While I was a singles’ pastor for six years, I often dealt with issues from those whom I had married. I had these issue in both premarital counseling and post-marital counseling. In post-marital counseling things got interesting. I would often sit in the presence of a discouraged wife or husband whose marriage was less than happy. For some, things just weren’t clicking. For others, the problems were more serious. Much of the time people would suggest that they had made a mistake. In their mind, they simply married the wrong person and their “soul-mate” was still out there waiting.

These type of things quickly become a matter of theology—very practical theology. The question is this: Is it possible to have married the wrong person?

No matter how difficult things were I would always discourage such a direction in thinking. I don’t think that it is ever possible to have married the “wrong” person. I know that this sounds strange to some, but it is simply a natural outcome of my belief in God’s sovereignty. Just as the election and the government is ultimately in God’s hands (Rom. 13), even if and when people make selfish and evil choices, God’s will is ultimately being accomplished.

Getting personal: My wife and I met in a bar. Yes, that is right. Seventeen years ago, I was out, drunk and picking up on women. In a drunken stupor, I stopped my wife (my waitress at the time) and said “Before I get drunk, I want to say ‘I love you’” (sweet pick-up line, huh?) We hit it off, and to make a long story short, we got hitched. As I grew in the Lord, I questioned my motivations for marrying her. If you have seen her, you know she is very beautiful. This is not to brag, but to give you a sense of conflict that I have had (and, I am sure, Kristie has had as well). We have had our share of difficulties. I would like to say that things have been great with me and Kristie, but we have some very serious personality conflicts. Sometimes these are so severe, so discouraging, so long-lasting, so unforgiving, that the terrible question pop’s in my head, “Did I marry the wrong person?” It is in these times that my theology begins to lock certain doors.

Are you supposed to meet your wife in a bar? No, not ideal. Are you supposed to fall in love with her primarily because of looks? No, not ideal. Can you make wrong decisions that lead to an important decision such as marriage? Absolutely. So, was it God’s will that I marry Kristie. You bet.

You see, I believe that God works with us in our sin. Come on folks, does he have any other choice? If he did not work through our sin, 1) what does the world “grace” mean and, frankly, 2) when would he work? If God works, he works through fallen people who make selfish and ungodly decisions. If his will is going to be accomplished, he uses these to do so. He uses sin. This does not mean he brings about the sinful disposition that leads to our choices nor does it justify sin, it just means that they become his instruments to bring about his plan.

God brought Kristie and I together and our togetherness has been hard. Yes, I am sure it could have been easier had we married someone else. We could have smiled more. We could have been more relaxed. Things could have more “click” to them. We could be setting an example of a “Christian marriage” for all to see. Simply put, we could have a “better” marriage according to another standard. Although I hate to say this, the grass sometimes really is greener on the other side.

But my shade of green is not necessarily God’s. My standard is not God’s.

Is it God’s will for Kristie and I to be together? You bet. And we are committed to this. Could there have been better choices made? “Better” is rather relative and can get you into trouble. From a human perspective which does not see all ends and is foolishly self-serving, yes. From a divine perspective, no.

God has a purpose for Kristie and I to be together. Neither of us married the wrong person. Sometimes we cannot see what is really going on and our passions are clouded by the pain, but we must keep our eyes on the sovereignty of God and find a much deeper level of satisfaction in each other knowing that God—the all-knowing God—has put us together for a reason. In this we discard our thoughts of mistake and we let go of the humanistic “soul-mate” theory. Once this is done, we find a new fairy-tale marriage that is better than any we could have chosen. Why? Because God knows best. Because God works through sin. Settled, satisfied, and in constant delight describes my marriage when I take this perspective.

Did you marry the wrong person? No. What if you are divorced, does that mean you married the wrong person? No. What if you are remarried, does this mean that you remarried the wrong person. No. It does not sanctify our decisions and attitudes that led up to these decisions, but we have to remember that God, in grace and his relentless pursuit of his own will, works out his will in all things, even sin (Eph. 1:11).

