Divorce and remarriage: what say ye?

Here’s a real life scenario I’d like to hear your best biblical guidance on.
A man gets married when he is unsaved (neither is a Christian).
The marriage is not consumated.
Both man and wife commit adultery.
Man gets saved wants to be reconciled with wife.
Wife refuses.
Man seeks divorce.
 
Question: is man free to remarry under biblical guidelines? Why or why not? Is the marriage governed by biblical authority from the beginning or just at the point the man becomes a Christian?
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42 thoughts on “Divorce and remarriage: what say ye?

  1. I agree quentin. It seems to me that the divorce papers are just another technicality just like the marriage papers.

    in the biblical sense, marriage takes place once you consummate…without consummation, they were just recognized by the courts..(a technicality)

    so, I think it’s ok for them to ‘divorce’ because they were never married…

  2. This is a hard one! This man is in a predicament that only the Word of GOD can guide him.
    I will answer your last question to set a precedence:

    Is the marriage governed by biblical authority from the beginning or just at the point the man becomes a Christian? This union is governed by biblical authority from the beginning–not at the man or woman’s conversion to CHRIST. Lawful Marriage is defined as 1 male and 1 female from the beginning. So any marriage that is not 1 male and 1 female is AN UNLAWFUL VIOLATION of GOD’s Holy Laws! It does not matter if the man is Christian or the woman is non-Christian. Mute point. Male and female are ONE FLESH. And this starts at the ENGAGEMENT/Announcement–not the final ceremony or the bedroom! Hear the MASTER’s Words
    Matthew 19:4-9 KJVR
    (4) And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
    (5) And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
    (6) Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
    (7) They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?************
    (8) He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.***Ding Ding Ding!
    (9) And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

    Unsaved man gets married to unsaved woman.
    1. This is a heathen marriage–better word, marriage among gentiles/unbelievers. Still honored by GOD ALMIGHTY! Scripture reference:
    Hebrews 13:4 KJV Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
    2. Marriage is not consumated. Yikes! But a vow was made before heaven and earth. Still married.
    3. Both man and wife commit adultery. They did not commit adultery( leave each other(divorce, put away) and remarry–therefore, they committed “fornication.” They are not adulterers yet. But still in position to be judged and condemned by a Holy GOD for being fornicators or whoremongers.
    4. Man gets saved-Hallelujah! Thank YOU LORD for YOUR Grace and Mercy! I would add that this man had to REPENT BEFORE HE WAS ACCEPTED or SAVED! Another discussion.
    4b. Saved man wants to reconcile with unbelieving wife. This was the proper way to go. Did the saved man get “Godly” counsel? Did the saved man pray with sincerity to GOD about this? I suggest the saved man do everything in his power to cry unto GOD to save his “wife” and bring her to repentance and reconcile them. BUT, the woman does have a “free will”!

    The bigger question, Who is to blame for this man and wife never consummating their union? What or Who pushed them APART to begin with?

    5. Wife refuses–Why? Did the man before getting saved, commit fornication against his wife or vice versa.
    6. The saved man should not seek to be divorced to begin with. Scripture: 1 Corinthians 7:27 KJV
    (27) Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

    Finally, marriage is for LIFE! You are not free to remarry until your spouse deceases! The only out for divorce is fornication(spouse commits affair with another person)! The person that is put away is not free to remarry nor either is the person that wants divorce free to remarry until DEATH DO US PART!
    Scripture:
    1 Corinthians 7:39(and this applies vice versa for a husband)
    (39) The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

    Based on my ordination under my charter organization, I would counsel that the saved man is not free to marry until that spouse is deceased. Old School Holiness!

    This was a hard one! I would not want to be a minister or one day when I am a pastor, to face the LORD on Judgement day and I enabled someone to be a WILLFUL ADULTERER! NO WAY! NO SIR!

    GOD bless!

  3. One last thing, the Spirit wanted me to clarify. When the LORD JESUS CHRIST said a man could put away his wife for fornication….that was speaking in terms of the Jewish engagement. Case example, Joseph wanted to put Mary away privily(secretly) because Joseph thought she committed fornication before the consummation of their official union. Of course, the Angel of LORD convinced Joseph, a just man, of the truth of the Virgin Conception and eventual virgin birth! Amen.

    Once a consummation has occurred, they(male and female) are ONE FLESH! Amen.

  4. answer to the question: the man is free to re-marrry under biblical guidelines.

    Why? Because they never consummated the marriage, it is not a biblical marriage. consider adam & eve. lamech & his 2 wives. leah & Jacob

    how did people in the bible get married before there were priests?

  5. I promise, last comment today(Smile)!
    So technically, the time for this man to divorce his wife was when she fornicated…BUT this man desired to reconcile because at one point and time, this man desired to be with this woman for life! Who caused the other to commit fornication? That’s the bigger question. Amen.

    This was great Pastor. Give me some more tough real life examples! As the old preachers say, “It’s tight but its right!

    GOD bless!

