Question:

Hello My Brother in Christ,

I have been a member of the church for a number of years. I have been faithful brother since that time and have grown tremendously over the years. As I continue to grow in the Lord, I am struggling with some things of the past, my current state, and future in regards to marriage and kids. I am looking for some answers, scriptures, prayer, and spiritual assistance; therefore, let me cut to the chase.

  • I have four kids by four different woman to whom I was married to none of them. (I was not a member of the Lord's Church then).
  • Before I became a member of the church, I got married while in college and we had no kids.
  • I got divorced a few years later due to irreconcilable differences. We both were young and did not know what we were getting ourselves into. (I was still not a member of the Lord's Church).
  • I met a woman who was raised in the church, and who introduced me to the church, and I was baptized into the Lord's Church.
  • A few years later I got remarried.
  • I only told my current wife about one of the four children.
  • I never told my current wife that I was married before.
  • My current wife and I have a child.
  • I am not happy in my current marriage and from conversations with my wife, she indicated that she is not happy.
  • I have been having an affair with another woman for over a year, and this other woman is a member of the church.
  • My current wife does not know about the affair.

I am planning to tell my wife about the affair and I am pretty sure she will want a divorce. I have a few questions based on my understanding of the scriptures; therefore, I am hoping the that you could help clarify some things in regards to my spiritual state and remarriage.

  1. The scriptures says that there are only two reasons in which a divorce can occur, death of a spouse, or adultery. I have committed adultery; therefore, my wife can remarry if she pleases to; however, I cannot. If I were to get remarried to the woman I am having an affair with, would God bless that marriage and would I be constantly living in sin?
  2. Is it wrong for the woman in whom I am having an affair with to knowingly marry me if me and my current wife were to get a divorce?
  3. If I were to not remarry, because I am the one who committed the act of adultery, could I even date another woman or be in a relationship with another woman?
  4. If I were to get a divorce from my current wife, would God forgive me if I truly repented?
  5. Will God bless a second marriage under any and all circumstances the same? i.e. a couple who were married, divorced, remarried and then became members of the church differently than those who had been in the church from beginning?
  6. What is the status of a unmarried woman who had an affair with a married man?
  7. Is a couple who are remarried sinning every day by being together, or is there sin removed after the confession is made?
  8. If a married man has an affair with an unmarried woman and decides to get a divorce and wants to remarry this woman, when does the repentance occur? Should it?

I am opening myself up to preachers in the church and need some help in gaining further understand. I ask that you please not judge me, and pray for me as it took a lot of prayer and courage to write this email seeking help.

Thank you for your help and have a blessed day.

A member of the Lord's Church needing help.


Answer:

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

Matthew 19:9 answers most of your concerns. It reads: “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." This passage establishes when the sin of adultery takes place. If one divorces their spouse and remarries, the sexual contact in the new relationship is called adultery. If one marries a person who was previously married, the sexual contact in the new relationship is called adultery. The only exception noted is if the divorces in either situation ended due to infidelity in the original marriage by their spouse. Keep in mind that adultery takes place every time sexual contact occurs in either of the unscriptural relationships covered by this passage.

This passage, as applied to your situation, would define you as an adulterer. Your wife as recognized by God would be the lady you married in college. You state that marriage ended due to irreconcilable differences. However, the only reason for a divorce is adultery. Therefore, God still considers you in a covenant with your college sweetheart. Any sexual contact that you have with someone who is not your wife is adultery. Any sexual contact someone has with you is adultery. The only option available to you is outlined in I Corinthians 7:10-11, “Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.” You must remain unmarried unless you can return to your wife of your college days.

You asked eight questions as it applied to your specific situation.

  1. “If I were to get remarried to the woman I am having an affair with, would God bless that marriage and would I be constantly living in sin?”

    A married man having an affair is committing adultery. God does not bless sinful conduct; in fact, He condemns it (I Corinthians 6:9-10). You would constantly be living in sin.

  2. “Is it wrong for the woman in whom I am having an affair with to knowingly marry me if me and my current wife were to get a divorce?”

    Any woman who has sexual contact with you, whether you are remarried or not, is committing adultery. The woman you are having an affair with is committing adultery and if you marry her she would still be committing adultery. The sin of adultery is not removed in newly formed marriage relationships. Marriage does not remove sin.

  3. “If I were to not remarry, because I am the one who committed the act of adultery, could I even date another woman or be in a relationship with another woman?”

    If you were burnt putting your hand in a fire, would you continue to put your hand in fire? If you date, where do you think that will lead? Christ taught one man for one woman (Matthew 19:4-6). Your wife in God’s eye is your college sweetheart. Any sexual relationship that you have with anyone else is adultery.

  4. “If I were to get a divorce from my current wife, would God forgive me if I truly repented?”

    God does not recognize your marriage with your current spouse. You are living in adultery. Repentance means you will consciously change your ways to doing what is righteous. Repentance requires you to divorce your current wife and remain single. If you can do that, God will forgive if you change your mind about your sins, change your behavior toward your sins, and confession your sins to Him (I John 1:9).

  5. “Will God bless a second marriage under any and all circumstances the same? i.e. a couple who were married, divorced, remarried and then became members of the church differently than those who had been in the church from beginning?”

    God will not bless a second marriage of an adulterer. Church affiliation or longevity as a church member has nothing to do with it.

  6. “What is the status of an unmarried woman who had an affair with a married man?”

    According to Matthew 19:9, she is committing adultery. Unless she repents (i.e. ends the affair) she will be eternally lost (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

  7. “Is a couple who is remarried sinning every day by being together, or is there sin removed after the confession is made?”

    Repentance requires a determined change of mind. If you confess your fault but won’t change your actions, the adultery continues and repentance was not achieved. A couple who is remarried unscripturally (Matthew 19:9) is living in sin. In fact, remaining in an adulterous relationship is to sin willfully (Hebrews 10:26-31).

  8. “If a married man has an affair with an unmarried woman and decides to get a divorce and wants to remarry this woman, when does the "repentance" occur? Should it?”

    There is no repentance if we determine to continue in sin. A married man cannot have sex with anyone other than his wife. Your scriptural wife is your first wife of your college days. Any sexual relationship with someone other than your wife is adultery. Repentance is required in order to achieve forgiveness (Luke 17:4). Without repentance of your sins, you will be lost (I Corinthians 6:9-10; II Corinthians 7:9-11).

Steve A. Hamilton