I have another question for you about marriage. While my wife has never been legally married, she was engaged in the state of South Carolina. I recently discovered a law in South Carolina called breach of promise. Are you familiar with this law? From what I understood from the law was that if a person promises marriage in order to sleep with a woman, but doesn't marry her, it would be considered breach of promise. I've seen others say the law means if a person promises to marry someone, than it is against the law not to do so. Does my wife have to follow the laws of the land and go through with this marriage? In other words, divorce me, and find the man she was engaged to? Did we sinfully enter our marriage together because of this law?
Another question, My wife has obeyed the gospel. However, we both fell away from Christ. I have recently returned to the Lord; however, she has not. I know I need to be patient as the Lord has been with me and my disobedience. The question is how do I treat her? The Lord says not to assoicate or even eat with your brother, but does that apply to a wife?
Any information you return is appreciated.
A promise to marry or a reasonable expectation of getting married is not the same as an actual marriage. A marriage is a covenant made to God before witnesses. "Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant" (Malachi 2:14).
From what I found, many states have repealed their Breach of Promise to Marry laws. I could not find such a law in South Carolina. The law is considered antiquated because of modern-day acceptance of pre-marital sex and is almost never enforced, even in the states that still have it on their books. The cases that do exist usually involve one party making a significant financial commitment because of an expectation to marry. The suit is to recover loses because the marriage did not take place. A breach of promise suit has nothing to do with forcing a marriage to take place.
In regards to your wife, you treat her as your wife. Withdrawal severs the ties a person has with members of the church, but people have other ties than just religious ones. See: Are there exceptions to withdrawal?