Before you react to this post in a very critical matter, believing I have lost my bearing, heading toward some sort of radical Calvinism, please answer this: If you were talking to someone whose birth was the result of a rape/incest union and they asked you, “Was it God’s will for me to be conceived?” What would you say?

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    170 replies to "Is it Possible to Marry the Wrong Person?"

    • Hodge

      Paul: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor [the] covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”

      Lisa and Cheryl: Paul, Christians still sin. It’s not that some WERE some of us, but that we ARE still sinners. Hence, someone who practices these is not necessarily an unbeliever.

      Cheryl: Paul can you support your novel view with any of the other apostles or is it just yours? It’s probably not true if this is just your opinion.

      Dr. Mike: Paul is clearly unteachable since he holds a view different from mine and tries to defend it. I think we know what to do with such wretches.

    • Ed Kratz

      “My argument is that a Christian does not make a lifelong commitment to join in the worship of Satan with an unbeliever.”

      They do if they are choosing to sin because they have been lured and blinded by temptation. Can’t say it any more clearer than that. We clearly disagree on this point. Enough said.

    • cherylu


      I’m sorry, but that last comment does not make sense to me at all.

      And you DO have a novel interpretation. You can not prove that Paul was saying that someone that married an unbeliever was choosing to serve Satan for the rest of their life and repudiating the Lord. That is your interpretation of the matter. We see it as a union that is going to be a mess because of the vast difference of opinion, life style and allegiance there is between the two people.

      And it is novel because no one else seems to understand it the same way. Certainly not the church as a whole. It is, as you said, something that you came up with on your own.

    • Hodge


      I came to it on my own. I didn’t say that I alone held it or came up with for the first time. Those are two different statements.


      I’m clear on what you’re saying. It’s just the exact opposite of what texts like 1 Cor 6:9-11, Matthew 7:21-23, etc. say to us. If your theology is to be consistent then ultimately these texts should not indicate that these particular people who “believe” in Christ are actually unbelievers. These texts should not suppose that someone who enters into lifelong rebellion is not saved. Instead, they indicate what the rest of the Bible indicates when it comes to marrying an unbeliever: that those who enter into such lifelong sins will not enter the kingdom of God.

      I am curious as to why no one has engaged 1 Tim 5:11. Is it because it becomes hard to understand once the obvious meaning is thrown away?
      And what exactly do we make of God rewarding Phineas for spearing a believer within the community for marrying an unbeliever? Do we say that he speared a brother in the Lord? I’m unfamiliar with God being pleased by brothers killing each other, but am familiar with God considering Israelites who did such things as unbelievers to be killed with the other Canaanite unbelievers.

      I think I’ve stated it in as many ways as possible and we are just not going to agree on this. I think it would help people understand that their rebellious decision to marry an unbeliever is a rejection of Christ, and as such, might sober them up and make them take what their doing more seriously. I think that’s the strength of the truth in this matter, but maybe telling them that it’s just the same as any other sin and they’re still believers anyway will work as well. I’ll give you the last word. Til we highjack another thread . . . 😉

    • Hodge

      I just wanted to post this text in its context:

      “But refuse [to put] younger widows [on the list], for when they feel sensual desires that draw [them] away from Christ, they want to get married, [thus] incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous faith. And at the same time they also learn [to be] idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper [to mention.] Therefore, I want younger [widows] to get married, bear children, keep house, [and] give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan.

    • phantom

      I don’t see how you read that passage and assume that “following Satan” means “marrying an unbeliever,” as you appear to be asserting. After all he says “I want younger widows to get married” without qualification (eg. younger widows should get married to a believing man). Rather he lists a number of sins (gossips and busybodies, etc), which seems to me to be what he refers to when he talks about following Satan. I read “get married so you don’t become idle and a gossip”, not “get married to a believer so you don’t fall into the sin of marrying an unbeliever.”

