As Matt and I have been connecting with more and more couples who are blending families, we’ve noticed an obstacle that no one wants to talk about but almost everyone has faced.
If you are remarried, you may have found yourself thinking about the good times in your past marriage or relationship – especially if you have a child together. You may have even questioned if you should end your marriage and go back to the one you had before. You may even start questioning if you made a mistake in getting remarried. After all, if you restore your first marriage, your children will be under one roof, and all will be right in the world, correct?
The answer is a big NO!
At least once, these thoughts enter into the minds of nearly all, if not all, who have remarried.
This is exactly how the enemy works. His only weapon is deceit – lies. He doesn’t have the ability to create something new, so he twists and perverts truth in a way that makes even the strongest Christian believe it to be true.
Remember your previous marriage? Do you remember all of the things you started finding wrong with your spouse, especially during the divorce? Do you remember all of the things you loved about your current spouse before you got married? Where are you now? Do you find yourself seeing all of the wrong in your marriage now and feeling like it’s much worse than what you had before?
That’s the enemy. He will pervert your memories to idealize your past and poison your future. When you’re in a marriage, he is the accuser of your spouse. He shows you all the things that are wrong with your spouse in hopes to destroy the marriage. If you found yourself in a divorce, he succeeded.
When you remarry, he does the same thing. He becomes the accuser of your new spouse. But then he does something more. This time, he begins to idealize the ex. You know, the very same person whose flaws he continually pointed out when you were married before.
Then, he throws in a twisted version of biblical truth to really confuse you.
Thought #1: My first marriage was a covenant to God that was broken. I know this marriage is also a covenant to God, but God didn’t want me to divorce in the first place, so God would want me to go back to that marriage so we can be back in his design, and our kids can be under the same roof.
You can find scripture to back up some of this, but remember God looks to your future and not your past. When you have been forgiven, God throws that sin (divorce) as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). When you enter into a new covenant with God, that is the covenant you are to uphold. Yes, in God’s original design, he wanted you to remain married and for your children to live under one roof. However, you have moved into a new design. Let me restate that it’s a new design – not a wrong design but a new one. In God’s eyes, the one is now the only one. Adding another divorce is moving you outside of his design . . . again. And don’t think the children won’t be negatively impacted from removing even more family from them. Their stepparent and stepsiblings are their family now, and they will hurt if this family is taken away.
Thought #2: I jumped into this marriage and didn’t hear from God first. He could have restored my first marriage, but I wasn’t patient enough. Scripture says that I am not supposed to remarry unless it is to my first spouse (1 Cor. 7:10-11). Therefore, it was a sin for me to remarry, and staying in this marriage is not part of his will.
Regardless of how you entered into your current marriage, and whether you included God in your decision or not, you did enter into a covenant with God and your spouse. If you view remarriage as a sin because you didn’t involve God, and if you view it as a sin because scripture says you should have remained unmarried, then you follow scripture regarding what you do with that sin. Scripture does not say to fight sin with more sin. It is very clear that God hates divorce. He will NEVER tell you to divorce because things aren’t rainbows and butterflies. He will NEVER tell you to divorce in order to go back and have your children under one roof again. Would he want you all under one roof? Yes, which is why he says not to divorce in the first place and adds that if you do divorce, you don’t remarry in the event your first marriage might be restored. But this goes along with what was mentioned above. When you have remarried, you’ve created a new covenant. God’s design for marriage has not changed simply because you remarried. God’s design now applies to your new marriage. You ask for forgiveness if you feel that you’ve sinned, and you view this marriage as your first because that’s how God views it.
Thought #3: The bible says I’m committing adultery because I got a divorce and then got remarried to someone else (Matt 19:9, Luke 16:18, Mark 10:11). It also says I am sinning and committing adultery as long as my ex is still living (Rom. 7:2-3). God wants me to return to that marriage.
Understand that even if you remarry your first spouse, it will never be what you want it to be. You two are completely different people because divorce changed you both. It will not be the same marriage as it was the first time around, and you will face other difficult challenges from the additional baggage.
Also realize you are only showing your children how divorce is an answer to a problem. You will confuse them and add more brokenness to your family.
God is not a God of regret, guilt, shame or condemnation. When you have these kinds of doubts and confusion, you have to immediately recognize them as the enemy speaking lies to you. You cannot allow these thoughts to consume you. If your thought begins with, “What if,” then you know whatever follows is not from God.
It’s okay to thank God for the good times, but put the past in the past because you absolutely cannot move forward if you keep reliving it.