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Divorce and remarriage

 

 

 

We now consider the different aspects of divorce. We will especially examine what the Bible teaches about it, and if it is right to remarry. It is important to clearly and properly understand it. If you are facing divorce, read this information.

 

Invest in your spouse! Divorce and remarriage are becoming more and more common and accepted in the current society. Marriage can easily be seen only as an agreement that can be cancelled any time. People may think that if problems arise, "we can always get a divorce if this does not work out." The doorway to getting a divorce can be held open all the time, so people do not take proper care of their marriage. People do not invest fully in their marriage because divorce is seen as an alternative.

   How can this be fixed? There is no other alternative than to start committing to the relationship. Do not take your spouse for granted, but reserve time for your spouse and give him/her the same attention you pay to other things; actually, your spouse should be the most important thing after God. If we have this kind of a right order of importance, the relationship will not fade completely.

   We must also note that marriage is really a lifelong relationship that will end when we die. If we do not understand this, our motivation to build up our marriage is not right:

 

- (Rom 7:1-3) Know you not, brothers, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?

2 For the woman which has an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

3 So then if, while her husband lives, 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.

 

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

 

Another important thing is that our choices make an impact on our eternal life. If we live our life in the wrong way, outside the will of God, we will not inherit the kingdom of God; we will remain outside.

   If someone plans to leave his or her spouse because of someone else, or in some other way turns his or her back on God, this also affects his or her eternal life. It will have an impact on us through eternity, because sexually immoral people, adulterers, and other evildoers will not inherit the kingdom of God, as the following verses state. This situation can change only if we repent our sins and turn to God:

 

- (Mal 2:14-16) Yet you say, Why? Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously: yet is she your companion, and the wife of your covenant.

15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And why one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, said that he hates putting away: for one covers violence with his garment, said the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that you deal not treacherously.

 

- (Mark 10:11,12) And he said to them, Whoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, commits adultery against her.

12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she commits adultery.

 

- (Luke 16:18) Whoever puts away his wife, and marries another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her that is put away from her husband commits adultery.

 

 - (Rev 2:21) And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

 

 - (Hebr 13:4) Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

 

 - (1 Cor 6:9,10) Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

 

The most common reason why divorce takes place is lack of respect for God.

Some people do not believe in God, or believe that they do not have to answer for their actions including how they treated their spouse and how they lived with him or her. Such people are careless. This is yet another issue that is rooted in how people view the world.

In the past, more people believed in God and society respected correct values including the permanence of marriage. When people rejected their Christian faith and its foundations, their general behaviour changed. Divorces are one consequence of this. Others include common-law relationships, abortions, and other behaviours that go against the will of God.

   This same attitude has even spread to some congregations. Some people are so strongly influenced by the public opinion and media that they no longer fear violating God's commandments. They are encouraged to get a divorce, and think that God will forgive them; they are not motivated to save their marriage. David Wilkerson shared his experiences:

 

God has strafed me because I have been too lenient and forgiving when preaching about divorce and remarrying. I felt the anxiety of all the innocent people, the loneliness of the people who had been rejected by their indecent spouses, and the seclusion and guilt of people who were devoted to God but had divorced and remarried. However, when I preached love, hope and forgiveness to these people, many others who were planning a divorce also found solace and even encouragement. They thought along these lines: "This may be wrong but I'm going to take the step anyway and then throw myself on God's mercy. Others have found grace, so why shouldn't I?" I do not know the answer to everything. What I know, however, is what I've heard from God about future events. Christians who have been warned, who rejected the wrath of God on divorce and used pretences to justify their bad deeds will never find rest in the Lord. The new marriages will cause them more unhappiness and anxiety... This book is not intended to make innocent victims of divorce and remarried people who are now seeking for the Lord to feel unsafe... God is very merciful to any person who repents. (1)

 

Only BECAUSE of marital unfaithfulness. We noted earlier that marriage should be a lifelong union that is dissolved only when one of the spouses die. There is one exception to this: divorce is acceptable only if our spouse is continuously unfaithful (is an adulterer). If we have divorced for any other reason, and entered into a new marriage, we ourselves are considered to be adulterers.

   If a person is constantly unfaithful and acts immorally, this can break the bonds of marriage. According to Jesus, it is the only accepted reason for divorce.

On the other hand, adultery does not force an end to the marriage. It actually does not break the bond of marriage; only when one spouse enters into a new marriage does that occur. If a person is unsure, there is still hope to save the relationship. Miracles can occur through forgiving and forgetting in these situations. Jesus' words emphasize the permanence of marriage:

 

- (Matt 19:3-9) The Pharisees also came to him, tempting him, and saying to him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

4 And he answered and said to them, Have you not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall join to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh?

6 Why they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.

7 They say to him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorce, and to put her away?

8 He said to them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

9 And I say to you, Whoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her which is put away does commit adultery.

 

 - (Matt 5:31-32) It has been said, Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorce:

32 But I say to you, That whoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery.

 

 

Chapter 1 - Remarriage

 

 

 

Jari Iivanainen

 

 

 

 




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