Question:

My case is the same with Am I married? but the difference is I am a woman. I knew it was wrong, but still I already committed it with my boyfriend. Maybe I loved him or maybe I was infatuated with him. I don't know because he's the first man whom I ever felt something. Then I got pregnant.

We decided to live together because I was not ready to get married, and he didn't have money to marry me since he didn't have a job. I didn't care about the money, so I lived with him. We kept my pregnancy secret, but it was found out during my eight month of pregnancy. Being the custom where I am, single mothers are scorned upon, so my family got angry. They summoned us with my boyfriend's family too. I was told by my family that I was a disgrace and that the child will be illegitimate. I cried and they planned how to get us married. I didn't had the chance to voice out that I don't want to be married yet and that we need time. In the end, I gave a small amount of money and they did everything from the marriage license to the lawyer (not a judge) and just sent us the papers days after for us to sign. We were even told to choose the date we want to put in the paper.

Fast forward, my boyfriend became hot tempered sometimes, verbally abusive, and he would hurt the child. We attended a church. They came to our house and we had Bible studies. He accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, like me, but things did not change. It was like he was very good when people were watching but when we were alone, he didn't pray, didn't read the Bible, he smokes, still curses, still drinks.

He went away for work but before that he laid a hand on my child, which I know is too much. So I agreed on giving him my permission to go away for work because I was scared that we will end up being beaten. At least if he's away he won't have the chance to hurt us anymore.

We already separated but no paper, just verbal. I understand him because he was also physically abused when he was growing up by one of his parent, but I don't want that for my child. If I file for divorce, will that be a sin to God? Was I biblically married? I was 22 that time and the lawyer said that there's a ground for me to file a divorce or legal separation or annulment because it sounds like the wedding was done with "force, intimidation or undue influence." Like that particular post on your site, my boyfriend and I only had "stated intentions." There was no ceremony that took place, but there was a paper we signed. The place of marriage stated in the paper was in a different region because the lawyer was in that region. I regret everything and I talk to God how sorry I am.

Then I met someone who is a Christian, we became friends and I'm feeling cherished when I am with him. We did not have sex, but we just enjoy each other's company. We both knew feelings are there. He knows everything. He told me God did not honor my "marriage" with my boyfriend and that God is a God of second chances. Is that true? I am praying for God's will because I don't want to sin again. I know God hates divorce, so I am feeling guilty that I might be sinning against my boyfriend because the Bible said that divorced women will stay unmarried. Is my understanding on this matter right? My relationship with the Lord is still not strong and I want to do His will.

I'm sorry for the long letter.

Thank you.


Answer:

First off let's make it clear: sex is only for a couple who are married to each other. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). Even if you were free to marry, there is absolutely no excuse for you two to have sex when you are not married. If a guy wants to have sex with you and claims he is a Christian, you know at the outset that he is lying (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

Back at the beginning of your story you were not being honest. You were not in love with this man, you were infatuated with him. Love "thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth" (I Corinthians 13:5-6). Yet, you committed fornication with this man. That wasn't an act of love.

You then entered into a pretend marriage by living with this man. You gave a number of poor excuses as to why you didn't just get married, but in the end your family proved that you could have gotten married. Every reason you gave for not marrying only stated that you preferred being in sin than to live righteously before God.

Your families arranged to make it appear that a marriage took place, but from what I gather, there was no exchanging of wedding vows that were witnessed by others, which is the core of a marriage covenant (Malachi 2:14). If I understood this correctly and you can honestly state that you did not exchanges vows with this man, only filed papers to make it appear that the vows had taken place, then you did not marry him. Thus, one set of lies was covered up with additional lies. The lawyer is correct that the false marriage documents could be annulled.

But if the papers contained marriage vows that you signed and were properly witnessed, then it doesn't matter whether the vows were spoken out loud or not. You were properly married.

If you did exchange vows, it doesn't matter if you want to claim you were coerced back then. The fact of the matter is that you went along with it for years and only are now claiming something different because you have a man you are interested in who is not your husband. An ending of your marriage in this case would not give you the right to remarry since there is no mention of your husband being unfaithful to his vows (Matthew 19:9).

Thank you for your very honest reply.

I developed feelings for my ex-boyfriend because he was cute and funny, then it went stronger and I was blind to his bad habits. All I knew at that time is that if you love someone, you accept him and his faults. Now I know about real biblical love.

When our families gathered, they told us to just wait for the papers to come. So we went back to our state and lived our daily lives and waited. When the papers were sent to our state, it already had the seal and signatures, the only thing lacking was both of our signatures. After signing it, we sent it back to the state where the lawyer lived and that's how we had the marriage certificate. I remember the certificate we signed had the state's seal where you put your address and name or something like that. Does that mean we did not have our vows, and I am not married biblically?

I told the man that I am not allowed to divorce because God hates divorce. I want to do God's will, so if He wants me to stay unmarried then I am okay staying alone, but he told me I was not really married because there was no vow. That got me confused and searching (then I bumped into your site) because I have signed the papers. He told me papers do not make the marriage but the vow because nowhere in the Bible does it mention there are papers to sign. That was new to me since I still don't know much, and I am still learning God's word.

We do not hold hands because I am not sure if what we have is allowed in God's law. We just talk about everything and what made me feel something for him is that he's so different. He always talks about God and I learn so much about God through him. I do like him, but still I often tell him I do not want him and me to go to hell for adultery, but he just laughs. Are we going to hell now because we have something special going on? I don't want to go to hell.

Did God forgive me when I ask for forgiveness for having sex with my boyfriend? The man told me I committed fornication and not adultery and will not commit adultery if I say yes to him and marry him.

Thank you. Your site is really an eye-opener and I look at other questions and learn a lot of new things. Thank you for the Bible verses too.

I cannot answer your questions because I do not know what you signed. If you did not enter a covenant with the man you are with, which would include exchanging vows, then you did not marry the man (Malachi 2:14). If that is true, then you would have been committing fornication all these years.

If you have the pretend marriage annulled, then you would be legally able to marry someone else because you never had a marriage in the first place.