An Objection

“But if people are told that it is lawful for them to remarry after divorcing for any reason, that will encourage them to divorce for illegitimate reasons,” it is often claimed. I suppose that might be true in some cases of religious people who are not truly attempting to please God. But trying to restrain people from sinning who are not submitted to God is a fairly useless exercise. People who are truly submitted to God in their hearts, however, are not trying to find ways to sin. They are trying to please God. And those kinds of people usually have strong marriages. Moreover, apparently God was not too concerned about people under the old covenant divorcing for illegitimate reasons due to a liberal law of remarriage, because He gave Israel a liberal law of remarriage.

Should we avoid telling people that God is willing to forgive them of any sin, lest they be encouraged to sin because they know that forgiveness is available? If so, we’ll have to stop preaching the gospel. Again, it all comes down to the condition of people’s hearts. Those who love God want to obey Him. I know very well that God’s forgiveness would be available for me if I ask for it, no matter what sin I might commit. But that doesn’t motivate me at all to sin, because I love God and have been born again. I’ve been transformed by God’s grace. I want to please Him.

God knows there is no need to add one more negative consequence to the many unavoidable negative consequences of divorce in hopes of motivating people to remain married. Telling people with troubled marriages that they better not divorce because they will not be permitted to ever remarry provides very little motivation for staying married. Even if he believes you, the prospect of a life of singleness compared to a life of continual marital misery sounds like heaven to the miserably-married person.