I desired to follow God the best I could. I stopped my wayward ways in the world. I got married. In fact, my now ex-wife became a Christian first and I have to say she was a good wife. I just don't know what happened. I didn't see this coming at all. It took me by surprise. The way she handled everything was so cold almost like she was possessed by Satan and also the fantasy she had dreamed with this high school sweetheart of hers. I'd never seen her this way before. I totally trusted her. She had never even cheated on me before even before we were Christians.
The effect this has had on me is to be bitter toward God. We had no kids; that was an issue to her being a woman, which is understandable. We were waiting on the Lord. She yearned for a child and I always encouraged her we had to trust in God. I even proposed to adopt, but she didn't want to. She wanted one of hers. I just hoped one day God would give us a child as long as I played my part like Abraham.
Now I am questioning all that I have ever known about God. Well meaning Christians says this is a test or this was meant to be. They say God is sovereign. This all makes me very, very angry toward God. The Scriptures call Him a loving Father. What father would want to test is own child into rejecting and hating him? What Father would allow "as a test" to bring immense emotional pain to a child He claims He loves and will protect? What Father would allow a test that would lead his child to do evil and open that child to many temptations and possible make the child do evil?
They say God is sovereign. Why would God contradict Himself? He tells us "marriage is honorable." He tells us He is the one that gives us children. He tells us keep away from sexual immorality; hence, He loving created the institution of marriage so man and woman can be one and multiply. Yet God allowed Satan to hurt me by not even giving me children when I trusted Him. God allowed Satan to make me lonely and jobless. I haven't even spoken to her since she left. Someone I'd known from a young age as a man and now just gone like I never existed. What coldness of heart. I wish I never ever married in the first place.
Well meaning Christians tell me I can get remarried. Yes, I understand because I am the innocent spouse and wasn't the one in adultery. But I am so bitter toward Him that I do not want to get married anymore or have kids anymore from Him. He never gave me neither when it should have been, when I chose to follow Him and do the right thing, but, as the Calvinists would say, "He chose to hurt and hate me for His own pleasure," as also the scriptures say. It looks like God is indifferent to those who desire (I say desire as I know it's His grace that aids me and us in parallel with our will) to obey Him and those who don't. As the scriptures say "The rain falls in the just and unjust." So what is the point if He makes no distinction.
I am so hurt because I prayed, pleaded, begged God to not let Satan prevail, and He decided to turn a deaf ear. Ultimately I blame my ex-wife as she chose willing to disobey God, but I see many times in the Scripture where God intervened for His people when all was hopeless e.g. Abraham, Isaac, David, the disciples, etc. But it seems in this days He doesn't care. It seems the world is correct it's better not to get married, it's better live your life for you as life is too short; hence, enjoy it. I know the Scripture say otherwise, but it looks like in the reality of things those who follow the world and believe in themselves fair much better than us (followers of Jesus Christ). There is a fine line with when one knows what the Holy Scriptures says very well and then obeys, not by law but in obedience to God and being a Christian, and when you are actually in events that bring your whole belief system into question, when actually walking in circumstances that were totally out of your hands and your only hope was in God.
Abraham did not receive a child because he was faithful. He was promised a child if he would obey God. "Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing" (Genesis 12:1-2). Such an offer was not made to you; rather, you tried to bargain with God. In a sense you were saying, "I'll be good, but I expect you to give me a child in return."
You have decided, on your own, that if you just had a child, your wife would not have left. Such a statement cannot be asserted as true. I've know far too many women who left husband and children for another man. Now you sound like a child having a temper-tantrum because you did not get what you wanted when you wanted. You act that as if by rejecting God that you can punish Him for not obeying your demands.
What puzzles me is why you're blaming God for your wife's choice to sin? God states very clearly that adultery is wrong, which is what she is guilty of. He states the consequences of adultery. Yet, you think that God should override your wife's free-will and force her to be obedient even though she is not inclined to obey. "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezekiel 18:20). God does no wrong. "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone" (James 1:13).
