10 Things To Know Before You Remarry

Dollar Photo groom holding bride's hands with ring at tableI’ll never forget it. Elizabeth Einstein, a well-respected stepfamily author and trainer, stunned a group of ministers when she told us to make remarriage difficult for couples in our churches1. She wasn’t implying that remarriage is wrong, but was simply suggesting that remarriage-particularly when children are involved —is very challenging and that couples should count the cost and be highly educated about the process before getting married.

Eyes Wide Open

The following list represents key “costs” and “challenges” every single-parent (or those dating a single-parent) should know before deciding to remarry. Open wide both your eyes now and you —and your children —will be grateful later.

1. Wait 2-3 years following divorce or the death of your spouse before seriously dating. No, I’m not kidding. Most people need a few years to fully heal from a ending of a previous relationship. Moving into new relationships short-circuits the healing process, so do yourself a favor and grieve the pain, don’t run from it. In addition, your children will need at least this much time to heal and find stability in their visitation schedule. Slow down.

2. Date two years before deciding to marry; then date their children before the wedding. Dating two years gives you time to really get to know one another. Too many relationships are formed on the rebound when both persons lack godly discernment about their fit with a new person. Give yourself plenty of time to get to know them thoroughly. Keep in mind —and this is very important —that dating is inconsistent with remarried life. Even if everything feels right, dramatic psychological and emotional shifts often take place for children, parents, and stepparents right after the wedding. What seems like smooth sailing can become a rocky storm in a hurry. Don’t be fooled into thinking you won’t experience difficulties. As one parent said, “Falling in love is not enough when it comes to remarriage; there’s just more required than that.”

When you do become serious about marriage, date with the intention of deepening the stepparent-stepchild relationships. Young children can attach themselves to a future stepparent rather quickly so make sure you’re serious before spending lots of time together. Older children will need more time (research suggests that the best time to remarry is before a child’s 10th birthday or after his/her 16 th; couples who marry between those years collide with the teens developmental needs).

3. Know how to “cook” [or make] a stepfamily. Most people think the way to “cook” a stepfamily is with a blender (“blended family”), microwave, pressure cooker, or food processor. Nothing could be further from the truth. All of these “cooking styles” attempt to combine the family ingredients in a rapid fashion. Unfortunately, resentment and frustration are the only results.

The way to cook a stepfamily is with a crock-pot. Once thrown into the pot, it will take time and low-heat to bring ingredients together, requiring that adults step into a new marriage with determination and patience. The average stepfamily takes 5-7 years to combine; some take longer. There are no quick recipes, only dedicated journeyman.

4. Realize that the “honeymoon” comes at the end of the journey for remarried couples, not the beginning. Ingredients thrown into a crock-pot that have not had sufficient time to cook don’t taste good-and might make you sick. Couples need to understand that the rewards of stepfamily life (e.g., security, family identity, and gratitude for one another) come at the end of the journey. Just as the Israelites traveled a long time before entering the Promise Land, so will it be for your stepfamily.

5. Think about the kids: “Yours and Mine.” Children experience numerous losses before entering a stepfamily. In fact, your remarriage is another. It sabotages their fantasy that mom and dad can reconcile, or that a deceased parent will always hold their place in the home. Seriously consider your children’s losses before deciding to remarry. If waiting till your children leave home before you remarry is not an option, work to be sensitive to your child’s loss issues. Don’t rush them and don’t take their grief away.

6. Manage and be sensitive to old loyalties. Even in the best of circumstances children feel torn between their biological parents and likely feel that enjoying your dating partner will please you but betray their other parent. Don’t force children to make choices (an “emotional tug-of-war”) and examine the binds they feel. Give them your permission to love and respect new people in the other home and let them warm up to your new spouse in their own time.

7. Don’t expect your partner (new spouse) to feel the same about your children as you do. It’s a good fantasy, but stepparents won’t experience or care for your children to the same degree as you do. This is not to say that stepparents and stepchildren can’t have close bonds, they can. But it won’t be the same. When looking at your daughter, you will see a sixteen-year-old who brought you mud pies when they were four and showered you with hugs each night after work. Your spouse will see a self-centered brat who won’t abide by the house rules. Expect to have different opinions and to disagree on parenting decisions.

8. Realize that remarriage has unique barriers. Are you more committed to your children or your marriage? If you aren’t willing to risk losing your child to the other home, for example, don’t make the commitment of marriage. Making a covenant does not mean neglecting your kids, but it does mean that they are taught which relationship is your ultimate priority. A marriage that is not the priority will be mediocre at best.

Another unique barrier involves the ghost of marriage past. Individuals can be haunted by the negative experiences of previous relationships and not even recognize how it is impacting the new marriage. Work to not interpret the present in light of the past, or you might be destined to repeat it.

9. Parent as a team; get your plan ready. No single challenge is more predictive of stepfamily success than the ability of the couple to parent as a team. Stepparents must find their role, know their limits in authority, and borrow power from the biological parent in order to contribute to parental leadership. Biological parents must keep alive their role as primary disciplinarian and nurturer while supporting the stepparent’s developing role (read The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family for a complete discussion of parental roles). Managing these roles will not be easy; get a plan and stick together.

10. Know what to tell the kids. Tell them:

It’s okay to be confused about the new people in your life.

It’s okay to be sad about our divorce (or parent’s death).

You need to find someone safe to talk to about all this.

You don’t have to love my new spouse, but you do need to treat them with the same respect you would give a coach or teacher at school.

You don’t have to take sides. When you feel caught in the middle between our home and your other home, please tell me and we’ll stop.

You belong to two homes with different rules, routines, and relationships. Find your place and contribute good things in each.

The stress of our new home will reduce-eventually.

I love you and will always have enough room in my heart for you. I know it’s hard sharing me with someone else. I love you.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

For stepfamilies, accidentally finding their way through the wilderness to the Promised Land is a rarity. Successful navigation requires a map. You’ve got to work smarter, not harder. Don’t begin a new family until you educate yourself on the options and challenges that lie ahead.

1 Elizabeth Einstein, Workshop: “Strengthening Our Stepfamilies: A Developmental Approach,” November 7, 1997, Harding University, Searcy, Arkansas.

Ron L. Deal, M.MFT. is author of Smart Stepfamily, The: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family. He is family life minister for the Southwest Church of Christ and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor with the Better Life Counseling Center, Inc. in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He also serves on the Institute Faculty of the Stepfamily Association of America. You’ll find Christian resources for your church and home at Successfulstepfamilies.com.

This is a wonderful web site which we can’t recommend highly enough. It has great articles of interest. It ministers to individuals and couples and churches as well as organizations that are involved somehow with step families. They also have a subscription service that sends pro-active articles and information to all who sign up for it on their web site. This is a ministry which has been so desperately needed in the community because it truly helps marriages and families grow stronger and more healthy in their interaction with each other. We hope you’ll visit this web site and take advantage of the many helpful resources they have.


Filed under: Remarriage

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55 responses to “10 Things To Know Before You Remarry

  1. (USA)  I am very disappointed in the articles I am seeing here. No one is looking to the Bible to see exactly what God thinks about divorce and remarriage. He hates divorce! Jesus said remarriage is adultery!!

    Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another committeth adultery; and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery (Luke 16:18)

    And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. (Mark 10:11-12)

    For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. (Romans 7:2-3)

    And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)

    The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:39)

    It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. (Matthew 5:31-32)

    And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. (Matthew 19:9)

    Those who divorce their covenant spouses and remarry while that covenant spouse is alive is doing nothing but legalizing their adultery.

    Those in adulterous marriages need to repent and give it up. (Repent means confess the sin and give up the sin.) The bible says that adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God, so it is imperative that people do not divorce, but honor their covenant vows.

    1. (USA) Wow… so harsh. I get it -and I agree, to an extent. But there are more circumstances than what you’re saying and it’s not as easy as what you are saying. I took my vows seriously. I would have stayed in my marriage no matter what minus the fact that my now ex-husband cheated on me and left me for another person.

