Marriage, Divorce and Remarrying after Divorce

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Discerning the World is an internet Discernment ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa that was founded by Deborah du Rand in 2008. Tom Lessing joined Deborah in May 2013. Tom Lessing founded the website "Waak en Bid/Watch and Pray" which was closed in 2013 and articles moved across to DTW.

60 Responses

  1. Karin says:

    Hi Deborah,

    Thanks for this. Very well thought out and put together.
    Keep up the good work.

    Be blessed.

  2. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Thanks Karin.

    This article is in preparation for another article that is to come soon.

  3. Carm says:

    [deleted by DTW – 1) This article I wrote specifically as an introduction to a very important article that will be coming out soon. I am so sorry that you disprove because it is such a ‘basic’ 101 Christian article 2) You must RE-READ my article again, I have no idea where you get your notions from 3) I would really like an apology from you re your comment here: drunking-beer-and-wine-the-bibles-counsel: 28 October, 2012 at 1:05 am please see my response (29 October, 2012 at 12:35 pm), because after I replied you just vanished into thin air, no ‘sorry’ nothing. And now you come back, with ‘attitude’?]

  4. Michael says:

    Marriage is a covenant with God…we must understand that. Divorce is a destruction. When God created man and then a woman (His love and concern that he shouldn’t be alone) He took a portion of man (his rib) to create a woman. God in His beauty and undescribable love did everything perfectly…He takes a part of the male closest to the lifeblood of man the heart and creates a partner. That partner is to be loved and cherished because it is a priviledge and gift from Him. He set about an order that she was to be loved and cherished. She is a gift…woman means from out of man. Men today see woman as sex objects…not as companions and friends and helpers…God in His wisdom gave women a great sense of love and belonging…something that the proud, arrogant and macho man of today stumbles on. To be masculine in God’s plan is to love the wife in the same way that Christ loves His church.
    When people get divorced they are following their own selfish desires and ways. Divorce can never be justified. In a case where a man is an abuser and a threatener to the safety of his estranged wife and children she has a right to separate and seek safety for herself and children but never to divorce her husband…the same can be the otherway round because it is never only the man that is the abuser. The true Christian in such a situation MUST remain single and pray for the erring partner.

    Marriage is a COVENANT not with man-made courts but with The Creator God. Whatever God has joined together let NOT man put asunder. God created this powerful bonding and sealing between us…divorce is tearing our body’s, our whole existence…our minds, our feelings, our spirits and emotions. Yes sex is fun and rewarding and satisfying but it is just an added bonus…the world sees it (because it is selfish and self gratifying) as the main thing.

    Marriage is the opposite…love that protects (not to the possession or ego) of the other partner.

  5. Myfanwy Brown says:


    I have read your comments and I agree with most of what you have written.

    However, I would like to ask you if you have ever been in an abusive marriage? I met my first husband in an AOG church, we were both in the youth group and we spent alot of time with all the young people. In some sense I did feel pressure to marry as most of them had partnered with someone, and quite a few were getting engaged and married.

    There is a very long story from when I married him to the point that we got a divorce, which I will not go into now, but suffice to say, although he divorced me eventually, I would have definitely divorced him had that not been the case. This man abused me terribly, I left him when three months pregnant with our son because he hit me in my stomach. That was the last straw for me, I was not going to let him destroy this precious new life too.

    I actually did try to reconcile with this man on quite a few occasions, but he was never going to change. I also found out that he had cheated on me amongst other things, but that was only after we were separated, and trust me, I would have divorced him anyway.

    I never felt any sense of guilt over that divorce. I did remarry a few years later, and at that stage I was backslidden and I married a non Christian too. I had seventeen years of misery with my second husband.. we were both at fault in many things, but he was also abusive to me, physically and verbally. I eventually asked him to leave after suffering a breakdown, I honestly could not take any more abuse and unkindness.

    We have now been separated for seven years and I have not asked for a divorce, neither has he asked me for one. I have admitted my faults to him and asked for forgiveness, although he has not done the same. I have seen alot of change in him, and I believe he has a sense of guilt as he does help me and our sons with as much as possible. Having said that, my ex husband does not serve the Lord and leads a very worldly life. I continue to pray for him and I will not divorce him.

    I have no contact with my first husband, and the times I did have to see him when our son was small, I would feel absolutely fearful, sick and shaken. I hated making my son even go to see his dad, I was always afraid for my son. I did hate my first husband, I hated him for a very long time, not only for the things he did in our marriage, but also for what he did once we were divorced. I do not hate him now (he is now onto his third marriage), I have had to forgive him, obviously, but I just want to say that I do not believe the Lord would have held it against me if I had divorced him.

    Even if my second husband divorces me, I have no intention of finding a companion or remarrying, but I am much older now (hopefully wiser!) and my children are grown. I think it is wrong to put pressure on someone (man or woman) to stay married to an abusive spouse,even if they separate. Yes, a period of separation and counselling is a good thing, but from my own personal experience, and talking to others from abusive marriages, it can take an awful long time for the abusive partner to change, and in most cases, they DO NOT change.

    I think this is very unfair to the other spouse, especially when they are still young and have a young family too. The problem is, afterall, mostly with the abusive spouse, and it is for he/she to work out, just as it is with an alcoholic. I went to and fro with my first husband and the abuse just got worse! My second husband left me a few times (because I was suffering from severe depression), and I fought tooth and nail to get him back and keep the marriage together. All I did was dig myself into a bigger hole and create more misery for me and my children. There are times when keeping two people married is actually cruel..and I personally believe that the Lord sees the situation and the heart.

  6. Carm says:

    [delete – ok Carm, go hook up with Gerrie (a Calvinist) and leave this blog please]

  7. Michael says:

    Myfanwy I hear you and understand you as a human being ( my past is one of no better ) but one as a Christian one has to be in total obedience to what the Lord Jesus made very clear. We are held accountable for our actions and although we are completely forgiven when we repent we still must take responsibility…what we sow we reap.
    The question of marriage and divorce is a very important one which the church has completely failed to address in a biblical manner…it is terribly compromised and marriages and divorces amongst Christians is totally mis-instructed and mishandled.
    When you marry some one this is a very important decision and a promise before God to love and cherish one another through ALL circumstances…this must never be taken lightly. This pledge is binding to death. It is so serious for it can affect so many peoples lives…huge consequences that the church has been weak in addressing. We make choices that determine our life…just in the same way when we choose to repent and invite Jesus into our lives acknowledging the importance and fact that He died on the cross for our sins and iniquities.
    My circumstances and story would shatter most people on this blog…indeed I probably could write a book on it. I have shared some of it with Debs as she has proven to me to be trusted. I have debated with her whether I should share it…I am still reticent to open up a huge can of worms to people (some of them are genuine Christians) but there are those that are not…there are some very peculiar and unstable people that access sites like these.
    I am praying and will take guidance by the Holy Spirit only. The problem is that my motives must be pure also that I am aware that I have not always done the right things and that I am just as accountable and guilty as anybody else and this I acknowledge before Almighty God.
    Yes, there is mountains of hurt but all praise and thanks to our precious Lord and Saviour that He shed His blood for these abominations.

  8. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    I’ve updated the article…and just expounded on Deuteronomy 24:1-4 (I mentioned it, but didn’t really explain it)…also just explained further on some other things for example.. the importance of seeking forgiveness before entering another marriage.

    However in (Deuteronomy 24:1-4) it mentions remarriage after divorce and does not call it adultery and does not mention the death penalty for the person getting remarried. (Deuteronomy 24:1) ruled that divorce was permissible for “some unseemly thing.” Two Jewish Elders, Hillel and Shammai and their students could not reason what this meant, Hillel said it meant “the nakedness of a thing” and said that divorce was only for indecency, Shammai said that the translation of the word only meant “thing” and therefore divorce could be granted for almost anything. The Pharisees questioned Jesus about this, and Jesus explains to them what the prophet Malachi had already done before him. (Malachi 2:10-16). Jesus then explains the law to them after much questioning by the Pharisees and tells them about the exception clause: “except for marital unfaithfulness” can one get divorce.

    If anyone divorces for the wrong (non adulterous) reasons, and remarries, and has sexual relations, that union is an immoral act that dissolves the first marriage, in other words, you will be committing adultery. And the repercussions are severe. It goes so far that, if a husband divorces his wife and she remarries, and has sexual relations, he will have has caused her to commit adultery.

    A divorce of any kind is a sin because a divorce is evidence of sin. When one has committed adultery, one has sinned, and this sin is destroying the marriage. The fact that divorce was permitted in both Testaments, shows that people failed to live up to the will of God. Those whose have had marriages fail must find spiritual forgiveness and healing through Jesus Christ the Son of God, before they could move forward in their relationship with God. It is not wise at all to enter a second marriage without sorting out and dealing with the issues that when wrong in the fist marriage.

