Bible Study Discussions with Gary Panell
Question: See if you see any similarities between these two notes that were sent to us from different countries: Lady number one: "My husband is Hindu and he is having [an] affair with [a] Christian female. When I caught them he said he [would] stop it, but that female is not leaving him. She is married and [I] even requested her [to leave him], but she ignores me and pushes my husband hard to maintain [the] relationship." Lady number two: "I've been married for 2 years. I recently found out my husband has a profile on -----.net and --------.com. After having a check up, I found out that I have a STD. What does the Bible say to do?
Answer: First, I would like to say my heart goes out to all the individuals in similar circumstances! We never want to get calloused to sin, and the devastation it is having on our world and in our lives! Next, I would like to say that so much of this heartache could be avoided if people knew God's Word, and if they would put it into practice!
Second, to you ladies, I want to say it is a real tragedy that your marriages have been destroyed with this infidelity. It is a sign of the times that we are living in, but it should not be thought of as a light thing, because God does not take it lightly. I know it makes it really hard for you, lady number one, because the person who is having an adulterous affair with your husband claims she is a Christian. How this must hurt the heart of God when these things happen!
If she is truly saved, she must be under tremendous conviction, and will be chastened severely by her Heavenly Father, because He still loves her. But, since she seems to show no signs of remorse or of letting up, Scripture is clear that we cannot live in sin and have assurance of salvation. The Bible says, "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He [Jesus] was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins* has neither seen Him nor known Him. *[This Scripture, in the Greek, is speaking about practicing sin when it says, 'sins' & 'does not sin.']
Little children [Christians], let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother." (1 John 3:4-10)
You both did not mention whether you are saved or not, If you are not saved, you need to pray right now to God, and ask Him to forgive you for your sins, and ask Him to come into your heart and life. We have tracts on this very subject if you need this information. If you are a Christian you need to go to a good Bible believing church and seek help from the pastor. (You will know if they are truly Bible believers, because they will carry their Bibles to church and study them in church. They will be friendly people and concerned about your needs!)
You two will need to make your marriage a real matter of prayer, you may need to separate from your husband. No doubt, your husband will tell you he is sorry and that he won't do it again. He may even pretend to get saved to keep you, don't be tricked. Even if he were to really get saved, and began to truly live for the Lord, it would be a hard call on your part, because he has already violated your trust. There are couples that have gotten back together after the person was truly saved, and showed it by living a godly life for some time, but this is the exception. God's grace is there for us, but then, because there has been adultery, you are not obligated, Scripturally, to stay with this individual.
There is only one reason for divorce and remarriage, and that is given by Jesus in Matthew 19: 3-9. "The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?' And He answered and said to them, 'Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh."
"Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.' They said to Him, 'Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?' He said to them, 'Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery."
Even though this passage is speaking of the husband divorcing the wife, the same principle applies to the wife if her husband is unfaithful to her. Scripture almost always speaks in the masculine gender. That is not to say the same principle does not apply to both male and female, because it does, unless it says otherwise. It is understood that it applies to both here. It would be kind of cumbersome to keep repeating everything for both the male and the female.
Lady number two, it seems from almost the beginning, if not from the very beginning, that your husband has been unfaithful to you. You see from the above verses Jesus said, God the Father never intended for marriage to end in divorce. In another place He says He hates divorce, but sometimes it has to be.
Now, something else that might apply here is, if you have ever been unfaithful to him in the marriage. If you have been, then this law of divorce and remarriage does not really apply in your case. If you have been faithful to him in not committing the actual act of adultery, then you could divorce him and remarry with God's approval, only you need to marry a Christian.
Probably your best course of action, after prayer, is to share with your husband that on the authority of God's word you are no longer obligated to him and to the marriage. That you need to separate yourself from him and that you will pray that he gets saved and gets his life straightened out with the Lord. He has violated the marriage trust, and therefore he has forfeited your marriage vows.
Getting a divorce is never an easy thing, but then the alternatives can be worse sometimes. Taking vengeance is not ours either, but the Lord's. (I say that because sometimes when people get a divorce they try to get even.) On our part we still need to show love and we need to forgive them, but be firm. When we forgive someone that does not mean that we have to stay married to them. Ask God to help you every step of the way, and He will give you wisdom. Remember God loves you more than you can imagine! Work with a Christian pastor, so he can pray with you, and give you good Christian advice.
Also, lady number two, one consolation is that you found out before too far into the marriage while maybe children are not involved. As far as your other question is concerned about where you mentioned your STD. You have the scars of this marriage that went wrong, but God can still heal this disease if it is His will for you. I just heard of a person recently who was healed of HIV/AIDS.
You can pray for healing and God may very well deliver you from even your STD, but then again He may tell you, like he told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you." Paul had seen many healed of all sorts of diseases, but he was left with a sickness in his own body that God did not take away.
When God allows this He has some good reason for it. "And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)
If God does not see fit to heal you, you may find some help looking at the internet information on STDs, but you will need to see a doctor over this. I would say this, that if God wants you to remarry, He will bring the right one along for you, in His time, that will be willing to marry you in spite of your disease, if you are not healed by God. If He heals you, you won't need to think about it!
If you haven't done it yet, I would go to a church that believes in healing and ask to be prayed for, because that is what God asks us to do. "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven." (James 5:14-16)
As far as children are concerned, I believe God can do this miracle too if it is His will for your life. I would pray for God's perfect will to be done. Make sure you have gotten right with God and are living for Him. "Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." (Psalm 37:4-5)
Lady number one and lady number two, you do not want to rush into another marriage, if you do decide to get a divorce. (I am by no means encouraging divorce or remarriage, but as Christ said, sexual immorality is an exception.) If you get a divorce, pray that God will send a Christian along that loves the Lord with all his heart, and one that loves you with "all" of his heart! Spend as long as it takes to get to know that person, because some men are very good at wooing women to marry them. They may say anything just to get in bed with that woman, but then once they have made the conquest they are off for another adventure. Many women have been deceived by this sort of thing!
When I say this, I don't want you to get the impression that all men are like this, because they are not, even though you may think so, with the feelings you have now! Often women go to the wrong place to find a man; they go to the bar or the dance, when they should be going to the church. Never give yourself to a man before you are married! There may even be those at church who will claim to be Christians (as lady number one knows), but are deceivers, so be careful and prayerful! If he is the right one for you, he will be willing to wait!
God may not want you to marry again, maybe you are to serve the Lord single the rest of your life, as Paul did. The only thing is, in most cases we are to be married, Paul says, "But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion." (1 Corinthians 7:8-9)
Again, know that going into a second marriage is not always the right answer either; it gets even harder the second time around, as statistics point out.
If you believe you are to remarry, know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is a 'born again' Christian, and that he is the right one for you, and only God can give you that assurance.
We are praying for you both,
Gary T. Panell
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Keywords: infidelity, marriage, cheating, adultery, std, sexually transmitted disease, affair, husband, wife, married