Tuesday, October 17, 2017

RE: Biblically What Should Our Response Be To A Spouse Who Deceives?

Deceptive Marital Partner, What Should I do?

Question: You had noted in a previous post titled, "Is Divorce A Condemnation Or Consequence For Marital Infidelity?", it is spoken about separating from a continually deceptive marriage partner. A person wanted to know if they could separate from the partner who is deceptive. I would like to see/hear from the Bible what your answer is.

Answer: Greetings in Jesus wonderful name! I appreciate that you have written back to know more clearly whether a believing partner could separate from the partner who is continually deceptive. Still you have not shared whether the partner is a believer or a unbeliever, so I would answer from the point of unbeliever and then speak about a believing partner who might be deceptive.

We should always understand when somebody is deceptive and evil continually, without even a remorse for their bad behavior at least once in a while, it does mean that the person is not saved at all, because a saved person will feel remorseful, ask sorry to God and men, will forgive and also seek for forgiveness to let go of their bad behavior which has come out of them (1 John 2:9-11; 3:8, 13-15). Apostle John reveals that, "Whoever has been born of God does not sin infinitely without any remorse or conviction of sin that always turn him towards repentance and life, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin infinitely, because he has been born of God, God will convict him as he is His child, and will turn him towards Himself." (1 John 3:9, Paraphrased). In other words, when someone is a believer, they will humble themselves to seek grace from God to keep that line of communication with God always open in their day to day lives (Psa 66:18), they will try constantly not to be conformed to the world but rather will get transformed by renewing their mind with the Word of God (James 4:6; 1 Peter 3:7; Rom 12:2).

So if God truly reveals to us that if somebody is a unbeliever and that we have been deceived by them in marrying them, or if we have not heeded the Word of God that commands us not to marry a unbeliever and have done it in rebellion to it (2 Cor 6:14-18), then the unbeliever will definitely continue to cause devastation in our marriage. How can two walk together unless they agree in faith (Amos 3:3)? Faith should be the basic agreement within the family of every believer. Only when Christ is the head of the house, the unseen host at every meal, the silent listener to every conversation, only then Christ could live among that members of our home to bring peace, joy and righteousness (Rom 14:17), with the willingness of the leader of the Household who have subject himself to the rulership of Christ his Lord and Savior (1 Cor 11:3). In a light hearted way I say, he who has married a unbeliever, his mother-in-law will be the devil.

If the area of deception of a unbelieving partner is in the area of sex which is exclusively covenanted to be given to each other only within the boundary of marriage, you have every right to divorce him or her when you find out that they have been unfaithful to you and to God (Matt 19:9). But we know that actually the problem with a unbelieving spouse is not unfaithfulness only, but salvation itself, in other words, if they get saved by God, they will be delivered from this kind of marital unfaithfulness as they will get themselves transferred from the kingdom of "darkness to light", Satan to God, from unfaithfulness to faithfulness (Acts 26:18). God wants even your unbelieving spouse to be saved (1 Tim 2:4), so pray for their salvation and tell them how bad you feel when they are unfaithful and deceptive to try to cover up their mistake (1 Tim 2:1-2), but if they do not change their ways and want to humiliate you for telling them the truth, it means they do not want to change even when you have been so patient for them to turn them from their wicked ways. So in other words, without telling you frankly that they want a divorce, they try to convey to you, that you are no more needed, stay if you want, or run away if you do not want to accommodate what I do or say. This is a major problem when it comes to unbelievers, they do not want to change their wicked ways of sin and deception, even when it cost them a marriage or even when their spouse might get separated from them. In such a scenario, "If the unbelieving spouse walks out, you've got to let him or her go. You don't have to hold on desperately. God wants his children to live in peace and harmony." (1 Cor 7:15, MSG). "For, after all, there is no assurance to you wives that your husbands will be converted [and become saved] if they stay; and the same may be said to you husbands concerning your wives." (1 Cor 7:16, LB).

Once when someone is unfaithful in the area of sex, then domestic violence, lies, hypocrisy, etc will slowly start to come and dominate within the family. What should you do when such thing happens? I mean when some one is continually deceptive? When they do not want to change, but instead they push you to a dead end road in your marital relationship and intimacy? Try your best to continue for the sake of the children, and pray to God expecting a change over a period of time, say a year or more. Try to live peacefully as much as possible by the grace of God, but now finally it only depends on you, if you come to point where you think there can be no more peace in spite of you pursuing peace with your whole heart as a child of God (Rom 12:18; Matt 5:9), then let them depart in peace by you providing a divorce according to their desire. But in case they want to live with you and want to change, always give them a one more chance to change by carefully considering whether they are genuine or speaking with a motive behind it. Ask God for wisdom in all these matters, He will give you abundantly all that you need to be successful in your life (Jam 1:5).

What if that spouse who is acting like a unbeliever is actually a believer? Here is the bottom line, as I said in the previous post, when you ask God whether your spouse is believer who has not matured in his/her spiritual life or a unbeliever who will not change at all even though you are willingly to adjust yourself so much for him/her, God will see your sincerity in seeking Him for guidance as His child, and will definitely speak to you in a vision, dream, circumstance, Word of God, godly counselor who are men or women of God, through prophecy or even through a stranger. Also God tells you to look at the character of the person, to know whether He is a believer or unbeliever, if there is no fruit of the Spirit at all, then you know they are unbelievers (Jam 2:26). Do they call Jesus as their Lord and Savior, through it you can find whether someone is a believer or not because only those who have the Holy Spirit of God within them can be able to accept and declare Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (Matt 7:15-20; Gal 5:22-23; 1 Cor 12:3). Does your spouse forgive and ask for forgiveness? Only a true believer will be able to forgive consistently and also ask for forgiveness when they are wrong, because they follow Christ and take Him as their example to follow in their lives (Matt 18:21-22; 6:14-15; 5:23-26; Eph 4:32; 1 Peter 2:21).

But if your spouse is revealed by your test and by God that he or she is a believer, then you cannot divorce him or her. Try your best not to depart from your spouse as much as possible by praying and giving all your cares to God (1 Peter 5:7), to let Him deal with the erring partner and turn him/her in to the right godly path of righteousness (1 Cor 7:10). If you are woman, you can stay separately for a period of time expecting a change from your husband, and then when in his heart you see a desire for reconciliation, then come together again in the name of Jesus to live a successful family life by the grace of God (1 Cor 7:5-6, 11; 10:31; Col 3:17). Do not live by law, it will only bring death and more death in to your life (Matt 19:9; John 8:10-11, 12). But learn to live by the grace of God, it will bring life, and it will bring life more abundantly (Rom 8:2, 6; John 10:10).

When you both are believers, try to think intentionally that there is no way out of marriage, there is only one place to look within marriage and that is Christ who is the solution for whatever problems you are going through (1 Cor 7:27a). Try always to focus on Christ for every problem you face, because He is the solution you are actually after without really knowing it fully (1 Cor 7:29-31). When you please Christ, actually He will help you please your spouse by His favor upon you (1 Cor 7:32-33, 34, 35-36; 1 Peter 5:7; Prov 16:7). Until one of the partner dies physically, believing couple have no option to come out of marriage, even if a believing partner dies, they only have the option to take another believing partner only in the Lord as per the direction of the Lord (1 Cor 7:39-40).

Much Blessings.....


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