      What about? 1 Corinthians 7:15 New International Version (NIV): “But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.”

      “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” -Matthew 5:32

      “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” -Matthew 19:9

      These Bible verses are not saying that you cannot remarry. They’re saying you shouldn’t remarry if the cause for the divorce wasn’t fornification.

      I tried to save my marriage while my husband/partner of 15 years cheated on me during my 1st pregnancy. I tried to get him to go to couples counseling -he wouldn’t. I went by myself. I did the Love Dare while he was actively dating someone in front of me. I prayed, and prayed, and prayed.

      He’s gone… you are saying that at 32 years old -God wants me to raise my child by myself and be alone? That is not what those Bible verses are saying. You need to pray on it and really look into it.

      Divorce was very hard for me. I tried to do whatever I could to save our marriage -it wasn’t possible. He was a non-believer and didn’t care about anything else. I talked to Church counselors, pastors, read the Bible, etc trying to see if my divorce and impending remarriage is justified -and I believe it is.

      1. I am very sorry for your pain and hurt Molly – and you are correct in what God has shown in the Bible concerning your marriage and remarriage. God bless you and your family! :)

    2. (USA) He does hate Divorce but He hates Adultery worse. It is the same as Blasphemy and murder to Him. He does say EXCEPT FOR IN THE CASE OF ADULTERY, then we can Divorce and remarry. Jesus actually said this.

      I’m sure there will be added blessings for those that stay toghether in spite of it but imagine an unrepentant that refuses to stop somewhere like Africa where AIDS is dropping them daily. God does expect us to use our common sense lined uo with His infalliable Word. And He is the final authority.

    3. For Janet: Wow! Super Harsh and under the Law… Not Grace! God implemented rules for sure and for our protection and we are to obey. But while in this world and of the flesh, it’s hard enough we fight against our own flesh much less the flesh of others. My point, we cannot control another person and demand they behave. We only have power and the ability to control ourselves and as much as we can, be at peace with others. Every circumstance and heart is different. I believe God allows some latitude here and can see into the heart of the sinner and it is He who grants repentance.

      I’ve been divorced for over thirty years and certainly hope the Lord would still have enough grace and compassion to bless me with a partner someday. I was only married once and it was painful. I learned much from it. We’re all guilty (of something). But b/c of God’s mercy and grace we can be set free from the law and be free to live in forgiveness. Please soften-up some and learn how to have forgiveness for your Christian Brothers and Sisters who are suffering from enough pain and loss without having a Brethren also condemn them. Matt 11:29-30. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

    4. And for those of us that don’t believe in God…we are free to love our new-found love without judgement.

  2. (S. AFRICA)  Dear Janet, God bless you. Yes you are 100% correct. All this talk about divorce and remarriage is NOTHING BUT ADULTERY. No matter what the circumstances the ONLY reason for divorce and remarriage “according to Gods word” is if your spouse has died or committed adultery. God hates divorce.

    1. (SOUTH AFRICA) Janet and Rose, So what does the Word of God say about PORNOGRAPHY? Where does that fit into the whole sphere of “adultery and fornication”? …just wondering. And should one go without a fulfilled life and without the legacy of blessed children if one’s spouse choses to fornicate and commit adultery even though he/she was a CHRISTIAN?!?!?!?!

      I think not… Jesus Christ Himself said: “whoever will repent (ask forgiveness and turn from the wicked way) of his sin will be forgiven…” “I came so that you may have LIFE and that more ABUNDANTLY…” A life lived alone is NOT a fulfilled, or abundant life.

  3. (USA)  Totally agree. That is why we say “for better, for worse.” People should try working at their marriages by taking biblical counsel and not choose the seemingly easy way out. God is against divorce because he knows that the differences we have are workable and it develops us spiritually at the end of trials.

    Fleeing problems wouldn’t change or develop us the way God wants. Marriage tests for patience, longsuffering, unconditional love, faith in God’s power, endurance, trust etc. So i encourage people to go on and see God’s power at work. Most successful couples have gone through and survived the same problems.

  4. (USA)  WOW!!! I am so stunned. I was not aware of this serious matter. No wonder I am so unhappy. I did this very thing. My husband divorced me in 2004 and I just remarried March of this year. I love my husband as a brother in Christ but not as a wife should love her husband. I married him out of lonliness and that alone.

    I should’ve known better, but I practically begged my former husband to reconcile. He wasn’t having it. I am still in love my former husband. We have three boys together that have to do the visitation thing between us. They say it makes them tired sometimes and they wish they could just stay in one place. They are very nice to my current husband, but it’s not dad.

    I feel so bad because I want out of this marriage and I don’t know what to tell him. It will literally crush him. My husband is a very sensitive person. I don’t think he would be able to handle it. He has headaches and vomits when we have strong disagreements. His diabetes gets out of control because he won’t eat when I am upset with him. If I end the marriage and God forbid, he dies, I will carry that guilt with me for who knows how long. I admit that I didn’t trust God with dealing with loneliness. I had to do it my way and I’m still unhappy. God help me. I always get myself into these situations and then regret my decisions because I am so impatient. Thank you. I’m glad I came across this knowledge.

  5. (UNITED STATES)  I have read your comments, I agree that God hates divorce… I, at the age of 46, remarried because my first husband of nearly 27 years and 9 children, passed away from cancer. My new husband’s first wife passed away from cancer 10 years earlier also. I can assure you, even though we have entered a new covenant with each other that honors God, we still have the same issues that someone entering remarriage through divorce.

    I have read Ron’s book and am currently going through a Step parenting class by the same author with my new husband. The problem is that most of the issues relating to the book and class are focused on divorce issues. We always thought before we were married that we would be fine because we didn’t have the previous spouse who passed away causing conflict in our lives but let me tell you even though the spouse is not physically present in our daily lives we have the issue of the ‘ghost’ of the previous spouse.

    Any trained counselor will tell you that a loved one who passed away will over time become almost perfect in the eyes of their children and previous mate. This is an issue that divorce families do not deal with as the person is not there on a daily basis to ‘prove them wrong’ with the fact that they are not perfect and actually do/did have faults.

    There are many issues that are the same regardless of divorce or death. As far as I know there are not any studies available for the remarried couple due to death of the first spouse. It may be touched upon in a remarriage book due to divorce but nothing strictly written for remarriage due to the death of a spouse. I view your comments made as no difference than that which are in the book or study group… remarriage happens because of divorce.

    Please be aware that there are those out there who didn’t choose to end their first marriage with divorce but have lived on after the death of their mate. And even though the marriage ended on grounds that do not dishonor the covenant made before God and the spouse, there are issues in remarriage just the same and they need to be addressed also.

    1. (USA) Hi Jane, We thoroughly agree with you on what you wrote. There are some issues that are alike, but there are also different issues (some of which you brought up in your comment) which are unique.

      I wish we could post more articles on this subject but we’re having a difficult time finding them. Possibly you know of some (or could even eventually write one yourself and allow us to post it to help those who visit this web site)… we’re sure open to finding articles such as you describe. I keep looking, but so far, most articles deal with divorce situations rather than those who are widowed, and if there’s anything dealing with it, it’s too brief and included in another article about divorce situations.

      Please pray with us over this issue and if you find anything, please let us know. We’d appreciate it… and we appreciate you for pointing this out. I pray the Lord helps you and your husband build a good marriage together. I pray blessings in Christ upon your home and your marriage.

    2. (USA)  Hi, Jane, My husband’s wife died from cancer 5 years before we met, and I was divorced from a man who continued to commit adultery for 20 years due to an addiction he refused to address. We have a similar situation in our home, where the deceased spouse has now become perfect, as was their relationship. It is difficult when you always feel like second best, no matter how hard you try to meet everyone’s needs. Obviously, this isn’t going well, since I’m visiting this web site!

