My question has to do with divorce and remarriage. I was married for 25 yrs. We married young and there was a lot of issues in my marriage but I was in it for the long haul and was committed to it. My husband turned to other women emotionally 2-3 times during our marriage. I eventually caught him lying to me and meeting with another woman and I told him to leave because I couldn’t handle it anymore. My trust was shattered. He tried to justify with different reasons. He claimed to be a christian and still does. I still loved him so I tried to get him to come back and work it out, but he wouldn’t. He filed for divorce. After the divorce, he starting dating the woman. We have been divorced for 15 yrs now and he is currently living with a different woman. I have struggled with the question would it be right in God’s eyes for me to remarry. I have been told yes and I have been told no, only if your spouse has deceased. I have not lived a perfect life since, but I have asked God to forgive me and I am trying my best to live a life that would be pleasing to him and trying to seek his will. I struggle with the remarriage issue and read the scripture over and over but it seems confusing to me. Can you give insight?
Shalom Sweet Sister,
Thanks so much for asking this question. I know that many people struggle with this very question.
Deuteronomy 24:1-2 When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house, and if she goes and becomes another man’s wife…
This verse describes what we would expect a divorce to look like. The certificate of divorce is issued which nullifies all of the requirements of marriage for both and the woman goes off and remarries.
A few other verses to consider are:
They [the priests] shall not marry a prostitute or a woman who has been defiled, neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband, for the priest is holy to his God. Leviticus 21:7
And he [the High Priest] shall take a wife in her virginity. A widow, or a divorced woman, or a woman who has been defiled, or a prostitute, these he shall not marry. But he shall take as his wife a virgin of his own people. Leviticus 21:13-14
In these 2 verses we see that the priests and the High Priest can only marry a virgin, and not a divorced woman. This tells us that a divorced woman was able to remarry but could not marry the priests and the High Priest.
I would also like to point out that Leviticus 18 is all about marriages that are forbidden and none of them mention divorced women as being forbidden.
There are other scriptures that seem to contradict and call divorce adultery. These verses are referring to an ongoing debate of that time – the thoughts of Hillel that a man could simply divorce his wife for any reason he wanted including if his toast was burnt. However, the thoughts of Shimmai taught that it was only adultery which is what Messiah was addressing. He sided with Shimmai and spoke against the idea that a man could divorce for any reason because this would be adultery and would cause her to commit adultery.
I think it is important to remember that a divorce nullifies the marriage contract and any responsibilities that were a part of that contract are null and void. This leaves you free to remarry
I hope this helps!
Aliisa has given you some great insight here that I wholeheartedly agree with! I’ll try to share some related thoughts that I hope you’ll find helpful.
Scripture has quite a bit to say about adultery, and it is most often in reference to being unfaithful to YHWH. When we get married, and commit our wedding vows to YHWH and our spouse, we pledge to be faithful to that person. Faithfulness is about more than just the physical aspects of a marriage. In Matthew 5:28 Yeshua says that to lust after someone is to commit adultery in your heart. If someone is pursuing an intimate relationship (emotionally or physically) with someone other than their spouse, they are guilty of adultery in their heart.
Though this verse does not specifically address divorce, I think it applies to your situation:
Matthew 18:15-17 TLV “Now if your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault while you’re with him alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen, take with you one or two more, so that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand.’ But if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to Messiah’s community. And if he refuses to listen even to Messiah’s community, let him be to you as a pagan and a tax collector.
1 Corinthians 7:10-15 also goes along with it:
But to the married I command—not I, but the Lord—a wife is not to be separated from her husband (but if she gets separated, let her remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband is not to divorce his wife. But to the rest I say—I, not the Lord—if any brother has a wife who is not a believer, and she agrees to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if any woman has a husband who is not a believer, and he agrees to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy through the wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever separates, let him be separated. The brother or the sister is not bound in such cases, but God has called you to shalom.
If you were in a situation where your spouse broke your marriage vows by seeking out relationships with other women, and you indicated a willingness to forgive him and reconcile, and he was still not persuaded to repent, then he made a choice that is in direct opposition to what YHWH plainly says in scripture. According to 1 Corinthians 7:10-15, you are no longer bound. If your spouse has committed adultery, you are freed on the grounds of adultery against you. By my understanding of scripture, either way you go with this, you are free to remarry.
Most of us struggle to control the things we can control about ourselves. We certainly can’t control the decisions of another person. If you had been unfaithful, then the hardness of your heart would be the problem, but if you sincerely desired to make things work the burden of guilt for the divorce lies with the other person. There is absolutely nothing that I know of in scripture that says you are expected to wait the rest of your life to see if a leaving spouse changes their mind. YHWH made provision for women in Deuteronomy just for that very thing. He didn’t desire for you to be left. In any relationship, we are responsible to do the things Yeshua asks us to do to seek reconciliation, but we cannot force someone else to seek forgiveness or reconcile with us. I’m sure we all wish we could, but it just doesn’t work that way. Thankfully, we are not held responsible for the sins of another person.
I’d encourage you to wrestle all this out with YHWH. You are a beloved child to Him, and ultimately He is the only one who can truly give you peace about this. I hope our responses are an encouragement to you, and help give you a starting point to study this out!
May YHWH bless you,Print This Post