Ask Your Preacher
I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior approximately nine months ago. When I became saved, I was in a sinful relationship. I was living with my fiancé (we are abstaining now) and am the mother of two children. He is the father of one of those children. What I am struggling with now is whether or not I am able to marry my fiancé. He is a divorced man. According to him, he and his wife divorced due to her committing adultery. I have never been married, and it is very important to me to have a marriage that is within God’s will and purpose for my life. I don’t want to enter into a union that will separate me from His holy presence. Can you please provide me with your insight regarding this and help me understand why I might not be feeling God’s guidance in this situation?
Sincerely, Bride To Be?
Dear Bride To Be?,
The Lord tells us His will through the Scriptures (2 Tim 3:15, Eph 3:4), and no emotion or feeling should ever be our guide in things moral. That is why you haven’t been receiving any direct guidance in your situation… God already gave us all the answers in His Bible (2 Pet 1:3). Happily, the Scriptures are very clear in your situation.
Your fiancé is not married and is therefore available to get married. His prior spouse divorced him over fornication, which is the only permissible reason for divorce in the New Testament (Matt 5:32). In any case, he is no longer married to his previous wife. The divorce is long since final, and if he isn’t married – he isn’t married.
God certainly intends for marriage to be between one man and one woman for life (Gen 2:24). Having said that, God understands that, unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way (especially when people are living worldly lives). In John 4:17-18, Jesus recognizes five separate marriages that a worldly Samaritan woman had had. Jesus recognizes that in a sinful world, people don’t always make the choices God desires for them, and consequently multiple marriages do occur.
As a christian, you must understand marriage is for life. Regardless of past choices, if you and your fiancé get married… make it ‘til “death do you part.”
My son and his "girlfriend" are coming to our house for a four-day visit. They have been living together for eight years and are not married. Neither one is living a godly life. My question: how do we handle the sleeping arrangements? And what do we tell them? They are arriving in a couple of days, and we need to handle this matter gently in order to keep our relationship. They have not spent an overnight at our house and limit their visits, and I'm sure this is the reason.
Sincerely, Empty Nester
Dear Empty Nester,
You cannot aid them in a sinful relationship. Their eight-year relationship is sinful and tragic. It is understandable that you want to keep a working relationship with them, but you can’t keep that relationship by compromising your morals. If you wish to live a godly life, you can’t yoke yourself to ungodly behavior (2 Cor 6:14). If your son were involved with the sin of murder, would you harbor him from the law? Though more socially acceptable, what they are doing is just as sinful.
Your relationship with them is strained because you choose a path of morality that makes them uncomfortable (Jhn 3:20). You can remove the strain from the relationship simply by ceasing to care about godliness. Of course, that would remove the value of your influence in their lives. You are indeed the salt of their life that constantly reminds them of their responsibility to their Creator (Matt 5:13). Make your stand and speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). Regardless of what they choose, you can sleep with a clear conscience knowing that you obeyed God rather than men (Act 5:29).
I have been separated for almost nine years. My husband left me and is in another relationship. Recently, he attacked me in front of our eight year old and fractured my nose. I am filing for divorce now. I met a man in a Christian chat who is also separated, and his wife is seeing another man. He teaches youth in New Zealand as well lecturing in a Christian College there. He visited me once in March while in the USA. He now wants to come back in November to visit again. He plans on divorcing his wife in a little over a year, as their laws require a two year separation prior to divorce. Our relationship seems so godly since we haven't "sinned" - but I know I need counseling. I am seeking advice through you because I haven't told my pastor due to fear of being rejected by the church. Please help.
Sincerely, Seeking To Be Faithful
Dear Seeking To Be Faithful,
Your situation is a unique twist on an old problem, but the answer still remains the same – wait until you are both not married. It sounds like you both have legitimate reasons for seeking divorce from your current spouses. The only reason God ever allows for divorce is when adultery has occurred (Matt 5:32); sadly both of your spouses have done that. However, you are not officially divorced yet. Though it is unlikely that you will reconcile with your current spouses, you are still married. If you begin dating, you will be dating a married man, and he will be dating a married woman. That looks bad to everyone else, thus tainting your relationship in the eyes of others (Rom 12:17). Furthermore, it doesn’t just look bad – it is bad.
Since you have an eight-year-old, as a parent, you understand how quickly time goes by. In a year and a half, both of your lives will have changed dramatically, and you will be in an appropriate situation to decide whether to date each other. Even you admit that you need counseling as you go through a very difficult divorce. Your life and mind are not in a good position to be entering the dating world even if it were appropriate. There is a time for everything under the sun; now is a time to focus on picking up the pieces… not building new relationships (Eccl 3:1-8).
I am currently engaged to the woman I know I will spend the rest of my life with, but her and I are unaware of the limits we have sexually. Since we are going to be married and truly have no desire to be with anyone else, is there anything in the Bible that says we shouldn't be able to have sex?
Sincerely, Can’t Wait To Be Married
Dear Can’t Wait To Be Married,
There is a lot in the Bible that says you shouldn’t have sex until you are married. Gen 2:24 shows that marriage is the point where you are allowed to become one flesh. 1 Cor 7:2 points out that it is considered fornication unless you are married. If you sleep together before marriage, it is wrong.
Since you are truly committed to each other, then commit to waiting until you are married. Otherwise, find yourself a Justice of the Peace and get married now. If you have to choose between waiting to marry while being consumed by lust and getting married a little earlier but being legitimate in the eyes of God – get married (1 Cor 7:9).
What are the rules for remarrying if you are a widow? If a woman is past child-bearing age and wants to marry again, is this okay?
Mind Your Maritals
Dear Mind Your Maritals,
It is perfectly all right for a widow to remarry after her spouse’s death. In fact, God encourages it. The apostle Paul told widows, especially young widows, to remarry and start a new life (1 Tim 5:14). God wants us to move on after the death of a loved one. Mourning is a very important process that shouldn’t be neglected, but the time for mourning isn’t forever (Eccl 3:4). There are no age restrictions on a widow remarrying. If someone is widowed, death has ended her marriage contract, and she is free to pursue matrimony again (1 Cor 7:39).