I am recently
divorced. I am in a relationship with a very spiritual man who I have been
friends with for 16 years. He has been divorced for many years. Does the Bible
state how long a couple must wait before getting married?
No, the scriptures say nothing about how long to wait before remarrying. However, it does teach that one has no right to remarry if the divorce was not for fornication or adultery. Matthew 19:9
I know the bible tells us to only divorce because of fornication. My spouse is not a Christian and I have a hard time trusting him as he is involved once it was sexual and now he states it is no longer sexual) with a woman he has known for at least 15yrs. I believe this undermines his and my relationship and I have a hard time keeping silent and not nagging and arguing and crying over the situation. My spouse states that he will do what he wants to do and I can not dictate his life. I am miserable, and do not want to speak with the members of my congregation as it would not remain personal, but be told throughout the congregation. I am the Christian and my spouse is not. Can I divorce him? We have previously been separated and during this time he lived in an adulterous situation with her and my child. Please pray for me; and I believe I already know the correct answer. He will not seek counseling.
Your question engenders a question or two from this end. Why did he have your son and living with the other woman in an adulterous relationship when you were separated? That just does not sound right. The other question is; Did you forgive him of his previous adulterous actions? If so you would have to know for sure he was engaged in sexual activity with the other woman again in order to use that against him for a divorce. Your best bet might be to have a private detective to find out what he could about your husband's on going relationship with this woman. It sounds like more than just friendship. Certainly his attitude is not what it should be. It appears he has little concern for your relationship together. The only way you can be sure you have scriptural grounds for a divorce is to know that he is being unfaithful in an intimate fashion. It does not matter whether or not he is a Christian as far as getting a divorce is concerned. God recognizes the marriage regardless, you will have to know he is involved sexually with another woman in order to be sure you can obtain a scriptural divorce.
My marriage of 14 years ended in divorce because of a gay affair I had. She moved on and remarried and from my readings the Word gives her permission because she was not at fault. I never considered myself gay for I was manipulated into this lifestyle at the age of only 11 by a more developed 13 year old. I have broken out of this lifestyle for periods of up to a year but always end up back into them over frustration and loneliness. I want to break this cycle once and for all but was wondering do I have permission from God to remarry? If God does give me permission it wouldn't be fair to the new mate "not" to mention my past, that would be like lying to her. Where do I start? I have tried going to church and reading my Word (for the first time in my life) for the past 7 years.
I continue to read my Word often and see all the answers for her but never have run across the answer for me. I never have found a church that I feel at home at, I guess because of all this guilt I carry around. I know the gay part is just a side effect of other problems and I have worked on many of these problems by reading my Word. I work hard at beating this thing but can't get out of the cycle.
You are to be commended in that you are studying the Bible and trying to find a solution to a very real problem. You are correct in your assessment of your status when it comes to remarriage. There is not a passage in the scriptures that allows a person guilty of fornication (homosexual acts are included in the term "fornication") to remarry. The innocent party is allowed to marry, but not the guilty. While it may be hard, one can live a single life that can be fulfilling. We have known of numerous persons who have remained single after a divorce and have made great contributions to the cause of Christ. It is good that you recognize that your homosexuality is not something you were born with, but something induced by early sexual encounters with older boys or men. We have long believed that such experiences is what has made most young men become practicing homosexuals.
Secondly you need to make up your mind
to do something about it. A good counselor who is
experienced in such problems would be a great help to you. They are
available but not always easy to find. There is an excellent counseling
psychologist in Memphis, Tennessee who might be able to help you find such a
counselor. Dr. Bill Flatt, a professor of counseling at Harding Graduate
School of Religion in Memphis has been successful in helping numerous
persons with the problem you are experiencing. While we do not have the
address at hand to send you at this moment, you can probably locate it or
his address on the Internet. If you are not able to make contact with Dr.
Flatt please contact us again and we will try to get the information for
you. Thirdly you need to continue to study your Bible and determine to do what it teaches. We encourage you to investigate the churches of Christ as we attempt to simply teach and practice New Testament Christianity. If there is not a congregation near you we will be happy to help you find one as well as send you information about the church.
