While a boy and girl in a Christian college were dating, she became pregnant.  The boy believed it was his duty to marry her after he had caused her to become pregnant, so they married.  He studied to become a preacher and their first work was in a nearby mission field.  However, from the beginning their marriage was a troubled one.  When she committed adultery within the first year, he believed he had a right to take vengeance by having a one night stand.  His familiarity with ladies was reported to the supporters and he was dismissed from the position.  Later they found a new supporter and went to another mission work.  When the problem of the wife’s unfaithfulness persisted, he convinced her that they should go for counseling.  For several years they went to first one counselor and another.  Finally, they agreed to remain in the mission field for one more year and afterward move to her home where she wanted to live and work.  To seal this agreement, they actually remarried, made their vows again and even exchanged new wedding rings.  After the year was over, she demanded he keep the agreement, but he refused.  At that point, she decided to leave him and go home by herself to attend school and to support herself in the US.  After more than a year had elapsed, and he still refused to follow her, she eventually filed for a divorce.  Several years later he remarried, claiming his first wife’s adultery as the reason for his being divorced and that he was thus freed from his first marriage and could then remarry.

  1. When unfaithfulness enters a marriage, can the innocent party forgive?
  2. If a man is able to forgive his wife’s unfaithfulness, can there be peace if the wife wants to repent?
  3. In the above example, did the woman put away her husband because of his adultery?
  4. If the husband had not been unfaithful during their marriage, and he put away the unfaithful wife for that adultery, would the husband be free to remarry (Matt. 19:9)?
  5. If both husband and wife committed adultery during their marriage, could either one put away the other for fornication?
  6. Note another covenant this couple made: because the wife wanted to leave the mission field and go home, they agreed for one more year before taking that step.  Were they both bound by that covenant?
  7. Was the husband’s unfaithfulness to the second covenant grounds for the wife to divorce the husband?
  8. When the man refused to honor his word, how would that compare to abandonment of his wife?
  9. If a husband or wife refuses to give the marriage rights (listed in 1 Cor. 7:2-5), is either justified to put away (divorce) the other?
  10. When the wife was the one who filed for divorce, could the man later claim they were divorced because of her fornication or adultery?