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Question 73

Q: About 6 years ago my wife admitted that she had committed adultery. I refused to forgive her, and we were divorced.

I’ve remarried, but I can’t get my first wife out of my mind. I know I have to move on, but I just don’t know how to do it. I regret the divorce, but I can’t change the past, and I think she also remarried. How do I close this chapter in my life?

Asked by: Manfred

A: Manfred, your question makes me realize, once again, that divorce is sin. You know the Bible says, “I hate divorce,” and I think we all should.

There are times, I believe, when divorce can be done legitimately, but it always causes problems.

And, my dear friend, you do have to close that chapter in your life. You can’t unscramble eggs. You can’t go back to your first wife, obviously, so let me just go over three things very, very quickly.

First of all, you need to confess your mental preoccupation with your first wife. You have to, in your mind, regard her as being dead so that you no longer have an emotional or a mental attachment—because in doing that, you’re not being fair to your present wife.

Number two, you have to really submit to God on all levels. You have to ask God to renew your mind, to cleanse you from anger and bitterness, and also from that spirit of unforgiveness that caused your divorce in the first place. You’ve got some deep issues to deal with here.

And then finally, it’s very important for you to learn to love your wife—your present wife—and, of course, that’s a process as well. You need to be able to perfect that love through Scripture, through yieldedness, through your worship together, and you need to move on.

Something else, why don’t you get some trusted friends to pray for you, to help you to close that chapter, to nail it shut, and then move on. God will help you in the process; He will be there for you so that in the end you can still give Him praise—despite the mistakes of the past. My heart is with you there, Manfred. God bless you.

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