Is God married to backsliders?

Straight Talk

The Question

Where in scripture does it say that God is married to the backslider?

Barbara from Fort Worth, Texas

The Answer
Part 1: God married to the backslider?

Is God married to backsliders? (Part 1)

Jeremiah 3:14 says: “‘Return, O backsliding children,’ says the Lord; ‘for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.'”

The sense that is conveyed in this scripture passage is that the Lord is the husband over his people; he is the master over them and in control. For the people’s part, they didn’t treat God as their husband but ran after other gods who were worthless.

Besides this passage, there is another place which conveys the marriage relationship between God and his people. In the Old Testament book of Hosea the prophet married a harlot. Interestingly, Hosea 14:4 contains one of the few uses of the word “backsliding” in the Bible. The Lord says; “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him.”

He is speaking of his people Israel who have acted as a harlot the same way Hosea’s wife Gomer did. God uses Hosea’s marriage as a prophetic statement about the condition of his people. The Israelites have gone after other gods and the Lord tells them that; “Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall deliver her from My hand.” (Hosea 2:10)

Additionally, God invites the people to return to him so he can restore them “And it shall be in that day, says the Lord, that you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer call Me ‘My Master.'” (Hosea 2:16) Notice that it is in the restoration that the word “husband” comes into play – not while they are backsliding.

Coming forward in time, is there any precedent for referring to backsliders today as married to God? NO. However there is another beautiful image we can remember for those who are in rebellion after once walking with the Lord. It is shown in the parable of the Prodigal son from Luke 15 in which the Father stands daily watching for the lost son to return home.

For more information on the subject of backsliding, please read “Backsliding – Leaving Your First Love.”


  1. M. C.

    You have a very good way of conveying your words. I thank you for the simple meaning you gave. Hope God will speak to you in a mighty way.

    • Michael

      Glory to God. Praise the Lord!!

  2. Laura

    Jeremiah 3:14 King James Version ( KJV ) 14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

    • K

      He may not divorce them, but they will certainly divorce him… And some may not ever return.

  3. Vickie

    God will never divorce his children his arms is always stretched for them, and his ears are open to their cry.

    • Ed Gross

      Jeremiah 3:8—
      And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

    • James

      The father doesn’t divorce us we divorce the Father by sin and not turning from sin , the words says in Jeremiah to turn from sin so that he can restore .

  4. Jennifer Antonoplos

    I was a backslider and I got judged by the Lord but now I am holy, pure and right with Him again. I had to rededicate my life to the Lord and repent for real, and then I became The Lord’s daughter again–His pure and Holy bride and recently I returned to my first love and God became my husband again but judgement begins in the house of God. I pray backsliders return to the Lord before it’s too late and return to their first love and repent of their sins and become His pure holy bride again.

  5. Yvonne Gayle

    Thanks very much for the explanation bless

  6. Jewell Hale

    grace and mercies everlasting!Great is his faithfulness!