Question: My family believes that if you divorce for any reason and remarry another, you are living in sin. That I also believe, but the confusing thing [that] I cannot get them to see is if that divorced person now gets saved [they shouldn’t go back to the first husband or wife.] They believe that that person should go back to the first wife or husband. Now that I am wiser and reading my Bible I see nothing in the Bible that supports that. How can I get them to see that two wrongs don’t make it right?
Answer: The Scripture you are probably looking for to support your case about not going back to marry the one you divorced after you have remarried is: “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s wife if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD. (Deuteronomy 24: 1-4a)
The other thing I would like to talk about though, is that when you say that there is never a reason for divorce and remarriage this is just not correct. Jesus said that a person may get a divorce when there is sexual immorality. “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.” (Matthew 5:32)
The point is that anyone who divorces someone except for sexual immorality is sinning. However, if there is sexual immorality the person sinned against can divorce and remarry without sinning, or else why would Jesus say except for sexual immorality? He would have just said if a person divorces and remarries they are committing sin. That does not mean, of course, that they have to remarry, but if they do they have not sinned according to Jesus.
Thanks for the questions, and if you have more that you would like to ask, please do so.
In Christian love,
Gary T. Panell
This was the reply we received back: Hey thank you for your comment, I am so sorry I must have worded something wrong, because I believe as the Scripture says (Mt. 5:23). However, my concern was the way my family believes. Let’s say I divorce my husband, I’m not a saved person. I divorce him for other reasons, not adultery. Two years later I meet someone else and marry him. A short while later I accept Christ and get saved. My family believes that I should leave that husband and go back to my first husband because if I don’t, then I’m committing adultery.
My question to them is why? God has already forgiven me for the sin of adultery once I was saved because I asked him to. How can I show them that their way of thinking is simply because they don’t understand the verse? I’ve talked to them about the woman at the well and the woman caught in adultery. Thank you
Thank you for your comments and question. I believe you have some good Scripture you are using, but another one you might share with them is in 1 Corinthians 7. Here Paul makes it clear that we are to stay in the condition we were saved in, and even though it doesn’t mention marriage, it is clear that it applies as a principle for it as well. “Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called…You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. Brethren, let each one remain with God in the state in which he was called.” 1 Corinthians 7:20, 23-24. Thanks for writing. I hope this helps. It causes all sorts of problems when people think like they are thinking. We cannot undo the past, we are born again to start over again. Yes, there are scars from our past life, but nothing God can’t solve, and use for His glory. You might also share with them this verse: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he [she] is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
God bless you!
G. T. Panell
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