Divorce Remarriage Adultery

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Adultery is committed when a married individual has a voluntary extramarital sexual intercourse with another individual, other than his/her married partner. Divorce Remarriage Adultery is a debated issue for over thousands of years. There are different schools of thought who gave varied opinions on this matter. But, the main teachings actually came from the bible with GOD's pronouncements. It is important to know what God had opined about divorce and marriage. Jesus taught that marriages should always be permanent. But, in reality we have been witnessing many marriages being severed by divorce. Lord Jesus do not consider divorce as an act of adultery. The bible allows divorce on the ground of sexual immorality which includes adultery. However, Bible says that remarriage after divorce is adulterous except when the ground for divorce is marital infidelity.

According to the Bible, if one spouse has committed adultery against the other, the latter can divorce and remarry. The Bible also states that if a person is a widow or widower, he/she can remarry. 1 Cor. 7:12-16 considers a situation in which the unbelieving spouse has deserted the other. In such a situation also, the latter is permitted to remarry, though the unbelieving spouse does not remarry.

Divorce Remarriage Adultery - The biblical explanation

Initially, one should understand the concept that God hates divorce. This has been mentioned in Malachi 2:16 - "For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one's garment with violence". The possible reason for this concept is that a majority of people experience frustration, confusion and pain after a divorce. After a divorce is over, a majority of people consider remarriage.

The view of the Bible regarding this action is as follows:

  • Mark 10:11-12

"Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."

  • Matthew 19:9

"I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness and marries another woman commits adultery."

  • Matthew 5:32

"But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery".

This scripture also makes it clear that after a divorce if a person remarries it is equivalent to adultery. The only exception is when the ground of divorce is marital unfaithfulness.

Exceptions to Divorce Remarriage Adultery

Some scholars have dwelled on this topic and have reached the following conclusion. There are some situations in which divorce followed by remarriage should not be regarded as adultery. These situations are as follows:

  • A believing spouse is abandoned by an unbelieving spouse
  • Physical abuse of children or spouse
  • Unrepentant adultery

1 Corinthians 7:11 inspires a person to remain single or reconcile with the first spouse instead of remarrying. Some scholars have reached the conclusion that the God would provide mercy and grace to the innocent partner in a divorce. If such a partner remarries, then God would not consider it as adultery.

A remarriage is not to be seen as some invalid action as per Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Nowhere in the Bible, is it stated that God hates remarriage.

As per the Old Testament Law, adultery was punishable by death. As per Deuteronomy 24:1-4, remarriage following a divorce should not be termed as adultery and this remarriage does not evoke the death punishment.

What St. John says about Divorce Adultery?

1 John 1:8-10

"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."

God has stated that adultery should not be regarded as an unforgivable sin. However, when a person commits adultery, he/she should not defend this action. On the contrary, he/she can make a request to God to forgive him/her. He/she should ask God to forgive and cleanse him/her. In the view of God, adultery is a sin that is akin to any other sin.

Divorce is the legal end of a marital relationship that has been established by the civil government and not GOD. GOD has instituted marriage. Though one can opt for a divorce, but the union joined by GOD can never be separated. In summary, it can be concluded that God hates divorce but not marriage. Couples should aim to continue the marital relationship for ever. Divorce and remarriage should only be the option when there are no ways of reconciliation at all. Divorce Remarriage Adultery depends on the grounds of marital unfaithfulness of the cheating spouse. The laws pertaining to this issue are still undergoing various debatable thoughts.

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