What does the Bible say about marrying again after divorce?

What does the Bible say about marrying again after divorce?

Many Christians are discussing whether divorced people may remarry or not. But what does God’s Word say?

11/03/20245 min

By ActiveChristianity

What does the Bible say about marrying again after divorce?

The Bible gives words of advice and comfort to disciples, to people who want to follow Jesus and want to hear what the Spirit says – words that give blessing to those who obey them, both in this life and the life to come.

What does God’s Word say about marriage, divorce and marrying again? The following verses are from the New Testament - the words of Jesus and of the apostle Paul:

Jesus’ words on divorce and remarriage

Jesus says in Matthew 5:31-32 (CEB):

“It was said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a divorce certificate.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife except for sexual unfaithfulness forces her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

And in Matthew 19:3-11 (CEB):

“Some Pharisees came to him. In order to test him, they said, ‘Does the Law allow a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?’ Jesus answered, ‘Haven’t you read that at the beginning the creator made them male and female? And God said, ‘Because of this a man should leave his father and mother and be joined together with his wife, and the two will be one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, humans must not pull apart what God has put together.’ The Pharisees said to him, ‘Then why did Moses command us to give a divorce certificate and divorce her?’ Jesus replied, ‘Moses allowed you to divorce your wives because your hearts are unyielding. But it wasn’t that way from the beginning. I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.’ His disciples said to him, ‘If that’s the way things are between a man and his wife, then it’s better not to marry.’ He replied, ‘Not everybody can accept this teaching, but only those who have received the ability to accept it.’” 

And in Luke 16:18 (CEB) Jesus says:

“Any man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and a man who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

Paul’s words on divorce and remarriage

Paul says in Romans 7:1-3 (CEB):

“Brothers and sisters, I’m talking to you as people who know the Law. Don’t you know that the Law has power over someone only as long as he or she lives? A married woman is united with her husband under the Law while he is alive. But if her husband dies, she is released from the Law concerning her husband. So then, if she lives with another man while her husband is alive, she’s committing adultery. But if her husband dies, she’s free from the Law, so she won’t be committing adultery if she marries someone else.”

And he says in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 (CEB):

“But for those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband. But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else be reconciled to him. And the husband must not leave his wife.”

The Bible is the only basis of our faith

It is very clear from God’s Word that marriage is to be between one man and one woman, and that the marriage contract is binding as long as both partners are alive. Even though the Bible allows divorce in some cases, it also makes it very clear that this does not take away the commitment to faithfulness for either partner, and they may not remarry as long as the other partner is still alive.

There is a lot of talk among Christians about what Jesus and Paul “really” meant by their words about marriage, divorce, and marrying again after divorce; what the cultural and religious circumstances of the time were; if it applied to the innocent party; if there were exceptions if one of the partners was unfaithful, etc. etc.

But we believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and it is the only basis of our faith. The words Jesus spoke were to His disciples – those who want to follow Him and become like Him. In the Bible we read nowhere that God’s law can be changed or adjusted according to different opinions and times, but we find that if we live according to God’s commandments, it gives blessing, joy and peace!

“Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.” 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NLT)

“I command you in the presence of God… Obey this order without fault or failure until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Timothy 6:13-14 (CEB).

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This article was originally published on https://activechristianity.org/ and has been adapted with permission for use on this website.