Divorce is sadly something that is not uncommon in our world today, and we all have been exposed to divorce someway in our lives whether through a family member, friend, or acquaintance. With the knowledge of divorce being common I began to wonder what happens after? Are both parties supposed to stay single, or can they remarry? What’s biblical regarding remarriage?
What does the Bible say about divorce and remarriage? The Bible only states specific reasons for a divorce to occur that would be accepted in the eyes of God. If you got divorced for a reason that is not justified in the Bible then it is unbiblical to be remarried. If you were divorced for a reason that this stated in the Bible, then it is biblical for you to be remarried.
Whether are you just interested in what the Bible says on this topic or you are divorced and wondering if you should get married or not. This article will help you find the answer you’re looking for.
The Three Views On Divorce & Remarriage
With divorce being as common as it is in our day and age, remarriage is also something that is common because of divorce.
With both of these being situations, we will encounter during our lives whether firsthand, by a friend, or a family member due to the high divorce rate.
We must ensure that we are aware of the three different views of divorce and remarriage so that we are appropriately applying what the Bible says regarding divorce and remarriage.
1. Remarriage Is Never Biblical
This viewpoint derives from the Mark 10:8-9,
and the two will become one flesh.’So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.Mark 10:8-9
The view that remarriage is never biblical solidifies what God originally created marriage to be, a lifelong covenant. When two become one in the eyes of God and commit themselves to each other, there are saying, “I promise to stay with you until death do us part.”
Though this viewpoint recognizes that cheating, abuse, and other toxic things may occur in a marriage that they are not reasons for divorce, instead the couple should seek reconciliation or separate.
They see all divorce as a sin. If a couple gets a divorce they should remain single in order to not disobey God.
Those who support this viewpoint also believe that anyone remarries after being divorced despite the reason for divorce, that they are committing adultery since God did not condone the break of their covenant.
2. Remarriage Is Biblical In Case Of Biblical Divorce
Biblical remarriage is remarriage that is justified in the eyes of God. This is condoned only when the person who is divorced was divorced only for biblical reasons. If they were not divorced for biblical reasons then they must stay single as stated in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11.
To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.1 Corinthians 7:10-11
The biblical backing behind this viewpoint is the fact that marriage is a covenant that God did not originally create to be dissolved, but because of sin nature, there are certain things that occur within marriages that allow for divorce.
3. Remarriage Is Always Biblical
The belief that remarriage is always biblical is the idea that is justified within the eyes of God to divorce your partner for any reason desired.
This view is one that is based on worldly beliefs. The world tells us that we deserve to be happy all the time and that it is our partner’s job to do so.
Due to this worldly view, we then start to believe that God sees marriage the same way as the world. If we’re not satisfied in our marriage then it is okay for us to divorce and remarried.
This viewpoint at first glance appears to be supported by 1 Corinthians 13:4-7,
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.1 Corinthians 13:4-7
This verse is easy to take out of context and manipulate in order to support this view. This verse really shows what love is between two followers as well as they should strive towards in their love for their spouse.
It does not state that love is perfect, but instead, that love takes effort as well as commitment.
The Biblical View
The answer to whether or not remarriage is biblical is completely dependant on each individual situation. To help you discover the answer that pertains to your specific situation, I put detailed information for each view below.
When Remarriage Is Not Biblical
If you were divorced and your reasoning for it was unbiblical, then biblically remarriage is not an option for you.
There are different views on the biblical reasons for divorce. The biblical reasons for divorce are: being unequally yoked, your partner is unfaithful to you, and abuse occurs.
I am not going to discuss these reasons in-depth, but here are some sources that go in more in-depth regarding biblical divorce – click here.
God created marriage to be a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman. However, due to the fall, sin became a part of reality causing humans to commit sins like being unfaithful to their spouse and engaging in abuse.
You must dig deeper into these reasons for yourself before getting remarried.
If your reasons for your divorce were unbiblical, then you are still married in the eyes of God. Even if the marriage is dissolved in the eyes of the law.
When Remarriage Is Biblical
God hates divorce, but He does permit it in specific situations.
Marriage is a God-ordained covenant, and a covenant is something that seals a commitment between two people. When we look at covenants in the Bible we see the one that was made between the people of Israel and God.
The covenant made between Israel and God is an example of how we need to also treat the covenant of marriage. This covenant bound God and His people together, and the only thing that could break the covenant was when Israel was unfaithful to God.
If reconciliation is not a possibility because the other spouse remarried, died, or they are not followers of Christ, then it is also biblical for you to be remarried.
