A man of God is free to get married or not. It’s a question of vocation. Celibacy imposed by certain communities to the servants of God is not scriptural (1 Timothy 4:1-2). For example Peter was married while Paul was single (1 Corinthians 9:5; 1 Corinthians 7:8). Brother Paul says that “each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.”
Indeed, a Man of God can get married (1 Corinthians 7:1; Genesis 2:24; Titus 1: 5-6).
However, Brother Paul said:
“Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.”
1 Corinthians 7:27-28
The tribulations of the flesh are common to all the Christian marriages. They are inevitable but do not have to lead to the divorce. No!
Marriage is concluded for the life, the goods and the bad days. It is like a way in which the husband and his wife are engaged and should not retrogress. And it’s like the love which Christ liked us. The marriage is also a choice which, in the faith, is bearer of a formidable hope.
The man and his wife are destined for a link in a way similar to that of God toward his people in Christ Jesus.
“So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:9
Yes, our Lord hates divorce (Malachi 2: 16).
"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away? Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.”
Matthew 19:7- 8
Indeed, bother Paul said:
« To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. »
1 Corinthians 7:10-11
"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" Jesus replied, "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."
The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry." Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
“…I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery…”
What does “marital unfaithfulness” mean? This is not as simple as you think. This is a the reason why the disciple said to Jesus Christ” If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry”.
To understand well the meaning of the phrase “marital unfaithfulness” we should refer to
Marriage Violations in the Old Testament:
“13 If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her 14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, "I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity," 15 then the girl's father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin to the town elders at the gate. 16 The girl's father will say to the elders, "I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. 17 Now he has slandered her and said, 'I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.' But here is the proof of my daughter's virginity." Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, 18 and the elders shall take the man and punish him. 19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the girl's father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.
20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl's virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you».
In the old alliance as in new one, a woman must remain virgin before the marriage. Formerly, a woman who had been dishonoured before the marriage deserved death, but in the new alliance such a woman is no more lapidated but must make known all her life passed to her man before this one gets engaged in the bonds of the marriage. The engaged man can repudiate her if he discovers that she does not keep her virginity. Yes a dishonoured woman loses her right to be married. However, her man can forgive her by taking her in marriage. But if this dishonoured woman, before the marriage didn’t truly repent, but used fraud to contract the marriage, she will not be lapidated as formerly but her husband who is put in front of the accomplished fact has the choice to repudiate her or keep her. This is the only case in which the divorce is possible.
Apart from the reason above a Man should not divorce his wife under any pretext. It’s not as simple as you think. To tell the truth God hates divorce.
The biblical passages above does not deal with marriage arranged by man but with the marriage concluded according to the will of God.
In such a marriage a wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband, because “a woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 7:39
A woman who voluntarily separates and does not come to reconcile herself with her husband lives in adultery because she is bound to her husband as long as he lives.
A woman even divorced by her husband must seek to reconcile herself with her husband: « But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.”
For example Jesus told the Samaritan woman:
"Go, call your husband and come back."
"I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."
That woman was adulteress. She recognized that she was faulty. Then she said: “I have no husband”.
That woman was living in adultery. She knew it. Women who are separated from their husbands or are divorced by their husbands must recognize their adultery state as the Samaritan woman did. They must recognize that they have “no Husband”; then Jesus-Christ will forgive their sin and open a door, make a way for them. Amen!!!
The man who divorces his wife except for marital unfaithfulness is faulty or guilty (Luke 16:18). He should not do that. But if he does divorce his faithful wife (for a nonbiblical reason), the fault of that man can not prevent his wife from becoming adulteress. She is adulteress though, if she goes toward an other man. The Bible says that in this case his husband “causes her to become an adulteress”. Amen!
Moreover “anyone who marries such a divorced woman commits adultery”. Amen!
In both cases, the separated or divorced woman must seek to reconcile herself with her husband and join her family because our Lord hates divorce. The remarriage is not possible for the woman.
I do not refer to the marriage arranged by man but I’m speaking about the marriage concluded according to the will of God. Amen!
This is why a woman must request much before accepting a wish of marriage (a demand for marriage). She must make sure by the prayer that the man who presents himself to her is really a converted man of whom she is really the rib:
« So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man”.
The marriage is not a play. It’s not a joke. But it is a divine institution. The woman should not accept the wish (the demand for marriage) by pity, interest or kindness. If she does it so, then she will meet deplorable and bitter consequences.
A woman must let herself be led by God Himself in the acceptance of a wish (a demand for marriage). To get engaged in the bonds of the marriage is a very great responsibility. That should not be done by joke. This is very important!!!
A husband as for him must never divorce his wife. I say never!!! A man who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.
The remarriage is not possible for the man in this case. I do not refer to the marriage arranged by man but I’m speaking about the marriage concluded according to the will of God. Amen!
The Choice of a wife is not a play. It’s not a joke. But it is a divine institution. A man should not choose his wife by pity, interest, kindness or while being based only on the physical beauty of the woman. If he does it so, then he will meet deplorable and bitter consequences.
The man must rather bend his knees and request much so that God can show him who is really the woman who is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bones:
“The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman, for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh”.
