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#3. DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE TODAY WITH REGARDS TO WOMEN

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Introduction 3

This is a bible study about divorce and remarriage today with regards to women. Why should we consider a woman's position to be any different to that of a man when we look at divorce and remarriage? It seems obvious from the scriptures that God sees several differences between a woman's position and a man's position:

(1) God made them different in the first place, male and female (Genesis 1:27; Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6).

(2) The woman was made from man, for a helper (Genesis 2:18-25).

(3) The man was meant to be the provider (Genesis 3:17-19;  1 Timothy 5:8), while the wife bore children and looked after the home (Genesis 3:16;  1 Timothy 5:14).

(3) The man was given authority in the relationship (Genesis 3:16; Ephesians 5:23;  1 Timothy 3:2-5), the woman was meant to be in subjection to the man (Genesis 3:16; Ephesians 5:22; 5:24;  1 Timothy 2:11-12;  1 Peter 3:1; 3:5-6).

(4) Although divorce was never God's plan (Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:9; 1 Corinthians 7:10-13), there were times when God permitted a man to put away his wife (Deuteronomy 24:1; Matthew 5:31; 19:7-8; Mark 10:4-5). However, there is no permission given in the Old or New Testament for a woman to put away her husband, because without authority in the relationship, she could not terminate it.

(5) Men often had many wives, Jacob for example had four, Leah Genesis 29:21-27), Rachel (Genesis 29:28), Bilhah (Genesis 30:3-4), and Zilpah (Genesis 30:9), and Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines (1 Kings 11:3). On the other hand, it was never permitted for a woman to have more than one husband.

All this may lead us to the conclusion that God has created men and women so different, that a woman will find it much easier to live without a sexual relationship with a man, than a man would without a woman. This would be one reason why God made laws concerning men raping women (Exodus 22:16; Deuteronomy 22:23-29), but not concerning women raping men. It is therefore safe to analyze the situations of men and women separately, when it comes to modern day divorce and remarriage, and not to presume that God sees no difference. If it is otherwise, then we can let God's word reveal it through the analysis, without making an erroneous assumption to start with.

#3.1 A WIFE SHOULD NOT LEAVE HER HUSBAND

JEREMIAH 3:20
20 Surely as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so have you dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, says the LORD.

1 CORINTHIANS 7:10 (Paul)
10 And to the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Do not let the wife depart1 from her husband:

1 CORINTHIANS 7:13 (Paul)
13 And the woman who has a husband who does not believe, and if he is pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

Note: The words translated Do not let ... depart1 (1 Corinthians 7:10) are the Greek words μὴ χωρισθῆναι, (Gtr. me choristhenai), of which "me" is the negative "not", and " choristhenai " is the aorist, passive, infinitive, of the verb "chorizo", "I depart", or "I separate". It should have "middle" meaning rather than "passive" meaning, in which case it literally means "not to depart", or "not to separate". Otherwise, if we take the passive sense, this passage reads, "I command ... the wife not to be separated from her husband." This would be difficult for the wife to obey if the husband put her away, or departed from her. This second scripture (1 Corinthians 7:10) refers to a wife who has a believing husband, while the third one (1 Corinthians 7:13) refers to a wife who has an unbelieving husband. Both give the same advice, for the wife not to depart from her husband. This is in total harmony with the fact that a man should not put away his wife (Malachi 2:14-16;  Matthew 19:5-6;  Mark 10:7-9; 1 Corinthians 7:12), because not only does God hate putting away (Malachi 2:16), but he can also look on a wife's act of leaving her husband as treachery (Jeremiah 3:20).

#3.2 A WIFE WHO LEAVES HER HUSBAND SHOULD REMAIN UNMARRIED OR BE RECONCILED TO HER HUSBAND

1 CORINTHIANS 7:10-11 (Paul)
10 And to the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Do not let the wife depart from her husband:
11 But and if she departs, let her remain1 unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and do not let the husband put away his wife.

Note: The word translated let her remain1 (Gr. μενέτω, Gtr. meneto) is the third person, singular, present, active, imperative, of the verb "meno", "I remain". Being a present imperative, this is a command to do something continually (DFH p92; HPVN p83; JWW p74; WP p51), and so the force of the Greek is "let her continue to remain unmarried". A wife here is commanded not to leave her husband (v10), but if the situation is such that she sees leaving her husband as the only liveable option, then this scripture shows that her only two alternatives are to remain as unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband. Remarriage is not given as an alternative here, even as Jesus taught against remarriage elsewhere (Matthew 19:9-12; Mark 10:12; Luke 16:18; See #6.26).