It will not be easy to live the celibate life but it can be done. You need to make friends of other singles, not for sexual purposes but for friendship and companionship where wholesome activities can be mutually enjoyed. Such friendships can be greatly supportive.
What are the biblical reasons for divorce? If you are unequally yoked with someone what should you do to get your life in line with the will of God?
There is only one biblical reason for divorce, and that is unfaithfulness, sexual unfaithfulness, on the part of the marriage partner, Matthew 19:9. The mate who is sinned against is free to divorce and remarry in that instance. Sometimes a Christian married to a non-Christian will wonder if they are to remain in the marriage, considered by some to be unequally yoked. The expression found in 2 Corinthians 6:14 could be applied to marriage, but it certainly is NOT limited to that. A Christian should be careful of his/her associations in all areas of life, not just marriage. Bad friends can be just as destructive to one's spiritual life as an unbelieving marriage partner, and sometimes more so. The person must remain in that marriage, for God gives no right for that person to divorce and remarry. God expects the Christian mate to be committed in their faith at all times. The Bible even tells us in 1 Peter 3:1 that it is possible for a Christian woman to convert her non-Christian mate by the life that she lives. Therefore the Christian mate should continue in prayer, worship, Bible study, service - all things that are expected of a faithful child of God.
If you divorce and remarry and it is not
for a scriptural reason, is it an
unforgivable sin in the eyes of God?
In 1 Timothy 3:2 it talks about the bishop being the husband of one wife.
Does this mean that he can not be remarried, or does it mean one wife at a
time (I realize back then in was common for a man to have more than one
wife at a time). Also, what if the wife told her husband (a preacher) to
make a choice either her or God. He chooses God, and later remarries. Does it disqualify him from remaining a preacher?
The passage you refer to about an elder being the husband of one wife literally means one wife at a time. If a man has lost a wife through death then if he marries again he still the husband of one wife. If one has been divorced for scriptural reasons and remarries he is still the husband of one wife.
In regard to the question about a preacher's wife telling him to choose her
or God, when he chooses God it still does not break the marriage bond
in the sight of God. Unless she is put away for fornication he would not
be entitled to marry again (Matthew 19:9), and if he marries again without
a scriptural right he is an adulterer, and continuing in that state he will be
lost unless he turns in repentance and gets out of the adulterous relationship.
He should not be allowed to preach or take any other leading role in the
church in that condition.
In March 1999, I became a new Christian and a member of the Assembly of
God. In 1970, I divorced my first wife and remarried in 1976. I have been married to this same woman for the past 24 years. I wanted to become a Preacher but was informed no because I am a divorcee. Why? cf 2 Corinthians 5:17.
The reason may simply be that the Assembly of God church has a rule against divorced men serving as preachers. You need to ask whoever told you no.
There are also two other things to take into consideration. Both 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6 say that an elder or bishop can only be ordained if they are the husband of one wife. Not knowing Assembly of God doctrine, they may teach that these qualifications are those for the preacher, though their word is probably "pastor." There are several words in the New Testament that refer to the same group of men: elder/s, bishop/s, pastors, presbytery. A study of these words shows that they all refer to the same group of men within a congregation, not several groups or a hierarchy. And, they do not refer to the preacher. To refer to the preacher as "pastor" is a misuse of the word unless he has also been appointed to such a position that he would hold in addition to being the preacher. So, they may be considering you as having two wives, though you are divorced from one. (However, they may not be as strict on his having Christian children, also a qualification for an elder/bishop/presbyter/pastor.)
A second thing to consider is the reason for your divorce. You say you divorced your first wife. The Bible gives only one scriptural reason for a divorce, and that is adultery, Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9. If you did not divorce your wife because she committed adultery, you are in an unscriptural marriage and therefore would not be allowed to preach.