      • Hodge


        I think it’s a single pericope and the “drawn away by sensual desires from Christ” in v. 11 sets up a type of inclusio with “turning aside to follow Satan.” Turning from Christ and following Satan describes the acts that these young widows do, but note that the gossiping is something they also do as further evidence of their condemnation. The turning from following Christ, and the state of condemnation she is in, has already occurred in the marrying and setting aside of her first faith (v. 12).
        The question needs to be, For what are these widows condemned by marrying if in fact they are free to marry? They are not forbidden to marry by some sort of later practice where young women make oaths to shun marriage, and therefore, the church forbids them to marry, since Paul would consider this a doctrine of demons, as he previously stated. He also wouldn’t then tell them that he wants them to get married. Hence, it must be a marriage that is forbidden. The only type of marriage that we know that is forbidden and leads one away from Christ is marrying an unbeliever. Hence, Paul states in 1 Cor 7:39 that a widow is free to marry whoever she wishes, but only in the Lord. It is likely that the marrying of the unbeliever then is the issue that brings about her condemnation, as it is a following after Satan. Her gossiping, i.e., becoming a devil as a result of this, is further evidence of her condemnation.

    • cherylu


      Since you seem to base so much of your belief on this subject on the Old Testament, I am really curious as to what you do with the verses starting at Deuteronomy 21:10?

      • Hodge


        Deuteronomy needs to be read carefully. It’s casuistic law. What that means is that it’s only prescriptive in the actual commands, not the descriptive background information. This is why God doesn’t approve of rape simply by mentioning that when a man rapes a woman, he is to marry her or provide support for her. Casuistic law simply takes a situation, describes it, and then prescribes what is to be done IF an injustice occurs. So it is only concerned here with how the woman is treated. It’s not commenting upon whether that woman has converted, as I would think would be the case if it is to be seen in continuity with the rest of the Scripture. Otherwise, if we interpret it the way you seem to be implying it ought to be, I don’t understand how you are not setting up a contradiction within the Scripture itself?

    • Susan

      Hodge, you know, up until now I have considered you to be one of the most right-on commenters here at P&P–now Credo House.

      Please take note:

      I married a man whom I truly believed was a brother in Christ. He had gone forward to receive Christ at an evangelistic concert before I met him. He was involved in the same college group I was in at church. He was a leader with the Junior High youth group at our church. He went to church every Sunday. He was interested in taking classes at the Bible institute while we were dating etc.

      After we married I soon realized that he was a a completely different person than the guy I had dated (as in Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde different!). My life soon became an unbelievably painful nightmare. My husband was full of rage and made a full time career of finding fault with me. I could not understand why God let me marry such a man when my constant prayer during my single years was, “Lord, let me marry a man who loves you more than me.” Over time I began to doubt that he was a true child of God. After 20 years of marriage I finally asked God to reveal to me whether my husband was truly His child or not. God answered that prayer. He showed me by letting my husband speak from his own mouth things which when I thought about it very clearly demonstrated that he did not love Christ…nor Christ in me. It was a pretty amazing answer to prayer. I asked God to help me to know what to do. One day we were out to eat and I felt God say, “Now”. OK! So, I told my husband of my doubts about him. He was characteristically defensive, but he heard me out (it helped that we were waiting for our food so he didn’t walk off). After that it was clear that my husband was really grappling with what I had said. I know that he was going before God with it. He had always had a lack of peace in his life, he told me. We had some of the best…and only conversations about spiritual matters that we had ever had in our entire marriage…

      • Hodge


        I hope you understand that what I’m saying has nothing to do with your situation. You did not purposely choose to marry an unbeliever. You were seeking Christ through the relationship. You were seeking to be obedient in the love of Christ. That’s not the same as someone who turns away from Christ to knowingly marry an unbeliever. I hope, if anything, I’ve made that clear.

