Question:

To make a long story short, 17 years ago I got a woman pregnant. I was living in one state, she was in another. I was there on a visit, and had grew up there. I was not saved at the time.

I felt guilty because I knew that the woman would drag my kid through the mud with her because she had a very tough time making good decisions. (Not that I didn't also have the same problem.)

I am black, she is white. During her pregnancy she would call me and tell me how her family would talk about her not giving the "nigger child" their last name and that type of thing. I didn't want to be with her but felt like it would be best to be near her to make sure the child was okay. So, I moved back to my home state.

About a year after the child was born, I thought that I should do "the right thing" and marry her. After about five years I was saved. I tried to get her to follow my lead. She wouldn't. She got into smoking pot, and I couldn't stop her from doing so.

I finally got fed up after ten years of misery and strayed. I knew adultery was wrong but fell into it anyway. I have fallen deeply in love with this other woman. I have never been "in love" with my wife and mistakenly thought that the feelings would follow if I married.

I stopped seeing this other woman several months ago. Told her I had to figure out what was right before continuing seeing her. She agreed.

I told my wife everything. I tried to change how I feel about her but can't. I want a divorce so bad. I don't want to pay for my "youthful mistakes" the rest of my life.

What do I do?

Thank you.


Answer:

Regardless of your feelings and your past mistakes, the problem is that you made a covenant with this woman and that covenant lasts a lifetime. You don't need to support your wife's drug habit; in fact, you should not support her sins. Yet, sins by your wife do not justify you sinning. "For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man" (Romans 7:2-3). What applies to the wife also applies to the husband.

So, if I divorce her, there is no forgiveness? I understand the covenant. I understand the adultery. But will God not forgive?

I am under extreme duress. She knows how I feel about the other woman. I have told her the whole truth. I've already broken the covenant by doing what I've done. I can't seem to have anything more than a brotherly love for my wife. I'm not trying to make excuses, but do I need to stick by a promise I made to her because i wanted to be in my daughters life? I have no husband love for my wife at all. I knew it wasn't right from the beginning. I've been asking God to give me that love for her since i was saved and it's just not there. I really want that to change but it hasn't. Can you force yourself to love someone? Doesn't she deserve someone to love her for who she is and not just because of obligation?

I really need guidance on this. Can this relationship be what God wanted for our life? A loveless, obligated marriage?

Thank you for taking time to respond.

There is forgiveness for all sins, but sins have to be repented of, not continued. "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19). Nor does repentance from one sin mean you are then allowed to commit another sin.

Marriage is a serious matter. It involves vows made before God (Matthew 19:4-6). "Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few" (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

You created a bad situation, but you can make the best of what you have. Love is a choice, not a feeling. Love is how you treat a fellow human being. Sure, you don't have a passion for your wife, but that doesn't mean you can't love her. See: Love is Different.

Ok, I followed link. So what you're saying is that I'm to stay in a passionless, miserable, obligated marriage because I made a self-sacrificing promise when I was living in compromising sin, so that I could be a part of my daughters life? And because I did that instead of walking away from my sense of duty in the past, it commits me to a lifetime of regret that I can't do anything about, and I'm suppose to think that this is God's will for my wife and I? Am I hearing you correctly?

What I am saying is that Christ must always come first. You know that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16); that is why you wrote to me in the first place. "Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"" (Matthew 16:24-26).

The choices you made from committing fornication to straightening out your life, to choosing to sacrifice yourself for your child, to committing adultery and ending it were all freely made. Each came with consequences. Whining that you don't like the results doesn't change what is right. Life isn't about you. "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

OK, I think you are right. Keeping God's commandments should be of utmost importance.

King David did what he did. He repented. Was he keeping the commandments when he "kept" Bathsheba? If not, why did God say he was the apple of His eye? If so, why is it different for me?

Could God not forgive me, like he did David, knowing that my heart was in the right place when I tried to do what was right? He blessed David, Bathsheba, and Solomon.

P.S. I'm not trying to argue with you. Honestly. These are the thoughts that I have about all of this. I really do appreciate you taking the time to talk to me about all this.

David married Bathsheba after the death of her husband. "When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. And when her mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD" (II Samuel 11:26-27). His adultery was sinful, but he was forgiven of that sin. "So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die" (II Samuel 12:13). David also lived under a law that permitted multiple wives, though it discouraged it. We live under the Law of Christ, which only allows one wife to one husband. You are married, you (not your wife) committed adultery, you are not wanting to divorce her for her adultery; therefore, you have no right to a second marriage.

You did not sin in marrying your wife. You sinned with her prior to your marriage. You were blessed with a child, who you have helped to raise. You will not end any sin by leaving your wife, but will instead create sin since you have no intentions of staying single. Your situation is not like David.