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13/09/2010 / Test All Things

Bound To Her Husband As Long As He Lives

Bound as Long as He or She Liveth (Romans 7:2-3, 1 Corinthians 7:39, 1 Corinthians 7:10-16)

The fact that a man and a woman who are married are one flesh is stated in many places in the Bible and they all agree: The wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives, and the husband is bound to his wife as long as she lives. This bond is not dissolved after the two are separated. We read in Romans 7,

Romans 7:2
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

Romans 7:3
So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

God stated it here in Romans 7 to apply it to our spiritual bondage to the Law of God. We all come into the world bound to the Law, and the Law is a very cruel husband to us, for the Law accuses us before God that we are sinners who deserve to be cast into Hell. But when Christ atoned for our sins about 2000 years ago, and when God the Holy Spirit made us “born from above” just a few years ago, we died to the Law and God changed us into new creatures; He changed us from sinners into saints, and He changed us from being slaves of Satan to being sons of God. And thus we have been loosed from our bondage to the Law, and instead we have become new creatures serving Christ.

In 1 Corinthians 7:39 God repeated the law of the two becoming one flesh, and thus there should be no remarriage after a divorce. Even the innocent party may not remarry, for after the divorce the two are still one flesh.

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

Someone may object to this rule, claiming that he or she is married to an unbeliever, and so how can God be glorified if my mate is an unbeliever. Well, God addresses this situation earlier in this chapter.

1 Corinthians 7:10
And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

1 Corinthians 7:11
But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:12
But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

1 Corinthians 7:13
And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

1 Corinthians 7:14
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 are they holy.

1 Corinthians 7:15
But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

1 Corinthians 7:16
For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

When we read in verse 10, “I command, yet not I, but the Lord”, and in verse 12, “to the rest speak I, not the Lord”, we might be inclined to think that only a portion of this letter to the Corinthians contains the Word of God. But that is not so. What follows in verses 10 and 11 has been said already by the Lord Jesus, as recorded in the Gospel accounts. And what follows in verses 12-16 has not been said by the Lord Jesus in the Gospel accounts, but is considered new information. And thus all the words in the Bible come from God. Again in verse 11 the Lord states that those who have separated must remain unmarried, or be reconciled to one another. But in verses 12 and 13 God declares that the believing spouse should not divorce the unbelieving mate, “if she be pleased to dwell with him”, or “if he be pleased to dwell with her”.

The reason for this is given in verse 16, “For how would you know if your unbelieving spouse would not become saved through your witness?”

Now, the condition for staying together is “if she be pleased to dwell with him”, or “if he be pleased to dwell with her”.

It could very well be that the unbelieving spouse makes life very difficult for the believer, which is an indication that he or she is not pleased to dwell with the believer. In that case “if the unbelieving depart, let him depart”.

God has called us to peace.

Can the believer then remarry?


When we read in verse 15, “A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases” it does not mean that we can remarry.

Do not confuse “being under bondage” with “being bound”.

These are two different words in the Greek text.

If these two words mean the same, then all married men are not only bound to their wives, but are also in bondage to their wives. Being under bondage means it is the condition of spiritual slavery. Someone is in this miserable condition if he lives in sin, meaning he is under the bondage of sin and Satan. When we read “A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases”, it means that we do not sin if we let the unbeliever depart, for God has called us to peace.

By Alfred Chompff


Leave a Comment
  1. Padah / Jan 13 2012 3:14 pm

    What might you say to a wife, who has healed from severe spiritual abuse and seeks a fellowship among healthy christians and sound doctrinal teaching, if she feels she needs to worship in a different fellowship apart from her husband? He has said okay to her need to do so, yet, at times, she has been tangled in trying to understand if she is at liberty scripturally to go to a fellowship that does not coerce her, manipulate her, or keep her spinning in turmoil. Her godly counselor she sees does not want her to return to the church her husband attends, yet, she herself comes back time and time again to the way it ‘ought’ to be…she ‘should’ be with her husband in worship and fellowship. She is confused to say the least. What is your opinion on this?

    • Padah / Jan 13 2012 3:40 pm

      What might the Apostle John say to this wife, if her husband fellowship at the Gnostic church and she wanted to fellowship under Apostle Peter ? Is she in sin or in error for brazenly going to the healthy church or is she leading her husband to a church? is it wrong of her to lead him out to another fellowship and is this a reversal of order in marriage order?
      One of her reasonings she falls to is the example of Sarah, Abrahams wife. Sarah trusted in God and did as her husband told her, even though he was in gross error for false representation and instructing Sarah to misrepresent herself, yet God protected Sarah and dealt with the ones who would do her harm.
      So, this wife wonders if this applies in returning to a fellowship that is theologically incorrect, that is vainglorious and that manipulates, coerces and offers her no real solid ground.

      If you can have any thought on this or if you know of a passage of scripture that is indicative of what is wisdom in this issue, i would appreciate that, and will pass it on to her,


      • Test All Things / Jan 20 2012 3:17 pm

        Dear Padah,

        What I can say without wavering in response to your 2 messages and questions is this. You absolutely should depart from and have nothing to do with any “gnostic” synagogues of Satan.

        The Word of God is very clear that we are not to fellowship with the wicked enemies of Almighty God such as gnositcs even if your husband insisted that you join with him.

        Psalm 26:4
        I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.

        Psalm 26:5
        I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.

        If your husband accepts that you desire to fellowship with other Christians and allows you to do so, then you are in a good situation.

  2. KJ / Aug 22 2018 12:05 am

    I definitely agree except for one thing , Jesus gave an exception in Matt except for the cause of fornication , any sexual immoral act against your spouse is grounds but that don’t mean you have to divorce and remarry , its an exception other than that a man an woman is bound together till one passes . The Pauline privilege as they cal it don’t give permission to remarry . But .. I also believe is someone is remarried and comes to Christ afterward then they Are forgiven and shouldn’t divorce we cannot undo what has been done . Deuteronomy 24:1-4 tells us it’s a defilement and an abomination to Yaweh to return to a first spouse . The word for defilement is tama’ah which is Hebrew for uncleaness , defilement . Porneia being the Greek word for fornication covers several sexual immorality . Thought I would share this even if you don’t agree . Shalom

  3. KJ / Aug 25 2018 1:59 pm

    Hi I have a question. If a remarriage is an adultery as long as the first spouse is alive , then I need to know about my present situation. I was divorced and remarried , then left my second husband and remarried . Now during the marriage I’m in now my first spouse passed away. Am I still living in adultery? If my second marriage as well as this marriage was considered adultery when I got married when my first spouse was alive , who is my spouse now ? The man I’m
    Married to now ? Or the second husband whom was an adulterous marriage ? Do I divorce this husband to go back to the second husband whom I was in an adulterous marriage. Or is this marriage the one to stay in ?did this marriage become ordained of God because my first husband died during this marriage ? Pls help me to understand this .

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