“As I conduct stepfamily seminars around the country, there are two consistent questions I hear from single-parents. They concern going in the right direction towards remarriage. They are:
1. ‘Should I remarry?’
2. ‘When we get married, how do we help our kids and family to succeed?’
“I never tell couples whether they should remarry. But I do admonish them to step away from their remarriage fantasies. They need to consider the realities of stepfamily life.
“In order to make a step in the right direction for you and your children, you first must understand the challenges of stepfamily living. Then you will be able to make an informed choice about remarriage.”
Help in Making that Step in the Right Direction
The above statement was made by Ron Deal who is there founder and president of As For Me And My House Ministries, which provides marriage and family training across the country and family education consultation to church and community leaders. Ron also joined the staff of FamilyLife as Director of Blended Family Ministries. He’s a great expert that knows firsthand the ins and outs of remarriage.
Here’s another piece of advice that Ron offers on this issue that is good to note:
“Make sure you’re not still haunted by the ghost of marriage past. Emotional and spiritual healing from divorce or the death of a spouse takes time; in fact, the average person requires three to five years before they can be discerning about a new relationship. Don’t let the rebound-bug bite you where it hurts. After his wife died of cancer Gary found himself lonely and feeling inadequate to care for his daughter. ‘I guess I needed a partner and I wanted a mother for my child,’ he said. This emptiness lead him to rush into a new marriage. It’s one that ended after just one year. Remember, time is your best friend so slow down the dating process.”
To read the rest of what Ron has to say, click on the Family Life Today web site link provided below:
• Is Remarriage A Step in the Right Direction?
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Remarriage
53 responses to “Is Remarriage A Step In The Right Direction?”
(SOUTH AFRICA) I once read in the book of Ezra about a sad situation where husbands divorced their wives on grounds other than the ones permitted, in order to marry foreign wives. A stern intruction was subsequently given by God to those men to immediately divorce the “new wives” and go back to their old ones. I imagined no difficulty in the reconciliation in so far as the old wives were concerned. However, I have difficulty understanding what the solution would have been where the offending husband refused to obey God’s command and remained with “the foreign wife”.
I say this because more often than not, as it would seem to be common cause, one spouse is divorced against their will, and despite attempts to reconcile, the offending spouse goes ahead with the divorce any way.
Situations do vary I understand. I am in my early thirties, a believer as well. My husband of 12 years divorced me and went to stay with a married woman (who after they started their adulterous relationship also instituted divorce against her own husband). I have two children both born of my marriage. Even after I discovered the adulterous relatioship between him and his married adulteress I was willing to forgive him. Instead, the rejection and resistance I got from him was beyond words. Because there were money issues involved, he even resorted to the very old trick of “contract murderers.” However by God’s grace those plans were revealed to me before they could reach fruition. I know that God hates it when we deliberately fall into sin, and as matter of fact I do not want to fall into sin in my new journey as a single person.
My ex is living with another man’s wife (the other man is still very much alive, bear in mind). Therefore my ex has now long become “one in flesh and in spirit” with the new woman. Supposing he decides to reconcile (which I can assure you will never happen if things go his way); would I be doing the correct thing in welcoming him back despite him having been one in flesh and spirit with the other woman? Would I then not be caused by him to commit adultery? Can someone explain why God gave a stren warning that anyone who marries a divorced woman causes her to commit adultery? And while doing so, can someone explain then what it means to be NO LONGER BOUND (OR MORALLY BOUND AS OTHER VERSIONS WOULD HAVE IT)? How can one reconcile all these scriptures with what Jesus said elsewhere in the Bible that: it is pleasing to God if a man remains unmarried, but if one cannot control his fleshly longings, let him get himslef his own spouse. Did these words refer to “men” in the biologigal sense of the word, or is the contrary true?
While I always pray to God, just like Thelma, to give me (if it is pleasing to Him that I marry again) a God fearing prince from His Kingdom; and while I am fully aware of the fact that His ways are not my ways, and in fact are higher than mine, examining myself I know certainly that if my ex were to come back, I would never be able to live in peace with him again, especially having seen that he can have me killed if he wants to. I certainly would not like to live in fear of him. That would be bondage in new form than the abuse and bellitlement bondage I was in before.
I hear all the comments, and it would appear that they depend on the current situation of the commentator. It is true that we are flesh and blood. And I do believe that it is similarly no use trying to be right with God (by remaining single after divorce) while becoming wrong with oneself. I equally do not wnat to “become wrong” with the sacred intistution of marriage.
