Walking through The Word Regarding Divorce and Remarriage
Not every woman I meet or email I read is from a woman who married with the right Biblical intentions and understanding. Sometimes we come to faith in Christ later in life. Sometimes infidelity is involved. And quite possibly, the other spouse could leave the marriage. There could be many reasons why a marriage doesn’t work out.
Here’s one woman’s story about her previous marriage…
My first boyfriend asked for me to help him to get a green card by marrying him. I felt that it was wrong but wanted to help him. We agreed that it would just be on paper and that someday down the road if we wanted to spend our life together we would have a real wedding and if not, we’d go our separate ways. At the time I was unsaved. Later, I entered into a mentally and physically abusive relationship with a different guy, and 6 months later I was pregnant and still married. Then I filed for divorce from my “husband”. Then I began going to church and started dating a Godly man I met there. I gave my life to the Lord and I am now married to this man. He adopted my son. We also have a daughter together. Did I have grounds for divorce and does God accept my new marriage?
Click below to hear my response.
Jolene: Well actually this is a great message of God’s redeeming love. Obviously, when you hear about a story about this you think, Wow! There was a big mess there, but with a big mess comes a big message, and a great big God comes through and just fills us with – He just pours out His love and grace. The reader wasn’t saved and she didn’t know…
Eric: I don’t mean to interrupt you but I want to summarize this. She had a friend, married him so he could be in America, then she was in an abusive relationship, had a baby out of that relationship, and then divorced the first guy who was her friend, and married a godly man and now he’s adopted the child.
Jolene: Right. So after the green card marriage and having the baby from the abusive guy, then she got saved and married a godly guy. So that’s really when your life began. I think of 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. Old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.
Your old life is just that. It’s your old life. It’s gone. You have this big, huge stamp of approval across your life that says REDEEMED. Your marriage to this man that God has for you is truly accepted by the Lord. It doesn’t matter what your past is. Obviously, there are things you need to work through. Satan will tell you otherwise; you’re not really married and so forth. Those are just lies from the enemy. He wants to condemn. He wants to condemn you but the Lord never condemns. You are right with God on this and don’t worry about what your past is and what others say.
Eric: Right, and who doesn’t have garbage from their past? If you live more that ten or 15 years you’ve got garbage.
Jolene: Or 15 minutes. (Laughing)
Eric: Right! She was unsaved. I understand that. Obviously, she made some decisions that made this hard to work through, but the big deal right now is not to look back. Look forward.
Jolene: Absolutely! And that for me was a key verse. I had gone through just a past in my life where I was just like, gosh, I wish I hadn’t made those choices. And it was very difficult for me to get beyond that and to not listen to the lies of the enemy. I think it’s Philippians 3:13 about Paul who doesn’t look back. He forgets what’s behind. He’s pressing forward to what’s ahead. (It’s actually Phil. 3:13.)
So what’s ahead for you today is God honors your marriage today. You’re not condemned for your past choices because you were unsaved. You didn’t know any different and you are a new creation in Christ. So you’re good to go, girlfriend! Just live for the Lord and honor Him in your marriage and your upbringing and raise that godly offspring that God desires.
Eric: So what happens when the enemy shows up because he’s gonna show up.
Jolene: Oh, he’s gonna show up. He might show up as the mother-in-law or who knows what?
Eric: And he’s going to say to her, “You screwed up and you got divorced, and you did this, and you did that.” What should she do at that point?
Jolene: She goes back to the Word. You always go back to the Word because it’s the Word that you have to wash yourself in and you have to hold fast to those scriptures because the scriptures don’t lie. The enemy does. He is known as the liar and the deceiver. You’re going to have to take every thought captive and just keep running back to the Word. Really washing yourself.
I think it’s funny how the world talks about us Christians being brainwashed and I think, “Thank God for that!” because I’m washed in the Word. That’s where my authority is. It’s not my emotions, or how I felt about this or my past situation. It’s what God has done in my life. It’s who I life for and the authority in which I stand by.
Eric: It’s the example of Jesus because when Satan appeared to Jesus and was tempting Jesus, He went back to the Word.
Eric: And frankly, if it’s good enough for Jesus, then it should be good enough for me.
Jolene: It’s a beautiful pattern for every believer, regardless of what their past is. There’s always gonna be something. The enemy is gonna show up and he’s just gonna speak lies into your life. That’s why it’s so important for you to be reading your Word and knowing what the Bible has to say so you can stand on those promises and know who you are in Christ.
So those are my thoughts. Your marriage is blessed by God. Don’t look back. Reach forward to what’s ahead and emulate Christ in all you do.
Got a question for me? Here are the guidelines…
- Keep your message short and sweet because you only have 90 seconds to record your question.
- Please leave your name and where you’re from. If you’d like to remain anonymous, you can say you’re Sue from Oregon even though you’re really Jane from California! Yeah, I’m sly like that. I’ve got you covered, sister!
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I think marriage and divorce in terms of the bible or “walking through the word”, should have allot more biblical approach. Simply “the old is gone and the new has come approach”, without reference to other scriptures is a bit dangerous. The bible says that if you are married to a non christian and then become a believer, to stay with them as long as they consent to live with you. If they commit immorality, I think that the scripture says that is grounds for divorce. But otherwise I think God takes marriage seriously, even to a non christian. It doesn’t just say the old is gone and the new has come.
Think about in a church, you could easily get a women who has kind of had enough of her non christian husband. She could rationalize that she married him when she wasnt a christian. Applying, the old has gone and the new has come, some nice new christian guy at church might seem like a better option. But that is not scriptural. Scripture says to honour and respect her existing non christian husband, and not to go looking over the fence (unless through all her geniune attempts to do the right thing by her marriage to the non christian, he wants to leave her anyway). There are real heart issues to be addressed here, I think old has gone, new has come, is just too much of an over simplification. Its not the biblical grounds for divorce.
You are so correct, Delia! There is so much more in the Bible regarding divorce and remarriage. In this podcast episode, we just tackled this particular reader’s situation. Thanks for sharing!
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