By Carrol R. Sutton

The question, Who Has the Right to Marry Another, should be of interest to all of us who are concerned about the welfare and happiness of people in this life and their eternal welfare in the world to come.  The only reliable source of information concerning this question is the Word of God.  To it we now appeal.

Mark 10:11-12 – (Jesus said): “Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.”

Luke 16:18 – “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.”  NOTE: God’s law of putting a spouse away and marrying another is stated in the above passages.  Whoever puts away his/her spouse and marries another commits adultery and whoever marries the one put away commits adultery!

In Matthew 19:9 we find an exception to the above stated law.  Listen to Jesus: “...Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”  NOTE: The only exception to the law stated above is “for fornication”.  In Mt. 5:32 Jesus said: “...whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”

In the above passages we have one spouse who puts away (or divorces) the other spouse and one spouse who is put away (or is divorced).  Please consider the fact that one puts away the other one! So, according to Jesus, there is one who puts away (divorces) and there is one who is put way (or is divorced).  Simple, isn’t it – if we stay with the texts?

According to the words of the texts, who has a right to marry another?  The one who is put away (is divorced) or the one who puts away the other one for the cause of fornication?  If you are having any difficulty whatsoever understanding the answer that Jesus gives in these passages to our question, please read the texts very carefully.  The texts are plain.  The answer is clear.  The person who is put away (is divorced) does not have the right to marry another.  Only the person who puts away (divorces) his/her spouse for the cause of fornication has the right to marry another, according to Jesus in the above texts.

Of course, all of us realize that Romans 7:1-3 and 1 Cor. 7:39 teach that a person whose spouse has died has a right to marry another, but “only in the Lord”.

The Instructor, April, 2003; Volume 40, Number 4
Published monthly by the congregation of Christ,
Meeting at 4777 US Highway 431, Albertville, AL.

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Last Updated:  Thursday, January 26, 2006 12:41 PM