    God does not hate remarriage. He does however hate divorce. And it is interesting to note that nowhere in the Bible does God expect a remarried couple to get divorced, they are to remain married. Their marriage now does not become invalid. Ending the second marriage is again breaking ones bond before God. Marriage is Marriage. But the sin remains, and this needs to be dealt with.

  9. Estelle says:

    Hosea is a good example of the marriage covenant. I know many of us can’t follow his example and not all circumstances are the same, but many of us would not stay with the other person should they be cheated against numerous times. In Hosea’s example he takes back his wife and loves her even after what she has done.

    I know this cannot always be done, especially if the other person doesn’t want to repent or get back together, but we should always strive to protect the marriage covenant.

    Divorce in today’s sinful world can’t always be avoided and if it should happen, I think it would depend on the person him/herself (who was the victim in the situation) to think of remarriage or staying single. Not everyone will remarry and not all will be able to stay single for the rest of their lives.

  10. Myfanwy Brown says:

    Michael, thank you for your comments, and I can see that you are a man that loves the Lord and seeks to honour and obey Him.

    Like you, I could write a book on all my life experience. I choose to share that which I feel the Holy Spirit leads me to share. I am not afraid of what people say or think about me, because I am honest about my past sins.

    Debs, you are right, God hates divorce and I am very sad that I ended up in two such unhappy. destructive marriages. I always wanted to marry, have children and lead a life serving God. My choices were just that, my choices, and they were both wrong choices. I believe the Lord was trying to show me not to marry my first husband, but I was young, unwise and not close to the Lord as I am now. The same thing with my second husband, I knew he was wrong for me (even though I was backslidden). So I put all the blame at my own door, and I have suffered greatly for my bad choices.

    As I said, I have made no attempt to divorce my second husband, and I will not do it. I know he would never reconcile with me, he has told me that himself. I have also told him that if he wants a divorce, he will have to divorce me. That is all I can do.

    My only concerns now are the Lord and my children, this is my priority.

    I do not take marriage lightly, or divorce, and it saddens me to see the way people treat marriage and how easily they get divorced. It hurts me that I did not marry someone kind and loving with whom I would have been able to build a good life, and with whom I could have served the Lord.

    There are times I feel the old anger filling my heart, and I have to guard my thinking. Forgiveness towards my first husband is somethng I have had to work at all through the years because I have never had so much as an apology from him. In fact he then went on to be a member of the Vineyard church.

    Thanks be to the Lord that He heals our broken hearts and helps us to forgive those that treat us so unkindly. I have watched as many of those people have indeed reaped what they have sown.

  11. Johnny says:

    I am responsible for the breakdown of my marriage , if it make the transition easier in the site of our Almighty Father ho sees all , then Ill take the full blame . I love my wife and soon I shall be divorced , and our children shall be with her , she is a great , wise and prudent woman , that is worth more than precious stones or gold . You see I’m an addict , addicted to meth , she stood bye me for the last eight years , gifted us with two beautiful children a handsome boy whos now 5 years old , and an especially gorgeous daughter of 3 12 years of age , I thank God for them and give her thanks as well! Shes loved me unconditionally , thoughout that time , went to prison for a total of 13 months and she took care of the family we shared , to and me aswell , I love you Catherine for that , you should know , before we married I was a notorious car thief, how i funded my half of the wedding and she worked as always and funded the other half , she really wanted to marry me . I felt worth something , my intentions were to become an honest working husband , with God as our corner stone , or should I say Yeshua , I started working and tried harder thAN EVER TO ACHEIVE THAT goal , all at the same time still continuing to use . The day of our wedding I gave up auto theft for good , proud to say I still no longer desire to steal , thank you Papa for that victory ! She never said nothing , I’d leave and not come home to the wee hours of the morning and always welcome me home , as time progressed I fell back on selling dope , she knew , but it helped pay bills and for a habit that I knew was going out of control , still she said nothing , I began question if she noticed , or just didn’t care . For as long as I can remember I would ask her and plead with her that I no longer wanted anything to do with the addiction , she would just listen , no response ! All the while I was running from both the Federal and State Authorities , we became pregnant in the begining of 07 , and with more reason I wouldn’t turn myself in . She asked when I would do so , and I’d respond with I don’t kno that I didn’t want to leave her aLONE Withour son and she agreed , in the span of those couple of years she allowed me to be me , herour family did! The addict and then came in 2009 our pregnacy our daughter , bye that time I would cry to her that I wanted to go and deAl with my situation all the while being deeply in love with each other , and helping one another , on 359 I as with my nephew driving and we wrecked he was four at the time , and I could have hit and ran but the thought of my nephew being hurt or possibly killed made me stay at the scene , I called my mother-n-law to pick him up called my wife and they both wanted me to leave before the police got there . And I told my wife with a lump in my throat and tears my eyes that I was tired of running , and I was going to face it , but alone with God at my side , and that he would carry us through this , possibly facing five years , I was reluctant to do so , but the goal of being that honest husband and father , and the strength of God in my weakness help me through ! My daughter was scheduled to be born that june , so I abandoned my wife in her time of need . I have the the biggest fear of abandonment , becaus eI had already lost a family to prison! Noones fault but my on and the choices that Ive made , i was released on the friday before fathers day but my wife had given birthto our daughter the thursday before , court , which was the next day friday , through out that whole time I asked God to help us make it Her faith grew strong because , I believed the promises of God , and knew all would be Good . But needless to say Im a jailhouse Christian , its an awful truth yes , I constantly try to understand God , and always thank him for the abundance of blessings in our lives . But I also told my wife promised her that was it and the truth is I fell back into the same addiction ! I don”t want to lose my family but , I feel I have and the discussion about marriage divorce and marriage again , kills me because if thats the case she gave up on our marriage and invested herself her love into someone else that knew about me and claims to be Christian too but instead of trying to help his brother in Christ just hopes and watches as she does while I self destruct , my children as God would see me in pure splendor and light up when I’m around , I’m know in the process of her divorcing me and I find myself fighting to hold on but she only looks upon me with regret and pity as if I’m only in the ay of her happiness , she is a God fearing woman I know and on sept. 10th she told me in bluntness that I am nothing but dead weight that is holding her back from her dreams ANd ambitions to become a dentist. Nothing but a burden on her and she was leaving with our children , e have never gotten into any big arguments, or broken up and when I would ask what was bothering her she would never say , so it hit me With the force of death , and no I ask Gracious Father to Bless us in our lives , plural , as in seperate and to give us both forgiveness and peace . As only e know what weve done! I thought we would always be there for each other and dont believe what youve heard about me , never have I been unfaithful , the only thing ive cheated with is that addiction . Love you ! Everlong! And Ive lost my faith dont lose lose yours . For he is your rock your shelter and protector, For if God be for you who can be against you !

  12. Johnny says:

    Don’T Need any feedback just wanted to take the blame!!!!!Praise God Alawys in the morning , in the noon day , evening, And at night , Let all Who can proclaim and all the beast of the fields and fowls in the air Praise Him ! For he is WORTHY AND WE SHALL ALL GIVE Account of our live before the thrown of Jehova , and Yeshua!

  13. Zoe says:

    Getting divorced was the best thing my mom could have done for us. It saved us from the psychological torture she endured as a child in a home where her parents didn’t get divorced because of biblical laws. I don’t think God wants us to live such unhappy lives? Otherwise what is the point then?

  14. Louise says:

    Hello All,

    I know this is not a Dear Abby site and its been a long time since I was here last. I am a divorced lady and remarried now my 3rd time. I agree its not what God likes and wants from us. There is no but coming. God sees the heart and when you are a child of God his hand is on you divorce or no divorce. I have always felt that GOD would never expect a person to stay in a marriage that has no love. I met a born again man, fell in love and with the triangle we have is really amazing. Perhaps we should stop marrying unsaved people as we get unequally yoked and thats when the hassles creep in. Not only am I blessed with a delicious man smiles, its magic to be able to pray as a couple and to share the gospel together. Now I have a true understanding of Marriage and yes I am sorry for marrying so young and for marrying unequally yoked.

    For those of you who are divorced don’t get hung up just make sure you marry the right man and seek GOD in this before you commit. I may lose some rewards when I stand before GOD for my past sins and I say this with a deep regret but know this I pray and hope I am gaining so many more by living a life called for us to live by Jesus.


    Take Care

  15. Myfanwy Brown says: is ABSOLUTELY important that Christians marry Christians and not unbelievers. Unfortunately I met my first husband in church and I thought he was saved..and look how that turned out! I was not mature enough, or in fact close enough to the Lord to see and understand that this man was a phoney Christian. As I said before, the next man I married was unsaved, it was really stupid of me to go down that road and I have paid for it BIGTIME!

    That is why I feel I cannot divorce my second husband and remarry. I am now at a place where I know and understand what the Lord requires of me. I cannot use any excuses. and it was me that put myself in the position of marriage to an unbeliever.

