyed and been instructed by the Lord through some of your writings. I love your heart to please the Lord and serve others!

    I feel compelled to share what the Lord taught me. It was humbling to get to the point of receiving His Mercy and repenting of my divorce and remarriage. Why? Pride and frustration that what I had believed, what I was counseled towards by the Church-was not from the heart of God but was for my destruction. And because it would be so costly in many ways to obey and repent and turn. I allowed my self to be deceived because of pain. Because errant teaching by those who identified as Christians and our culture supported what my flesh and deceived heart wanted to justify. I was wrong.

    You put yourself on the internet as a teacher of sorts and thus you bear a large responsibility before the Lord to those who read what you write.

    http://www.biblicalresearchreports.com/divorce-and-remarriage-why-didnt-we-see-this-before/

    http://www.biblicalmennonite.com/divorce-and-remarriage.html

    Did Jesus Say Adultery Is Grounds for Divorce? https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/did-jesus-say-adultery-is-grounds-for-divorce

    Please read these and study giving all preconceived ideas into God’s hand to mold as He desires? My prayer is that your heart will be soft to see and understand the heart of God regarding divorce and remarriage and that nothing will stand in the way of that.

  63. I would say that your teaching is incorrect. 1 Corinthians talks about how a woman if she divorces her husband she should remain unmarried or “else” be reconciled to her first husband. Remarriage IS ADULTARY.

  64. Hello Dave, thank you for the great reflection.
    Any insight on this PLEASE. Although there was never infidelity or abuse, my 12 yr marriage was dissolved. I became a single mom for over 7 years and then (5 yrs ago) with the help of an official government, due to a pregnancy, got married – . There has been a lot of confusion, pain, regret and repentance. Now I have 3 kids, two from my first marriage and one little one from this. My ex -first husband still unmarried. Do I continue this path or do I amend what’s is done. How can I rectify to be right with God? As I am reading the scriptures, I try to find answers and to do the right thing and set an example to my kids and society; it makes me wonder about adultery.
    I know you stated that every one of us need to take our issues to the LORD in prayer and let the Holy Spirit guide us through his word. What can I do? Thank you

  65. I’m trying to understand all of this as I have been trying to seek my own answers. If someone could give me their opinion based on scripture ( which I’m having a hard time understanding) I’d appreciate that.
    I was married 12 yrs. We were both Christians, although I was a newer Christian and struggling.. We separated due to miscommunications, lack of respect.. Etc.. I didn’t think there was anything left.. He sent me divorce papers 1yr later. During the one-year separation we were both involved with other people. I didn’t understand until recently that that was committing adultery because in God’s eyes we were still married even though the world said we were legally separated…
    He remarried the following year and although I’ve had other relationships I have not remarried. We have finally gotten to a place where we are friends now.. I understand that him divorcing his second wife to put our family back together with our children is an Abomination to the Lord and I’m not saying that that’s going to happen because he said he will do whatever he needs to do to keep his second marriage working… And that’s, great…
    So my question is… actually I have three.. 1st.. Does that mean the fact that he got remarried that he’s committed adultery in the eyes of the Lord?

    2nd….
    If I’m reading correctly I should remain unmarried until he passes away otherwise I be committing adultery?

    And 3rd… if his wife passes away and we get back together is that considered justifiable in the Lord’s eyes or is he not supposed to remarry his first wife (which is me)… because of the scripture that was quoted on these posts about not getting back with the first wife I know I’m confused because I have read that it says it’s okay

    Oh and I guess I have another one…. so the fact that we both were with other people (he was with the one he ended up marrying, 2nd wife) when we were separated does that mean we both committed adultery and should remain single.

    Years and years later you see the effect of divorce and how it’s affected our children and we both have said we regret it and I wish we could go back but we can’t…. and I think if we had both remained single or if he hadn’t remarried we might have had a chance to reconcile…

    Since we’ve become friends again I know it’s sinful but I have often thought maybe the Lord will take his second life out ( she passes away) I feel horrible just writing that)…so we can get back together but after all the reading God would want him to honour that second marriage right? and I have repented and asked for forgiveness of my sins from that marriage and all the wrong that I did and I guess I just need to move forward I’m just looking for some clarity and some answers to those questions that I’m just not sure about and I’m having a hard time finding a true bibical answer.. Thank you and God bless

  66. Never thought I’d say this but I actually have begun to have grave concerns with the modern church notion that one can enter into adultery and it somehow stops being adultery because you get down on your knees and say you are sorry. I am one who did this. Despite my beliefs that adultery granted the right of divorce and thus remarriage and despite being told that I had valid grounds to divorce and remarry and that to end my second marriage would be sin, despite confessing and repenting , we had no peace whatsoever, only continual unrest and ill at ease distress. In the end after looking into church history we concluded that what the church teaches now is not what it used to teach.

    Take for instance how some who teach its wrong to end a second marriage, quote the verse about remaining in that state in which you are called. So if you were called as a homosexual, you should remain in a gay relationship because you are forgiven? So if you are in adultery, should you remain in that?

    If its true that a second marriage, no matter how wrongly entered into, is now valid and binding, then how do you explain what happened in Ezra? Would God not have upheld those marriages now that they were entered into and consummated, if indeed valid no matter how rightly or wrongly entered into?

    As for the word pornea, if you look at the list of sins that keep people from the kingdom, pornea and mochea (fornication and adultery) are listed separtately. If pornea is really a catch all term for all manner of sexual immorality, why then is the word mochea? I mean really, he who commits adultery commits adultery?

    It seems to me that in going back to the beginning, what Jesus is likely saying is that in the beginning, you got married for life, period. Only if you discover that she has committed immorality prior to the consummation of the marriage may you break off your covenant with her. Which might explain why the disciples responded with a collective gasp and decided its better to not get married. Why? Because there is no excuse to get out of it once you make the commitment. One may certainly separate and perhaps if truly necessary to stop an evil spouse from robbing you blind, legally divorce, in cases of abuse, perversion, etc. i have no problem with that. I just don’t think we can remarry while a former spouse is living. This has been the historical teaching of the early church.

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