We had big dreams, and then the unimaginable happened: a divorce. After the dust has settled, the issue of sexuality resurfaces. If we are no longer virgins, do the principles of purity still apply?
After getting divorced, part of our broken heart sometimes seems impossible to mend. A large majority of divorced people do not dream of a glorious remarriage, of a memorable wedding. Since divorce is considered a great sin in our churches, divorced people often feel like second-rate Christians; they carry a certain shame on them. A dark state of mind that has nothing to do with the unconditional forgiveness that God offers. When God forgives us, He does so completely. We are a new creature in Christ, and no matter our past sins, we no longer have to walk in condemnation.
But the discomfort with the past, and judgment that weighs on many divorcees, sometimes leads them to distance themselves from God. As if they were no longer worthy to serve the Lord. And when they desire to get back in a relationship, they no longer have the desire to follow the precepts of holiness that we hear about unmarried people. “No sex before marriage? That is for virgins. I am no longer a virgin, I am divorced, so it does not apply to my situation”, we hear sometimes. Thus, many older singles no longer pay attention to the biblical course of action. It is not uncommon to see divorced Christians living together without being married.
This attitude is a pity because God never ceases to desire the best for us. Even after terrible failures, when we are truly repentant, God still wants the best for us. To make sure we get the best out of this life, God gives us a guide, a path to follow. A user manual that does not change, regardless of personal or social circumstances, of age or financial means. The Word of God is not only for saints, it is especially for sinners!
That means that even in the case of a new union, after a divorce, one must follow the rules of holiness that God requires. When Paul says it is okay for a woman to remarry, he is specifying “let it be in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39), that is, let the partners both be children of God and follow the direction a child of God should follow in terms of dating. Sex must remain within the framework of marriage (Hebrews 13:4).
Some Christians excuse their sexual activities outside of marriage by saying that they have too many desires. “I know what sex is, I was married! So it’s harder for me to resist.” And they are absolutely right! When you have tasted sexual pleasures, whether in the context of marriage or when you had not given your life to God, it is much more difficult to hold back its ardor. No wonder lovers are advised not to arouse love until it wants to (Song of Solomon 8:4). Once desires have been awakened, it is much harder to resist them. Paul speaks of a burning feeling. “But if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Corinthians 7:9 NKJV). So yes, it will be harder to resist, but this is a fight you can win. Hide in Christ, and you will be more than conquerors even in this area. No human weakness can keep you from following the way of the Lord.
The path to life, the divine order to follow in our relationships, is no different for divorced people. Washed in the blood of the Lamb, we are all children of God, all led by His Spirit to walk in holiness.