Finding love as a witness

by RawrSaysTheLion 18 Replies latest social relationships

  • RawrSaysTheLion

    Hi I'm new.

    I'm going on 2yrs as a baptized witness although I've just received a reproval on the grounds of living with a wordly man unmarried for 6 months. Long story short it ended messy and I ran straight back to the witnesses because I do love Jehovah and I missed my family. My issues were only with the actual organization.

    I desperately want to find someone to share my world with but I feel like I'm too tainted to be loved by anyone worthy in the truth and my morals are to high to love another boy from the world.

    I feel like I'm stuck half way between two worlds.

    Any words to help a broken heart?

  • Fernando
    Welcome RawrSaysTheLion.
    There are some wonderful folk here on JWC and I'm sure you'll feel a lot better after reading what they have to say.
    We are wired for relationships both intimate and otherwise.
    It is natural. You are normal.
    All religion is however obsessed with controlling humans and human sexuality. This is neither normal nor right.
    Membership of the Watchtower is a no-win situation because the Watchtower ruling religious clergy class are always right no matter how wrong they are.
    As a believer I too love Jehovah and know that he loves me.
    His love as our heavenly father is unconditional.
    It is not based on what I do or do not do.
    That is why, the "good news" (especially according to Paul) makes it clear that a clean and right standing with God is imputed as a "free gift" based on what God has already done to redeem us his children. This is not something we can earn, deserve or pay for. Paul is very clear on this - over and over. To check just search for and mark the words righteous/ness in Paul's letters.
    Religionists do not like this message since it sets us free from their illegitimate power, control and authority.
    May you make many great friends here.
  • Divergent

    Welcome, Lioness. First & foremost, please understand that you DO NOT have to marry a JW. JW's have completely misinterpreted the command to "marry only in the Lord." Please read the following article & think for yourself which of the following 3 explanations makes the most sense:

    In 1 Corinthians 7:39 widows are told to marry “only in the Lord.”

    What does this mean?

    Context and background

    Let us begin by opening our Bibles to 1 Corinthians 7. As we skim through chapter 7 we are reminded that the topic of chapter 7 is marriage. The Corinthians have apparently asked some questions about God’s law regarding marriage and Paul is taking the opportunity at this point to address these questions. Verses 39-40 read, “A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. But she is happier if she remains as she is, according to my judgment–and I think I also have the Spirit of God.” (NKJV)

    Three possible answers

    What we will notice is that there are three scriptural answers to this question. To answer this question what we will do is look at the reasons for the position and against the position. Then we will draw some concluding remarks and leave the decision in your hands. In each answer, there are some difficulties in the answer. What we will look for is the answer with the least amount of difficulties. Unfortunately the phrase “only in the Lord” is unique to this place in the scriptures. We cannot go to another place in the New Testament and read the phrase “only in the Lord” to know how to apply the statement. If this had been the case, the answer would be much simpler. Further, the phrase “in the Lord” has a number of meanings in the New Testament. We will note these meanings later in our study. Therefore, there are three possible and scriptural answers that we will concern ourselves with. (1) widows can only remarry Christians. (2) widows could only remarry Christians because of the present distress, but does not apply now. (3) “in the Lord” means to marry according to the law of God. Let us now deal with each of these three positions.

    “Widows Can Only Marry Christians” position

    Arguments in favor

    This is the majority view. Nearly every commentary and scholarly work I picked up said that what Paul means in 1 Corinthians 7:39 is that a widow is only authorized to marry a Christian. The NIV translators were so sure that this is the meaning of the verse that they translated the verse differently to reflect this opinion. The NIV reads, “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.” This is clearly an interpretation of the verse since all other translators render the phase “only in the Lord.”