Why did you wife leave? Because, "each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (James 1:14-15). Your wife was tempted with sin -- a temptation that she could have resisted because God did not allow Satan to overwhelm her (I Corinthians 10:13). However, she chose of her own free will to sin instead of resist and she now faces the consequences of her choice.
There is no passage that says God hurts people for His good pleasure. What the Bible does say is:
"Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).
"having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will" (Ephesians 1:5).
"having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself" (Ephesians 1:9).
"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13).
"Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ" (II Thessalonians 1:11-12).
God delights in making people His children, giving them a kingdom and laws to teach them how to live righteously. But you accuse God of delighting in cruelties. You twist the fact that God shows kindness to every one into an accusation that He is indifferent. "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:44-48). Let me point out that despite the evil you have been saying against God, He hasn't given you what you deserve and still gives you blessings that you choose to ignore because you are angry at the wrong person.
You mentioned David. Have you forgotten the years he spent running for his life because Saul wanted to kill him? You mentioned the disciples. Have you forgotten Paul's words? "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:35-37). Have you ever considered the apostle's question, "And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour?" (I Corinthians 15:30)? It seems to me you need to read Job again, especially chapters 32-42, because it is clear that you think that this life is all about you. You have no reverence, respect, or fear of God because you have imagined God being like yourself.
Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no pangs in their death, but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride serves as their necklace; violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes bulge with abundance; they have more than heart could wish. They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walks through the earth. Therefore his people return here, and waters of a full cup are drained by them. And they say, "How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?" Behold, these are the ungodly, who are always at ease; they increase in riches. Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning.
If I had said, "I will speak thus," behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children. When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me - until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end.
Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awakes, so, Lord, when You awake, You shall despise their image.
Thus my heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind. I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Your works" (Psalms 73:1-28).
Sir, thanks for your response.
The Word of God is correct, and so are you in highlighting it.
"Thus my heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind. I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You."
I was like a beast. The anger and bitterness I got from the effects of such a violent and dramatic change in my circumstances almost drove me mental with so much bitterness toward a Just God; hence, I sent my email to you. Your response made me regret even sending the email because "I was foolish" in all I had said. It's her I blame, but I see myself distinctly blaming God. Our first father, Adam, did the same thing, and now I see myself doing the same, though I know what the Scripture says. Satan is so subtle.
I tried my best to reconcile with my wife. She took half of everything. We had to sell the house and gave her half the proceedings. I had to move out. I had to give her half of our savings (that was mostly my money as she worked part time) over the years†because we had a joint account. A quite considerable amount. She used our sweat to set up house with another man. The worst part is that she says God has forgiven her, whether the new relationship works out or not.
This raises a difficulty that I'm grappling with and never thought of before: "Why would someone's premeditated sin be treated as though they were not." I ask this question only in light of us supposed Christians who have had the light of the Scripture shed on our hearts, but are bent on doing a particular evil. Does that mean I can do the same? e.g. Start hanging out, get drunk, fornicate as much as I can and say "I had no choice because of the situation I was forced into," "God should understand," or "I will repent later"?
Every person during his lifetime is confronted by the tragedy of longing for one so near just a short while ago and now is irrevocably gone. These longings alone bring severe relentless guilt that can drive one mad by constantly thinking: "What could I have done better?," "Where did I miss ...?," "What if ...?, " and "I must have done a grave sin for this to happen."
The feelings of the loss of what one senses when ones home has been destroyed and the most intimately precious part in one's life, after God, companionship, best friend, opinions, advice, raising a godly family, is no more due to one person being bent on evil.
You wrote "I've known far too many women who left husband and children for another man." Correct. But do I then gain solace in knowing these happen many times? Does these remove the fact that when two become one (spiritually), and that then gets violently ripped out, what is left? Only half of you (that one union has been split in half) spiritually albeit God has a way of dealing with a wounded spirit. Here I am, another soul being a victim of a wayward spouse, and Satan and the world's way of thinking in respect to marriage of "make yourself happy," "if the love is not there move on," etc.
I would never, later down the years say to someone else that is going through what I had gone through, say to them that "many people do this kind of thing" because I know first hand what that individual soul is dealing with. Who else can deal with a soul's bitterness than the One who created all souls? God. I'm sure He has dealt with worse.