      I too turned to prayer, and have recognized that I must turn to God for my value and self-worth. My husband is emotionally absent, and now that our children are in college, I feel that he has no real need for me anymore. My dreams of a loving companion in my golden years are not going to be happening, I fear.

      As far as the children go, I am close to the step-daughter that I have raised since she was 11. She doesn’t really remember her mother, and appreciates all that I do for her. There were (and are) differences in how I treat her, and in my expectations for her, as opposed to what I expect from my biological children. One of the most important things that I kept in mind was that when you step in to a parenting situation, you cannot expect the stepchild to reflect your values, or the training that your own children have received from birth.

      My husband values rule-following and conformity, and I value risk-taking and innovative thinking. You can imagine how different our children are! I make allowances for my stepdaughter temperament and nature, because she is reflecting my husband’s values and the training she received for her formative years. I also had to work with my husband, and help him realize that my children had to be appreciated for their unique personalities –they were not failures because they didn’t reflect his values!

      I looked for any books on the subject of effective stepparenting, but there weren’t many that addressed the issues of a deceased spouse, and how that has it’s own problems. So, to sum up –turn to God for self worth when you feel unfairly compared to the deceased wife/mother, and know that you are loved just as you are, and remember to refrain from harshly judging the stepchild’s actions and attitudes –they are a product of what they have learned before they ever met you. Best of luck to you!

    3. Hi Jane – I’m a widow of three years now. My two daughters now ages 17 and 22 were Daddy’s girls and I’m the mean parent. Since I’m now single, I’m dating a widower whom the girls knew in our church. Their father is a saint in their eyes and I’m the disciplining parent since I’m trying to teach them how to be independent and provide for themselves. They believe I’m cheating on my husband and feel I’m wrong.

      My boyfriend and I are talking about future plans and may remarry. He has two boys ages 18 and 24. He has parented them as being independent. They have accepted me and are polite when I speak to them.

      I, too, have not come across anything about widowed parents. I have many issues that I’m placing in the hands of God many times since there really is not advice when you lose a spouse. I’m living life as I need to and I don’t want to be alone when my girls leave.

      Life is for the living. You must continue on and parent the best you can. You also must know that the “other” children will be more friends to you than your children. Hopefully, they’ll all accept the new relationship and eventually marriage. The feelings are the kids own feelings that they alone must come to terms with.

  6. (USA)  I came to this page in search of support for remarriage, as I cannot seem to find a support line to ensure the same mistakes are not repeated. However, I am seeking to remarry my previous husband. The same man I divorced. I can’t imagine that counts as adultery. Still, I have not found the kind of help I feel we need.

    1. (USA) What kind of help are you looking for? If it’s to work on past hurtful issues so you don’t repeat the same mistakes, aren’t there articles on this web site that can help you start that process?

      What we tell people who are having any type of marriage problems, is to make it their mission to work on that area of their marriage. Be intentional in doing what it takes to work on the underlying cause of the problem.

      Just as a doctor finds a patient’s medical problem and works to bring them to good health by whatever means necessary (which sometimes involves time, expense, pain, and methods that had not been used on that problem before), pray, examine and determine what areas of your relationship are unhealthy and do what it takes to make the necessary changes to make the necessary changes so your marriage becomes a healthy one. That’s what my husband and I did and that’s what we encourage others like yourself, to do as well.

      Also, we DO have an article posted on our web site in the “Separation and Divorce” section in the “Testimonies” part of it, that features Clint and Penny Bragg who were divorced 11 years and got back together, are remarried, and now have a GREAT marriage and a ministry reaching out to those with marriage problems. The name of the article is “Second Chances: Clint and Penny Bragg.” They have a great new book out called “Marriage on the Mend: Tangible Tools to Restore Your Relationship” (which has a part of our testimony in it)… but the main reason I recommend it is because it gives you relationship tools to help you mend that which is broken. You can obtain the book, and/or contact them at http://inverseministries.org. I recommend it. They know what it’s like to remarry each other and tackle the problems involved and know of other couples and ministries that might be able to help you as well.

  7. (CANADA)  Hmm, read the comments about looking to God’s word and have to say I agree with Janet and the other like minded commenters… about 90%. What has always bothered me is the quickness to make blanket judgemental assumptions, as shown in statements like “People should try working at their marriages by taking biblical counsel and not choose the seemingly easy way out.”. There are many situations in which the people involved tried very hard to work things out and just could not. There are others where one person wanted to try but the other preferred to avoid dealing with their problems and preferred instead to behave as if their spouse was nuts and was the problem.

    Working out problems requires a total and absolute commitment to truth and willingness to submit to what is right and to one’s leaders. If you are married to someone who prefers to walk in denial and avoidance and has the habit of distorting reality, outright lying, intentionally sabotaging conversations intended to address problems, displaying more loyalty towards an unhealthy family system than to their marriage, etc. you are not going to be able to solve problems. Many people find themselves in situations like this and despite heroic and repeated effort to get their spouses’ cooperating in addressing problems they could not. We are not able to override the will of another and God does not force His will on us either.

    So to make convenient judgements that place blanket blame is out of line. God hates divorce because it brings destruction, pain, and suffering on the human family that God’s rules are intended to protect. Not merely because the rules were broken. I find it odd that we would instantly come down on say, a woman leaving an emotinoally abusive and controlling husband to obtain a divorce and with it, a second chance at being a free human being not living in misery and fear, but while the abuse was going on we minimize it when she tries to talk about it and blame her for not being “submissive” enough, or praying enough or what have you, and yet the husband isn’t confronted or dealt with by the church! Isn’t that a double standard that totally igores God’s justice and character? Is God into perpetuating evil? What do you think happens when children witness the church lookiing away when daddy mistreats mommy and she is always crying? They get the idea that abuse is normal and God doesn’t have much of a problem with it which is a lie.

    Half the problem could be solved before it ever became big enough for divorce if the church got involved and treated spiritual disobedience in marriage without a double standard and with some true knowledge of God’s heart and character and biblical counsel and confrontation! A husband who continues to sin and isn’t open to change should not be granted the status of believer nor the covering of the church nor should a wife!

    So I agree with the need to rely on God’s word… but relying on God’s word without an intimate personal relationshp with Him that results in tasting His presence, His love, His grace and mercy… produces religiosity… which produces phariseeism… which produces legalism… which destroys, not redeems. Counsel is only truly biblical when one knows God’s heart and character.

    1. (USA)  I can see both sides. The terms abuse and controlling are throw around so that they don’t mean anything anymore. For example, my ex-wife call me “controlling” because I had the temerity to want to know the truth about her affair. She said I was mentally cruel, controlling and simply didn’t want her to be happy, so she filed for divorce. All the while, she was having an affair, refusing to enter in any sort of marriage counseling, she was lying etc.

      So I now question those terms as it seems very common for those who simply want out to push all the blame on their spouse, label them and leave.

      On the other hand, only 1/2 of the folks who end up divorced actually choose divorce.

      For me, that number is probably closer to 1/4 to 1/3 given that 2/3rds to 3/4s of divorces are filed by women. But in any divorce action, there is likely only one who choses divorce.

      What of the one who DID NOT CHOOSE the divorce? Does scripture say they are bound? No it doesn’t. Anyone who chooses to divorce when there is no adultery is going against the Word of God.

      I know that will upset those who think they can divorce for abuse or whatever, but scripture is pretty black and white and says that the only valid biblical reason for a divorce is infidelity. I’m not saying anyone should remain in a dangerous place. I’m simply saying that there is ample evidence in scripture that God prefers that believers NOT CHOOSE to divorce. (I Corinthians 7)

      However, if one’s spouse chooses to divorce you, I think one can conclude they are acting as an unbeliever if you’ve not been unfaithful. If that is the case, that same passage indicates that the believer is not bound if the unbelieving spouse chooses to divorce.

