Ask Your Preacher
My mom was adopted, so we don't know her family history well. What would you do if you found out your boyfriend of twelve years maybe your cousin? We have no children together. He doesn't know we may be cousins... we live together... WHAT DO WE DO FROM HERE?
Dear Regretful Researcher,
The very first thing you need to do is stop living together before you are married. More important than any biological issues your future children may have, you are sinning, and that is much worse than any physical problem. The reason people don’t get married – but instead (outside of marriage) have sex, live together, have children together, and eventually destroy their lives – is because we spend our lives making up the rules as we go. We live our lives by the “what-makes-me-feel-good-right-now” philosophy. We have no real standard to live by other than what we feel at the moment. Like Pilate, we ask, “What is truth?” (Jhn 18:38) because we don’t know where to find the right answers to life. How can we know what is the right thing to do? Only the Creator can give us a rulebook for life that allows us to comfortably say, “I’m making the right choice.” Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life (Jhn 14:6). All the answers to life are found in His Scriptures (2 Pet 1:3). If we want our relationships, our families, our careers, and our lives to work, we have to use the manual.
Biblically, there is nothing wrong with marrying your cousin – people did it quite commonly just a couple generations ago. You would have to consider the medical ramifications of having children, but that is a medical decision – not a moral one. As we said, more importantly than anything else is that you make your lives right with God.
I have a friend who recently went through a divorce. His wife got tired of him, and she left him. She took him to court for a divorce, but he never wanted a divorce. He tried to stop it and wanted to work things out. During the court proceedings, he found out that she had found someone else. After that, he decided that the divorce could go on. It has been nearly a year since the divorce, and his ex is now engaged. Does he have a right to remarry since he only agreed to the divorce once he knew she had cheated? Any help would be appreciated.
Your question deals with the issue of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. This issue is a big issue, and each individual must study the Scriptures concerning this before making a personal decision about it. Whenever people send us questions dealing with marriage, divorce, and remarriage, we always point them toward our sermon series on the topic. That series should answer most questions about the subject. If there are still questions after listening to those five lessons – feel free to write back, but please make sure to include your e-mail, so we can contact you directly. Here is a link to that series of sermons: “Marriage, Divorce, And Remarriage”.
Is it a sin for a christian to marry a Muslim?
Dear Inter-Faith Marriage,
‘Inter-faith’ marriages have disastrous results, an awful track record, and God warns against them. The Bible’s most notorious example of this is Solomon. Solomon’s idolatrous wives turned the heart of the wisest man on the planet away from God (1 Kgs 11:4). If Solomon in all of his wisdom couldn’t resist the pull of a false religion, we should consider ourselves just as vulnerable. There is too much at stake. If your heart is turned away from God, your soul will be eternally destroyed (Heb 3:12).
No matter how much they love each other, there are only four possible outcomes for an inter-faith marriage, and only one of them is good:
- The Muslim eventually converts and obeys the gospel, becomes a christian, and is saved (GOOD).
- The christian eventually converts and becomes a Muslim, and they are both lost (BAD).
- They both make compromises in their beliefs, and the christian no longer fully serve the Lord (BAD).
- They both eventually renounce both of their belief systems, and are both lost (BAD).
The only positive outcome is the first one, and that isn’t any more likely to happen after you are married than before. Either the Muslim will eventually convert, or they won’t – getting married won’t increase the odds.
God warns against being ‘unequally yoked’ to someone with different values than you (2 Cor 6:14-16). Once you get married, you are ‘yoked’ to that person with a lifetime agreement. A godly marriage is designed around unity (Gen 2:24). If you aren’t unified on your core belief system, then everything else will be affected. Where will your children go to church/mosque? How much money will you contribute to Islam vs. God’s church? What happens when the Muslim wants to put up Koran writings around the house? These are just a few of the thousands of day-to-day problems you would run into. God tells us that a christian should marry someone ‘in the Lord’ (1 Cor 7:39).
What does the Bible (and where) say about two people living together prior to marriage?
Dear Spare Key,
Moving in together would be a sin as well as a temptation toward further sin. No matter how pure our intentions might be, two people of the opposite sex living together looks bad. Even if you weren’t actually sleeping together, nobody would believe you. God tells us to abstain from every form of evil (1 Thess 5:22). The word ‘form’ in that verse literally means “shape or appearance”. Christians need to not only avoid sin – but avoid looking like they are sinning. A boyfriend and girlfriend living together (no matter how chaste) looks like a sinful relationship. The Bible also tells us to do the things which are ‘honorable in the sight of all men’ (Rom 12:17, 2 Cor 8:21). Consider what living together before marriage does to the honor of your girlfriend/boyfriend. God wants you to do what is in their best interest and uphold their reputation and honor.
Secondarily, the temptation to sleep together will certainly grow with living together. There is nothing abnormal about a man and a woman being strongly attracted to each other. God recognizes that young people naturally are inclined to burn with passion for the opposite sex (1 Cor 7:9). The key is to make sure you don’t put yourselves in a position that could compromise your integrity. We are to ‘flee fornication’ (1 Cor 6:18) and be wise as serpents in regard to righteousness (Matt 10:16). Don’t set yourselves up to sin.
The idea of living together before marriage is a modern one – not a Biblical one. Biblically speaking, if you aren’t ready to get married, you aren’t ready to live together. The deepest act of love you could show to your girlfriend/boyfriend would be to wait until you are ready for marriage.
I just read the Marriage Clif Notes. Is it okay for the wife to be the boss (because in my house, my wife is the boss)? I guess it is the new thing today.
Husbands are to be the spiritual leaders of their homes (Eph 5:23); the fact that it is popular and normal for men to shirk that responsibility and allow their wives to fill the leadership void doesn’t make it right. A man that will not provide for his family is worse than an unbeliever (1 Tim 5:8), and many a woman has torn her house down with her own hands because she doesn’t let her husband lead (Pr 14:1). A nagging, bossy wife (Pr 11:22) and a lazy, apathetic husband (Pr 12:24) are a recipe for a disastrous marriage. God designed husbands to lovingly lead their families and wives to respectfully support their husbands.