My spouse and I divorced, but we never remarried. Now I am seeking reconciliation, but my spouse is not interested. Am I free to marry another since I am willing to reconcile to my ex-spouse but am unable?
Before we answer your question, you may find the following article helpful background to understanding this issue from a Biblical perspective.
As we explained in that article, both individuals in marriage are required to honor their marriage vows until the covenant is ended by the death of one, as Paul explains:
Rom. 7:2 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.
Rom. 7:3 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.
This is in keeping with the “one-flesh” principle we explained in the article above. Each person is individually required to honor his or her marriage vow, and this requirement does not depend on the fidelity of the spouse or on his or her willingness to reconcile after a divorce. Remember, what God has brought together, no man (person) may separate. “No man” includes both members of the marriage itself. We may pursue a legal divorce, but that is merely a man-made accommodation. God does not release us from our marriage vows even though a court may.
Therefore, we are required to honor our marriage vows even if (or when) our spouse does not and regardless of whether that person desires reconciliation. A Christian's faithfulness to his or her marriage vows in the face of a broken marriage is a service we do for God to please Him. Though we may regret the loss of an opportunity to enjoy marriage in this life, nevertheless our faithfulness will receive an eternal reward. Only after we have received our inheritance in the kingdom can we appreciate how important our obedience and faithfulness is to God, and scripture says we will not regret our choice to be faithful and obedient to the Lord.
As Paul said:
Rom. 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
1Cor. 2:9 but just as it is written,
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
As Paul implies, we should live with "eyes for eternity,” as Pastor Armstrong teaches, knowing that the fruit of our obedience won’t be known to us until we leave this body and enter the next. Therefore, we encourage you to hold fast to your marriage vows as an act of obedience and service to God trusting He will reward that faithfulness, both in this life and in the next. As Jesus said: