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Life after divorce...

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28 replies to this topic

#1
Axxman

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I know a person who was divorced in this last year. It was a BIG divorce as it had a huge influence in the church community. One of the persons involved was the pastor, and he had an inappropriate (not physically sexual) relationship with a female church member. The persons involved were removed from the church in shame. The husband took full responsibility (as he should have because it was pretty much all his fault.) The husband immediately repented and went to work in setting his personal life right with God, and sought to reconcile his marriage, and his relationship with the church...knowing full well the damage of his actions.

This topic isn't a question about whether or not the divorce should have happened. It did happen. My question pertains to the life afterwards.

The man has moved on with his life. He has found a church and is trying to mend relationships with family and friends. Many of them object to the fact that he is still friendly with the "other woman." He maintains that there is no relationship beyond "friends." His family (son and daughter) claim that he is unrepentant, as in 1st Corinthians 5, and refuses to have contact with him because he still talks with her. They refused to contact him on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and he would have spent those times alone had it not been for me and my family.

Does his family have any scriptural backing in holding this friendship against him? He attempted to do the right thing and his wife and church left him anyway. I understand that his family and friends are upset but how they react emotionally doesn't really mean that their reactions are scriptural. Does 1st Corinthians 5 have any relevance in this?

(I understand that there are some details that may help answer the question...feel free to ask.)

#2
FresnoJoe

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Praying!

#3
humbleseeker

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I dont think that there is scriptual backing, but sure they are mad and wish the whole situation would never have happened. We as a people are weak pastor or not sin is lerking behind every corner.

#4
LadyC

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i think that avoiding the appearance of evil would apply here. it sounds as if this pastor was having an emotional and psychological affair with this other woman. (i'm assuming she was a single woman?). now i'm sorry, but i find it hard to believe that such emotional intimacy can suddenly be discarded and the man and woman can become strictly platonic friends.

it doesn't matter much that there was no physical affair. actually, it does matter, because it makes the "just friends" thing even less believable. if the nature of impropriety was never physical to begin with, and it's not physical now that he is divorced, then tell me in what way has the relationship between the two changed?

i'm not saying this to be judgmental of them. i don't know them or the circumstances. i am simply saying that it appears that the nature of their relationship hasn't changed, and since admittedly, the nature of that relationship was wrong during the time of his marriage, it would seem rather unrepentant to those who are around him... especially his children, or those who used to be in his congregation. and since God tells us to avoid even the appearance of wrongdoing, then he should probably rethink his options.

#5
Hunterpoet

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Axxman, I'm going to ask a few questions, then make a statement. If you feel it worthwhile we can continue from there.

1) Who had the non-physical relationship, the pastor or the husband? Was there an adulterous relationship?

2) Persons( plural) involved were removed from the church. How many people were involved? Was the pastor removed from the church?


The prime example for me on how we are to deal with sin in our lives is found in the book of Joshua, and how Joshua deals with Achan.

It is referred to as " radical amputation '" as is seen in Mark9: 43-47.

I can understand the families position. At the very least this " other women " is a stumbling block, which you know we are to avoid.

His divorce and expulsion from the church are the consequences of his sin. God, I pray has forgiven him, but that does not negate the consequences.

Without knowing the man, and just with the information given, I'm thinking that he feels seeing this ' other women " as justified, because his wife and old church and family refuse to embrace him.

I'm thinking this should be a red flag for him. If so many are in concert against what he is doing, he should really reconsider.

Now as far as the family is concerned. I think they may be a bit harsh, but again, I'm not there so it is hard to understand fully there reasons.

My opinion is this; he should never see or talk to the " other women " again...ever. He should isolate himself from women altogether...after all...being " friendly' with other women is what got him where he is. He should do these things and continue to try and reconcile with his wife. Until he totally eliminates the thing that caused him to sin, I do not think he can claim to have fully repented, and this could be why his church, former wife and family are so harsh. they may see something you are not.

Yes, show him Christian charity, but please be careful not to enable him to stumble again, and I feel you are thinking of this, otherwise you would not have asked the question.

I pray I have been the Lords servant in this matter.

