Is it a Sin to Marry a Person Who is Divorced?


QUESTION: Would marrying a divorced woman be a sin? The woman I am in love with  left her ex-husband because of battery, not adultery. I’ve read several passages in the Bible where our Lord Jesus Christ expresses his disapproval of divorced people marrying.

I’ve asked myself the same question in the past years as I considered pursuing relationships with divorced women; however, you’ve already started down that path and are about to embark on an even more difficult one.

God values and takes seriously the union of two people in marriage, but many of us rush into (and out of) His Will, We refuse to listen to His voice, or choose to “do our own thing.” We sometimes (feel we made a mistake and) want a “do-over” as a result of not explicitly following Him.

Divorce is frequently the result of those relationship decisions combined with the selfishness of one or both spouses. Unfortunately, according to some reports, “Christian” marriages are now ending even more frequently than “non-believer” marriages.

“I despise divorce,” declares the LORD God (Malachi 2:15-16).

What God meticulously joins together physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, when separated or thorn apart by man can leave a scar that only He can heal, which may explain why He is so strict on the subject.

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife for any reason other than marital infidelity makes her an adulteress, and anyone who marries her commits adultery (>Matthew 5:32).

These are some pretty harsh words, that mature, educated, and knowledgeable believers on both sides are probably debating upon. However, each of us must decide and choose for ourselves how He is speaking to us on the subject.

“If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry,” the disciples advised him. In response, Jesus said, “This is a word that can only be accepted by those who it has been given to. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way, others because they were made that way by men, and still others because of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever is capable of accepting this should do so ” (Matthew 19:10-12).

I can’t say whether you’d be committing a sin or not; only you can decide after seeking the Lord’s guidance for yourself.

This is one of those questions that has a variety of answers depending on your religious affiliation or church denomination. First and foremost, in my opinion (as a daughter of divorced parents and a leader in single adult ministry), marrying a divorced woman is not a sin. God despises divorce because it affects so many people, including himself (Mark 10:9: “Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate. “), and he hates it when people divorce. He understands the anguish it will cause many people. In all the years I’ve led singles ministry, I’ve yet to meet a single person who has described their divorce as blissful. There is always a source of discomfort.

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Marriage is viewed by God as a covenant, a bond between the couple and between the couple and himself. It’s a vow he doesn’t want to be broken. What other vow would you break if you broke that one? However, the issue is that people are broken. And people who are broken make mistakes. They marry for the wrong reasons, and they frequently bring personal issues and problems from their past into the relationship. They marry to resolve family problems. They marry in order to have children. They marry without having any connection to God. As a result, abuse, abandonment, adultery, and other issues arise in the marriage, leading to divorce unless both partners seek God’s help to heal and restore their relationship.

You have no choice but to let one person out if they request it.
Now, let’s talk about your girlfriend’s divorce. You claim that she was abused, but there was no evidence of adultery. Knowing you have a “biblical” divorce is important for some people, especially if they want to be a deacon, elder, leader, or teacher in the future. Because, according to some, if you can’t keep your marriage healthy, how can you possibly lead others? This logic makes perfect sense to me. However, I know many amazing Christians who have grown in the Lord and gone on to become pastors and teachers as a result of their divorce.

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I have a few questions: did her ex-husband believe in God? I find it difficult to believe that someone who professes to be a Christian and a follower of Jesus could be abusive. You have Biblical grounds for divorce if they aren’t a believer. But, on a more practical note. Where in the Bible do you find that you should put up with someone abusing you physically, verbally, or emotionally? If your girlfriend tried everything she could to help her ex, to save their marriage, and then felt she had no choice but to flee for her life, I would have done the same. And if my church or others didn’t get it, I’d look for another church.

So, let’s just put a stop to it all. We sin because we are broken, but we are forgiven by God’s grace. Unbelief, not divorce, is the unforgiven sin. You must examine your own heart and ask God if this is the right woman for you. You should not marry her if her past and how she divorced are a problem for you. What is right for you will be revealed by God. Remember that the enemy is the source of guilt, while God is the source of conviction.

Marrying someone who has been divorced is not a problem for me. All I want to know is that they divorced for the right reasons.

Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin (Mark 2:28-29).


DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION? If you’ve got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the Singles archives.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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