Divorce - Remarriage

I'm married to a divorced woman. Is this marriage a continual sin of adultery and is this why I'm having so many problems now?

No, you are not necessarily having problems because she was divorced. You are having problems because whatever she learned, whatever problem she had in the previous marriage, apparently she hasn’t learned to change those things that were causing problems in the past and those same issues are causing her problems in this marriage as well. Maybe you didn’t get the pre-marriage counseling you needed to discover the practical principles to have a successful marriage. Once you identify those, anybody can succeed in marriage.

Just because she has been divorced is not the reason to blame the problems in your marriage. You have to take responsibility for why you have the problems in your marriage. Identify what are the root causes to the problems in your marriage. What are the things you keep bumping up against and find the biblical solutions to those problems. Then you will have a successful marriage. Her divorce is a thing of the past. Don’t use her past to be the prophecy of your future. Use her past to learn. You can go to our website at changinglives.org and get some marriage tapes that will help you to learn what it takes to have a successful marriage

Divorce - Remarriage

Is it scriptural for a Christian who has gone through divorce to get married again? If YES can the wedding be celebrated in church?

Sometimes it is fine to get remarried and sometimes it’s not. First of all, you need to evaluate what caused you to have the divorce. What did you do to contribute to the divorce in your life? What contributed to that? And if you’re continually making the same decisions that you made that led up to a divorce, or continuing to live in the same habits and patterns that led up to the divorce the first time, then obviously you’re setting yourself up for another divorce.

What you have to do is identify what the problems were in your life that contributed to that divorce and then decide if you have successfully identified those issues and resolved those issues in your life, so that you’re not contributing to another divorce. And if you haven’t identified those things and resolved those things, then don’t go back into a marriage relationship until you have.

As far as where to have the wedding, well, there are some churches that it can’t be in. But again the focus needs to be on identifying and resolving whatever contributed to the divorce in the past.

Now remember, if you were divorced before you were a Christian, the Bible says, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that if any man’s in Christ he’s a new creature. The old things are passed away. You have a brand new beginning. And you should realize that that marriage, as far as God’s concerned, is washed away. But if you were a Christian and you got a divorce, then you need to evaluate what caused you to have that divorce, what contributed to it on your end, and then make sure you resolve those weaknesses in your life so you don’t have the same problem. But getting married in a church, there’s nothing wrong with that, if you’ve had a divorce in the past.

Divorce - Remarriage

According to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19, God only acknowledges one marriage; remarriage is perpetual sin for anyone who is a Christian. What do you think about this?

Well, clearly, the Bible doesn’t teach that remarriage is perpetual sin for anybody. Clearly, there is opportunity for remarriage. That’s not something that is not allowed in the Bible, it’s something that God definitely endorses. God is the God of second chances. Now, God hates divorce, but He doesn’t hate you. And if somebody has been divorced, the Bible says “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away and all things become new.” So if you were divorced before you were a Christian, as far as God’s concerned, He considers that the past and has wiped it away. He doesn’t even look at it.

Now, having said that, what we need to realize is many people in the Bible days, when the Bible was written, were actually divorcing somebody with the intent to marry somebody else. Well, that’s the same as just committing adultery while you’re married to somebody else. “I’m going to divorce you because I’m tired of you but I really am in love with this other person.” Well, that’s a wrong reason to be divorced, and a wrong reason to be remarried, and that is what God was saying was considered adultery.

Divorce - Remarriage

In reference to the book of Matthew where it speaks about remarriage of divorced people, I’d like to know your perspective of that.

Matthew 19 is what you’re referring to. Jesus did say that people who marry a divorced person are committing adultery so what did he mean? First of all, we have to remember the context in which Jesus was speaking. He was speaking to the Pharisees and the Jews who were really trying to tempt Him and question Him about whether it was lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause. And the fact is that Jesus said, “No, not for every cause, but because of your hardness of heart, Moses gave you the certificate of divorce.” So they were arguing with Him about this.
As studies show, they wanted to divorce a woman and then be able to marry somebody else when they were done with the woman that they were married to. And Jesus was saying, if you do that, you are committing adultery. He was not saying that in all cases that divorce is committing adultery or if you marry a divorced woman, you’re committing adultery. He was addressing people who marry somebody who divorced somebody else for the purpose of being with them instead, which is what people do often. Their reason for getting a divorce is not because they can’t work out their marriage; it’s because they’re tired of being unselfish so they’re going to go ahead and be selfish, end that marriage and go on to somebody else. And that is adultery, and that is committing adultery, and marrying somebody who does that is committing adultery.

