Question:

I have a question regarding two people getting married.

Someone in my family was once married and got divorced. In Matthew 5:31-32 it says that one can't divorce her husband or his wife except for sexual immorality. This family member did not divorce her husband for sexual immorality but for another reason. She wants to remarry someone else very soon. Isn't this a sin? Wouldn't the man who marries her be committing adultery?

Others in my family aren't married but have kids. They are also seeking or willing to remarry. Is that acceptable? The responsibility of marriage isn't really expressed in my family, maybe because no one is married, only my grandparents. I know a few others in my family who commit fornication yet still knowing the truth, they do what is wrong.

This is a bit off topic, but I would just like to ask if you can give me any advice of how to talk to those in my family who are currently in the sin of fornication or sexual immorality.

Thank you.


Answer:

When a person divorces for reasons other than sexual sins committed by his spouse, they do not have a right to another marriage. "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9). Anything other than divorce because of fornication means the person is to remain unmarried or reconcile with his former spouse. "Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife" (I Corinthians 7:10-11).

If you have family members who having kids without being married, then they cannot remarry when they haven yet married. What they are doing is having sex outside of marriage, which the proper word for it is "fornication." "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). People who are committing fornication ought to get married. Being married is far better than sinning. "But if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (I Corinthians 7:9).

You can always ask why they are choosing to sin instead of getting married. The answers you receive will vary. Typically it is a lame excuse, such as "We can't afford to get married." The answer is that they are already living together, so this can't be a factor. A variation on this is the claim they can't afford the actual marriage. The answer is that marriages are only as expensive as the person makes them. A person can get married at the county courthouse for less than $100 in the United States. If they are pricing themselves out of marriage, then it is because of their own pride and not because God's command is unattainable.

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