  6. Brother Foster
    Are you reading my mail 🙂

    I stand on the side of one man for one woman for life.
    If you say “I do” before God then you have made the covenant that not man shall put asunder.

    EnochWalked, I agree,I agree , I agree But sadly my church has now change thier basic belief on this. I would not want to stand on that day either.

    As EW posted a saved man should not seek to divorce.
    1 Corinthians 7:10To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

    GCMW: Hey Beckrl, Hey I love your website. Beautiful. Anyway…let me ask if a man threatened to kill his wife and beat her unmercifully should she stay married under the 1 Cor 7:10 rule? I agree strongly with the 1m/1w4life but I guess since you brought this in, is this absolutely nonnegotiable in your eyes?

  7. On the thought of Joseph and Mary, she is called his wife, in time of betrolful. This would be a legal agreement, that only a putting away or a written of divorcement could broke. “A divorcement”

  8. If as EW noted that Jesus said “save for the cause of fornication”, then would not the man be free to marry?

    @ Paul, I agree but Im not sold on the reason you and Quentin give. I agree that consumation is extremely important to the marriage but does that mean that consumation alone constitutes legitimate marriage?

  9. When reading the story of jacob and Rachel…he worked all of those years for his uncle in order to marry her, but laban tricked him and gave him Leah instead and it was when he knew (consummated) Leah…that she became his wife. He even asked Laban to give him Rachel so that he could go into her…

    Genesis 29:21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.

    There were no ceremonies, or legal papers. Consummation was considered marriage.

    Don’t mean to be too graphic, but the tearing of the hymen is considered to be symbolic of a blood covenant – marriage.

  10. One question that lingers with me concerning remarriage is the issue for those that have NEVER BEEN MARRIED being able to find another person that also HAS NEVER BEEN MARRIED. Being that we’re in a society that sports a very high failure rate for marriage and, referring to scriptures that forbid anyone to divorce/remarry, where would that leave someone who has never been married and wants to, but is finding it difficult to find a suitable SAVED mate?

    Atop that, how would that square up with 1 Corinthians 7:2 “But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. ” ? I am a single woman who has never been married, and have encountered many saved men who are currently married and/or have been divorced previously. Aside from additional criteria I have for an ideal mate, what options would be available to someone such as me?

  11. they did commit adultery…they had sex with people other than their spouses…what about the rest of 1 Corinthians 7…

    15But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.

    he wanted to reconcile and she didnt…she has abandoned him…so he isnt bound…what the problem with him formalizing the situation?

  12. GCMW: Hey Beckrl, Hey I love your website. Beautiful. Anyway…let me ask if a man threatened to kill his wife and beat her unmercifully should she stay married under the 1 Cor 7:10 rule? I agree strongly with the 1m/1w4life but I guess since you brought this in, is this absolutely nonnegotiable in your eyes?

    In my understanding she may depart (separate)or remain. if she depart (separate)she is to remain unmarried, or be reconciled. That isn’t my words by the commandments of Christ.

    To divorce and remarry absoluely nonnegotiable.
    1 Corinthians 7:39
    The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

    [quote]
    If as EW noted that Jesus said “save for the cause of fornication”, then would not the man be free to marry?
    [/quote]

    To note that the “save for fornication” is because of per-marital sex. Example is given by Matthew of Joseph and Mary. Joseph was like minded to put her away.
    This per-marital sex brokes the legal agreement.
    Deuteronomy 22:13-24

  13. [quote]1 Corinthians 7…
    15But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
    [/quote]

    To the believer married to a unbeliever Paul said, note (not the lord) if the unbeliever depart (separate) let him depart. In not way it states or imply to remarry and it isn’t abandoment when one is “let him depart”

  14. Consummation does not equal marriage; otherwise, there would be nothing in the Law about a man being required to marry a woman he had slept with prior to marriage, or having them be stoned or whatever all the consequences were. If just having sex equals being married, there could be no unmarried sex. Still, if a marriage is not consummated, it can legally be annulled, and not “divorce”. Whether annulment is Biblical or not, I cannot say.

    He has a Biblical reason to divorce in that she cheated on him… but that he cheated on her is potentially problematic, *to me* (but I don’t have a Bible verse to back this up — it just “feels messy” to me). If he cheated first and then she cheated in retaliation, I would have more problems with the remarriage than if she cheated first or cheated for some other reason than his sexual abandonment of her.

    Still, she did break the marriage vows by sleeping with another man, so he has a Biblical right to divorce and remarry (although, again, if he caused the problems in the marriage to start with, by being the first cheat, that doesn’t seem right to me).

    He is right to seek reconciliation, and then if she does not wish to be reconciled, to let her depart. I don’t know if he should seek a divorce, but rather should let her pursue that. It’s a tough question because of their mutual infidelity.

    If she had not cheated on him, he would not have the Biblical right to get married again, unless there can be some Biblical proof that consummation is required to validate the marriage in God’s eyes. It seems to be understood that it would happen, yet Joseph and Mary did not consummate their marriage until after Jesus’ birth, yet he is still counted as her husband prior to that, because they were legally married.

