Is Remarriage OK?

Does the Bible address remarriage? If you are reading this page, than you probably, like me, have asked this question. If you are wrestling with getting divorced or are already divorced, you may be wondering if there is any hope of getting married again or if you are destined to spend the rest of your life single.

Divorce and remarriage have been an issue since the fall of man. When the Pharisees questioned Jesus about divorce (Mark 10:2-12, Matthew 19:1-9 and Luke 16:18), He drew attention to God’s intention that marriage be permanent rather than to “the correct use of a divorce certificate” like they wanted Him to. Divorce is displeasing to God and is contrary to God’s plan for marriage.

We live in a fallen world and divorce and possible remarriage are real issues that many find themselves dealing with. The causes of divorce are always sin and always result in great pain and sorrow.

Much of the discussion about divorce in the Bible centers on the law. We are no longer under the law but are under the New Covenant of Grace thanks to the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for our sins.

We have been made alive in Christ. God forgave all our sins and has canceled the law. The law was against us, condemning us because we have not kept it perfectly (nor could we ever hope to). Christ took all our sins away. He nailed them to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14) We, as the children of God, are free from the penalty of the law.

Paul, when talking to the Galatians, addresses the issue of putting oneself back under the law. (Galatians 5:1-6) The Judaizers were insisting that the Gentile believers be circumcised for salvation. Paul says that to depend on circumcision is to make Christ and his sacrifice worthless. If we look to be justified by the law, we fall away from grace. Legalism requires keeping the whole law. People under law cannot just pick and choose which commandments to keep. If a person attempts to please God by being circumcised, then he is under obligation to keep the whole law. So, a man is either entirely under law, or not under law at all.

As C. H. Mackintosh says, “The law demands strength from one who has none, and curses him if he cannot display it. The gospel gives strength to one who has none, and blesses him in the exhibition of it.” 1

“Run, John, and live,” the law commands,
But gives me neither legs nor hands;
Far better news the Gospel brings,
It bids me fly and gives me wings.2

What really matters, Paul says, is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6)

As one living under grace instead of the law, how do you handle the issue of divorce and subsequent remarriage in your life? Perhaps 1 John 1:9 can help shed some light on that.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Let’s break this passage down and see how it would apply in the case of a divorce and to the question of remarriage.

Our part is to “ confess our sins”. All divorce is caused by sin. Some, like adultery, are more obvious than others. At the end of the day, any area of disagreement with God’s will - be it actions, attitudes or thoughts, are all sin. Confession requires praying about and discovering the ways you contributed to the breakdown of your marriage and maybe even caused the divorce itself.

King David, for example, confessed his sin against God after Nathan called him out for committing adultery with Bathsheba and conspiring to have her husband Uriah killed (Psalm 51:1-5). David was very much aware of how his sin, while unconfessed, was a hindrance in his relationship with God.

Then, God does His part. The verse goes on to say God is faithful and just. When you pray to God, it is important to know who God is and his character. God is faithful. God has promised to forgive and God always keeps his promises. He is just. We can be assured of forgiveness because Jesus paid the penalty for our sin.

He purifies from all unrighteousness including divorce and sin that led to a divorce. The blood of Christ is sufficient to cover all our sins. There is only one sin the Bible says is unforgivable and it is not divorce, remarriage or anything relating to it but it is blaspheming against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:27-29).

This passage is addressed to believers who would have already made a confession of sin as they accepted the free gift of salvation. However, confession is vital to maintaining our relationship with God without hindrance. When God convicts us of sin that is hindering our relationship with Him, we must confess it and God will forgive and cleanse us from it.

It is important to note here that if one considers sinning with the idea that “you can just ask for forgiveness later”, you are not walking in fellowship with God. God pours out his grace on us but it should never be an excuse to go on sinning. (Galatians 5:13)

"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" Romans 6:1-2

As a child of God, once you have confessed your sin to God recognizing the severity of it as it pertains to your relationship with Him and desire not to repeat it, you can be assured of God’s forgiveness because He is faithful and because Jesus died for you.

Having been purified from all unrighteousness you can approach remarriage in faith that God has cleansed you from your past. Then you will be ready, should He see fit to bring a new mate into your life. The best way to recognize if and when that new mate has come into your life is through prayer that involves both asking and active listening.

As you prepare for and look ahead to remarriage, there are some things you may want to consider before you start dating after divorce. Are there steps you can take to ensure successful dating? What about Christian Internet Dating, is it worth a try?

Is Remarriage in Your Future?

Have you been considering the possibility of remarriage after your divorce? What questions and issues are you wrestling with?

Already remarried? Any advice or encouragement for those considering another marriage?

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What Other Visitors Have Said About Remarriage

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Husband Divorcing Me Because I Was Married Before 
My story might be quite different than most, not sure. My husband of 10 years was a widower when we met and married. My first husband committed adultery, …

Still Undecided 
As I read about remarriage in the Bible, I am not convinced that it is without sin. I understand the idea of being cleansed of all unrighteousness after …

By God's Great Grace 
I have been divorced for 6 yrs, and was separated for 3 years before the divorce. So, I have been a single mom for 9 years. I have 3 children ages 17, …

Will I Trust Enough to Love Again? 
The title says it all - will I ever trust enough to love again? I find it hard to believe that I'll be alone, but find it impossible to even think …

Remarriage is not OK 
I am in broad agreement with this article up as far as the paragraph that begins Having been purified from all unrighteousness you can approach remarriage …

Listen only to the Lord Not rated yet
My story will be short. During my walk with Jesus I have learned to listen to Him. I have been disobedient to Him at times but the Spirit of God has brought …

I Believe in Marriage Again. Not rated yet
I have been seperated for 4 years. When my husband and I got married we were both sinners. I then gave my heart to God in 2011 and God has been healing …

I Am Divorcing Due to Abuse Not rated yet
I am divorcing due to abuse. He is divorced twice. Once when he was younger and now after a cross cultural, torrential marriage Yes, I do have questions. …

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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version , Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society, Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
1 (5:1) C. H. Mackintosh, further documentation unavailable.
2 MacDonald, William ; Farstad, Arthur: Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1995, S. Ga 5:1

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