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Marriage and the Bible VIII

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Question #1:

My question concerning marriage what if your first spouse was pregnant on her wedding day through fornication and she did not tell you until after the wedding. Can I remarry ?

Response #1:

Good to make your acquaintance.

In my country, a person can only marry one at a time, so a divorce would have to come before any hypothetical remarriage – in terms of the laws of my country. So from the standpoint of doing what the state demands – something all believers are commanded to take into account as a matter of prime importance – only people who are legally single can marry. Also in my country, if a marriage is made under false pretenses, it can sometimes be annulled – which, legally speaking, means that the marriage never happened (again, I emphasize, legally). In this case too, the person is now single in the eyes of the law after the legal process has been completed and is legally free to remarry.

However, since you are asking this question of me (and this is a Bible teaching ministry), I am assuming what you really want to know is "does God want a person in this situation to do so?". That is to say, not "can I?" but "should I?".

First, I never give specific "yes/no" advice on this subject because there are always details – even in situations which are presented as straightforward – about which the third party (me) will have no clear idea. And when it comes to practical application of the truth of the Bible to complicated life situations, all of these hidden details are important – and in fact critical – in coming to the correct conclusion. What is going on in the hearts of the two people in question is probably the most decisive thing (and only the two involved can know that). Our Lord told the Pharisees that in fact the only acceptable excuse for divorcing someone who does not wish to divorce you is if that person has committed sexual indiscretion (Matt.19:9). Even so, divorce is characterized by our Lord as allowed by the Law even in such cases as stemming from "hardness of heart" (Matt.19:8), at least implying that forgiveness would often be the better course.

So when I discuss these things, I always try to present the biblical picture of "best advice" which, in essence, is as follows:

1) Are you single? Don't get married.

2) Are you married? Don't get divorced.

3) Did you get divorced? Don't get remarried.

4) Did you get remarried? Don't get divorced.

People "do what they do" in this life, and most often look for rationalizations and justifications for their actions. But if we really are putting the Lord Jesus Christ first in all we think, say and do, growing spiritually through His Word day by day, walking ever closer to Him through that truth and passing the tests that come to believers who are doing things His way, and, eventually, helping others do the same through the ministries He gives us, then all such questions always simplify in the glorious light of His presence in our lives. If we really are walking with Him and seeking His will, we will be led to know clearly what He wants us to do (as opposed to what we desire to do), and will blessed and much happier in doing things His way.

There are many "ins and outs" to this issue, so I will give you some links here to some pages to where other related issues are discussed:

Marriage and the Bible IV

Marriage and the Bible III

Marriage and the Bible II

Marriage and the Bible

Marriage "Matters"

No Grounds for Divorce?

A Conversation about Divorce and Remarriage

Jephthah's Daughter, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

Christian Divorce and Remarriage

What about Christians who Remarry?

Divorce and Remarriage: What does the Bible say?

Marriage and the Bible VII

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2:

 Hi Bob,

My friend said that it is not allowable for a Christian to be remarried under any circumstances. A Pastor who does marriage counseling completely disagreed with him. John MacArthur did a entire sermon on whether Christians can remarry and he said that they can according to scripture. My friend completely disagrees with that and went out of his way to prove it using Greek and exegesis.

My friend is a missionary and his wife is usually alone while he visits places like Uganda to preach the Gospel. I get the feeling that he may be having marital problems because he keeps mentioning the topic of divorce, but at the same time I feel that he wants to be faithful and stay married because they are both Christians (maybe). He cited 1 Cor. 7:15 and said that the word for "bondage" in the Greek is the term douloo, and it means to "make a slave of." He cited another passage which uses the same Greek word in Titus 2:3, which reads, "enslaved to much wine."

He further stated that according to the Bible, marriage is never viewed as slavery. And the "bondage," i.e., enslavement, never refers to a marriage union. If the unbeliever departs, then it's not the responsibility of the Christian. Also, the brother or sister is not enslaved to maintain a togetherness (he noted the allusion of 1 Cor. 7:5) at the expense of fidelity to the Lord. He then wrote that douloo (under bondage) in verse 15 is interestingly in a perfect tense form in the Greek NT, (dedoulotai). He wrote:

"The perfect tense denotes a present state resulting from past action. Its force here is this: "was not bound [past action] and is not bound [present state]." The sense of the verse thus is: Yet if (assuming such should occur) the unbeliever separates himself, let him separate himself: the brother or sister was not [before the departure] and is not [now that the departure has occurred] enslaved .... Whatever the "bondage" is, therefore, the Christian was not in it even before the disgruntled spouse left. But the saint was married (and is) to him, hence, the bondage is not the marriage!

Let the reader substitute the word "marriage" for "bondage," giving the full force to the perfect tense (i.e., "has not been married, and is not married") and the fallacy of viewing the bondage as the marriage itself will be apparent. First Corinthians 7:15 does not expand upon the Savior's teaching with reference to divorce and remarriage, as much as some wish that it were so. Note that some contend that the term chorizo is used in verse 15 of divorce. The word is related to choris which means "separately, apart, by itself." Chorizo simply means to "divide" or "separate" (cf. Rom. 8:35; Heb. 7:26; Philem. 15).

The term is generic, and thus may include divorce, as Matthew 19:6 indicates, but there is no indication that it means divorce in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, 15 (though some lexicographers, leaving their areas of expertise and assuming the role of commentators, have so designated it).

Professor Lewis Johnson notes:

"It is true that the verb 'to depart' in the middle voice [it is middle in verse 15] was almost a technical term for divorce in the papyri ... This, however, really proves nothing here" (1962, 1240)."

Is his analysis of 1 Corinthians7:15 the correct interpretation? or is he using eisegesis?

God Bless!

Response #2:

I would say first that all believers are free not to get married in the first place. If married, they are free not to get divorced. If divorced, they are free not to get remarried. If remarried, they are free not to get divorced. In fact, maintaining one's status quo is generally the best policy as Paul makes clear in this cited chapter (1Cor.7:20). However, most Christians are incapable of remaining single and not falling into serious sin; so for them, it is "better to marry than to burn" (1Cor.7:9). But married people ALWAYS have problems as Paul also affirms in this chapter (1Cor.7:28).

As to your friend's analysis of 1st Corinthians 7:15, it is very hard to follow, frankly. Anytime an "exegetical treatment" with "analysis of Greek forms" results in the passage being harder to understand than a straightforward reading of the English suggests, that is sign of problems. I teach Greek for a living and I can tell you that I don't see how any of these conclusions follow. The text is very clear indeed: if an unbelieving spouse abandons the marriage, the believer is to consider himself or herself free. Naturally, remarriage thereafter would require an official dissolution of the marriage under whatever state authority it was contracted. Marriage, as I constantly have to point out, is not a "Christian institution" – marriage was designed by God for the entire human race, and the laws governing its legalities are established by the state wherein the believer happens to reside.

Regardless of what your friend or J. MacArthur or anyone else has to say, Christians who wish to divorce generally do so; Christians who wish to remarry generally do so. It's fine to be concerned about the details but there is so much false teaching out there these days that it would be better for most people who want to opine of this subject to remain silent. After all, we are all going to be evaluated for what we do, and while if we have gotten something wrong on the marriage front that is certainly an issue, teaching something not true is among the worst possible things that a person could do. This is a large topic upon which, again, I have written a great deal. I will give you some links which will lead to many others if interested in the details:

Marriage "Matters"

Marriage and the Bible II

Love, Marriage, and Divorce: Marriage and the Bible III

Marriage and the Bible IV

Marriage and the Bible V

Marriage and the Bible VI

Marriage and the Bible VII

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Dear Dr. Luginbill,

I found your website in a desperate search for guidance on remarriage. I have been haunted by those who list all the reasons I need to divorce to repent. I was married and divorced at a young age. There was no biblical reason to divorce. After college and military service I met the love of my life. She was also divorced (due to abuse) and had a child. We have been happily married for 12 years and have two sons together as well as my stepdaughter. I recently came to true faith after a life of false belief. From the moment I learned of our sin of remarriage adultery I have been unable to sleep. I have been slowly dying inside. The argument of "new creation" (for me) and that she was a victim of abuse never quite cut it as excuses. The divorce to repent folks have caused me to lose the joy and peace I had as a new believer. After reading your answer to a question, that was very loving and understanding I might add, from a divorce to repent advocate I might have peace. Your description of the situation of marriages like mine and guidance on grace and mercy of our God has helped immensely. The thought that has been imprinted on me that we are living in perpetual adultery and that my wife and I need to destroy our family or go to hell has crushed me. Your statement on God's grace and mercy has helped me so much. All we can do is ask for forgiveness and trust in His mercy. To divorce to repent would bring so much devastation I'm sure it would only please the devil.

I hope this email finds you well. My wife went to school at Louisville. Your CV is very impressive and I can tell you are an amazing and educated man by your writings. Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. As a new believer I couldn't understand why our loving and forgiving God would have us break up our home to correct past sins. Now I believe He does not. He wants a repentant heart but not a broken second marriage. You have helped us so much.

With love in Christ,

Response #3:

It's great to make your acquaintance.

