What Should I Tell Him?

Q. I met a young man recently, who is a pastor of a church I began attending a few months ago. From the first week he met me, he has been very kind and attentive. His interest in me was quite obvious. I like him a lot but he is separated from his wife. The reasons he gave being that she left him when he decided to go into the ministry. He met her when he was still in the world. According to him, he did not ask her to leave but she chose to leave him. He is currently trying to initiate a relationship with me but I don’t know what response to give.

A. This is an area where pastors are vulnerable to attack. And to make matters worse, it sounds like this man is a fairly new pastor, and may even be relatively young in the faith, which could make him especially so.

In any case he is not free to pursue another relationship until he is no longer married. And you have to be careful that no one can ever think of you as the person who came between your pastor and his wife. They need every opportunity to resolve their differences without anyone else in the picture complicating things.

In 1 Cor. 7:15 Paul said a believer is not bound to an unbeliever who wants to leave the marriage. If his wife is an unbeliever and initiated the separation, then your friend is within his rights to let her go, and can pursue another relationship at the proper time.

But I think you should ascertain whether this is really the case and if so, and if you’re interested, then tell your friend that after he’s legally divorced you would welcome the chance to get to know him better. In the meantime, 1 Thes. 5:22 cautions us to avoid even the appearance of evil.

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