Is It Wrong to Divorce or Remarry?
Q: Is it wrong to divorce or remarry?
A: Though it's often asked, this question comes with no easy answers.
What we do know is in every case divorce is a very undesirable event, and the Bible is clear when it says God hates divorce (Malachi 2:14-16). Divorce is almost always a very painful experience that damages relationships and puts strain on family members and children. We can see why this is so when we understand that the act of marriage literally joins two people as one flesh (Matthew 19:5-6). Divorce severs this joined union.
While under the Law of Moses, the children of Israel were given specific rules regarding such situations. But Jesus instituted a new law that would govern the Body of Christ—the law of love (John 13:34). This new law of love governs every circumstance (Romans 13:8, 10; Galatians 5:14, 6:2; James 2:8). It means the Christian who is in the position of contemplating divorce must be led by the Holy Spirit in answering, “What would love do?”
One of the first places we turn to get a picture of how love acts is 1 Corinthians 13: “Love never fails” (verse 8; also see 4-8). When both members of a marriage union endeavor to walk in the love of God, their marriage will never fail.
But what if a believer is in a marriage where this is not the case? He or she should seek the Holy Spirit’s direction (Proverbs 3:5-6; John 14:26). The Lord may direct this person in multiple ways, and only he or she and God know if divorce is an option. We should always remember that the Word of God does work, and when a Christian stands on the Word for his or her marriage, he or she can expect things to change.
As Christians, we can expect to be led by the Spirit of God and know that He does not bring condemnation against us. Divorce is not God’s best, but it is also not the end of a victorious Christian life (Romans 8:1). The divorced Christian can know without a doubt that he or she can walk in victory and fulfill everything God has called him or her to accomplish (see Romans 11:29).
Following the law of love is God’s command regarding not only marriage, but also remarriage. The decision to remarry should be based on the love of God and not on selfish desires. If a divorced believer is truly ready to offer him or herself to another believer in marriage, he or she should do so with confidence that the Lord will bless that union. Remember, in Christ all things become new (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
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