      Anyone who chooses to divorce a spouse who is faithful is, in my opinion, willfully choosing to act as an unbeliever, and their spouse is free from the marital covenant.

      So I’d be careful about giving the advice to choose divorce. I think God is pretty clear that He does NOT want you to choose divorce. However, based on this passage, I do not believe God holds one to a covenant broken by the spouse who is an unbeliever, or one who would be found acting as an unbeliever by the process in Matthew 18.

      1. (CANADA)  Hi Tony, Wow, I’ve heard stories like yours and somewhat experienced it too, namely that those who are running around are often hyper vigilant over their faithful spouse and accuse them of the very sin they themselves are involved in. My husband’s ex wife accused him of checking up on her when he accidentally discovered she was not where she said she was one ngiht and asked her about it. My ex husband was very accusing towards me and yet I suspect it was because he was involved with a woman we both knew before we even separated and in fact is now married to her. She is an unbeliever who believes in reincarnation, by the way.

        My comments are not intended to advise anyone to get a divorce, however, rather only are intended to advise fellow Christians not to be so darn quick to make judgements without knowing the situation. We judge and condemn too much and from the uninvolved sidelines and pray too little I think.

        You are right when you say that people use accusations of control and other blame shifting tactics to justify themselves in their wrongdoing. I don’t think you’re asking your wife about her affair was controlling but something you had a right to know – you invested your entire life and all its substance in your life with her via marriage committment – you bet you had a right to ask.

        I have to respectfully disagree about the abuse issue in marriage to some degree though. By abuse I mean behaviour, emotional or physical, that is intended to degrade, humiliate or inflict pain on one’s spouse that is consistently demonstrated as the typical way the person behaves. I am not talking about rare and non typical occurrences – everyone to some degree at some time can do something that is abusive without being an abuser per se. Control for instance has the characteristics of domination, intimidation, manipulation and is destructive because it erodes the freedom and the worth of the other person. We were created for freedom. How can we say that someone who abuses their spouse is faithful to their marriage vows and partner? What is marriage intended for? Love, companionship, procreation, nurture of family, reflection of God’s character and glory, obedience to the command to be fruitful and mulitply and subdue the earth. Does destorying one’s spouse sound like it fits in with God’s obvious intent for marriage?

        Again, I am not suggesting that the instant response should be ” Oh, I am being abused, I have a right to get a divorce so I’ll do it”. We are often too concerned with what we want and not concerned enough with truly desiringto please God, so we don’t ask, we just decide. I am as guilty in this area as anyone. Rather I would say that there is a process in God’s word of community involvement, biblical confrontation, counsel and church disciplne that, when properly applied, causes the truth to be exposed and gives charlatans no place to hide under a cover of false righteousness any longer. Instead, the end result is that one is either shown to be a departing unbeliever or a repentant child of God willing to obey one’s leadership and God’s word. I am a big believer in church discipline when it is applied with love and mercy consistent wtih the heart of God.

        This is where the church is often sadly absent or if involved at all, often practices a double standard and this ought not to be! We should not be able to attend church year after year and yet still live as isolated individuals whose lives are strictly MYOB, especially where our pastors and elders are concerned. The new testament church was an intimate community with the shared aim of godliness, not the Christian social clubs we often have today, with their entertainment gospel. The blame is one both sides, to us for treating God’s word and church like a smorgasbord… I like this so I’ll take it but I don’t want nuthin’ to do with that… and our pastors and elders for being so afraid of the people that they don’t obey God rather than man.

        I went through a bit of church based counselling with my ex husband. I was being intimidated and controlled by my ex husband and his ultra controlling family, who weren’t Christians and my ex was very much dependent on their approval and easily brainwashed by them. After several years of being bullied and attacked I was angry at the manipulation and control. I simply did not have the freedom to live my life without constant interfernce and harrasmment and if you said no to these people they would create so much uproar that everyone found it easier to just submit. When my husband’s father assaulted me while we were alone one day by grabbing me suddenly and kissing me far too intimately, my ex refused to believe me and would not address the situation at all, leaving me to be called a liar and endure a total lack of safety and protection in my marriage.

        My ex professed to be a Christian, athough he had gotten saved to get off drugs, not because he realized his lost and depraved state, which is an important distinction. It showed up later as a lack of concern for obedience and greater concern for image. During counselling, I was held seriously accountable for every sin and reaction I had whilst nothing at all was said to my husband about what the Bible says his role as husband and spiritual head should entail, nor what the Bible said about leaving and cleaving, to name just a a few things. There was a serious double standard and a total lack of discernment in operation and at no time were the pastor and elders ever involved with us or the family in question. What more likely should have happened is that after some merciful addressing of the hurts side of things, we should have both been counselled as to how to deal with the situation scripturally with the full support and involvemetn of our pastor and elders. And, we should have been aware that claiming to be a believer but refusing to obey the Word and repent where necessary can qualify one for the status of unbeliever. I suspect under that scriptural teaching we both would have been qualified as unbleievers because neither of us was that interested in seeking God’s will, only in getting things to be the way we wanted them to be!

        But, none the less, a lot of wated time, resources and heartache can be saved and a lot of baloney can be cut through with the skilled application of God’s word, love and mercy via church discipline, which is totally absent in most churches. This lack of discernment is also why almost any one can claim to be saved as long as they said a sinner’s prayer and yet there is no fruit whatsoever for years afterward. We are too easily contented with surface things and treat God like He is as shallow and surfacey as we can be. So again, I do not advocate being eager to divorce in every situation, even when there is a specific scripture that describes the situation in question and gives permission. I do think some situations are so sick that divorce is necessary to preserve life and sanity, as well as children, but am quite aware that sinful people can distort anything to make is sound right. Hence the need for being in submission to discerning leadership. The thing we need the most right now is revival, a deep return to God and surrender of ourselves. Being in God’s presence can really clear up confusion in a hurry and correct error. Thanks for considering my thoughts :) sorry there are so many lol

        1. (USA) Hello Patricia, I could have written this but you did and I am grateful. I need to copy it word for word and send it to my pastor and all clergy who, as you put it have an entertainment ministry, but when it comes to holding wrongdoers accountable they have the attitude that I can’t make them and I won’t try to attitude. Why are so many Christian marriages ending or in serious trouble? It is because the very minister who gave premarital counseling now says “I am sorry I can’t help you with that”. And they don’t. But you spoke well and it is the truth.

          Men for the most part won’t communicate and women just keep talking and they’re are not listening. Hurting people, hurt people and that is where my husband is. He is hurting but he won’t share and he won’t go for counseling because he doen’t feel he needs it. However, if he loves me the way he says he did he would ‘by any means necessary’ try to save his marriage. The fact that he won’t simply says he does not, period. Peace and blessing.

    2. (To Patricia in Canada) you hit the nail on the head. My husband abandoned our marriage and just came to the mechanics shop where I was getting my car serviced to tell me he was leaving. I scheduled counseling at church and I’m the one in counseling and no one wants to contact him. If he is a member why not call and get in contact with him? What does a person do who needs the elders to intervene? I scheduled counseling at 3 churches and not one of them offered to get in contact with him? You can see the person pays tithes, but no contact.

  8. (ENGLAND)  Hello, This divorce and remarriage topic is very emotional and important, but we have to bear in mind that whatever Jesus said about it, was said knowing that divorce will always be a part of every society. I don’t believe for a moment that Jesus was saying that there was no divorce allowed, and that Moses made it up to appease the Israelites. Whatever Moses is said to have taught is seen in the NT to have come from God. God allowed the lesser of two evils in divorce though he hates what it does to families and individuals, not to mention society.

    Clearly, Jesus has a high view of marriage and so should we as believers. However, there is a very destructive line of thought circulating the intenet that all divorced and remarried people are living in perpetual adultery and must therefore destroy their marriages because they are not actually marriages at all. This is the most grievous false teaching I’ve come across so far, as it no doubt will destroy the peace of many Christians and thrust them into unremitting confusion and guilt, not to mention struggle.

