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condemnation of re-marriage?

Discussion in 'Answers' started by momof4, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. condemnation of re-marriage?

    I have received response to my post "single mom done being single" in the relationships forum regarding the condemnation of re-marriage in cases of those who are widowed or divorced. I am attempting to start a new thread to address this issue as it seems to be more of a "broad" topic addressing doctrine rather than a response to specific question I had initially posted. If this is not an appropriate topic for this forum please let me know.

    I had received response to my posting stating that God condemns marrying a second time and as far as I am aware this is not Biblical truth.

    I have offerred the example of my dad. My mother passed away 8 years ago and he is now seeing a woman and may remarry. As his daughter I am happy for him and would support him in this decision if he chooses to remarry and have this companionship. I have received follow up that my attitude on this is not Christian and that as Christians we are to believe we only marry once and that second marriage is condemned.

    I have also used the example of the numerous men, women and children who have sufferred through divorce. I am not in any way attempting to debate the validity / sanctity of marriage. The unfortunate fact is that there are many divorced families today. There are many Christians who did not desire the divorce nor did they engage in any action which would constitute the filing of divorce on biblical grounds - yet, they are divorced and reconciliation is not an option. Is it wrong for such a person to re-marry in the future if they choose to do so? Is it wrong for a Christian to have the desire to re-marry in the future after the loss of a spouse or marriage?

    This is not indended to be a debate over the importance of marriage or what constitutes a divorce. This is intended to address the "after the fact" - after a spouse has passed away - or - after a family is left broken because one in the marriage left the marriage. At this point, as a Christian - is it commanded by God that these individuals are to remain single for the rest of their lives or be condemned? Is it stated that as Christians it is wrong to have the desire to re-marry or that as Christians we are not to condone nor support a widowed friends / family members decision to do so and to condemn their second marriage in such cases?

    I understand there may be differring personal opinions or interpretation of scripture on this subject - this is why I am posting this as a seperate topic in the "Answers" forum. I have found much information detailing scripture which seems to indicate that re-marriage, although not "ideal" - is not condemned. I am unable to post these links at this time as I am new to the forum.

    My own feelings on this: that I am leery of throwing condemnation around - it is nothing to be taken lightly. At this point in my life I feel that God has put it on my heart to encourage others around me in such circumstances who may choose to re-marry. I have not seen anything in God's word which would cause me to think it is expected of me not to do so. I have witnesses the heartache of others who desired a lifelong marriage but no longer have that marriage and cannot in my right mind tell them that they are to give up such a hope permanently for risk of condemnation or that to have such a hope is un-Christian. It seems that people have sufferred enough in losing a spouse in the first place or enduring a divorce and that heaping condemnation on top of it would only add insult to injury. I just don't feel right about this. Any input?
  2. Hi Momof4,

    Concerning the remarriage of widows, the only place where the Bible forbids this is for the high priest under the Old Covenant. He was not to marry a widow, a divorced woman or a former prostitute. (Leviticus 21:14). A widow was free to remarry to anyone else. A couple of famous widows who remarried were Ruth, who was first married to Naomi's son, and after his death returned with Naomi to Bethlehem, where she was married to Boaz. (Ruth 4:13); and Abigail, who had been married to Nabal and after his death was married to King David (1 Samuel 25:42.) In the New Testament, Paul specifically says, "A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord." (1 Corinthians 7:39) So there is absolutely no Biblical basis for saying that widows (or widowers) should not remarry.

    When it comes to divorce, things are not so clear. At first reading, the above Scripture from Corinthians, and Jesus' words in Matthew 19:3-9 (and the parallel verses in the other Gospels) seem to be a blanked condemnation of remarriage after divorce. However, we need to put these in context. (One of my old Bible College lecturers used to say, "a text out of context leaves a con!") When the Pharisees approached Jesus to ask "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?" they were trying to force Him to take sides in a theological debate. One side said that a man could divorce his wife for something as trivial as burning the dinner, while the other side said that there had to be very serious grounds for divorce. In a sense both sides were wrong, because both saw a woman as a throw-away object - they only differed about what was an acceptable excuse to throw her away.