I never cease to be amazed – appalled is more like it – by the number of vicious groups and individuals out there who claim to be acting in the Name of Jesus Christ. What person could even be a Christian and tell another Christian to ruin his/her life, ruin his/her happy marriage, ruin the youth of his/her children? But it seems there is never any shortage of unbelievers masquerading as believers. That has always been the case.

Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!
Philippians 3:2 NIV

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.
Philippians 3:19 NIV

But even more so is this the case here in Laodicea on the cusp of the Tribulation:

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
1st Timothy 4:1-2 NIV

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2nd Timothy 3:1-5 NIV

The utter, shameless, arrogant self-righteousness of the people who teach this drivel and pretend that it is from God makes my blood boil. I thank God that you had the spiritual common sense not to believe such lies. I do understand how that you felt depressed hearing such tripe. Guilt is the devil's ace trump. That is the emotion he manipulates more than any other in the case of good Christians trying to do the right thing. After all, none of us has been perfect our whole lives. So instead of letting us confess whatever sin we have committed and move on with our lives for the Lord, the devil – and those doing his bidding – just love to try and scratch off the scab, poor salt in the wound, and get us "itching". Nothing ever good comes from that – except in cases such as yours where the result is that the sheep's clothing is pulled off of the wolf and the person in question goes on to serious spiritual growth as a result. Putting such false guilt to death is all about having the truth, believing the truth, and living the truth. The only thing about that is that one cannot deal with lies and the world and the flesh and the evil one – all of the sources of opposition down here on earth – on a case by case basis and expect to live the best possible life for the Lord. The best policy is spiritual growth pursued across the board every day. That way, we grow strong and mature in the Lord and are ready for anything – and also get to the point of helping others be ready too. That is why Ichthys is here (and I encourage you to make use of all the offerings available at the site).

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Good day,

I have questions regarding divorce and remarriage. Perhaps your input regarding 2 videos. Also, what exactly constitutes a marriage? Is it one's first sexual experience? I look forward to your rely.

Response #4:

I have a number of postings on this and I will give you the links below.

I could not make myself get through these videos (I have a weak stomach when it comes to trampling on the truth).

Marriage is an institution which God invented for the entire human race. It is a CIVIL institution, meant for all people, not just for those who are believers. A marriage between a man and a woman is what the state says it is, civil authority being constituted by God (e.g., Rom.13:1-7). If a man or a woman is married, then that man or woman is married. If a man or a woman has not married, then they are not married. It seems ridiculous to have to say that, but videos and other fly-by-night internet "experts" make it necessary to do so.

What the Bible says about marriage in a nutshell (for scriptures, see the links):

1) Better to stay single.

2) But if you do marry, better to stay married.

3) But if you do divorce, better not to remarry.

4) But if you do remarry, better not to divorce.

The last point is usually the operative one in all such discussions, because there are in fact individuals out there in cyberspace who are ACTUALLY counseling married people to divorce (because for some reason or other the marriage doesn't meet their legalistic standards). The Bible gives no excuse for divorce except for adultery, even in cases where it is clear that the two individuals involved were not concerned with what the Bible had to say about all this when they got married. Influencing people who are married to get divorced when they otherwise would not do so, especially from self-righteous motives, may not be the most evil thing in the world . . . but in my opinion it makes the top ten short-list.

Is remarriage adultery? If a man divorces his wife for no other reason than selfishness and forces her out of his house, then marries another, that ACT of remarriage is an ACT of adultery. But in the passages in question, our Lord does NOT tell the Pharisees to divorce their new partners. The wrong they have done is the wrong they have done. The sin they have committed is the sin they have committed. What about sin? Can it be forgiven? If it could not, we would all be on our way to hell. Every sin was paid for by Jesus Christ and is forgiven (in the case of believers) in the same way: confession (1Jn.1:9).

Sex outside of marriage is wrong, illicit and sinful. And believers need to deal with all sin the same way: confess to the Lord. Mind you, we never "get away" with anything. Christ paid the penalty, and we need to always keep that signal fact in mind. We are forgiven when we confess, but our Father deals with us as sons and daughters, and what father would not tan the hide of a son who did something very foolish and very dangerous? Sex outside of marriage (and porneia of all sorts) is very dangerous – which is why we are told to "flee" it (1Cor.6:18) . . . but it is NOT "marriage". Marriage is marriage.

Feel free to write me back about any of the above. Here are those links:

Marriage and the Bible VII

Divorce and Remarriage: What Does the Bible Say?

Christian Divorce and Remarriage II

More on Divorce and Remarriage

Marriage "Matters"

Marriage and the Bible II

Love, Marriage, and Divorce: Marriage and the Bible III

Marriage and the Bible IV

Marriage and the Bible V

Marriage and the Bible VI

Marriage and the Bible VII

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Hi Bob,

A lady who has issues with her husband said: "the Bible says a husband can divorce his wife, if she commits adultery, but why is there not forgiveness for the wife in that instance? That always confused me a little."

I couldn't find an answer to this and needed your help. Thanks!

God Bless,

Response #5:

Divorce is not mandatory for infidelity. Infidelity only provides a legitimate reason for divorce on the part of the offended party, husband or wife. Forgiveness is always an option, but that is the province of the one with something to forgive (not for the rest of us to weigh in on). I can certainly imagine (and have seen) situations where continuing in such a marriage – especially after multiple offenses – is not a good idea; but there are cases where "one mistake" is never repeated and the couple manages to piece the marriage back together.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6:


Since we last communicated by email a couple years ago, sin continues to increase in both the world and in the church as adulterous remarriages are allowed in churches and many pastors are themselves living in adultery this way.

It is a ministry of reconciliation for God joined spouses to get back together, leaving an adulterous marriage for the wife of one's youth. You quoted Deuteronomy 24:1-4, which Jesus declared was given for the "hardness of your hearts." Old Testament commands must be understood now in light of the New Testament. We do not forbid people to eat pork for example, which was not allowed under the Old Testament. Clearly a passage Jesus declared was given for the "hardness of their hearts" is all the more not to be enforced under the New Testament.

Are you falling for other Hebrew root heresies going back to such things as requiring circumcision and 7th day Sabbath also? There is lots of "picking and choosing" going on these days among "Christian Scholars" regarding what they want to enforce out of the Old Testament, and Deut 24:1-4 is a favorite to justify the sin of remaining in an adulterous marriage and refusing to reconcile with the wife of one's youth. Hard hearted people don't want to reconcile, and will go to that passage just like the Pharisees of Jesus day to try to justify their serial marriages. Don't be deceived: adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

Thank you for thinking on these things,

Response #6:

I haven't written about this subject for some time, so it's odd that you've chosen to write me about it now.

It's also clear that you haven't actually read carefully anything I've written, since your arguments are directed against legalistic and anti-scholastic false teachings, and this ministry couldn't be farther from either of those misguided points of view.

You seem only to remember that when you wrote me before I called you to account for counseling Christians to get divorced – because in YOUR eyes their marriages did not count. I pointed out to you with scripture that you were assuming the prerogative of God in so doing, denying forgiveness which He does provide and commanding some actions which He does not command and others which He does forbid. So on top of setting yourself up as someone who ruins other people's lives to satisfy your own self-righteous and non-biblical view of "what is right", you are setting yourself up against the Lord in a most arrogant and dangerous fashion.

I really think, therefore, that this is a conversation which you should be having with the Lord, not with me.

Question #7:


Thanks for your articles. I've read all of the marriage related articles more than once, and while I agree with your reasoning, I still struggle with guilt and fear because I am remarried. I'm not sure what to do to help this, but all I desire is to be right with God and know how to proceed and what to think about my relationship with Him.

I don't want to assume anything. And yet everyone has a different view on this topic. But it is vitally important, because I don't want to lose my relationship with God for eternity. Even members of my own church have differing views. Most of the more faithful men I confide in agree with your view in general, and yet I still have a surprising amount of people say i'm in sin, even though I've asked sincerely for forgiveness of any part I had in the divorce/remarriage situation, and I'm trying my best to follow God and know what to do.

I just sometimes feel fear and loneliness, but in Christ I believe I should have peace and not fear death or men. I'm just very hurt and confused. I continue onward loving my second wife the best I can and helping my ex-wife the best I can, especially for my son's sake. But I can't rid myself of fear and guilt completely. Most days I'm fine. Some days I'm not. Today is a not day.

Response #7:

Good to hear back from you.

First thing to observe: the Christian life is not to be lived in "guilt and fear" and nothing done out of those two negative emotions is going to be good.

