The biblical answer is quite straight forward. You must learn to love your current wife and break off the relationship with your high school sweetheart. Trying to love two women is most difficult and one will certainly come out on the "short end of the stick." I think we both know which woman that would be.

Whenever I have a husband or wife in your situation I remind (challenge) them with the three levels of Christian love enunciated by Paul in Ephesians 5 and by Jesus in Matthew 5 and Matthew 22.

Love your wife (Ephesians (Matthew 5:25-33)

Love your neighbor (Matthew 22:39)

Love your enemy (Matthew 5:43-47)

I say to the husband (or wife), "Paul said to love your wife as Jesus loved the His church and sacrificed His life for her. Can you love your wife as Jesus loved His church?"

"No, not really," he replies. I'm not certain that I ever loved her. But, I know one thing, I sure don’t love her now!"

Then I say, "Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself. If you can't love her as your wife, can you love her as your neighbor?"

He pauses and reflects before admitting, "No, I can't say I even love her as my neighbor."

"Well, then, Jesus said we are to love our enemies. Can you love her as your enemy?"

We just can't get away from our responsibility to love.

Love is never described in the Bible as a feeling. Love is always an action verb. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." Loving Jesus is not a feeling. Loving Jesus is doing what He says. Love is always portrayed in the Bible as doing something for someone else.

Love is an action verb. In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul lists sixteen characteristics of love: "Love is patient; love is kind, love is humble, love is well behaved (etc.)." These sound like simple adjectives. But, they aren't. Paul, as he writes in Greek, presents each characteristic as a verbal adjective. Each of these is something love does--whether the feeling is present or not.

Name Withheld, I imagine that if you were now speaking to Jesus person to person about your question, He might well say, "Go and love your wife. Care for her, protect her, stand beside her and help her to become someone special--whether you feel like it or not."

Name Withheld, thank you for sharing your story. I hope all turns out well. I think that many others will benefit by the answer to your question.

May God bless you with great days ahead.

Love, Roger

Ask RogerDr. Roger Barrier recently retired as senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide. Casas Church, where Roger served throughout his thirty-five-year career, is a megachurch known for a well-integrated, multi-generational ministry. The value of including new generations is deeply ingrained throughout Casas to help the church move strongly right through the twenty-first century and beyond. Dr. Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care. His popular book, Listening to the Voice of God, published by Bethany House, is in its second printing and is available in Thai and Portuguese. His latest work is, Got Guts? Get Godly! Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, from Xulon Press. Roger can be found blogging at Preach It, Teach It, the pastoral teaching site founded with his wife, Dr. Julie Barrier.

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