The question of whether marrying a divorced woman or man is an adultery or not is a complex one and requires a careful examination of biblical teachings on divorce and marriage. The Bible provides guidance on this matter, and it is important to understand its principles and context to arrive at an informed answer.
The Bible clearly states that divorce is not something God desires or approves of. In Matthew chapter 19, when the Pharisees questioned Jesus about divorce, he responded by emphasizing that what God has joined together, humans should not separate. He also stated that whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, except in cases of sexual immorality (Matthew 19:4-6, 9).
However, it is essential to note that Jesus gave the Pharisees only one reason for divorce because of their spiritual immaturity. In reality, there are other valid reasons for divorce, as explained by a comprehensive study of God’s will on marriage.
Marriage was instituted by God for the well-being of humanity, not as a means to trap individuals in perpetual misery. God provided guidelines for marriage, emphasizing that husbands should love their wives and wives should respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-29; 1 Peter 3:1-2; Colossians 3:18-19). Violations of these precepts can invalidate a marriage.
In the case of a Christian married to an unbeliever who is unwilling to stay with them, divorce is permissible (1 Corinthians 7:12-16). However, if the unbelieving spouse is willing to stay and does not hinder the believing spouse’s service to God or mistreat them, the believer should not seek divorce.
It is crucial to remember that anything that leads to sin or threatens one’s faith should be removed from one’s life, including marriage if necessary (Mark 9:43-48). While marriage is a divine institution honored by God, it should not take precedence over God’s word.
Moreover, any marriage that goes against the free will of any party involved should be terminated. Even God, who introduced marriage, respects individual free will. If God himself does not violate anyone’s free will, how can marriage acquire the right to do so?
Traditions and doctrines of men that stem from the rejection or misunderstanding of God’s word should be discontinued, regardless of their origin or longevity (Mark 7:7-9; Colossians 2:8).
In conclusion, it is evident that God hates divorce, but He also loves obedience to His word and the well-being of His children. While God disapproves of divorces based on trivial reasons such as physical appearance, cooking skills, barrenness, illness, or differences in insignificant matters, He understands that there are valid circumstances that warrant divorce.
Now, addressing the question directly: Is marrying a divorced woman or man adultery? The answer is both yes and no, depending on the circumstances.
Yes, it is considered adultery to marry a divorced woman if the divorce occurred recently and there is still a clear possibility of reconciliation between the affected couple. The Bible prohibits rushing into marriage with a divorced woman when reconciliation is still possible.
No, it is not considered adultery to marry a divorced woman if the divorce occurred a long time ago, and there is clear proof that reconciliation between the affected couple is no longer possible. The Bible does not consider such a marriage as adultery, recognizing that prolonged separation may lead to burning with passion and temptations due to lack of self-control. See 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 and 1 Corinthians 7:5.
It is essential to approach this topic with wisdom, seeking guidance from God and adhering to His principles. Every situation is unique, and individuals should seek spiritual counsel and apply biblical teachings in their specific circumstances.