Beyond all argument, David was a greater believer than anyone we are likely to meet in this life. And it's also clear that what he did in committing murder and adultery was far worse than anything you are feeling afraid or guilty about. And David was disciplined by the Lord, severely so. But he was disciplined as a child the Lord loves – and He loves us all (Heb.12:1ff.). David didn't give up. When confronted with his sin, he confessed it . . . and THEN he moved on. He knew, you see, that while there would be discipline, there would also be blessing, and the Lord surely blessed him, wonderfully so, in spite of the hard times he faced. David also knew something very important for all Christians to keep in mind: you CANNOT change the past. You cannot go back. This life is not a game of checkers where you go back and change the last move. Once you have done whatever it is you have done it is done. So we have to make the best of the situation we are in right NOW and learn to turn our back on the things done in the past. If you have confessed whatever sin you may believe you have committed (and we all sin daily), then you have been forgiven. That is what God has told us (e.g., 1Jn.1:9; cf. Ps.51:1ff.). Failing to accept the forgiveness we have, paid for by the precious blood of Christ, is an insult to the Lord. Jesus died for our sins. Every one of them. If we confess them, we are forgiven. Failing to accept that truth is an affront to the cross. So please throw your guilt overboard. If you have done anything worthy of discipline, the Lord is more than able to take care of that. He does not need your help. And He will continue to bless you as He blesses all the children He loves so much, especially if you pull out of this unhealthy preoccupation with the past and instead start looking forward to a good reward at the judgment seat of Christ (link), based on carrying your cross daily, growing, applying the truth, and serving the Church of Jesus Christ as you have been called to do (in whatever capacity the Lord has for you).

It's important to remember that the truth is the truth, regardless of how you may feel. You can feel good about it or bad about it, but how you or I feel means nothing. That is something Christians who want to advance spiritually in this life need to learn. Peace and joy and the hope that supports them are not automatic. Experiencing them requires our free will faith engaging with the truth we know, believing it and applying it to our life circumstances in faith in order to for these virtues to function correctly. If we know that God is omnipotent, if we know that He has promised to deliver us, if we know that there is nothing man can do to us if He doesn't allow it, that is all well and good. But if in spite of this knowledge we panic and give into fear and guilt and start complaining when the Egyptian army has us pinned against the Red Sea, then this knowledge is near worthless. Knowledge has to become "full knowledge" (epignosis), and that only happens when we believe it. Likewise, the only way to apply the truth we've learned and believed is by doing so through faith. You know you are forgiven, but do you believe it? You know that the Lord loves you, but do you believe it? You know that your present wife is a great blessing to you, but are you willing to trust the Lord that this will all work out in spite of any mistakes you've made in the past – because that blessing comes from Him?

You say that you believe the truth of the teaching of this ministry regarding remarriage, namely, that even if sin was committed, God forgives sin, and that going backward is not an option – for one reason, because of the selfish and self-righteous collateral damage it does. Your present wife would no doubt be devastated. And consider this: by agonizing over this and not being happy you are penalizing her in a most unjust way. She is your wife and is entitled to a devoted husband who is not consumed by second thoughts or guilt or fear. You married her. Make the best of what you have. The Lord deals with us where we are – not where we were. For good or bad, we are where we are. There is no going back. And the Lord did not even tell the Pharisees who had with the most foul motives divorced and remarried to divorce the new wife and marry the old. Would they have been forgiven if they had accepted Him as Savior? Of course. But there still would have been no going back.

In this entire matter you have behaved yourself in the most honorable way possible. We cannot change the past. But we CAN ruin the present and the future by morbid fixation on the past. Please do not destroy yourself. The Lord died for you. The Lord has forgiven you. Accept the truth of what He has taught you and forgive yourself. And move on.

One last thing. If you make a habit of asking other people's opinions about the teachings of scripture, you'll never get anywhere. No doubt you'll always be able to find at least a few who are on "the other side" of whatever issue you are investigating. No Christian has the ability – or the right – to play referee on every point of scripture. True, you have the right to believe or not whatever you are taught. But only what is true can help you; and only what is true and is ALSO believed will ever be of any benefit to you (as exemplified by the good teaching you have received from this site but have been reluctant to believe). To grow, every Christian needs not only to be an avid Bible reader but also an avid Bible student, sitting under a teaching ministry which has been tested and found to be a tree producing good fruit. You are welcome here any time. I also recommend "Bible Academy" (link). But the Smorgasbord technique never works out. Find the right place for you and stick with it.

The latest major posting I emailed you about earlier is apropos of all these matters: BB 6A: Peripateology: The Study of the Christian Walk.

In Jesus Christ our Savior who paid the entire price for all of our sins.

Bob L.

Question #8:

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. It has been an absolutely tremendous struggle. I really do believe everything you are saying is true. And that is why I continue as I am. The challenge has always been this...what if?

There are things I've been wrong about, and there are many people who seem faithful and knowledgeable who believe I would be in perpetual sin so long as I remain married. While I don't believe that is a biblical idea, there are some compelling arguments. I have read and studied a lot. My only, singular concern is my eternal salvation in this matter (and my wife's). If I'm wrong, do I face eternity without God? So I simply want to be absolutely sure I'm not wrong. Hence the studying and questions.

The challenge is that of all topics, this seems to be one of the most divided. So how can I be sure? Well, I know I must pray. I know I must seek God's will. But beyond that, it is very challenging when you have strong guilt and fear. I don't believe that God's forgiveness is what I doubt. It is more the idea that someone who continues to rebel against God's will is biblically shown to not receive His forgiveness. Whereas if they turn back to Him and heed His will they are restored. So my concern is always, if perpetual adultery exists, then I'm continuing to rebel and thus why would God forgive me? If it doesn't exist, then I absolutely believe God can forgive the sins involved.

So I struggle to determine that for sure. All my logic, study, closest brothers in Christ, etc. Seem to indicate that I should continue as I am. I feel I have definitely repented the best I can and am trying to live a life worthy of His calling. But I simply sometimes have that "what if I'm wrong?" thought. Eternity isn't worth anything on this earth. Including a wife. But everything about the idea of separation seems anti-Christ-like. It doesn't solve anything, and it would hurt everyone involved now. It seems absurd to me to try and reunite with an exwife who has denounced God, lives a sinful lifestyle, etc. And yet the idea of Hosea's story lingers in my mind. And perhaps Herod or even David and Michal. But those at least seem to be unique situations to me.

Anyhow, maybe I'm just talking out loud my thoughts. But I really do appreciate your help. If I could go back and change things I would have tried harder. And yet I'm blessed with a faithful, amazing wife now. Also, just for the record, I'm very aware of what I could cause my wife to feel with all of this. While we are completely open and discuss everything, I do not constantly bring this up with her. These are exclusively emotions I myself feel and struggle with. And most days I'm completely content. I simply have times where doubt creeps in as to whether my understanding is wrong. So I pray to God, like David, to give me clean hands and a pure heart. I pray He never gives up on me, and that I may never give up. Every knee will bow before Him. I just pray I will bow in gladness and not regret. I do my absolute best to trust, as you said, that if I'm wrong He will change things, or else give me the strength to continue as I am and not make stupid mistakes.

What other option do I have other than to trust He will lead me? I can't use that as a excuse to sin, but how would I even hope to stop sinning to begin with without His help? We are clearly not capable of being perfected without Him. That much is incredibly obvious. So I will continue to learn and grow. I simply want confidence in my relationship with Him. I can vouch to anyone considering divorce to be absolutely sure first, because this is not something I would wish upon anyone. :-/ Oddly enough, I feel that perhaps I know David a little better because of this. As though I have some small insight into his struggles. I'd rather that be the case without the divorce issue, but I'd like to think God will use this situation, whether sinful or not, as a means to help others somehow. That everything might work to His glory.

Response #8:

"What if?" Believe or don't believe. That is what life is all about. Any principle of truth can be challenged by "but what if it's NOT true?" If you live your life like that, you will believe nothing. The Spirit testifies to the truth, and from what I hear, He is telling you to believe. But you hesitate. Whose fault is that? Believe or don't. But you are responsible for your choice. And you HAVE to believe someone. Either you believe the Spirit and the truth . . . or you believe your emotions, the evil one and the evil-influenced individuals who tell you otherwise. It's not much of a choice, in my opinion, but it is one you have to make . . . for yourself.

Do you believe that God wants to see you in hell? Do you believe that God wants you to ruin another person's life? Do you believe God is a legalistic monster who is going to destroy you for making a mistake? If that is the sort of God and the sort of "truth" you want to give yourself over to, I certainly want no part of it. Maybe people who go down that road can somehow be saved (God, the REAL God, is amazing) . . . but they are risking their eternal security by dabbling in lies.

Don't you believe that God has forgiven you (whatever there was to forgive when you confessed it)? If you don't, you "make Him out to be a liar" (1Jn.1:9-10).

Compelling arguments? The devil is very persuasive because he knows how to play on our emotions. You are afraid – that is not an indication of good thinking. You feel guilty – also an indication of going down the wrong path.

You want to be perfect? Then you should never have been born. You are in this world. You have made mistakes. OK. Who has not? But making even BIGGER mistakes will not wipe out the previous ones. If you give yourself over to false teaching, that is a huge mistake. If you divorce your wife, that is an unconscionable thing to do, and you will be disciplined for it. If you think, EVEN FOR A MOMENT, that God is pleased by you doing these horrible things, then you are not only blaspheming Him in your heart, but you are also giving yourself over to a life of works-righteousness, relying on what YOU do and not what God has done. What has God done? The Father judged all of your sins in Jesus Christ – the Lord died for you, for all your sins. You have thus been forgiven when you were saved and forgiven whatever you've done since when you confessed. But that is not good enough for you? You want to add your works to the picture? All you do by that is "trample under foot the Son of God" and "regard as unclean the blood of the covenant" and "insult the Spirit of grace" – things which bring on severe punishment.

