I have two main questions which are somewhat irrelevant at this point, but I must still ask them. 1) Why didn’t you two get married at some point during the years prior to the ‘forced marriage?’ 2) How could her parents, in this day and age, ‘force her to marry this man against her will?’ The answer to these questions won’t change the scriptural answer I must give to you for guidance, but they should be considered. Had you two married, or had she refused to submit to her parents’ unreasonable demand, this could have been prevented. In a sense you have to admit that since you two didn’t marry and she yielded to her parents’ wishes, she has “made a bed that she must now sleep in.”

That last statement might come across as insensitive or harsh, but it is true none-the-less. Once a marriage has taken place, it is BINDING. When God instituted marriage between our first human parents (Adam and Eve) He said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be JOINED TO HIS WIFE, and THEY SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH” (Genesis 2:24…NKJV). The Lord Jesus referred to this and added another word in Matthew 19:4-6, “And He (Jesus) answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. THEREFORE WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER, LET NO MAN SEPARATE.” It is crystal-clear from this passage that it would be WRONG for her to seek to divorce her husband for it says, “let no man separate.” You may be thinking, “But it wasn’t God who ‘joined them together?” This is where it gets “sticky” for even though she didn’t want to marry him she did submit to her parents’ wishes. In that sense it was NOT AGAINST HER WILL. She obviously knew what she was doing and at the climax of the marriage ceremony she said (when asked if she would take this man to be her lawfully wedded husband), “I do.” That made the marriage official…in the eyes of the law, in the eyes of the witnesses present, and even more importantly, in the eyes of God.

Now there is ONE CAUSE for divorce which the Lord went on to state in verse 9, “ And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, EXCEPT FOR SEXUAL IMMORALITY, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” Unless her husband is guilty of sexual immorality she has no grounds to divorce him. If she were to divorce him anyway and marry you, you would both be guilty of adultery.

Let me close by saying I believe you two can pray for the Lord to intervene in some way if it truly is His desire for you two to marry. In saying this though I have to admit that the only way this could take place would be for her husband to commit adultery (as we have seen) or FOR HIM TO DIE. Romans 7:1-3 states, “Or do you not know, brethren…that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the woman who has a husband is BOUND BY THE LAW TO HER HUSBAND AS LONG AS HE LIVES. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law.” Would you two really want one of these two things to happen in order for her to be free to marry you?  (423.5)  (DO)