Question:

Can this person remarry? Her husband committed adultery, was addicted to drugs and became violent. She said the last straw was when he tried to catch their porch on fire and threatened to divorce her and take the kids. She said because of this threat, the adultery, and the drugs, she chose to divorce him. She remained faithful through this. He was still in an adultrious relationship. My question is, can she remarry since her sole reason for divorce was not adultery?

Answer:

"But I tell you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her when she is put away commits adultery" (Matthew 5:32).

"I tell you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries her when she is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9).

Going over the two passages that mention an allowance for remarriage, both passages state that if the divorce is because of fornication (or sexual immorality) remarriage is allowed. The wording in the Greek is that fornication is the sole exception that allows for remarriage, but it does not mean that fornication must be the sole reason for the divorce.

Permission is granted, though with great reservation, in rare cases for divorce to take place for other reasons. "But to the married I command--not I, but the Lord--that the wife not leave her husband (but if she departs, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband not leave his wife" (I Corinthians 7:10-11). Paul states that this rule is a summation of what Jesus taught. Since Jesus gave an exception, even though it is not repeated here, it still exists. In general, divorce is not to take place. If it does, then the person is to remain unmarried or be reconciled. The exception of Christ would state that if fornication was involved, then the person not guilty of fornication could remarry. No other reason for divorce would permit a remarriage to a different person.