A little advice: trust the Lord. Accept His forgiveness. Glory in His grace. Thank Him for what He has done for you and for what He has given you. Look forward and NEVER backward. You can never make up for anything – but, praise God!, Jesus has died for everything. AND put those false witnesses with their "compelling arguments" out of you life. Anyone who would tell you to divorce your wife out of self-righteous arrogance is a snake in the grass and will only be a source of further misery if you continue to have contact with them.

And remember. As long as you are "Baal dancing between two opinions", you are doing damage to yourself AND your wife and family. "If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." (1Ki.18:21).

"What other option do I have other than to trust He will lead me?" That is indeed the question, and you know the answer. Know this: He IS leading you. Be pleased to follow Him, and leave the false friends, false doctrines and false feelings in the dust.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior.

Bob L.

Question #9:

I do believe Him. That's why I'm married. And it seems illogical to me to divorce again. That's what I was saying myself. That's why I haven't. I just take God very seriously. I know he wants what is best. Is it wrong to want to make sure I understand His word correctly? That's all I believe is my reason for sometimes doubting. I need to learn as I have been. Study as I have been. And I've purposely been surrounding myself with the most faithful men I can.

I don't want to be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, but that also doesn't mean I'll understand everything right away. I'm praying and studying, and as I said I do believe these things are true. And I appreciate your help. I have thought about accepting forgiveness completely or it is insulting to God. And I pray for strength. I'm sorry if I'm struggling. That's why I'm seeking truth constantly and praying for His guidance. This isn't a daily thing, it's just something that comes up, and I don't want it to. I'm very confident God is loving and faithful. I just want to be the same back.

Response #9:

No, it's not wrong to seek answers.

But when you've got them, and your sure about it, it's time to take the next step.

[There is] a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away.
Ecclesiastes 3:6 NIV

From what you've shared with me, it's high past "time".

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Well I really do appreciate all of your emails. And I do take to heart what you're saying. I pray you don't think of me in a bad light. My only desire is to do the will of God. And I pray I will never give up. God is amazing, only He is the ultimate power, the ultimate love. I think my faith is stronger than I might "think" sometimes. We lost a dear friend tonight to a car accident. He was one of the most faithful, loving men I've ever known. He was an elder at our congregation. It hurts greatly, but yet I still feel happy knowing he is going to be with God. I have a joy despite the sadness. I would ask that you pray for his family. His wife is very faithful and asked him as he was barely responsive on a ventilator if he was ready to go home to God. And he was. I'm so grateful to have known him.

I'll never forget we were discussing this topic one time, and I asked what he thought of the idea people believe that you need to repent by divorcing your second wife. He responded by saying that was the most absurd thing he had ever heard. haha. And this is coming from a faithfully married man who had never been divorced, so he had no personal agenda or reason to say something like that to justify anything he had done. I will miss him greatly, but I'm so happy he will experience pain no more.

But thank you again for the responses. And for the website. I can honestly say that the days I feel weak sometimes, I have made myself go to your website and read the articles again to reinforce what I know is true. And reading them helps me to remember why I know it's true. That is a very special thing, and I thank you for writing them. I hope you haven't felt I am a poor Christian for experiencing these things. Like David, I think I have felt grief over my sins. But like Paul said, and you reiterated, I must forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead. To Christ be the glory always.

Response #10:

You're most welcome.

It seems that most Christians today are tortured by something or other in their past. The R/x for that in each and every case is spiritual growth and faith in the truth.

Thanks for sharing this about your late friend – now THAT is what I call "spiritual common sense". As requested, I said a prayer for his family.

Keep fighting the good fight, my friend – and thanks for your encouraging words.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Hello again!

This very morning I found an answer to a similar email I’d written to David Servant last year, but I’d missed the answer from his team. This website lays it all out clearly and addresses the status of remarriage adultery, being tame not naaph.

I’m not sure whether this opens up allowable remarriage, I don’t think it does, but it allows recovery from the sin of remarriage and I feel relief. God is so kind to me.

Thank you again. I see you don’t take gifts, but you most certainly have my prayers, in honour of your work for the Lord. I shall be diving into all you’ve written and hope to grow and finally move on in my walk with the Lord

God bless you

Begin forwarded message:

Dear Bob, if I may call you that,

I am a Christian. I don’t know whether I counted as one since my teens, because I had a long period of falling away since, or whether my rekindled faith was entirely new in recent years. It’s certainly much more real to me now. During my wilderness wanderings I married twice, both times to unbelievers. It became something I knew I had to confess and repent of, and I knew peace until I came across the Divorce to Repent people online. Then I fell apart.

I’ve read through the answers you give here and feel encouraged, but then my overactive questioning brain, that wants to nail everything down to make sure I’m not going to hell, chimes in again. It is agony. Strangely, the way you note that the bible is not altogether categorical on this subject is encouraging too, because that acknowledges hope in the mystery that is the mercy and the justice of a God, and how different we all are.

The tone of Divorce to Repent people can be very condemning. They seem to regard a divorce and remarriage as adultery and bigamy and not recognise that the first marriage is over. As a result, they regard each sexual event between a remarried couple as further and continuing adultery, which would put us firmly outside God’s kingdom, 1 Cor 6.

Somewhere you make a distinction between an affair on one hand, with a hardened heart in being able to continue doing that, and on the other, a second marriage as a mistake, a one off sin, when it is contracted, but not with ongoing sinful complications.

When Jesus says that, without porneia, those entering a second marriage ‘commit adultery’ is that some special Greek tense that makes it clear it’s a single event rather than ongoing?

You say that the sin of adultery is in contracting the second marriage, not in the continuing sexual relationship it implies. The DtR people include everything, ongoing as sin by naturally assuming the new marriage means sex and therefore the whole relationship stands condemned. They deny the divorce has happened. I hope your distinction is right. Would Jesus need to say anything other than ‘marries another’ to imply sex happens? Is he talking about sex or about a contract? So I worried some more.

Then you said, in the Jephthah page, “As I have said before, marriage is a civil institution designed by God for the entire human race. As long as a brother or sister is operating within the laws of the state, it is really none of our business, even if we have grounds to question their application of scripture. And not only that – once a marriage has been contracted, it is a marriage, so that from that point forward all of our speculation is fruitless and really only so much gossip. “

That made me feel a bit better. Am I trying to make marriage between people, (as opposed to between Christ and his Church) into some mystical thing in God’s eyes that can never end in this life? I think I respect it as such, so Yes I think so. Jesus puts it so masterfully, not saying you can divorce for porneia, but that if you do and remarry with that reason, you are not committing adultery. I do wonder whether porneia does end it, since it uniquely qualifies as the exception. I remember you don’t think so but there is something so special about it, since the corollary is that sex belongs inside marriage.

It is helpful that you point out we live under civil law now and follow its arrangements, ie we are not under a Hillel arrangement so our divorce was legal, even if God may not have approved. Jesus said not to part those God had joined together, so we have to assume it’s possible to do so, or there’d be little point in his saying it.

But the concern for some is that a divorce made without porneia isn’t scripturally legal now and so the first marriage still exists, in God’s eyes. I hope the woman at the well shows us God does acknowledge the possibility of serial marriages, whatever he thinks about them. Does God join us or do we do the joining and he witnesses, and approves -the first marriage at least.

Please can you clarify the distinction between the D to R scenario and the definite existence of the second contracted marriage after a legal divorce nowadays? Why do they say the divorce and second marriage don’t really exist? And the point that the adultery is in the act of making the contract, not in living together in the estate of a new marriage, as they maintain.  These two questions are the crux of my pain.

If adultery is a continuous sin then repenting of it but staying put is cynical and won’t please God a bit! So fear of hell drives people out of their marriages. I’ve heard of people who have done this.

I feel some hope I can get on with feeling forgiven, if only I can understand and internalise why they are wrong about the continuation of the first marriage. I need this feeling of tension and fear to ease, it’s making me so ill.

I do pray you can help me with this. I’m not, I hope, being legalistic, just that I’ve drilled down to where I think the problem lies.

You bless us so with your full answers. Thank you so much for your work, your time, and your compassion. Marriage does help us in life, you know, though I get your point. My husband, although not even a believer, to compound my guilt, is so pleased, supportive and generous in all I want to do at church. I am greatly blessed, I can’t help but think so! I think some Romans 8:28 has happened in my life, and God has shown me what human love is.

God bless you, and thank you

Response #11:

Good to hear from you again – and thanks for all your kind and encouraging words.

Recently, a correspondent troubled by the same issue sought the counsel of a man who was an elder in his church, spiritual wise, and never divorced: "I asked what he thought of the idea people believe that you need to repent by divorcing your second wife. He responded by saying that was the most absurd thing he had ever heard."

