Marriage 1 My wife had an affair and moved to another state
with her boyfriend. I desparately wanted to reconcile but after
two years of zero contact, I filed for divorce.
Marriage 2 This marriage lasted twelve years and we had
four amazing children. Within the first two years of our
marriage, my wife had an affair. I suspected the affair but it
was approximately nine years into our marriage that her
confession was made. Things were never the same. I was
very hurt and bitter but I grew up in a broken home and didn't
want that for my children. We were both miserable and often
discussed divorce but we both wanted to keep our home
together until the kids were out of school. I am not aware of
any additional affairs but she was very regularly dishonest with
me in other matters. She had battled a pornography addiction
that started at an unusually young age and continued in that
path. Connecting with her in meaningful, open conversation
proved to be hurtful every time. My most private
insecurities would be brought up to me by "friends of friends"
after trickling down from her. I became very closed off to her
and there was an enormous wall between us. The more I shut
her out physically and emotionally, the more she became
convinced I was having an affair. She told many of our friends
that I was. At the time, I was not but I confided in a woman at
work who was going through a very difficult time as well. We
became very close friends and within six months our friendship
had evolved into sexual intimacy. I filed for divorce and
pursued this new relationship.
Marriage 3 Approximately six months into this marriage, my
brother told me about Kyle Idleman's book "Not A Fan". I
became immersed in this book and for the first time in my life, I
was a follower of Christ. Everything about me was different
and I wanted to be the me God created me to be. I remember
it hitting me like a ton of bricks. Now what God? What do I do
about the marriage I am in? I LOVE this woman but can I
expect you to bless a relationship that had ultimatey started as
an affair? I was not content with simply justifying what we had
done by citing my previous wife's affair. I still had to own up to
my sin regardless of her sin. We both apologized to her and
asked for forgiveness. She apologized as well and the co-
parenting relationship among the three of us prospered as a
result. My wife and the children's mother became friends and
would even sit together at sporting events etc. Fast forward
about a year and a half. My wife's father was pastoring a non-
denominational church. He was a "fallen" Assembly of God
pastor who had had an affair with and married the worship
leader. My wife and I had been going to his church since the
beginning of our relationship. He had also served as my
counselor through my previous divorce. He was aware of the
affair I had with his daughter and supported it. He helped us
keep it hidden as we would go out of town on various weekend
trips with them. My wife and I were both on staff receiving a
weekly check although we did nothing more than show up for
church. Many aspects of this church had long been unsettling
to me but I ignored the conviction until I no longer could. I
prayed with my wife and asked that she be in continuued
prayer about us stepping down from our ministry positions for
a period of six months. I felt led of the Spirit to do so and that
we were to focus on our family and our individual relationships
with God. She became deeply offended and agreed that I
should, but she would not. Her father took the same position.
Our families became very divided but in the end, she became
involved with a friend of her dad's. He helped her hide the
affair just as he did when he was "on my side". She filed for
divorce and soonafter married this man.
I seriously had no intentions of ever marrying again. After
three failed marriages, you might wonder why I'm even
pondering this question. But here I am today. I met an
amazing woman who is a widow. We've been together a little
over a year and I love her deeply. She recently broke up with
me and her reason was that I am not Biblically free to marry.
At this point, it is my understanding she is dating someone
else and I have no expectations of her changing her mind. I
respect her convictions and I respect her interpretation of
scripture. This question is for me. I do feel absolute peace
about marrying again. Have I deceived myself?
Bible Answer: Brr101373,
Greetings. As a Pastor, I find the most difficult questions to answer usually are about marriage. This is not from any short coming from scriptural guidance, but rather it is because of the remarkably implausible situations that people find themselves in by not following the Lord's instructions from the beginning. People come to a pastor and basically ask, "given that I've not followed the plan" what now would the Lord have me do?
If you would permit me to make a parable out of thin air, most questions are like a man standing by the lake. A letter from the Lord is brought to him and the courier states, "I have instruction from the Lord that you are to get in this raft and cross this lake."
As time passes the man one day decides he ought to obey but he is confused how to do so. He asks the courier, "Sir, I want to know what the Lord would have me do."
The courier replies,"I told you."
"Yes, but I have sunk the boat, covered the lake with oil and set it afire, and waited until I was too old and infirm to walk around the lake. Now please tell me what my Lord would have me do."
The bewildered courier replies, "I just have this letter saying to get in the boat and cross the lake."
This is what it is like answering most marriage questions. People have gotten themselves so far from what the word of God said, we no longer have specific instruction from God on what to do. God did not tell us, "Here is plan B and C assuming you reject every command I have first given you." He expects us to follow commands. I do not say any of this to scorn you, but to get you to understand why it will be next to impossible to get clear biblical advice. With that being said, here is my word of counsel in order of importance.
First, your chief concern in life right now is to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and strength. That should so be your focus that a question of marriage should seem a small thing. This we know for certain is your duty.
Second, you need to get yourself in a scriptural church where their chief conviction is preaching, understanding, and obeying scripture. This forum simply can not give the measure of council you need despite how we long to help you.
Third, my advice is to not pursue marriage again for two reasons. One reason is that I think one of the principles taught, is that remarrying is only permitted after a divorce that was scripturally allowed. I think your second divorce probably disqualifies you because you abandoned your wife for reasons other than her sexual betrayal. Yes she cheated on you, and that would have given you biblical permission to divorce. But that is not a "get out of marriage free" card you can keep in your pocket for a decade. The other reason is because you are not certain if you would be sinning by marrying, but you are certain that you will not be sinning by remaining single.
In Christ, Beja
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