    Could you explain to me what you mean by….’the triangle we have is really amazing’ ??

    One more thing, be careful what language you use. It is a very common thing for people to use the word ‘magic’ to define things they find good or great etc. You said it is ‘magic to be able to pray as a couple..’. This, along with many others, is a word that the world uses.. and of course it is associated with witchcraft. I know you did not mean it that way..but please always be aware of your words, we do not want to give glory to satan or give him any room in our lives.

  16. Redeemed says:

    This is indeed a thorny topic that touches many a life. We live in a fallen world of sinful folks whose only hope is the grace and redemption through Jesus Christ.

    I read these sad accounts of broken hearts, broken homes and broken unions. It is indeed heartwrenching to hear the pain. It seems that it all comes down to some sort of sin. The Bible condones divorce in the case of adultery. Can substance addiction to drugs be classified as adultery? Does it always have to apply to the physical betrayal? Johney freely admits he cared more about his drugs than his marriage although he was not unfaithful in the usual sense of adultery. Was his wife not complicit in not confronting him and continuing to bring children into an unhealthy situation? What of the children? There are many unanswered questions. But there is no question this is a tragedy and it is not only the marriage, but children of divorce suffer greatly.

    Another aspect of this is that there are couples who remain married but live in constant turmoil but refuse to separate or get divorced because they believe that is sin. This creates a horrible situation for the children and sets a bad example. This is one aspect of Roman Catholicism – I know a woman who was married to an alcoholic and had to separate but would never divorce him because it was against the rules of the church. That is legalism.

    I know of a couple (not Catholic) personally who fought constantly, she a domineering person who drove her husband to drink. She abused their child but he did nothing. She disowned the child, but he did nothing. It was the home from hell. But they stayed together until death. Hardly the devoted couple.

    We just have to read the news to know of cases where wives have separated from abusive husbands and even had to go to shelters. They have restraining orders, but the husbands stalk them and kill them. Were they too starry-eyed to see the warning signs when they got married? Ironically, some young women get married to escape a bad home situation and find they have jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

    Also, people can be deceived in believing they are marrying a Christian. I know personally of a couple – the guy appeared to be a devout believer in a fundamental church, professed to love the Lord, had even church leadership convinced. He married a sweet Christian girl and everyone thought it was a marriage made in heaven. They moved away for a job opportunity and before long he was into drugs and became abusive. Everyone who knew him was absolutely shocked.

    I know of another instance where the couple had grown up in a fundamental church in Christian homes and got married. Later it came out that he abandoned her for another man. Now you talk about heartache. She is now remarried to a wonderful Christian man and has a lovely family. Can anyone say she is wrong to remarry?

    This is a topic that has largely been ignored and addressed properly in the Church. True Biblical counseling could mend many a situation. It takes two to make a good marriage – cooperation and self-sacrifice. Many are not willing to honor the committment and don’t even take it seriously. Some protect their assets with prenupts.

    Prominent professing Christians set a poor example. Amy Grant for one and Sandi Patti come to mind. Then recently actress Lisa Whelchel divorced her pastor husband of 27 years. We live in a day when husbands kill their wives, mothers kill their children, fathers kill their families, it goes on and on. The family unit has been fractured. We see pastors committing adultery and even being caught soliciting sex from minors or involved in porn.

    There is only one answer. Until one is willing to totally surrender their lives to Him and be a servant of others and lay down their own selfish interests there will continue to be carnage from broken homes. Sound doctrine and discernment have fallen in the streets. We are reaping the whirlwind.

  17. Redeemed says:

    It seems like I always have a P.S. as another thought comes to mind. Quite an annoying habit. 🙂

    If a woman enters into a marriage and through no fault of her own her husband commits adultery, he leaves her to live with another woman,and marries the other woman, does this not free her to enter into another marriage?

    I know of yet another situation. We knew a Christian couple, knew the parents, they were walking with Christ. Then he became overly aggressive and ambitious in business and started to travel a lot. Then a tragedy occured. They had a special-needs little girl who required a special breathing apparatus due to a birth defect. She had to be checked regularly. The mother overslept and as a result the child suffered permanent brain damage. The father blamed the mother and it destroyed the marriage. She remained loyal to the child and to her care, but the father abandoned the family, got into drugs and moved in with a girlfriend. They divorced. She is now remarried and has a nice family but the mother gets no support for the disabled little girl who is in a facility. They had another child together and she wants nothing to do with her father. The father has never supported the child emotionally or physically. Her stepfather is the only real father she has known. Every situation has its dynamics.

    Also, the Bible says that if the other partner in the marriage desires to separate, he/she should be released. Does that not free the offended party to remarry?

    Another question I have is – does God recognize marriages of non-believers?

    I thank Deborah for this article. It is a topic that surely has been neglected and largely ignored. Many jump in unequally yoked, hoping to change their partners after the wedding bells have rung. Marriage in our society and culture is not honored and now it is the vogue to live together and procreate without the sanctity of marriage. And who suffers the most? The children.

  18. Marion says:

    Dear Johnny, Are you truly “born again.” Or do you just have a knowledge of the truth without power? Something to think about and search out with the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Check out Luke chapter 8…which soil describes your heart. It can still be made write.

    God bless you.

  19. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    Before I look at your comment I want to add one thing, and that is, this article was written for the born again believer (in mind) and not the unbeliever… so when you said

    >> Also, people can be deceived in believing they are marrying a Christian.

    This is exactly what happened to Myfanywy. She married a man who abused her. The church (AOG) should have been the ones to take this man by the scruff of his neck and give him a good talking. too. What kind of genuine Christian man, abuses his wife or anything for that matter? The only answer to this question is that he was not saved, he was a false Christian.

    I’ve noticed a trend in many of the comments and that is:

    1) before they got saved they married men who were abusive and had very unhappy marriages, divorced, got remarried and the same pattern followed. The man or woman would seek a partner that appealed to their flesh, but it was NOT what GOD wanted. After getting truly saved, they marry a genuine Christian and are as happy as can be.

    2) The next trend is born again men / woman instead of seeking God on the issue for a husband or wife (which is disobedience), go out and find one themselves (according to their own flesh) and its NOT what God wants for them. And then the troubles start.

    The big thing is this, when you are saved you are supposed to ASK your Heavenly Father for a husband, and HE will give you the bestest husband or wife in the whole world.

  20. Redeemed says:

    You are SO right Debs. How many Christians are TAUGHT to pray for the LORD to bring them a husband and how many PARENTS are praying for their children that the LORD will protect them and bring them the mate that the Lord intends?

    Much heartache could be avoided by right teaching. But as you say, Myfanwy’s church at the time failed her miserably and did not protect her. This is too often the case. The groups that pass as “ministries” to young people too often fail to prepare and teach teens about proper relationships and instead get them hopped up and jazzed out of their minds with Christian rock concerts. This stirs the emotions and overwhelms the voice of the Holy Spirit!

    In the cases I cited, to the best of my knowledge these were believers, raised in good churches (this was quite some time ago before the apostasy had crept in so deeply) and not seeking the flesh, but wanting to please the Lord. Why these things happen, I can’t explain, but in such cases, surely God extends grace and allows such things for a testimony for others.

  21. Michael says:

    The point is, the seriousness of marriage and divorce is not a matter of opinion but it is a direction stated clearly by the Lord Jesus Himself.
    Matt 19…3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

    4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
    7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”

    8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality,and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

    There is NO pussy-footing around this clear answer. Couldn’t be clearer.

    The church and Christians today fail dismally to take directions directly from what Jesus clarified and pussy foot around this issue.

    Divorce is never justified…it is a blatant sin and must be repented of…there are no excuses and we are required to take full responsibility for the consequences.

    Having said that all sin can be forgiven if we truly repent of it…even murder. But the consequences are devastating. When people state that it was the best thing that happened they are showing total disrespect for God’s instruction. This attitude is a deviation around the issue.

    As I said before in a case where there is abuse to either partner or the children the threatened party has a definite right to separate and seek protection if this is justified. However they must remain single. I believe they are to pray and completely forgive each other. If the main perpetrator doesn’t repent or change his or her ways…then toughies…you are to remain single and serve the Lord. Sounds harsh but it is the Word.

    I believe though in most cases if absolute true repentance and forgiveness is sincerely applied and this attitude is GENUINELY taken and patience is also applied…the Lord will definitely fix the situation. The problem is that this is never taken to this level and parties seek the easiest solution not the tough one.

    Making light of these solemn transactions is the initial problem from the beginning.

    Those that are remarried must remain there and as long as they acknowledge their sin and have repented for it…their 2nd or even 3rd can be forgiven and blessed.

    The bottom line is wouldn’t it not be glorifying if all first marriages were done initially in direct obedience to God and that all spouses loved each other unselfishly and showed kindness and respect for their differences.