That is a "spiritual common sense" answer. The legalists who are finding joy in torturing other people who made this particular mistake in the past are not without sin (1Jn.1:5-10); yet they want to destroy others for a sin they claim never to have committed. However, our Lord ALSO affirms that mental adultery is the same as adultery. And I guarantee you that none of these individuals has tried to come up with a list of all the individuals they have violated through lusting after them, then track them down and make amends and confess. No. If they are honest about their sinfulness, they will have confessed it to the Lord and attempted to stay away from such wrong-doing going forward. And that is the way these issues that you broach – to the extent that they are sinful – are also to be handled according to the truth of scripture: confess and move on. There is no going back in this life. And going back out of fear and guilt to satisfy the Pharisaical teachings of legalists whose mean-spirited contempt for the lives of others makes me doubt their salvation is about the worst mistake I can think of.

Look. We are all sinners. We have all sinned. None of us has ever gotten away with anything because the Lord is perfect and His discipline is perfect. But we are also forgiven when we confess, even though that does not mean that therefore we are let up from the discipline immediately or have the consequences of our actions removed. It DOES mean, however, that we can be joyful in our salvation, move forward spiritually with the Lord in peace, and set our hope on the resurrection and our eternal reward: that is the plan of God for us individually, no matter where we find ourselves "today". The greatest damage listening to these lies and fretting over these issues does – assuming one is not stupid enough to try and go back and "fix things" – is precisely in that it robs a person of peace and joy, and short-circuits spiritual growth, progress and production. So I am very angry about this false teaching and those who are proffering it; my anger means nothing, but I shudder to think what the Lord has in store for these people.

We can parse the legal issues inside and out but it all comes to the same place. Have I sinned? Then I confess – and I repent of my past behavior purposing not to go back "there" ever again (wherever "there" is). And then I forget the past and move on, doing my best to learn about the Lord, walk with Him and serve Him "today", "as long as it is called 'today' ". There is no fixing the past, and really no peace or joy in parsing it endlessly. Being uncertain about sin is OK. I would confess anyway. Sin is a deep dark ocean that is much more extensive than most people have any idea. The Lord knows that – of course. He knows our hearts. If we would come back to Him with all our heart, He is ever happy to have us. Once we do, there is no point in looking back over our shoulders. This is like trying to cross a major freeway at rush hour on foot while looking back at the curb we stepped down to see how it looks now – we are bound to get run over by what we are NOT looking at.

I realize I've answered these emails head-on in concept rather than in detail – because you seem to me to have found the places where the details are discussed, and because I don't want the most important point to get lost in them here.

I truly hope and pray for you peace (and have been doing so). Thank you for your prayers as well, my friend!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Dear, dear Bob, thank you!

I am feeling better, lighter, but amazed at the habitual pathways in my mind, licking at my mental margins, and then a woosh of adrenaline because I don’t quite catch myself in time. Still a bit of a mental tightrope! I’ve already forgotten the details needed to reassure myself, but I’m just refusing to think about it for now, confident it’s Ok. I will, when I’ve calmed down from the constant sense of panic, or denied panic, to carefully document it and all the “yes, buts” I tend to come up with, and make myself a booklet of reassurance to clobber this when it raises its head. Because it might for a while till I get used to this wonderful Joy!

Their logic was seductive. “It’s adultery, you’re still there, therefore you won’t get to heaven.” Terrifying! So strong that I’d keep coming back to it. I’m getting old, not helped by stress, and I couldn’t remember all the threads of reassurance people were offering, and when people said ‘just think God loves you’ that didn’t satisfy the logic, and I don’t yet know the Word well enough to find all the help there is for me. I’m working on that!

I hope not to bother you over this again! I think I may actually have written to you before this . It’s been a burden a long time, perhaps 5 years! Please pray I get my feet under me and get stronger in the Lord, and indeed physically, as I am struggling the at least 3 hormones seriously out of whack, and early stages of kidney disease, and now breathlessness and inability to exercise. All the adrenaline has not helped!

Do you rate the “tame / naaph” website?

Thank you again

In Christ

Response #12:

I prefer not to weigh in on other people's ministries – unless it's a case of warning believers off.

I read this in the Bible:

"For the LORD God of Israel says
That He hates divorce;"
Malachi 2:16a NKJV

And this:

Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
1st Corinthians 7:3-5 NKJV

Since divorce is something God hates, and since depriving one's marriage partner is not allowed, how could anyone who reads the Bible imagine either that divorce is to be undertaken or celibacy adopted in the absence of divorce . . . as these foul groups teach? It's precisely and directly the opposite of what the Bible says – in addition to being antithetical to the biblical principles of forgiveness, mercy, grace, etc. What it is instead is a sick, twisted legalism that purports to be biblical but instead has nothing to do with the Bible.

There are many verses in the Bible which, if taken out of context near and far (i.e., what is being said where the passage occurs and what it means in the Bible overall) have the potential of plunging guilt-ridden people into paroxysms of self-destruction (you wouldn't believe how many emails I've received about Hebrews 6:4-6, for example). And here are these foul individuals pushing that process along! But doesn't the Lord condemn mental adultery (Matt.5:28)? And doesn't He say to cut off the offending member (Mk.9:43-47)? When these individuals get around to actually following this advice in repentance for their own sins, perhaps they'll have a right to speak. Or as Paul says, " I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!" (Gal.5:12 NIV).

All of the passages in the gospels where our Lord discusses this issue say that a person "who marries" someone else after wrongfully divorcing their spouse "commits adultery" . . . i.e., by the act of marrying. But our Lord does not tell the Pharisees either that the new marriage is not a marriage (because it is indeed a marriage) or that the have "the right" or "the duty" to now divorce this new wife. That would result in untold confusion. What they did – in wrongful divorce of an innocent party – was an act of adultery. A sin. For those who turned to Him, of course, that sin (and all other sins) was forgiven.

I have bumped into a number of individuals and groups that want us to be fixated on the past in a legalistic way. It reminds me somewhat of these legalistic "12 step programs" that seek to go forward by going backward. That can never work. That only ever makes things worse – and it is definitely NOT in the Bible.

I do pray for your peace. However you want to analyze or think about or judge your past life, it really is irrelevant – unless you let it start affecting your present and your future. After all, if we have sinned, Christ died for those sins. We cannot go back and take them back; we cannot go back and make them better or wash them away. There is no way to "un-sin". And there is no need to do so because Jesus has died for them. And isn't it an affront to Him to suggest that what He did for us is somehow so insufficient that we need to get involved and "fix it"?

Not to mention that it would be wrong, hurtful, dishonorable, and oh so sinful to betray the new commitments we've made, just because someone is making us feel bad about what happened in the past.

The Christian life, properly lived, is about moving forward, not looking backward.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Dear Bob

Apologies. Please can I ask again, because my mind keeps turning back. I hear and welcome all you say about the married staying put in their marriages.

The logical twist of the knife is when the ‘opposition’ say we are still married to our first spouse in God’s eyes. They don’t care I’m divorced and remarried, that means nothing to them. As Jesus said it was adultery to remarry, and adultery is sex outside your (first) marriage, ergo, that’s proof I’m not really married to my second husband, but still to my first, or it would not be adultery. I frequently find that compelling.

These thoughts are how I defend myself:

In Deut 24:1-4 the woman could remarry, but she’s still defiled. Was that an enduring condition? Couldn’t she atone for that? Jesus has atoned for me. She wasn’t told not to remarry. Not sure about this, and I’m in good company, I gather!

I’m hearing people say Jesus likens remarriage to adultery, but it’s not quite the same, and no one mentioned the death penalty, nor for lust, mental adultery. Perhaps that’s the defilement.

I hear people say this type of adultery is hyperbole, to make us sit up and think, before we divorce. Reasoned because Jesus also says things about eye plucking and hand amputation which we don’t follow. He’s provocative!

I hear people point out that Jesus still speaks of divorce and remarriage in Matt 19. He’s not negating these processes, so they are real and achieve an ending of the first marriage.
To point out that Jesus doesn’t want us to separate what God has joined speaks to it being possible.

But when applying that thought to a second marriage I have to wonder whether a God has joined us together. Rather He may notice that we’ve done a bit of severing and joining all by ourselves!

The woman at the well spoke of all she’d ever done, which hardly sounds something she was proud of, so I feel fairly safe in assuming she wasn’t just a multiple remarried widow. I think she was divorced and remarried, maybe more than once. And Jesus called these men husbands, and differentiated between the different statuses. Therefore to be remarried isn’t the same ‘as living in sin’.

And the apostles, once they’d thought it through, rather than stone second timers or prevent marriage at all, given the risk, did not make remarrieds separate. I’m told there’s no record of it in the early church, where many gentile converts must have been affected. And the odd Pharisee.

One flesh can’t be the thing that keeps me bound to my first husband, or Paul’s remarks about prostitutes would be other than they are. And fornication isn’t enough to prevent a first marriage.

Another one flesh bond isn’t enough to break the first, since reconciliation is initially possible. It is the making of a second marriage that prevents return, so that second marriage must mean something real.

Ok then, stay there, and feel justifiably uncomfortable at the thought of my forgiven sin. It’s a catch 22, keeping to a second adulterous marriage but hoping that’s not the sort of adultery that keeps you out of an eternal relationship with God.

