Question : I was married to a non believer for 17yrs, I had always believed in God, but was unaware of the born again experience an in receiving Jesus until after I divorced. I remarried a much younger man, we are both Christian, I fear where it says if one remarries, makes the partner an adulterer.
Do not fear. In the dispensation of Grace, because we have been baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ’s death, we have been freed from all sin after we believed in Christ as our Savior.
This is shown in Rom 6:3-11,14
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Also, since we are not under law, but under grace (Rom 6:14), we are not under the marriage laws on divorce and remarriage. This doesn’t mean they have no meaning, it just means the blood of Christ has freed us from the penalty of death. We don’t try to keep those laws. Instead, we should focus on loving God and allow Him to fill us with His love. Then we by faith should let His love show in our lives.
But in the dispensation of grace, when the law is no longer in power for believers, God wants the husbands, according to Eph 5:25-33, to:
“love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself.”
1 Co 6:7,12 says,
“Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? 12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”,
This is not the problem. God, indeed, hates divorce. Under Christ’s interpretation of the law in Matthew 5, there was only one ground for divorce:
Mat 5:31,32 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘˜Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.”
An important passage on this subject is found in 1 Co 7:10-28
Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. 12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife? 17 But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. 18 Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. 20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. 22 For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called. 25 Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy. 26 I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress â€“ that it is good for a man to remain as he is: 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.
God seems to say it is all right to get remarried if a person is divorced:
Let’s look at 1 Co 7:27,28 again,“Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.” This shows us that the sin is in the divorce. If you remarry, you have not sinned. This doesn’t mean God wants us to sin or divorce. He wants us to live for Him freely. I’ve been married to my wife, Joan, for 46 years. We were not married to anyone else, before, so this is not a defense I am making for myself. It is the way grace operates.