    [Edited by DTW: I just added BOLD to some of Michaels words because what he says is very very true]

  22. Michael says:

    Johnny how do expect God to fix your situation when you do not repent. God will change your life and your marriage if you GENUINELY repent. There is NO SIN that cannot be forgiven. Your lifestyle is dishonest not to mention criminal…you are not only harming others but those closest to you and yourself.
    Repentance is action…I realise that drugs has mentally and physically addicted you but if you really are genuine and want God’s way it calls for complete surrender and obedience…this can only come from honesty and integrity…yes it calls for toughness and manliness…ask Him to give you strength to PUT REPENTANCE INTO ACTION. Yes Johnny Jesus Christ went to the cross for your sins and iniquities…He went willingly because He loves you and that’s very genuine…He did not need to.
    They mocked him, stuck a crown of thorns of His divine head, spat and struck Him

    “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6).

    … and eventually crucified Him driving long nails through His hands…He hung there in torment in the heat…He was shut off from the land of the living…

    But on the 3rd day HE ROSE AGAIN.

    All this Johnny He did for you because He cares and loves you.

    He did this to take your sins and iniquities away blot them out forever…He arose from the grave for you. Surely you can arise for Him…repent of your sins and ASK His forgiveness and then GO and sin no more.
    Johnny, really mean it…He has done His part, now go and DO your part.

    Johnny, I can promise you if you are honest and genuine He will never let you down.

    What you’re done to society is terrible and what you’re to done to your love ones is horrendous but Jesus’s sacrificial death and resurrection is more than sufficient…it covered all mankind’s sins but it requires response. It’s a gift of God but you can’t have it if you do not receive it.

    You owe this not only to yourself but to your loved one’s.

  23. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    I agree with Michael wholeheartedly, if you want to change you will change. Ask Jesus for forgiveness for every single solitary thing you have ever done and tell Him that you want to change once and for all. There is no going back this time. You are handing yourself over to Him, and you want Jesus to take control of your life! Do it Johhny.

    I did, I was farrrrrr from being a saint before I was saved and I repented and CHANGED MY WAYS. And Jesus Christ saved me out of the hell I was in. He turned my life around, wiped my slate spotlessly clean. He never ever lets me down, ever.

    Read here: 09 – How to Become a Child of God

  24. Louise says:

    Hello Myfanwy Brown, Our triangle is this…..picture a triangle. God at the top and we are at the bottom. The closer we come to God the higher you go up the triangle. Smiles. As for the word magic I hear you but this is who i am and yes I know magic is witchcraft, smiles but then we can all say the internet is driven by evil forces etc and yet we use it daily. God sees my heart but thank for caring. Its magic to know I can say magic without being put under condemnation by my family and friends who are in christ. Take care.

  25. Myfanwy Brown says:

    Oh right Louise, thanks for explaining your ‘triangle’ had me worried there for a while! LOL

    I was not judging your heart, I was just trying to explain that our speech (and written word) is important. Of course we are surrounded on all sides by evil, and I was not trying to put condemnation upon you. It is something that I have had my spiritual eyes opened to see..slang, euphenisms and picking up worldly expressions is an easy thing to do for all of us. But since we are not of the world, we should be different in everything. I believe that our language is a testimony to others. Of course the internet has much evil connected to it, that applies to everything nowadays.. but it is not as if we are using it for evil purposes. Just my point of view.

  26. April says:

    So, I have read everything from start to finish and must say that I have sought counsel from my family, my church, and the Bible… I am still concerned about the situation that I find myself faced with today and will try to be as succinct as possible.
    I was married for seven years to a soldier (who became the CEO of a rather profitable company during our marriage) whom I am sure had at least one, but suspect had several extra marital affairs and who refused to leave the foreign country in which we were living, even though it was an option. I left with our 2 children who were then, 5 and 4 years old. Based on his past (he was raised by a single mother who struggled) I thought he would be home in the States with us within a couple of weeks. I was wrong And within a few weeks he told me that he wanted a divorce. I didn’t want a divorce, but he was still overseas and refused to come home. I cried in the lawyers office as she listened to my story. We were divorced in September of 2000, and he remarried his mistress who claimed Christianity, but who had refused my direct pleas to send my husband home, or at least break off their relationship. She knew he was married with children, from the onset of their relationsip and I appealed to her sense of Godliness. She told me that it was between he and I and not between she and I and God.
    They had a child and divorced within 2 years. He married another and again divorced this time without producing any children. He married one more time and again the result was divorce. We have been divorced over 12 years and apart for almost 13… Our daughter is a freshman at a Christian college, our son is still in high school. I have never remarried because I have never felt God call me back to being a helper. I was probably better at being a wife than I have ever been at anything else and after 13 years, 3 other wives, another child, and a string of selfish, and reckless decisions, my ex husband claims that he has never been happy because he destroyed our relationship and our family. He was too prideful to come home because I was the one who left. He confessed that he has always been looking for the kind of marriage that we had and he has been running from God’s will since the day I confronted him about the affair. My ex husband wants to come home.

    I have never stopped loving or praying for my ex husband, but after raising our children on my own, and watching him continue to try to break free of us, obviously without success, I am scared to make a decision based on my feelings alone

    Every piece of advice that I have sought from multiple Christian authorities, from my family, whom are grounded in God, from elders in my church family, from my own children who were raised in Church, from the Bible, from my prayers, just leave me confused. No one seems to have a definite Bible based answer and if there is one, I can’t find it myself. Someone please help?

  27. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    Firstly, just so you understand and I hope this helps you in your decision, a marriage needs to be between to genuine Christians, and this article was written for genuine Christians going through problems. Now, here is the crux of the matter, is your ex hubby genuinely saved?

    Based on his lifestyle you mentioned, he has been living in perpetual sin; adultery and who knows what else for many years and this of course according to biblical standards denotes someone who just professes to be Christian, but isn’t. (That’s if he ever said he was a Christian, I am just guessing here). Because if he is not a genuine Christian, taking him back will be pointless, because you will be taking back a man who does not have the Holy Spirit abiding in him and if there is no Holy Spirit there is no conviction in his life, and you just don’t know how long he will be around for.

    If he is isn’t a Christian, then for your own sake he needs to come to faith in Jesus Christ first before you get back together with him. And that means, ‘changing his ways’, surrendering his entire life to Jesus Christ.

    What you could do is ‘date’ your ex husband for as long as you want with no sexual relations. This way you can examine the situation at hand, analyse him to see if he is for real.

    Also, pray and ask Jesus to help you make up you mind as to what you need to do. Tell Jesus that you don’t know what to do, do He must help you and give you a sign of sorts.

    Now I do not advocate signs and wonders, but when it comes to something like this, there is no harm in asking Jesus if He can show you a sign as to whether you should take him back or not. Let it be scripture even.

    When I prayed for God to give me a husband, I asked Jesus for a sign, because I did not know who was the right man for me. How could I tell? And Jesus didn’t give me a sign, He gave me 2 that pointed to my current husband who is a born again man and the bestest husband in the whole wide world.

  28. Myfanwy Brown says:

    April, I have been married twice, to two ‘false’ Christians who promised all kinds of changes in their behaviour everytime they abused me. Promises, promises.. that is how I ended up in the UK, separated, ill and with my world shattered.

    Abusive behaviour, whether verbal, physical or sexual (adultery)..these are behaviours that will not change unless the person truly repents and goes under counselling. It must also be clear to the abuser that they have ONE last chance to change. My first husband used to beat me up and then cry and beg forgiveness, and then I would get a present. Of course I was told he would never do it again. And each time it happened and I stayed, things got worse.

    I understand that you and your husband have been apart for many years.. but I think it is quite obvious that he has not changed for the better. He has gone from marriage to marriage without caring how you felt, or it seems, trying to change at all. I would truly be suspicious of what he is telling you.. I think it is more of the case that he has totally messed up his life, and also he is the kind of man that needs to be in a relationship. He runs from woman to woman, and adultery is the probable cause of all of his marriage breakdowns.

    My advice would be to follow Deb’s advice and date him. Unfortunately, many men, and women, can put on an act to get what they want.. and then it all goes pear shaped. This is what happened to me. By the way, my first husband is on his third marriage and adultery and abuse seem to be the reasons that all his relationships fail. He professed and probably still does profess, that he is a Christian. He was totally deluded and there was definitly an ugly false spirit behind this so called Christianity. He was manipulative and even fooled ministers and other Christians.

    My point is April, you need to be VERY careful that you do not put yourself back in the same situation. Unless this man shows true sorrrow, repentance and a will and drive to completely change.. you will be back in dangerous territory. A few weeks of counselling will not make any difference. Do as Debs said, pray for him and about him. Make him know clearly that you will not have him back until he proves that he HAS changed, not that he will change!!

    I will pray for you too. God bless.

  29. Redeemed says:

    April, you have been good counsel from both Deborah and Myfanwy.

    Your ex-husband has left a trail of carnage and consequences of his life and for him to even consider taking up with you again without addressing the lives he has damaged and seeking repentance is folly.

