Question:

I have a question about marriage. I'm going to start off on how my wife and I came together so you know the whole story.

A small group of friends and I used to go out to eat after church on Wednesday nights. I met this one girl who went with us. For some reason her dad had kicked her out, and I kind of felt sorry for her because she had to stay out on the street that night. I also took advantage lf it, and we both were looking for sex. So that's how our relationship started.

Before I got with her I was rooted in the Word. Weeks later her dad let her come back to live with him. One night I went to stay the night with her. I felt in my spirit that this relationship was wrong. Well, I chose to ignore it. Later on we found out that she was pregnant. That's when I asked her to marry me.

Now she is, or was, a Christian also, but she fell out of faith long before we met. I dont know if this would be important, but I did have a dream one night and I honestly believe it was from God saying that my marriage is wrong. Ever since I got with her I fell out of my faith. I did have a few opportunities to leave her before we got married because she cheated on me once. But we worked past it, and I stayed with her because of my child. When I try to get back into the Word, I want to be with her less.

My question is: Would it be sinful for us to get divorced in a situation like this? I care about her, but I'm not in love with her.


Answer:

What I gained from your letter is that when you were young, your faith in God was shallow. You went through the motions, but you were quite eager to break God's Law when the opportunity came to commit fornication. While you know you were at fault, you put greater blame on her for leading you astray. However, in every step that you took, you had full choice. You weren't forced into having sex. When she went back home, you followed her to crawl back into bed with her. You chose to marry her, even when you knew she was having sex with another guy.

While you went about this all the wrong way, the fact of the matter is that you voluntarily married this woman. I gather that since then you two have worked out issues and you both have remained faithful to your marriage vows. The biggest point of contention at the moment is that you want to return to following Christ and she isn't interested.

Really, the only thing that is stopping you is yourself. Your marriage is legitimate. It was your behavior before marriage that was sinful. "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy" (I Corinthians 7:14).

Other than your current unhappiness with the woman you chose to marry, you haven't mentioned a reason for leaving her. Staying in this marriage would be better. "For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?" (I Corinthians 7:16). Love is more about the choices you make in how you treat another than in any feelings that you have. See I Corinthians 13:4-8 and realize that a person does these things for people he loves, even when they are not all that lovable.

Don't let your wife hold you back from being dedicated to the Lord. As you improve yourself, you also improve the man she calls her husband. Who knows? Perhaps in seeing how much being a Christian benefits you, she will turn back to Christ as well.

Let's say that two people who got together they were former followers of Christ. They decide to get together, they have a child together and decide to get married. Now one wants to get back into Christian life and as that person does, the less he wants to be with the person that he is married to. Is it possible that two former believers can get together and get married, and God has two different paths for them and not one that is the same, if one or both comes back to Him?

You're asking the same question, just in more general terms. God doesn't make people not follow Him; they are quite capable of doing that on their own. Nor are there multiple ways to follow God. "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).

The fact remains that you are trying to get right with God and your wife isn't interested. What Paul says is, "But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace" (I Corinthians 7:12-15). In other words, the Christian doesn't end the marriage. If the unbeliever chooses to leave, then the Christian doesn't abandon the faith just to keep the marriage together. However, this is not permission to remarry either. This is only about keep the marriage going.