Question:

Hello,

I am a member of the church of Christ. I was baptized while I was pregnant with my child. At the time my boyfriend and I were separated. But as time went on, I moved back in, against the advice of a fellow member. Although I knew it was not what the Bible said to do, I really loved my boyfriend and thought that it was in the best interest of my child to be raised with his father. I continued to attend services and take communion. I would like to know from a minister or elder of the church if God will punish me for what I am doing, or will I go to hell if I am asked to leave the church. I am really upset with this situation and want the best for my child. Can you please help me by giving me some guidence with this situation? Thank you so much.


Answer:

I want the best for your child as well, but being raised in a house where mom and dad are committed to each other enough to get married isn't the way to do it.

Let's start with a fundamental fact: Christians are supposed to be against sin. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2). By living with your boyfriend and I assume having sex with him, you are committing fornication. "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). In regards to brethren who claim to be Christians, yet insist on committing sexual sins, Paul said, "But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not even to eat with such a person" (I Corinthians 5:11).

The whole point is that sin is serious business and you can't pretend to be a Christian while living like a non-Christian. "Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles -- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries" (I Peter 4:1-3).

You want your child's father to be a part of his life. That is good, but you can't make good come about by doing sin. "And why not say, "Let us do evil that good may come"? -- as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just" (Romans 3:8). Since it is wrong to have sex outside of marriage, the solution is simple -- get married. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). Until you do get married, move back out.

Hello,

Thank you for responding to my question a few weeks ago. I talked to my boyfriend about marriage and here is where it gets a little complicated. When we meet, he and his now ex-wife were going through a divorce. She had commited adultery and was living with another man. He said he knew his marriage was over and felt divorced in his heart. I felt like it was just a matter of a little paperwork to be done, so we made a mistake and slept together. Now his question is since he was still legally married does he now have the right to marry me? I hope the answer is yes.

From the way you worded this, you are saying that you and he were having sex prior to the divorce being filed. An intention is not the same as doing so. If that is the case, then he didn't really decide to divorce his wife until he too became an adulterer, which means the reason for filing for divorce was because of his sexual sins with you. An adulterer does not have the right to marry another person.

Notice how you continue to excuse your sin. You indicate that you think it fine for a woman to have sex with a divorced man, even though they not married. This note indicates it only happened once, but your earlier note says it was an going event. I think you understand that adultery is a sin, but you really need to quit sugar-coating what has been going on. You can't truly deal with sin while trying to make it out to be not that bad. "Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful" (Romans 7:13).

The way I worded it may have come out wrong, but she (his ex-wife) had filed for divorce from him and moved in with the person she left her husband for. The only thing lacking when he and I were together was the signatures on the divorce papers. I understand what you are saying I know I am not being the Christian I need to be, which is why I am trying to resolve this issue. I am having a hard time moving out and taking my son away from his father.

The problem is that you are compromising. You are making up conditions instead of trusting God and following His commands. As I mentioned in the first note, Paul said you cannot be a Christian and be having sex outside of marriage (I Corinthians 6:9-10). The two ideas are not compatible.

If things are as you said, and that his involvement with you was not the cause of the divorce. Then if you two will straighten out your lives with God, repenting of your sins, then getting married is a possibility. However you look at this, you need to change from the sinful life you are currently living.