    Are we really to believe that Jesus meant to say that the law he came to uphold was now being defied in what he was teaching? Was he implying that all those who had been divorced and remarried under the law of Moses (from God) were now no longer really married and must separate there and then? No!! If Jesus was saying that, he was saying that the law was evil and wrong.

    The fact is, God tolerates divorce because of the hardness of hearts, which didn’t go away just because of Jesus’ teaching. Hardness of heart permeates our society even today, and definitely did in Paul’s day in the Greco Roman world.

    What did Jesus mean when he said that divorcing and remarrying was adultery? He was speaking hyperbolically, pointing to an ideal that the Pharisees had diminished by using the permission to divorce as a smokescreen for wrong motives for ending a marriage so they could have someone else and it be ‘all good’ in a legal sense. They were missing the point of love, of what marriage is meant to be. When Jesus says it is adultery, he is not talking about the lovemaking of the next marriage for the next 50 years, he is focussing on the immediate context of a person divorcing (one time action), marrying another(one time action) committing adultery(one time action). It is treachery…that is the adultery.

    I’m sorry, but I nearly bought this sick teaching that those who come to faith in a remarried state must abandon their marriages and stay single, for fear of going to hell if they don’t. What if you had been (re)married for many years, and you have no idea where your former spouse was/they were untraceable? Are you supposed to destroy a current marriage on the basis of an unknown? NO! Common sense should preside here; marriage is an ethical bond, not an inseparable one.

    What if you had been married many times, and the first person you married had also been divorced but you didn’t know whether their divorce was sinful, or didn’t know where they were? Do you honestly think Christ expects people to try to atone for their own past mistakes? They cannot repair what was broken, they can only do their best in the grace of the Lord to cherish what they now have and not repeat any mistakes.

    Paul is clear that one who is deserted is not under ethical obligation to that marriage; this is the justice of God in action. We are not to be aggressors in divorce, without cause. However, God does not punish one person for the sins and treachery of another. 1 Corinthians 7:15 shows that unbelievers are not able to respond to Christ in obedience and are not to hold the believer ransom. This is why marriage has to be understood as an ethical obligation, not an inseparable bond which can never be broken. It CAN be broken, which is why Jesus said not to do it.

    May God have mercy on those who teach unwitting believers to destroy their marriages because of past mistakes, because those who teach this heresy are accountable for extreme legalism which will end many a good marriage. Paul’s counsel to the married (including those remarried prior to conversion, seeing as he makes no qualification) is not to separate..goodness, no…it is to stay married.

    Those who teach that all remarried people are adulterers continually though they are saved now, are crushing their brethren and must be confronted. Those who teach that one who was divorced, especially against their will, prior to salvation cannot be married again, are legalists and go beyond the word.Please think your interpretation of the word through to its logical end in every scenario you can think of, and you will hopefully see where your theology is contrary to the character of God, to justice, mercy and common sense.

    1. (UNITED STATES)  I agree with you. I also believe that we as individuals marry, and we do not seek the God about our spouses and we make the decision. As a result we are not in God’s will. Then we end up in an abusive or failing marriage. When we have to divorce we have sinned.

      People want to act like Divorce is a sin. It’s a sin if you remarry you are living in adultery! God doesn’t honor that. Divorce is a sin just like a person that lies, steals, kills and all the other things we were told not to do. There are individuals that were not believers and that got out of a bad marriage or may have DIVORCED and now they are new creatures in Christ and old things are past away and behold all things have become new. Gal 5:1 They are not staying fast in the liberty where in Christ has made them free and they will no longer be caught up again in the yolk of bondage. 1 Peter talks about after we have suffered a little while God will restore us. It’s not God’s will for us to be in marriages that don’t line up with his word.

      Who are we to say that God doesn’t restore and give a person (husband/wife) that loves them the way Christ loves the church and they end up having a beautiful marriage that God honors! We need to stop this. Sin is sin and when you have repented and sought the Lord to remarry and you remarry, who am I say that’s are wrong? I’m not GOD!

  9. (CANADA)  Well said, Margaret and Patricia. People in conservative Christian circles have bought into an interpretation in the past 30 years that has been a distortion of God’s truth, bringing God’s people into confusion and condemnation.

    If you seriously look into the background of the passages on divorce and remarriage, you will see the context of how the first century Jews understood it. Jesus repeatedly corrected the early Rabbis’ misuse of Moses’ law. When talking to self-centered men who were looking for legal loopholes to divorce “for any reason,” He emphasised the importance of marital permanence.

    But it would be amiss to assume that Jesus would respond to a victim of domestic abuse in the same way. In parallel situations dealing with other laws, Jesus respected the intent of the law as well as its words.

    Jesus recognized other exceptions based on the intent of the law and said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:23-27). By the same principle, we can safely say that marriage was made for people. People were not made for marriage.

    God allowed men to divorce their wives because of “the hardness of their hearts.” He intended for men and women to cleave and be one flesh, but He allowed divorce to protect the wives of hard-hearted men. If a man didn’t want his woman any longer, he couldn’t just discard her, he had to give a certificate of divorce so she would be free to remarry. There was no understanding at that time of remarriage not being allowed after a divorce – it was the acceptable practice. The OT laws of divorce were a merciful provision. God hates divorce but He prefers it to the abuse of His daughters. Divorce is terrible but can be a wise and loving course of action.

    I don’t understand how today’s Christians, the carriers of God’s mercy and justice, can miss the forest from the trees and act just like the Pharisees of old in their insistence to adherence to the law without seeing the intent of the law.

  10. (HOLLAND)  My ex-husband teaches that divorce isn’t the unpardonnable sin. I’m more of staying alone or reconciling and I talked with him about this on the phone.

    I was in a rebound relationship with an unbeliever and almost remarried but then thank God my ex wanted alimony and the guy didn’t want to pay and went back to his mother. Finally the Lord could speak to me and convince me it was just adultery cause I wasn’t even divorced. I jumped into the relationship with a drug addict one day after I got dumped. Almost didn’t believe that God existed and lived together with him while I stayed a virgin “for the man that God had for me” until I was 24. Married 12.5 years, 3 small children, and I was a pastor’s wife.

  11. (USA)  My dad had a very abusive wife towards him and his children. If he would have stayed, his children would have died at the hands of their mother. I do know for a fact that God did not want us in this situation. At the age of five, I prayed to God to get my mother out of my life from a five year old’s way of thinking. She left when I was six years old for another man. My dad had put us in the care of our grandparents while he was trying to work things out with my mother. I actually thank God for the other man because I don’t know if my dad would have ever left her!

    My dad started dating another woman 3 months after she left and remarried within a year. Very devastating for his children. No time to heal from the deep, deep scars that abuse leaves behind. Then another problem comes in to focus, a stepmother who doesn’t love you either and so you begin to question God even more.

    I prayed from earlier age for God to let me to know who I was to marry. God almighty answered at the age of sixteen. I worked with him. When I was 24 we were brought together by Christ, I knew then I would marry him because of what God had told me at the age of sixteen. We have a great marriage and have been married for 21 years with two beautiful children. Christ taught us to love each other!!! Our children have been very blessed. They are clueless about divorce and parents who do the things of the world.

    If you really love your children, you will do God’s will. Lynn

    1. (SOUTH AFRICA)  My husband was emotionally and financially abusing me and my son (not his child). I went through our pregnancy alone and had a daughter in the marriage. He never supported me while I was pregnant, came home late after 2am. He had a girlfriend whom he talked to in the house in front of me, arranging their meetings and pick up times while I was there listening to him. He sent about messages that I must leave his house twice when I was pregnant and twice when the child was born.

