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Question

I am a divorced woman. Is it a sin to continue loving my ex-husband? We are still in close contact though he doesn't suggest getting back together. What should I do?

Answer

Thank you so much for your honest spiritual enquiry. I am so sorry for the continued pain you are going through.

It is no sin to continue loving your ex-husband. Though it must be a great heartache for you because, as you say, you are a divorced woman and your former husband seems to want it to remain like that.

Nevertheless, it would appear from your question that your former husband still desires some of the good intimacy and shared history of your former relationship without the commitment. It is your choice to either give that or withhold it.

This is no sin, but some would suggest that it is an unwise and hurtful thing for your heart.

Without knowing the details of your divorce and the continuing connections of finance, property, children, etc., it is good to give you some general Biblical principles for your consideration.

First we will refer to some difficult words and so it is important that you do not get further hurt by them, but rather, try and see the principle which I shall pull from them which might be of help to you in your present pain. Remember, not knowing your circumstances, this is just a principle of guidance.

When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favour in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man's wife, if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. (Deuteronomy 24:1-4)

Let me say first of what Jesus says, that this ‘divorcing’ mentioned here was not God’s desire, but was allowed by Moses because of the hardness of these people’s hearts (Mark 10:5). That being the case then, the general principle is very clear: if since your divorce either of you has had physical relations with another, then getting back together is not allowed. The general principle is once you are divorced, you cannot go back.

HOWEVER, and it is a big however, we could leave it like that if it were not for the grace of God and His own heart of love.

Hosea was one of God’s prophets, who was commanded by God to marry a prostitute called Gomer, who also later in their married life committed adultery many times and had children by other men. Eventually Gomer left Hosea and lived with a man of no good who later led her into the religious sex industry. This, of course, most utterly destroyed her, leaving her as a well used, worthless and destitute old religious prostitute being sold for next to nothing in the slave market. It was at this point that God told the broken hearted prophet to go and buy her back, remarry her and take care of her. In some respects, your heart toward your ex-husband is like God’s ripped apart heart toward his own adulterous people:

"My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Though they call to the Most High, None at all exalt Him. How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred. I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God, and not man, The Holy One in your midst; And I will not come with terror." (Hosea 11:7-9)

In summary then, I believe the general principle of the Bible is, if you are divorced then remain so. God’s grace, God’s providence, God’s enabling, God’s intervention may however, override this general principle. Should a remarriage be in the offering then God will provide all the power. However, I do not say should seek this or put your hopes in reunification with your former husband, for these instances are rare, and always come with a great and continuing cost. Yes, the reuniting of something so broken is never a fairy tale, but often times, proves exceptionally hard work for the heart.

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • Psalms 91:1-16
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
  • Hebrews 13:5

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*All Scripture references are taken From The New King James Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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