Your topic of Marriage & Divorce is well written but does not specifically cover my question regarding unbelievers. That is, two married unbelievers become saved. Suppose one or both had been divorced for reasons other than immorality before their current marriage.
What is the state of their relationship now? Must their reconcile to their former partners? Or, does salvation forgive the situation? I think you can see where I am going with this question and there could be numerous variations, but if you can handle this one, I think the rest may become clear.
First of all I think some scriptures that need to be understood are:
Matt. 5:32 and Matt. 19:9 There are other scriptures as well as these.
These scriptures are very clear as to what the putting of ones spouse away is to be for. Only for adultery. So if either party were divorced for any other reason than this, they do not have a scriptural marriage.
Second lets take the question of ones right to be married to each other.
Either you have a scriptural marriage or you don't, according to the above verses of scripture. Whether you are a Christian at that time or not God's law is still in effect for all people.
Now lets take for example a person that is not a Christian and he happens to be a thief, does God's grace make it ok for him to keep on stealing, certainly not.
Therefore if one does not have a scriptural marriage they are living in adultery and God's grace does not allow them to keep on living together.
I married a man who was not a member of the Church of Christ. He did not attend anywhere before we were married, but he did go with me after our marriage. One Sunday he asked me to attend the denomination of which he formerly had been a member but had not attended for quite some time. This made me very upset. Then, after less than a year of marriage he left me for what he said were religious reasons. Would you consider him an unbeliever, and if so, what are your thoughts on 1 Corinthians 7?
It is tragic that some who profess their love before marriage and make promises under the guise of that professed love then do not live up to those promises. It is a total disregard for the sacredness of marriage, and one that unfortunately forces the innocent to suffer the consequences of that disregard.
The passage in question reads, "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace," 1 Corinthians 7:12-15.
Your husband would be considered an unbeliever in the sense that he has not obeyed the gospel. There is no denying that a husband or wife is under bondage to their mate as far as the responsibilities within the marriage are concerned. However, there is a higher obligation to God that would forbid doing anything contrary to His will, Acts 5:29. When Paul says to the husband or wife whose mate departs for religious reasons you are not under bondage, he means you are not under bondage, or obligated to follow that person into unbelief, or in your case, denominationalism. The Lord gave only one reason for divorce and remarriage and that is adultery, Matthew 19:9. If the unbelieving mate departs, the one left behind has but one choice and that is to remain unmarried.
Hopefully this matter can be resolved and your husband can be converted.
As a Christian how do I deal with
anger when being unfairly accused. When I've admitted my guilt and tried to confront
lovingly without accusation yet my husband admits no wrong but always blames me how do I
rid of that anger without blowing up! Which I do! I try and be understanding and the more I am the more he turns things around so that things are my fault. IT is not one thing but anything that doesn't go his way. I know that aging plays a part as he is 70 and I am 56. I do love my husband but feel his attacks border on emotional abuse.
You are to be complimented on your desire
to do what is right. Anger is a difficult thing to control but the Bible does give us some
good and practical advise.
Prov. 15:1 "A soft answer turneth away wrath; but a grievous word stirreth up anger."
Eccl 7:9 "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools."
Prov. 15:18 "A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife."
The only person we can control is our self so I would encourage you to continue doing what you know is right and set a good example in controlling anger.
In a calm, quiet way you might tell him you feel - you may share these Bible verses with him. Pray for Gods' help.
Throughout the New Testament it says that a wife should submit to her husband. Does that mean that when a wife leaves her husband because of repeated violence lasting several years, that she is committing a sin? It appears to me that the female is in a no win situation here, stay and be killed, or leave and be a sinner.
When the Bible speaks of a woman submitting to her husband, such as in Ephesians 5:22-24, the idea is for her to give him the respect he is due because he is the God-ordained head of the house. She respects him as the head of the house and seeks to fulfill her God-given role as the helper to her husband. She will have her duties within the home, such as in regard to the house, the children, etc. This, however, does not make her a doormat to be mistreated or taken advantage of. In regard to spouse abuse, the Bible does not deal with this issue directly. Nevertheless, there is a principle that can be applied.