    Jesus stepped into the picture and pointed out God's original plan for marriage. Anything that fell short of that original plan would be, in the ultimate sense, a failure. A man could not use any excuse to divorce his wife so that he could marry someone else - and if he did, it would be as much an act of adultery as if he had entered a relationship with the other woman whilst still married to his wife.

    Even in these verses, Jesus made the exception for marital unfaithfulness. In that case, the marriage bond had already been broken, and the husband was free to divorce his wife and, should he want to at some time in the future, remarry.

    In the verses preceding the above quote from 1 Corinthians, Paul gives another exception: if a believer is married to a non-believer, and the non-believer choses to leave, he says "let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances". (1 Cor 7:15) "Not bound" can only mean "not bound to the marriage", which means the believer is then free, in the future, to remarry.

    The Old Testament also offers a couple of other exceptions. Those who object to divorce in any form often quote Malachai 2:16, "I hate divorce, says the Lord God of Israel." However, they generally omit the second part of that verse, which says, " 'and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,' says the LORD Almighty." Since God says the two things in the same breath, obviously He gives them the same weight.

    The other was a situation where God actually required men to divorce their wives. After the people of Israel returned from the exile in Babylon, many of the men married women from the tribes who had occupied the land while they were gone. In many cases there were also children from these marriages. Allowed to continue, this situation would have seen the nation back in the same kind of sin that caused God to send them into exile, or worse. So God commanded them through the priest Ezra to put aside these foreign women (Exra 10:11)

    From all that, it is my conclusion that, whilst divorce is certainly not God's purpose, there are some situations where it is the lesser of two evils. It would be very nice if life always handed us a choice between good and bad, but it doesn't. More often than we would like, the choice is between bad and worse.

    Most importantly, God forgives. Divorce is not the unpardonable sin. Most Christians would not question that a person who has had numerous affairs without being married, or even someone who has been a prostitute, can come to Jesus, be forgiven and cleansed of those sins, and be free to marry. Yet the person who has only ever had one partner, but was married to him/her, and is then divorced, is told that they can never be free to remarry. It is totally inconsitent with the character of God!

    Of course that does not mean that someone should go out and divorce his/her spouse lightly, on the basis that God will forgive. It does mean that what happened in the past is in the past. God is always the God of the new beginning.


  3. Another Scripture relating to remarriage of widows (forgot it when I was writing the above, but it came up in my reading this morning.) 1 Timothy 5:14 "So I counsel the younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander."


  4. Joh:5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

    I will not judge anyone for what they may have done and for what they obviously have done. I must first look inward to my own sin and wrong doing before God. To judge anyone for a sin is as if I am saying to Jesus that he did not pay the full price to cover all sin of everyone and for all time. It is wrong for me to do that and I would never condem re-marriage on that basis.

    Ro:14:1: Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
    Ro:14:2: For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
    Ro:14:3: Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
    Ro:14:4: Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
    Ro:14:5: One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
    Ro:14:6: He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
    Ro:14:7: For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
    Ro:14:8: For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
    Ro:14:9: For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
    Ro:14:10: But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
    Ro:14:11: For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
    Ro:14:12: So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
    Ro:14:13: Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
    Ro:14:14: I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

    There is a twist to consider. If you believe that what you are doing is a sin before God in your own heart. Then to do such a thing willfully would be a sin to you.

    Jas:4:17: Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

    M't:18:6: But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
    M't:18:7: Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

    As such I would never try to be offencive towards a person in decision on a matter but rather I will choose to be very careful what I say to God's little one (new believer). My counsil to you is to pray to God who is able toreveal all truth to you in all matters. he will do so thru scriptures with you alone and he does not need my help. Pray for the comforter the Holy spirit to guide you into all truth concerning any matter you need to know about. You can trust God but not all men even when we mean well.

    1Jo:2:26: These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
    1Jo:2:27: But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
    1Jo:2:28: And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

    Hope this will help and comfort all who need it.

