Is a single person who commits adultery prevented from getting married?

Question:

There is much discussion and teaching within the church about divorce, adultery, and remarriage, but something I've never heard discussed is what about the person who commits adultery, but who wasn't married? The Bible is clear that a spouse who commits adultery with someone else is not eligible to remarry another if that married couple are divorced. But what about the person they committed adultery with, if that person was single? If they repent of that sin, are they able to one day marry another? I have not been able to find a conclusive Scriptural reference that teaches they are ineligible for later marriage.


Answer:

A married person who commits adultery and then is divorced because of that adultery is not allowed to marry another person because he violated his marriage covenant. As a consequence of his sin, God does not release him from his covenant, even though his marriage ended, until his spouse dies. "For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man" (Romans 7:2-3). To understand this better, law and covenant are synonyms for the same thing. The ending of a marriage does not automatic release a person from the covenant vows he has made. "And He answered and said to them, have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate" (Matthew 19:4-6).

The single person who commits adultery with a married person is not under a covenant. The adultery remains wrong, but he is not married nor has he been divorced. There is no restriction on his getting married to someone who has a legitimate right to marriage.

Thanks for your response. God bless.