    • Susan

      Crap! I just lost half of what I had written because I went over…but there was no warning!

      Hodge, continued:

      One day during Christmas vacation I turned on a Christian radio station (I usually didn’t when my husband was around because it bugged him). James McDonald was just starting a series called Don’t Drift Away (I think). It was addressed to thos in the Church who are false converts…but don’t know it. My husband was in the room, and we both listened intently. McDonald left no stone unturned beneath which my husband might hide. I couldn’t have ordered a more tailor-made for the situation sermon. God’s providence! That night my husband told me that he felt so convicted.

      Months later our pastor preached from Matthew 7, about the wise man vs. foolish…the wise man being the one who obeys Jesus’ words. Apparently my husband felt very convicted knowing that he was not obeying Jesus (Holy Spirit on scene). A week later my husband said, “I have something to tell you, “I’ve given myself completely to Jesus”. What an incredible moment. I felt an incredible peace wash over me from head to toe. I thought, “Finally! after all of these painful years of marriage…” I felt so much peace that I laid down and fell asleep.

      Since that day my husband immediately began to devour God’s word…feeling compelled to make up for lost time. He’s been a regular in the Word ever since, and is in a men’s Bible study now. He had a heart of stone…now, he has a heart of flesh, and he is a new creature.

      So, how do you thing I feel when you say that anyone who marries a non-Christian is not a Christian themselves?

      I have a friend who, as a young believer knowingly married a nonbelieving Jew. She has grown up in Christ so much since then (we’ve reunited on FB). It’s amazing how sanctifying being married to a nonbeliever can be (in very painful ways).

      Hodge, have you ever committed adultery with a woman in your heart by having…

    • Susan

      Hodge, I finished rewriting my story…and now see your comment. I still strongly disagree with you. I think that many an young Christian….or Christian who is lured into sin (by following their own desires) has married a nonbeliever.

      Do you also believe that it is sinful for a person to have a close friendship with someone of the opposite sex if they are married?

    • Hodge

      “I think that many an young Christian….or Christian who is lured into sin (by following their own desires) has married a nonbeliever.”

      We’re clearly not going to resolve this disagreement here, as I believe the pattern in Scripture is pretty clear and others think it is pretty clear the other way.

      “Do you also believe that it is sinful for a person to have a close friendship with someone of the opposite sex if they are married?”

      I’m not sure how this relates. Maybe your other comment was cut off that provides context? I think it depends upon the situation. If both husband and wife are close friends and it is in view of the spouse’s discernment, etc., it might be OK. I certainly would see an emotional attachment that was more than friendship, or a reliance on the other person that was greater than the reliance upon one’s spouse as sinful, as it is a neglect of the covenant made. But if you’re arguing that one can sin, or even commit adultery in the mind with an unbeliever, as a Christian, I would say that this isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m contrasting a life-long commitment to Christ with a life-long commitment to be one with a worshiper of the devil. A Christian can commit any sin, but I just don’t believe a genuine Christian commits the sin of lifelong apostasy.

    • Michael


      Are you saying that marrying a unbeliever is a unforgivable sin or something?

    • Hodge


      No. I’m saying that marrying an unbeliever is a repudiation of the Faith, and therefore, making a life-long covenant that rejects Christ. Hence, I don’t believe a regenerate believer does this. I think many people who consider themselves believers and do this may or may not become believers in the future, but they need to repent of the sin they committed as a professed believer. Forgiveness is a different issue, as I believe anyone who genuinely repents of anything can be forgiven.

    • cherylu


      Regarding your answer to me in comment # 108. (These sub comments are driving me nuts. I’ve decided I don’t like them at all. Have to keep rereading the thread to be sure you don’t miss something. Very confusing).

      If what you say is true, why didn’t God just extend the commandment given before and say something like, “Now folks remember, when you go to war you are not in any circumstance to take a foreign captive as your wife. But if you insist on disobeying me, this is how you are to treat her.”

