The question I’m looking at in this two part blog is: According to the Word of God are you to remarry after you divorce?
A friend and I were talking about this very sensitive issue, which prompted me to look at all these verses – and trying to without any justifications or trying to find loop holes – what is God’s will in this area?
Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.
I wondered if it mattered who initiated the divorce in terms of if you are free to remarry. If my husband divorces me – I really don’t have a choice, so do I still commit adultery if I marry another?
1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.
Mark 10:11-12 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
Matthew 5: 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
Why does God seem to be “tough” on this issue? The problem is the land becomes greatly polluted when people are marrying, divorcing, and remarrying and so on.
Jeremiah 3:1 “They say, ‘If a man divorces his wife, And she goes from him And becomes another man’s, May he return to her again?’ Would not that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; Yet return to Me,” says the Lord.
Malachi 2:16 “For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the Lord of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.”
I want to back up for a moment and talk about divorce. It has struck me lately how marriage is the foundation of society, as our relationship with God is foundational to our lives. If you want to destroy society, which evil does, then destroy marriages, which we see happening on many levels. When marriage is destroyed by divorce (when I speak of divorce – it is all the emotions and actions prior to, during and after – not just the actual legal separation – for these emotions and actions are what are so destructive) the ripple affect is great. Families are broken, which creates broken people, which creates issues on all levels of life– therefore all suffer the ramifications. We don’t live in isolation; all we do influences the whole.
Marriage represents out relationship with God, to teach us about our relationship to Him. The seriousness and impact of a marriage is what it is because of what it represents. The damage created by divorce is great because when we break away from God the damage is horrific in our lives. People’s spirits are torn apart in divorce as they are when they aren’t rightly related to God (though with God obviously the damage is much greater). We are to be filled with love, but divorce fills us with anger, pride, and pain. When our spirits are filled with these emotions, it is very caustic to ourselves and others. Obviously, staying married with these emotions is also extremely harmful. But we aren’t to live with them, but to keep from them or move out of them through the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. Let us never underestimate the power of God’s love in our lives. It isn’t about being miserable in a marriage but putting our trust in God that if we honor His will, He will help us and give us what we are looking for – love.
When we marry something changes on a spiritual level within us. We become united to a person unlike we do in any other relationship, again because of what it illustrates. God created it with a spiritual impact. We can’t change that characteristic regardless if we believe or not. It is what it is. Therefore, when we divorce it tears our spirits apart, but not into two intact pieces as before, but ripped, torn, and damaged.
Marriage doesn’t work without God’s love. A lack of His love is the source of this proliferating problem. We have destroyed true love, the one thing that saves us from ourselves, with our pride, anger, and selfishness. We have destroyed it from a lack of seeking God’s face with diligence and passion. We have lost Him as our first love, therefore have lost love.
Only God’s love enables us to do what He calls us to do in a marriage – truly love. We can’t do it without Him – as we are seeing. The divorce rate and the numerous wrecked marriages testify to the lack of knowing and possessing God’s love. We gain God’s love in our spirits to know and to give when we cultivate a real, deep and intimate relationship with Him, which few are truly taking the time to do. Look at what we have created by going our own way. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen so much pain and damage created by divorce. It isn’t the solution. When we don’t seek God’s face, abide in His Word, and draw near to know His love – damage, pain, and pride fill our lives.
Further, our understanding about this topic has been warped by society, which says – just divorce and make it all go away, and start over and make it better. In reality, it doesn’t work that way. We create death in us and others and that is what we have to contend with. On so many issues, we have compromised our beliefs and truth by what society impresses upon us. May we pray to know and live the truth that our lives may honor God’s ways and not man’s. There are few times when divorce is an answer, but that is another blog.
This all being said, I also want to say that God’s mercy is great toward His children; far greater than we ever would be toward one another. We all have all fallen short and do on so many accounts. I’ve seen God’s redemptive work many times in this area. But there still was so much pain and damage done. We are called to seek His truth and His will to live by it in our lives and that is my goal with these posts.
Now that we’ve laid out what divorce really creates in our lives . . . next week we’ll look at the aspect of should we remarry after divorce?
Pray and seek God’s truth on this subject this week and let me know your thoughts.