I do not understand the term “broken covenant” when talking about marriage. Is not the husband related to the former wife as long as she is still “physically” alive? A Christian is allowed to divorce because of adultery, but is he allowed to remarry?
The initiator of the divorce does not have the right to remarry
I assume that the person who sent me the question, when he wrote, had in mind the following Bible verse:
But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)(NASB)
I want to draw the attention of the reader that this text is addressed to the person who initiated the divorce and whose partner left the door open for remarriage, for he says to be reconciled to her husband which implies that she may still be reconciled. She has to choose, either she is reconciled and lives with her marriage partner who wants and agrees to live together, or remains unmarried. We do not have the right to spread this principle to all cases of divorce because Scripture does not allow us this and even the following verses present us clearly that …
The victim of the divorce is free to remarry
Next, the text says this:
But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. (1 Corinthians 7:12-15)(NASB)
See, when the other one took the initiative of divorce, in this case, the Christian is not under bondage, and he is no longer required to remain under the terms of this covenant, because the initiator of divorce has broken the covenant. The last but one verse of the same chapter of 1 Corinthians 7 tells us what means the phrase “not under bondage”:
A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:39)(NASB)
So, the expression “not bound” means free to to remarry whoever she wants, only in the Lord.
Do not punish the victim
Some people in ignorance, out of blind fervor and a bad knowledge of the Scriptures, tend to blame the victim and to punish by placing over her a burden that they themselves could never bear. This thing happens often when it comes to marry someone who is a victim of divorce. God keep us not to put heavy burdens on the shoulders of people, but give us a heart like His and feel together with the victim to defense her, as our heavenly Father does always. Praised be His name!
Translated by Felicia Rotaru