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If Someone Has Been Divorced, Can He or She Remarry?

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Updated Jun 23, 2022
If Someone Has Been Divorced, Can He or She Remarry?

The following is a transcribed Video Q&A, so the text may not read like an edited article would. Scroll to the bottom to view this video in its entirety.  

There are a wide array of positions on this issue. My position is that if it is a biblical divorce there are times when remarriage is allowed. By “biblical divorce” I mean one with sexual immorality on the part of the other party, or desertion. Passages to look at for that would be Matthew 19 and 1 Corinthians 7. Jesus said, “except for [the Greek word is porneia—where we get pornography] when there is gross sexual sin repeated.” Having said that, does it mean if you are in a marriage where the other person has been unfaithful that you immediately pursue divorce? And the answer is “not at all”. God’s best is always, I believe, if at all possible, restoration.

Sometimes I talk to people in pastoral counseling that divorce is like amputation. There are times when maybe your hand or foot was infected with gangrene and there is nothing left to do but amputate and it is a last resort and you walk with a limp the rest of your life. Even though by God’s grace you can go on.
 
Often, because of Unpacking Forgiveness people ask me for advice in this area. I would say to the person whose marriage is in serious trouble, the most important advice I can give you is to ask if you are actively involved in a Bible preaching and teaching church and are you under the care of your pastors and elders. That is the first question. This is not something you want to walk through alone. You want to be with men who know the word and knows how it comes to bear. And be with biblical counselors who are women too, if you are a woman yourself, and work through is this a case where our leadership would say that they are open to the possibility where I can be married again.

If you look at Unpacking Forgiveness, the book I did with Crossway, in the appendices there is a list of FAQ’s and you can find in writing some of what I’ve said here.

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