I hear to many people say: "Maybe it was meant to be," "She was not your soul mate," "God has someone better," "This is a test," "Maybe it was meant to happen to both of you to make us learn from our mistakes and hence become closer to God when we suffer the consequences," etc.† Are these scriptural? Is this all maybe true? When I hear people say this, my spirit automatically rejects it, and I don't know why. I would really like your input on these to set my mind to rest.
I see you changed the title of my email. This is not just about my wife being gone, but it's how do I carry on now with keeping my piety intact? How do I carry on with my life now that I am open to so many temptations? I already started with porn, which I clearly know is wrong. How do I keep away from the world? How do I battle Satan? This wayward woman, my ex-wife, is gone, and I'm not in denial anymore, but Satan still keeps his attack upon me with loneliness and being idle and being childless -- I am not exactly that young anymore.
How well do you think it would work to walk down to the bank that holds your mortgage and say: "You've forgive me of the $100,000 I owe you. I sure you understand. I know you just want me to be happy"? That is what your ex-wife is doing with God. She is living in adultery. "And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery" (Mark 11:12). Though she has not repented of her sins, she confidently tells the Lord that He has forgiven her of what she did wrong, even though she has done nothing that God states is necessary to have forgiveness. God will handle this. "Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord" (Romans 12:19).
You ask how you keep your life and piety intact. You've made the first step because you weren't going to live righteously while you were blaming God for your misery. The next step is to put the respect and fear of God back into your life. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7). Your ex-wife is going to face the Almighty God regarding her sins, do you want to be racing her to hell? Porn is not a substitute for the loving relationship you once had with your wife. You don't soothe your feelings with uncaring photos of people having uncaring sex.
The cure is to fill your life with the things God tells us works. You're idle because you lost your job. "For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good" (II Thessalonians 3:10-13). Your job right now is to find another job. Treat it as a job. Assign yourself eight hours a day of searching. Don't limit yourself as far as where you look or the field of work you will do. We had a brother here who lost his job, he literally sent out thousands of resumes and interviewed dozens of time. It took a year to find another position and to get what he wanted, he had to spend almost half-a-year working two hours from home, but his persistence eventually paid off.
If you are longing to be a dad, once you get yourself employed again, start considering adopting an older child. There are many kids who need a parent out there but almost all want to start with a baby. Give your life purpose and make a difference in a child's life.
I pointed out that I've known other women who left their husbands and children as an illustration that your thinking was wrong. You were convinced that if God had granted your wife a child, she would have stayed. My point is that it might not have made a difference. It wasn't meant to be soothing; it was meant to get your mental gears grinding again.
Of course it hurts to have your wife leave. You wouldn't have had a decent marriage if it didn't hurt. It hurts to have a spouse, child, or parent to die also. It hurt God to watch His Son die on a cross because a world full of people turned their back on Him. I can't make the pain any less. It will be there, but life goes on. It won't disappear, but you can learn to live despite its present -- and in doing so, you will be a better man as a result. "Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth" (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4).
Was it meant to be? Obviously not. God meant for a husband and wife to live together for a lifetime (Genesis 2:24). What happened was a violation of what was meant to be.
Was she not your soul mate? Again, this isn't a truth. People have decided that there is one special person meant for each individual, but that concept is not based on what God taught. You chose a woman to be your wife and you bonded with her. She sinned, violating her covenant, and changing her allegiance. But before that happened, people would have said you were soul mates. She chose to turn against you and in the process against God.
The rest are all claims by mortal men to have inside knowledge of what God is thinking. The very thought is ridiculous. What I do know is that God can use even the bad things in life to lead to better things for His people. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). What happened was horrible for your life, but if you will continue to follow God, He will make use of those things to ultimately create good things to happen. Such is a part of the theme of Revelation. Christians died because they were serving God. "And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"" (Revelation 6:10). They were told to wait. As the scenes unfolded through Revelation we see that an evil empire was ultimately crushed and God's church flourished. "After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her"" (Revelation 19:1-2). God knows how to turn horrors into joy, and we as His people need to trust our Lord to handle matters.