  15. Amen Beckrl! Amen!
    Are you meaning pre-marital sex instead of “per”-marital sex? I have this saying,
    WIFE for LIFE! Amen.

    Dear Paul,
    The LORD JESUS CHRIST has given us the full revelation on marriage. You cannot justify marriage based on the Jacob’s examples, King David, King Solomon(worst example!). Yes, Jacob was a son of Promise. Jacob’s deception and lies brought MUCH MISERY UPON himself for lying to get the birthright. Did he really need to deceive his father Isaac to get the covenant blessing that was already his to begin with…GOD chastened Jacob for his deception(Jacob reaped what he sowed-He brought much misery upon himself!) Laban deceived him and then years later his own sons deceived him when they had sold Joseph away. Jacob’s marriages were before the Law of Moses was revealed and then MESSIAH fulfilled the Law of Moses even GREATER! AMen. Stick to the New Testament and What the SON of GOD has said concerning marriage along with Paul’s and Peter’s writings. Amen.

    Dear Djenk23
    I have listened to the counsel of some seasoned in the LORD saints about this very topic for years. This is the answer…IT IS A HARD ONE, but it is the truth. The now saved man, has he fought tooth and nail spiritually to reconcile with his “Wife”. Do not look at the wife as saved or unsaved…Just look at her as a wife FOR LIFE. The man’s only out was to catch her in fornication before he walked down the aisle. The saved man could pray the ultimate prayer of reconcilation, if his wife were the reason for the separation(I do not know or we do not know the full facts!) Did he cause his wife to cheat on him because he cheated on her? This man must suffer the consequences of his sins….GOD has forgiven him but he must still suffer the consequences. Marriage between a man and woman is till death do you part…PERIOD. I would not want to tempt the LORD if I were this man…that’s why the Churches better get on the J.O.B. and teach holiness and sound doctrine and stop lying/deceiving and playing with the souls of men/women! Ministry is a life or death business…You can mess a soul up or cause one to stumble and that sinner’s blood will be on your hands!

    Dear N’Catina,
    This is my counsel according to the word of GOD to your questions. 1. Have you sought the perfect will of the LORD concerning a husband for you?
    Matthew 7:7: Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened.
    Mark 11:24 Whatsoever things(good holy godly things) ye desire, when ye pray, believe ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
    I believe the SPIRIT has given you the desire to be married.
    2. Let GOD send the husband to you. Proverbs 18:22 KJV Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. GOD will send HIS man to you if you are willing to wait.
    Wait I say on the LORD!
    3. Ask the GOD through HIS Spirit to prepare you spiritually, emotionally, physically(health, soul, and body, financially) for your husband to be.
    4. Your husband must be SAVED! Non-Negotiable.
    5. If your husband to be was ever married, he will be a WIDOW. GOD WILL NOT VIOLATE HIS WORD! Amen.
    5. Your Saved husband from the LORD may come from your church organization or from another denomination(Do not be close minded thinking he has to be fire baptized, tongue talking, etc. etc.-Laugh and Smile)
    6. Do not limit GOD–Example, he must be black, 6 foot 2, etc. etc. Some of the best Christian marriages I have personally met were people from different nations(American married to Jamaican, Nigerian married to Hispanic, White married to Black)
    7. Wait, I say on the LORD!
    (If you want, Pastor Foster has permission to give you my email and my wife and I can tell you our personal testimony of How the LORD brought us together. I do not want to waste his bandwidth)

    GOD bless all of you in JESUS NAME!

  16. beckrl,

    are you trying to separate what Paul said from what Jesus said?…all scripture is inspired by God….so it all holds equal weight….1 Corinthians 7:15 says that the believer isnt bound if the unbeliever leaves…what isnt the believer bound to, if Paul isnt talking about the marriage?

  17. I have a question for you. I was married at 20 to a man that left me for another woman. I became saved and tried to reconcile with him. He once again left me for another woman. I backslid and lived with another man that continue to have affairs. I left him and rededicated my life to Christ and became celibate. 5 years later the Lord brought a man to my attention who had been a friend for years and confirmed that this was my husband. I am now 39 years old, have been married to this man for 6 years( He had never been married). The Lord has blessed me immensly and I have a 4 yr old and twin 2 yr olds. My question is this. Acorrding to the word I am an adulterer? If that is the case God would not condone this correct? If I am understanding correctly I am supposed to leave my husband now in order to live a life pleasing (no sin) to the Lord? I had understood that my ex husband leaving me(he wasn’t a believer) that this left me free to remarry. was I wrong?

  18. aadell07,

    Sin REALLY complicates things. So we use the Bible to try and sort it out so that (1) we dont excuse our sin and (2) we fully understand our responsibility after the sin.

