December 30, 2012

Divorce & Remarriage

Reading time is about 3 minutes.
Here is just a short reference tool for you if you have ever struggled with or been asked about divorce and remarriage. To be honest, it’s very plain in Scripture. This short post will explain it. By the way, this is God, Jesus Christ, speaking. Matthew 19:3-9 “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, […]

Here is just a short reference tool for you if you have ever struggled with or been asked about divorce and remarriage. To be honest, it’s very plain in Scripture. This short post will explain it. By the way, this is God, Jesus Christ, speaking.

Matthew 19:3-9

“The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 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.”

What I am about to explain is called the Exception Clause, found within the verses above. This is usually brought out as an excuse for divorce and remarriage. As you will soon see, it is clearly incorrect logic. It is also very important to include all the contextual verses I have included above for reference to such statements as “hardness of their hearts” and “from the beginning it was not so.”

What is the difference between the two following example sentences?

 1. Whosoever goes over the speed limit, except for an emergency, and runs through stop signs, is a lawbreaker.

2. Whosoever goes over the speed limit, and runs through stop sings, except for an emergency, is a lawbreaker.

That was easy to see since I highlighted the text. But what is REALLY different? Does it make any difference where the exception clause is located within the sentence? The following alteration of God’s Holy Word in Scripture is the misconception used to justify divorce and remarriage. Mostly people do not intend to alter God’s word, but since their mind is already made they choose not to think about it very deep. This is how it would look:

Whosoever shall put away his wife, and shall marry another, except it be for fornication,  committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

If the verse did look like that it would be ok to remarry in the case of fornication. Let’s break the verse into parts:

A. Whosoever shall put away his wife,

This “put away” is actually just a separation for a season of time, not a legal divorce.

B. except it be for fornication,

          Fornication is a term for sexual immorality. This is the only exception for a husband and wife to separate. (Refer to I Corinthians 6 about fleeing fornication) Take special notice that this exception is only for separation; it is not for the words that follow:

C. and shall marry another, committeth adultery:

          Clearly it is always wrong to get remarried.

D. and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”

This just clarifies that there are no exceptions for remarriage.

 

Acknowledgements: I want to say a special thanks to Ray Mummert for explaining this to us in a youth Bible Study in 2011.

 

Hello, I'm Nelson Lee Miller.

Thanks for stopping by my website! I enjoy writing and hope these posts can be an encouragement to you. Come along as we learn more about what it means to represent God as we live in His Kingdom.

Join The Newsletter

Every once in a while I send out a newsletter and latest blog posts. Subscribe to stay in the loop.

More Stuff To Read

What are your thoughts? Please comment below!

7 Comments

  1. Nathan A. Wright

    No; Jesus was answering their question about DIVORCE, not temporary separation.

    Reply
    • Nelson Lee Miller

      Thanks for your comment. After some more study I believe we both are partially right and partially wrong. Usually the two went hand in hand and could be said to be synonymous, but they also are separate acts in that divorce was the legal separation status and putting away was the act of putting them out out because of either actual or accused adultery. I am misleading in my wording: It should say “This ‘put away’ is actually the separation, not a legal divorce.”

      Reply
      • Nathan A. Wright

        I think the Pharisees were probably questioning him on legal divorce. Also, remember that Jesus was comparing His statement with legal divorce in the Old Covenant. It follows that He was changing the rules about legal divorce.

        Reply
        • Nathan A. Wright

          I think the Pharisees were probably questioning him on legal divorce. Also, remember that Jesus was comparing His statement with legal divorce in the Old Covenant. It follows that He was changing the rules about legal divorce.

          Reply
          • Nelson Lee Miller

            I agree with what you are saying. I have been considering rewriting this post to include more context and Scriptural background and references, as this was one of my older ones. I believe I shall do that.

          • Nathan A. Wright

            Okay; great! I’ve actually researched this subject quite a bit, so I’ll be happy to share any info you want. 🙂 However, even though divorce is not unlawful if the spouse has an affair, I do believe that it honors God more just to forgive and continue in your marriage. 🙂

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.