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Axxman

Life after divorce...

29 posts in this topic

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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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!!

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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.

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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?

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