    Let’s be clear, irregardless of circumstances:
    a. fornication and adultery is sin
    b. divorce is sin and God hates it
    c. God hates all sin and yet he forgives sin and does allow for a new start.

    This is from John 8:1-11.

    After that, after you come into the knowledge, DO ALL POSSIBLE to live right, stay with your husband and obey God. Like he told the woman, “…neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.”

    And to all discussing this issue: PREVENTION IS MUCH BETTER THAN A CURE

  19. EnochWalked, thank you for your response, but, for the sake of time, I will only say to everything you have said “been there, done that.” Here is my history and status:

    – 35; single; no children; African American; saved; healthy; financially secure; employed; college-educated; home and car owner; adept to sniffing out “the wrong people”; lived on my own for 10 years; not one to chase men; was a member of two congregations, but left due to doctrinal errors (WOF) in both; been prayerful over the entire situation.

    Here’s what I am gathering from you: the only chance I have in getting a husband is one who’s “prime years” have been spent being likely having been married to one, two or more others (the other wives having died) before reaching me (providing he’s interested) or just happening upon someone who has never been married, which by age 30, for men, is becoming less likely??

    I am not refuting what you are saying, but I am perturbed that your response does not allow for acknowledgment on the realities millions of single Christian women (specifically, Black women) face in finding a saved, compatable spouse. This goes beyond trying to land the 6′ 7″, Denzel Washington type, though that physical stature appeals to me.

    For me, personally, the outlets for which to meet quality people in settings that allow for some degree of “cover” i.e. family functions, church sponsored functions, the workplace, are slim. I do not want to resort to internet dating or just going “stag” to some social event for a happenstance moment, either. Atop that, one’s spiritual maturity is a major factor (beyond just being “saved”) because of the abundance of false doctrine and the inability of too many people not being able to see garbage when it’s presented to them. It would not be prudent for me to sumbit to someone, as a wife, to the spiritually ignorant. Most of the churches here in PHL either subscribe to catholicism or some other WOF cult variant that just happens to use the bible, and it is not a suitable environment for which to have someone “seek me out.”

    Having outlined all of this, how does this square up to 1 Corinthians 7:2, especially given the factors involving starting a family, which is also sanctioned in Genesis for us to be “fruitful and multiply”?

  20. N’Cantina I think these are dire times for black women (or women period) only because of the season we are in. Marriage is under severe assualt and its intentional. There are several factors at play. The institution which was once a celebrated hallmark is now seen as laughing stock/liability and it has eroded the confidence people once had in it. Men are becoming more noncommittal (in part due to readily available sexual opportunities) which is causing a ripple effect on women.

    Isaiah 4:1 says “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach”

    Of course the immediate reference is to the consequences the Jews will face as a result of their disobedience and pride. But is not the same to found among our people? We are proud, arrogant and wandering away from God’s providence. And the consequences are dire…for all.

    Even this “saved, single, and satisfied” mantra in the church is part of the problem I believe.

    The key I beleive is the man since he has the “charge” to find a wife.

    There is so much to say on this. I cant say it all, but trust in God, have noncompromising standards (morality) and put yourself in an available safe place for that man to find you. There are some who have not fell off the wagon and they are looking. Just understand there is so much junk on the marriage road now it defintely slows down the finding process considerably.

  21. Dear N’Catina,

    I agree completely what EW said to you about this topic. I am also in this group of people who have never been married. I too wish to be married and have children and the clock is ticking (so to speak). You’re right, the pickings are slim (haha) but my prayers to God to help me get ready spiritually, financially, emotionally, etc for my husband actually turned into Him highlighting my gifts that I am now using for what I believe to be a greater purpose. I’m not saying that I have given up on marriage and neither should you, but until he comes to scoop me up, being single has allowed me more freedom and flexibility to help others. Maybe His plan is for me not to be married and the more I see the effects of His changes on my life and others, it’s a comfort in a time when everyone around me is focusing on having a wife or husband. It’s actually quite freeing. I just decided to let go and let God!

  22. GCM, thank you for responding. I know this subject can get very, very involved, especially given all of what is involved concerning the marriage institution and all that is attacking it.

    You did well in mentioning the “saved, single, and satisfied,” as it does much more harm than good. It is a very weak veneer used to gloss over two items: the church’s failure to PROPERLY teach on the virtues of marriage for the whole and to pacify women aching to be married by having them ignore those very real pains involved with not having someone connect to them in matrimony. I believe that it is very important to acknowledge the practical, every day challenges that saturate every aspect of our lives, specifically in areas involving relationships.

    Yes, we are in some very trying times; an indication of Christ’s swift return.

  23. N’ Catina,

    You’re right — pickings are slim, and it’s hard to meet someone who meets even the basic qualifications. But here’s where faith comes in. You know that God is all-powerful and all-knowing, which means that He knows exactly where the best man for you is (or, where several of the best men are), and He can bring him/them into contact with you, without you having to go out and find him/them.

