Is remarriage after divorce, always against God’s will?

Before we even begin to answer this question, let us repeat, “God hates divorce” (Malachi 2:16). The pain, confusion, and frustration most people experience after a divorce are surely part of the reason that God hates divorce. But even more difficult (biblically speaking) than the question of divorce, is the question of remarriage. The vast majority of people who divorce either remarry or consider getting remarried.

Marriage is Gods institution.
At the beginning of the creation, God created the institution of marriage. The meaning of marriage to bind two people together so they are no longer two but one. God had introduced it with the aim that marriage would be a lifetime commitment. But since the commitment is taking place between two sinful beings, there are probabilities that divorce will surely take place.

So, in the Old Testaments, in order to protect the rights of the divorcees, certain rules have been laid down. Remarriage is considered even more sinful than divorce. According to the words of the Bible, remarriage of divorced people is basically adultery. Because, as per their explanations, marriage is the bonding of the souls and the commitment should last forever. Divorce does not mean the total annulment of the marriage, until death comes.

So, remarriage after divorce is considered adultery if the cause of divorce is other than immorality.

Matthew 19:9 says, “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (See also Matthew 5:32). These Scriptures clearly state that remarriage after a divorce is adultery, except in the instance of “marital unfaithfulness.”

It is my view that there are certain instances in which divorce and remarriage are
permitted without the remarriage being considered adultery. These instances would include unrepentant adultery, physical abuse of spouse or children, and abandonment of a believing spouse by an unbelieving spouse. We are not saying that a person under such circumstances should remarry. The Bible definitely encourages remaining single or reconciliation over remarriage (1 Corinthians 7:11). At the same time, it is our view that God offers His mercy and grace to the innocent party in a divorce and allows that person to remarry without it being considered adultery.
However:

  1. remarriage is not considered as adultery if one of the spouses dies.
  2. if the cause of the divorce is infidelity and immorality, then it is
    not considered as adultery.

In that case, there is nowhere mentioned in the Bible that God has forbidden to remarriage. In the Bible, you will find mentioning, God hates divorce but it has been stated nowhere that God hates remarriage. A person who gets a divorce for a reason other than the reasons listed above, and then gets remarried has committed adultery (Luke 16:18).

In the Old Testament Law, the punishment for adultery was death (Leviticus 20:10). At the same time, Deuteronomy 24:1-4 mentions remarriage after a divorce, does not call it adultery, and does not demand the death penalty for the remarried spouse. The Bible explicitly says that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), but nowhere explicitly states that God hates remarriage. The Bible nowhere commands a remarried couple to divorce.
Deuteronomy 24:1-4 does not describe the remarriage as invalid. Ending a remarriage through divorce would be just as sinful as ending a first marriage through divorce. Both would include the breaking of vows before God, between the couple, and in front of witnesses.

No matter the circumstances, once a couple is remarried, they should strive to live out their married lives with Christ at the center of their marriage. A marriage is a marriage. God does not view the new marriage as invalid or adulterous. A remarried couple should devote themselves to God, and to each other – and honor Him by making their new marriage a lasting and Christ-centered one (Ephesians 5:22-33).

Welcome to our online advice service for Christian marriages. If you need biblical advice about, divorce, seksuality, adultery etc.., email us, we will answer your questions discreetly and you can just remain anonymous. Click here
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Our desire is to preach the gospel of God's love in different ways. Also we would like to help other people, if you are in trouble or you need advice.
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