First, let it said that one should not remain in a life-threatening situation. The individual must not only consider his or her own life, but also the lives of others, especially children that may be involved. When the Bible speaks of a Christian suffering persecution it is for the gospel’s sake, not suffering at the hands of an abusive spouse, which usually has nothing to do with whether or not one is a Christian.
Second, in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 the Bible says, "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband; but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife." Obviously, as Paul penned this, by inspiration, he recognized that there would be instances of separation. The instance causing the separation in this particular passage is not specified. However, two options are given to the woman,
1) be reconciled, or 2) remain unmarried. Neither of the usual Greek words for divorce is used in verses 10 and 11, so he does not have getting a divorce in mind. Naturally, this would have to be the case since there is only one justifiable cause for divorce, adultery. The word here means a separation, being apart – thus married but not living together. An individual, then, in an abusive situation, one which is potentially life-threatening, could leave that situation and live apart from his/her mate and simply live apart or file for legal separation. This does not grant one a right to divorce and remarry, but it does allow one to protect one’s life and not commit the sin of divorce.
What does the Bible say about an unmarried couple living together? Is it o.k. if they are practicing abstinence?This is an interesting question, Actually, the Bible says NOTHING about a couple "living together". "Living together" is a man-made custom. It is NOT ordained by God and it is NOT authorized in the Bible as an acceptable union between a man and a woman. The only authorized union between man and woman that the Bible mentions is marriage. Passages like Geneses chapter 1 and Hebrews 13: 4 support this statement. Since living together was created by the world, it is seen in the eyes of
In response to the second part of your question, I will send you to several passages in the Bible that speak of the dangers of this arrangement. James 1: 13-15 speaks about temptation and the effects of giving in to it. Living together IS a temptation and anyone who tells you differently is lying to themselves. To put yourself in a situation where you are tempted CONSTANTLY is just not smart. I Pet. 2:11 urges us to "abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul". Ps. 44:21 and Acts 15:8 tell us that God knows our hearts. Heb. 13:4 tells us that the "marriage bed is to be kept pure".
All of these scriptures lead us to believe that even if a couple is living together in abstinence, they are putting themselves in a constant state of temptation, which leads to spiritual death. They are also ruining their influence and corrupting their view of the opposite sex, which could lead to trouble later on in life if that person ever DOES decide to marry. To answer your question as honestly as possible, it's just a BAD idea.
Is a union/commitment between a man and a woman to be married in the eyes of the Lord enough, or is it necessary to go through a wedding ceremony?
The wedding ceremony has been the long recognized means of a couple being recognized as married. The Lord performed His first miracle at a wedding, John 2:1-11. Jesus would use the wedding ceremony as a basis for the parable of the ten virgins, Matthew 25:1-13. The wedding ceremony is also used as the picture of the final uniting of the saints with Christ, Revelation 19:7-9. The eternal dwelling place of the saints is described as "…prepared as a bride adorned for her husband," Revelation 21:2.
A number of other references in both the Old and New Testaments use the relationship of the husband and wife to describe the relationship between God and His people or Christ and the church. Thus everything that the Bible even hints at emphasizes the importance of the wedding ceremony. Obviously this is what God recognizes and desires of a man and woman. However, there are two additional things to consider. First, the Christian is to obey the laws of the land, Romans 13:1-6, Titus 3:1, 1 Peter 2:13-15.
The laws of this land have established that for a man and woman to be recognized as husband and wife they must go through a wedding ceremony and file a marriage license. Therefore to comply with the above-mentioned scriptures regarding law one must have a wedding ceremony, whether religious or civil.
Second, without the commitment of the marriage license and wedding ceremony it is too easy to walk out of a relationship. Some might argue that the marriage license is only a piece of paper, but both it and the wedding ceremony, no matter how large or small, say in a formal way that a man and woman are committing themselves to each other for life. That piece of paper and that ceremony have been the very things that have kept some couples together in spite of the most difficult of circumstances, and they would be the first to tell you that they were glad they did. Everything points to the fact that one must go through a wedding ceremony.
