For the past eight months I’ve been in a romantic relationship with a married woman who is in the process of getting a divorce and has a nine-year-old daughter…. From the beginning we had a sexual relationship. I knew it was wrong, but we kept on doing it anyway. It was all secret.

A week ago, she broke up with me. She had looked over my social media communication and saw things that she didn’t like…. Since we attend the same church, we almost always see each other, but now we don’t even say hello.

I feel guilty for having hurt her…. So I asked her to forgive me, and she said she needed some time. I am confused, and I don’t know what to do.

Dear Friend,

Your faithful church attendance means that our answer to you has to be different than it would be if you knew nothing about God and His Son Jesus Christ. You obviously hear the teachings of the Bible on a regular basis, so you know what the Bible says about how a true follower of Christ wants to follow Christ’s example and to avoid sin.

Your specific situation troubles us because you apparently believe that you can repeatedly ignore God’s direction and plan for your life, but still expect that He will make it all work out well for you in the end. You know the Bible well enough to know that having a sexual relationship outside of marriage is never God’s plan, and yet you obviously want God to overlook your sin while still helping you to get the outcome that you want.

Unfortunately, you are one of those people whose relationship with God is based on convenience. While appearing to be a follower of Christ at church, outside of church you follow your own plan. You sum it up when you say that it was all secret.

The Apostle Paul was thinking of people like you when he wrote, “Do not deceive yourselves; no one makes a fool of God. You will reap exactly what you plant.” (1)

You planted sexual sin and deceit, and that is what has grown in your life. It is as if you planted onions, but expected a harvest of tomatoes. Now you are disappointed that you have a field of onions.

We think that it is very possible that your girlfriend has recognized her sin with you, and that she desires to be forgiven by God. She knows that, in order to be forgiven, she must stop the sin and change directions.

God wants to forgive you too. His Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross to pay for your sin. But don’t deceive yourself. Your secret life is not compatible with being a Christ follower, no matter how often you go to church.

We wish you well,

1 Gal 6:7 (GNT)