#6
sunnier

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It seems to me there has not been true repentance on the pastor's part. Why do I say this? Because if he knows and has seen the damage this "friendship" caused both in his marriage and to the church then why would he want to rekindle this "friendship" again knowing full well the hurt it's causing his family now. I don't blame the family or the church for being upset with him. Seems to me like he's being awfully unwise in his continued friendliness with this person.

#7
artsylady

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actually, it does matter, because it makes the "just friends" thing even less believable. if the nature of impropriety was never physical to begin with, and it's not physical now that he is divorced, then tell me in what way has the relationship between the two changed?


:whistling:

#8
Believer1997

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So much pain for everyone - I am so sorry for this family. It does seem he has some sort of emotional attachment to the woman with whom he had an alleged inappropriate relationship - or he would have completely severed all ties with this woman. I pray that this family receives some serious counseling and can rely upon their faith and trust in God to heal. Praying!!

#9
Axxman

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Thanks to everyone for their replies!

Axxman, I'm going to ask a few questions, then make a statement. If you feel it worthwhile we can continue from there.

1) Who had the non-physical relationship, the pastor or the husband? Was there an adulterous relationship?

2) Persons( plural) involved were removed from the church. How many people were involved? Was the pastor removed from the church?


The pastor was the husband who's wife divorced him. The other person involved was the woman. Both the pastor and the other woman involved were removed from the church.

The prime example for me on how we are to deal with sin in our lives is found in the book of Joshua, and how Joshua deals with Achan.

It is referred to as " radical amputation '" as is seen in Mark9: 43-47.


Radical amputation is in reference to a pattern of sin. There is no sin occuring that something should be amputated. Radical amputation would be shutting down your internet and cable tv because you have a weakness to pornography...removing anything that would make you susceptible to a pattern of sin. Not every injury (sin) requires an amputation. Sometimes you heal and get on with your life.

I can understand the families position. At the very least this " other women " is a stumbling block, which you know we are to avoid.

His divorce and expulsion from the church are the consequences of his sin. God, I pray has forgiven him, but that does not negate the consequences.


He accepts those consequences. He has never once blamed anyone but himself for what transpired. However, at some point isn't a church supposed to forgive, and restore a brother? Especially a brother who did repent.

Without knowing the man, and just with the information given, I'm thinking that he feels seeing this ' other women " as justified, because his wife and old church and family refuse to embrace him.

I'm thinking this should be a red flag for him. If so many are in concert against what he is doing, he should really reconsider.

Now as far as the family is concerned. I think they may be a bit harsh, but again, I'm not there so it is hard to understand fully there reasons.

My opinion is this; he should never see or talk to the " other women " again...ever. He should isolate himself from women altogether...after all...being " friendly' with other women is what got him where he is. He should do these things and continue to try and reconcile with his wife. Until he totally eliminates the thing that caused him to sin, I do not think he can claim to have fully repented, and this could be why his church, former wife and family are so harsh. they may see something you are not.

Yes, show him Christian charity, but please be careful not to enable him to stumble again, and I feel you are thinking of this, otherwise you would not have asked the question.

I pray I have been the Lords servant in this matter.


I appreciate your opinion. While I appreciate that men have a reputation as being dirty rotten scoundrels...lets not forget that it takes two to tango. He wasn't friendly with other women (plural)..it was one woman...and there were marital circumstances that contributed to this situation. Now thats not an excuse...but it certainly doesn't mean he should be isolated from all women as if he should now be considered some type of predator. He made a singular mistake, that has had profound consequences on his life...and some are using scripture to justify a lack of forgiveness and redemption. I am not sure that is right.

#10
Axxman

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It seems to me there has not been true repentance on the pastor's part. Why do I say this? Because if he knows and has seen the damage this "friendship" caused both in his marriage and to the church then why would he want to rekindle this "friendship" again knowing full well the hurt it's causing his family now. I don't blame the family or the church for being upset with him. Seems to me like he's being awfully unwise in his continued friendliness with this person.


I understand the hurt that was caused to the family and the church...as humans their emotional responses to his actions are probably normal. Perhaps if they had a more rational response and had not completely disowned him when he attempted to reconcile with his wife..when he went to marriage counseling (by himself)...when he truly did repent of the sin that put him that spot...then I wouldn't be asking the question now. Unfortunately, all the people he was trying to please cut him off.

