Hi,

Thanks for your question.  Can I first of all say how sorry I am to hear what has happened to you.  Being abandoned by somebody you love is an awful experience and one that, sadly, leaves us hurt and confused.

It is difficult for me to talk about your specific situation since I don’t know the details, so I will talk generally about the issue of marriage and divorce. In doing so, however, I may cause some offense for which I am sorry. Please bear with me.

The Bible speaks very strongly against divorce.  This is because God intended marriage to be a life-long union between a man and a woman that is reflective of the relationship within the Godhead and ultimately between Christ and the church. The heart of this relationship is faithfulness. Divorce, therefore, goes completely against what God intended for marriage.  For this reason, the most important thing that someone can do when facing marriage difficulties is to seek help.  Many marriages can be helped and saved if both partners are willing to listen to each other, to accept advice from counsellors, to change their ways if necessary, and to forgive.  This is God’s ideal. 

However, the bible allowed for divorce within Israel (Deuteronomy 4:1-24). Jesus interpreted this as a concession from God to cope with the sinfulness of humanity (Matthew 19:1-9) and to make sure that sin within a relationship did not cause greater harm. But it is only ever a last option.

Sometimes divorce is forced upon us and we don’t have a choice about it at all. Paul talks about divorce in 1 Corinthians 7 particularly verse 15. There it describes a situation where divorce is permisible due to the unbelieving partner walking out on their spouse.  What the passage says is that the believing spouse is ‘not bound’ in such a circumstance.  This effectively means that the marriage is over - the vows and promises which were made in it no longer apply.  The reason it specifies that it is an ‘unbelieving’ spouse who walks out is that it assumes that if both partners are Christians then they will work at restoring the marriage no matter how difficult it has become.  Christians are not to walk out on a marriage, but if a Christian is walked out on by somebody else, they are not obligated to maintain the legal marriage vows which have no corresponding reality of relationship.  They are ‘not bound’.

As I said I do not know your particular situation but God does! He knows you and your husband’s hearts and understands your situation. Do what you can to save your marriage and give your husband plenty of opportunity to return. Ask God for wisdom and help, seek the support of friends and family. Do what you can to be reconciled. It is hard but it is what God wants of you - after all look what he did in order to be reconciled to you!

However you may reach a point where the marriage cannot be retrieved and your husband (not you) wants a divorce. In such circumstances the marriage has been dissolved, the memories will still be there, but the marriage vows are no longer binding.  This means that remarriage is allowable.  Whether or not it is a good idea is a completely different issue.  It might be a good idea to help alleviate loneliness and temptation (see 1 Corinthians 7:9), but it might also be a bad idea depending on why the original marriage broke down. 

Since divorce and remarriage is such a difficult and personal issue, and reasons for separation are often complex, can I encourage you to try and speak with a mature Christian friend or minister who knows your situation.  If that isn’t possible, try to find a Christian counsellor who can help you.  Finally, keep trusting in God.  Loneliness and temptation are problems that all people face, and marriage isn’t always the best solution.  God is able to give you strength in all situations, and he says to each one of us in our time of need, ‘My grace is sufficient for you.’  (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

I hope this helps.  God bless,

James