There is a man in our church that I have fallen in love with. He has been separated from his wife for almost a year and the finalization of his divorce is being delayed by children custodial issues. We are seeing each other but not intimately. My question is whether I am participating in this man being adulterous ? Is what I/we are doing wrong in God' s eyes?
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Yes, it is wrong to be seeing the man, even if it is an emotional affair and not a physical one. “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matt 19:4 The pending divorce, itself, is a tricky issue. Did the wife commit adultery - is that why they are divorcing? Was she an unbeliever who sought to leave him? Did she initiate it and is giving him no choice? If it is for any other reason, he is causing his wife to commit adultery (Matt 5:32) The fact this man is now emotionally involved with you leads to the premise that the two are not concerned with reconciling. For Christians, this is not a healthy place to be in. Reconciliation is not always possible, but where it is not the divorce should certainly be final before new relationships are entered into. The fact there is at least one child involved makes this even more complicated. The adults in this situation, all three of you, do not seem to be considering the best interest of the child. Personally, I have seen this situation a couple of times. In both cases, the separation and divorce itself was valid (the women leaving without chance of reconciliation) - but the men seeking other relationships before the divorce was finalized was never healthy. In one case, the man's son was rejected by his new girlfriend as 'demon possessed', and replaced in the family by her daughter once the two married. In another, the man has had several flames since his separation, and the divorce has never been finalized. A related issue is the topic of love: If you have 'fallen in love', then it is probably not a healthy and well-rounded love. What can be fallen into can be fallen out of. Love, while it comes with many wonderful feelings, is an act of will. It is a decision to commit. It is self-sacrificing and considers the other before self - not the depth of one's own desires or feelings. Eros love (desire) is only one part of love, and should not be encouraged before marriage. Commitment should precede intimacy, vs. Intimacy being used as a reason to commit. The eBible question "https://ebible.com/questions/2934-how-can-i-know-if-i-am-in-love" goes into more detail on this. Back to the main question: The two of you are having an emotional affair. This can actually have more impact than a physical one. If there was any chance of the two reconciling, the emotional intimacy he has given you makes this more difficult. There are further reasons than the flirting with adultery why it would be wise for the two of you to stop seeing each other at this time: #1 He needs to focus on his wife, any possibility of reconciliation, and the divorce proceedings. #2 He needs to have Christians around him that will hold him accountable for his own faults in the marriage, as well as spur him on towards commitment, repentance, etc. #3 The flipside of #2, it will be detrimental if there are Christians around him encouraging him towards division, bitterness, or unforgiveness. #4 His emotions need time to heal. He may feel betrayed, unloved, disrespected - any manner of things from his marriage. He needs support by the christian community, other men, and Christ to get through that. However, this is also the most vulnerable time for a man if they feel they are getting those things (attention, respect, desire) from another woman. Any such relationship will encourage eros and a false sense of intimacy. #5 Marriage covenants should not be treated lightly. His treatment of his wife shows his future treatment of you more than any doting actions/words he has for you now. #6 It is callous to any children involved. Again, love thinks of others before self.
It is adultery. Rule of thumb: That little voice inside you is the first red flag that something doesn't jive here. It is your cue to stand up, turn away, and run for your life. I forget who said it, but it goes like this: Temptation is the devil peeking through the keyhole. And getting up, going over to the door, turning the nob, and inviting him in is sin, and death follows. I told you this to show you that there are many points where you can just stop doing what you are doing. If you continue in this, I would be considering the other party's spouse, what my motivation is for rebelling against my own moral standard, as you knew enough to ask if it is wrong. And can you stand looking ahead to the brokenness, hurt, guilt, and even bitterness that you will unleash, all for 5 minutes of pleasure. None of the pieces fit together. I see it as hateful, unchristian, evil, and unimaginable to the Christ-filled being. Maybe it is time to take stock in who and where you are in Christ. What do you expect the Spirit to do while you are entertaining this, because if you are truly born again, He stays. You drag Him through the mud along with the pair of you. It breaks my heart. Hard to say, but I do love you, as do all the brethren. You are breaking my heart though. Mine is the least to worry about. Maybe you need to be reminded, that you are part of a whole body. A vital member, with Christ as the head. What part of the body do you think you might be? Are you going to make it difficult for other members of that body? Because to be quite frank, I am mortified at the thought of all the damage that will come from this.
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