Which brings me back to my question. Now, after time has passed, and he is in an entirely new phase of his life which doesn't include his family and the church (their choice)...remember they didn't even call him during the holidays...they are using 1st Corinthians 5 as their excuse to cut him off. It doesn't seem right to me. He is not in sin in his actions..is he?

#11
Axxman

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So much pain for everyone - I am so sorry for this family. It does seem he has some sort of emotional attachment to the woman with whom he had an alleged inappropriate relationship - or he would have completely severed all ties with this woman. I pray that this family receives some serious counseling and can rely upon their faith and trust in God to heal. Praying!!


Just to clarify...

He did sever all ties to this woman. He immediately repented and expressed his sincere desire to reconcile. He does, still, attend counseling by himself. His wife refused any attempts to reconcile or go to counseling. He is healing. He fell from a high place in the community and has been very humbled/humiliated.

It frustrates me because at some point I believe the church that doesn't accept the repentant sinner and restore them into the fold becomes somewhat culpable. I don't believe I would be having this convo if the church had responded differently. :whistling:

#12
Hunterpoet

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Thanks to everyone for their replies!

Axxman, I'm going to ask a few questions, then make a statement. If you feel it worthwhile we can continue from there.

1) Who had the non-physical relationship, the pastor or the husband? Was there an adulterous relationship?

2) Persons( plural) involved were removed from the church. How many people were involved? Was the pastor removed from the church?


The pastor was the husband who's wife divorced him. The other person involved was the woman. Both the pastor and the other woman involved were removed from the church.

The prime example for me on how we are to deal with sin in our lives is found in the book of Joshua, and how Joshua deals with Achan.

It is referred to as " radical amputation '" as is seen in Mark9: 43-47.


Radical amputation is in reference to a pattern of sin. There is no sin occuring that something should be amputated. Radical amputation would be shutting down your internet and cable tv because you have a weakness to pornography...removing anything that would make you susceptible to a pattern of sin. Not every injury (sin) requires an amputation. Sometimes you heal and get on with your life.

I can understand the families position. At the very least this " other women " is a stumbling block, which you know we are to avoid.

His divorce and expulsion from the church are the consequences of his sin. God, I pray has forgiven him, but that does not negate the consequences.


He accepts those consequences. He has never once blamed anyone but himself for what transpired. However, at some point isn't a church supposed to forgive, and restore a brother? Especially a brother who did repent.

Without knowing the man, and just with the information given, I'm thinking that he feels seeing this ' other women " as justified, because his wife and old church and family refuse to embrace him.

I'm thinking this should be a red flag for him. If so many are in concert against what he is doing, he should really reconsider.

Now as far as the family is concerned. I think they may be a bit harsh, but again, I'm not there so it is hard to understand fully there reasons.

My opinion is this; he should never see or talk to the " other women " again...ever. He should isolate himself from women altogether...after all...being " friendly' with other women is what got him where he is. He should do these things and continue to try and reconcile with his wife. Until he totally eliminates the thing that caused him to sin, I do not think he can claim to have fully repented, and this could be why his church, former wife and family are so harsh. they may see something you are not.

Yes, show him Christian charity, but please be careful not to enable him to stumble again, and I feel you are thinking of this, otherwise you would not have asked the question.

I pray I have been the Lords servant in this matter.


I appreciate your opinion. While I appreciate that men have a reputation as being dirty rotten scoundrels...lets not forget that it takes two to tango. He wasn't friendly with other women (plural)..it was one woman...and there were marital circumstances that contributed to this situation. Now thats not an excuse...but it certainly doesn't mean he should be isolated from all women as if he should now be considered some type of predator. He made a singular mistake, that has had profound consequences on his life...and some are using scripture to justify a lack of forgiveness and redemption. I am not sure that is right.


Well I never equated him to any supposed reputation, nor did I brand him a predator. And that it takes two to tango has absolutely no bearing on ones accountability, even more so, because of this man's position...by his own choosing, he submitted to hold himself to a higher standard. In suggesting he should isolate himself, that was meant to be voluntary on his part, so that the Lord could further counsel him without interruption.
If you look at the story in Joshua, you will see no pattern of sin. Achan , his family, and all of his possessions were totally destroyed, so that nothing remained to remind anyone of the sin committed, to remove any hint of a stumbling block or temptation. This is how God wants us to deal with sin. This is shown in Genesis, God shows how much he detests sin. God not only wiped human life from the earth, but all the beasts as well.
The more I think about this, the more I find myself siding with the church and his family.
He persists in seeing the women, even as a friend, that caused him to sin and tore apart something joined together by God.
I really cannot find fault with the position that the wife, church and family have taken...he does not appear repentant to me and I would tell him so.

