I seem to get this question more than I would expect which shows me that some Christians are not sure if they can get a divorce or if they are committing adultery because they were divorced and now they are remarried.

Let us start this study in God’s word with what Paul is teaching us in 1 Corinthians chapter 7. Paul starts out the chapter having in his mind that it is BEST that all Christians were single as he is single for the SAKE of the gospel. What I mean by this is that the reasoning for this teaching is that people involved in a relationship tend to focus all their attention on that relationship whether it be a married couple, engaged couple or just dating. You see, in Paul’s day, the early Christians sincerely believed that Jesus would return in their generation.

So then, Paul is not saying it is a sin to get married, be engaged to be married, or to date someone in order to learn more about a potential future spouse you are seeking to marry.

Further on Paul says that every person does not have that gift or calling to basically remain single and be in full-time ministry so that they can focus all their time on preaching the gospel.

Therefore, if they do not feel that they can remain single and NOT have sex, then it is BETTER to get married than BURN. There are two meanings of “burn” here. Some interpret this to mean burn in lust which fits a part of the context. Other Christians say no to that interpretation and say that burn here means to burn in the lake of fire which fits the greater context of committing the sin of fornication or having sex outside of marriage. I say both meanings are correct. The first meaning of burning in lust will eventually lead to fornication.

So then, Paul is saying, in order to AVOID fornication which is two SINGLE people having sex with one another, then it is BETTER for them to marry.

Now in verse 11, this is speaking of ALREADY being divorced before a person accepts Jesus as their Savior. And, in truth, Paul is speaking to both men and women to not get a divorce in order to focus more attention on preaching the gospel. In other words, Paul is saying, now please do not misunderstand what I am saying here, I am NOT saying that if you are married for you to get a divorce and be single like me so you can focus on preaching the gospel. But rather Paul is saying if you are a widow or one who is already divorced, then it is better to remain single for the sake of the gospel. However, in order to AVOID having sex outside of marriage or to avoid fornication, then it is better to marry IF you are single or divorced already before you became a Christian. That is the bigger contextual meaning of the whole context.

The immediate context of verse 11 is that when a person becomes a Christians and their spouse does NOT become a Christian and their spouse divorces them AFTER the other spouse is saved, then the saved spouse is free to marry BUT it is BEST for the sake of the gospel that he or she remains single.

Paul adds that the BEST thing is that they get back together and remarry the same spouse who divorced them if at all possible.

But if this is NOT an option, as in, let us say one or the other says there is no way I am getting married to them again, I am never marrying anyone ever again, or  he or she has already married someone else, then the Christian who was divorced by their NON-Christian spouse is free to marry again.  This is what is called a Biblical divorce.

Biblical reasons for divorce:

#1. IF the divorce took place BEFORE a person became a Christian, then the Christian is free to marry again to anyone of the opposite sex. But IF they remarry then it is best if they remarry the one that they divorced if possible. 

Now the reason behind the freedom to remarry again is that the “concept” of divorce is a SIN and when one becomes a Christian ALL their past sins are forgiven. And it is as if they have never sinned before including getting a divorce before becoming a Christian.

#2. If ONE NON-Christian spouse is already married to their NON-Christian spouse and ONE NOT-Christians spouse becomes a Christian BUT the other sNON-Christians ouse does NOT become a Christian and the NON-Christian spouse divorces the Christian spouse, then the Christian spouse is free to marry again.

#3. If both the man and the woman are Christians and the OTHER spouse commits adultery, then the Christian spouse that REMAINED faithful is free to marry. But the one who committed adultery is NOT free to remarry unless they repent of their sin of adultery for causing the divorce. So then, if after the divorce the adulterous spouse repents of his or her adultery that caused the divorce, then it would appear that they are free to marry. BUT, this part is a grey area, to me. Some Christians who have been divorced feel that God forgives the adultery for sure and they trust that he forgives the divorce as well. Keep in mind that they were Christians when they got divorced and it was NOT a Biblical divorce but they got divorced anyway. They converse their sin of divorce and THEY feel that they have been forgiven. 

For me, with that kind of situation, I myself would have worked out the marital problems. So all I can say fo that kind of situation where you KNOW divorce is a sin is for you to work out your own salvation between you and God. If I was in that situation then I would remain single if I wanted to be absolutely sure to receive eternal life in the world to come. But I will say that I have observed other couples where both said that they were Christians and both got a NON-Biblical divorce from their spouse and they married each other and that they feel no condemnation from God. All I am saying is that God forgives ALL manner of sin. Only God knows the heart and that is why I say work out your own salvation. Some Christians backslide and during that time away from God they got divorced. And then they returned to God repenting of all their sins including getting a divorce. So it is reasonable to say that God has indeed forgiven them and they are free to remarry. Again, I say to work out your own salvation between you and God.

