Q. My sister has recently given her life to the Lord and feels very convicted for living in sin with her boyfriend who is in the process of being divorced. Her boyfriend is a believer but does not show the fruit–he feels no conviction about living in sin with my sister, doesn’t read the bible regularly or go to church.
My friends have opened their home to her to stay for a few months while she tries to develop an independent life, but she wants to continue seeing her boyfriend, hoping that they can refrain from sexual immorality and that he will get right with God. My husband completely disagrees with her decision and is pressuring our friends to rescind the offer unless she ends her relationship with her boyfriend.
By the way, wouldn’t the Lord want him to NOT divorce his ex wife and try and restore that relationship?
A. As for the boyfriend’s current marriage, you haven’t told me anything about it, so I can only advise you on the question you’ve posed to me. But if the two parties are both believers and there is a possibility of working things out, then obviously that’s what the Lord wants. The boyfriend has given his wife Biblical grounds for divorce, but that doesn’t mean she has to divorce him. It just means she can. The fact that it’s been in the works for 15 months tells me one party didn’t want this divorce to happen, but I don’t know who it is or why.
Regarding your other question, I’ve seen dating arrangements like this work before, but only when two conditions exist. 1) the parties involved are sincerely committed to it and ask to be held accountable before the Lord, and 2) the people they ask to hold them accountable do so in a loving and respectful way. (In other words, every one involved wants a successful outcome.) This new relationship would be similar to the betrothals of previous generations that are still the norm in many countries today. If they are really in love and intend to spend the rest of their lives together in a way that honors the Lord they could do this, and their relationship could emerge stronger for the commitment they’ve made to it.