What does the Bible say about remarriage if divorce occurred before salvation?
What does the Bible say about remarriage if a divorce occurred before salvation?
This is a very difficult, interesting, and challenging question. Some would say that since believers in Christ are “new creations” with “all things made new” (2 Corinthians 5:17), the sin and consequences of divorce are washed away, allowing a person who was divorced before becoming a believer to be remarried. Others would say that while the sin of the divorce was atoned for by Christ, the consequences of the sin are not, and therefore a person who was divorced before becoming a believer cannot remarry.
When the Bible talks about marriage, it does not speak only to Christians/believers getting married. The biblical principles on marriage are universal. If an unsaved man and woman get married, they are just as married in God’s eyes as a Christian man and woman who get married. They are still one flesh (Genesis 2:24). God still hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). God has still joined them together, and He does not want them to be separated (Matthew 19). So salvation does not wipe away all the consequences of the sins we committed before we came to faith in Christ. If the divorce was for unbiblical reasons, there are no grounds for remarriage.
However, we believe in the exception clause. If a divorce occurred as a result of unrepentant, continual adultery, we believe the innocent party can remarry. This is equally true if the innocent party was a believer or unbeliever when the divorce occurred. So, the answer to this question would depend on the circumstances of the divorce. It is our contention that whether the divorce occurred before or after salvation is not the ultimate deciding factor. Whatever viewpoint a person takes on this particular issue, it is important to understand that salvation does not free us or excuse us from all the foolish and sinful decisions we made before coming to faith in Christ.