Concrete evidence of efforts to reconcile is more appropriate than a Service of Repentance

Someone emailed:
You recommend a Service of Repentance for formerly married persons who wish to marry again. This seems reasonable but not by itself. While you point out that a church or pastor finds it difficult to thoroughly research the details of prior relationships and marriages/divorces, some of our church leaders believe that more concrete evidence of good-faith efforts (to reconcile, put things right, seek foregiveness) is appropriate and/or necessary. Can you comment?

Reply: By the time it gets to a remarriage, any realistic opportunity for reconciliation etc is usually over. If that person was in our pastoral care when the first marriage broke up, we will know if there were efforts at reconciliation, and we should have been making sure that there were. If it gets to the point of remarriage and we aren't sure, then we as pastors, are partly to blame. I don't see the point of post-mortems, and I would be very hesitant to refuse to marry a couple simply because I wasn't convinced about how the previous marriage ended. There is one exception - as I say in the book - that I would be very reluctant to marry someone to the person with whom they committed adultery and thereby broke up the previous marriage.

See more at Is Remarriage Adultery? in Divorce & Remarriage in the Church

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