#3.3 A WIFE WITH AN UNBELIEVING HUSBAND

1 CORINTHIANS 7:13-16 (Paul)
13 And the woman who has a husband who does not believe, and if he is pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave1 him.
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now they are holy.
15 But if the unbelieving departs2, let him depart2. A brother or a sister is not under bondage3 in such cases: but God has called us to peace.
16 For what do you know, O wife, whether you shall save your husband? or what do you know, O man, whether you shall save your wife?

1 PETER 3:1-2
1 Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any does not obey the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation4 of the wives;
2 While they behold your chaste conversation4 coupled with fear.

Note 1: Many scriptures indicate that it is not wise for a Christian woman to marry an unsaved man (See #3.7 Note 2), but if a wife gets saved after she is married, or if she marries a Christian who later backslides, she is faced with an unbeliever for a husband. Many varied interpretations have been made of this passage (1 Corinthians 7:13-16), which covers this situation, so we need to examine very carefully what this scripture says before we draw any conclusions from it.
The words translated, let her not leave1 (1 Corinthians 7:13) consist of μὴ (Gtr.me) which is the negative "not", and ἀφιέτω (Gtr.aphieto) which is the third person, singular, present, active, imperative, of the verb "aphiemi", "I send away", "I leave", or "I depart from". The meaning of the present imperative here is to continue or repeatedly do an action (See #3.2 Note refs.), so we can take this to mean "let her continue to not leave him", or in other words, "don't ever leave him". The words translated depart2, and let him depart2 (1 Corinthians 7:15) are both forms of the verb χωρίζω (Gtr. choridzo), which means "I depart", "I put apart", "I separate". Some have tried to make this word mean divorce (with the right to remarry implied) because it is used elsewhere where it could at least include divorce (See #1.31 Note). Nevertheless, this would be foolish, because in the very same context of married couples separating, the same verb is used twice (1 Corinthians 7:10-11) where there is a prohibition against remarriage: "if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband:" (v11). In other places also this verb is used of temporary departures from places and people (Acts 1:4; 18:1; Philemon 15).

Note 2: The words translated is not under bondage3 (Gr. οὐ δεδούλωται, Gtr. ou dedoulōtai) (1 Corinthians 7:15) contains "ou", which is the negative "not", and "dedoulōtai", which is the third person, singular, perfect, passive, indicative of the verb "douloō". This verb is used of becoming a servant or slave (Acts 7:6), a servant of righteousness (Romans 6:18), a servant of God (Romans 6:22), a servant of fellow Christians (1 Corinthians 9:19), a servant to the things of the world (Galatians 4:3), such as wine (Titus 2:3), and corrupt teaching (2 Peter 2:19). The equivalent adjective "doulos" (which is used as a noun) is almost everywhere translated "servant", and speaks of someone being in servitude. This is often not slavery, but a voluntary subjection, such as servants of God (Acts 16:17; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 2:16; Revelation 7:3; 15:3), servants of Christ (Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 7:22; Galatians 1:10; Ephesians 6:6; Philippians 1:1 etc.), and even of Jesus himself as our perfect example (Philippians 2:7). It is also used of serving sin (John 8:34), and corruption (2 Peter 2:19). These words literally translate as, "is not in bondage", "is not in servitude", or "is not in slavery". The question that we need to ask is, "not in bondage to what?" because some interpret this to mean "not in bondage to the marriage relationship", and therefore teach that it allows divorce with the right to remarry. However, this verb "douloō" is never used of the marriage bond in the New Testament, but whenever Paul spoke of someone being bound in marriage he always used another verb, "deō":

(Romans 7:2) "For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives;"
(1 Corinthians 7:27) " Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed."
(1 Corinthians 7:39) "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives;"

The verb "deō" is a much stronger term than "douloō". It is used of prisoners being bound (Matthew 14:3; 22:13; John 18:12; Acts 12:6; 21:33; Revelation 20:2 etc.), of animals being tied (Matthew 21:2; Mark 11:2; Luke 19:30), and of being bound with infirmity by Satan (Luke 13:16), as well as the marriage bond. If Paul had wanted to refer to the marriage bond when he said, "is not under bondage" (1 Corinthians 7:15), then it seems obvious that he would have used the verb "deō" there, as in these other places, and not the verb "douloō". It is therefore irresponsible to make an exception for divorce and remarriage out of such a dubious interpretation of this passage of scripture. People's eternal destination may depend on what they do in such a case (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21), and there are also many other arguments against it:

(1) This passage would be better interpreted to mean that the believer is not "in bondage to make the marriage relationship work when the unbeliever clearly doesn't want it." In other words, the believer does not have to chase after the unbeliever, or fulfil any of their marital duties (they are not in servitude) to the unbeliever against their will. If someone tried to continue the relationship in such a case, they would come under the bondage of marriage strife, which is clearly very unpleasant and undesirable:

(Proverbs 21:9) "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, that with a brawling woman in a wide house."
(Proverbs 21:19) "It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman."
(Proverbs 27:15) "A continual dropping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike."

Strife and abuse can be one-sided, but it takes the co-operation of two to live together in peace, which is what God has called us to do (v15). In this case, simply living apart for a while ends the bondage to live in strife, without even considering a divorce.

(2) The whole passage here is looking towards the salvation of the unbeliever (v16), in which case peace, reconciliation forgiveness, and restoration would be in order. Divorce would contradict that, but as long as reconciliation is in view, the wife should remain as a model wife, so that her husband may be saved (1 Corinthians 7:16; 1 Peter 3:1). The word translated conversation4 (1 Peter 3:1; 3:2) (Gtr. anastrophes) literally means "behaviour", or "conduct". This is not spoken conversation, because it is "without the word" (1 Peter 3:1), so that the unsaved husband can be saved, as he sees Jesus in the wife, through the silent witness of her example. This example may include her desire to avoid strife in the relationship, her willingness not to divorce, but to remain faithful to her marriage vows even after her husband has left. Also her willingness to take him back after the strife has died down, and her willingness to forgive when apologies are made. On the other hand, if she divorces him, her example may show hardness of heart, unforgiveness, lack of love etc., which is unlike Jesus who gave his own life for others, including his own bride, the church (Ephesians 5:25).

(3) If the passage allowed divorce and remarriage, then Paul is not only guilty of contradicting Jesus, who taught no remarriage (See #6.26), but also of setting a double standard. One standard for two believers who separate, allowing no remarriage (v10-11), and one for a believer and an unbeliever who separate, allowing divorce and remarriage (v15). How would we decide who is a genuine believer and who isn't in such a case? Paul would surely have to tell us that here!

(4) What if the believer is the one who causes the strife? Does that make a difference?

(5) Two or three witnesses are required to establish any truth from scripture (See #6.10). So where are the other witnesses to this supposed exception for divorce and remarriage?

(6) Remarriage by one partner sentences the other partner to a life of celibacy or adultery (#6.26; #6.08) if he or she becomes a believer afterwards.

(7) Strife and desertion are not unpardonable sins, therefore forgiveness and restoration would be required if the leaving partner repented afterward. Remarriage would make this impossible.

(8) This supposed exception also contradicts the clear teaching of Jesus and Paul elsewhere.

(9) What God joins together is permanent (#6.14).

(10) Divorce and remarriage is not love (#6.20).

(11) Divorce and remarriage repays evil with evil (#6.22).

(12) Divorce goes to court before unbelievers (#6.24).

All this evidence is contrary to this passage of scripture (1 Corinthians 7:13-16) permitting divorce and remarriage.

#3.4 A WIFE WHO IS PUT AWAY BY HER HUSBAND COMMITS ADULTERY IF SHE REMARRIES

MATTHEW 5:31-32
31 It has been said, Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
32 But I say to you, That whoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whoever shall marry her who is divorced commits adultery.

ROMANS 7:2-3 (Paul)
2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband is dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband lives, she is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband is dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she is married to another man.

Note: Suppose that a perfectly good Christian wife is divorced by her husband for no fault of her own. Suppose also that he is an unfaithful man, with wayward affections and that because of his desire for some other woman, by using lies and deceit, he secures a divorce against his wife. In this case there is no fornication within the marriage relationship, nor any adultery outside of the relationship, so whichever way you may chose to interpret, "saving for the cause of fornication," (Matthew 5:32), it does not apply. If the divorce goes through, this verse (Matthew 5:32) states that, if she remarries, her husband is the cause of her adultery. This indicates that a divorced woman who remarries is committing adultery, even if she did nothing wrong in the first relationship, and shows that divorce does not end the marriage as far as God is concerned, otherwise adultery would be impossible. This is in total agreement with what Paul wrote elsewhere:

(Romans 7:3) "if, while her husband lives, she is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress:"
(1 Corinthians 7:11) "if she departs, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband:"

It shows that there is no remarriage permitted for a woman, who is divorced from a marriage relationship that is lawful in the eyes of God, outside of the death of her husband (#3.7).

#3.5 A WIFE WHO PUTS AWAY HER HUSBAND COMMITS ADULTERY IF SHE REMARRIES

MARK 10:12 (Jesus)
12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she commits adultery.