If there is one thing I am sure of, it is that I would not want to ever be part of my ex’s life again. I am not forgetting that his children may still want to be part of his life and vice-versa. It is just sad because he has not bothered to make contact with them for a year as I write this comment; nor does he seem keen to fulfill his financial obligations towards them. However, that is besides the point because I am also gainfylly employed and from the least that I get, I do make sure that I meet the basic and other needs of my two lovely kids, while I wait for the legal processes to afford me appropriate relief.
I believe that with God nothing is impossible, but I am fearing that somewhere along the way I may not be able to sustain the single life (socially and emotionally speaking). Does re-marriage after divorce then also mean a legalised adultery?
(USA) I know of a man who has been divorced 2x not a reason of adultery and he wants to have another serious relationship perhaps a 3rd marriage, would he commit adultery?
(UNITED STATES) Evelyn, yes habitual adultery unfortunately : (
(USA) Evelyn: Jesus only provided for divorce by death or adultery. The real tragedy in divorce for other reasons (e.g. you being the infidel) is remarriage because then the one who marries causes the one marrying him or her to commit adultery. You become an adulterer when you join yourself to an adulterer, married or not.
(USA) When would it be prudent to tell a divorced person to hold off on marriage until they get themselves fixed first? Never telling a couple to not marry may be a derelection of duty if either of them individually caused their previous divorce.
(SOUTH AFRICA) I have waited for two odd years for someone to kindly provide clarity to my questions. I do still get a sense that the issue of remarriage after divorce is a very sensitive one. While some of the responses are really insightful, it is sad to see people constituting themselves as Judges towards others. And all I can say is: Brethren, before you can judge all the divorcees or some of them, who still have aspirations of being married, and who are mostly in pain as a result of their divorce; especially those who never chose to divorce, who were forcefully divorced by their spouses, wait until the foundations (of marriage) are shaken, when an unexplained powerful force tears you apart from your spouse despite your having been faithful; prayerful; submissive (if you are a wife) in your marriage; wait until you find yourself with a million questions to which on your own you can provide no answers; wait until you are in a foreign ground in this cruel planet earth, not even understanding what the meaning of “remaining single” is anymore… Wait until the doctrines of man engulf you like the waves of the sea, concerning what the word of God says about the issue.
Be that as it may, I have since discovered that it is true that the Holy Spirit is the one that guides and teaches us, hence I believe it is God Himself using the Holy Sipirit, at work in us. I am of a humble view that God gave us power to choose after all. Afterall He is the only One that is all seeing and all knowing, and therefore better suited to Judge us. He alone has the perfect Spirit of understanding.
How about we all do what He says in His word, as we are ALL His PEOPLE: we humble ourselves before Him, and admit that we have sinned (in even smallest ways like being judgmental of each other…) and turn back from our sinful ways [and we know what those ways are, not by judging, but by the Spirit of God convicting (and no condemning) us]; seek Him with all our hearts… and see if he will not heal us (our land) of all confusion; pain; etc etc etc. Really, this self righteous disposition among those who either have not known the pain of divorce; or are known to it but have been helped already by God’s grace, and endowed with God’s Spirit of understanding to make their choice concerning remarriage and being single (and really live it hopefully), is just not right.
I am not saying we must condone sin and distort God’s word, but I beg of you bretheren: GET OFF YOUR HIGH SEATS OF JUDGEMENT!!! YOUR JUDGING WORDS KILL IN THE SPIRIT!!! You would be surprised just how many of us know what God’s word says and means, but are (by our questions and in our confusion) crying out: “carest thou not that we perish”… Judging one another will not help.
Thank you Londi. You have made your point very well. It is always easier for someone else who has not suffered deeply in this type of pain to judge. It is true that God hates divorce. Many people recognize that, and should. God knows all too well the horrible pain and complications it can bring and He doesn’t want it for His children. But there are many who have divorce inflicted upon them. They cannot MAKE their spouse live up to his or her promises. Many people don’t recognize that. Thankfully, we have a God who does and also gives grace. While we can see that we serve a God of order and Truth and justice, we must also see through the criticism Jesus (and prophets) gave to those who act like unbending Pharisees, He is also a God of grace and forgiveness. There is a balance.
Divorce is not the “unpardonable sin.” It is not good and we should do what we can to fight against it, when it is possible. But again, many have it imposed upon them in this world that is not friendly to helping to support, and grow marriages. We need to help one another and not whip those who have already been hurt so deeply. Judgement does that. Thank you Londi, for saying it like it is. You give both sides and as I said before, you have made your point well. May God bind up your broken heart. May God help you to sort out your questions, giving you HIS wisdom, not the wisdom of man. And may we all give each other grace without compromising God’s principles.
As Jesus said, and may we all remember: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:3-12) May God bless you Londi… you and those who are hurting in the way you describe. I pray God meets your needs and tends to your wounds, and helps you to rise and minister to others by His grace, with His grace. May His face smile upon yours.