    And “Growing in Grace” had it exactly right — singleness allows freedom and flexibility. Although I met my husband (and was instantly attracted to him) nearly 5 years before he became interested in me, it wasn’t until I was ready to give up on him and let go of my dreams, that God moved in his heart to begin a relationship with me. (We also lived a 9 hour drive apart, so we basically talked on the phone and communicated by email for most of our year-long courtship. I think we saw each other 6 times [several days at a time] during that entire year.) By the time we got married, he was 34.

    But looking back, I wish that I had used my time of singleness better — in a more Biblical manner. Marriage is good and wonderful and not to be condemned; but Paul also wrote that it is better to remain unmarried — the opportunities to serve God are much better and more numerous if you don’t have to worry about having a husband, keeping him happy, etc.

    My suggestion is to start focusing on God, and make Him your sufficiency, and I can almost guarantee that one of two things will happen: 1) He will bring the right man into your life because you will have become more of the right woman you should be; or 2) He will give you even more joy in your singleness than if you were married.

    You wrote of how difficult it is to find a man — there are opportunities to meet like-minded people in acts of service. Who knows — maybe your future husband is right now bemoaning the fact that it’s so hard to find a godly, spiritual, unmarried woman for him to marry, while he’s working in a church’s Christmas food drive, or their free Christmas lunch, or a homeless shelter, or so many other possibilities. But your focus should be on serving God, and finding a man should be second.

  24. Kathy, for the sake of not repeating myself, I have outlined all I “needed to do” to have myself established for marriage. As I said, I have spent the last 10 years of my life as a single woman, with the last 7.5 years of time spent as a very active member across two congregations, engaged in activities that have put me in line with large numbers of people. This is also including time spent in work settings, also meeting many people that were and are simply not available.

    I have engaged in all of the activites, including singles events, getting hobbies and voluntering time serving others to kill the pangs that come with not having the intimacy (not just sexual) that comes with the daily contact and access of a faithful spouse.

    I do not wish to argue the point of whether to place my focu on God first versus focus on marriage. I make a daily point to get before God in prayer daily, and have revealed in my prayers a need, YES NEED, for a spouse. I do not have a close family unit, and though I have friends and acquaintences, mostly female, I am ready to move forward into what I believe is my next stage of life, which is marriage.

  25. Whatever the absolutely correct biblical answer might be in this situation, I’d be interested in some comments about what the attittude and response to this brother should be if he were to remarry, or consider remarriage a legitimate option.

    And how does this differ from a situation where a brother might have a differing view of homosexuality?

    I’m not advocating situational morals and ethics here, but none of us have a perfect perception of what is and isn’t involved with missing the mark of God’s standard in our lives.

    Understand that when I say “brother” I’m referring to someone who adheres to the “essentials” of the faith in what he believes theologically.

  26. bix, that would be the evolution of this situation. If the man as a godly man makes a decision to move on without the wife who refuses to live with him now that he is saved, should he and should we call any otherwise godly relationship he might have “adulterous”?

    BTW, I do understand consequences of wrong choices. But is God that dogmatic that he is bound to make a person “pay hell” because they did wrong in the marriage context.

    Im not looking or asking anyone to change THE STANDARD, just what becomes of people like this when this is the reality of their choices?

    Thanks to everyone for their responses.

  27. WOW! How did I miss all this in one day?!? Very interesting question. I think the vow one takes as it is written in the traditional vows are of the intention of the man and woman before the minister. Comsumation is the covenant that is made before the LORD. If one takes the vows and then fails to consumate I don’t believe they are married in the biblical sense. The reason for marriage according to scripture is to solemnize the “one flesh” principle as it is stated. Marriage limits the sexual act to one person until death.
    It would be hard to apply exactly the biblical method of engagement to the present tradition of engagement . In Christ’s time the betrothal perid was a legal contractual arrangement. The couple were lawfully bound to each other. The ceremony was conducted at a later date and the comsumation sealed the deal (so to speak). Had Joseph put Mary away when he found out that she was pregnant he would have been free to Mary another because the marriage was not consumated.

    As for fornication. The word Jesus used in the greek is used for all types of sexual uncleansess; not just for adultery. He didn’t say you could divorce only for “adultery” but for “fornication”. Question: if you find out that your spouse was involved with an animal (sorry for the graphic) would that fall in the category of adultery. You can only commit adultery with another human.. Sex with an animal is fornication or “pornea” which is the word Jesus used. The word pornea would cover adultery but it is a much broader meaning or definition than adultery. I do not think the words of Christ meant “only adultery”. If so, he certainly could have said so.
    That “old time holiness’ doctrine left many people condemned and miserable because they didn’t apply the whole counsel of scripture (Jesus and Paul).

    In fact Jesus’ words came to the disciples in a context of two popular Rabbinical teachings. Shimei (sp?) taught that a man could divorce his wife for any cause. If she burned the lentils he could put her way. This view was popular in His day. Jesus clarified the intention of marriage from “the beginning” and also gave the guidelines for divorce. If there is a biblical right to divorce then there must be a biblical right to remarry.