      If God was always extremely upset with someone for marrying a foreign wife, it seems quite odd that He would here just tell them of the proper way to do it and then have all of these guys running around that He was furious with about it.

      • Hodge


        That’s just the way casuistic law works. We might want God to say, “Hey look, don’t ever rape someone because I hate it, but if you do, you’re going to take care of that person.”

        The problem is that casuistic law is usually economic in nature, not a generalization of morality. So it doesn’t contain everything the person giving the law code thinks about morals and what everyone should and should not do. It does have other factors in it that we consider moral, but even these are usually governmental issues and dealing with things that conflict with the overall economic justice of the community. There is, of course, more of what we’re looking for in the blessings and cursings treaty formula in Deuteronomy, but it still remains incomplete.

      • cherylu

        I think what I am really saying here is, are you sure this passage in Dt. 21 is not an exception to the general rule given, not just a regulation of something that is bound to happen which is against the rule?

        If it is indeed an exception to the rule, that would indicate to me anyway, that this whole thing is not as serious as you make it out to be. God would not make an exception if it was something that was so terrible that it automatically condemened a person as an unbeliever as you think it does, would He? It doesn’t seem likely to me.

        That would be like saying, “This is the proper way to go about having yourself condemned.”

        It certainly comes across in this passage as permitting this type of marriage as alright. Which could not be the case if it is not an exception to the rule.

        • Hodge

          So would you say the same thing about raping women? I’m sorry, Cheryl, but this isn’t just my opinion. Every scholar I know agrees with me on this one. Deuteronomy is not teaching generalized morality and ethics in its protases.

          And I do have to say that if your interpretation was correct, it’s not simply contradictory toward my position, but yours as well. If God is really OK or apathetic to where it’s not really that big of a deal then why in the world does He reward Phineas for spearing the man who marries the Midianite woman? Why does Ezra pull out the hair of the men who marry foreign wives? Why are the kings who marry foreign wives in the Deuteronomic history portrayed as apostates? God should really have no issue with it if He’s giving concession here. I just think that’s an abuse of the law code.

        • cherylu


          So I am trying to work this one through (this section of Deut) in my mind.

          And, IMO I’m not altogether sure it works to compare this one to rape. There are several different laws given about how rape was handled depending on the circumstances and who was raped. I haven’t gone back and reread all of that now so please don’t hold me to that statement, but that is my off the top thought on that at the moment.

          But I can’t help but wonder why these men that took these women that were captured in combat as wives were not at all punished for it, killed for it, excommunicated for it or something if they were betraying their faith and their part in the covenant community like you believe they were. Why were only some treated that way and these let go with a simple, “If you do this, do it right?” It doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe I am missing something here.

        • Hodge


          I think that the women converted either by just conforming to their husbands’ sentiments or genuinely; but that’s not in the passage. I’m assuming that from the other statements concerning the issue. The point of this text is not to discuss that though. The point is only that the foreign woman is not to be considered trash just because she is foreign. The man who marries her still needs to treat her justly.

    • phantom

      Just a thought–
      Hodge, you keep mentioning Phineas. God’s desiring someone’s death represents his judgement on that person, not on the sin in general. He had tons of people killed after the golden calf incident – does that mean a believer cannot commit idolatry?

      • cherylu

        I tried to make a similar point earlier. In the Old Testament people were killed for murder, adultery, fornication, idolatry, witch craft, blasphemy, necromancy, being disobedient to parents, (what have I missed??)

        So someone was killed because they married an unbeliever. That puts them in a huge group of people that were killed for their sin. So since the punishment was the same, is the sin of the same magnitude? Does someone that disobeys their parents repudiate the faith, does someone that commits adultery or fornication repudiate their faith? I don’t see how the fact that people were killed for this particular sin proves they were unbelievers any more then the fact that people were killed for many other kinds of sins in the Old Testament proves that they were unbelievers.

