Question:

Hello,

I do not know if you'll have time to reading and answer my email. Sincerely I hope you can.

When I lived all alone in a foreign country the Lord arrested me from my folly and ignorant way of life and showed me salvation. I was in my thirties at the time, living as an unbeliever. But the Lord showed me mercy by leading me in His Word to discover the truth. My salvation was sweet to my heart and I greatly enjoyed the fellowship with the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit. Within two years I looked for a local church to attend and praise the Lord with. I looked among the Baptists, but there was no gospel. I found a brother that set himself as preacher but he had no testimony from the Spirit that he had been so commanded. All in the flesh. In time I came in contact with a dear brother that had the same care and love for the truth but lived far off.

Eventually I decided to return to my home country. With this move much trouble began to arise. I desired so much to find a like-minded spirit to join in marriage. It was very difficult to be alone. Loneliness was hard to overcome. After two years of being back I began to talk to people on the Internet and came to meet a woman. I believed in my heart that it was the Lord's will and answer to my prayers for a help meet for me. We ended up giving each other and from that day I considered myself married to her, but troubled after trouble began to arise. Fight after fight led me to think that I may have done folly and sinned in uniting in marriage. My fellowship with the Lord begin to diminish due to all the headache that the relationship brought into my life. I begin to question more and more and in turn I caused more harm to the relationship.

She was interested at first to know God and salvation but after a short while she stopped and would not have any more conversation about it, neither did she want to know the truth that is in Christ. I think that this was the main factor for the destruction of the relationship. However, not knowing for sure if my union with her was the Lord's will or my own, I continued even to the present day.

Every time we have an argument I feel like separating but fear comes over me. I fear of doing two wrongs. The first when I got to be with her and now the second by separation. I'm a very impatient man by nature and always prone to harsh moves. I fear that I may be in a bad relationship that seems too hard to get out of it. Sometimes I want to put an end to it all but fear if it was truly the Lord's will that I should have married her. But if wasn't why is it so hard to let go? Confusion and fear is my bread.

I have read the article on marriage but not if is applicable in my case. Since I was a believer at the time and she wasn't, but I got together with her thinking that she was the answer to my prayer for a wife. She was so interested at first. She wanted to read with me and hear the truth but afterward she would have none of it. Not believing the truth because she could see sin in me. My faults my imperfection became the sole motive for her to discredit the truth, though those traits in me that she questioned were nothing more than what is common in all men. She is never pleased with what I do, it is never enough. It became a game of who can see more faults on the other person. Sure there moments that we are at peace but the fighting, shouting and fault finding is killing me bit by bit.

I need the Lord and believe that He is still present in my heart. However the silent moments due to all this avid mess is destroying my peace. The fellowship I had with the brother from the other country stopped. He only pressed to say that I was in sin. That I committed fornication in uniting with her, she being a unbeliever. It was wrong for in the Old Testament. The people of Israel were commanded not to marry foreign women. I can understand his view, but I canít reconcile that at first I strongly believed that she had been sent unto my life by the Lord. And if that being so how could I then so easily separate myself from her and risk doing a more horrific thing. I tried to explain this to him but he said that I was in fornication. If it is fornication how do I reconcile what I believed at the first? Now he doesn't talk to me anymore. He cast me away as an unbeliever. I don't blame him at all. I myself don't know what to think.

There is no one here to talk to. No one that I know of that is a true believer in Christ. There are many who are religious, but I don't know any with understanding. You may judge me as a fornicator also and if so that is fine because even I have my thoughts. I just don't know what to think anymore. If there be a minute to help me understand I would be much in your debt. To separate is difficult, but it can be done, but I need to know that is according to the Lord's will and not just my own.

Many thanks.


Answer:

Sin is common in all men (Romans 3:23), but that doesn't make it right. Sinning, and excusing sin in yourself, does not leave a good example to a non-believer. It only indicates that you are not sincere in your belief. "Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear" (I Peter 3:1-2). A similar statement could be said of men as well.

Fornication means you are having sex with someone you are not married to. But you did marry this woman, so you cannot be committing fornication.

That Christians can be married to non-Christians is show by the passage I cited earlier (I Peter 3:1-2) and by I Corinthians 7:12-15. It generally isn't a good choice, but it isn't a sinful choice.

Your friend is wrong about the marrying of foreign women. There were seven nations Israel was told not to marry (Deuteronomy 7:1-4), but there were a number of examples of men married to non-Israelites. Moses was married to an Ethiopian woman (Numbers 12:1). Boaz married Ruth, a Moabite woman. Boaz's mother was Rahab, the harlot, a Canaanite woman (Matthew 1:5). See: Does God condemn marriages to non-Christians?

One of the problems you are having is that you are assuming that your feelings are God's directions. Where do you find God leading people by feelings? Feelings are often wrong (Proverbs 28:26). Instead, God constantly tells us to look at His teachings to know what His will is. "Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:17).

"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (I John 2:3-6).

It is God's will that men and women marry (I Corinthians 7:8-9), but the decision of who you wish to marry is left up to you. God gives all sorts of instructions on how to pick a spouse. I sure He helps us, in response to our prayers, to find good spouses. However, the final choice is left to us, whether it is good or bad. See:

God's command to Christians is to live at peace with their spouse so as to encourage them to become Christians. "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" (I Corinthians 7:12). Instead of spending time thinking of how to escape this marriage, you should be spending time thinking about how you can be a better husband and set a better example for your wife. For example, love "keeps no record of wrongs" (I Corinthians 13:5). Your wife may play a game of finding fault with you, but you do not have to play along.

More often than not I find that people argue because they are trying to force another person to do things they don't want to do. You have to realize that you can't make anyone do anything. You can encourage them, you can express your preference, but in the end they have to decide for themselves. When you realize there are many things out of your control, then you realize that most arguments are worthless or detrimental.

Many thanks Mr. Hamilton for your reply. It is all true. I have justified my sin before my wife when caught. But what I justify is that I did it because I'm human. Within me a fallen nature still resides. I donīt like it, in fact I hate it and most of the time wished to depart from this world and flesh to be with the Lord. But I do thank God that I have an advocate in the throne of grace, my Lord Jesus Christ who gave himself for me as a lamb. The just for the unjust. Even now I know that he intercedes for me, otherwise I would have gone back and denied Him whom my soul loveth. I being weak and at times walking in the world with unbelief stumble and transgress.

Again I do thank Mr. Jeffrey for both time and attention.

Paul's response to you is this: "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).

Yes, humans sin, but you don't sin because you are human. You sin because you choose to do so. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12). The Bible doesn't teach that people are born sinful, rather God teaches that we become sinful. See: Total Depravity or Total Inability.