Ask Your Preacher
I have relationship problems. My girlfriend keeps leaving me while I'm at work. We’ve been together for five years, and every now and then, she gets really bothered and gets distant and treats me like a total stranger and leaves for her sister’s. Her sister is no help; she compounds the problems in my girlfriend’s head, so she will leave and be with her. My girlfriend has mental issues; she’s paranoid schizophrenic, and she’s really impressionable. When she leaves with our son, I have no way to contact her, and I’m really anxious and freaked out. I don’t think our problems are any worse than anybody else’s. We’ve had our problems; she’s had drug problems and cheated on me. The most I’ve done is talk to people on the internet because I feel so alone sometimes when she ignores me.
I’m so lost, and I miss my son, and I know he’s so confused. What do I do? Her sister keeps quoting scriptures to me through Facebook and telling my girlfriend that I’m some evil person she shouldn’t be with.
Dear Not Evil,
From what you are saying, you and your girlfriend aren't married but are living and sleeping together – this is why your son is confused. Sin has a way of destroying our lives and tearing us apart. You are sinning by living and sleeping together without being married. God designed those things for marriage only (Gen 2:24). You both need to make a decision: either commit to a life together and get married or stop sinning and separate yourselves. Nothing will get better until you do that.
I am a Christian, and I have an old friend who is an atheist. My friend has been married for seventeen years and last summer came close to a divorce after his wife discovered that he was having an affair. They have since reconciled but have sought no counseling. I have even suggested they begin this new chapter in their lives by joining a church. This suggestion was laughed off. He and his wife along with my wife and me are going on vacation together in three weeks. We live 900 miles apart from one another.
Now that you have the background, here's the question. Yesterday, he asked me to renew his wife's and his vows on the beach! My knee-jerk response was, "No, I can't do that. You need a preacher!" He responded by saying that he doesn't need a preacher, and he just needs someone to do the vows, and who better than his old best friend? Something is nagging at me. First of all, I don't think they have taken the right steps to ensure a solid marriage going forward, but there seems to be more bothering me. Is there something wrong with a Christian renewing the vows of a couple who are not Christians? Is there something wrong with someone other than a preacher renewing a married couple’s vows? Thank you.
An Old Friend
Dear An Old Friend,
No, there isn't anything wrong with you helping them renew their vows – after all, they aren't officially getting married; they did that seventeen years ago. This is just a couple trying to reconcile and re-embrace a healthy marriage. God says that marriage is to be held in honor by all (Heb 13:4). It isn't a sin for you to help any married couple try and renew a sense of honor in their marriage.
I have a wife who is faithful to me. She does not know about my secret relationship. I also have a girlfriend who loves me, and I love her (she knows my situation). She cannot keep going on like this in a part-time relationship. Frankly, neither can I. I have to make a decision to be with one or the other. We (girlfriend and I) want to live right before God. Can I leave my faithful wife, choose my girlfriend, and still live right before the Lord? What would we gain? What would we lose? What must we do to make it right before God?
Got To Choose
Dear Got To Choose,
No, unequivocally no! You cannot leave your wife to start a new life with your girlfriend. Marriage was designed by God to be monogamous, and the marriage bed should be undefiled (Gen 2:24, Heb 13:4). What you are doing is wrong. You are fornicating, defiling your marriage, and destroying this other woman’s life as well.
The only faithful way out of this sin is to break off your relationship with your mistress, flee fornication (1 Cor 6:18), and start being faithful to your already faithful wife.
I've seen good examples in many Christian marriages in my congregation, and I think to myself, "Maybe I can find a wife like that and have a marriage as excellent as theirs.” But later, I've learned how I am when I interact with women. I've lessened my communication with women of the world by only sharing the Gospel with them and only with a sister with me. But with the sisters in the church, I've learned of their characters, which I cannot endure. I've seen this in sisters from my congregation and other congregations just by being in their presence and holding a conversation with them. I've been told that it will take time for their characters to become noble, but it’s as if they're unwilling to let God build them into the women He wants them to be. I have no mold for a woman, and I've learned that it is impossible to uphold a relationship with a woman who is in the church but refuses to be godly. Now I'm at the point where I've decided to remain single and not find a mate due to the fact that there are unwilling, unrepentant sisters with immature souls unwilling at heart to become a helpmeet. As a man who has decided to remain single, how can I, a Christian man, live a single life in a world filled with so much temptation?
Man Of Maturity
Dear Man Of Maturity,
Up front, we’d like to say that your opinion of Christian women is far too low. You either are hanging out around the wrong people, or you are seriously underestimating the greatness of godly women. Having said that, Jesus answered your question about how a man can live a single life. When Jesus’ disciples told Him that the best thing to do is to remain unmarried, Jesus answered by saying, “Not all men can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.” (Matt 19:10-12)
Most men are built for marriage and aren’t designed to live their entire lives single. If you aren’t able to comfortably live a single life faithfully to God, then God’s protection against fornication is for you to seek marriage (1 Cor 7:1-2). However, in order for that to happen, you are going to need to start raising your opinion of women and, most likely, be a little more honest with your own shortcomings.
Should I continue to attend a church that I don't believe is teaching the right things even though my husband is a member there?
Dear Wondering Wife,
Though the Bible says to respect your husband (Eph 5:33), that respect is in subordination to the Lord. It is important to obey God before man (Acts 5:29). We must each work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Php 2:12). Solomon made the mistake of honoring his wives before God, and he lost everything because of it (1 Kg 11:4). If the church you are currently attending is not faithful to God’s Word, you must choose a faithful church over your husband.