      I suspect that he was under a satanic attack and mission because of the way things just turned around. I thought when the child was born he would be better so I stayed and said I cannot leave, because if I leave I will be divorcing. He never saw the child since the first day she was born until we left his house. He brought his girlfriend one night in the house into our bedroom. A week before he brought her to the house he chased me out of our bedroom together with the small child.

      Things got so bad that I realised my son was the one suffering when I was busy trying to preserve my vows. I prayed to God (and have been praying) and one day I had a conviction from the Lord that it is time to leave. I left and a month later I filed for divorce. He did not contest it. He signed and he went on with his life and brought in a girlfriend a week after I left his house and he has never seen the child since.

      I am still grieving over this and am busy pushing potential husbands away from me, because I think something is wrong with me. What would you do? I am divorced with 2 kids from different fathers and both have no contact with them. I am a child of God, I am saved and on fire for God and I will never let Him go. I believe in His word that it is the truth in Jesus’ Name. I would not want to pain the heart of God as much as I did by marrying my ex-husband in the first place. All the signs were there but I tried to hide them now they are exposed to the world.

  12. (GHANA)  I am a Christian and started a young man 7 months ago. He told me that he had a four month old baby but is separated from the mother of the baby. I have never been married and have no child. I’m scared of being a stepmom and also have no idea how to handle the relationship between my boyfriend and the mother of his child.

    Since we are not married I don’t want to involve myself with the mother of the baby directly. We want to marry early next year. Can somebody advise me on what to expect?

  13. (UNITED STATES)  I need help with what’s going on with me. My husband is very abusive. He is now in prison for trying to kill me. Am I not supposed to divorce or maybe some day remarry? I think God would like for me to be happy. I don’t feel he wants me to live my life without a companion.

  14. (USA)  I am a Christian woman, who was divorced for three years. I am now remarrying my husband! I feel so blessed that my prayers have been answered. I was in a serious relationship with another man that I almost married. He backed out (also, while dating him, I found out my actual divorce did not go through due to lawyers mistake- this was a whole year later). I was very careful NOT to even think about dating until my divorce was final, so I thought! But I RESIGNED the papers- my ex asked me not to sign at this time. I felt though, that he had not changed) whew, hope y’all can keep up!

    My ex was having a hard time finding God in his life as well, while we were married, and this was a big problem the first go round. Anyway, that has been resolved. We go to church together every week, and our relationship is 150% better than it ever was. Our communication and consideration for the other has been the difference, and we truly are soul mates!

    Here is the problem :( our five year old does not want us to get married!!! I do NOT know how to handle this… he has said, I want to be your only baby… as I have tried to teach him, you will grow up, find a nice Christian girl, and then have babies! And we also have to move. We were living in the country with all my family close by… and he is starting school. He has also expressed that there is no “dirt” at his daddy’s house… we have a long dirt drive at our other residence, which we still stay at on the weekends to see my family and still go to our home church.

    I have tried to explain- mom may not have a baby, as God would have to want us to at first, and you will have to go to school anywhere we live, we still come to country house on weekends, and finally, your father and I made a mistake by choosing to live apart, and we need to make a new promise to God that we are going to be a family, as this is what he intended. I have told him his life as it is right now will not change, I love him, am not going anywhere, etc.

    I am at a loss, and need advice if there is something I’m missing? And maybe reassurance? His father loves him, is a fun dad, we all have a blast together. Any advice or pointers for this unusual circumstance -the son part as well as remarrying my husband! Sorry so long… but this is a Christian site, and I just know I can’t be the only one who is remarrying a husband, and would like to hear some positive statistics/criticism/advice! Thanks to all…

  15. (USA)  I divorced my husband in 1998, after a ten year ordeal of sexual, verbal and emotional abuse. He refused counseling and any other kind of help and told me that he ‘wasn’t gonna change’. Living with him was an indescribable hell of constant belittling, terror and forced sodomy.

    I had to leave Christianity behind in order to be able to leave my marriage. My husband left me no choice because he didn’t want help and he sure didn’t want me to get any judging by the verbal abuse I had to deal with because I was seeing a therapist weekly. You all don’t know what adversity is, or pain for that matter, if you think staying with an abusive, hateful spouse is better than getting a divorce. Ending my marriage was an act of self defense and I knew I’d never be able to do it if I kept myself in slavery to Christianity. No wonder women are becoming so disillusioned by it and so many of us have left.

  16. (USA) The following is an excerpt from “The Good News About God” (http://goodnewsaboutgod.com) and has helped me in sorting out this confusion about divorce and remarriage. Maybe it will do the same for you. To read the entire text, go to: http://goodnewsaboutgod.com/studies/spiritual/home_study/divorce.htm.

    Is adultery grounds for divorce? No, adultery is not necessarily grounds for divorce. If the partner who has committed adultery is truly sorry and stops the adultery, the spouse should forgive and work to re-establish the marriage. The only real grounds for a divorce is if a husband or wife abandons his or her spouse and states that he or she does not want to be married anymore. Then the spouse who is abandoning his or her partner must give the abandoned spouse a divorce. God does not penalize the abandoned spouse by denying them the right to remarry. That would be vindictive and unjust on God’s part. In addition, that view is not biblical!

    Then why do many religious denominations favor the teaching that remarriage after divorce is adultery? Some churches even expel members who remarry after divorce. And other churches, though they allow the person to remain a member, refuse to allow him or her to hold leadership positions. The Bible passage that is used to support this teaching is Matthew 5:31,32

    “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: “But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery.” (King James Version)

    However, there is one word in this passage that has been incorrectly translated, which changes the entire interpretation. As so often is the case, one must dig deeper to find the true meaning. One must go back to the original Greek Scriptures to understand God’s Word. The Interlinear Bible gives the original Greek with the English words below, allowing us to sort out this dilemma. Here is the literal translation of these two texts:

    “It was also said, Whoever puts away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you, Whoever puts away his wife, apart from a matter of fornication, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever shall marry the one put away commits adultery.” Matthew 5:31,32

    The specific issue here is the difference between the words “put away” and the word “divorce.” In the literal translation of these two texts, Matt 5:31,32, you will notice that there are three instances of the phrase “put away” as opposed to the two instances of “put away” in the King James Version (KJV). In the KJV, the third phrase, “put away” is incorrectly translated “divorce.”

    Below is the interlinear translation, showing the Greek and English. Directly above the Greek words are numbers that correspond to that particular word in Strong’s Concordance. On the left side is the literal translation in English showing the three phrases, “put away.” On the right hand side is the King James Version, showing only two phrases translated “put away.” In the King James Version, the third phrase “put away” is incorrectly translated “divorce.”

    The Greek words for “put away” and “divorce” are very different and cannot be used synonymously. The Greek word for “put away” is apoluo (#630 in Strong’s Concordance) and means to depart, dismiss, or separate. But the word for divorce is apostasion (#647 in Strong’s Concordance). Jesus is saying that if a husband wants to divorce his wife, he cannot just throw her out, he must give her a proper bill of divorcement. If he does not give her a bill of divorcement, then, if she marries again –without being properly divorced –both she and her new husband will be guilty of adultery -because she is still legally married to her previous husband.

    The Christian church has erroneously accepted the incorrect translation found in the King James Version and most other modern translations of the Bible. By changing the third phrase “put away” to “divorce” in the last sentence of verse 32, the “church” then can claim that a divorced person who remarries has committed adultery!

    This is just another instance of the translators changing the truth of the word of God by their erroneous translations. This incorrect translation is so obvious that it could not have been done by mistake. What is the motive of the translators? Who knows for sure, but it certainly gives the “church” more control over its members! In addition, it makes God appear punitive, when He is not.

    God does not punish us for sin. He allows us to reap what we have sown, therefore our chastisement is remedial. It is meant to turn us back to right-doing. It is the church that wants more control, it is the church that wants the members punished for their sins, and it is the church that makes God appear harsh and vindictive –characteristics that belong to Satan -not to God.