    He needs to come to the realization of what he has done and the damage he has caused and that he has been disobedient to God. This will not happen overnight. You can befriend him, but it will take a long time to reestablish trust. He needs to access his life and focus on repairing relationships and examining his heart to see if he is in the faith. Sounds like he has run the gamut and burned his bridges and has nowhere to go. You can pray for him and point him in the right direction – he needs to sit under the teaching of a solid Christian man who will hold him accountable and then take him through the restoration process.

    Don’t allow him to take advantage of your feelings and mistake your forgiveness and act of good will as a green light to take up where you left off. Too much water under the proverbial bridge. If you decide to have any relationship you will have to firmly set up boundaries and stick to them.

    May the Lord grant you His wisdom and discernment in this situation.

  30. John Chingford says:


    Deut 24:1-4 may have something to say about your situation.

    “If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.”

    Although this talks about a woman (rather than a man) having the relationships, the principle may be the same regarding the man. Maybe other readers have insight into the history as to whether it is the same or not.

    One caution though is that we are no longer under law but under grace. However, some OT laws are still good because they contain very good advice. They are not necessarily a law to keep but good and safe practice/guidelines such as the dietary guidelines. In Bible times they did not have fridges and freezers so Pork went off very quickly and was not the most healthy meat to eat.

    So, although the verses I mentioned are some of the guidelines in the OT it is probably still good advice and was given for some good reason and as a guide for us still now.

    I always say that unless the NT states certain practices as now obsolete or unneccesary for believers that some parts of the OT are still applicable.

  31. April says:

    Thank you all very much and I apologize for using this forum for a purpose other than that for which was intended. Please pray that I am strong enough to wait on The Lord for His plan and discerning enough to know the difference between His will and what I wish to be His will.

  32. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    No don’t worry, I hope we did manage to help some!

  33. Michael says:

    April, Debs gave you very good advice. Like always she sticks to the scriptures and its all there…with respect to John we do not have to go to the OT to find the answer although the OT obviously does NOT contradict the new covenant…the NT just enhances it and clarifies it.

    The important of marriage is huge with God and Jesus knew that a full description and clarification was needed…the instructions are quite clear.

    You were entitled to leave your husband and divorce legally in the event of divorce because of adultery that is clear but ideally it would have been better if you allowed him to divorce you…i.e. you were not the divorcing party. The divorce law in SA has changed dramatically…in the old days the courts never allowed the defecting party to obtain a divorce…they merely instituted an order for the deserter (non-passive or passive in desertion) to restore conjugal rights.
    Jesus never advocated or recommended divorce in any circumstances but allowed or suffered it the case of adultery.

    Because of your husband’s repetitive adultery and because of your obedience in not remarrying I believe God will honour it this. You have done what’s right.

    You have no obligation to return to him. He has to GENUINELY REPENT, not only in words but in actions. He has to be truly converted and changed…die to old man and become truly a new creation. It is your duty to pray for this conversion…I believe it will happen if you do your part but do not be in a hurry…the fact that you still love him is good but on the other hand it could make you vulnerable.

    One thing you must NOT do is get married to somebody else, unless he (your ex-husband) dies. This is adultery. Some of us are guilty of this, including myself but we did this because we were negligent and did not seek the right biblical guidance…the council in the Christian churches is weak and full of error and compromise today. The problem is simple…we are to obey God not any man.

    Matt 19:3-12

    3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

    4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’

    5 “and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?

    6 “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

    7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”

    8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

    9 “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

    Matthew 5:32
    But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. (

    Matthew 19:9
    I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery

    1 Corinthians 7:12-13
    To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him

    1 Corinthians 7:15-16
    But 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. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

  34. Redeemed says:

    Michael, April’s exhusband has broken the marriage vows over and over again. She is not bound to him. The Bible is clear on this. To consign her to a life of singleness and expect her to be bound to a man who committed adultery, not once, but repeatedly is not biblical. You are overstepping to tell her that she must not get married to anyone unless he dies. He has already died to the marriage.

  35. Truthful Conversation says:

    Amen Redeemed, Michael you are putting a terrible burden on poor April. She is not at fault and it is true that her husband broke covenant WITH HER by committing adultery. It makes me angry when people (especially fellow Christians), try to put a yoke around someone’s neck!

  36. Michael says:

    Redeemed, I am saying this with due respect to you, these are not my words or my opinion or some ambiguous meaning…yes in the case of adultery it is permitted to divorce but it is clearly not recommended by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus was clear that you must not marry again unless your spouse dies. Dies means deceased in this context…there is no ambiguous or other meaning. Whether you commit adultery once or several times does change this context…it is still sin to God…there are no degrees of sin to God…they are all abominations to a holy God. It might sound harsh and without human feeling but that’s precisely the point…marriage and divorce are extremely serious and solemn matters and the weak church has watered this down. God declared the union as one.
    This is a very unpopular verse but it is God who said it and there is no other way to understand it…it is no good trying to worm your way around it…He makes the rules not me.
    Verse 9 are the Lord Jesus’s words…and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

    Please do not argue with me…I never made this up.

    In all humility nobody knows this more than I do. I have been there. I am a victim of this very thing…I did allow my ex to divorce me…I might add there was no adultery in my first marriage…she could not get a divorce…this was very bad advice from the church. My life and others have been tragically affected by this error.
    I have shared my story with Deb’s because I trust her…she has proved to me to be a Christian of integrity. She wants to publish the story on this blog because it involves a big public preacher who lives a lie. I have told her to hold fire because this is not for ear-tickling and gossip. Neither is it for any vindication…I am still praying about it.

    Also there are a lot of unstable and odd-balls out there. I am extremely cautious…I know who my enemy is too well and it is not a human being.

  37. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Errrrr, Ummmmm, Hmmmmm, Urrrrgggg. The bible is clear on the matter. Also if you re-read Aprils comment, she has not remarried and felt that God didn’t want her to re-marry.

  38. Michael says:

    That’s right April is commended for her obedience…I remarked…Because of your husband’s repetitive adultery and because of your obedience in not remarrying I believe God will honour it this. You have done what’s right.
    I also went on to say…You have no obligation to return to him. He has to GENUINELY REPENT, not only in words but in actions. He has to be truly converted and changed…die to old man and become truly a new creation. It is your duty to pray for this conversion…I believe it will happen if you do your part but do not be in a hurry…the fact that you still love him is good but on the other hand it could make you vulnerable.

    Sorry,Redeemed you must be careful when you give out advice…if it is not in accordance to the Lord’s direct council, you will lead somebody to heart-ache.

    I battled for a long time to come to terms with my disobedience and foolish action…yes He’s forgiven my folly but the consequences remain. Bear in mind too, I was a very young Christian and I trusted the church…I know better today and some good came out of it…I will never take council without checking the scriptures prayerfully and diligently. I know it hurts but obedience to God’s wisdom will always lead to better things…yes, the road is sometimes rough but through it all I’ve learnt He knows best and I trust Him explicitly. I will never turn my back on Him because He is faithful, trustworthy and has absolute integrity.
    I just get sad when I see people getting badly hurt and I do not want to see them make the same errors of judgement.

  39. Redeemed says:

    Michael, I have studied the verses you cite to defend the position that a wife who has divorced due to adultery by her husband is bound to him for life and is forbidden to remarry. The Holy Spirit does not say this to me from these verses.

    I went to a trusted Bible expositor, H.A. Ironside to see what he had gleaned from these verses. Dr. Ironside makes it absolutely clear that God hates divorce and than he absolutely believes in the union of marriage between a man and woman and that God considers it sacred. So let’s make that very clear.

    H.A. Ironside says:

    (Jesus) declared the “whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication (or unchastity) , and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” In these words Jesus affirmed the sacredness of the marriage relationship. It is intended by God to be a union for life. The subject believer will never break it.

    If one violates the tie by unchaste behavior – that is, by illicit relations with a third party–the innocent one if free to divorce the unfaithful one and to marry someone else.

    While therefore affirming the high and holy character of marriagae according to God’s Word, Jesus does not put on the INNOCENT divorced party the burden of going through life alone because of the unfaithfulness of a wicked partner.

    Another commentary by a fundamental states that remarriage is not condemned for the INNOCENT party in the New Testament –only for the offending party. Also one of the purposes of permitting scriptural divorce is to permit remarriage; otherwise, separation would seve the purpose jsut as well.

    It would be SO out of character for our Lord to punish the INNOCENT party, the one who kept the marriage vows, for the sins of the partner who broke them. To say that one who had been married to a serial adulterer is in bondage to them until they die is ludicrous.

  40. Michael says:

    Truthful conversation I’m not putting a yoke around someone’s neck…you are by not sticking to the biblical truth…you are way out of line. This is the truth…if you’re not comfortable with this then you need to re-examine your heart…the truth does not put a yoke around your neck…it sets you free even if it requires tough love.
    I get very angry when people try and pussy foot around what is very clear and transparent in the written word.
    Marriage today is in a terrible mess…divorces are as numerous as fleas on a dog’s back…people take their vows lightly and divorce lawyers make piles of money from people’s sadness and heartbreak.
    God hates divorce.

