Is it wrong for a Christian to marry a non-virgin?

3 min


It is not automatically wrong for a Christian to marry a non-virgin. There are several reasons why this is the case. First of all, the Bible does not say it is wrong to marry a non-virgin.

Second, let’s say that a man and a woman are married and have children and the husband dies. The woman is then free to marry another. It would not be a sin for a man to marry her in that case simply because she was not a virgin. Paul the apostle talked about remarriage as it relates to the law. Let’s take a look.

“For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. 3 So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man,” (Romans 7:1-3).

Paul taught that the woman who is not a virgin and marries another after the death of her husband has done nothing wrong. She is not adulterous because she’s free from the law. Furthermore, there is nothing in the context that says it would be wrong for a man to marry her.

At one point in Scripture we have a record of the Sadducees coming to Jesus to try to trick Him about multiple marriages.

“Some Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection) came to Jesus, and began questioning Him, saying, 19 ‘Teacher, Moses wrote for us that IF A MAN’S BROTHER DIES and leaves behind a wife AND LEAVES NO CHILD, HIS BROTHER SHOULD MARRY THE WIFE AND RAISE UP CHILDREN TO HIS BROTHER. 20 “There were seven brothers; and the first took a wife, and died leaving no children. 21 The second one married her, and died leaving behind no children; and the third likewise; 22 and so all seven left no children. Last of all the woman died also. 23 In the resurrection, when they rise again, which one’s wife will she be? For all seven had married her.” 24 Jesus said to them, ‘Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God?’ 25 “For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven,” (Mark 12:18-25).

The Sadducees, who denied that there is a resurrection, were trying to trick Jesus. But, they failed to understand the nature of the resurrection. Notice, however, that Jesus did not condemn the act of remarriage to non-virgins in His address to the Sadducees. It would seem that Jesus had no problem with it.

Priests could not marry non-virgins in the Old Testament

A priest in the Old Testament was not to marry a non-virgin.

  • “They shall not take a woman who is profaned by harlotry, nor shall they take a woman divorced from her husband; for he is holy to his God,” (Leviticus 21:7).
  • ‘A widow, or a divorced woman, or one who is profaned by harlotry, these he may not take; but rather he is to marry a virgin of his own people, 15 so that he will not profane his offspring among his people; for I am the Lord who sanctifies him,'” (Leviticus 21:14-15).
  • “And they shall not marry a widow or a divorced woman but shall take virgins from the offspring of the house of Israel, or a widow who is the widow of a priest,” (Ezekiel 44:22).

The prohibition by the priests was something God set up only for those priests in Israel in Old Testament times. It was symbolic of the necessity of their purity.

  • ” . . . the reputation of a priest’s wife could reflect on her husband’s fitness to minister in holy things.”1
  • “The respectability of their office, and the honor of religion, required unblemished sanctity in their families as well as themselves, and departures from it in their case were visited with severer punishment than in that of others.”2
  • “Their marriage and their domestic life were also to be in keeping with their holy calling. They were not to marry a whore (i.e., a public prostitute), or a fallen woman, or a woman put away (divorced) from her husband, that is to say, any person of notoriously immoral life, for this would be irreconcilable with the holiness of the priesthood, but (as may be seen from this in comparison with v. 14) only a virgin or widow of irreproachable character.”3

Since the Old Testament priesthood is done away with, this prohibition has no present-day context.

Conclusion

So, can a Christian marry a non-virgin? Yes, as long as they’re both Christians and are walking in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.


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