    I would fully investigate the man’s story and then after much counseling from scripture advise him to remarry in the LORD.

  28. I’m with djenk23 on this one — and the Scriptures cited. If the man’s wife does not want him and he has done everything he can, let him move on in freedom…

    I also want to encourage N’Catina in her single walk. Stay strong, my sister; you are not alone. Unless you’re living the mature single Christian life (35+), it’s very difficult to empathize with the situation. Thanks to gcmwatch for acknowledging the Church’s failure to encourage healthy, Godly matrimony to both women AND men. Because of the gender lopsided-ness and lowering of society’s standards, we now see (primarily) men, from the usher board to the pulpit, running around like hound dogs with no spiritual oversight or rebuke for their sinful behavior.

    I encourage all readers to pray for and support their friends in the “single season,” and not see (us) as just a babysitter for your kids, 24-hour prayer ATMs, or a “golden goose” with unlimited time/income to support the Church. Singles are human. We get tired, lonely (especially during the Christmas season), and need to (non-lustfully) connect — that need is ingrained in humanity.
    Most of us do our best to live honorably before God, in a manner pleasing in His sight. Thanks for listening.

  29. Dear N’ Catina,

    The thing that helped me was the same process I went through when I began this walk with Christ. I only seek His face. Maybe I’ll get married; maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll have children, maybe I won’t. My joy is completely tied into Him. All of my joy, peace, security, happiness, and love is tied up in my relationship with Christ. Everything else is extra. However, if I don’t get everything else (ie: marriage, children; etc) the joy, peace, security, happiness, and love stays because He’s always there.

    Marriage is not a need. Salvation is and you clearly are committed to that. God will have what he will have for you when He’s ready. I know a couple at my church who got married when the wife was in her fifties and the husband in his sixties; neither had been married before. They couldn’t imagine life any other way. In the meantime, we are blessed, saved, loved, and walking in truth. I can’t stop smiling…

  30. EW thanks for the correction “pre-marital sex instead”

    djenk23
    [quote]what isnt the believer bound to, if Paul isnt talking about the marriage?
    [/quote] You are right, Paul agrees with himself and Jesus. That a unbeliever my depart (seperate) for this is the meaning of depart in 1 Corinthians 7:10 But the believer is to remain unmarried. For if not Paul would be counterdicting himself.

    Consumation, when someone whom can’t physical consumate thier marriage would we call them non-married. Just my thought 🙂

    EJ
    [quote]If there is a biblical right to divorce then there must be a biblical right to remarry.
    [/quote] Where is that scripture in the NT?

    Fornication (pre- marital sex, incest) broke the Law that is why Matthew gave the exception with the example only given by Matthew again of Jospeh and Mary.

    This shows that the kind of divorce that one might pursue during a betrothal on account of fornication, is not included in what Jesus had said. This interpretation of the exception clause has several advantages: 1) it does not force Matthew to contradict the plain, absolute meaning of Mark and Luke; 2) it provides an explanation for why the word porneia is used in Matthew’s exception clause instead of moicheia; 3) it squares with Matthew’s own use of porneia for fornication in Matthew 15:19

  31. A biblical right to divorce implies that there is no “fault” on the party who has been injured by the offending party. Paul speaks of this when he wrote to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 7:15. He addresses the issue of abandonment by an unbelieving spouse. “A brother or sister is not bound”… As far as clarification for this is concerned (in my understanding and not mine alone) I reference Romans 7 where Paul says a wife is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. When he dies she is no longer bound.” Paul also uses the word “loosed” when he makes reference to the married person who may be seeking to be freed from the marriage. “seek not to be loosed” he said. Bound to what? Loosed from what? I have studied the greek words and tense(s) and it is within the realm of possibility as an interpretation. I recognize there is disagreement on the issue and that there are other strong view points from a biblical perspective.

    Remember that Jesus said “he that marries the one who is put away (unlawfully) commits adultery.” What is supposed to happen to the innocent party. If a wife finds out that her husband is involved in bestiality and she divorces him she must remain alone until her husband gives up the pet dog, goat or chicken? Or the husband cheats with prostitues and becomes infected with HIV or Herpes. She can’t divorce him and remarry based on Jesus’ words regarding fornication? In fact Jesus word’s only deal with men divocring their wives unlawfully and the ones who marry sucha woman. His words are not exhaustive on the subject of divorce though they are definitive as it relates to GOD’s intent for marriage. Jesus is dealing with the issue of UNLAWful divorce. Fornication (sexual immorality/uncleaness) gave a person the escape out of an immoral marraige not after the intent of GOD. Just as it was the LORD’s intention that a man and woman should live in exclusive sexual intimacy it was also the intention that a man or woman should not have to live with a person in perpetual sexual immorality. There is also room for the grace of GOD and forgiveness and restoration.
    Also, in Jesus’ day a woman pursuing a divorce was almost unheard of. Men divorced women. Jesus spoke to the issue of the abuse of women in that they were often thrown away after their usefulness to men had waned. If they couldn’t have children a man could divorce his wife for a fertile woman. If he wanted another wife he could get one. While she lived in misery daily observing her husband’s attration for her rival. Jesus’ words has a much larger import than we Westerners and modern minds grasp immediately.
    Would not the Judge of all the earth do right,” to quote Abraham. Why would GOD punish the innocent party by keeping the party who was cheated on or defrauded. (in the instance of bigamy)? Wouldn’t the man or woman who married one who was married to three other people have a right to divorce and then remarry? That would be a biblical
    “right to divorce” with a biblical right to remarry in my view. One could also seek an annulment. Are the injured people in that case still one flesh with the bigamist? What of the children. The vow made before GOD?

