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What Does the Bible Say About Remarriage?

There are so many different circumstances in which one can lose a spouse that no single thing can be said in answer to your question.

At one time, some Christians did not believe a person should remarry even after the death of a spouse. They called this digamy. which is similar to bigamy. The difference is that with bigamy you have two living spouses; in digamy, one of the spouses has died. Of course, this is no where taught in the Bible.

Going back to the beginning, God intended for man to have a mate. However, He intended there to be one man and one woman joined together for life. When one dies, the other is free to remarry (Romans 7:1-2).

But what if someone breaks the marriage bond some other way? Note that there is no other way a marriage bond can be broken without sin. It is a serious thing to separate that which God joins. Yet, in our world, it happens every day. I suspect that your question has more to do with remarriage after divorce than it does after one spouse has died.

I would suggest you read carefully 1 Corinthians 7. In this chapter, the apostle addresses several different circumstances regarding marriage – from how married people are to live with each other to what widows/widowers are to do. He talks about believers married to believers as well as believers married to unbelievers. He talks about those who have never been married as well as people who have been married but are either widowed or otherwise “loosed from” a spouse.

I am sure you will find the situation you are asking about in this chapter and will be able to read for yourself what the Bible says about remarriage. In this chapter, Paul discourages marriage “because of the present distress.” Apparently this was, a temporary condition, probably due to persecution. Yet, even in that time of distress, he recognized that marriage is better than falling into sin because of inability to avoid immoral behavior without marriage.


2 Responses

  1. Rose,
    Thank you for your comment. Please consider the following:

    1) My post says nothing to approve remarriage after a divorce. I merely pointed the questioner to the longest section of Scripture that gives the most thorough discussion of the subject of marriage. I suggested that if she read this chapter carefully, she would find the answer to her question. Do you have a problem with what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7? Do you believe that he contradicts a proper understanding of the passages you quote in your comment?

    2) Jesus charges us not to separate what God has joined; He did not say it is impossible for us to do so, as your argument suggests. I have heard it said many times that God does not recognize divorce. I have not yet read where God says that He does not recognize divorce.

    3) In conversation with the woman at the well (John 4), Jesus told her that she had previously had five husbands, but that the man she was living with then was not her husband. Do you maintain that five husbands had died and she moved in with someone else? If Jesus did not recognize those who put her away as truly being separated from her, this is what would have had to have happened.

    4) Moses permitted divorce “because of the hardness of your hearts.” Are hearts no longer hard?

    5) God hates divorce. He also hates murder. Does a murderer have to resurrect his victim in order to repent and be forgiven?

    We could go on, but there are no easy answers to sin as heinous as breaking covenant vows made before God. It is like Humpty Dumpty who can never be put together again once he has fallen off the wall. That is, “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men” cannot put him together again – but our loving, merciful God can.

    I was very cautious in what I wrote to the very real person who asked this question. I do nothing to encourage divorce. Instead, I teach against it, and even more importantly, I attempt to help couples learn how to live together the way God intended.

    I always try to deal with questions such as this with the compassion and love of Jesus – offering forgiveness and also saying, “Go, and sin no more.”

    • My comment above was in reply to a comment from “Rose” – which I accidentally deleted. Basically, the comment was a listing of traditional arguments concerning Divorce and Remarriage with nothing in it I had not heard many times before. In my reply (above), I did not try to argue with her; I merely made some observations about the implications of her comments and asked questions.

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