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Sex with the ex

For those who are divorced or widowed.
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Hiswifeagain
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Re: Sex with the ex

Post by Hiswifeagain »

I have been in this situation. We were divorced after infidelity on my part. Neither of us remarried but we each had a sexual relationship. We decided to remarry after 10 years apart. We did engage in "pre-remarital sex" which we both agree is sin, though at the time we justified it in our heads "that we were still married in God's eyes". Yes, we both know now this is not true. I was actually a brand new believer at that time though I had called myself a Christian since shortly after I met him when I was 17. He was a believer his whole life but had never been to church or had exposure to sound Biblical teaching. It was very common in his family to decide "God said" based on feeling. :hb:

I believe it's sin to engage in sex with a former spouse regardless of the reason for the divorce. I believe this because I believe the Bible says that sex outside of marriage is sin. The Bible tells us to follow the laws of our government and after divorce the government considers the marriage to be dissolved, making sex, if it should happen, to be outside of marriage.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
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DoveGrey
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Re: Sex with the ex

Post by DoveGrey »

Hiswifeagain wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:31 pm I believe it's sin to engage in sex with a former spouse regardless of the reason for the divorce. I believe this because I believe the Bible says that sex outside of marriage is sin. The Bible tells us to follow the laws of our government and after divorce the government considers the marriage to be dissolved, making sex, if it should happen, to be outside of marriage.
I was hoping you'd weigh in. Thank you!

I understand your reasoning here, but then I become confused because of what I see as a dichotomy. Christ said that after the divorce certificate (which I assume is merely civil, but perhaps I am wrong), if a spouse remarries (also under the government laws), then he or she is committing adultery. In my mind, that means God doesn't recognize the divorce as valid despite the fact that the government does.

Either way, this is an extraordinarily slippery slope, and the interpretation the way I see it has been used to bring financial benefits to polygamist situations. I don't like the loophole facet of it.

For myself, I think I would try to avoid the entanglement just because I would want the situation to become as permanent as possible before I gave myself to someone again. It's emotionally risky otherwise, and I'd rather err on the side of caution where sin in concerned. I already have too much in my past to add more.
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Hiswifeagain
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Re: Sex with the ex

Post by Hiswifeagain »

DoveGrey wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:24 pm I understand your reasoning here, but then I become confused because of what I see as a dichotomy. Christ said that after the divorce certificate (which I assume is merely civil, but perhaps I am wrong), if a spouse remarries (also under the government laws), then he or she is committing adultery. In my mind, that means God doesn't recognize the divorce as valid despite the fact that the government does.
I wonder if what Jesus was saying is that you are free to divorce for infidelity but that doesn’t mean you’re free to remarry? That would seem harsh for the “innocent of adultery” spouse. But if that is what He meant then it would make forgiveness and reconciliation look like an option one might think harder about.

My other thought was to wonder if that was hyperbole? Like gouge out your eye rather than listing or cutting off your hand if you’re given to stealing rather than going to hell with 2 good hands. Needing to hate your family to love Him properly. Matthew 18:29, Luke 14:25
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
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DoveGrey
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Re: Sex with the ex

Post by DoveGrey »

Hiswifeagain wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 9:07 pm
I wonder if what Jesus was saying is that you are free to divorce for infidelity but that doesn’t mean you’re free to remarry? That would seem harsh for the “innocent of adultery” spouse. But if that is what He meant then it would make forgiveness and reconciliation look like an option one might think harder about.
I tend to agree with the author of these words, taken from https://ca.thegospelcoalition.org/co ... marriage/

When the Bible permits divorce, it is so that the wronged or abandoned party may remarry. That’s what a certificate of divorce is. Therefore, in any case where a divorce is biblically permissible, it is by definition also permissible for the wronged or abandoned party to remarry. In Matthew 5:31-32 Jesus says:

It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:31–32 ESV)

Here Jesus is simply saying that if a divorce is not legitimate, then the remarriage is not legitimate. If the divorce is legitimate (he uses the word pornea again), then the remarriage is legitimate.


I had a friend who struggled with this, and I think that background affects my perspective. Husband divorced the wife because he wanted freedom. No evidence of adultery. (It was there, but it didn't become apparent until later.) The now-divorced wife, on pastoral counsel, chose to wait to start dating until it was clear that the ex-husband was sleeping around, based on Matthew 5. I personally felt that she qualified for biblical divorce on the grounds that the husband had obviously left the faith. However, after such a major betrayal, she needed to wait before dating, anyway. She's now a few years into a Christ-centered marriage.