In Deut 24 the first husband was a ba’al, whereas the second was an ish. Can’t have another ba’al I notice. I hope that’s not significant. Still, it happened, and I’ve found another man to love and support me, albeit an ish. Ish can mean husband.

So why isn’t all this proving enough for me? Why does my mind keep swinging back to a feeling that I shouldn’t be here? The eternal knot in my stomach. How do I know that’s not the Holy Spirit convicting me? I suspect I am OCD and a high functioning anxiety prisoner! Is this truly false guilt?

It is unique among sins because of its status. And it’s consequences. Even becoming a parent as a result of fornication, I couldn’t stop being a parent. But I could stop being a second wife. What Horror.

Repentance is to turn away, stop what you’re doing wrong. Except in this case?

It all hangs in whether I was, in God’s eyes able to effectively sever my first marriage such that my subsequent remarriage is real, since I did not divorce for reasons of porneia. But then what does that make of Jesus saying it’s adultery? How is that differentiated from the ‘ordinary’ adultery we all understand?

Perhaps my real problem is how to cope with uncertainty when I’m dealing with matters of life and death!

I am also asking the Lord’s help, believe me!

I’m so sorry

Thank you for listening

Response #13:

I'm sorry to hear that this is still troubling you.

Regarding "why isn’t all this proving enough for me?" First, being solid and confident in the Christian walk is not a "one issue" proposition. Spiritual growth based on believing all of what the Bible has to say (through reading the Bible and very importantly through accessing a good teaching ministry consistently) is necessary to gain spiritual stability so as to be able to pass tests such as this. And, also very importantly, truth received has to be believed, not just intellectually understood. If we "know" something, but also entertain other opinions and don't commit to believing what is true, mere knowledge of the truth isn't going to help us. The Spirit uses the truth we have believed in our hearts to guide us and help us.

Regarding "It all hangs in whether I was, in God’s eyes able to effectively sever my first marriage such that my subsequent remarriage is real". With all due respect, this is demonstrably false:

1) Your salvation "hangs" on whether or not you have a living, breathing faith in Jesus Christ. If you do – and you do – then you are saved, because all believers are saved; only unbelievers are not saved (Jn.3:18). People who think they are secure in salvation because of "what they are doing" and "how they are behaving" are, to the extent that they see this as causative, not even saved, because they have flipped the Christian faith on its head and made it a religion of works (this is what the RC church believes, after all). But we are saved "by grace through faith" alone, and NOT of "works" (Eph.2:8-9).

2) Even if you were wrong to get divorced and wrong to get re-married, even if these were sins, all sin has been atoned for by Jesus Christ who died for them all; we could never "make up" for a single one. And for a person who does something horrifically wrong (as in wrongly divorcing his/her partner without cause out of selfish motives as the Pharisees did), to try to "make up" for prior perceived sin, is actually not only not "making up" for anything but actually in fact doing far worse: failing to trust God, considering Christ's work insufficient, damaging others to salve our guilt – which is only rising that level because we have not be progressing spiritually as we are commanded to do.

We are forgiven all of our sins when we confess. Some sins are indeed more damaging than others, but Christ had to die for every single sin, even the ones that are not bothering you; and all sins, even the ones that are bothering you, are forgiven on confession – forgiven forever (1Jn.1:9).

3) Whatever the prior history and whatever the truth of it is (you still after all this time and effort are in the dark about the details), what God is concerned about is the here and now. The Christian life is one of moving FORWARD, not looking backward (Phil.3:13).

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But even if you do marry, you have not sinned.
1st Corinthians 7:27-28a NKJV

This and every other verse on this subject (and others too) always recommend preserving the status quo – precisely the OPPOSITE of what these false teachers are telling you.

If Christians in this country all began divorcing their spouses to go back to their first wives / husbands, can you imagine how much pain and suffering and dislocation would be caused? Just think of the children. And for what? How does this make things better in any way? There was a reason, after all, that the first marriages collapsed. And who says spouse #1 will be willing to have another go or be better next time? This is insanity. It violates every basic principle of spiritual common sense I can think of. More to the point, it's not biblical – God does not require it; just the opposite. While there are many verses in scripture that commend the status quo for the sake of decency and good order, there is not a verse in the Bible which counsels Christians today to get divorced! Indeed, scripture tells us to stay married if possible, and then to stay single if possible. But these false teachers violate both commands at once counseling divorce and remarriage!

"It's not a marriage". Says who? Not the Bible. Marriage is a civil institution set up for the entire human race by God, and just as God allows laws on commerce and felonies, e.g., to be established by the nation in question, so it is in marriage. If a couple are married in the eyes of the state, they are married in the eyes of God. It is as simple as that. Whenever anyone in the Bible is described as "married", it is because they had committed to each other in the manner deemed appropriate by the culture and government in which and under which they were living.

Did Jesus tell the Pharisees who had divorced wife #1 out of lust for woman #2 that in divorcing and remarrying they had committed adultery thereby? Yes. Did He tell them they must now divorce #2 and return to #1? No. That would have been wronging #2 and trying to "fix" a sin by human effort (the essence of the very legalism of which the Pharisees were so guilty). The only "fix" for their sin was in putting their faith in Christ whereby all their sins would be forgiven.

Did the woman at the well have five husbands but the current "man" in her life was not here husband? Indeed. And this proves the point. The current man was not a husband because she had not married him. The previous five, unquestionably involving divorces, were her husbands because she had married them. Q.E.D. Does Jesus tell her to go back to #1 or #2 or #3 or #4 or #5? No. He guides her to salvation – which she receives by faith in Him and NOT by going back to 1/2/3/4/5 – not by trying to "fix" her sins. Jesus died for them. That is the ONLY "fix". And by the way. Assuming that #1 or #2 or #3 or #4 or #5 has remarried, and assuming that for some of them this woman was wife #1, is Jesus telling all of them to remarry her? Heaven forbid! But this is the sort of nonsense that such false teaching begets.

The Lord has blessed you with a husband and a family. Treasure these blessings. Whatever sins you may have committed were forgiven you as soon as you first confessed them. Don't worry about "getting away" with anything; the Lord always disciplines us in a loving way to bring about the correction He desires. And, by the way, it seems to me that you are torturing yourself far worse than any discipline you might have received in the past.

We are responsible for what we believe. I have seen many Christians tie themselves into knots over something in their past, and I can tell you that misplaced guilt is one of the devil's ace trumps, and he uses it to great effect. What is truly sad, however, is the plethora of false teachers out there who have sold themselves to do his bidding. I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.

So unburden yourself of you guilt, my friend. The Lord forgave you when first you confessed. Since this was long ago, the discipline is no doubt long over as well (if it were even appropriate). Don't let lies ruin your life and take away your joy and your peace. This is a horrible heresy that's being thrown at you. Your job is to reject it resolutely. Stand fast in that position . . . and commit yourself to an aggressive campaign of spiritual growth. That is the only way to build our joy and peace in the long run, focusing ever on the blessed hope of all that is to come.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Oh Bob thank you so much! Yes!

Yesterday I started moving in the right direction. Mum gave me a book by Smith Wigglesworth on Faith. I’d never before likened God’s love for me to like a husband for his bride, and it said to think of how much you know your husband loves you and how you trust him, which is something my second husband has so beautifully taught me in his great love, loyalty and support. That helped me to try and rest and trust. Because the Lord will be like that too. Prov 3:5-6 is something I get so wrong! Wanting to understand, not believe. I said to the Lord I wanted him to take care of it because I’m exhausted with this, and to leave it to him, and now yes, I shall do all as you say. I’m sorry I dumped on you. I can’t share this with my poor man! And he doesn’t even know the Lord. I agree it’s an attack of Satan.

Thank you so much for your agape for my situation and all you’ve said to help me. And your honesty. I read you said in an answer that if you believed salvation was at stake you would counsel separation, and I believe you.

My Pastor is at a loss to help me, having said his piece, and my mother is unable to get her mind around it either, as it slowly crumbles, dear lady, but she loves the Lord. And there you are. As I was wallowing in a mire, you’ve helped me with just the right tone of encouragement and a way forward.

You’ve done me such a great service. Thank you!

Right, I must gird my loins and get on with the day. The car must go to the garage and I’ve a pile of ironing to do! A good quiet time would be a good start too!

God bless and keep you, my friend, pointing to my Friend!

Response #14:

You're most welcome, my friend.

I do pray for you daily, and I certainly hope that now you can begin moving forward towards peace in spiritual growth.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Question #15:

Dear Bob

I’ve been thinking about the works based attitude you see in me, which surprised me, because I thought myself aware of that particular danger! I was seeing my problem like this: having repented, was there a need to come out of the situation, similar to trying to undo anything you’ve done wrong, say making some reparation if you’d been dishonest, or apologising if you’ve hurt someone. I was seeing it as trying to cease from sinning, making a sea change, not that doing it would save me, but that not doing it might have the opposite effect and prevent my salvation. Aha! I guess not?