ROMANS 7:2-3 (Paul)
2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband is dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband lives, she is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband is dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she is married to another man.

Note: Strange as it may seem, there is no provision in the Old Testament for a woman to divorce her husband. Men often had many wives, Jacob for example had four, Leah (Genesis 29:21-27), Rachel (Genesis 29:28), Bilhah (Genesis 30:3-4), and Zilpah (Genesis 30:9), while Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines (1 Kings 11:3). Even though Solomon slept with hundreds of different women, and some might not lie with him more than once every three years, they had no lawful means to divorce him. On the other hand, it was never permitted for a woman to have more than one husband at the same time. A woman divorcing her husband is therefore a modern day possibility which has no biblical foundation, and perhaps Jesus was prophetically looking forward to our modern day when he said, "if a woman shall put away her husband," (Mark 10:12). A divorced woman's only two scriptural options are to remain unmarried, or to be reconciled to her husband - (1 Corinthians 7:11; See #3.2). Jesus added no exception clause here, showing that a divorced woman cannot remarry while her first husband lives. Whether she is put away (Matthew 5:32; #3.6), or whether she puts her husband away (Mark 10:12), in both of these cases she would be committing adultery in the second marriage.
Jesus' words are still applicable to us today:

(Matthew 24:35) "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
(Mark 10:12) "And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she commits adultery."
(John 12:48)
"He who rejects me, and does not receive my words, has one who judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

The apostle Paul also confirmed the importance of Jesus' words:

(1 Timothy 6:3-4) "If any man teaches otherwise, and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing,".

#3.6 EXCEPT FOR FORNICATION APPLIES TO MEN

MATTHEW 5:31-32
31 It has been said, Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
32 But I say to you, That whoever1 shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whoever shall marry her who is divorced commits adultery.

MATTHEW 19:9
9 And I say to you, Whoever1 shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her who is put away commits adultery.

Note 1: We can argue that the word whoever1 (Gr. ὃς ἂν, Gtr. hos an) (Matthew 5:32; 19:9) only applies to men for the following reason. The Greek word "hos" is masculine, which should not allow for the interpretation to include women unless the context allows it. Masculine pronouns abound in the Greek of the New Testament, and there are occasions where the same Greek words "hos an" could legitimately be applied to men and women alike; for example, when translated "whoever" (Matthew 5:21; Mark 8:38; 11:23; Luke 12:8). So although this observation about the gender of the Greek word can only then be used as supporting evidence, and never as evidence on its own, in both of these scriptures the word "whoever" is followed by the words, "shall put away his wife", which clearly applies to men. The first one (Matthew 5:32) explains the man's responsibility towards the adultery of his wife, if he puts her away, and the second one (Matthew 19:9) appears to give the only loophole whereby a man may legitimately divorce and remarry. These verses, being the only ones in the New Testament which show an exception for divorce and remarriage, do not therefore give any permission for a woman to divorce her husband and remarry. If the exception of fornication does not exist, then these verses also show that a man who remarries, with his wife still alive, commits adultery.

Note 2: Let us examine a possible exception. Can a woman divorce her partner when there is fornication within the marriage relationship? There are three possibilities of this occurring:

(1) A forbidden incestuous relationship (#5.2),
(2) A forbidden adulterous relationship (#5.3),
(3) A forbidden lesbian relationship (#5.4).

In this latter case, two women being married, if one partner left the relationship and married a man, without divorcing the original lesbian partner, then the secular law could consider her to be a bigamist. This obviously cannot be right because we are told:

(Romans 13:1-2) "Let every soul be subject to the higher authorities. For there is no authority but of God: the authorities that exist are ordained of God.
Whoever therefore resists the authority, resists the ordinance of God: and those who resist shall receive to themselves damnation."
(1 Thessalonians 5:22) "Abstain from all appearance of evil."
(1 Peter 2:13) "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake:"