  17. (NIGERIA) I have been greatly enlightened by reading your comments on this site. Please can anyone put me through in my present state? I am as confused as confused can be and need urgent help. Before I got married to my husband, I had lost the first to a car accident and had two sons, 6 and 4. They lived with my parents over the agreement for us to get settled first before they move in. My mum passed on the following year and my kids had to move in with us. I now have had a son from my husband.

    At their coming over, my husband tried to be nice to them at first but before long, he had become unbearably hostile toward them. He verbally and physically abused them and told them he was not their father and that they should demand to know from me who their father is. It was too bad I had to move them away to my father. No member of my family was happy with him over this and they expressed it. Now he keeps swearing that they will never again live under the same roof with him. The reason he now gives is that my father and aunt spoke to him in a manner he didn’t like over the kids.

    I am battered all the time, as well as being verbally abused. I have also been cheated upon even on our matrimonial bed. He shows remorse and then I forgive and then it happens again. I miss my kids a lot and regret that I had to ever remarry. I wish they lived with me so I can account for their growth and development. Right now, I am torn in betwixt my two sons and the kids I have with my present husband. Do I allow my first kids to suffer lack of motherly love from no fault of theirs? Should I leave this marriage as every day brings me to such realisation?

    How about the kids I now have from him? They are too young. But I think I really wish to leave. I am scared and emotionally strained. Someone please help.

  18. (USA) Cindy Wright, I can’t help but ask you if you think you know better than God. Being remarried is not right by the word of God and should not be done unless death is the reason. Look up Luke 16:18 and Mark 10:11-12 will help you to know if you are telling people to do the right thing. -Your brother in Christ

  19. (U.S.A.) With all due respect to Allen, who addressed Cindy. You will find in the Torah that God has in fact made provision for remarriage even though the former spouse is alive.

    Deuteronomy 24:1-4 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

    By the way, if you look at Torah you know that the translation “some uncleanness” is a gross mistranslation to assume it means she committed adultery. For the Torah demands that adulterers are put to death or sent away without a bill of divorcement (which is to say the woman is as if she is dead to the man, but the woman can never remarry without committing adultery).

    One truly needs to look at this from a Hebraic prospective to get what is meant by the Messiah’s words and the words of the Apostles. Anything that contradicts the Torah must be investigated and once the truth is reveal no contradiction will remain. Blessings, Jenna

    1. (USA) I know exactly what you are saying and you are correct, I am a Christian therefore embrace Old and New Testament. To the average person, they do not know that the Old Testament is the Torah and all that the Orthodox Jew believes to be of God. I believe it all to be from God. I have noticed there are many that do not believe God ever allows for divorce but you are correct, He does in the case of adultery and now having been the victim of it, I understand why. You cannot undo defiled or dead. He violated every Commndment to be with her and broke every promise he made to me and God.

      Although the perpetrator, I feel sorry for my husband for what he has to answer for. This didn’t just happen. In the 23 years we’ve been together, he has had a heart full and allowed his thoughts to go on. Sadly, like all the others he has ever known, she was after money and made that clear. He’s never had much luck with women which made him inscure and desperate. The men in his family are simple, uneducated; they believe it’s manly to get with every one you can and I do mean-ANYTHING -rather than love your own woman as Christ loves His bride and those things we teach our kids rarely every leave.

      Every person in his family, male or female is like that. I really prayed that my husband would be different. His father killed his mother then himself over money and not much. That is another piece of the devil that trickles down. Why he would not put his energy into the great family God has blessed us with I’ll never know. Other than that’s how the devil works. A house divided cannot stand and your foes will be that of your own household (Matthew 10-36). You are also correct that anything that contradicts the word of God is not to be trusted. Shalom

  20. (U.S.A.) By the way, as for this article it does have some good tips. However, dating is not biblical at all. Nor should one tell another how long they should wait before entering into another relationship. If we must put our trust in God HE will bring the right person at the right time. We have to be very careful to be sure that everything that directs our lives lines up with scripture, no matter how much “sense” is “seems” to make.

    You will find no examples of dating in scripture. Nor do you find anywhere that Abba Yah tells us how long to wait after a death or divorce before remarrying. Are we to believe that He did not see the high divorce rate and remarriage coming? :-) Certainly not. So, we must look to Him and the scriptures to see what we are to do. Sure, He uses teachers to show us His truth. Ah, but that is the key, are they showing us His truth or their truth according to worldly ideas they have unintentionally absorbed?

  21. (USA) This is mind boggling. There is so much confusion around the Catholic religion this day ,such hypacritical acts going on, molestations, annulments that the church approves. Some they don’t, some you can pay for… remarriage is except in the catholic church. I was just in this boat, was married 23 yrs ago my husband divorced me. There was no saving a marriage with no love. We married for our daughter, thus his addictions to drugs led him far from me emotionally and physically.

    Now some 10 yrs after living with my now husband, I’m hearing after we felt guilty not being married and did the proper thing in God’s eyes and married, we thought that in fact it against God’s desires… what? My faith in the Catholic Church has been severely destroyed as to the horrible things I’ve seen and heard in my adult life. My belief in God and Jesus is as strong as ever but I can’t believe God would want me to throw away the best man who ever crossed my path to go looking for someone who cared more for himself than me and his family.

    He now is divorcing for the second time for the same reasons. I’d be a fool and God surely knows I would. I’ve committed myself to serving God and to the best of my ability, to do what’s right. But I’m human, and I’m guessing God would hopefully forgive my lack of endurance with a loveless marriage to a man who just didn’t want me. I can’t make that work. So you say stay single and be alone forever? Like I said, it’s mind boggling. Why then did my pastor say he could marry us in the church? My now husband had his marraige annulled and I never married in the church. Now isn’t life hard enough?

  22. (SOUTH AFRICA) My heart goes out to all those who had to end their marriages because of one reason or the other. Sometimes we are so quick to judge and put ourselves in God’s seat where other people are concerned. Those who judge divorcees, how many times do you disobey the Holy Spirit when He speaks to you and then you feel bad afterward? My question is, when you go to God later and ask for His forgiveness does He turn you down and say your sin is unpardonable? Sometimes when you are confused about something, does God scold you and say ‘go and find out what my Word says, if you err then I condemn you’? I think not. He is a loving Father who understands that we are human. He also understands that at times, even though we know what the Word says, we can be weighed done by the reality of the situation at hand.

    It is true that the Word of God does not change but God understands our weakness as humans. I do not condone divorce in a situation whereby people just use it as an easy way out instead of working out their issues. I feel for those people who have already remarried due to some difficult situations. God is your Father. Instead of going around asking people who will condemn you, go to Him and ask for forgiveness. After that ask Him to direct you and show you what to do.

    Many of us have entered into situations that are not the perfect will of God for our lives. When we humble ourselves before Him He shows us compassion, not condemnation. The Spirit of God does not condemn so that you will die of guilt. Instead He will show you a way out in His own gently way. For those who are considering divorce, for whatever reason, adultery included, seek His face face and hear what he has to say about your situation. You must understand that there is nothing impossible with God. He can make your difficult partner eat out of your hand. He can turn your bitter situation into honey. When you seek Him ask that His will be done in your situation. Don’t go to Him already having a plan of your own because in that case He may not answer you.

    1. (USA) I hope this is of help. I got the information off my churches website. It might clear up some confusion regarding divorce. God Bless.

      Marriage is for Life: a holy institution that is binding before God, giving neither partner liberty to marry again as long as the first companion lives. Mark 10:6-12; Romans 7:1-3.

      The Bible teaches that marriage is binding for life. Under the New Testament teachings of Christ, there is only one allowable cause for separation, and that is fornication (a sexual relationship prior to marriage). This provision was related to the Jewish tradition of betrothal. If, during the approximate one year betrothal period which preceded the physical consummation of the marriage, one of the parties committed fornication, the other party could terminate the marriage agreement. This allowance for divorce does not apply to those who have consummated their marriage today, since such unfaithfulness is regarded as adultery rather than fornication.

