Churches are full of divorced and remarried people. Many feel they’ve been given a second chance. But is it really ‘OK’ with God? We asked Clifford Hill, as a long-time minister, for his response AT A WEDDING, people make promises to stay together for as long as they live. If the wedding is in a church they are making these promises as vows before God. They say:
“I take you to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward; for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part; according to God’s holy law, and in the presence of God I make this vow.”
That’s pretty heavy stuff! And I’m quite sure that the vast majority of people who make these promises, really mean to keep them. They are in love and full of hope for the future. But it doesn’t always work out quite as they hoped. Things go wrong and tensions arise in their relationship. Sometimes the relationships just can’t be healed and they divorce.
Many ministers and pastors are faced with requests to marry people who have been married before, and they sometimes face quite difficult decisions. I have always made a distinction between those who have deliberately broken up a marriage and those who have been deserted. I think this is fully in line with the compassion of Jesus in dealing with sinful humanity.
We all mess up our lives in some way at some time, but God never throws us into the trash can. He loves us so much that there is always a second chance and he helps to reshape our lives when we allow him to do so. This is the message of the Gospel that Jesus preached and lived. This is why I’m happy to remarry those who had a sad experience in marriage and are sincerely looking for God’s help in making a new life for each other – to love and to cherish for the rest of their days.