A: God gave marriage to us, and His original plan was for a husband and wife to be committed to each other as long as they lived. In other words, divorce wasn’t part of God’s original plan; in fact, God even says, “‘I hate divorce,’.... So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith” (Malachi 2:16).
Why did God say this about divorce? The reason is because He loves us and wants what’s best for us, and He knows the hurt and anger and conflict that almost always follow in the wake of a divorce. Sadly, you’re experiencing something of this, and my heart goes out to you. I want to assure you also that God knows what you’re going through, and no matter what caused your divorce, God cares for you and your ex-wife and your children, and He wants to help you.
What can you do? First, pray for wisdom, and for a forgiving spirit. From what you say elsewhere in your letter, God hasn’t been an important part of your life — but He can be in the future, and He wants to be. Confess your sins to Him, and ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and change you — and He will.
Then do whatever you can to communicate your concern to your ex-wife. Don’t, however, react in anger. The Bible’s words are true: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
Q: Does the Bible say that if you become a Christian then you shouldn’t sin anymore, and if you do sin, you’ll lose your salvation? I heard someone say this once, and it really worries me, because I know I’m not perfect. — Mrs. D.D.
A: No, this is not what the Bible says. One of the Bible’s greatest truths is that we are saved only by God’s grace, and never by how good we are. Our only hope is in Jesus Christ, because by His death on the cross He completely paid the penalty for all our sins — past, present and future. The Bible says, “He forgave us all our sins... he took it away, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).
That should give you great comfort, because what you say is true: No matter who we are, we’re never completely free from sin. Nor will we ever be, until God takes us home to heaven. The Apostle Paul was the greatest Christian who ever lived — and yet even he wasn’t perfect or free from sin, and he knew he was saved only by God’s grace. He declared, “Not that I... have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12).
Does this mean we shouldn’t be concerned when we sin, or we shouldn’t try — with God’s help — to be better? No, of course not. God’s will is for us to become more and more like Christ. Make that your goal, and then learn to walk with Christ every day as you pray, read His Word and have fellowship with other believers. The Bible says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly... with gratitude in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.