What The Bible Says
Though there are no bible verses that specifically discuss being remarried after divorce, there are verses that allude to it and the grounds for biblical remarriage.
1 Corinthians 7:10-11
1 Corinthians 7:10-11 addresses the fact that God does not want divorce to occur between a husband and wife, but instead for them to solve the issues that occurring in their marriage together as a team.
To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.1 corinthians 7:10-11
Though there are biblical reasons for divorce; however, we must first attempt to work towards saving our marriage first when safe before we go down the road of divorce.
Mathew 19:3-9 is an account of what Jesus said to the pharisees regarding divorce
And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, ‘Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?’
He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’
‘So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’ They said to him, ‘Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?’
He said to them, ‘Because of yourhardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning, it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.’Mathew 19:3-9
At this time in history, there were many getting divorced for any reason desired, so Jesus wanted to reiterate that this was not something he supported.
At first glance, we can look at this verse and think that divorce and remarriage are not permitted for any circumstances, but at the end of verse 9, we can see that it is for the sexual immorality of a spouse.
1 Corinthians 7:12-15
In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul discusses another biblical reason for divorce, and remarriage
To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.1 corinthians 7:12-15
In this verse, Paul states that if you are unequally yoked, and your spouse leaves the marriage then it is acceptable for you to be remarried.
Questions Before Remarrying
Before getting remarried you must first take time to ask yourself these questions to ensure you are ready to be remarried.
1) Do I feel Confident In My Understanding Of Christ’s Love For Me?
Though you may feel as though you know that God loves you, you have to also fully believe that He loves you, and how deep His love is for you before you can fully love someone else.
Believing how deep God’s love is for you is sometimes difficult depending on the day, but when you recognize His love for you as stated in John 3:16.
God’s love is unceasing, selfless, and is the river from which all other love flows.
Recognizing God’s love for us allows us to better love ourselves which is part of the commandment given in Mark 12: 13 “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We read this verse and focus so much on the first half that we pay no attention to the second.
How can you love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself, and more importantly how can you love your spouse the way you are called to.
After a divorce, all the love you once had for yourself might have been broken down, so it is imperative that you rebuild it before you remarry.
2) Was I Divorced For Biblical Reasons?
Though this question may be the most difficult to ask yourself, you must examine your reasons for the dissolution of your marriage.
Ask yourself where your heart was when you came to the conclusion of seeking a divorce. Not only if you went to God, but was there hatred in your heart? What mistakes did you make in the marriage?
To come to your own conclusion over these questions, I recommend discussing your divorce with a pastor or a Christian counselor. This can help you receive closure from your divorce and fully heal before getting remarried.
3) Is it Okay For My Significant Other To Be Remarried?
A high rate of people who get divorced, end up re-marrying someone who has also been married before.
You need to find out if the person you want to remarry was divorced for biblical reasons. Now, this does not mean go up to your significant other and straight-up ask “Were you divorced for biblical reasons?”
This is something that they must discover themselves, and discuss with God. Once they are ready please ensure this is something you discuss together and talk about your past while ensuring that you are both sharing a healthy amount.
If you marry someone who was not divorced for biblical reasons, then you are committing adultery because Christ still sees their covenant as one that is sealed.
This is not a light offense, so take time to discuss this and pray over it together to ensure that you both have God’s blessing on your future marriage.
4) Am I Complete/ Ready?
Getting married is not the answer to your problems or the key to happiness. Marriage is a partnership where you commit to living your life to that person and using your relationship to honor God in all aspects of your life.
Getting married without feeling complete within yourself or ready will cause you to have unrealistic expectations for the other person, be dependent on them, and potentially fall back into unhealthy habits.
After a divorce, you can feel less and empty, but God still loves and with Him you are whole.
Take time before getting remarried to ensure you are fully ready for a lifelong commitment, and that you are not seeking marriage just because you are lonely.
5) Have I Fully Forgiven My Ex?
After reading this question you may be feeling like this is completely impossible because of all that your ex did to you, but we are called to forgive everyone and not to hold hatred in our hearts.
You must forgive your ex not only for you but because it is something that God has called you to do. Forgiveness does not mean that you are justifying what your ex did, but instead that you are giving that over to God and releasing your control over the situation.
If you do not forgive your ex-spouse before becoming remarried then you will bring that into your future marriage. Doing this will keep you from being able to fully move on, and potentially cause you to bring up your ex to your current spouse.
I recommend seeking counseling or talking to a trusted pastor to help you walk through this.
Remember to seek God first, before you seek someone else. Pray and seek the Lord for guidance being getting remarried.