    There is nothing more destructive to society as broken marriages…the unbelievers are mocking marriage and are shacking up together, children are being brought into this world illegitimately. And it’s not just the church fellowship I used to attend even had couples living together and the pastor said zilch.
    Society is collapsing because of disrespect for marriage…need I go on…said enough.

  41. Redeemed says:

    Michael, when a divorce occurs due to adultery, the marriage is broken and the innocent person is no longer the spouse of the offending partner.

  42. Truthful Conversation says:


    As you said, ALL sin is just that, SIN in the eyes of God. God is gracious and loving and He understands the person and their situation, we all have different experiences. Can you imagine where any of us would be if the Lord held all our sins against us? Obviously marriage and divorce are serious issues, and church leaders should be able to help and advise their flock..but very often they get it wrong and they cause more disruption and distress. Sorry to say, but male leaders tend to expect women to take a very submissive role.. and they expect women to accept more than they would expect a man to suffer.

    Unfortunately we live in a fallen world which affects marriage as much as any other part of our lives. And people do fail and do fall. Yes, as Christians we need to do what the Lord expects of us, even when it is hard.. but it is not for us to judge another person’s marriage, or their heart. I feel great sympathy for April and she was using DTW to gain insight and advice.. she obviously wants to do the right thing.I think you are being very unloving Michael, and your attitude is what hurts people and can turn them away from other Christians.

  43. Estelle says:

    I agree with Michael. It would be better to stay single rather than to remarry. I think it is still adultery for the innocent party involved (As Michael mentioned Matthew 5:32
    “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery”)

    But it would be better to marry than to burn with passion (1 Cor 7:9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.)

    1 Cor 7:10
    “To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife”

    1 Cor 7:39
    “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is.”

  44. Redeemed says:

    Estelle, the Bible makes an exception in the case of infidelity/adultery. When the offending party remarries or enters into another union the marriage is dissolved in God’s eyes and the innocent party is released and free to remarry if they so choose. This is not adultery.

  45. John Chingford says:

    Hey Guys. Let us not forget the golden rule i.e. CONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXT!

    Before Jesus died and rose again to establish the NEW Covenant, they were STILL under the OLD covenant of Law. During Jesus time on Earth, the men could legally have more than one wife but (as far as I can gather) the women could not. The men could divorce their wives but the wives could not divorce their husbands – but they could separate from their husbands. When Jesus talked about divorce and whether it was okay to remarry it was in the context of that time period.

    Jesus was ushering in the New Covenant but was still dealing with the Old. I think you will find that Jesus is “marrying” (excuse the pun) the two together into a better way. I will explain what I mean:

    Old Law: men could have many wives, so divorce is different. However the man needs to have acceptable reason for divorcing her in first place. If he sends her away, he puts her at risk of being married by another man. Under the Old Covenant, that was allowed, but he could never remarry her as it is an abomination to remarry his wife if another man has had her in the meanwhile. Deut 24:1-4 As men used to have more than one wife he could always remarry his first wife (two wives) if she remained unmarried.

    New Law – one wife one husband. Ie if woman is divorced she can always be remarried to same man again (as God reckons them still married) as long as that man remains single and adultery free. If another one marries that woman it causes her to be in an adulterous relationship because in God’s eyes she now has two men because the first husband is still single and that second man is creating that problem so the second man is also taking part in the adultery in GOD’s EYES because God sees the previous couple as still married. If the woman does get married to the second man then surely the first man then becomes free to remarry because he remained single and adultery free during that period, but should repent before the Lord for causing the whole problem in the first place. If he, however, doesn’t remain single, then she is free to be remarried because she would no longer be in an adulterous relationship IN GOD’S EYES.

    Now reread what Jesus said in Matthew 5:32

    “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes HER to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery”

    Every word now makes far more sense because it is NOW in context. I mean why would SHE become the adulteress if SHE is the innocent party? But take things into context per above and then it all makes sense!

  46. John Chingford says:

    Hi April

    Did you read my above comment? It should help you to make the right decision based upon clear scriptural and circumstancial (i.e on historical) context/evidence

  47. Sharon says:

    I speak here as one who is divorced. HE divorced me after 28 years married without scriptural grounds. I also hate divorce….did I say hate? Yes I hate it. BUT…we who are divorced are not second hand citizens of the true church, nor of heaven. I still hate it and the damage it does. It would not hurt more had he died after what he did to me, our 2 kids and now our grandchildren.

  48. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:


    >> BUT…we who are divorced are not second hand citizens of the true church, nor of heaven

    NEVER! You are FANTASTIC 🙂

  49. Redeemed says:

    Sharon, to consider those like yourself who have suffered loss in a lesser light than others is adding insult to injury and that is unloving which is the sin of self-righteousness and unfair judging of others.

    Yes, God hates divorce, but He also hates infidelity, lying and pride.
    Divorce is NOT necessarily sin, but the others ARE.

    I know personally a case where divorce is the result of being married to a deceiver, a pathological liar, a narcissist and an adulterer. The offended party was faithful and forgiving over and over but in the final analysis the marriage had to end. Does God consider that sin? I think not.

    This person was advised by a PASTOR to try to reconcile and save the marriage and not proceed with a divorce. This, too is adding insult to injury.

    Due to sin and the hardness of hearts divorce is sometimes necessary. As to divorce and remarriage, in the cases where there is deep hurt and scars, remarriage is probably the farthest thing from the offended party’s mind.

    But after a time when the wounds heal and the Lord brings a godly person into their life, why would it be wrong to remarry after much prayer and consideration? I don’t think the Bible says that the offended person has to suffer for the sin of the offender.

    There is definitely a serious issue with divorce and remarriage in the Church. The view is either too lackadaisical or too carved in stone when Biblical principles are not properly applied.

  50. Michael says:

    Absolutely Sharon, you are NOT a second class citizen…there is no such thing in the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Every single one of us falls so short of the perfect example but nevertheless the written word is not to be compromised, it is the rails or path we must keep on.

    The road is often tough and our sinful wills and feelings are in constant conflict with the Word and the Holy Spirit. Misunderstandings do often occur and cause conflict. John wrote about sticking to the CONTEXT and he’s so right about that…there are issues in life that are more difficult for others especially when it involves the painful experiences of sin.
    The Word of God is indeed a two edged sword but Jesus has given us a Comforter a Helper to keep on the track. It is Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the LORD of hosts. (Zechaiah 4:6)

  51. Sharon says:

    I was “fretting” one night not too long ago. I was in my car and was talking to the Lord as tears rolled down my face. I asked Him, why is it that the ones that sought out the unscriptural divorce has since gotten married and has someone to love and be loved by. Yet, I don’t really have a strong desire to remarry. The man I trusted most left me and then lied to his family about what really happened. Then after the divorce my father was once again the man I trusted most. He has been “at home” with the Lord five years now. I don’t trust men like I once did. But I have someone I have fully trusted with my eternal destiny. He is my Savior and my Lord. He is most trust worthy. He loves me unconditionally. I can cry to Him whenever I want. One day soon He will become my Bridegroom. Then He will carry me over the threshold into Eternity! I love Him more than I can say.

  52. Sharon says:

    Redeemed said:Sharon, to consider those like yourself who have suffered loss in a lesser light than others is adding insult to injury and that is unloving which is the sin of self-righteousness and unfair judging of others.

    Were you saying this about me? That I was self-righteousness? Or were you saying that people who make judgments about divorced people are self-righteous?

    I can’t sleep right now and have been reading this article again and reading what people have posted here. It is heart-breaking. Divorce is like no other pain I have ever known. I have had 30 surgeries and all of them were painful. But Divorce has been a whole new adventure in pain. I think it is the rejection factor that has been the hardest on me.

    From the day we separated I was then and still am now willing to take my share of the blame for my marriage breaking down. But we both are saved and we didn’t have any problems that could not be worked out. So with that said, I will NOT take any blame for the divorce. I did not want it. I did not ask for a divorce. I begged like a dog for him not to divorce me.

    Like everyone here, I could write a book about sorrow, pain, divorce and on and on. But…I also could write a book about how much closer I am to the Lord than ever. I learned that Jesus is more than a Savior.

    My divorce rocked my faith. I had to decide if I really believed what I said I believed. The first three years I was not a very nice person. I was not immoral. But my heart was full of hatred for him. But in the 4th year the Lord began a work in my heart, mind and soul. I asked him, my ex for forgiveness and I told him I forgave him. I never heard from him and really didn’t expect to. I just knew I had to obey the Lord.