        By the way, were Ananias and Sapphira disobedient Christians or were they unbelievers? Did they repudiate their faith to rate instant death when they were found out?

        I see too many holes in your argument Hodge.

        • Hodge

          Actually, that was my point by quoting 1 Cor 6. Those who practice such things will not enter the kingdom of God because they are not real believers. God doesn’t kill believers for their crimes in the OT. He forgives them through sacrifice. He kills those who reject His lordship and defile the community as chaotic agents, i.e., as unbelievers. So I don’t think pointing out that God kills other apostates for other reasons helps your case all that much.
          God killing Christians in the NT is a bit different. Christians are not cut off from the community via death. The community is both heavenly and earthly. Israel in the OT is the community and to be cut off serves as a picture for the Church later on. So God may kill a Christian as a means of discipline; but that does not seem to be the same reason He kills people within the community in the OT. It seems there He actually is judging them and cutting them off.

    • Lee H

      God obvious doesn’t choose who we marry as shown by the bad/ unlucky choice mad by people.

      To think God has such control over our lives is comforting but founded and so sadly we left o make our own choice and our own mistakes and to live our own lives and so the goodness or evil of our lives is determined by us not by God. I wish God did more it seems He does not and unbearable pain and amazing riches fall upon to good and the evil alike.

    • cherylu


      So are you saying that those that live such a life style on a continuing unrepentant basis now (speaking of all the type of things I mentioned above that people were killed for in the OT) are not believers, or are you saying that people that do them even once are not believers. In the OT they were killed for them if they did them even once.

      Just trying to clarify in my mind what you are actually meaning here.

    • phantom

      Hodge, you believe it is not possible for a believer to marry an unbeliever. If someone does marry an unbeliever, then either they were not actually a believer in the first place or the act of marriage coincides with and/or consists of revoking their faith.

      What about ignorance? What if someone reads the Bible and comes to the conclusion that it is fine for them to marry an unbeliever? The fact is, a lot of Christians are somewhat unclear as to what specific instructions from the OT and even NT “still apply” today.

      Or what about someone who is the first convert of their people? Say it is a woman and she has to marry in order to survive in her society. Furthermore the only hope of saving any of the men is through their wives. Has she revoked her faith by marrying an unbeliever? Or what about a woman who is forced into an arranged marriage? Is she actually an unbeliever since she chose not to run away?

    • Ed Kratz

      All, I think this conversation has been exhausted here and it was a digression from the original post. However, any further discussions can be taken up on my pending post which should be up today, as it will be more relevant to the issues addressed in the conversation here.

    • Melanie Chiponda

      Samson married the wrong person and was destroyed, and so did Solomon. His wives turned his heart away God and I believe a person can marry the wrong person, Abigail married a vain person, Nabal. I think we should be very prayerful when searching for someone to marrry

    • Renese

      I believe that as believers we are asking the wrong question.

      Rather than ask if we married the wrong person, we should be asking if it was GOD’S SOVERIGN WILL for us to be with this person. I was married almost 7 years when my husband decided that he wanted a divorce. Although the shock of the news was horrific, I applauded his honesty before God admitting that he’d made a bad decision in asking me to marry him. I was upset with him for how he told me he wanted a divorce, but not for his decision.

      My life has been blessed in so many ways since we are no longer together. This is not to say that I wasn’t blessed while with him, but it’s a different type of blessing since God now has my full attention.

      By no means am I encouraging anyone to go run out and get a divorce, but we have to question what kind of life the person that was in GOD’S SOVEIGN WILL for our lives is having?

      We have to be real and admit that our decisions may have altered God’s will for our lives.