    Bro Doyne
  5. I agree with these reasons. At least this is what I was trying to say when I first talked with momof4. I know He condemns on specific terms. Not condemns really, but more like warns us.
  6. 70 times seven

    If God didn't give you more that one chance to live all of our collective gooses would be cooked. My wife was married before we met, and it just so happens that it was her ex that was into unfaithfulness. After her divorce she was crying out to God and he told her to stop crying, her life wasn't over, and his grace yet extended to her.

    I was not a Christian when we met, and after 14 years of marriage we remained childless. My wife's body was allergic to my sperm and killed it on contact. The doctors said there was nothing they could do, even the test to determine her condition was new at the time. We had no idea if we had sinned or not by marrying and there is much confusion over this. The religious harpies stand ever ready to condemn people that are trying to get an answer from God. Even our families weren't interested in our marriage and as a result we didn't invite any of them. At this date we have been married for 43 years. We are still each others best friend.

    We went forward at our church and were anointed then prayed for by the elders and pastor. Many things happened - a book, books - but he told us he would send us a son. I was home on vacation and he spoke to me and said that he had fulfilled his promise. We went to the lab and they said "it's a nice positive result." (October 1979)

    My wife went right out the same week and bought a baby book and wrote his name in it, Nathan Matthew Jennings. He was born June 25th, 1980. He is 28 now and is a student at ORU in Tulsa.

    There's too much to tell here, but what I want to convey to you is not to let cold dead religion condemn you. Seek Jesus and his spirit. Read the word, fast, pray. God blessed our union by allowing us to have children, even though one of them -Joanna -was killed by a drunk driver.

    He will not leave you hoping in vain, he will answer you.

    The extreme desire and longing you have in your heart for a good thing is proof that it exists. God has placed that desire there.

    Does God rescue the hopeless? You decide.

    There's something good waiting for you!

    If you can't share what God has done for you to encourage and help others, it's a much smaller blessing. I was going to post a picture of our little family, but I don't have enough posts......

  7. I have been what I would call a victim of condemnation by self-righteous "Christians" because of being divorced. I didn't bother telling them I divorced my first wife because of her continuous adultery, and the fact that she told me "I won't change."

    I was condemned again after I was divorced by my second wife because I wasn't perfect like she was. She couldn't handle the fact that I am imperfect. She constantly criticized everything I said and did and eventually divorced me.

    I was made the bad guy, while they were both the "victims". I felt justified remarrying, but unfortunately I married the wrong person.
  8. Hello

    My situation is rather odd. I was married at the age of 18. Neither of us were Christians at the time and he was then a hard core marijuana user. The marriage lasted for around six months, honestly. I left him. I was young and basically an idiot. So, I was married and separated at the age of 18. I never legally divorced him though. First of all, divorces are expensive and I never planned to remarry. Currently, I'm a single mother of an 11 year old son and an 12 year old daughter. Both have different fathers, though, neither of the fathers have anything to do with the children. Yes, I've made some very poor/ungodly choices in men throughout my life. However, I do have my babies and am slightly glad that I did what I did to an extent. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have my blessing. Though, I do wish that I had been a Christian at the time and somehow ended up with the same kids. Confusing, I know.

    But, I was getting off the subject. I'm now 33 years old and still haven't gotten a legal divorce. Within the last 15 years, I have seen him around 2 or 3 times and we only spoke in passing. Hi/bye sort of thing. I know there is no way that we would ever get back together. I'm now a firm believer in Christ and am trying my best to live right. Though, I could be thought of as a newer Christian. I'm just now beginning to really study the Bible and find out as much about God's Word as possible on my own, without simply relying on what someone at church has taught me. I know that if we were to get back together, which is near impossible anyways, I would simply be dragged down. I'm not willing to risk that.

    This brings me to these questions:

    I am still legally married, though, we've been separated for 15 years. We've never once gotten back together. We never even see each other. If I were to go file for a divorce, would I be sinning? I mean, within the span of 15 years, we both have committed adultry. I know I have. Of course, this happened while I was still lost. Neither of my children are his. I'm equally certain that within the 15 year time frame, he has dated other ladies. So, in saying all that, adultry was committed by us both.