I have heard that as marriage is a picture of Christ's relationship to His church, so too divorce is also a biblical picture of God's wrath and judgement on unbelievers. That therefore divorce is also a tool of God's and is not the "bugaboo" we were lead to believe. Could this be right?
There is nothing in the Bible that indicates that divorce is a tool of
What the Bible does say is that "God hates divorce." (Malachi 2:16) Matt. 19:9 "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery." Read Matt. 19:3-6.
You will hear people say many things about the Bible. You are wise to want to know what the Bible really does say.
Can I remarry as long it is with someone who is a member of the church of Christ?
The first question that must be answered is whether or not one has a scriptural right to remarry. The Bible gives only one cause for divorce, and that is adultery. Matthew 19:8-9 states, "He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." If one is the innocent party (did not commit adultery) in a scriptural divorce (caused by the adultery), that person has a scriptural right to remarry.
There are no restrictions placed upon who that person must remarry, it may be to either a Christian or non-Christian. The Bible recognizes marriages to non-Christians, 1 Corinthians 6:16; 7:12-16. The restriction of remarrying only in the Lord is placed only upon the widow, 1 Corinthians 7:39. However, by far, the safest course one can take is to only marry a Christian. Religiously divided homes can cause several problems. 1) The husband may attend one church and the wife another. This strengthens neither one of them spiritually and can lead to arguments, and, in some cases, another divorce. 2) The Christian mate, to please the non-Christian mate, goes with them and forsakes the Lords church, which is wrong. 3) No decision can be made as to which church to attend so both quit, which is wrong. 4) Children are confused by the religious differences, and the decision, often a painful one, must be made as to which parent the children attend with. Or, they attend with one parent one Sunday and the other parent the next Sunday. What does this do to the children? So, yes, by all means, marry a Christian.
It is clear that the teaching of Christ (Matt. 19:3-9) was to restore God's original
plan for the permanence of marriage. For this reason Christ forbids adultery and polygamy.
When the apostle Paul gives instructions regarding leadership in the church he includes
the necessity of church leaders being examples of God's plan for marriage and the family.
A bishop is to teach the church by word and example. This teaching would include
the Christian family. Hence, he must be the husband of one wife...given to
hospitality...one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with
all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of
the church of God")... a good report of them which are without;...Even so must their
wives be...faithful in all things. We mention all these factors to show that there are
many things to be considered concerning the marriage relationship.
One could be scripturally divorced and scripturally re-married as a faithful Christian but be unable to provide the strong example for the church. It is sometimes the case that a man could be divorced and re-married and be accepted by those who know all the facts. However, for the children growing up in the congregation and the new families coming into the church, this marriage would have to be explained continually. For this reason, I would question the wisdom of selecting as a leader for God's church one who would be subjected to these kind of questions about a second marriage. It could be confusing to the church.
The only scriptural divorce is based upon adultery. If
you are in an abusive situation and it is potentially life threatening situation....what
do you do? How would you be able to stay right with God?
The Bible does not deal with this issue directly, however, there is a principle that can be applied. First, let it said that one should not remain in a life-threatening situation. The individual must not only consider his or her own life but also the lives of others, especially children, that may be involved.
When the Bible speaks of a Christian suffering persecution it is for the gospels sake, not suffering at the hands of an abusive spouse, which usually has nothing to do with whether or not one is a Christian. Second, in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 the Bible says, "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband; but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife." Obviously, as Paul penned this, by inspiration, he recognized that there would be instances of separation. The instance causing the separation in this particular passage is not specified.
However, two options are given to the woman, 1) be reconciled, or 2) remain unmarried. Neither of the usual Greek words for divorce are used in verses 10 and 11, so he does not have getting a divorce in mind. Naturally, this would have to be the case since there is only one justifiable cause for divorce, adultery. The word here means a separation, being apart thus married but not living together.
