Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

MARRIAGE

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Tossing The Bouquet

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
     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.

Without A Word

Thursday, January 07, 2021
     What should a woman do when she doesn’t cuss, but her husband does?  He will cuss me out, hurt my feelings, and blame everything that goes wrong on me.  I have threatened to leave, and that worked for about a few days.  I just don’t think he loves me as much as I do him, and I am just at the end of my rope.

Sincerely,
Miserable

Dear Miserable,

1 Pet. 3:1-3 says, “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the Word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives when they see your respectful and pure conduct.”

Sometimes, the best thing to do is also the hardest thing to do.  You can’t control his behavior, but you can control yours, and your behavior can win him over.  Don’t behave like he does.  Continue to watch your language, show him unearned respect, and live with pure conduct.  These things work on a man’s heart far more than fighting fire with fire.  Your kindness will heap burning coals upon him and is your best hope at turning his heart (Rom 12:20-21).

Save The Date

Monday, December 28, 2020
     I would like to know when I will get married, and will it be with the guy I want to marry?

Sincerely,
Bride-To-Be?

Dear Bride-To-Be,

We are just men here at AYP and not prophets.  We can’t tell you the specifics of your life and future.  However, we can give you some principles for how to look for a spouse.  Read “Set A Date” in our archives for some of the Bible teachings on finding a spouse.

A Balanced Life

Friday, December 25, 2020
     My boyfriend and I started off the wrong way by living together before marriage.  We have taken that back a hundred fold, and we no longer live together.  However, after a year of living apart, it is extremely hard now!  We are struggling very badly right now.  He says I am not on the same spiritual level as him… though I am a believer in Jesus and the Word!  I am not, however, focused nearly as much as him in the Word.  He said he will not be unequally yoked again.  Because we argue still about me wanting him to spend more time with me and the kids, I am pulling him away from constantly being in the Word.  Am I supposed to forget life because he says there is nothing else to talk about?  Is it all about God, and we are only supposed to talk about Him?  Am I not supposed to talk about our future as a married couple or what our wedding will entail?  Now, because I am not 120% focused on just God, we are unequally yoked.  Is that true?  Am I wrong because I still desire to live life and talk about baseball and what the kids did at school and everything that life involves?  Am I really supposed to be so focused on God I forget all that is around me?  And if I am supposed to... how do I?  I love God, and I am so grateful for Jesus, and I study and learn more everyday.  I am very confused.  Are my boyfriend and I unequally yoked to the point that we should not be together any more?

Sincerely,
Confused

Dear Confused,

First of all, good for you for making changes in your lives and no longer living together before marriage.  You did the right thing, and though it is hard, remember how pleased God is with your choice (Lk 15:7)!

Now let’s deal with the “unequally yoked” issue.  The verse that talks about being unequally yoked is 2 Cor 6:14, and it is dealing with a believer being connected to an unbeliever – from what you have said, that is not your situation.  A ‘yoke’ is a ‘harness used to tie oxen together, so that they can pull a plow or cart’.  When God tells us not to be “unequally yoked” to an unbeliever, He is warning us not to put ourselves in a position where we are committed and tied to someone who doesn’t share our values.  The most poignant example of this is marriage.  If two oxen are yoked but they are pulling in opposite directions – disastrous things happen.

In your case, you both care about the Lord, but he seems convinced that caring about the Lord means that you neglect all other things.  God tells us the opposite.  If you two eventually get married, God says that married people must divide their time between caring for the Lord’s work and caring for each other’s needs and future (1 Cor 7:32-34).  This is a concept that your boyfriend isn’t grasping.  Show him 1 Cor 7:32-34, and then see what He says about “dividing” his time.

Fiscal Fight

Friday, November 27, 2020
    My wife and I have been working out some problems, but there’s one problem we can’t agree on… money.  My wife believes if you have money, spend it.  I try to manage and balance my money; she tells me that I’m worshiping money.  Is it wrong to manage finances?

Sincerely,
Counting My Pennies

Dear Counting My Pennies,

It is possible to spend too much, and it is possible to save too much.  Saving money is not a bad thing, but falling in love with money and hoarding it is.  God tells us that Christians should be good stewards of whatever He gives us… and that includes money (1 Pet 4:10).  Jesus gives the parable of the talents and uses the example of men saving and investing as a positive example (Matt 25:14-30).  The Proverbs mention the industrious ant as an example of preparing and saving (Pr 6:6-8).  If we are careful and smart with money, that makes God happy… unless we begin to worship that money.

Greed (Pr 1:19), covetousness (Col 3:5), and the love of money (1 Tim 6:10) are always sins.  It is a good thing to save for the future as long as we are content with whatever the Lord has given us (Heb 13:5).

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