I divorced my first wife and am married, but my wife says we are not married in God’s sight. Is that true?


I have been married for twelve years. I have been married before my current wife and I divorce my first wife and ask God for forgiveness. My current wife told me I'm still married to my first wife in God's eyes. I want to know if that's true? My current wife wants a divorce. I want our marriage to work but she isn't in love with me anymore, but she still loves me. We have been separated for almost two years. My wife wants a divorce because she feels we are not married. I told her I was married and divorced before we got married.


I can't answer your question directly because I don't know enough from your description, but I can explain what Jesus taught and you can apply it to your situation.

"But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 5:32).

"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).

"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery" (Mark 10:10-11).

"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery" (Luke 16:18).

Combining these statements, we learn that in general when a man divorces his wife and marries someone else, the new marriage is considered adulterous. The reason is simple, marriage is established by God. "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). Just because a man wants out of his marriage covenant, it doesn't mean God agrees. A man can end his marriage, but God still holds him to the terms of the covenant he made.

The one exception is when the marriage ends because the other spouse was sexually unfaithful. In that case, the spouse who had upheld the covenant can have the covenant ended by divorce and is allowed to marry again. However, that right is not granted to the spouse who was unfaithful to the covenant. That spouse is still held to the terms of the covenant until the original spouse passes away. "For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man" (Romans 7:2-3).

You stated that you asked God forgiveness after divorcing your first wife. The problem here is that asking is one part of what you need to do. James warns that some prayers are not answered because of the motivations behind those prayers. "Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:1-4).

One element that is missing is repentance. Repentance is a change in life and turning away from sin. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). If you had no right to remarry, but decided to anyway and entered into an adulterous relationship, you can't expect God to forgive that adultery while you continue in it. You have to leave the sin first.

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