    Lastly, the covenant of marriage should look like the picture Paul gave in Ephesian 5:21 -33. Husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it ….love their wives like their own bodies….etc. (no disrespect). If a man beats the daylights (I really wanna use another word) out of his wife ont eh regular has he broken the covenant of marriage. Is the marriage intact because he hasn’t committed adultery.? If that man rapes his children; impregnates one, is that woman to remain married to him or divorce without the right to be married again? Is he still her husband after lawful; ie; biblical divorce?

  32. Pastor Foster,
    this has been an awesome dialogue. I got to release some things on this discussion that have been on my heart ALL DAY!…please be patient with me and then I want to encourage N’Catina.

    Kudos to Kudos Pastor Foster, Growing-in-Grace and others to mention.

    I am going to break this down in parts so that it is easier to read and not be too overwhelming. Amen.

  33. Part II

    Dear Saints,
    We will be held accountable for the truth we do know at the time we sinned and what we do with that truth… and WE will not get away with WILLFUL BLINDNESS or IGNORANCE once we have come into the FULL knowledge of the Truth…Because GOD says BE YE READY, for ye knoweth not the time nor hour that the SON of Man may appear!

    NOW HEAR THIS!

    I CONCUR 100% with Pastor Foster’s response to Sister Aadell07’s questions! No where in the New Testament are you to put away your 2nd husband. The Samaritan woman at the well is where I would apply your case. GOD has called us to peace. Christians are called to build lives not tear down. Amen. Now, under some hardline old school church organizations(I’m a part of one), it may disqualify you and your husband to hold offices. But we would welcome fellowship with you. I would gladly welcome you to fellowship because JESUS welcomed the Samiritan woman who had 5 husbands and living with another man! Amen! This Samiritan woman with 5 husbands was so convinced of JESUS that she went and evangelized her whole city! Like Pastor Foster said, the key is go and sin no more. Sister Aadell07, I say this with complete confidence! You are not an adulterer in my eyes! Amen! JESUS did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance! Amen. Be at peace! ONE BIG BUT, if I were you and your husband, as priest of the home, I would do my hardest spiritually and naturally in the NAME of JESUS CHRIST to teach your children to NOT FOLLOW YOUR OLD LIFE. You and your husband must BREAK THE GENERATIONAL CURSE NOW! Why? That old life that GOD saved you from can visit your children and your future grandchildren and their children! I am telling you something that I know FIRSTHAND! Amen!

    The KEY is what we do with the knowledge and truth that has been taught/revealed to us and do we obey that knowledge and truth. What’s done is done. Amen.

  34. To those that have already married , divorced and have remarried out of IGNORANCE to the Word of GOD….DO NOT EVER SEEK TO BE DIVORCED AGAIN! Now the LORD JESUS CHRIST looks at Adultery as a THING of the HEART The LORD JESUS CHRIST is the SAME ONE WHO Said the following: Matthew 5:27-29 KJV

    IT IS NOT just committing the physical act of adultery that will send you to Hell, but READ VERSES 28 and 29 again. THIS is one of the SCARIEST PASSAGES in Scripture along with this one. Hebrews 10:26-31 KJV

    Now concerning this new brother’s spiritual well being…the Man NEEDS TO REPENT! DO NOT GO BACK INTO THE MESS that got him in Jeopardy of Hell Fire to begin with and as a NEW believer do not seek to be loosed/divorced as we have proven from the 1 Corinthians 7:27 and Mark 10:11-12 and Luke 16:18.
    I would strongly counsel this new brother’s case….TO NOT SEEK TO RE-MARRY and to NOT SEEK to Divorce…..BECAUSE HIS VERY SOUL SALVATION DEPENDS UPON THE CHOICES/DECISION HE makes from this day FORTH! Amen! By not seeking a divorce, the ONUS is put on his LIVING WIFE. As a Christian, he should not be the one that causes her TO STUMBLE! Amen. Whatever wrongs he has committed against her, he must repent(if he has not already) to GOD and go to her and REPENT and ask for forgiveness. GOD will deal with her!

