“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15
We could go on and on with case after case and situation after situation proving the same thing – relationships, divorce and remarriage are very complicated. So how does a divorced Christian navigate remarriage? Now don’t miss this: If the remarriage you’re considering is the result of an adulterous affair that led to your divorce – it is always wrong. However, if the new marriage has nothing to do with the divorce that occurred, then there are a few things to deal with before saying “I do.”
- Ask God for forgiveness. “But my spouse cheated and sinned against me. Why do I need forgiveness?” The truth is, no one except Jesus is 100% innocent. We are all sinners. And anyone who has gone through a divorce needs to ask God’s forgiveness for their part – no matter how big or small.
- Forgive your Ex. For some this may seem impossible, but with Jesus it’s not optional. We are to forgive others in the same way that God forgives us (Ephesians 4:31-32). And if we don’t, then He will not forgive us. Woah, that’s strong!
- Ask your ex and kids for forgiveness. Whether in person, in writing or over the phone, make sure you acknowledge that you fell short in this relationship. This is key when children are involved. Make sure that once your kids are of an age to understand, you acknowledge your part in the broken relationship and ask for their forgiveness.
- Take your Time. Whether it’s a lack of forgiveness or an unwillingness to forgive, unresolved emotional baggage and hurt will be taken out on the new spouse. You owe it to that person to take the time to heal and get right with God.
Divorce is never God’s plan. Marriage is intended to be for life. But for those who are divorced, once you’ve sought God’s forgiveness, you’re forgiven for good. Don’t hold onto the guilt and regret. Trust God at His Word that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).”