Unfaithfulness and divorce is a catastrophic force in the world. Words are inadequate to express the depth of pain that spouses and children experience in life when a father, mother, husband, or wife forsake them. These spouses and children are often left with lifetime struggles because of a sense of betrayal and wrestle with issues of self-worth, rejection, trust, and love. They often take upon themselves the guilt and shame that belong to the offending spouse.
Consider the agony and inner turmoil that a spouse experiences when having to finally make a decision to leave an unfaithful/abusive spouse. Many pillows are wet with tears at night from lonely husbands, wives, and children who long for the stability of a loving family. The future looks dark and hopeless to many spouses and children who are left on their own. The world is full of single dads and moms struggling to hold it all together for the sake of their children—barely surviving financially.
If you are in a broken home, know that you are valuable and worthy of love. There is a friend in Jesus who will walk with you through the storms and uncertainty of life.
Divorce and remarriage not only breaks the union of marriage but has great potential to split extended families, congregations, and other relationships. When people begin to take sides, it is time to stand in truth—love everyone involved without justifying the sin of friends and family.
There are many mixed-up marriages and unions. When someone gets saved and begins to understand God’s will for marriage, it can bring inner conflict and confusion, especially when children are involved. What then is God’s plan and will? No minister can give someone the grace to leave an adulterous union of many years which may have been entered into while ignorant and unsaved. It takes divine enablement and wisdom to work through these difficult cases.
I remember sitting across from a couple who was in such a situation. The man’s wife had left him for a life of sin. He remarried and had more children with a second wife. They then got saved. In tears they asked, “What do we do?” I told them of God’s plan of marriage, encouraged them both to draw close to God and assured them the Spirit of the Lord would lead. I told them they were welcome to come to church services and we wanted them there, although I clarified that they could not hold a positon of leadership in the congregation. Another man pressured me month after month to endorse his marriage because of some ‘exception’ of circumstance. I told him that my approval was not what was necessary. He needed to be sure he was clear with God. I am not going to stand as any man’s judge, but we will be judged by God and His Word.
I know many wonderful people whose lives have been complicated by unscriptural unions in sinful youth. My heart cries for them. I do not have all of the answers; but I know a God of love, I know His Word, and I know that God will be faithful to every person.
It is important for people in these heartbreaking situations who are seeking for God’s will, not to be offended at the ministry for teaching the purity of God’s Word on this subject. The Church of God will continue to preach truth. If you are in an adulterous marriage, please know that we will also continue to love you and pray with you that you will find God’s grace and strength to walk in light.
Michael W. Smith