    If the man cannot reconcile with the living wife as stated in the case, For this very man TO NOT REMARRY until ……….death do you part…May be THE VERY CROSS THAT HE HAS TO BEAR! The brother MUST DENY HIMSELF! I cannot in good conscience say he is free to re-marry based on the New Covenant understanding of what the LORD said and what Paul confirmed. And I have the witness of Elder Beckrl. Think about it! Under the Old Covenant, he and the woman(living wife) would HAVE BEEN STONED to death and their souls would have gone to HELL! Please hear the LOVE of GOD when I say this! PLEASE! I am concerned for this man’s soul and ALL men’s souls being in right standing with GOD the FATHER and the LORD JESUS CHRIST!

    ….This man has to forsake this marriage(NOT DIVORCE) if she will not reconcile(and the rules of the unbeliever willing to live with the believer apply to his case if she is willing…that is the key…Her free will has a BIG PART TOO!)…SINCE she IS NOT willing to dwell with him, this man MUST wait until death(worst case) or who knows…His uncompromising stand MAY CONVERT the original wife to CHRIST and They get reconciled and be happily married ever after! GOD IS ABLE! This brother CAN PRAY FOR THIS to happen and IF this woman refuses to repent…GOD can judge her to point of taking her out of this world! The man must REALLY REALLY SEEK the LORD and mean NO ILL WILL to his LIVING wife!

    This man in case example must deny himself! This brother must be counseled and prayed for deliverance and taught how to bring his flesh under subjection! PERIOD!

    We do not know HOW LONG the SPIRIT of GOD has been dealing with this brother….The LORD has been dealing with this man WAY BEFORE he walked down that aisle or made a marriage vow to this woman and long before he got saved! How many times did this man ignore his conscience when he committed adultery/fornication/etc. etc. ? Even before I got truly saved and born again, I KNEW GOD was convicting me. Did this man SEAR His conscience? Did GOD allow this prodigal son to get completely down and out on his lot in life..to a state of total depravity and helplessness that the man had no where else to turn but GOD.

    In conclusion, this is my counsel according to the Holy Scriptures. The man must seek GOD with all his heart, all his mind, and all his strength. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST is the final judge. GOD is able to fix any situation…even this one…it is according to his/our faith. Amen.

    GCMW: EW, I had to cut this down to size because it was way too lengthy. A couple of pointers: Link long passages of scripture and leave out bells, whistles and conversational chaff. /Thnx!

  35. Pastor No Problem, All in all, I discern that the man’s heart is with his wife. I believe GOD joined them even in their ignorance of the Word and not being totally committed to CHRIST. His heart is with his living wife. GOD can fix this man’s situation. GOD can bring the living wife to repentance. HE is able. That is how I would pray if I were in his state. And wait on JESUS. Yes, easier said than done.

  36. I have a question and having read the wisdom on this blog, I feel as though I will find the right answer to my dilemma.

    I am a 51 year old male and have been married to the “desire of my eye” for 31 years. I have been a Christian for the better part of my whole life and raised my 3 children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Nine months ago my lovely wife walked out on our marriage and left me. She has subsequently filed for a divorce and nothing I have been able to do seems to be able to slow this terrifying situation down. There was never even a trace of infidelity on my behalf and from what all I can ascertain form my children and other family members and friends, none on hers either. She never had to work during our marriage as I make a good living and I wanted our children to grow up as I did, with a mother at home when they came in from school. I taught Bible studies in my home, taught Sunday School and we were extremely active in church all of our married life. She gave every indication during all of these years that she walked with the Lord and loved Him whole- heartedly.

    Since she left, my 21 year old baby girl has had no contact with me whatsoever. Most of my church friends have rejected me totally and several men “friendships” that I had for 20+ years have ceased and these men have put me out of their lives.

    I am broken and alone and have been diagnosed with prostate cancer in the last few months. My doctor indicated that stress is now considered a major factor in causing prostate cancer and stress is something I have had a lot of!

    I DO NOT want to lose my wonderful wife but I simply do not know who she is any longer. She will not communicate with me and seems to be determined to destroy everything I was in Christ and as a father to my children. My oldest son, 30 years old, has become bitter towards his mother as he see’s what she is doing to our family.

    It is hard for me to grasp even holding another woman’s hand right now as I still love my wife today with more love than when we first married. She needs me now more than ever due to this deception she is walking in. I have absolutely no desire for another woman.

    We wrestle not against flesh and blood and I am fighting these devils to the best of my abilities but my wife has a free will. Should she NOT reconcile with me and we become divorced, where would that leave me if sometime in the future I had a desire for another wife?

  37. MtgMan

    My heart goes go to you.
    Brother I pray for you to stay strong in the lord.
    If scripture helps then as a brother in Christ, look at 1 Corinthains 7:10

  38. Mtgman, I concur with Beckrl.

    I would say dont seek to be free. Let God lead you and dont stray away from your committment to be faithful.
    Sometimes the trials of our lives are far to difficult to understand while we are in the midst of them. But if you trust the Lord he will give you clarity and lead you to a resolution which glorifies Him.

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