Home   About Us   Register   Feedback   Contact Us  
  Issues
  Womens Education in India
  Women in Rural India
  Womens Health in India
  Remarriage
  Tell Us Your Story
  Read More ..
  Govt. Policies Against Dowry
  What is Marriage?
  Divorce Information
  What you can do against   Dowry threats
  Topic of the Month!
  Anti Dowry Movement
  Newsletter
Would you like to be kept up to date about changes to this site, new content, and upcoming activities? Don't miss a thing! Sign up for our mailing list!
  Contribute Now
The article you are reading costs money to produce, publish, and archive. AntiDowry.com is kept viable by a partnership between you and us. If you are a regular reader, and haven't yet made a contribution, now is the time to change that. Support us in any manner you want!
 
Remarraige and Divorce

According to all Hindu scriptures, a widow can remarry. The very term 'punurbhu' is defined as a woman, virgin or not-a-virgin, who has married again. There are several texts that lay down her property rights in various such situations and the rights of her children from both her previous and later marriages.

Divorce and remarriage have become common as civil law allows no-fault divorce. A husband or wife may dissolve a marriage for almost any grounds and remarry, regardless of the will of their spouse. The result is that many people marry without considering the teaching of the Bible. Is fornication (or adultery) the only Scriptural grounds for divorce, or does the gospel allow marriage to be dissolved for other grounds?
 
The General Teaching of the New Testament Is that Divorce is Contrary to God's Will, and that Remarriage Following Divorce Constitutes Adultery
 
Note that there is one exception to this general rule, which we will discuss later. At this point we are discussing the general rule. The following passages present this teaching:
One who puts away his wife (for some cause other than fornication) causes her to commit adultery. This assumes that she remarries as described in the last part of the verse and as implied in the previous verse (the purpose of the "bill of divorcement" according to the law was so she could become another man's wife - Deut. 24:1ff)

By divorcing his wife, the husband puts her in the position where she is strongly tempted to remarry and if she does remarry, Jesus says she is guilty of adultery and so is the man she marries (in contrast to the Mosaic Law which tolerated the remarriage). Hence, the divorce itself is wrong and should be avoided.

A married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives. This means that if she is married to another man while her first husband is alive, she is guilty of adultery. She is free to remarry without guilt only if her husband is dead.

A married woman should not depart from her husband nor he from her. Again, divorce itself is not the will of God.
But if she departs (if divorce has occurred), she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. Clearly remarriage is not a scriptural alternative.
 
Understand Why the Second Marriage Is Forbidden and Why It Is Called "Adultery"
 
God clearly has the right to forbid any act if He so chooses, but it helps us apply the teaching when we understand His reasons for forbidding an act. What reason does God give for declaring the second marriage sinful, and why does He call it adultery

Though this is an Old Testament passage, it helps us learn the definition of marriage, which has not changed. Marriage is, by God's definition, a solemn mutual agreement between a man and woman to live together as husband and wife. God holds them to that covenant bond and will not free them from it, even if people declare them to be free.

Remember this! The whole foundation of New Testament teaching regarding divorce rests on God's attitude toward marriage. When people weaken the barriers against divorce, they are weakening respect for marriage. Divorce matters because it destroys a marriage, and marriage is very important to God. Any view of divorce, which fails to respect marriage as God respects it, must be an unscriptural view.

In this marriage covenant, the woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives (cf. 1 Cor. 7:39). The marriage "bond" is a lifetime covenant commitment, and God holds people to the commitment they made, even if later they try to break it.

A woman may be "bound" to one man, but "married" to another man! The "bond" refers to the marriage covenant that God holds you to. "Marriage" refers to the relationship you are living in as recognized by civil law and society. The two may be the same, but not necessarily. In this case, the woman was "bound" to one man but "married" to a completely different man!

That is why a woman is guilty of adultery if she is married to another man. Adultery, by definition, refers to sexual intercourse between two people, one of whom is bound by a marriage covenant to somebody else.

This is "adultery" because the woman is Scripturally committed to have the sexual union only with one man as long as he lives, but instead she is having it with another man. This is why it is proper to refer to the second marriage as "adulterous" or "living in adultery," just as it would be if she were living with him but not married to him.

Society and civil law may then grant them a "divorce" (not for fornication) and they may "marry" again. Society and civil law then views them as free from their first marriage and entered into a second one, and the Bible calls this "divorced" ("put away") and "married" again. But though God uses these terms as society does, He does not recognize the divorce as making a valid end to the covenant commitment that He recognized in the first marriage. God still considers them "bound" or "joined" or held accountable for the commitment of the first marriage

This explains why, if a woman divorces her husband, she still has no right to remarry. She may get divorced in the eyes of civil law, and God calls it "divorce" and says she is now "unmarried." But that does not free her from her bond or covenant obligation to her first husband. Since she is still bound to her first marriage covenant, her only choice then is to be reconciled to her husband (the one God recognizes) or else remain unmarried
 
Receiving Forgiveness Does Not Release Us from Obligations and Covenants Which We Lawfully Entered before Being Forgiven
 
Consider an unscripturally remarried man. If he is baptized, folks say the second marriage can continue. But what if SHE is baptized, but he is not? Surely the same folks would say she may continue in the marriage. But on what grounds? Her sins are forgiven, but he committed the unscriptural divorce and remarriage. Does baptizing one person forgive the sins of another person? He is still living in adultery with her. How can it be adultery for him, but not for her?

We have proved that, unless one divorces for fornication, he continues bound to his first marriage covenant, so every act of sexual union in a subsequent marriage is adultery. The effect of the current argument is to say that, after baptism, the same people can continue in the same sinful relationship performing the same act that used to be sinful, but now it is all right! This cannot be since the passages previously studied show that, instead of allowing us to continue in sin, baptism teaches us to cease it.

Suppose a man is converted when still in his first marriage, does conversion dissolve that marriage so he is no longer obligated to his wife? Why is it that a person's first marriage commitment is dissolved at baptism only if he has unscripturally divorced and remarried?

Clearly conversion does not relieve me from any of these obligations which I had before conversion because they are the result of legitimate relationships and obligations I had before baptism. On the contrary, true conversion would lead me to realize that I must fulfill these obligations. Why then should conversion release me from my lawful first marriage obligation in the case where I have unscripturally divorced and remarried?
 
Requiring A Couple to Separate Is too Hard
 
If a person must leave an unscriptural marriage, in what way is he any worse off than these cases? And so far we have described people who suffer though they are innocent of sin; but the person who unscripturally remarried is guilty of adultery! If faithfulness requires these innocent people to suffer, then surely separation from an unscriptural marriage would be no harder a requirement
 
 
 
 
Home | Activities | Real Life Cases | Women Welfare Organisations | Marriage Bureau Registration | Other Sites | About Us | Registration | Contact Us
antidowry.com. All Rights Reserved..