But you reminded me of John 3:18, which was perhaps over familiar to me, and I saw it in a new light - it’s pure, and it’s simple, I’m saved by believing, and nothing else is required. Thank you!

I am also able to say of some of the proponents of this teaching, that they are sincere, having thought it through and studied carefully, and they believe they are trying to save me from burning. But others sound judgmental and even hateful, you’re right.

As I read the Wiggelsworth book on faith I have to admit I lack in faith, in expectation of what God might do for me, while not at all disbelieving in what He CAN do. You’re right, I have some work to do! I thought l had been, but I need a change of gear or depth or something. I am currently following a reading plan, with about 5 weeks to go. But I find it hard to pray. I’ll start on your website! Not just the bits I thought I needed, or waiting patiently for 6B. (No pressure, sorry!)

And I do try to rely too much on my own understanding, I know. ‘Yesbut’ is my middle name!

Thanks again and thank you for your prayers. I pray for you and your work too. And big on gratitude at the moment!

Response #15:

You're very welcome, my friend – and thanks for your prayers too!

I appreciate your assessment and your intention to plow into the real "work" ahead (growth, progress and production for the Lord).

As to sincerity, sincerity is great; zeal is great; but not if it is not according to the truth (Rom.10:2). I'm sure that Paul was sincere before he was saved when he was hunting down Christians to punish, imprison and execute them. But he was wrong. And in fact, his zeal and sincerity just acted as a multiplier to intensify the wrong.

Anyone who is interfering with someone else' life and telling them to do things which will turn that life upset down better be VERY sure they are right and not wrong. Since there is not a scripture which even suggests remarried Christians should divorce, let alone go back to their former spouses, these individuals have clearly not done their "homework". At the VERY least, anyone with an ounce of humility who bothered to actually look at the biblical passages with some care would realize that the issue is not so simple as these "sincere people" want to believe. The best I can say for them is that they are blindly following the false teaching of some one else' ministry, so that the primary blame falls on the false teacher. But they are still to blame: 1) for getting caught up in a false teaching ministry when our Lord told us very clearly to "test the tree" and avoid it if the fruit is bad; 2) for meddling in a VERY dangerous way in the lives of others without a biblical mandate to do so; and 3) for not reading their Bibles carefully and committing the matter to the Lord in prayer before doing so – which, had they done so, the Spirit would have warned them off. This is why I am not a fan of "sincerity".

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

I see why my mother calls me a gentle soul. I couldn’t dream of having this much fire in my belly! Thank God you do!

In Jesus

Response #16:

Yes, false teaching always seems to get me riled up.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Hi so I'm trying to become a Christian and in my search for a church I was told that my marriage was not a real one because I divorced my husband for a non biblical reason I'm scared outbid my mind because I have a son in this marriage and a wonderful husband and I can't just divorce him. Please help me

Response #17:

I'm sorry to hear that this issue is still plaguing you.

Let me assure you it would be wrong to divorce your present husband. A marriage is a marriage, according to the Bible, regardless of past events or present circumstances, and Christians are told by scripture to stay in their marriages if at all possible. So unless they are being abused physically or emotionally and thus essentially forced out by current spouse, sticking with it is what the Bible enjoins. People who say otherwise do so without ANY true biblical support. They quote scriptures but in error, not understanding what they mean. This is a real problem. Whatever divine discipline a person received for some past error, past errors cannot be made good and God forgives us whatever we have done (or said or thought) when we confess. We cannot go back and fix the past. But people who are telling other people lies, counseling them to break scripture and ruin their lives in the process, are deeply involved in evil – and will pay the price if they persist.

I'm very happy for you that you have a good marriage and family. These are blessing from the Lord, even if you got there in a way that was not the best and have suffered some for that. But today is today and we are told to make the best of today and not be looking backward at yesterday. My advice to you is to rejoice in what the Lord has given you, confident in His complete and merciful forgiveness for any past wrongdoing (real or imagined), and – by all means – part company with any and all who tell you such vile things.

One more important thing. Peace is the heritage of all believers in Jesus Christ, but like all spiritual blessings it is accessed through learning, believing and applying the truth of the Word of God. What that means is that spiritual growth is critical for the concomitant growth of your spiritual common sense and equilibrium. It is rare to find a church these days where the Bible is taught correctly in sufficient depth for such growth to be possible. As evidenced by your search, churches today are lazy for the most part and are instead only interested in ritual or emotion or entertainment or crusading – and in this case, crusading on this weird and dangerous quest to have good Christians get divorced to satisfy some sick legalistic desire totally bereft of any spiritual content. You are certainly welcome to the materials at Ichthys (this is "my church" as I am fond of saying). I also recommend pastor-teacher Curtis Omo's Bible Academy (at the link).

Here are some links at Ichthys to where this subject has been discussed in some detail:

Divorce and Remarriage: What does the Bible say?

What about Christians who Remarry?

Christian Divorce and Remarriage

Jephthah's Daughter, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

A Conversation about Divorce and Remarriage

No Grounds for Divorce?

Marriage and the Bible II

Marriage and the Bible

Love, Marriage, and Divorce: Marriage and the Bible III

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Thank you so much and hopefully you have helped a lot of people as well. I would rather suffer in eternal fire then leave my husband and ruin the life of my son. I have a really bad fear of hell anyways and Have since I was very little. It was a man from a church in my own town so that why it seems to be bother me so much it's not something that I just read online. It's hurts really bad

Response #18:

The truly good news is that you don't have to give up your marriage or ruin anyone's life AND you are definitely going to heaven as a believer in Jesus Christ (Jn.3:18).

People who, like this person you report, sow discord and counsel confusion, however, while they do not go to hell for such actions, still, such actions call into question whether or not they are saved in the first place; and such actions are definitely a sign of and also contribute to wandering from the Lord in the second place – the end of which process is disaster.

Thanks for your good words!

Keeping you in prayer.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Why do the DtR people teach this then?

Response #19:

It has to do with the devil, mostly. People who are arrogant and self-righteous seem to feel that they inflate themselves by destroying and diminishing others. And on the other side of the coin, people who have not been growing in the Word as they should tend to over-react in guilt when they are "called to account" by these self-righteous legalists.

“How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Matthew 16:11-12

There is much such "leaven" of false teaching out there these days (it's a sign of the time: 1Tim.4:1-3; 2Tim.3:1-9); best advice: do what our Lord says and beware of it.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

He was from the church of Christ and what's worse people he actually divorced because he quotes Matthew 19 I believe and it was awful and he traumatized me honestly

Response #20:

He should actually READ Matthew 19. If he did, he would see that Jesus does NOT tell anyone to GET divorced. He tells them not to get divorced in the first place. That is a HUGE difference. In fact, what these people are doing is directly turning our Lord's teaching on its head since He says "don't do it" and they say "you have to do it".

I seriously doubt the salvation of any "pastor" who would have the temerity to say such things and to ruin other people's lives without a qualm of conscience in the process.

Did I mention the devil?

Question #21:

For some reason I can't shake this. All I can do is see me burning in hell for eternity and it's causing me so much pain and dysfunction. Please help me. Shake this. I hope people have not actually listen to these people. I'm scared bob really scared. Why do they tell people this??

Response #21:

We've discussed "these people". You know the answer to that question.

What's needed now is to believe scripture . . . and jettison any further consideration of "these people".

"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
John 3:18 NKJV

You are a believer in Jesus Christ. Believers are saved. Only unbelievers go to hell. "Those people" who would do such things give evidence of being unbelievers (only God knows for sure), but YOU know that you believe in Jesus Christ, that you have been born again / from above, and so you are saved.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1st John 1:9 NKJV

I don't know what the situation in the past was in all of its details, so I don't even know that this applies, but just on the off chance that you did do something wrong way back then, you were forgiven as soon as you confessed. Whatever divine discipline you had coming then (no doubt long gone now) was meant for blessing from a loving Father disciplining a child He loves – which very discipline was a sign that you were/are a child of God (Heb.12:7-8).

I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
Psalm 32:5 NKJV

This is what David says. David did MUCH worse than you, because he killed a man in order to take his wife for himself after committing adultery with her while she was married to him – and David was forgiven. Mind you, he was disciplined -- heavily over many years – but God never withdrew His love of His Holy Spirit from him.

The only thing you have to worry about is falling into an obsessive pattern of self-destruction. It is harmful. It is unnecessary. It is not biblical. But I have seen it before.

The way to combat this, the only way, really, is to commit yourself to an aggressive program of spiritual growth. That is the only way to equip yourself for this spiritual warfare in which you are suffering. I recommend starting with BB 6A: Peripateology or the Peter series.

I'm keeping you in my prayers, my friend. No matter what, we will be singing together in the heavenly choir some day. You just have to believe that.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

[details about past situation omitted]

What do you mean by self-destructive? What have you seen before? I know in my heart that it would be wrong to divorce my current husband and we have a child together and that would also ruin his life as well. But I can't shake what that man told me. I'm really trying to because either way I won't leave my husband.