    So here I am 13 years later. Single, alone, in not so good health. I also live way below the National poverty rate here in the USA. But God is good. I have a small 2 bedroom apartment designed for us folks with a disability. I have food in my pantry. So God still blesses me in ways it would take too long to explain.

    I do get very lonely and feel very alone in a crowd of people sometimes. But God is faithful. He is faithful even when I am not. Then when I’m with people for a long time I find myself longing to get back to my apartment where it is quiet.

    If it were not for my Lord Jesus I could not have made it these 13 years. He is sooooo much more than my Savior. He loves me more than I could even begin to imagine. He is my soon coming Bridegroom.

    The divorce rate in the USA among “Christians” is at 60%. That’s higher than the rate for people outside the church. Second marriages have a fail rate of 85% Honestly I would have rather my ex of died than divorce me. At least in death you have not been rejected. I can say that I still love the man I married. But the man that divorced me I do not know. Nor do I know the man now. He has remarried and she can have him. They have custody of my daughters two children. So he has his new life with a new wife. I have met her once and I have no problem with her. It is what it is.

    As far as grounds for divorce. There is a lot of debate concerning the grounds. Deb has said that God hates divorce. He does not hate divorced people. He permitted divorce because of hard hearts and to protect the innocent party. My ex divorced me without scriptural grounds. So when he remarried he committed adultery against me. Oh well.

    As far as physical abuse goes. Here is another verse in Malachi

    Mal 2:16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.

    That verse has violence in it. The man tried to cover his violence towards his wife with his clothing. Sounds strange, but I’ll explain the best I can. But first here are a couple comments from different commentaries.

    Clarks Commentary: For the Lord – hateth putting away – He abominates all such divorces, and him that makes them.
    Covereth violence with his garment – And he also notes those who frame idle excuses to cover the violence they have done to the wives of their youth, by putting them away, and taking others in their place, whom they now happen to like better, when their own wives have been worn down in domestic services.

    Barnes Commentary:He hateth putting away – o He had allowed it “for the hardness of their hearts,” yet only in the one case of some extreme bodily foulness discovered upon marriage, and which the woman, knowing the law, concealed at her own peril. Not subsequent illness or any consequences of it, however loathsome (as leprosy), were a ground of divorce, but only this concealed foulness, which the husband “found” upon marriage. The capricious tyrannical divorce, God saith, “He hateth:” a word Naturally used only as to sin, and so stamping such divorce as sin.
    One covereth violence with his garment – o or, “and violence covereth his garment,” or, it might be, in the same sense, “he covereth his garment with violence” , so that it cannot be hid, nor washed away, nor removed, but envelopes him and his garment; and that, to his shame and punishment.

    JFB: Malachi 2:16

    putting away — that is, divorce.
    for one covereth violence with … garment — Maurer translates, “And (Jehovah hateth him who) covereth his garment (that is, his wife, in Arabic idiom; compare Gen_20:16, ‘He is to thee a covering of thy eyes’; the husband was so to the wife, and the wife to the husband; also Deu_22:30; Rth_3:9; Eze_16:8) with injury.” The Hebrew favors “garment,” being accusative of the thing covered. Compare with English Version, Psa_73:6, “violence covereth them as a garment.” Their “violence” is the putting away of their wives; the “garment” with which they try to cover it is the plea of Moses’ permission (Deu_24:1; compare Mat_19:6-9).

    There are three commentaries opinions concerning divorce. Yes, violence is grounds for divorce to protect the innocent party and the children if there are any. I volunteered in a Divorce Recovery Ministry when I lived back in Florida. I took the course 2 times myself. It was a Christ Centered program and it dealt with just about every issue one could think of concerning divorce.

    My ex never physically abused me. When he married me my father told him right at the start…if she ever hits you first, sit her down on her butt. But if you ever hit her, I will kill you. It was no joke. My dad meant it. He told both of the men that married his nieces the same thing. My dad was a mans man. He was strong but gentle. He loved the Lord and adored my mother and they loved me and my brother.

    If more dads were like him I suppose there might be less physical abuse in marriages. Yes it even happens in Christian marriages.

    God does not expect a marriage partner to be a punching bag.

    Any way, Divorce is wrong but sometimes it must happen. One person cannot save the marriage. I really have no desire to ever remarry. But I do wonder why the ones that cause the divorce move on, remarry and continue with their life as though a divorce never happened. The divorce seed my ex planted has produced a full crop. Both of our kids have gone through divorces.

  53. Redeemed says:

    Sharon, dear sister, I must respond to your question to me about what I said in a previous post some months ago as follows:

    Redeemed said:Sharon, to consider those like yourself who have suffered loss in a lesser light than others is adding insult to injury and that is unloving which is the sin of self-righteousness and unfair judging of others.

    Were you saying this about me? That I was self-righteousness? Or were you saying that people who make judgments about divorced people are self-righteous?

    To answer your question I was absolutely NOT saying you are self-righteous, I was saying other people who judge you in your divorced state are self-righteous. You obviously gained only pain and heartache and anyone who would heap judgment upon you is adding insult to injury.

    Yes, God hates divorce because it tears the fabric of what He wove together apart. But there are times when it cannot be avoided. Too many do not take their marriage vows seriously, even Christians. I did not in any way mean to judge you.

    The Lord can and will fill the emptiness and it is clear that you are leaning upon Him. I know someone who has been betrayed by a husband who pretended to be a Christian and fooled everyone but was leading a double secret life for over 20 years. She will have a very difficult time ever trusting another man. It is devastating. But she will have to learn to allow God to heal the wounds and give her peace and strength to go on. But it will not be easy. I think I can see a ministry in there somewhere – many a ministry are borne out of pain followed by a desire to help others. God’s promise in Romans 8:28 is one to cling to and claim even in the darkest hour.

  54. Sharon says:

    I appreciate your explanation. I thought I was reading it wrong, but wanted to be sure.

    I have learned that we all heal at different speeds. I am the type that I don’t let go of hurts easily. I am much better than I used to be. But June 16th is a tough day for me. The June 16th that recently passed would have been my 40th wedding anniversary. The day of April 6th is tough too. The divorce was final on that date 13 years ago.

    Yes, church folks still judge us sometimes. But when I hear it said, I say…just because a Christian person is divorced that doesn’t make us second class citizens of the church or heaven. We are simply divorced.

    Thanks Redeemed. You’re a good and supportive sister in Christ.

    Redeemed wrote:

    Sharon, dear sister, I must respond to your question to me about what I said in a previous post some months ago as follows:

    Redeemed said:Sharon, to consider those like yourself who have suffered loss in a lesser light than others is adding insult to injury and that is unloving which is the sin of self-righteousness and unfair judging of others.

    Were you saying this about me? That I was self-righteousness? Or were you saying that people who make judgments about divorced people are self-righteous?

    To answer your question I was absolutely NOT saying you are self-righteous, I was saying other people who judge you in your divorced state are self-righteous. You obviously gained only pain and heartache and anyone who would heap judgment upon you is adding insult to injury.

    Yes, God hates divorce because it tears the fabric of what He wove together apart. But there are times when it cannot be avoided. Too many do not take their marriage vows seriously, even Christians. I did not in any way mean to judge you.

    The Lord can and will fill the emptiness and it is clear that you are leaning upon Him. I know someone who has been betrayed by a husband who pretended to be a Christian and fooled everyone but was leading a double secret life for over 20 years. She will have a very difficult time ever trusting another man. It is devastating. But she will have to learn to allow God to heal the wounds and give her peace and strength to go on. But it will not be easy. I think I can see a ministry in there somewhere – many a ministry are borne out of pain followed by a desire to help others. God’s promise in Romans 8:28 is one to cling to and claim even in the darkest hour.

  55. Jim Anderson says:

    Thank you for your biblical article. Amazing as it may seem, a vast number of people in our culture do not understand what the proper definition of “marriage” and “the family” is. This is a sad commentary on the impact of many “so-called” Christian teachers and ministries who fail to provide sound biblical answers to families in our society(Reference sited from; It also reveals how the culture’s memory of the biblical tradition on which it is largely based is fading fast. Thank you for your succinct Biblical commentary on the true meaning of Christian marriage and family.

  56. Elizabeth says:

    If anyone can help me with an answer? I have been divorced for nine years but I surrender my life to Christ five years ago. The bible talks about the old has gone, the new has come. However can I remarried to someone else in my new faith? Or should I remain single? Also my ex husband was an unbeliever. Thank you (:

  57. Elizabeth
    Did your ex husband leave you or did you file for divorce?

  58. Ian says:

    Elizabeth, this is a most difficult thing that you face. In the churches at large there is a wide range of views on this matter. You get some who don’t care what you do, right to the other extreme. I have said it in another place that major denominations in Australia many decades ago were split down the middle on this issue. 50% of pastors were in favour of divorce after marriage, and 50% were not. You only have to look at the state of denominations today to see the fruit of such double mindedness.

