First of all, it is important to understand well what God’s position is regarding divorce and the words of the Bible in Malachi 2:16 are very clear: “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel. According to the Holy Scriptures, God’s plan is for marriage to be a commitment for eternity. “So it’s not two anymore, it’s just one. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate “(Matthew 19: 6). Therefore, those who are going to get married must understand the relevance of this decision, which is for life, and they should make good use of the courtship time to get to know each other and know if they are compatible. Normally, problems that arise in the courtship and are not resolved end up amplifying in the marriage. And the problems that arise in the marriage and are not dealt with or resolved, keep coming out on a recurring basis and are undermining married life, threatening to break the relationship.
However, God knows the heart of man and understands that divorce, even between Christians, is going to occur, since marriage involves two sinful human beings. That is why in the Old Testament God established some laws in order to protect the rights of the divorced, especially women (Deuteronomy 24: 1-4). In the New Testament, Jesus points out that those laws were given because of the hardness of people’s hearts, but not because they were God’s desire (Matthew 19: 8).
The controversy of whether divorce and a second wedding are allowed according to the Bible revolves primarily around the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:32 and 19: 9. The phrase “except in the case of marital infidelity” is the only thing in Scripture that gives God’s permission for divorce.
Many interpreters understand this “exception clause” as referring to “marital infidelity” during the “betrothal” period. In Jewish custom, a man and a woman were considered married, even while they were still “engaged” or formally engaged. Immorality during this “betrothal” period should then be the only valid reason for a divorce. However, the Greek word translated “marital infidelity” is a word that can mean any form of sexual or other immorality. That is, what Jesus is saying is that the marriage is dissolved in case of infidelity such as adultery, prostitution, betrayal, deceit, abuse, mistreatment or even flirting with another person. Therefore, the case of sexual immorality, which is a case of flagrant infidelity, legitimizes the divorce in light of the teaching of Jesus. Sexual relationships as such are an integral part of the marital bond “and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19: 5; Ephesians 5:31).
By joining physically with another person, a new bond is established, a new bond with that person, and the bond with your spouse is broken. Moreover, these illicit relationships have their impact on a spiritual level, with very significant changes being observed in the person who practiced them, in their behavior, they feel observed, they are more nervous, they become very liars trying to justify everything they do, they have changes abrupt in their state of mind, huge blindness comes that prevents them from seeing reality and appreciating the advice of family and friends who love him. All this occurs because by physically joining with another person, a door is opened spiritually to the enemy. Some explain it empirically by having faced this problem on many occasions, indicating that what actually takes place is a transfer of demons. Sex outside of marriage is a legitimate reason for divorce.
As can be seen from that same passage in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus also has the second marriage in mind. The phrase “and he marries another” (Matthew 19: 9) indicates that divorce and a second wedding would be allowed, if the exception or breaking clause of the marriage covenant is fulfilled, due to infidelity. It is important to note that only the innocent party is allowed to remarry.
Although this is not indicated in the biblical text, the granting of a second marriage after a divorce is God’s mercy for the one against whom sin has been committed, not for the one who has committed sexual immorality. There may be instances where the “guilty party” is allowed to remarry – but the biblical text makes no reference to this.
Some understand 1 Corinthians 7:15 as another “exception clause”, allowing the second marriage if an unbelieving spouse divorces a believer. However, the context does not mention a second wedding in that case, but only says that a believer is not limited to continuing a marriage, if an unbelieving spouse wants to leave it. Others go further and understand that sexual abuse (of a spouse or even a child) are valid reasons for divorce, even though they are not written as such in the Bible. There are many things that we know that God condemns and what is his position on the matter, even when they are not written in the Bible, because we must make use of a correct hermeneutic, always applying the criterion that it is in harmony with the general teaching of the Bible.
In any case, God is a God of mercy and forgiveness, and the aggrieved person must make his decision and see if he is willing to forgive, rebuilding his life with his spouse, even in spite of what happened. The “marital infidelity” gives the green light for divorce, but you can choose to forgive.
Even when adultery has been committed, a couple can, through God’s grace, learn to forgive, and begin to rebuild their marriage. God has forgiven us so much more. We can safely follow His example and still forgive the sin of adultery (Ephesians 4:32). However, unfortunately, on many occasions, the spouse who fell into adultery does not show repentance but persists in justifying himself, in his deceit and continues in sexual immorality. Possibly that is where Matthew 19: 9 can be applied.
A second marriage after a divorce may be an option in some circumstances, but that does not mean that this is the only option. After a divorce, some are quick to think of a second marriage. This is not wise. Why leave a tie to enter a worse one? The right thing to do is seek God’s will, fasting, and praying. Crying out to God that He speaks to you and give you an answer clear as the light of noon. We must understand that there are people who are not prepared to live alone, others, on the contrary, have the character and strength to raise their families on their own.
It is painful that the divorce rate among professing Christians is almost as high as that of unbelievers, but that is the reality. The Bible makes it crystal clear that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and that reconciliation and forgiveness should be the hallmarks of a believer’s life (Luke 11: 4; Ephesians 4:32). However, God recognizes that divorce will still take place among His children. A divorced or remarried believer should not feel less loved by God, even if his divorce or second marriage is not covered under the possible exception clause of Matthew 19: 9. God often uses even the sinful disobedience of Christians to accomplish a great many good things.
Psalm 138: 8 “Jehovah will fulfill his purpose in me; Your mercy, O Lord, is forever; do not abandon the work of your hands »