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I was surprised to learn how much mystery and misunderstanding surrounds this topic.   I always assumed that everyone knew that a person who is a victim of divorce for legitimate biblical reasons is free to remarry.  However, I learned that many people feel a divorcee, regardless of the situation, you can never remarry.  So it is the goal of this thread to answer the simple question, can a "legitimate" divorcee remarry?



For the purposes of this thread, we will only be discussing the concessions God made for divorcees resulting from adultery and unequally yoked believers as this is the most clearest concession made in scripture.  If you are a divorcee from other circumstances (for ex. domestic abuse), please refrain from incorporating that topic into this thread.  I understand that God will be the final arbiter in those situations,  but this thread is geared towards the most obviously interpretation concerning divorce.


I will first start off by looking at what the bible says on divorce and then end with a quote from Ellen White.


It is clear from God's word that we should refrain from divorce, if at all possible, under all circumstances even in cases of adultery.  Jesus said,

Matthew 19:5-6:

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

 6Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Matthew 19:8
He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

So from here we see that Jesus prefers people to stay married, if possible, at all cost save salvation.  Prior to sin, this was the standard held in the Garden and perhaps for many generations after sin entered the world.

In addition Paul says this on divorce:


10And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

 11But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

So there is strong indication from the Bible to abstain from divorce in all cases.  But what if your a victim of divorce in which the spouse is is an unbeliever or an adulterer?  What then?



The Biblical Concession for divorce

In the most obvious interpretation of scripture, the bible makes concession for divorce in only two instances:

Matthew 19:8 - 9

And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”


1 Corinthians 7:15:

15But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

So from scripture, concessions are made to those who have unbelieving spouses who divorced them, and who divorced spouses who committed adultery.

So now that we know when the bible allows for divorce, can we assume that the divorcee is free to remarry?  Or is remarrying forbidden altogether?  Apparently ,  this is where the confusion begins for some.



Can a legitimate divorcee remarry?

First we know that illegitimate divorcees, victim or otherwise, are not granted concession to remarry according to scripture. The verses already shown touch on that subject. See Matthew 19:8-9.  I would like us to take a look at the word used in the Bible for divorce:

The word divorce is translated in the KJV as to put away.  According to the Strong Concordance, the greek translation of the word is 

απολυω apoluo ap-ol-oo’-o

The actual translation can be any of the following:

AV-release 17, put away 14, send away 13, let go 13, set at liberty 2, let depart 2, dismiss 2,

The definition is
1) to set free
2) to let go free, release
3) a captive i.e. to loose his bonds and bid him depart, to give him liberty to depart

Free from what? Free from your marriage covenant.  But the question is, what does that freedom grant you?  Does it enable you to remarry?  Lets look at Matthew 19:8-9 again


And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

The context of this verse it is discussing remarriage.  To paraphrase, Jesus is saying if you divorce your wife for anything other then sexual immorality, you are not free to marry another.  Or to put it another way, if you divorce your spouse for sexual immorality, then you are free to marry another.

Jesus goes on to say about the person receiving the divorce:

Matthew 19:9 KJV:

...and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.


So in the same way, if you are the recipient of the divorce for illegitimate reasons, you cannot remarry.  But if legitimate, then you are free to marry.



The Unbeliever

In the case of an unbeliever, it is not biblical to divorce an unbeliever.  But if the unbeliever leaves, then scripture tells us you are free of your marriage bonds to him or her. See 1 Cor 7:15



Where it all began

Now we know the concession  for divorce was made by Moses in the old testament.  All the new testament writers simply are alluding to the verses found in Deuteronomy 24.



Deuteronomy 24

 1When 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.

 2And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.

 3And 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;

 4Her 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.



So we can see here, even the person who committed the sin of adultery and was divorced is free to remarry.  We pray they would be genuine repentance, but you see that remarriage was not forbidden as some believe.



