I am twenty-one years old. I got married when I was eighteen, and now I am falling in love with another girl that I met online. I left my wife and don’t want to go back to her. She is suffering a lot. Marriage is very important to her, and she says that she only wants one man for her whole life. I can’t go back to her because I don’t love her anymore and I want to begin a new life. Would God punish me for making her suffer?

Dear Friend,

We are very glad to hear that you care what God thinks. In spite of the fact that you are in a difficult situation, you still understand that God is present and involved. He cares about your wife’s suffering and He cares about you. He loves you in spite of the mistakes that you have made.

When you say that marriage is very important to your wife, the implication is that marriage is not very important to you. Your attitude is not surprising for it is common for people in your age group to believe that marriage is just like any other contract that can be terminated at any time for any reason. The laws of many countries make this kind of arrangement possible. But it is not God’s plan.

You made vows to a woman who was committed to marriage for a lifetime and now you have changed your mind and have decided to break your vows. She is the victim of your impulsive and selfish behavior. She understands that it is impossible to erase the emotional scars, and that when you left her, you destroyed not only her marriage but also her dreams and hopes. We grieve for the pain that you have caused her.

You don’t understand it now, but you will face natural consequences for your behavior the rest of your life. People will mistrust you. Many will believe that you are a liar, and others will not cooperate with you in financial or professional matters because they believe that you are irresponsible and immature. These consequences will not be the punishment of God; they will be the result of your actions. Don’t blame God for what you have caused!

Your question is whether God will punish you for making your wife suffer. You obviously understand that all sin deserves punishment. The Apostle Paul wrote that “the wages of sin is death.”(1) So, yes, you deserve the death penalty for your sins. But we all do! We all deserve punishment, for we all have sinned. However, the Apostle Paul continued, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”(2) Christ took the punishment so that we wouldn’t have to. But it’s not automatic. Anyone can have eternal life instead of eternal punishment, but each one of us must have a change of heart. If you want this forgiveness, you must be truly sorry for all your sins and ask Christ to forgive you. Then you must follow His way instead of your own way. You get to decide whether to accept Christ’s forgiveness or take your own eternal punishment.

We wish you well,

1 Ro 6:23a
2 Ro 6:23b