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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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Ask the Pastor
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clear.gif - 808 Bytes What is a woman to do when she is basically forced to divorce? My friend was "unequally yoked" to a non-believer. He announced he was in love with an old friend. The husband offered to stay married but he wanted to have the other woman too. Rather than that, my friend agreed to a divorce after much counseling. She has hidden from the Lord and is harboring such resentment. She has turned away from fundamental/biblical churches because she feels she is now labeled an adulteress.

You may click on verses to reveal pop-up Scripture

clear.gif - 808 Bytes There are several issues here. First of all, she should not have divorced her husband. I Corinthians 7: 10 states,
"Let not the wife depart from her husband".
Verse 27 adds,
"Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed."
Thus, I do not think she should have filed for divorce. This applies even if he is unsaved, for verse 13 of that chapter reads,
"And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him."
Now, if he is going to be involved in an adulterous relationship, I think that it may be permissible for her to separate from him for a while, as long as the ultimate goal is reconciliation. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation (II Cor. 5:18), so this must always be the goal. If the husband wanted a divorce, let him file the paper work and put his name on the divorce request. I have seen many instances where the man wants the divorce, but pressures the woman to file so that he can say, "She divorced me." If he wants to depart, there is nothing that she can do to stop him (I Cor 7:15-16), but she should not depart herself.

 Some will disagree with me on that. They will say that, since he is a fornicator, she should not have to stay married to him. Here is an important question: does God treat us that way? In James 4:4, Christians who are friends with the world are referred to as "adulterers and adulteresses". When we commit "spiritual adultery" on the Lord, should he "divorce us"? None of us want that to happen! The physical adulterer may not deserve to have his wife stay with him, but neither does the spiritual adulterer deserve to have God stay with him. We want God to stay, and we should do the same.

 Second, she should not be labeled as an adulteress, for she has not committed adultery, unless she has remarried. If she has remarried, then the Bible says that she is an adulteress (Mark 10:12 - "And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.").

 Third, she should not be hiding from the Lord. In the first place, she can't hide from Him. In addition, if she has done wrong, why compound it by running away from God? She should confess, and have her relationship to God restored. She needs to get rid of the bitterness, for that will destroy her ( Eph 4:31 - "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice"; Heb 12:15 - "Looking diligently... lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled."). And, if her bitterness is directed against God, that is a real problem. The Holy God never did anything bad or wrong to her. She chose to marry the wrong man; that's not God's fault. She chose to divorce him; that's not God's fault either. Was she the perfect wife? I doubt it, because no one is perfect. Thus, there really isn't any place to be bitter against the Lord in this. If she is a believer, then all things still work together for good (Romans 8:28), despite how bad it seems.

 Finally, she needs to get back into a New Testament, Bible-preaching church. If she is remarried, then she is an adulteress, and should not be upset that she would receive that label. She needs to confess and repent and get back to a right relationship with God. If she is not remarried, then she is not an adulteress, and I am sure that most fundamental Baptist churches would believe that. In fact, I don't know of any that would label a woman who has never committed adultery as an adulteress. If the real problem is that she feels guilty for getting the divorce, then that is another thing, because she should feel guilty. She was wrong. Once again, repentance is the answer.

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Pastor Dr. Mark Montgomery
Email: Ask the Pastor
Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209

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