Wednesday, September 2, 2015

“Can You Remarry If You Have Been Divorced?"

                 This question to me is very simple to answer. The bible does not prohibit remarriage because it gives reasons why one could divorce and remarry. If you were voluntarily sent away by your spouse, you could remarry (Deut 24:2). The woman was only prohibited from remarrying her ex-husband (Deut 24:4; Jer 3:1). Another instance one could remarry is if they divorced an adulterous spouse (Mt 19:9). The third was if a spouse deserts or abandons her marital home and absconds, the remaining spouse can remarry (I Cor 7:15). Therefore, my task will be to elucidate the points above.
In Deuteronomy 24:2, marriage is used euphemistically. The divorced woman can remarry if sent away. For example, if your husband divorced you, you had the right to remarry. That explains why some couples wait for their spouses to engage the divorce process. I saw a couple one time who were holding up their divorce, so they could have grounds for remarriage grounds.  They said that they were separated. I asked the husband why he did not just divorce his wife to restart from zero, and he told me that if he did, he would be ineligible for remarriage, I was surprised.
God prohibited a man from marrying a sister in law as retribution or while her sister was still alive (Lev 18:18). That does not mean that he prohibited digamy altogether. Let me use an example that would be current. If someone said; “do not marry your sister in-law to make her angry or while your ex-wife (who is her sister) is still alive, they are not saying you cannot remarry at all. It actually means that you can remarry on conditions that it is not a form of retribution or that your sister in-law is still alive.
However, there are two conditions: one, you should not remarry your ex’s wife sister just because you want to make her angry and 2, you cannot married your ex-wife’s sister while she is still alive.  In England, there was the Deceased wife’s Act that allowed a man to marry his dead’s wife’s sister which was prohibited originally.
Nonetheless, God prohibited digamy (Lev 18.6). By prohibiting incestuous marriages, God automatically prohibited any remarriage to siblings (Lev 18:18). Marrying sister in law while her sister was still alive. You must remember that these laws were ceremonial laws which do not transcend cultures. The second condition for remarriage was actually given by Jesus.
He said, ‘And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery Mt 19:9.” If you divorce your wife for any other reason other than adultery and you remarry, you have committed adultery. Take note that the prohibition is not on remarriage, it is on the reason for the divorce. Divorce per se is wrong; it was not in the original plan of God. It became tolerated rather than prescribed due. Consequently, due to the hardness of our hearts, we divorce, but the condition for remarriage are still there. The third condition was given by Paul.
In I Corinthians 7:10-15, 39. Paul is against divorce as ordered by the Lord. However, if she runs away, she should remain single or she should go back to her husband. The husband should not put his way away. It is important to remember that at this time in that culture, most men married women. So only the man had the right to divorce their wife. If you wife or husband decides to divorce and go away, the remaining spouse is free to remarry.  If remarriages was altogether evil, Paul would not have suggested as a personal opinion. Why is she no more under bondage? I want you to follow me slowly. A marriage is a bond in love that is sexually administered.
There are five elements that make up a covenant: agreement, oath, sacrifice, witness and feast. God is the executioner of every covenant because every covenant is supposed to be eternal and only one who is eternal can over see it. Now, if one person leaves the covenant, he or she is considered dead. God cannot no more excuse the covenant because one party is dead, so the person who is alive becomes free (I Cor 7:39); otherwise, the widow would not be eligible to remarry. That is why Paul makes an explicit explanation to the Romans (Rom 7:2-3).  By quitting the covenant of the Law, man becomes dead to sin in Christ. He is resurrected in the covenant of grace; whereby he becomes a new creature; behold all things have become new.
We have to reconcile Mt 5:32 and Mt 19:9 and I Cor 7: 10-15, 39; otherwise, the Bible will be showing a lot of contradiction. Even though adultery dissolved the bond, the people are still married before God until there is a bill of divorcement which now puts an end to the covenant as if one or both parties were dead. That is why Mark adds, “against her (Mk 10:11).” In doing so, we can safely conclude that God tolerates digamy in those three conditions, if the spouse was chased away, if the spouse absconded or if the spouse was caught in adultery.

Until then, I hope this answers your question.

St Arrey of Ntenako

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Cor 15:19). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Hamilton Ayuk. Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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