An individual, then, in an abusive situation, one which is potentially life-threatening, could leave that situation and live apart from his/her mate and simply live apart or file for legal separation. This does not grant one a right to divorce and remarry, but it does allow one to protect ones life and not commit the sin of divorce.
There is but one scriptural reason for divorce and remarriage (Matt. 19:9). The divorce problem is one of the major problems in the church today. For an elder to have the influence he should have, he must have the proper relationships with his family. There must be complete trust and confidence between the husband and wife. This condition could hardly exist if either of them had another living companion. Often there is doubt and suspicion. The family relationship between the elder and his wife must be one of love and complete understanding if he is to serve acceptably as an elder in the church of our Lord.
One may certainly be scripturally divorced and scripturally remarried and be pleasing in the sight of God. However, an elder must have the confidence of new people who may not know the circumstance of his divorce. Thus, this fact would have to be explained continually by one in a leadership role as an elder.
Unfortunately, divorce is one of the problems facing church leadership in our society. For this reason a congregation should weigh carefully the expediency of appointing men to the eldership who would be placed in the position of having to justify his marriage.
If a man commits adultery and his wife divorces him and she remarries, does he cause his new wife to commit adultery because he married her?I understand the question to be: If I commit adultery and my wife divorces me on the grounds of adultery and I remarry, do I cause my new wife to commit adultery? Jesus answers that question in Matthew 19:9 "... Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery." Jesus law applies to both men and women. The answer to your question is yes!
MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE
One of the perennial problems we face in todays society is that of divorce and remarriage. Mankind has ignored God law for generations and now we are experiencing a very unstable society due to a great part to unstable home life.
By the time Jesus began his ministry divorce had become commonplace among the Jews for just about any cause. "The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered them, Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and who marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery" (Matthew 19:3-9). Thus we see that only the party that has been sinned against by an act of fornication or adultery on the part of the unfaithful spouse, has the right to remarry. Jesus statement makes it plain that the fornicating spouse does not have the right of remarriage, and if he/she does so both that person and the new marriage partner are in a continuous state of adultery.
While we are not told specifically why God wants us to have only one spouse there are a number of practical reasons that are implied. One of these is that the marriage relationship represents the relationship of Christ and his bride the church (Ephesians 5:22-33). Another reason is for the stability of home life where children may be reared in a united, stable, spiritual environment without divided affections. Divorce always does inestimable damage to the offspring regardless of their age level.
If the laws of the land are in accord with the law of God, then and only then can the Christian obey such without reserve. Whenever the courts of the land issue a decree that does not coincide with the law of God the child of God must hearken to the law of God and not that of man. A classic example of such is found in Acts chapter five when Peter and John have been brought before the highest court in the land and told, "Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? And, behold ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this mans (Jesus) blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:28,29).
Gods law regulating marriage goes all the way back to Adam and Eve and did not change with the advent of the law of Moses or that of the Christian age. It is a law that will remain intact as long as time exists.
What suggestions do you have about how to handle conflicting beliefs between husband and wife? How can a Christian win an unbelieving mate to the Lord?
This can be something that can cause a great deal of conflict in the family. The husband or wife must understand first that he or she must stand up for their beliefs and not compromise them. Ones allegiance is to God first, and then to others, Luke 14:26-27. The word hate that is used here means to love less, however one must understand that first allegiance belongs to God. If possible, sit down and discuss the issues with the mate. This should never be handled in a rude or overbearing manner, but done in the spirit of love and concern. Or, you might ask if someone from your congregation could come and discuss things. This could be an elder, a teacher, or anyone else who is knowledgeable about the Bible. However, it may be that the mate is totally unwilling to sit down and talk about it, with anyone. Though the passage I am about to mention is written to wives, it would certainly hold true for husbands as well. In 1 Pet. 3:1, the Bible says, "Likewise, ye wives be in subjection to your own husbands; that if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear." Through the wifes, or husbands, godly example it is possible to win the mate to the Lord.