I would like to conclude with a quote from the pen of inspiration.  EGW does not contradict scripture in this regard.  BTW , this is not only council from Ellen White, this is a vision of Ellen White.  This is a thus saith the lord.  If she is wrong about this, then she is also a false prophet, which is an entirely separate discussion that I hope we do not need to have:) On to the quote:

Ellen White:



I saw that Sister _____, as yet, has no right to marry another man; but if she, or any other woman, should obtain a divorce legally on the ground that her husband was guilty of adultery, then she is free to be married to whom she chooses.9 {AH 344.3}





Brethren/singles, I hope you find this helpful in dealing with potential interests coming from divorced situations.  Do be careful in who you choose as your partner and always look for understanding in Gods word and the inspiration provided to us in these last days.  There are many divorcees who are women and men of God, do not disregard them just because of that with out a proper biblical understanding.    God bless you all.

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With that we agree.  However, it is an age and fear issue more then a gender issue.  Married women are afraid of having another woman around, and married men are afaid of having a single man around.  Singles, no matter what the gender, are not overly welcome into a married setting.  That is just a fact of life.


Happy Sabbath !

Maranatha :)

I find the opposite to be true in my church.. One of my closest sisters in Christ is my friend Berta. She has never been married, and I think she is about 72 now.. She leads our Bible study groups, prayer meetings, makes the artistic backgrounds for the shows the kids from the Adventist school put on, occasionally does children's story...etc...

You see where I am from the find the singles more preferable, because frankly they have more free time to devote to the work at hand.

Angie and Dorothy

The number of times I have heard these same stories as you both have shared is more times then I care to count.  And I too was the principle in one of them, until I wrestled this thing through.  Maybe my personal experience and the lessons I learned, might be of a help.

  1.  After my first wife left, I deceided that  I would accept the counsel that I could never remary (I was in my 20's) and besides that, I never even wanted to set myself up again for that hurt (then some condemned me for even making that choice). 
  2. First, I told my first wife that I forgave her (she never accepted it, but I offered it) for what she had done and appologized for what I contributed to the situation that brought on the divorce.
  3. For the first year, I attempted to call to mind every situation where I felt things had not gone well.  I analyzed my behavior and prayed that God would show me how I should of handled those events, and of course asked God to forgvie me for my sin in that event.
  4. In each situation, I did my best to remind myself that since I had asked for forgiveness from God, II was forgiven and that my sins were covered and I was cleansed from all sin, both the specific sin and sin in general.
  5. During that year, God introduced me to the lady who became my second wife (They both had Ruth for their first name. (G))   I wsa so certain that I did not want to remarry, that I moved out of state.  However, via snail mail, we would exchange letters about every six weeks or so.  Just casual, friendly "how are you and what are you doing" letters. 
  6. Then when my heart was ready, God brought us back together again, clear across the United States, I was in California and she had moved to Washington, D.C. and God moved a number of "mountains" to bring us together again.  Then we married.  Neither I nor she had initiated none of it, God did that.  We only attempted to follow in the way God was leading.  When something came up where it seemed that I was wrong and that I wasn't following God's leading, I moved out and headed back to my parents home in Illinois.  But God stopped me, remved yet another mountain in a miraculous way that could only be God's leading. This convinced us both that God meant for us to be together, so we got married.

Obviously, this worked and I can recommend the pattern for anyone.  When God sees that we are ready to get married again, if we have been converted, confessed our sins and are doing all we can to follow God's leading, do not listen to anyone else with phoney, half thougt through ideas about remaining single for the rest of your life.  God can forgive the sin of divorce and adultery just as well as He can forgive all of our poor choices, being deceived and any other sin that we are willing to aske Him to forgive 

Sinning no more is not necessarily equivilent to not marrying again, but do not do things your way again.  This is much harder to do then to just not remarry.  If God does not lead you to another mate, then accept that as God's will and recognize that being single is the best and happiest thing for you.  For, in some cases, that is the best.  However, if God brings you into a christian relationship with a dedicated member of the opposite sex,  Accept that as God's will also. 


Angie, you mentioned about seeming to always find the same kind of person again, "Mr. Wrong." 

Please understand that what I am about to say is being said in love, not from any other motive.  And I also understand that there are exceptions.  But, a very common cause for this is that you have not surrendered some aspect of your life to God.  God has brought something to your attention and you have dismissed it as not possibly being God speaking to your heart.  It is something that you want to have more then anything, that is not  something God has said you can have.  Often it is a control issue.  A person wants to be in control and will not surrender that to God.