@HisWifeAgain, I am so glad it worked out for you and your husband. I'm not sure I've said that yet, but I want you to know how much I admire you.
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Re: Sex with the ex

Post by LBD »

David wrote: If the couple is divorced, then they've made a deliberate decision to end their marriage. It seems to me that such a decision should be permanent, and I would question whether it is appropriate to subsequently rekindle the relationship.
I could not disagree with this more. Scripture would disagree as well. 1 Cor. 7:11


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Re: Sex with the ex

Post by David »

@LBD I think we need to read scripture in context.
Scripture always and everywhere views marriage as a lifelong union of one man and one woman. Scripture seems to recognise two situations where it is legitimate to rupture that union - adultery and desertion by an unbelieving spouse.
This possibly helps us understand Jesus' words in Matthew 5 - by divorcing his wife a man is, in effect, telling the world that she's an adulteress and is therefore sinning against her if she's innocent. If she remarries, then the consummation of that marriage is technically adulterous because it defiles the first marriage bed.
Deuteronomy 24 makes it plain that if a man divorces his wife and she remarries, then he's not to take her back again. We are told that this is because, by taking a subsequent husband, the first marriage bed has been defiled.

1 Corinthians 7 speaks of a different situation. What seems to have been happening in Corinth is that people who were already married when they became Christians were coming under the influence of false teachers who taught that it was more spiritual not to be married, and were divorcing as a result (it's possible that there was also some confusion as to whether a marriage contracted between pagans was still valid if they became Christians). Paul is correcting that error by saying that if you're already married then you should remain that way, but that if you've fallen into error by separating then you shouldn't defile the marriage bed by remarrying another, and should seek to be reconciled to the original spouse.

I think that the prohibition of Deuteronomy 24 still holds, and that if a couple divorce and one spouse remarries another then that is a permanent decision to rupture the first marriage and create a new one, and they shouldn't subsequently remarry the first spouse. If there's no subsequent marriage to another, then it seems to me that it would be unwise for the couple to remarry because they've previously made a commitment to create a lifelong union and then ruptured that union and gone through a process to dissolve it, and so to create that union again shows a certain lack of sincerity and seriousness and to me makes a mockery of the lifelong commitment of marriage.
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Re: Sex with the ex

Post by Oldbear »

David wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 1:38 am If a couple is separated, then they are still married. In that situation, sharing passion is to be expected, although I think it would be unwise to do so if the intention is not to reconcile.

If the couple is divorced, then they've made a deliberate decision to end their marriage. It seems to me that such a decision should be permanent, and I would question whether it is appropriate to subsequently rekindle the relationship.
Succinctly stated, David. My perspective, as well.
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Re: Sex with the ex

Post by WirelessRouter »

David wrote: Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:51 am @LBD I think we need to read scripture in context.
Just gotta say, this statement will always be true. Please, everyone, always interpret by context.
If there's no subsequent marriage to another, then it seems to me that it would be unwise for the couple to remarry because they've previously made a commitment to create a lifelong union and then ruptured that union and gone through a process to dissolve it, and so to create that union again shows a certain lack of sincerity and seriousness and to me makes a mockery of the lifelong commitment of marriage.
This statement, however, I can not agree with. Speaking from the perspective that we were designed to be like God ("let Us make man in our image and *likeness*"), and sin is a violation of that design (Romans 3:23); Given the outrageously high value God put on reconciliation, I'm inclined to think not remarrying when a couple is able and willing would be sinful. Should our earthly relationships not reflect the behavior of our God who describes Himself as divorced from Israel, yet made reconciliation with them through Jesus if they're willing to accept Him?
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Re: Sex with the ex

Post by David »

The problem as I see it is that in the marriage vows you promise to form a union that will last as long as you both live.
To get divorced, you demonstrate that the union has ruptured due to irreconcilable differences caused by either adultery, estrangement or unreasonable behaviour.

If you divorce and then reconcile leading to re-marriage, then the differences weren't irreconcilable. This would lead me to question whether the covenant of marriage was being treated with the appropriate seriousness and respect.
Another way of putting it would be if you've made a promise and reneged on it once, are you going to keep it this time? If the answer is yes, then all well and good, but it would be wise to make doubly sure that the answer will be yes. That's why I would question whether it is wise for a divorced couple to remarry each other, although as far as I can see it wouldn't be a sin for them to do so if neither has subsequently married a third party.
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Hiswifeagain
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Re: Sex with the ex

Post by Hiswifeagain »

David wrote: Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:51 am If there's no subsequent marriage to another, then it seems to me that it would be unwise for the couple to remarry because they've previously made a commitment to create a lifelong union and then ruptured that union and gone through a process to dissolve it, and so to create that union again shows a certain lack of sincerity and seriousness and to me makes a mockery of the lifelong commitment of marriage.
It seems you are making 2 different points. 1: It is unwise and 2: insincerity and a mockery. I am curious as to why you say it is unwise? I appreciate what you’re saying about making a mockery as I hold marriage in extremely high regard. Does that allow for growth and maturity?
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
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