Question:

Dear Minister,

I am a young man married to one wife for the last four years. My wife is now five months pregnant. Unfortunately, I committed adultery with another young woman and she is one month pregnant. We have made it a secret not to tell my wife until when the child is born and is old enough to know me as the father.

We have sought advice from a pastor of a local church here who told us to repent our sins. The pastor said that it's okay for me to marry this other young woman I have impregnated as my second wife since the Bible permits a man, but not a woman, to marry a second wife. And also because the child needs the love of both a father and a mother. What do you advise I should do according to Scripture?

God bless you.


Answer:

The New Testament does not permit men or women to have multiple spouses. "And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?"" (Matthew 19:4-5). A marriage is formed between two people (not three or more) -- one man marrying one woman. The implication of one man for one woman is continued in the apostle's writings (Ephesians 5:31). The one-to-one relationship is clearly seen in Paul's instruction: "Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" (I Corinthians 7:2). What the other man told you was a falsehood. It isn't surprising; you can find people who will tell you anything you want to hear (II Timothy 4:3-4).

Yes, children need both a father and a mother. This is one reason fornication and adultery are wrong: it leads to children who are not raised in a loving two-parent household. But a claim of good cannot justify what is already wrong. "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). For you to marry this second woman while your wife lives would be adultery. "So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress" (Romans 7:3). The same would be true for a man marrying another woman: he would be called an adulterer. Adultery is always wrong, even if it is providing a child when a second parent.

The child would be better off being adopted by a couple, or this other woman finds a husband who will accept the child has his own.

Your wife needs to be told that you sinned because your sin makes you responsible for the child you produced. You are responsible for the child's support and helping to raise the child. But that is going to impact your wife, taking both money and time away from your family. Your sin isn't something that can be hidden, whether you repent of it or not.

I don't know if your wife will want to remain with you or not. If she chooses to divorce you because of your sin, then realize that you are not permitted another marriage while she lives because God still holds you obligated to the covenant you made with your wife (Matthew 19:9). If you want to remain in a marriage, you must hope that your wife forgives you of your sin.

Meanwhile, you must repent of your sin. Repentance is more than being sorry that your sin came to light. Repentance is completely changing your mind about sin and changing your behavior as well. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11). You need to so radically change that someone meeting you in the future would not believe that you would actually commit adultery.