In God’s eyes marriage is a very holy arrangement and a lifetime commitment. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”(Matthew 19:6)
Sadly enough, different circumstances may break this bond. The Bible is clear that if either a husband or wife dies, the surviving spouse is free to remarry. “A woman is bound to her husband while he is alive, but if he dies she is free to marry whom she likes – but let her be guided by the Lord.” (I Corinthians 7:39) This would be equally true for the husband if his wife died. Marriage vows are binding until the death of either one of the couple.
But what if an individual has divorced their spouse? Knowing why the couple chose to divorce may determine if either of them is free to remarry, according to the Biblical standard. Jesus said in Matthew 19:9 – “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” If a wife has been morally faithful to her husband, but the husband divorces her for other reasons, he is not free to remarry. Neither is the woman he divorced. Matthew 5:32 states – “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adultress, (if she remarries), and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.” If adultery was the reason for the divorce, only the spouse who was betrayed by their mate would be free to remarry. The allowance for remarriage after a divorce is God’s mercy for the one who was sinned against, not for the one who committed the immorality.