I have been married 3 times. My first divorce was not caused by sexual immorality, death, or even one being an unbeliever (well, maybe I was because I wasn’t saved). Am I living in sin as an adulterer now with my current husband and causing him to live as an adulterer as well? Thank you for your comments.
Thank you for your letter. I’ve been thinking about your question; it’s a difficult question and requires time and prayer. Sin is a complex subject. (Let me take a moment to recommend Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin by Cornelius Plantinga. It is highly helpful.) The Bible does say that remarrying after divorce is adultery (Matt 5 & 19). We must consider the context. Especially in Matthew 19, Jesus is talking to those who knew the Law and were trying to trap him in its technicalities. Unlike the Pharisees, Jesus was, and is, interested in the heart of the law; that is, God’s heart and ours. This complicates things. It’s much simpler to keep things on the page in black and white and to use the law to suit our purposes.
Consider Jesus’ two most common responses to those in the Bible who knew they were sinners: 1) “Repent and believe.” 2) “Go and sin no more.” He says this over and over and over. It sounds as though you’re just now coming across this passage in Scripture (whether it’s the first time you’ve ever seen it or the first time it’s ever struck your heart, which is really like reading it for the first time, isn’t it?). You can’t undo your past, but you can move forward with God through repentance. God hates divorce [however…], so he certainly doesn’t want you to divorce your current husband because he isn’t your first husband. Right now you may be living in adultery, but with God’s forgiveness you won’t be. All you have to do to receive God’s forgiveness is ask. Are you convicted by this Scripture? Repent and believe in Christ Jesus. Christ forgives you. Go and sin no more! Stay with your current husband; don’t get divorced and remarried ever again; move forward with God in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Love your husband and love God (don’t just receive God’s forgiveness and then forget about him!) for this is the greatest commandment:
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:34-40)
Do you have other questions? Feel free to write again.
With affection in our Lord,
I cannot thank you enough for the insight. Yes, I had read this passage before, but I guess now that I am living for Christ it really hit home! Praise the Lord! I have repented and asked the Lord’s forgiveness and believe He has forgiven. Thank you so very much. God bless you.