      In Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus restated God’s plan for marriage as first recorded in Genesis 2:24. He emphasized the sacredness of this union with the instruction, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” While there may be occasions when a Christian is separated or divorced, no allowance is made for a person to marry again while the first companion lives. Matthew 5:31-32; 19:9; Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:2-3

      Information from Apostolic Faith Church website: http://apostolicfaith.org/OurFaith/Doctrines/CompleteList.aspx

  23. I am searching for a solution and this discussion has come as close to my situation as anything that I have seen. I am divorced and remarried. My former spouse cheated on me and the mistress had his baby. We decided to stay together for the sake of our 2 children. My ex-husband and she did not get along together after paternity was established. She was a stalker and ended up moving in to the neighborhood so that she could send her son to the elementary school that our children attended. She got a job a the YMCA that we were members at so that she could see us come and go.

    Once the child was older she got a job at the middle school where my where my daughter attended. Every step of the way she would harass me and my children at PTA meetings etc. After putting up with this for years we finally divorced. It was more than just her stalking, but his lack of financial support and presence in our life.

    So fast forward to now. I remarried 4 years ago to a wonderful man that has two children as well. They were living in an area that was a one hour drive from our current location. He and his son, moved in with me and my children when we married. His daughter remained living with his ex-wife. Since then his ex-wife and daughter have moved to the same neighborhood so that she could go to the same high school as her brother, and step-brother and sister. Now the ex-wife is on the same PTA board, which is fine. She is not a stalker like the mistress of my ex-husband, and we are pleasant to each other when we see each other.

    When my current husband and I were looking for a church family to belong to more than four years ago, we took the job seriously. We wanted a place that we and all of our kids would be happy and have a strong sense of community. We found that church and were married in that church 4 years ago and absolutely love it. We have invited our respective ex-spouses to special occasions there, such as confirmation and Easter, and they happily obliged. So here is the rub. My husband’s ex-spouse now has been attending more often on her own and wants to make it her church too! I have said to my husband that I am not comfortable with this and that I wish that he would express that to her. His reply is that we have no right asking her not to attend there. I feel that OUR marriage should come first and if he is not comfortable telling her then perhaps we should change our membership to another church. Thoughts?

  24. Friends, Pray and read the Bible in it’s entirety as the whole and not just the sum of its parts. Allow the Holy Spirit to move and jostle your inner wrestles for better development. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and not of your own doing or works, less you should boast. But it is the Grace of God and His salvation freely given unto you who believe and have faith through his only son Jesus that saves you. You have been Predestined, Justified, Regenerated, Sanctified, Made Manifest, Made Righteous… Made Sons of God! http://www.goodnewsaboutgod.com/studies/spiritual/home_study/divorce.htm

  25. Hi All, By reading the comments I find amongst them the heartache of all those that did not want a divorce. We have no control over the actions of our spouses, only our own. My husband left me for another woman; I had no control over that. He knew what he was doing was wrong in the eyes of God but went ahead all the same.

    “He deserved to be happy”. My heart has been broken in two. The sad thing is that God’s grace is taken for granted and the unfaithful believe that they can just ask forgiveness and hit the “re-set button” and all will be well. They deliberately go ahead trusting God is going to be on their side and bless their adulterous relationships. They are not repentant or sorry in any way. I leave the situation in Gods hands. Who am I to judge?

  26. I am a little disturbed at the uncertainty and confusion about how Christian parents should treat their stepchildren. The Bible does not deal specifically with this issue, simply because we’re instructed to love our God above all things, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Who is my neighbor? My closest and immediate neighbors would be my spouse, my children (whether his or mine or ours), and whosoever crosses my path, whether it’s the cashier at the supermarket, the bank teller, the law enforcement officer, my spouses’s friends, my next door neighbor, whosoever. So what more of my spouse’s children??

  27. My first husband left me and our 8 children to live with another woman whom he had impregnated. He refused to return home. I waited 2 years. I “put him away” for fornication.

    My second husband molested my daughters. I believe that falls under “fornication” as well.

    I have served and honored God, been respectful and submissive to these men, and been a loving and devoted wife and mother.

    I’ve spoken with a dozen pastors of several denominations (Southern Baptist, Methodist, Church of God, e-free, charismatic, pentecostal, traditional–literally a dozen). It’s unanimous that I’m biblically free to remarry.

    Thus, having taken my guidance from an abundance of counselors and seeking His counsel as well, I’m confident that I’m being obedient. And I’m confident that, because my intention is not to sin, I’m under the grace of the blood of Jesus in the event my conclusions are mistaken. Bless you all.

  28. In this article you do not talk about courting; all you keep saying is dating and there is a difference in courting and dating. Courting is a lot better then dating. My husband courted me. Now he is in heaven. I hope if I ever do get married again, the next guy is going to have to court me also.

  29. Number 1. Listen to it. I didn’t. Biggest mistake EVER!!! I know it feels hard to do, but you MUST do it. Please listen. You may think it’s right, but it’s not. It’s emotion taking over. Wait two years before even dating. I know it’s hard, but don’t hurry into another, bigger mistake. You’ll hate yourself in two years for not waiting. Pray about it deeply.

  30. My Mother and father were married before my Mother graduated from High School. There were problems after they were married. I was born after my Mother graduated from High School. My mother got mistreated by my father. He took no responsibility for either of us. Mother divorced him after I was 3 years old. My father paid no child support before or after the divorce.

    Mother dated a divorced man with a son a few months, then married him before my 4th birthday. She didn’t know enough about my stepfather. Mother already had me, then she start helping raise my stepbrother. My Mother and stepfather had a son together after 2 years of marriage. We weren’t like the Brady Bunch. Mother put up with my stepfather’s Ex wife, and her family about my stepbrother.

    My Mother became his Momma. His Mother bought him back. I was jealous of him because he got the best by his other family. I got what my Mother could afford to buy me, and my Uncle’s hand me downs. No child support from my father. He remarried, but he and his wife did not have any children.

    History has repeated itself. My stepbrother’s Mother had been married 3 times but before but his High School graduation. His Mother divorced his dad and his 1st stepfather. My stepfather’s 1st
    wife came out of a troubled home. Her mother divorced her dad. He was nothing. My stepfather’s former mother in law remarried a divorced man. My stepbrother’s Maternal grandmother and step grandpa were
    very good people. Every one of my stepbrother’s mother’s siblings got a divorce. His Uncle left a wife and two sons and moved off to another state. He found another woman, and had a 2nd family. The youngest, a sister, she had three daughters by her first husband. He left her a widow. He drowned in the ocean trying to save his children. The oldest still remembers it. The marriage wasn’t good.

    The youngest, my stepbrother’s aunt, a widow with three daughters remarried. The marriage ended in divorce. My stepbrother has been married and divorced three times. He left 4 children, two sons and two daughters when he left their Mother. The youngest son died of a drug overdose. He had been drinking too with a lousy friend. The youngest son was found dead by his girlfriend. A life wasted.

    My half brother has been married two times. His 1st wife came out of a broken home. They each had 1 son. It was both of their faults, because the marriage didn’t work. My nephew seemed to be put on the back burner. He has mental problems. He is in a mental hospital.

    I will soon be 57. Single, no family of my own. My father is deceased. If I were to marry now, I would do a lot of praying, because I take marriage vows seriously. Most of the women my age are divorced or are coming as widows. They have children. My advice to any single man is to pray and seek Godly counsel. If you have any doubts, please do not marry and find out later it was a mistake. Get to know the person.

  31. I and my wife was married for 11 years, we divorced 2 years ago, she remarried to another man immediately after our divorced. I have been living alone since then. I want to remarry to another woman also but have been finding it difficult to enter into relationship with another woman. What do I do please. We have 2 daughters, they are with their Mum, I am 37 years old .