I have a family member that divorced for non- biblical reasons, but claims to be a Christian and is now engaged to a non-believer and living in sin. How should I address this? I pray for her, but I keep thinking of I Cor. 5:11. Any insight? Should I attend the wedding?
Hi Jacqueline. Thank you for sharing this difficult situation. I am so sorry for the grief this must be causing you.
I just have a few questions. What is your relationship like with this family member? Are you close? Does she trust you? Have you spoken with her about your concern for her with regard to these choices?
I’m sorry to be throwing questions back at you, but I think my response would vary depending on your answers.
Thanks again for entrusting this to the community. I will be praying for you and her as we enter into this conversation.
I would advise you to attend the wedding. In these instances I believe keeping the relationship is very important. I have many such situations in my life, being that I come from an Irish Catholic family. Basically everybody I care about, thinks they are a Christian and are living in sin. The old saying holds true, “hate the sin but love the sinner”. If the true Christians who were witnessing to me had stopped fellowshipping with me, I would not have been able to turn to them when I was born again, to be discipled.
My brother for example, knows he is living in sin and knows I think that because I have told him in love and have encouraged him to marry, however, he also knows I love him and though he may end up in hell, I will love him and keep praying for him until I die. I actually have a calendar reminder on my phone where I am alerted to pray for his salvation at 7pm each day.
So my advice is to not compromise in your life and to speak the truth in love, but to be like Jesus and hang out with tax collectors and sinners, as long as you are mature enough in your faith. I hope this helps.
Hello @1ethan4me I appreciate your asking this question as well. I too have had the same experience in my family situation. I would say it is wonderful that you have this close relationship with your family member that they want to invite you to their wedding.
Maybe just one question I would also add to the questions that were asked; How do you think your family member would perceive your attending their wedding? Would they see it as you giving your support of what they are doing and how they are living or just trying to keep that relationship there?
Hello @1ethan4me bless your heart, I know this must weigh heavy on your heart. There are many questions I want to ask but feel it may be too personal for public forum. I do have some insight into this. I will lay out the scenario as briefly as possible in order to possibly help you.
I know of someone who divorced after 25 years of faithful marriage for non-biblical reasons and then remarried. The family was very hurt and she understood they had a right to be. She acknowledged that she was the one responsible for all the hurt and did not justify her actions. She knew she was in clear violation of Gods Word. She knew her actions were very selfish and was willing to take any rebuke that came her way, and it did. Some of her family members shunned her but one in particular was very forgiving, understanding and supportive however, this family member did not condone what she was doing.
All I can say is that this family member was vital to the healing process that took place. A true Christian is going to be chastised by God and when that comes, be prepared cause it will almost crush a person. (Hebrews 12:8 If you are not disciplined–and everyone undergoes discipline–then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all).
Only God can search the heart of a person to determine if there is true remorse. And God’s discipline is done in the most loving way.
I can’t tell you what to do (In this persons case, she had a small intimate wedding and did not invite anyone because she felt that it would put them in a awkward position). You have to go with the leading of the Spirit in your own heart. If it bothers your conscience too much you may not want to go. If you feel comfortable communicating that to your family member, do so in the most loving way possible. You will be in my prayers sweetheart. I pray that healing will be swift in your entire family.
Hi everyone! I really appreciate all of your responses to this dilemma. I have a family member that is a Pastor and has chosen not to speak to her anymore, so it really convicted me as how to handle this situation. All three of us are close and he won’t speak about the subject. I am going to voice how the scripture views her choices and let her know I do not condone them either. I will still attend, but will keep the situation in prayer. I truly feel for her because discipline from the Lord is often times very painful! I just don’t want to offend the Lord in this. Thank you all again!
Thank you for your words of encouragement. This has been weighing heavy on my heart. I’m very sad that she has walked away from the Lord, but will pray she comes back. Thank you for sharing your story with me. I just see that she is being ruled by her feelings, instead of by scripture. Say a little prayer, this man needs salvation too.
Thank you for responding to my post. Your question is something I have been questioning. I think by telling her I do not condone her actions or choices, she’ll know where I stand, scripturally. It’s just difficult seeing a family member walk away from the Lord, seeking their own happiness on their own terms. Say a little prayer for both of them. The Lord will do the rest😬
Thank you for your words of wisdom. I do want her to come to me for discipleship, so keeping that relationship, I agree, is vital. What a great heart you have for your brother, true dedication, compassion and love for him. Keep praying! I have seen the Lord bring people to salvation that I deemed had too much of a hardened heart. Prayer is powerful!
Have a blessed week,
Thank you for responding. I am close to this family member and she does trust me, which is why I don’t want to lose that trust. I want her to come to me for Biblical advice. Her Mother has asked me to help out when the wedding comes around, but hopefully I can voice what scripture says in a loving way, before then. At least she can know I don’t condone her choices, but will help and attend the wedding.
I try to remember to chase after the glory of what God made his sons and daughters to be not necessarily their bad or sinful choices. As you indicated her choices will impact her life. As a messenger from the Lord she will need you. I think it’s good that you are choosing to remain her friend. Keep the communication lines open. May God Grant you wisdom. Colossians 4:5-6.
Jacqueline, you have such a sensitive heart towards this family member. She is blessed to have you in her life. It must hurt for her to be turned away by the pastor in your family with whom she is so close.
I would agree with yourself and the others who have contributed responses that it is important for you to stay in loving relationship with your family member while at the same time making sure she knows where you stand with respect to her choice.
May the Holy Spirit guide you as you minister to your family member in truth and in love.
Thank you Tara! This is a hard situation, but the Lord is sovereign and in control. I trust this into His hands.