#13
BFP

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I too would say that if he is still friends with the woman, then he isn't repentant. As a wife, I would definitely expect that relationship with the other woman to be gone. As long as he is friends with her his wife has reason to stay away

#14
sheya joie

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I'm confused. These two statements seem to be contradictory.

Many of them object to the fact that he is still friendly with the "other woman."

He did sever all ties to this woman.

If he severed all ties, how is he still being friendly towards her? This, I think, is the reason his family doesn't believe he has repented. (Based on the information given.)

#15
sunnier

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That's exactly my point he can't sever all ties but still be friendly with the woman. Either the tie is severed or it isn't. There's no middle area here if he wants any chance of a reconciliation with his wife. Once true repentance happens then restore him absolutely but until that happens...choices do have consequences.

#16
JCISGD

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(Axman- "This topic isn't a question about whether or not the divorce should have happened. It did happen. My question pertains to the life afterwards.")

hi Axman, what im about to say is very controversial on WFs, but im only stating my honest opinion and am not trying to force it on anyone. I may be wrong but i dont think so and it is a position held by a significant proportion of Christians.

I dont see how your question can be answered apart from the right/wrong of divorce, as imo the bible is clear that two Christians must not divorce and if they do they must remain single.

Therefore if either husband or wife want to enter heaven the must reconcile and repent of divorce as anything less is unforgiveness. Whoever refuses to forgive will not enter into heaven, and Christ forgave us much more than we can ever forgive each other.

This is imo this is their life after divorce- repentance from all immorality, wrongful divorce and unforgiveness or loss of the kingdom of heaven. The church must also forgive both parties and not show partiality to the wifes hardness of heart. This pastor must show true repentance and be willing to pay any price to reconcile and win back trust of all he has hurt, it will not be easy and he will step down from any ministry.

Even if his wife refuses to give up her unforgiveness, he can still enter heaven minus his marriage as long as he is truly repentant and gets back on the narrow way.

#17
Believer1997

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So much pain for everyone - I am so sorry for this family. It does seem he has some sort of emotional attachment to the woman with whom he had an alleged inappropriate relationship - or he would have completely severed all ties with this woman. I pray that this family receives some serious counseling and can rely upon their faith and trust in God to heal. Praying!!


Just to clarify...

He did sever all ties to this woman. He immediately repented and expressed his sincere desire to reconcile. He does, still, attend counseling by himself. His wife refused any attempts to reconcile or go to counseling. He is healing. He fell from a high place in the community and has been very humbled/humiliated.

It frustrates me because at some point I believe the church that doesn't accept the repentant sinner and restore them into the fold becomes somewhat culpable. I don't believe I would be having this convo if the church had responded differently. :thumbsup:




Praying for your friend and his family. They need counseling, prayer and healing and perhaps some anger management therapy, also. Unfortunately, despite what many would espouse - marriages are not made in heaven - and people deal daily with making them what they are - bad or good. I hope, if they cannot reconcile, they can at least forgive and move one. Blessings, Axx.

#18
Smalcald

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I know a person who was divorced in this last year. It was a BIG divorce as it had a huge influence in the church community. One of the persons involved was the pastor, and he had an inappropriate (not physically sexual) relationship with a female church member. The persons involved were removed from the church in shame. The husband took full responsibility (as he should have because it was pretty much all his fault.) The husband immediately repented and went to work in setting his personal life right with God, and sought to reconcile his marriage, and his relationship with the church...knowing full well the damage of his actions.

This topic isn't a question about whether or not the divorce should have happened. It did happen. My question pertains to the life afterwards.

The man has moved on with his life. He has found a church and is trying to mend relationships with family and friends. Many of them object to the fact that he is still friendly with the "other woman." He maintains that there is no relationship beyond "friends." His family (son and daughter) claim that he is unrepentant, as in 1st Corinthians 5, and refuses to have contact with him because he still talks with her. They refused to contact him on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and he would have spent those times alone had it not been for me and my family.