Another example might be that you only want to marry a handsome guy who is wealthy and who can give you anything you want.  If you find such a person, you will have a very unhappy marriage.  Remember, this is only an example, I am not saying that there is anything wrong with a good looking man, or one who can take care of you.  However, God may want you to marry someone who is not so affluent, where you will have to pitch in and help the marriage stay afloat financially.  This may be so that you can have a change in your concept about who you are.  Again, this is an illustration, not an accusation, as I do not know you nor can I possibly accuratly make an application..

As the old song  goes:

"Let the Lord lead you

In all of your ways be true.
Let the Lord lead you,

His mercies will fall like dew."

There are some mover verses, but that is all I can remember, but the message is there.

If a person allows that to happen in their life, whether they marry or remain single, if they are following the Lord's way, it will always be the right way.  I can testify to that in my own life.


Maranatha :)



 Yes I do understand that I was making decisions for myself and not God. Which is why I decided to do it God's way this time around. If I am permitted and it isn't wrong.

The 2 people I married were neither wealthy nor good looking. I have never based my decisions on outward appearance or status. They had some aspects in their personalities that I cared for, but I truly didn't know them well enough and they were not who I thought they were. I dated one 6 months and another for 1 year but that was somehow not enough time. People on this planet tend to pretend to be what they think you want to win you over, and then once they think they have you, they show their true selves. No relationship can be established on a lie. This is what I am trying to avoid in the future. If God wants me to be with someone again I will be patiently listening. He is the only one who knows what is best for me.

so if we dont find love/compatability the second time?

how many more times can we marry to find it according to the BIBLE?



SIS  Sarah it is a biblical directive for a pastor to be married and their is a reason for this too. . IN the past and more so today their always that fleshly temptation that is out their that is curbed  (not completely dead now ) when a man is married for we are born or created to have the urge to merge with the opposite sex .

 This  is not evolution it is created within our DNA and God pronounced it good..  In todays world I am sorry to say this but women are much more forward  AND Permissive in regards to having sex and have little thought even if it is a Pastor IN  being  the one that is first to  initiate sexual responce.  .   ALL u have to do is go to any modern church  in the United States and see  the looseness of how  those that profess to be daughters of God dress so sexy  the poor Pastor has to avoid eye contact while in the pulpit trying to teach Gods word.... 

 AS far as being celebeit I only advised this  for in these end times  once u been married already  and have had problems identifying  Gods  voice  and made vows before God and heavenly Angels .(and it not in critisim  I say  this )  to a man to love and cherish in good times in hard times in sickness and health  for better or worse  until death? ..   WHEN u enter into marriage vows and experiance wha tseems like the worse  why is it s o easy to anulll these  wows ?

  Yes  I am also  divorced and even though  I was abandoned by my 1 wife  I have to admit I was partially to blame. . I even entered into another relationship ten years afterwards only to find out  she was married still  .  You see  w e can be blinded by our own desires not to be alone and cant reason  properly no matter how many times we hear about marriage and its sacredness it is like it falls on deaf ears and yet we say we know and hear?

   MY marriage now is not without thorns  I have t o deal with and  I still learning to keep my mouth shut when I disagree with certain aspects of  choices  made  I do not agree with ..I am not the Holy   Spirit and it is his  job alone t o convict and change my character and others .  Marriage is not for the foolish nor the proud for their compromises u have to make to keep the peace and many times u have to swallow your pride  and keep quiet  even knowing  your mate will have to make their own decisions too. . 

 We   can read the same bible  hear  the same sermons and meen will  hear 1 thing and a woman another . It am true that why if u do not  listen carefully and interact upon it together  it going to be more difficult to  be of 1  mind  . Many times  we may think the other one is implying something agaisnt us or our character it never was intended to be heard ... We living in times when we think we know what we hear  or even know someone but in actuality we only hear a part and never take the time to really know our mate hmm??   

 Think About It? .

everytime i listen to married people or people wanting to marry i always PRAISE GOD i never married and never wanted to marry





But you want to have sex, right?

Sarah Sulton


me wanting to have sex?

o boy do I!


i cant even begine to count how many times i wanted to have sex since i was 13!


You are so nasty! LOL!


your question was unexpected

my answer as a healthy man is expected :)

Praise God for the straight forward answer of an honest person of the male persuasion.


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