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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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clear.gif - 808 Bytes Question:

clear.gif - 808 Bytes I have been divorced and remarried. However, my second husband recently passed away. Is it wrong for me to seek another husband if my first is still alive. I am much confused about the verse in Romans and Corinthians about, "as long as your husband is alive and your married to someone else you are called an "adulteress". Please help.
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clear.gif - 808 Bytes Thanks for writing.

I am sorry to hear about the passing of your husband. However, I believe that it would be wrong for you to get remarried because your first husband is still alive. I would have advised you against getting remarried the first time, because you still had a living husband, and apparently from your letter that situation has not changed.

I Corinthians 7:39 states,

"The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord."
Since you have a living husband, you are bound to him until he passes away. Even if there is no possibility of reconciliation, you should not seek to marry another, for verse 27 of that passage states,
"Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife."
You fall into the "loosed" section, because you are already divorced.

You mentioned Romans 7:3. That verse says,

"So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man."
I think that the teaching here is pretty straightforward. If a woman who has a living husband marries another man, she is considered to be an adulteress. A woman who is a widow, and has no living husband, can re-marry, and is not considered to be an adulteress. We know that God's plan from the Garden of Eden on was for a man and woman to get married and stay together and faithful to each other until death. If a woman cheats on her husband and has a relationship with another man, she is committing adultery. The fact that she has gone through a divorce proceeding, and is therefore no longer "cheating", does not change the fact that she is having a relationship with another man while she still has a husband. In the eyes of the law of the land, she may have the right to remarry, but in the eyes of the Word of God she does not.

Matthew 19 contains the Lord's direct teaching on this subject. Verses 4-6 read,

"And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
He then comments in verse 9,
"And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."
Here we see that the teachings of Jesus are identical to the teachings of Paul in Romans and Corinthians.

I can honestly say that I am sorry about your loss. However, in spite of our circumstances, we must always live in accordance with the teachings of the Scriptures.
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Pastor Dr. Mark Montgomery
Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209

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