This being so, we need to comply with secular law whenever it is not contrary to the word of God, and in this case the woman would have to divorce her unlawful partner. The alternative would be to leave and remain as unmarried, waiting for the forsaken partner to obtain a divorce, but even this would still leave her legally (according to secular law) married into a lesbian relationship, which is unlawful in the sight of God. We must consider carefully what is right here. The former is quicker and neater, and destroys the unlawful relationship, which is required by God for forgiveness to be obtained (Deuteronomy 9:16, 9:21; Joshua 7:11-12; Isaiah 27:9; Acts 19:18-19). There are two other things we can consider here. First, that as both partners are women, neither one is in authority or subjection to the other, so either one could divorce the other. Secondly, as the relationship itself is unlawful in the eyes of God, why try to dissolve it lawfully in his sight when he does not even recognize it? Either partner can legally divorce according to secular law, and that seems to be all that is required here.
The same kind of reasoning may be applied to a woman who wishes to forsake an incestuous relationship or one where she is living in adultery with a man who has been married before. She must either divorce him without the scriptural authority, or leave and wait for him to divorce her, in God's time. Here again, if the relationship is not lawful in the sight of God, how can a man have God given lawful authority over a woman in it? Only God ordains this position; secular marriage laws do not require it. If then, the man does not have that authority in an unlawful relationship, what is to stop the woman taking action to obtain a divorce from it?

#3.7 WHEN THE HUSBAND DIES THE WIFE IS FREE TO REMARRY

ROMANS 7:1-3 (Paul)
1 Do you not know, brethren, [for I speak to those who know the law,] how that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?
2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband is dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband lives, she is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband is dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she is married to another man.

1 CORINTHIANS 7:8-9 (Paul)
8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

1 CORINTHIANS 7:39 (Paul)
39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

1 TIMOTHY 5:9-14 (Paul)
9 Do not let a widow be taken into the number under sixty years old, having been the wife of one man,
10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;
12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.
13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give no occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

Note 1: All of these scriptures agree about one thing, that when a woman's husband dies, she is free to remarry without committing adultery. This is the only way that a lawful marriage bond is scripturally broken for a woman. What God joins together as one flesh (Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:9), he alone will separate at death. If man could legally break this relationship, contrary to the will of God, that would make him stronger than God, wouldn't it?

Note 2: As this study is concerned with remarriage, then we need to ask the question, "Whom should a widow marry?" Paul seems to put one definite restriction on this when he says, "only in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 7:39), which we could take to mean, "only a Christian". There are several scriptures which we could use to support the fact that a Christian should never marry an unbeliever:

(Proverbs 13:20) "He who walks with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."
(Proverbs 14:7) "Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you perceive the lips of knowledge are not in him."
(1 Corinthians 16:22) "If any man does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema, Maranatha."
(2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? and what communion has light with darkness?
And what concorde has Christ with Belial? or what part has he who believes with an unbeliever?
And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Therefore come out from among them, and be you separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
(Ephesians 5:6-7) "Do not let any man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience.
Do not you be therefore partakers with them."
(Ephesians 5:11) "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
(2 John 9-11) "Whoever transgresses, and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son.
If there comes any to you, and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house, neither bid him Welcome:
For he who bids him Welcome is partaker of his evil deeds."

The warnings are very clear, and the reasons are serious:

(1) To avoid destruction (Numbers 16:20-21; 16:44-45; Proverbs 13:20).
(2) To avoid partaking of their sins (Numbers 16:31-34; 1 Timothy 5:22; 2 John 1:10-11; Revelation 18:4).
(3) To avoid learning their ways and being corrupted (Psalm 106:34-36; Proverbs 22:24-25; and 1 Corinthians 15:33).
(4) To avoid being turned away from God (Deuteronomy 7:2-4; Joshua 23:11-13; 1 Kings 11:2-3).
(5) To avoid the wrath of God coming on us (2 Chronicles 19:2).
(6) To avoid making a covenant with them (Exodus 23:32; 34:13-17; Deuteronomy 7:1-5), and when a man marries a woman, she becomes, "the wife of your covenant." (Malachi 2:14).

Apart from all this, all unbelievers are sinners, and therefore their spiritual father is the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8; 3:12), and what Christian wants the Devil for a spiritual father-in-law? Paul gave the line of authority for a Christian family when he said, "the head of every man is Christ; and the head of every woman is the man;" (1 Corinthians 11:3), so in the Christian church the order of authority is Christ, husband, wife. We could say that all unbelievers are members of "the synagogue of Satan" (Revelation 3:9), because they will all worship the beast (Revelation 13:8), and the order there may be Satan, husband, wife. How then could a Christian woman want to marry an unbeliever whose head is the devil? Look at God's command to a wife:

(Ephesians 5:22-24) "Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."

If a wife obeys an unbeliever in everything, she will be obeying the devil; can you see the problems it could cause? Therefore, Paul's advice for a widow to remarry, "only in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 7:39) is very good advice, and those who go against it will suffer the consequences. A Christian woman who marries a non-Christian man is totally out of God's will. God would never tell her to marry him contrary to all of these scriptures. If she believes that God will save the man, then it is better to let God do it first, and for him be filled with the Holy Spirit before she gets married, then she will not be out of God's will.

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