I have been pondering the issue of divorce and remarriage intensely over the last 9 months...reading, studying and listening to well known pastors preaching on the topic. This is because my wife abandoned me for another man, and I am seeking wisdom on what steps to take.
A few common schools of thought in relationship to this are:
1. You can pretty much divorce for any reason at all and remarry (I was shocked to hear pastor's preach this way).
2. If you are the innocent party of a marriage where there has been sexual immorality, then you can divorce and remarry.
3. You cannot divorce or remarry.
4. You can divorce but not remarry.
Now I would love for me to be able to marry someone else one day, cause quite frankly my wife was mentally abusive towards me and I would love a woman who would treat me right...BUT...it's not about my will. I want to know what 'God's stand' is on this issue. He is the one I will face on the day, no one else.
People talk too much about grace as if it is a licence to sin, but Hebrews says quite clearly that we can frustrate the spirit of grace, and that if we sin willfully, we can expect a worse punishment than in the times of Moses (which was death) because we are trampling Christ underfoot.
Don't get me wrong, we all need grace, but it is activated by faith..and faith as James says, will be shown by our works..works of obedience to God.
So the word of God says that if we divorce and remarry..it is adultery...the union is adulterous. How can a union be adulterous on Tuesday, and perfectly pure on a Wednesday? It doesn't make sense to me. Should we say the same about homosexuals? On their wedding day, the union is wrong, but afterwards it is OK? To me if it was wrong on day one, it will still be wrong on day 501.
So then there is the exception clause 'sexual immorality' mentioned in Matthew. Now to the person who believed that lusting after another woman was grounds for divorce (because of sexual immorality) , Jesus was clearly talking about the state of a person's heart, not the state of their actions. Otherwise people would be up for murder charges because they called their brother a fool. There is a very big difference between a heart motive and a physical act. Jesus is still very concerned about the motive of the heart though, but no, I do not think it falls into the 'sexual immorality' definition of the bible, as sexual immorality in the bible was always a physical act. And think about it, if adultery in the heart was grounds for divorce, then the divorce rate should be 95% as I am sure that is a more accurate figure for how many spouses lust after someone other than their spouse (men and women alike), even if only for a fleeting moment.
And why in our weding vows do we say 'till death do us part' (which lines up with scripture) if there is more than one way to part?
Now to the man who said that God made a covenant with Israel that He will never break, I think this is closest to God's heart. Once a covenant is made, it is only breakable by death.
Anyway I am still not 100% convinced either way yet, but I am somewhere between the fact that it is ok for an innocent party in a adulterous marriage to divorce and remarry
AND there is no remarriage.
God Bless you and thanks for reading a lengthy post.