#4. It is not specifically stated as a fact in the Bible but some INTERPRET different Scriptures that if two Christians who are married and have never cheated on each other but for some reason they feel that they do not love each other anymore, or a billion other reasons, then SOME churches and some individual Christians feel that if they get a NON-Biblical divorce and then confess their sin and then get remarried to a different person then they are not committing adultery nor are they causing their new spouse to commit adultery.

Now, their line of reasoning is that it was NOT the Christian couple’s intention to get a divorce for the sole reason that they could marry someone else. But rather, what was in their heart was all that they wanted was to get out of a bad situation and to them, the only option was for them to get a divorce. So again, SOME Christians feel that if they CONFESS their sin of getting a divorce, then God forgives them and then they are free to get remarried again to another person of the opposite sex. 

I say opposite sex because God's formula for marriage is between an adult man and an adult woman.

Same-sex marriage is a sin whether they are a Christian or not, so adding another sin of divorce matters nothing to a sinner that is already lost by continually living in sin.

Now again, for ME, I say work out your own salvation on reason #4 as I do for the adulterer who caused the divorce in reason #3.

So then, in 1 Corinthians 7:11 Paul is saying that a widow or a Christian woman whose NON-Christian husband leaves her that it is BETTER she remains single for the gospel sake no matter whether she is a widow or a divorced woman but if she feels that she will give into fornication then it is better for her to remarry. Paul adds that it is best to remarry her husband who divorced her and for that husband to receive his wife back. But as we all agree this is not possible at times. So if the remaining single is not an option and remarrying the husband who divorced you is not an option, then you are free to marry another man. I should add so long as he is NOT divorced, as in, a NON-Biblical divorce.

And it is the same with a man who is a widower or a divorced man whose NON-Christian wife left him when he became a Christian or he divorced her for cheating on him. He is free to marry but it is better for the GOSPEL’S sake if he remains single. Then Paul adds that if his or her remaining single causes them to fornicate then it is better to marry.

Now I myself have never been divorced but I was a widower who remarried. During my search for a new wife at age 49, there were not that many single women who were not divorced at the time I was doing my searching for a new wife. What I mean is that there were far more divorced women than there were widowed women. I ended up becoming a good friend to a divorced woman whose divorce was a NON-Biblical divorce according to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:31,32.

“It has been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 

32.  BUT I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, SAVING (Or EXCEPT) for the cause of fornication, (Speaking of the husband or the wife, in this case, it was the wife who was committing adultery or having sex with another man) causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery.”

In other words, if a Christian were to divorce his or her spouse for any other reason OTHER THAN their spouse was cheating on them and they themselves were remaining faithful, then they will cause their spouse and the one that marries their spouse to be committing adultery. So, to ME, it sounds like Jesus is saying that IF your spouse cheats on you by having sex with anyone other than you, then YOU are free to get a divorce AND to remarry.

Now, I myself was not going to take the chance of losing eternal life knowing by marrying a woman that was divorced for any other reason than she was divorced because her husband was having sex with another woman or another man.

It MAY be that she was not truly a Christian when she got divorced. But what if she is not telling the truth because she wants you to marry her? It MAY be that she was a Christian but she sinned in ignorance not knowing the teaching of Jesus concerning, the only except, for a Christian to get a divorce. But again, how can you know for sure? It MAY be that she knew it was wrong to get a divorce but she could not bear the burden of her drunken gambling bum of a husband and she repented later for getting a divorce. Only God knows her heart. So for ME, I was not going to take that chance with my eternal life. This is why I say, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling between you and God. Long story made short, God brought to me a second wife who was widowed, as I was also widowed and we have been married now 10 plus years.

Now, if you are single and thinking to get married, then make sure that BOTH you and your future spouse consider divorce to NOT be an option. In other words, put in your mind that there is no such thing as a divorce.

