An Open Letter to a Relative Living in Adultery
As much as you would like to constrain the issue to simply one of relative morality–the choice of morals which one will live by–our concern is not exclusively a moral one. You claim that you are in a good, loving relationship. That is an objective statement that can be tested. Words have meanings and their meanings may be known. Love is an emotion that is accompanied by action. Love requires self-sacrifice on behalf of the one loved. Love is not affection, nor happiness. Is your relationship a loving one?
You have stated that the man you have moved in with is unwilling to marry, because he has been hurt emotionally in the past and his divorce was difficult and costly. Let’s unpack this. The man you have chosen is emotionally unavailable for marriage. In what way is pseudo-marriage protective to him? Would separation from you, at this point, be somehow less painful? Since he found it favorable enough for himself to get close enough to you to live together, why is it unthinkable to take one more step and make the commitment permanent?
The second reason he is unwilling to marry is that the previous divorce was costly. What this implies is that he desires a method of separation which will not negatively impact his finances or possessions. You have sacrificed everything that allows you to be independent to be with him, yet he cannot make a sacrifice which might make his possessions vulnerable? He expects your trust that he will not turn you out, having left your job and your home, separated yourself geographically from your friends and family, on his word, yet he cannot place the same level of trust in you to pledge a vow to him?
Where is the self-sacrifice in his emotional commitment? Why does he value his possessions over his commitment to you?
Likewise, goodness is not a nebulous word, but one that is defined as morally excellent, virtuous, righteous and pious. Goodness is a measure of God-likeness. God has revealed himself to mankind in many ways, most directly and explicitly in the Bible, but also in nature. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 states,”Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” God’s law is even written in nature, in which we can know that man and woman were designed to come together in a permanent relationship, by the length of time it takes for the offspring to reach adulthood. We are not a species that births an independent being, nor one that achieves adulthood in the span of a year or two like most animals. Our species requires nearly twenty years to reach adult independence, requiring handson parenting and direction from both parents. This requires a permanent relationship of at least twenty years between the parents, working together in harmony to raise healthy offspring. So by natural design, we can infer that human beings are designed for permanent commitments, which we have come to know as marriage.
Finally, the arrangement you have agreed to has put all the power into your paramour’s hands. What security is there in it for your future? He hasn’t made a lawful commitment to you. If he should change his mind, or the worst should happen, what will you have? He has laid all the plans to secure his possessions against a poor separation. Have you?
If your relationship fails objectively at being either good, or loving, why defend it? Is it wrong to expect a relative to be treated with true love and respect? To be dignified to be held as an honorable wife? Should you be required to suffer the consequences of the injuries of a previous woman? For how long will you remain penalized?
Our love and prayers for you will not change. I hope your heart will be drawn back into truth and love, and that you will demand to be treated with true self-sacrificial love by a man you have sacrificed much to be with. We know that our time on earth is numbered and tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone. I pray that you will considered your destiny as well.