    • Nickname

      The Bible tells us that God hates divorce.
      And that blessed is the one who keeps a promise even when it hurts to do so.
      Scripture also tells us that man ruins his OWN life and then blames God.
      So if I rushed into marriage (and then only learned later the lesson that rushing into something is a sin) and the consequences of that sin are now ruining my own life … what it God’s plan for me to marry that person and did He join us together?
      It seems very clearly obvious that my spouse and I are ruining one another’s lives by being together and it seems extremely clear that we were extremely unwise to have married in the first place. It hardly seems possible to have a mutually destructive Christian marriage but we have apparently found out how to do it. We have such an awful relationship that it has reached the point of really seeing it as merciful to let one another go rather than put each other through senseless pain. Do we sit and stew in a mutually destructive marriage? Remember “God desires mercy not sacrifice?” What happens when remaining married takes on the form of religious sacrifice instead of mercy?

    • Sheri

      Now I have a question and I am wondering if anyone who reads this could maybe help me? I’m married. I am a Christian but I have been away from the Lord. My husband is very immature and everytime I ask him to take me to church, he doesn’t want to go. I grew up in church. I sang in church and it was a big part of my idenity. Ever since I have been with my husband, my whole life came to a stand still. I’m unhappy. He does not support my ideas. He acts jealous of my talents instead of standing behind me. He broke many promises he made me. I have prayed for him and tried to work out this marriage for 6-8 years but yet my life remains as Jona in the stomache of a whale! I can not move forward in my life. I am my husbands slave. he won’t let me work. He won’t let me drive. He won’t let me be independent. I dont even feel like we are married. He told me he hates when I help people. I love to do things for other people. It brings me joy. We tried some concealing from my pastor. My husband listened and agreed to the advice but did not follow through with anything. We haven’t been sexually active for 4 years! He wont even sleep in the same bed with me. So much time has past that I feel like my heart has already moved on. I want out. I don’t love him romantically. I only love him as if he were my brother. He wants me to stay and remain locked inside this house never to have any friends or to use my talents. Just stay home and cook, clean and make him happy. But never mind my happiness. Just let my gifts rot away to waste after so many people were blessed and touched their hearts through my talents.
      According to the bible, you are not allowed to divorce unless your partner committed adultery or they leave you as an unbeliever. But what about when the spouse neglects you? What does that classify under? What about all those times he continued viewing porn when I asked him to stop? What about when your spouse is lazy about love and marriage and you can’t reach them?

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much for posting your story. I needed to read it because I am newly engaged and have second- guessed my relationship, worrying about whether or not I was marrying the “right” person. To tell you why I have these worries…during my last relationship (about 3 years ago), someone apparently prophecied to the guy I was talking to and told him he would end up marrying someone from the U.S. We met on a mission trip and it was a long distance relationship. Long story short, he never fully commited and I gave the relationship up believing it was not going to happen. Since then, I met the guy i’m marrying. We have so much in common and have such equal life goals. However, since our relationship wasnt fueled by physical attraction more than anything (as I feel all of my past relationships were), I have found myself second guessing myself when we would have arguments. We have been together for almost three years now and I don’t plan on giving up. But how do I give up the guilt and worry that maybe God is suposed to tell me this is right? Your post has helped because its reminded me of Gods soverienty. However, any encouraging feedback would be a blessing. Please no judgements.

      Thanks again.

    • StephB

      I speak from experience: when in doubt – don’t. If you have to talk yourself into marrying someone, you are marrying the wrong person, or at best the right person at the wrong time. I just “celebrated” my five year anniversary. 5 years of misery. I would say, hindsight being 20/20, this was not the person I was to marry and all those nagging doubts was the Holy Spirit trying to get my attention. I married out of guilt. 5 years and a two year old later and you can see how trapped one can become. Trust me, there is no rush. Pray. Seek godly counsel. And let the Lord go before you and make your paths straight. Wait for Him. He is a God of peace and as I’m sure you’ve probably experienced, even in the midst of a storm we can be at peace bc of Him. There is no reason this should be any different. Wait. Wait until you get that peace, whatever the decision. Thankfully, God uses our screw-ups. He has taught me a lot through these trying times. But why wander through the desert when you can take a direct route to the promised land?! Wait on the Lord! Hth!!!!

