After my husband divorced me in 1989 I still felt married, legally, so I did not date or even really consider remarriage for many years. Finally a few years after he died and I knew I was free to marry again, I ended up at the huge Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas where Jack Graham, Senior Pastor, gave a sermon on this topic. It was a total surprise.
Yes, said Pastor Graham, if you, the wife, never had sex with anyone but your husband, then no matter what he does, you are still married. You are called a widow only after he dies; meanwhile you are still considered married and he is the one who is committing adultery while he lives. Because you both are “one flesh” you become an adulterer because he has a 3rd person in your bed.
The passage is confusing. A wife can say to herself- how can he commit adultery and suddenly, I who never did commit adultery am suddenly an adulterer? But that is what the New Testament says.
Man’s laws don’t apply with God
Keep in mind that God does not recognize the law of man in His Kingdom. Man’s laws are only for this world and the world system, a world system we are told not to love. But His law – that we are to love.
The fact that you have a piece of paper from say – The State of Indiana – mandating your divorce does not mean you are divorced in God’s eyes. He is eternal and he has eternal rules. Divorce may be true on earth but it may or may not be true in heavenly places, and God’s word there is paramount.
God said, Mark 10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. The State of Indiana can put asunder anyone their wan to, but God has a different standard. He is the one who verifies or denies the marriage by His own rules.
Matthew 5:31-32 King James Version (KJV) Jesus said His law for Christians is tougher than the law for Jews.
31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
However the minute you marry again or have sex with someone you are not married to, the marriage is now officially over in God’s eyes and you become an adulterer because of what you, the wife, did. Previously you were an adulterer because of what you legal husband did. Remember in this case man’s divorce laws are not in effect. At no time does God say the innocent woman has “commit” adultery, only that now she shares the classification.
A friend has been an “adulterer” for 30 years
To back me up I later met a fellow student from grad school who had the same complaint; her husband had married a Taiwanese woman back in the 80s but she had remained faithful to him. In her case she was still an “adulterer” because he was still alive, something she rued to that day. But she is a missionary for her denomination so she does not mind her position. Being faithful is not a strain. When you are obedient to God’s perfect will, He has blessings for you.
I can honestly say that after 35 years of singleness, the smartest thing I never did was get married again. But being happy is not why you recognize or obey God’s law. You do it because it guarantees blessings from Him. I sleep like a baby every night. I have no guilt over past misadventures, although I still have commit other kinds of sins which I regret. But sexual license is not one of them.
Sexual purity is a test
Sexual purity is an important test in God’s eyes for your sincerity as one of his family and an acid test for the ministry.
If you are still “married” to an unfaithful man, wait for God to free you. In the meantime I hope this helps you understand God’s laws in this matter.
#adultery #accountability #deathofspouse #God’slaw