The following is a letter I wrote to a friend who confessed to me that she had allowed her fiance to move in with her and her 13-year-old daughter. As a Christian woman, she knew that this arrangement was wrong, but proceeded anyway, using economic hardship as an excuse. Her church is advising her to live apart from him. Her pastor will not marry the couple because of this unrepentant sin.
In these days of political correctness, we often fear losing friends over taking a stand and doing the right thing. We all have friends who are purposefully putting themselves in spiritual jeopardy by willfully sinning against God. Not to mention in this case putting a young teen in danger and setting a horrible example as a parent. If you are a Christian, and you are my friend, then I have not only the right but the responsibility to have a frank talk with you. This letter might be a template that may give others the courage to step up and perhaps snatch their friends away from the flames:
Hi my friend,
I love you and have been praying fervently for you and for your daughter since our last conversation. I wish that you and he weren’t going through financial struggles. But I am more concerned about the struggle you are going through with Jesus.
To choose to willingly sin is a choice that is putting you in grave danger eternally, and that is alarming to me. Adding to this sorrow, your beautiful 13-year-old baby girl is watching you and him sin, and Jesus warned that there are severe consequences for causing little ones to stumble. Oh, how I don’t want that for you.
My dear friend, I say this out of a love for my sister, that I want you to understand just how devastating your sin is to God, who loves you so much, but who does not tolerate sin. I do not know what He will do to get your attention about how spiritually harmful this is for you – maybe He will use me in these words. But what I do know for certain is that He will not look the other way.
I know for my part I need to ask you not to participate in the G+ group for now until you can reconcile with Christ. I owe that to God who has given me this ministry to steward, and to the women there to make sure I do not accept or allow willful unrepentant sin to infect the group.
Please consider what I, your church leaders and most importantly God is telling you about this choice. I know you want to call it a mistake, but it is a choice and it is sin. I hope I’m not the only one who will tell you this. To Jesus, who warned His friends that it is better to pluck out an eye or cut off a hand rather than enter Hell for willfully sinning, this is how seriously He takes your choice. Will you marry a man who would put you in eternal jeopardy? Surely he would rather live apart from you for a few months than harm you. And surely you would rather live apart from him for a few months than harm your girl.
I am here if you want to talk more, and if you’d like to do that in person over coffee or over the phone, just say the word. We are all sinners, and I am the worst. But there is hope and forgiveness when we confess and repent (turn from): “And such WERE some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6-11 -wonderful verse!)