Suppose a person goes through one or more divorces. But now they are growing in the Lord and learning about marriage and relationships. So, it is no surprise that they would wonder if remarriage was an option or could be a part of their future.
A friend said, "After I divorced, I read God's Word, attended marriage courses, and was convicted about my divorces. And, I eventually became convinced that I could not remarry."
There are at least four views about remarriage after a divorce.
- …not permitted - it is the same as adultery
- …permitted in all situations
- …only permitted if immorality was the reason for the divorce
- …permitted if it is a Biblical divorce.
If you remarry after a divorce, is that sin? Is it against God's Word?
You can get the details in the GR8 Relationships chapter 11 videos. There is some critical explanation about remarriage in those videos. One of the videos is below.
Without going further, please know that GR8 Relationships does not advocate divorce. Additionally, this post isn't meant to help people even consider divorce. Any statement like that about GR8 Relationships is not true, nor is the intent of this post!
Some people claim that we encourage sin and a license to sin when we promote freedom and grace. Obviously, that isn't the message of grace, so providing this clear view of divorce in no way promotes a speed lane to divorce.
For now, here is some vital information about remarriage. While I am not a scholar of the Greek language, there are great resources that help you with the original Hebrew and Greek.
The Greek words used in critical divorce-related verses are most often either "send away" (apoluo) or "divorce" (apostasion). In the critical passage of Matthew 5:31-32, you gain clarity when you distinguish "send away" from "divorce."
For example, here is a clear and valid option on a paraphrase of the verses in Matthew 5:31-32:
31 Furthermore it has been said, “Whoever sends away (apoluo) his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce (apostasion).
32 But I say unto you, that whoever sends away (apoluo) his wife, except for sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery when she remarries (because she did not get a certificate of divorce – apostasion); and whoever marries a woman that is sent away (apoluo) commits adultery (because she did not receive a certificate of divorce).
Certificate vs. Sending Away
Notice how different the verses read when you do not use "divorce" when it means "send away."
If the spouse were "sent away" without a divorce certificate, that would be adultery if the spouse married again. That is a crucial point of this passage. Divorce requires a legal certificate or document as stated in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. That is not the same as saying three times, "I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you," and then telling your spouse to leave.
That is what Jewish men were doing during Jesus' day.
That passage is not saying remarriage is adultery. It does say it is adultery if there was NO divorce document. In the passage above, it is great to see how some Greek scholars refer to the document as a certificate of innocence. That means any person desiring to marry the divorced person can know they are innocent of adultery accusations. Therefore, there is no adultery if remarried.
If divorced, you have an option like in the Matrix - The Red pill (God's way) or the Blue pill (my way). Which one will you choose?
The family system you grew up in helps or hurts the best choice when struggling in marriage. Louie and my family systems helped remove divorce as an option. It wasn't part of either of our families, and it had a strong effect on our thinking. We believe that divorce compounds relationship and family problems.
Your family system may be the opposite, meaning choosing divorce is more of a path of least resistance. Or, you are rebelling against the good values of your family system. So, it can be a deterrent but not a preventative.
God Pursues Your Best - Always!
So, is remarriage an option?
Often fear plays a significant part in that decision - you certainly don't want that pain again. Any anxiety or fear is disrespectful to your PERFECT Father God. He is still pursuing your best. You are not a child that He has somehow lost - He knows exactly where you are.
The biggest issue is your willingness to trust God and move forward. If your divorce is in the past, it is part of what God has allowed to happen. Trust God's sovereignty and perfection to redeem your past; it is part of how He can use you most effectively. He let you go through that experience to prepare you for ministry to others.
Choose God's sovereignty to use your past for His glory. Remarriage could be in your future, but it all starts with today - be responsible today, choose the Red Pill - God's way, and He will guide you!
Choices Are Made in the Present
Remember what God tells us in Ezekiel 18:21-32? If a man is doing wrong and starts doing right, he will live (this is not an eternal salvation message, but a statement about living and walking with God or not). If he was doing right and starts doing wrong, he will die.
What message does God want you to hear from that passage.? God says that everything is about what you do this moment TODAY! You cannot change the past, and you cannot control the future. The only thing you can control right now is what you do now.
So, get into God's Word and do what God says is right. Don't let the past fool you into thinking bad decisions today will be outweighed by good decisions in the past or vice versa. That is not true! Your decision today is the only thing you can do anything about. Do right - RIGHT NOW, that is the only way to REAL life (Ezekiel 18:32, Romans 6:23).
One last consideration, is a no-fault divorce actually a divorce? If there is "no fault," no contract was broken. I am trying to figure out how to deal with no-fault divorce.
It is definitely within the legal elements of society, but that doesn't make it right. I am still wondering about that. If that is what you are considering, it would be better to focus on pursuing the best for your spouse, even if you hate them. After all, God did say that we are to love our enemies. And too often, marriages create enemies!
But don't let a sinful, hard heart choose the lousy option of divorce and its pain.
PURSUING THEIR BEST - Freedom in Relationships