I recently received a call from one of our ministers who was engaged in counselling a married woman contemplating a divorce. This is not unique, since ministers are frequently confronted with the ethic associated with covenant dissolution. With that moral dilemma comes the question of remarriage.
Kevin DeYoung generously posted the full manuscript of a message wherein he addressed the complex nature of this sensitive issue . The scenarios he poses definitely reveal the power of sin to complicate our lives. Read the full article that addresses 7 principles involved when addressing these situations.
• A wife commits adultery. She is repentant and wants to save the marriage. The husband knows he must forgive, but he wants to file for divorce? Would you grant him that right? Does it make any difference if the wife was frequently unfaithful?
• A wife gets a divorce because of marital unfaithfulness? You’ve determined she has legitimate grounds for that divorce. Is she then free to remarry? What if the husband repents, is he? Or only to his ex-wife? And what if she gets remarried, does that change his obligation?
• A non-Christian couple gets a divorce. Later the man becomes a Christian and realizes the divorce was wrong. Is he obligated to try to win back his non-Christian ex-wife? What if he tries to be reconciled and his ex-wife has no interest, is he free to remarry in the Lord?
• A remarried couple comes to realize their divorce and remarriage was sinful. Are they committing adultery by staying married? If they stay married, what should they do to make things right? Can they be members in the church? What about leaders?
• Both husband and wife commit adultery. They both have grounds for divorce and they are both the “guilty” party. Would you allow a divorce? Two years later they are both sincerely repentant. Should they remarry each other? Could they remarry someone else?