If a person, in an un-scriptural marriage, repents, what happens to his marriage?


By BibleAsk Team

What to Do in the Case of Unscriptural Marriage?

There are several aspects that need to be considered in the case of scriptural marriage. The Bible does not encourage divorce or re-marriage. The only exception is if there is adultery. What is adultery? Having a sexual relationship with someone who is not your spouse, this can be extended to fornication. Jesus said, “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for [a]sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9).

If someone, who knows the Bible principles concerning marriage, divorces their spouse for a reason other than adultery, it is a sin for them to re-marry. If they remarry, they need to repent by leaving their unlawful partner. An example of this is King Herod. He took his brothers wife, Herodias, as his own. This was denounced by the prophet John the Baptist (Matthew 14:1-5). Repentance to Herod meant that he should end his marriage because it was simply his brother’s wife and it was “not lawful for [Herod] to have her” (Mark 6:18).

If a spouse gets converted and the other is not, it is encouraged that they continue to be married. However, if the unconverted spouse does not want to remain married yet there is no adultery, the Bible states that they may separate but not remarry anyone else (1 Corinthians 7:10-11).

Now, in the case of a couple who get converted together, and these Bible principles are completely new to them, then, their past is in their past. And their marriage can continue. The Bible says, “the times of this ignorance God overlooked; but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). Here, Paul characterizes and partially excuses the whole pre-Christian period as being based on lack of knowledge, especially knowledge of the divine. So, it basically boils down to whether a person knows the truth or not.

God is gracious and understanding and assures repentant sinners that He will help them as they mend their ways and will grant them the grace and power they need to live a right life (Philippians 2:13). When the divine commands are faithfully followed, the Lord makes Himself responsible for the success of the work of repentance and provides strength to fulfill every duty and power to resist all temptations (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

We'd love your feedback, so leave a comment!

If you feel an answer is not 100% Bible based, then leave a comment, and we'll be sure to review it.
Our aim is to share the Word and be true to it.