A man must let himself be led by God Himself in the choice of his wife. To get engaged in the bonds of the marriage is a very great responsibility. That should not be done by joke. This is very important!!!
But, can a man marry an other woman if his former wife who separated voluntarily never comes back home?
Is the remarriage of the man possible in this case?
YES, the man wife of whom left voluntarily and definitively the house cannot be condemned to remain unmarried.
He can marry another woman he wishes but she must belong to the Lord. He must not marry a divorced woman.
It is not written in the Bible that he cannot. He can. But not the woman. She must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. I do not refer to the marriage arranged by man but I’m speaking about the marriage concluded according to the will of God. Amen!
Our Lord hates divorce !
However, on one hand, even once separated or divorced, there are husbands who will adopt, with respect for their former union or their former partner an attitude of open hope. By the faith, they will not remarry another woman. By the faith, they will decide not to close the door with a possible forgiveness, with a possible reconciliation. For them it’s a manner of expressing that there is still a hope for their marriage in God in spite of the failure or the sin which put it at evil: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7)
While other men, on the other hand, will walk on towards a remarriage, or at least will tend, in the grace, to remake their life; an attitude which must be as much respected than the preceding one and on which the Bible does not throw any discredit.
It is in 1 Corinthians7:12-16 that we see the second limit of the marriage’s effect.
Indeed, Brother Paul said:
“To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?.”
1 Corinthians 7:12-16
The case which is evoked by the Apostle Paul in “1 Corinthians 7:12-16” is that in which a person who is converted to the Christian faith has already been married.
If the spouse of that woman or man does not accept his/her new religious orientation; in such a situation, is the believer always bound by her/his marital engagement?
The answer of the Apostle is YES. The initiative of the separation should not come from him/her (the believing man or woman). No! The Bible says no!!!
On the contrary, if it is the unbelieving spouse (the man or the woman) who asks for separation, or makes obligation to her/his believing spouse(the man or the woman) to choose between the common life and his/her religious commitment, it is while the second clause of exception comes.
The Apostle authorizes (allows) then the believing spouse (the man or the woman) to bow (incline in front of, to accept) to this request for rupture (for break), and to consider (regard) separation as being more preferable than the continuation (prolongation) of the common life: “A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace” (Verse 15)
In this case, remarriage is possible for the believing man or woman. He/she is free to marry anyone he/she wishes, but he/she must belong to the Lord.
In this case, when the duty of fidelity to his/her spouse conflicts with the duty of fidelity to Jesus Christ, the first could not prevail or predominate over the second. Jesus said: “ If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be my disciple”.(Refer to Luke 14:26 and other texts concerning the vocation of the disciples).The separation or the break is then considered (envisaged) in this situation, as being the least, the slightest evil (between two evils, the least, the slightest), not as a sin, but like the ethical answer to one of the complex situations of the believing existence.
«God has called us to live in peace” (verse 16)
He did not call us to support tests which exceed the borders of the bearable.
It appears that there are many married couples that have suffered in their marriage, and continue suffering in their home.
But, where do the serious problems which push certain couple to the divorce very often come from?
The Christian marriage is an alliance for the life between a man and a woman. Their unit must be similar to the relation which links Christ and Her Bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:22 - 23). They can fully achieve this unit only if they are spiritually united in one common faith and love for Jesus-Christ. If this is not the case, it can result from it the discord and an inexpressible suffering:
“Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” (Amos 3:3).
The Bible clearly presents the will of God concerning the marriage, and we would be wise to follow its instructions.
The following quotations show that God does not allow His children to marry with spouse who do not share their Christian faith:
- “Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.”
- “Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.'
13 "What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins have deserved and have given us a remnant like this. 14 Shall we again break your commands and intermarry with the peoples who commit such detestable practices? Would you not be angry enough with us to destroy us, leaving us no remnant or survivor?”
- “Must we hear now that you too are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women?"
- “Judah has broken faith. A detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the LORD loves, by marrying the daughter of a foreign god. As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the LORD cut him off from the tents of Jacob even though he brings offerings to the LORD Almighty.”
- “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 7:39
- “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:14
A Christian man can therefore marry only a Christian woman, and reciprocally. It is disobedience in the Word of God to marry a spouse who is not a converted Christian. God does not like mixture in marriages!
The fact to have been born in a Christian family, or even to belong to a good Christian church, does not make a man or a woman automatically a converted Christian!
Besides, nowadays, many evangelical or Protestant churches are in apostasy, and they cannot consider any more their education as correspondent to the Bible. Then, each one should examine himself/herself, to know whether he/she is in the true (faith) creed!
It’s because of all these reasons that I say that a man must let himself be led by God Himself in the choice of his wife. A woman also must let herself be led by God Himself in the acceptance of a wish (a demand for marriage). To get engaged in the bonds of the marriage is a very great responsibility. That should not be done by joke. This is very important!!!
Perhaps in ignorance you made errors in the past about your marriage, notably about the choice of your spouse. Perhaps that you divorced or you are about to divorce. You are molested (bothered) by this problem, what to do?
I do recommend you to visit the following Web site and to order the booklet entitled “Marriage and divorce”.