    • Karen

      Good Day, Glory be to God for this posting and I am in full agreement with you. While God allows us to make choices, He does not make mistakes. I know that it is a matter of the heart. (hardened or Christ-like-meek and humble) We get to choose. However, the vows are to each other and God. How do we know what God has put together? Did He allow you to marry? If marriage is ordained by God then who I married was of God, no matter how I look at it–I could say I out grew him , we made a mistake, he/I do not love anymore, they cheated on me. The choice is ours to accept God’s word. The awesome thing is no matter what, God will still love us. However, will we still love Him and believe that He is the God that can do the impossible (at least in our minds) to restore, renew, and even create what was never there before? Yes, He can I am a witness and I will tell it everywhere I go. God ordained and designed marriage and it can only come from Him. Love your husband or wife for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health, until death do you part. If you love God then you can love the one you married. Remember, love is a commandment and so is forgiveness. You can do it! Yes! You can! Godspeed!

    • Sarah

      Hi, I have been reading all of these because I do still think I married the wrong person. I clearly heard God and everyone else in my family telling me no before I married him. I knew that he was a non believer but I didn’t think it would make that big of a difference and that he would change. I was young and foolish.
      We have 2 children and I am misreable. We can’t go to church, pray together, and we do not have the same morals. His idea of a marriage is no where close to mine. Do I stay married or leave and seek what I think is God’s plan? Or has this become his plan? I’m so confused.

    • Brad

      I struggle with this. I married a woman who turned out to be violent and abusive and highly unstable. At the same time she is articulate snd manipulative and controlling. It was a terrible relationship and one that caused me so much damage. We have two beautiful children whom I love very much and I recently called it time, deciding in my mind that her behaviour wasn’t moral, loving or of God.
      It caused no end of issue. From pastors to friends there was a high level of disbelief and the usual lines about God hating divorce, etc. Nothing I don’t specifically disagree with.
      Yet, the trouble is, that the marriage was filled with volatility. Police turning up every time she lost it. Children witnessing it. Myself walking on eggshells daily to avoid her fury, explosive temperament and they hideously destructive things she would say.
      I certainly tried. Carved out 6 years. But it resulted in nothing meaningful. The slightest improvement was undone by the next abusive outburst. My part was reduced to focussing on the kids and keeping my own sanity, keeping quiet and hoping for something to change. And it just didn’t.
      She never could accept responsibility. Refused to take blame for her actions. Always had an excuse, a reason, a place to pin the behaviour so that she didn’t have to own it. She’d blame me for not loving her more. For not being God’s channel of love to her. For not being Godly enough. Nothing I did was right – but then that’s the point – I was the channel for her abusive behaviour.
      I don’t know what as a Christian is the right value to hold when making a decision to leave a marriage like this, and I don’t know that I can find any scripture to suggest God’s plan for marriage looks like mine. My marriage was a war zone. Sure plenty of people have worse experiences in life. I’m not claimg otherwise.
      But what is right? Staying in it?
      I decided in the end that Moeba – the morality of God was paramount. And I decided that if it’s good enough for mainstream non-Christian society to know what isn’t right – (and violence and abuse is certainly not right) – then it was good enough for me. Besides I reckon if I was a girl rather than a guy, I’d have been rescued from that marriage by God fearing churchies a long time earlier.
      So this is my question – when I get a hard time now, question myself, and start hunting for answers, and come across a site like this….. am I wrong for my choice? I’d just like to know.

    • ShebaBarb

      Good post and I agree with the writer. I think if we were or are knowable about the will of the Father we will be more careful about who it is we marry because knowledge is power. Even so when you marry out of ignorance or without knowing I believe God can work it out if the both of you desire to make it work and don’t consider divorce as an option. I speak of a man and a woman, not 2 women and/or 2 men.

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