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Can I marry a divorced woman?

q.gif (1639 bytes) I was reborn last January, and I've been growing quickly in the word of the Lord.  Since then, I've had a calling to become a pastor myself, so for obvious reasons- it is very important to follow Gods laws. I am also currently engaged to be married to a wonderful Christian girl, and we try our best to do what is right- to make our union a holy one. But, here's my problem... 

    She has already been married once- to a man that abused her mentally, and physically, as well as raping her.  This wasn't enough to drive her away from him- but she decided to leave after he had cheated on her. Now, their divorce is final, and she and I want to marry.   The Bible has many rules about a woman cheating on her husband- but none that I can see clearly pertain to this situation.  I want to know  if it would be a sin to marry her. Some of the scripture I've looked at are Deut.24.1-4, Malachi  2.14-16, Matthew 5.31-32, Matthew 19.3-12, Luke 16.18, and 1 Corinthians 7.10-17. I would truly appreciate all, and any advice you could send my way on this.  

a.gif (1659 bytes)Thank you for your letter.  I praise God for your willing heart to serve the Lord in whatever way He sees fit.  That is wonderful that you were saved in January, and that you have been in the Word of God growing since then. 

    God always gives direction through His Word.  He may get our attention through circumstances, but He will always confirm His will through His Word.  I encourage people that when God gets our attention in some way, that we should then search the Scriptures for further direction.  It is like the wise men in Matthew chapter two.  The star in the east got their attention, but it did not lead them to Bethlehem at first.  They went to Jerusalem (Matthew 2:1,2).  Why did God have them go there?  Because that was where there were men who knew what the Word of God said.  When Herod asked them where the King of the Jews was to be born, they immediately quoted Micah 5:2.  It is interesting to note that the star then moved (Matthew 2:9). 

    So the example left for us is that God may get our attention by circumstances (the star in the east), but that He then wants us to seek His Word for direction, and then He may often use circumstances again (the star moving) to lead and guide us further. The mistake that I often see happen, is that Christians fail to go to the Word of God for direction, and only go by circumstances.  That is when they make mistakes.  But praise the Lord that we have His pure Word, the King James Bible, to lead and guide us! 

    In your case, the Bible is clear that you cannot marry a divorced woman, no matter how tragic the circumstances of her marriage was.  Romans 7:2,3 says, "For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband SO LONG AS HE LIVETH; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.  So then IF, WHILE HER HUSBAND LIVETH, SHE BE MARRIED TO ANOTHER MAN, SHE SHALL BE CALLED AN ADULTRESS: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adultress, though she be married to another man."  She cannot Scripturally marry anyone until her husband dies.  Yes, many go against what God clearly says here, but there is always a price to be paid when we go against God's will. 

    God's way is the best way, and I pray that you will trust Him that what He says is the very best for your life. 

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