Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Tossing The Bouquet”

Categories: FRIENDS, MARRIAGE, RELATIONSHIPS
     I have a younger group of friends, and I love them, but one of them has already been married, left their spouse, and divorced them (not for scriptural reasons), and I have a second friend who is currently no longer living with their spouse and is going to divorce their spouse (not for scriptural reasons).  It absolutely breaks my heart that they are doing this because marriage is such a blessing, a blessing that God instructed us not to dissolve unless there has been unfaithfulness by a spouse.

Having been at both friends’ weddings, I was a "witness" to their marriage, not to mention I have known them for so long that I want what is the very best for them.  One friend is already divorced (a couple years ago), but what should I do, if anything, about my second friend?  I worry so much for them and what consequences this will bring upon them.

Any advice you have will really help me greatly!  Thank you!

Sincerely,
Struggling Friend

Dear Struggling Friend,

It is such a difficult thing when we see others we love doing that which is so very harmful to their souls.  What does the Bible teach to do in such matters?  Here are a couple of principles to consider:

  1. Pr 23:23 says to “Buy the truth, and do not sell it.”  The truth must always be more important to you than anything else, and you can’t compromise the truth and sell it out just to preserve a friendship… no matter how dear they are to you (Lk 14:26).  In no way can you compromise your morals by saying that what they have done is no big deal or somehow okay.  They have chosen to sin – plain and simple.
  2. The Bible also teaches that we should have mercy on those that are turning from the Lord and seek to snatch them from the fire and hate the sin at the same time (Jude 23).  Being Christ-like means intertwining both the hatred of sin and the love of man together.
  3. You must also be careful to not compromise your own conscience.  If you feel that doing things with them is sending the message that you don’t care about this sin and somehow approve of their decision, then you must obey your own conscience (1 Tim 1:5).  How close or distant to be when a friendship is strained by sinful choices is a matter of wisdom and discretion.  You must decide for yourself what boundaries to set.

Balancing these principles, here are our thoughts.  If you haven’t already, you must make your position known to these friends.  If they were seeking an abortion or some other clear sin, you would address them – divorce for any reason other than adultery is just as clear a sin (Matt 19:9).

You didn’t indicate whether or not these friends are Christians.  If they are, hopefully their congregations will also be addressing them on this issue, and you wouldn’t be the only voice.  If not, you may be the only person that they know who will stand in the gap for their spiritual well-being.  After saying your piece, you can then treat the relationship like any other – watch and use wisdom to decide the boundaries and level of closeness, so you may both snatch them from the fire but not compromise your own firm convictions by being steamrolled by friends that have unfaithful convictions of their own.  Allow your unwavering example to be a blessing, and then let them decide whether or not they want that blessing in their life.