Q4 - I divorced my spouse for reasons that have no biblical basis. Neither one of us have remarried. What should I do to demonstrate repentance and obedience to God's Word?
If at all possible seek reconciliation and be reunited in marriage to your former spouse.
- 1 Corinthians 7:10-11
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. (NIV)
Q5 - I divorced my spouse for reasons that have no biblical basis. Reconciliation is no longer possible because one of us has remarried. What should I do to demonstrate repentance and obedience to God's Word?
Though divorce is a serious matter in God's opinion (Malachi 2:16), it is not the unforgivable sin. If you confess your sins to God and ask for forgiveness, you are forgiven (1 John 1:9) and can move on with your life. If you can confess your sin to your former spouse and ask forgiveness without causing further hurt, you should seek to do so. From this point forward you should commit to honor God's Word pertaining to marriage. Then if your conscience permits you to remarry, you should do so carefully and reverently when the time comes. Only marry a fellow believer. If your conscience tells you to remain single, then remain single.
Q6 - I did not want a divorce, but my ex-spouse unwillingly forced it on me. Reconciliation is no longer possible because of extenuating circumstances. Does this mean I cannot marry again in the future?
In most cases, both parties are to blame in a divorce. However, in this situation, you are biblically considered the "innocent" spouse. You are free to remarry, but you should do so carefully and reverently when the time comes, and only marry a fellow believer. The principles taught in 1 Corinthians 7:15, Matthew 5:31-32 and Matthew 19:9 would apply in this case.
Q7 - I divorced my spouse for unbiblical reasons and/or remarried before I became a Christian. What does this mean for me?
When you become a Christian, your past sins are washed away and you receive a brand new fresh start. Regardless of your marital history before you were saved, receive God's forgiveness and cleansing. From this point forward you should commit to honor God's Word pertaining to marriage.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. (NIV)
Q8 - My spouse committed adultery (or another form of sexual immorality). According to Matthew 5:32 I have grounds for divorce. Should I get a divorce because I can?
One way to consider this question might be to think of all the ways we, as followers of Christ, commit spiritual adultery against God, through sin, neglect, idolatry, and apathy. But God does not forsake us. His heart is always to forgive and reconcile us back to him when we turn back and repent of our sin.
We can extend this same measure of grace toward a spouse when they have been unfaithful, yet have come to a place of repentance. Marital unfaithfulness is extremely devastating and painful. Trust requires time to rebuild. Give God plenty of time to work in a broken marriage, and to work in each spouse's heart, before following through with divorce. Forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration of the marriage honors God and testifies of his amazing grace.
- Colossians 3:12-14
Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. (NLT)
Note: These answers are simply meant as a guide for reflection and study. They are not offered as an alternative to godly, biblical counseling. If you have serious questions or concerns and are facing divorce or considering remarriage, I recommend that you seek counsel from your pastor or a Christian counselor. In addition, I am certain that many will disagree with the views expressed in this study, and therefore, readers should examine the Bible for themselves, seek the Holy Spirit's guidance, and follow their own conscience in the matter.
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