    As this issue of divorce and remarriage after divorce has plagued my clan/family for a long time, I personally have been affected directly and indirectly by it. Though praise God, only by His grace and faithfulness that my late wife and I were preserved from going through that valley ourselves. So I truly empathize with you.

    When answering this question I think it is very important to point people to the end of the Bible as the place to start from.
    In Revelation 22:14 we read Blessed are the ones doing His commands, that their authority will be over the Tree of Life, and by the gates they may enter into the city. Rev 22:15 But outside are the dogs and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone loving a lie, and making it.
    We must do Jesus commands. One of them is to flee fornication (which includes self gratification). 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

    The term fornicator is a broad term and includes all kinds of sexual deviations from God’s order of conduct as to our God ordained sexual functions. It also includes heart issues – imagining, not only physical deviations.

    And just in case there is a doubt in one’s mind that fornication does not include adultery, let us go to Galatians 5:19 “Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness,
    Gal 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, Gal 5:21 envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things WILL NOT inherit the kingdom of God.
    So adulterers or adulteresses do not get into the kingdom of God. Full stop! That means those who commit adultery, even if they are ‘Christians’ (Paul is writing to Christians and he is warning Christians) they will end up in Hell and then afterwards in the Lake of Fire. Unless they repent of course. And we must.

    We must determine very clearly in our minds what GOD calls adultery, not what man calls adultery. If there is any doubt at all, even the slightest doubt, it is not wise or safe to go and do what so many are doing in the churches. We cannot plead before the throne and say my pastor said it was alright.
    Jesus told His disciples that they were to teach new diciples of Jesus all things He had taught – commanded them (Matt 28).
    We must also be aware that any sin EXCEPT blasphemy of the Holy Spirit can and will be forgiven if confessed and thoroughly dealt with before the Lord. Praise God for His mercy.

    There are 6 Scriptures defining adultery in the New Testament (none in the old). So although old things have become new, we must realize that only through Jesus’ own teachings and Paul’s do we have any clear definition of adultery.
    And although sin is forgiven freely by the Lord (IF we forgive others – Matthew 6:14,15) often the consequences will remain with us, and we must bear those consequences with grace, which the Lord will amply provide if we trust in Him. That too can be part of our own cross bearing.

    Also please note in Pro_6:32 we are told, But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. This goes for both sexes. An adulterer destroys his own soul. This is no trifling matter. We must understand how God defines adultery.

    Scriptures defining adultery
    1. Matthew 5:28.
    2. Matthew 5:32 –
    3. Matthew 19:9 –
    4. Mark 10:11,12.
    5. Luke 16:18.
    6. Romans 7:1-4.

    Many preachers teach that according to Matthew 5 and 19 if fornication by one party is proved then a Christian wife or husband has every right to divorce their spouse even if the other is also a Christian, or not, and then remarry.

    Many books have been written to present this view. Many Christians read these books and so divorce their sinful spouse and remarry again, content that they have done so based on what they have been taught, or what they have read in those two passages.
    But the issue of divorce is hardheartedness.
    We are called to be tender hearted.
    In the natural a tender heart is a healthy heart.
    A hard heart is a heart that is dying.
    Where is the wisdom in getting married again after divorce when divorce is based on a hard heart? That is foolish.

    Besides that, have we not all sinned and have we who belive in Jesus been forgivne our sins which sins do separate us from God’s imtimacy and can if not repented of will lead us to Hell. We are only safe if we abide in Jesus and submit to His words. So having been forgiven we too can forgive our spouse and pray and fast for their repentance. That may take years.
    But we are called to love, and love covers a mulitude of sins. Love is patient, and kind when we are not shown it. etc.
    If there is violence in the family then our prayers need to get violent and we need others to help us in our intercessions for our spouse, remembering we too do not deserve the mercy of God.

    To everyone, Jesus is the Saviour from all evil. Jesus wants to restore. The devil wants to destroy. It is wise for us not to avenge ourselves but let God be our avenger, and cry out for His mercy upon this one and that one. Remember that Jesus was brutally treated for our sakes, so that we might live. He is our example. If we knew the power of God, we can stop the enemy in his tracks by the name of Jesus and a holy testimony.

    Now I do not wish to see any one miss out on any blessing from God that believers are entitled to in Jesus Christ. Who am I to say you should not get married again after divorce? However, my aim is to say what Jesus – God in the flesh says, and what God spoke through Paul, even if it hurts.

    Let us face it, we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. It is by God’s grace and mercy which came through Jesus Christ, and His truth, that any of us can say anything or do anything that is pleasing to God.

    Next to consider is the clear and unambiguous language of Jesus. Go to Luke 16:18 “Everyone putting away his wife, and marrying another, commits adultery. And everyone marrying her who has been put away from a husband commits adultery.”
    That is clear, precise and needs no interpretation.
    Jesus points out adultery is committed by the one divorcing and remarrying, and also by the one who marries her (or him) who was divorced.

    Jesus tells us in Mark 10:9 – “Therefore, what God yoked together, let not man put apart.
    And again, in the house His disciples asked Him about the same.
    And He said to them, Whoever may dismiss his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.
    And if a woman puts away her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” 9-12.

    Jesus addresses divorce: Do not divorce. God has joined you together do not break that union. The world does break it but the children of God are commanded not to break marriage.
    However if someone finds out that God hates divorce (Mal 2:16) and Jesus hates it too because He is God in the flesh, we can and should confess our sin and He is faithful to forgive us this sin as well, only we should not repeat it.

    This passage in Mark is underpinning the one in Luke. It too is clear and precise. We are not left to wonder what Jesus meant.
    But another detail is here, it includes both men and women who divorce and remarry. Don’t. We need to consider our latter end (Deut 32:29).

    With these Scriptures firmly in mind then we may look at Matthew 5:32 and 19:9.
    What we need to do is to build on a sure footing. The sure footing is Luke 16:18 and Mark 10:11,12. On that we build the rest of our position. We ought not build our lives on doubtful or unclear conclusions.
    Even the best of scholars who write hundreds of pages ‘proving’ it is alright to marry after divorce on the grounds of fornication, cannot give an absolute assurance that what they teach is without question infallible, and beyond dispute. At best they can only give their judgment.
    The problem is that on the Day of Judgment it won’t be them giving judgment it will be God Almighty who will give judgment out of His Word which He has already spoken.

    I urge you Elizabeth to consider the things I say, and prayerfully search the Scriptures yourself on your knees, and wait on the Lord our Shepherd, Jesus Christ to give you wisdom. And remember that the beginning or foundation of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. That fear is holy and clean and good and right and endures forever. The fear of the Lord will cause us to flee from sin – into the safe arms of Jesus. Do a study on the fear of the Lord; it is beautiful.

    I will be praying for you. If your ex spouse has not remarried then pray for his salvation (either way pray for that) and also that God may restore your marriage, if you have not remarried either. This has happened many times before to others. But only if another marriage has NOT taken place.

    Remember, with man it is impossible. But with God all things are possible – that is all things He is pleased to do.

  59. Rista says:


    I read what you said and agree that marriage after divorce is a big no – too many people find all kinds of excuses to get divorced and remarried and loads of Christian leaders are as guilty of this as the rest. We can just look around us to see the casualties of this selfish ‘custom’. I do however differ from you afa not getting divorced is concerned. If the spouse is a shameless, persistent adulterer who’s been forgiven time and again then he\she annulled the bond, to a child of God the divorce then is a civil matter – paperwork for the benefit of the world. To me, staying with a person like that makes me an adulterer too. In today’s day and age with AIDs a reality we simply cannot risk our lives by staying.

    Yes, I divorced my husband of 26 years . . . . because he couldn’t stay away from filthy, backstreet, disease carrying whores\prostitutes and was risking my life with his behaviour. I know how bitter the descriptions sound but sadly that just about encompasses who and what they are. He’ll stop and ‘pick up’ anyone next to the road and not even only when he is drunk. I did fast and pray a lot before I got divorced and believe that I am forgiven for divorcing him. I believe that knowingly endangering our lives is a sin also and staying with him would’ve been just that. The fact that he still carries on with his shenanigans does not change the fact that, according to my Bible, he is my husband until either him or myself dies. Neither does it change my want to be obedient to the Word of God. In the light of my daily struggle with sins like road rage and a swearword slipping out, not getting married again is an easy choice. You know, God’s put Israel away many times but He never chose another in their place. When they repented, he took them back.

    Yes, with God all things are possible, praise His Holy Name for that but we have to remember that He’s given us the ability to choose Him and His ways. My sons and I believe that this man has had so many wake-up calls, we see God’s hand in everything that’s happened to him but he persists in his filthy ways. I’ve persisted in trying to get him to change and repent but have now given up. One does become tired of trying to pull a person like that from the same mud, the same pool of vomit.


  60. Hi Rista,

    I do not agree with Ian who should perhaps show a little more grace in the same way Jesus showed it when he was confronted by the Pharisees on the matter of divorce.

    Please read here.