So the fact is, He was talking to those people in that context. Now He says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If any man be in Christ,” which these people were not, but “if any man be in Christ, He is a new creature and the old things are passed away.” So God forgives divorce and God delivers us from the experiences of divorce. What we need to know is if you’re considering marrying somebody who is divorced, you need to know that the Bible does not say that you’re committing adultery. The Bible says you’re committing adultery if you marry somebody who left somebody else for the purpose to be married to you because the adultery had already started in their heart.

Let me also add this, if somebody has been divorced, here’s what I would do. I would identify why they got a divorce. What was the cause of the divorce and did they fix in their life what was wrong in their life that contributed to the divorce so that the pattern doesn’t continue?

This is a hot topic, a touchy topic. And it could be perceived to some who would listen to me over and over again that I may be lenient concerning the issue or subject of divorce, which I am not lenient. But for those that might think that we’re liberal where it comes to that subject, let me make it very clear that God hates divorce, number one.

But number two, God hates abuse and God hates people being taken advantage of and God hates people not being provided for. When a woman has trusted a man to take care of her and he doesn’t go to work and he’s not willing to pay the bills, these are things that we have to be aware of that God does not love. Just because he hates divorce doesn’t mean He loves abuse and He lets a man abuse a woman and says “well, he hasn’t committed adultery, so she doesn’t have the right to leave him.” No, God hates divorce, but He hates the mistreatment of one another also. So if somebody continues to mistreat you, divorce isn’t the first option, but getting counseling is.

And then if you got counseling and there still is not a change, then consider a separation from that person. A separation with strict rules of “Here’s what has to happen in your life; here’s what has to happen in my life and we’re going to have an outside party, a third party tell us whether we were successful or not at changing these things.,” A separation like that can do a service to your marriage and help you be restored.

The Bible says “If a brother sins against you, go to him. If he still doesn’t repent, take somebody with you. If he still doesn’t repent, take him to the church. If he still doesn’t repent, then cast him out.” So there is a process there with a biblical principal.

You go to your husband or wife, try to work it out. If you can’t get it worked out, then take somebody with you; get some counseling. If you still can’t get it worked out, then take it before the elders of your church. Get some counsel spiritually as well as in the natural where marriage is concerned. Still can’t get it worked out? Then separate from that person with strict rules and oversight and then, hopefully it’ll get worked out through the separation process because of the seriousness of it. And if it does, then you’ve won that marriage. And if it doesn’t, you’ve done everything you could and exhausted every avenue to heal that marriage and restore that trust and if it can’t be restored after that, then and only then, should divorced be considered.

Usually when people are calling me about divorce, it’s already gone past all of those points. They’ve already gone and exhausted every opportunity every possibility and that’s why it may come across as if I’m giving them the green light. God is the only one that can give you the green light. I can’t give you the green light to get married and I can’t give you the green light to get divorced. But God’s Word is merciful and God’s Word is clear and God gives everybody a way out of a situation that is evil and that is not going to be productive or helpful.

Divorce - Remarriage

What does the Bible say about Divorce? Is it ever right to marry a divorced person?

In it’s purest sense, there is nothing unscriptural about marrying a divorced person. But you have to evaluate why did that person have a divorce, and did that person divorce just so they could be with you? Then that’s adultery. If you already had a relationship with this person, so they divorced that other person so they could marry you, that’s the same as being married and committing adultery.

But people make mistakes, people fall, people stumble, people make bad decisions in life. If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. So if their divorce was before they were a new creature in Christ, it’s as if it never happened. If it was after they were a new creature in Christ, you need to identify why they had a divorce, what were the things that contributed to the divorce, and what convinces you that those same factors that contributed to this person’s previous divorce won’t again contribute to a bad relationship with you? Once that’s identified and evaluated, then you should get some premarriage counseling, and some pre-pre-marriage counseling and determine whether it’s even worth it to even pursue a relationship with this person.

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