Does his family have any scriptural backing in holding this friendship against him? He attempted to do the right thing and his wife and church left him anyway. I understand that his family and friends are upset but how they react emotionally doesn't really mean that their reactions are scriptural. Does 1st Corinthians 5 have any relevance in this?

(I understand that there are some details that may help answer the question...feel free to ask.)



Hi Ax..

In the broad sense I would agree the congregation of believers should proclaim the forgiveness of God which this man does have from God. That is part of the role of a congregation if not the main goal of the Gospel.

However like others have pointed out, this ongoing "friendship" is a huge problem and may go the heart of his seeming lack of repentance Words are not very meaningful in this context one must look to actions to show what someone really believes. Severing ties means he will never speak to her again or email her or have any contact with her ever again. To stop the adultery the other women must cease to exist in his life forever.

Most affairs start as emotional affairs, most affairs start with a friendship between a man and a women. I don't believe married people should ever be friends with someone from the opposite sex in a way that excludes their husband or wife. You can be couple friends, you can be friends with people at work, but being true friends with someone of the opposite sex who is NOT your wife is a big red flag. So if this guy is still friends with this women, he has not in my mind repented at all.

But this is from the outside I know these things are very complex and messy.

Frankly my bet is he was sleeping with her and still is.

#19
tjhawks1

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Many of them object to the fact that he is still friendly with the "other woman." He maintains that there is no relationship beyond "friends." His family (son and daughter) claim that he is unrepentant, as in 1st Corinthians 5, and refuses to have contact with him because he still talks with her. They refused to contact him on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and he would have spent those times alone had it not been for me and my family.


What is in bold, seems to indicate where he made his choice. He wants the best of both worlds. He has made his bed and now doesn't want to sleep in it. Axxman you typed the things in bold and nobody else did. To me those phrases speak volumes. If anyone else on here was in that situation and your kids gave you that ultimatum, What would you choose? Would you choose your kids or the woman? He can't have both and he does not realize it. It will be a rude awakening.

#20
Axxman

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Hi Ax..

In the broad sense I would agree the congregation of believers should proclaim the forgiveness of God which this man does have from God. That is part of the role of a congregation if not the main goal of the Gospel.

However like others have pointed out, this ongoing "friendship" is a huge problem and may go the heart of his seeming lack of repentance Words are not very meaningful in this context one must look to actions to show what someone really believes. Severing ties means he will never speak to her again or email her or have any contact with her ever again. To stop the adultery the other women must cease to exist in his life forever.

Most affairs start as emotional affairs, most affairs start with a friendship between a man and a women. I don't believe married people should ever be friends with someone from the opposite sex in a way that excludes their husband or wife. You can be couple friends, you can be friends with people at work, but being true friends with someone of the opposite sex who is NOT your wife is a big red flag. So if this guy is still friends with this women, he has not in my mind repented at all.

But this is from the outside I know these things are very complex and messy.

Frankly my bet is he was sleeping with her and still is.


Hiya Smalcald...thanks for chiming in.

Maybe I have not been clear. He did repent. In my opinion he did everything he should have done. The church and His family did not accept this repentance. His wife never even considered a reconciliation. She told me, over the phone, that she had contacted a divorce lawyer the next day and that while she still loved and cared for him...she could not remain married to him. She spoke to him three times during the divorce..all other contact was via lawyer.

On the flip-side he immediately severed all ties with the woman involved. He went immediately to another pastor that he trusted to start receiving spiritual guidance and counseling. He was extremely humbled and took 100% of the blame and felt extreme remorse not only for what had happened but for the fallout that occurred in the church community.

There was no forgiveness or restoration. If there had been we wouldn't be having this convo right now. There is just so much hypocrisy from the people involved that it drives me crazy. The fact that he has reconnected (as friends at this point) with this woman is not a sin...and it has no bearing on whether or not he was truly sincere over a year ago when he attempted to reconcile his relationships.

BTW...you lose the bet...lol. They were never sleeping together...the ex-wife even told me that. It was an emotional affair and you are so right about the dangers of that.




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