Thus, without an OPTION of divorce, you WILL find some way to work out ANY problem you come across. I decided that arguing is not an option even when I know with absolute certainty that I am right. I know that the truth always comes out sooner or later so there is no point in arguing. I made the firm quality decision to never walk out on my wife when she was angry with me and she wanted to argue and lay blame. No one likes to be falsely accused and this makes one angry. I have learned to control my anger to never strike or hit my wife, but if that is not the case with you, then it is best to walk away in another room. Leaving altogether is not the wisest choice. The Bible says to live in peace with all men as much as POSSIBLE. So I can see that in some cases of abuse, the only choice one has is to divorce their spouse. But that does not mean that you MUST remarry. You can stay single. Personally, I believe that Jesus will return within the next 10 to 12 years. And ten years to 12 years of being single is nothing compared to losing your eternal life. I say 10 to 12 years because I believe in the 7000-year plan of God which means that Jesus will return within 2000 years of his resurrection. Please read the study “DOES GOD HAVE A 7000 YEAR PLAN OF SALVATION?

Also, I have learned that love is NOT a feeling, but rather after loving someone there comes that good feeling that some call “falling” in love. I have shared with many couples that someone falls in a ditch but love is a DECISION. When you learn that love is a DECISION then you will never say that you no longer love your spouse, as in, you have “fallen out” of love. NO! In truth, you are making that decision to no longer love your spouse. 

If one works on or focuses only on the faults of their spouse, then that is all they will eventually end up seeing.

Therefore work on or focus upon the GOOD things in your spouse and in the same way you will eventually no longer see their faults.

I have also shared many times with couples that marriage takes THREE to make it work and thus every marriage NEEDS Jesus at the core of their relationship. Talking with God and his Son will do wonders for a marriage. I mean if God and his Son cannot lead you to what you need to do to improve your marriage then who am I to be able to help. This is not to say that God does not use people to bring that answer but rather I am saying talk to God on how to FIX and or PREVENT a problem to restore what SEEMS to be a broken marriage that cannot be fixed.

I myself, am NOT a counselor, but before anyone gets a divorce I would strongly suggest seeing a good Christian counselor and even get a second opinion if your heart feels that God is leading you to not get a divorce and the counselor advises it might be better to go ahead and get a divorce.

This brings us to the original question and title of this study in God’s word, “IS DIVORCE A SIN?” In truth, getting a divorce itself is not a sin, but rather having sex with anyone after you get divorced is what actually is the sin, namely fornication.

Now going back to my personal testimony and talk about a “hypothetical” scenario. Let us just suppose that I told her the reason for WHY I could not marry her and we BOTH agreed to never have sex if we got married. I myself believe that she would NOT be causing ME to commit fornication in such a hypothetical situation because there would be no sex involved in our relationship. We would just be “legally” married in the eyes of man but we would not be married in the eyes of God because the marriage would not be consummated by coming together as one by having sex. 

What I mean is that a single man and a single woman can live under the same roof and never have sex and that would not be a sin in the eyes of God. Now, some may talk behind your back and falsely accuse you of “shacking up, living together or fornicating” but you and the one living with you would have peace with God knowing that there is no sex or fornication involved. Now, such a relationship means no sex with anyone. Again, this is a hypothetical scenario because few people would be willing to never have sex again and actually living under the same roof with a potential mate would be far too tempting to give in to the temptation to fornicate. It is possible to have a sex-free relationship but it is more so to be not likely that BOTH could commit to such a sex-free relationship.

Now I want to specifically address my readers who ARE divorced and ALSO already remarried and your divorce or your spouse’s divorce was NOT a Biblical divorce. And you are wondering if you are living in sin every time you have sex with one another. What I would do in that situation is to REPENT and ask God to forgive me for getting a divorce. I would then resist and rebuke Satan for bringing doubt to my mind that God did not forgive me. I would do this until I had confidence and peace that God has forgiven me for getting a divorce. And I would make absolutely sure to never get another divorce after going through that fear of possibly losing my salvation.

Worrying does not accomplish anything except more worrying and fear. I have shared with some of my readers who were in great fear that they had committed the unpardonable sin, that as long as they had that repentant heart of wanting to be forgiven, then they did not commit a so-called unpardonable sin. Once they became convinced to repent and confess their sin and then BELIEVE unto the end that God forgives them, they received the peace that God still loves them and that they have been restored to a right relationship with God.

I pray that this study helps you no matter what your situation may be. Living in fear of being lost is not an option with me so consider it a LIE from the devil and fight the good fight of faith to believe that God forgives EVERY sin when one repents and asks him to forgive them.

May God Bless you richly and give you his peace that you are in a right relationship with him and you will receive eternal life in the world to come.

Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Brother Mark.