    Does this mistake made 15 years ago mean that I have to live the rest of my life alone? Sure, the odds are stacked against me that I would even be able to find a devoted Christian man willing to marry a single mother of two, but if I could, would I be living in sin? My babies are getting older. My oldest will be 13 years old in July of 2009! Soon, I'll be all alone and frankly, I don't want to be. Right now, God and my kids are my life. I'm perfectly fine with my life now as is. But, one day, when my kids move out to start their own lives, mine will be an empty shell without even a husband to share the rest of my life with.

    I basically need to know if I'm doomed to a life spent alone by the law of God, due to my sinful past as a disbeliever.

  9. No, you are not doomed to spend a life alone by the law of God.

    Getting a legal divorce would be better than just being separated when you know you're not going to get together again. The spiritual and physical divorce occured when you left him, but now it needs to be legal. You don't want to be legally bound to him. A divorce isn't expensive if you do it yourself. Each county has a self-help court assistance or legal aid where you can get the papers. If I were you, I would go to them and tell them your situation. They will be able to help.

    I'm glad you came to the Lord. You are never alone. The Lord is always there for you. Lean on Him.
  10. Here are the bible passages that I meant to use the first time I spoke about the marriage issue:

    1 Corinthians 7:1 Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.[a] 2But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.

    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.
  11. 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.[/quote]

    That's an interesting quote. I think it is easy to read that as the woman must not remarry, but it actually makes more sense to read it as: if you seperate, get a divorce or reconcile. To remain married while seperated doesn't seem to be the best thing. Either work towards reconciliation or become unmarried.

    And if you are unmarried, you are then free to marry.

    Just a thought. I haven't looked into it in any depth. Don't know if I'm twisting it to please myself (I'm also divorced). But God is above all else a loving God. I'm trying to read His Word from a loving perspective.
  12. Hi mom0f4,

    I've been thinking a lot about this lately as I would like to one day remarry. First, if it is in scripture that we are not to remarry, then I would hesitate to look at it as condemnation. When I think of the commands given to us by Jesus, I don't imagine them coming from a place of condemnation. I imagine them coming from a place of love and with good reason, God's reasoning that we are not able to understand. So we might kick and scream about it here on earth, but ultimately, if it is the Word of God, then it is ultimately for our benefit. Our challenge would be to accept that. Maybe it is a way, albeit extremely challenging way, to rely on God for all our needs and allow a transformation within ourselves that we are yet unaware of. If we feel like we are being condemned, then maybe we just don't understand what our benefits are. Also, maybe we can come to reach a place of appreciation and understanding in which we are thankful for being guided in such a direction.

    If people are using scripture concerning divorce and remarriage as a condemnation, then I would assume that they, also, don't understand the Word they are professing to.

    This is just the direction I have recently taken. This doesn't mean I won't take another turn and change my view.

    I think this is one of those matters where it would do us a world of good to become students, and learn as much as we can about interpreting the Bible, using the tools and translations, etc. so we can find for ourselves, with God's guidance, what the relevant passages mean, and how they relate to who God is as it is revealed to us in the Bible. It might even be a good idea to learn a bit of Greek and Hebrew.

    It seems that the only way to be released from a marriage, even after a divorce, is if the other person remarries first, commits fornication, or dies. Or if the reason for divorce is is adultery. I'm still a newbie, so take all this with caution. I getting this from 1Corinthians 7. It doesn't mean we can't remarry, it just means certain things have to happen first to dissolve the bond in God's eyes.

    So until God reveals a different truth to me, or my ex dies, or has an intimate physical relation with some else, or remarries, I'm trying to look at it as an opportunity for an adventure. How will God transform me if I am obedient to this command? I actually find it a bit exciting. It's the unknown. God is really good at taking me to wonderful, unknown places. And the question I'm posing to myself is: Am I going to trust God? Because He wants good for me.

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