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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.

BIBLICAL REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT GET DIVORCE

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.”


and

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}

 

 


Conclusion

 

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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Replies to This Discussion

The counsel we are given is to not dwell on our mistakes.  We not only can't rise above them when we do, we tend to make them over and over. 

AMEN!

Girl, take a number and get in line! LOLOL!  Alot of people have done foolish things, and been forgiven and moved on...You will too! =)

Angie

You made a most telling statement:

"I knew they had some of the qualities I was seeking in a mate, but they were not the right people for me."

It is not wrong to seek for certain qualities in a prospective mate.  However, what I am picking up on, and this is not criticism, but pointing out a problem that many, many people also have today.  We have our wish list for a future mate, but that wish list, if it is self centered, seldom if ever brings us to the right person.  If it focuses on what we want someone to do for us, it will result if a bad marriage.  Virtually always guaranteed.

On the other hand, if we seek someone like the person that the Bible describes as a good mate.  Then our list will look something like this.

  1. Someone who loves Jesus first in their life.
  2. Someone who loves me.
  3. Someone who seeks to live a healthy life style.
  4. Someone who is industrious.
  5. Someone who loves children.
  6. Someone who has the same depth of religious experience that I have.  This is very important.
  7. Someone who respects their parents, in the Lord.  It is virtually always correct, that the way that a man treates his mother will be an example of how he will treat you, as your wife.  The way that a woman treats her father will be an example of how he will treat you as your husband.  Also, if  a man wants to see what his wife will be like in 20 years, just look at her mother will go a long way to show him what his wife will look like..  Likewise for a woman.  If she wants to see what her husband will look like in 20 years, look at his father.
  8. Someone who respects my parents, in the Lord (if they are still in the picture.)
  9. Someone who you can trust their word and who is transparently honoest.
  10. Someone who has learned to not just make money, but manage money well.
  11. Someone who has learned how to respect proper authority.
  12. Someone who is not too demanding or opinionated.

There are others and not all of these are of the same degree of importance.  For example, number 1 is not a negotiable issue, if you are a Christian.  Number 2 is close behind it.  None of these are unimportant, but not everyone is perfect.  If God is leading, He will help you to know which ones are not as critical as others are in your situation.

E.g. my late wife could not balance a check  book to save her life.  So, I took over all the money management issues in our home.  Oh, she had access to the mutual funds we shared.  But, she recognized her inability to manage money, so while we talked things over, she left the final decision to me, and I attempted to reflect what she wanted in my decision.  I have seen couples where the opposite is true and the wife had to take over the money manaement. 

Each one's skills should be utilized in a marriage, but there should not be any competition.  That will destroy a marriage very quickley.  Remember, you both are on the same team.

However, back the most important thing.  My wife and I knew that God was leading in our marriage and that made all the difference in the world, when differences came up later.

Happy Sabbath!

Maranatha :)
Ray

 

 

 

Uncle Murray...you are not a woman.  Being unmarried in the Church (regardless of the denomination or non-denomination) is very difficult; being an unmarried woman is extremely difficult.  The Bible is clear on a few things in 1 Corinthians 7, in-particular that in Paul's opinion people should be like him; however it is not sin for people to marry or desire to be married as Jesus Himself encouraged it.  In fact scripture encourages younger unmarried women to marry rather than be dependent on the church for their needs being met and minding other people's business.

The Bible also states in 1 Corinthians 7:32-37 that the unmarried have more time to devote to Christ.  While in theory that is true, the verity is the Church often places unmarried people on a "shelf" and do not wan to utilize their spiritual gifts, trying to tell them to be married.  Even with pastors, there is a "push" for them to be married.  While the SDA Church is definitely not following scripture on this one, most Christian Churches practice the same foolishness (this can be further discussed in another thread).  

So advising someone not to marry, unless they have received the spiritual gift of celibacy, is in fact setting them up to fail spiritually in 2012. 

Sarah Sulton !

GBU

 

 

when i was a young  handsome man  and visiting other SDA churches i was invited home sometimes to nice christian homes

or be encouraged to talk and to be inquired of at potluck by the ladies

 

my young  very pretty female counterparts we not invited to homes or encouraged to share at potlucks by the ladies and given strong looks if their hubbies did so

 

such evil madness :(

 

MFG

Since I have never been a "handsome man" I can't relate to your experience. LOL  However, as an ugly old codger, I have not recieved any elgible ladies asking me to their home for a meal.  Nor have I been encouraded to talk with the ladies. 

 

Happy Sabbath!

Maranatha :)
Ray

:)

it wasnt eligble ladies that invited me home for sabbath supper

it was kindly older couples

those same couples never invited a pretty lady home

cause the wife was threatened

im sorry i wasnt clear 

its easier to be a young man in our church in a social stuation

than to be a  young pretty lady is what i saw

and its easier to be straight in our church

and painful to be gay

 

and all these scenerios i am sharing are cause NO HOLY SPIRIT with hearts full of LOVE to reach out

 

MFG

 

Now with that statement, I can gree.

 

Raty

Sarah

Likewise you are not a man.  Therefore, you can only be on the outside looking in.  Remember, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  Being a single man is probably just as difficult as being a single woman in the 21st century.  Both genders have their unique problems.  If the unbiased truth were known, they both probably have just about the same level of difficulty

Happy Sabbath!

Maranatha :)
Ray

Oh, I am sure it is....However, single men and single women in the church aretreated very different.

In  what  way  , may I  ask. I  dont  see  any difference  in  my church,

As an unmarried woman, the older you are the stigmatized you become:  Married couples (in general) do not want you around and a person can feel very isolated.  There is more, but I don't want to sidetrack from this thread.   =)

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