Response #22:

This was what I remembered. First, while adultery is a sin, no one should stay in any relationship where there is serious abuse, physical or emotional. That sort of treatment of a spouse effectively ends a marriage. The state recognizes that as grounds for divorce and did even when divorce was not so easy to come by many years ago. Marriage is a civil institution – that is how God designed it. A marriage is a marriage and a divorce is a divorce, and there is no going back.

When the children of Israel rebelled against the Lord and Moses, refusing to up to inherit the land because of the bad report the 10 spies brought back, later, when they repented and decided to go up on their own, they were defeated. There is a time for everything. If married, one should stay married if possible – it wasn't possible in your previous marriage; it is possible now. People who give different counsel, non-biblical counsel, will have to answer to the Lord for that.

Beyond all argument, the Bible teaches staying married if married when possible to do so. It never counsels divorce as these people are doing. So they have it completely backwards.

I am sorry you are having trouble spitting out this lie. But it is a lie. I counsel you to spit it out. You have free will and you are the one who decides what to believe. The Bible tells you what he says is a lie. Your heart, spoken to by the Spirit, tells you what that person says is a lie. That's two witnesses right there. Believe the truth. Reject the lie. That part is up to you. As mentioned, this gets easier as a believer grows spiritually across the board, so the ultimate solution to guilt feelings and uncertainty is the confidence and faith that grows as a believer grows spiritually. I encourage you to enter onto that path and not look back.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Am I going to hell for the adultery of being in this second marriage like they say? I can't leave my husband bob we have a good marriage and a little boy. I'm scared there is a small chance he is right and I will burn In hell for eternity

Response #23:

There is not even the SLIGHTEST chance that this person is "right" – because he couldn't be more wrong.

Whatever you did in the past, justified or not, has been forgiven when you confessed it to the Lord.

Having relations with one's legal spouse is not only NOT wrong but in fact it would be wrong not to (1Cor.7:5).

We are told not to worry or fear. The Lord loves us and delivers us from everything, and will continue to do so until He takes us home. The only thing we need to fear/revere is Him. But if we do listen to false teaching, it will do us damage – as listening to this false teaching is damaging you.

Here is as simple as I can say it:

1) Stop listening to false teaching and stop giving it any heed.

2) Start listening to good teaching and begin to grow spiritually . . . by believing it.

I can tell you the truth. But if you don't believe it, it can't do you any good.

Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #24:

I believe you and I'm taking your advise. It had me shaken up for a bit but I don't believe it in my heart that it's true. Thank you for everything

Response #24:

You're most welcome.

I'm very happy to hear this.

I'll keep praying for you.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #25:

Dear Robert

Can I be assured that having married an unbeliever, first and second time, when I knew it was wrong, is also something I don’t have to undo? I’ve seen that said too. That when it says to come out, is a present ongoing tense, which doesn’t match a one off sin. Similar problem I guess.

I have sorrowfully repented of my godless years. I wasn’t close to God then and hoped my husband’s belief and seeking were enough. A rose by another name. That rather matched the degree of my own commitment at the time. But I knew it was against the rules.

This is why I said it hangs on whether you can lose your salvation or not. If I was a proper Christian in my teens, and I was just a lapsed one when I married and remarried, I am more accountable than if I lost my salvation and then refound it, God be praised, many years later.
So did I or not re marry as a Christian, ie when did I really come to saving faith? I really don’t know!

I look at Ezra 9 and 10 and I understand that is about the illegality of their covenants, and racial and religious purity, but I also read in my ESV study bible that the words used for “married” and “put away” were actually more along the lines of “we have given a home” and “bring out”, suggesting not real marriages, which I find strangely comforting. And there were so few of them. Should I? Ezra 10:2-3

God didn’t want his people diluted and led away from Him in the next generation, and needed a pure line to deliver His Seed, to save them and also the Gentiles. To keep His promise to Abraham. However, we are now grafted into Israel, his people.

Paul says to not divorce non believing spouses, which seems to trump the dangers of living with non believer, and he doesn’t make a distinction as to how that came about, so I hope that’s ok. Those who think not assume Paul couldn’t be meaning rebellious marriages because that would contradict Ezra, so he must only be referring to those who married before coming to faith. Which would also make Shechaniah’s actual words more relevant. I wouldn’t expect to be able to stay with my man if I hadn’t married him!

Isn’t Satan clever, or aren’t I in a mess!

Thank you, as ever, and apologies for being such a load. I’m sorry.

Response #25:

I'm sorry this is still plaguing you. At some point, all persevering Christians, it seems, manage to come to the point of accepting God's forgiveness and letting go of the past on most issues. Only "the things" that upset us and cause us to feel guilty seem to be different. No one is without sin, and becoming morbidly guilt-ridden over things long past is a deadly trap for any believer.

Does the Bible ever counsel divorce? Never.

The passage in Ezra is a historical passage. It explains what the people did. It does not say "this is what God told the people to do", or "this is what people always should do", nor does it even say "this is what people ever should do". This is what they did do. Were they right or wrong in doing it? Scripture does not say. We understand why they did it, but please note that this was not ordered by the Lord.

We are not Israelites. That nation was given specific commands in regard to marrying outside of their race. Note that even so some did so – and this happened in the line of the Messiah in the case of Ruth and also in the case of Rahab. In those two cases, it is clear that these women were believers. But no one told Obed or Boaz to divorce their wives because they weren't of Israel – and they certainly did not. But in Ezra, the very small remnant might have been completely diluted by mass intermarriage with foreign women. So they did what they did. Notice that no such thing had ever been done before or after. Notice also that there was a judicial procedure about which we are told little. Were believing spouses allowed to stay married? Were there other mitigating circumstances? We are not told. What did Jesus tell men such as the ones who in the book of Ezra lined up to divorce their foreign wives: "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery" (Matt.5:32). In the Ezra example, we are not told of a single case of adultery as a basis for this mass divorce. It would seem to be contrary to what our Lord says about this issue. After all, the whole purpose of this mass divorce was precisely to marry other women, Jewish women, for racial purposes: remarriage to a new woman (not a former spouse) after divorce, however one defines it – exactly the opposite of what these people are trying to derive from it.

As I say, we understand why they did this, but the best I think we can say for them is that the nation as a whole was in a position of having to do something wrong – from a position of weakness – to avoid something worse. That is a common situation in this life. When David deceived Achish on the point of going to war on the side of the Philistines (1Sam.29:2) and latter disingenuously expressed outrage when God bailed him out of having to do so (1Sam.29:8), he was also making the best of a bad situation, lying to get out of it – when he never should have gone into Philistine territory in the first place but should have stayed in the desert and trusted the Lord to continue to deliver him. That is to say, he was "in a situation" because of a prior bad decision – but we should not take from this that lying and deception are "good". Similarly, the Israelites of Ezra's day were "in a situation" because they had married so many foreign wives, but that does not mean that the extreme means they were then forced to take – because of prior bad decisions – was correct or good or recommended or ever technically allowed: this mass divorce seems to me to violate the precepts of the Law.

So the Ezra example is not a parallel at all, not in any way. God hates divorce (Mal.2:16). And nowhere in the Bible is divorce ever counseled as a cure for any past mistakes – or counseled at all (it is only occasionally allowed).

I can't think of anything more foolish than divorce if the couple is happily married. It makes no rational sense at all, and, more to the point, it violates even an infant believer's spiritual common sense. We do what the Spirit tells us to do. We do NOT do what guilt feelings tell us to do. These are NOT the same things. Doesn't the Spirit tell you that the Lord has blessed you with a good marriage? What does that say? OK, you're not perfect. OK, you've made mistakes. Welcome to the human race. But we are here as Christians to move forward in our walk with the Lord, not to look back at the past, as if that could ever be fixed even in its smallest part.

Yes, Paul's words are VERY clear. If you're married, stay married, if at all possible. That is the farthest thing I can think of from "you should get divorced". And I certainly don't find anything like that in the Bible anywhere.

One last thing. The only way to get to the point of living a life of peace focused on the hope to come is through spiritual growth. Merely focusing on problems that are bothering us, even if we do so via the scripture, is like putting band-aids on a patient with a systematic infection. The inside has to be fixed for the sores to go away. So I would counsel you to commit yourself to a consistent program of spiritual growth broadly. That is the way to grow to maturity and beyond – and the way to earn eternal rewards as well.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #26:

Thank you Bob, duly chastened! I appreciate it. And yes He has greatly blessed me, and all good gifts come from Him. I do count my blessings. I really need some CBT or something, but there’s no point without a Christian counselor, and those that refuse to tell you what they think are useless! You have done me great and good service, thank you so much. I tried some CBT, but until I could assuredly tell myself I was wrong about all this, from scripture, it just felt like ignoring a guilty conscience, skating over the top, and so dishonest. I think it’s congealing gradually, and I’m recognising patterns of thought I can feel safer to avoid than before.

My pastor has nothing more to say, my poor mother can’t remember what we said an hour ago, and of course I can’t frighten my husband with this. I think I would have gone mad, so thank you.

I shall keep these emails to help me if I relapse, which is entirely possible, and try not to go over the same ground, and give you some peace.

God bless you, as you have blessed me with your kindly advice and patience.

In Christ!

Response #26:

You're most welcome!

Feel free to write any time.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

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