My husband has cheated on me with several women. He leads a worldly lifestyle and goes out to drink and womanize. I want to forgive him and restore our marriage, but he denies any wrong doing and continues. He has cursed my womb and says that he does not want to have any children with me. He is a born again but backslidden Christian. Staying with him is too heavy a yoke for me to bear especially in a childless and loveless marriage. I do not want to be the aggressor in a court of law by divorcing him despite all of these hard challenges, but I am failing. Are we to forgive even those who throw away our offering of forgiveness? What is God's perfect will in this situation? What do I do?
There are a number of previous questions which will provide you with God’s view about divorce and will explain when God allows divorce and remarriage. The questions are entitled, “Biblical Divorce and Remarriage,” “Is sex before marriage a sin?” and “If you are divorced and remarry, are you living in adultery?”
Two Reasons For Divorce
God allows divorce for two reasons: sexual activity outside of the marriage by one of the spouses and when an unbelieving spouse wants to leave. Sexual activity outside of the marriage is the oldest reason for divorce. Most people call this adultery. Most people think that adultery occurs when one spouse has sexual relations with someone of the opposite sex outside of marriage. But the word Jesus uses for “fornication, unchastity, or marital unfaithfulness” means more than just sexual relations outside of marriage with someone of the opposite sex. The Greek word for “fornication, unchastity, or marital unfaithfulness” is PORNEIA and it includes homosexuality, and bestiality. The other reason God allows divorce is when a non-Christian spouse wants out of the marriage.
Your husband has committed marital unfaithfulness and therefore God will not withhold His blessing from you if you divorce him. God has granted you the right to divorce him, even though He hates divorce (Mal. 2:14-16). Yes, it is possible that your husband is born again. He may be like one of the many Christians in the ancient city of Corinth who did not act or live like a believer. But the Apostle Paul was very concerned that they were not real and so he urged them to evaluate their own lives and ask themselves if they were real (2 Cor. 13:5). It is common for a person to claim or think he/she is a Christian, experience a period of joy, enjoy being with Christians for awhile, but not be a real Christian. The proof of their faith is whether he or she really has a changed life. Just read 1 John. The book was written so that we might know that we have eternal life. Real change occurs only when the Holy Spirit makes the change.
Even though you have the right to divorce him, God wants you to try to save your marriage and to forgive your husband. However, forgiveness does not mean that you ignore what has happened. I would suggest that you need to seek counseling from your pastor or a very good Christian counselor. If your husband still says that he is a Christian, then he might be willing to go to counseling with you. Your pastor may need to exercise church discipline in an attempt to motivate your husband to stop sinning. Ask God to heal your marriage and to have your husband repent of his sins. That should be your first step, if you have not already taken it.
Reference Links:Study of 1 John
Biblical Divorce and Remarriage
Is sex before marriage a sin?
If you are divorced and remarry, are you living in adultery?
Why does one have the “right to remarry” after a “Biblical Divorce”?