Q. I came back to our Lord Jesus over 12 years ago. I tried my hardest to walk in the same path as the Jesus, but we all falter. I got married when I was in the service and we both commited adultery. I forgave her and wanted to remain married because I never stopped loving her. I loved her from the beginning and through all the hard times. I believed in marriage, but because of the problems we were having I found myself slipping away to temptation and seeking affection elsewhere. Now we are going through a divorce because she requested it. I never wanted divorce and always felt once we have made vows to each other we should always try our hardest to keep them. I didn’t want the divorce , but I know we both were at fault for it. We are still going through the divorce proceeding and legally we are still married.
Now 2 years later I have fallen in love with another woman and I am unable to marry her legally until my divorce is final. I have convinced myself that we are married in the eyes of the Lord because I have committed myself to her and she has commited herself to me.
Is Marriage a ceremony which has to be performed in order for God to accept it? I prayed to the Lord many times about my situation and I am unsure what to do. We both are actively seeking Gods wonderful word and I’m hoping she will become spiritually up lifted as I am. We both are Christians, which was more than my last marriage was. My ex wasn’t thirsting for God’s word as much as I was and I feel that also was a reason our marriage falling apart. I still Love my ex but it’s impossible to reconcile if only one is willing to do so. So I learned to except it and move on with my life. Am I living in sin? Or does the will the Lord accept it because it’s what matters in his eyes and not based on a ceremony?
A. The Lord judges us by the intent of our heart. The marriage ceremony is intended more to meet legal requirements here on Earth than to inform the Lord of how we feel about our spouse. Our commitment before Him is verbal, and He takes us at our word.
Having said that, you’re still legally married to a woman you say you still love. The fact that it’s taken 2 years and you’re still not divorced tells me that at some level you really don’t want this. I wonder how you can be fully committed to another woman. The Bible warns us against double mindedness, saying that we shouldn’t expect anything from the Lord in those circumstances.
The question you have to ask yourself is this. If your current wife became interested in reconciliation, would you agree? If the answer is yes, then you’re premature in taking up with another woman and should continue asking the Lord to help you reconcile with your wife. In effect you’re using your new love to help you forget your old one, just like you’ve used unfaithfulness to help you get over marital problems before. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now.
Adultery is acceptable grounds for divorce in the Lord’s eyes. You’ve both been unfaithful so you both can justify dissolving the marriage if that’s what you really want. But if you do, entering into a new relationship before you’ve shed all your feelings for the old one is a recipe for another disaster.