The pharisees were on the side of remarriage. According to Matthew 19..Jesus defines remarriage if your spouse is alive, then it’s considered adultery. This is what the scripture says. Yes God will forgive your sins but you have to turn from adultery. Read I Corinthians 5:9-13. No matter how you look at it, Jesus said so.
Fornication is not adultery. Matthew 1:18-20,24&25. When a married person sleeps with someone else it is not fornication, it’s adultery. Please read 1 Corinthians 7 in context. God does not contradict His word. Please fast and pray for complete understanding. Stop looking to the doctrines of man and seek God with all your heart to get true understanding. And to you Mrs. Cindy Wright you have created a website that is very helpful for people in true marriages but it greatly grieves me to see that you are misleading so many souls in sinful relationships. This is not me condemning you but we are commanded to judge each other in righteous judgement (1 Corinthians 5:12).
As Jesus said, “the word in which I speak to you will judge you on the last day.” Please repent Mrs. Wright. I don’t want you or anyone to perish and let these people know the truth because if you don’t you will die in your sins and your righteousness (good works) will not remembered.Ezekiel 33:1-20, Matthew 7:13-27.
Monique, I’m so sorry for you. I HATE divorce. I do all I can to try to stop every divorce from happening that is possible. That’s one of the reasons for this web site –to participate with the Lord in helping marriages grow stronger, and prevent as many divorces as we can. But I/we can’t stop all the divorces from happening. And some spouses aren’t given the choice to stop a divorce. And my being pharisaical and legalistic about divorces –throwing scriptures at people won’t do much, other than hurt many innocent people and those in extreme pain –shooting the wounded. I’m not concerned that I will “perish” Monique, and “die” in my sins. Please know that divorce is not an unpardonable sin. God’s grace is amazing! You should try to give it, as you receive it from the Lord.
Good day Mrs. Cindy Wright. You say you “hate divorce” but yet you encouraged remarriage on many articles you have here. Would you say that you are compromising the word of God? I never said adultery is unpardonable, you can be forgiven for it the same way you can be forgiven for murder, lies, fornication etc, but if you repent and turn from your sin. I’m saying this in Love.
Please let people know the the truth. Sin must be repented of meaning to turn from it. Jesus defined adultery as someone who was married prior and there spouse is alive. I sympathize with those who are going through this. But you cannot tell people that it is okay to remarry. Your definition of grace is highly diluted. Jesus paid the price for us to believe and obey gospel. You say that you believe in Jesus but yet you compromise His word to make people feel comfortable in there sins. Titus 2:11-12 read it and pray for understanding mrs.wright. just because “remarriage” is not the unpardonable sin does not make it right to do. Sin is sin and all sin should be repented of. I love you and I pray that you can get the true understanding of God’s word.
She did let the people know the truth. The truth is for nearly 1/2 of those divorced, it was something forced on them. It wasn’t something they chose. Their spouse unilaterally decided that they wanted a divorce and refused to consider any other option.
I’ve laid it out very clearly in this thread. Even God says He hates divorce, yet He divorced himself from Israel. Therefore, there is no contradiction in saying I hate divorce AND permitting divorce and the inevitable re-marriage.
The Bride of Christ is not Israel, it’s the Church. One might argue that God Himself is or will be re-married.
I agree, Londi! It is all about a LOVE relationship with our Father, not about condemnation of anyone, the one who left, the one who was left. We must fall on our faces before our loving Father, and hear what He has to say, and quit judging!
The two were made ONE FLESH, this is quite simple to understand. The sins made by 1/2 are the sins of the other HALF. Let no man separate what God has joined together! “In the beginning DIVORCE WAS NOT SO!”
HOW MANY MARRIED COUPLES CAN FAULT THEIR DIVORCE ON THE WHOLE WORLD FALLING INTO SIN? ONLY ONE COUPLE CAN USE THIS AS AN EXCUSE, Adam and Eve! THEY DID NOT DIVORCE. When we try to find reasons to rationalize our sinful natures, YES OUR SINFUL NATURE! We are pardoning the sin.
It is my honest belief, that we must ask for the forgiveness of the sins our other half makes, just as much as we ask for the forgiveness of the sins we ourselves make against our God.
God Makes The two, ONE FLESH. That statement means… that we CHOSE TO BE BOUND! Marriage IS A BINDING CONTRACT. OUR SOULS DEPEND AND RELY ON IT. WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER, LET NO MAN PUT ASUNDER. Could it be ANY clearer?
Marriage IS NOT A PROMISE. MARRIAGE IS A COVENANT WITH GOD.