    The greatest advantage to this position is that it is simple and straightforward. When reading this verse alone, it is the most natural answer to the passage. Further, the phrase “in the Lord” can refer to being a Christian. Romans 16:11, “Greet Herodion, my countryman. Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.” Here Paul is clearly speaking to those who are Christians. To make the argument stronger, in 1 Corinthians 7, the very same chapter of the verse in question, Paul uses “in the Lord” to refer to Christians. Notice 1 Corinthians 7:22, “For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave.”With this information before us and no other study done, it is easy to see why many would understand this passage to mean that a widow must only marry a Christian. If this was all that there was to the study, I would agree with the position present. However, let us notice the many difficulties that are presented by accepting such a viewpoint.

    Arguments against

    Let us begin with the most logical of arguments. No where in the scriptures do we read of any limitations upon whom a person may marry in regard to if they are Christians or not. In the very beginning, God commanded man to leave father and mother, be joined to his wife and the two become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Jesus teaches this principle himself in Matthew 19:4-15. This is general authority for all people to become married, unless there is specific prohibition, as we find inMatthew 19. But there is no specific prohibition against a Christian marrying a non-Christian. Many will misuse 2 Corinthians 6:14 to say that Paul is discussing marriage. But Paul is not discussing marriage and to make this passage a law that Christians can only marry Christians is something God never said.

    Further, such an argument violates the very commands Paul gave earlier in 1 Corinthians 7. In 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 Paul answers the Corinthians question about some of them being married to unbelievers. He does not tell them that being married to unbeliever is sin. In fact, Paul teaches the opposite. Christians married to unbelievers are to remain in marriage (7:12-13). Further Paul says that by being married to the unbeliever he or she may become a Christian (7:16). To say that a widow must marry a Christian violates Paul’s teaching here that the marriage is sanctified if married to an unbeliever.

    If a widow marrying an unbeliever is a sin, then what must one do to repent of the sin? Put away the unlawful marriage. How else could a person repent of this action if it is a sin to marry an unbeliever? The only answer is through divorce. Is this what God has told us to do? Is this what we will preach to people that Christian widows must divorce unbelieving spouses? Again, this is in clear violation of Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16. Paul said if the unbeliever is content to dwell with the Christian, DO NOT DIVORCE.

    What would be the logical argument to teach that widows must only marry Christians, but all other Christians do not have to? How can we justify teaching that there is logical sense for widows to marry Christians and not have all other Christians marry Christians as well? If God would command it of widows, why not for the rest of us? Some argue that it is better for widows to marry Christians. But that is true of all people. Others argue that widows needed to marry a Christian so the widow would be taken care of. But this is true of all Christians also.

    If Paul was teaching widows to get remarried to only Christians, why did he not say that in his other letter regarding widows and marriage? Turn to Romans 7:2-3. In this passage Paul gives the exact same instructions as he does in 1 Corinthians 7:39 except he says nothing about marry Christians. Did Paul give a different command to the Corinthians than he did the Romans? Turn to 1 Timothy 5:3-16. Here Paul gives the instructions for widows in Ephesus. In verse 14 the younger widows are told to get remarried so that they will be taken care of. Nothing in this passage says that widows are to only marry Christians. Did Paul give a different command to the widows in Ephesus than he did in Corinth? No. We must be misunderstanding what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7 since all of these difficulties arise from this position.

    Further, the statement by Paul in verse 39 would not make rational sense if “only in the Lord” refers to marrying Christians. Paul said that a widow is free to marry whomever she wishes. If a widow can only marry a Christian, then the widow is not free to marry whomever she wishes. It would be like me telling someone that they can go to any college in the United States as long as it is in West Palm Beach. The clause complete invalidates the statement about going to any college. This amounts to simple trickery. If Paul wanted to tell widows to only marry Christians, the simple statement would have been that widows are free to marry in the Lord. But he did not say it this way. He said they could marry whomever they wish. For “only in the Lord” mean marrying only Christians limits Paul’s statement of “marrying whomever they wish” to the point that it is not true.

    “Widows Can Only Marry Christians but Applied During Present Distress” position

    Arguments in favor

    There are many aspects of Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians 7 that are said in the light of the present distress that the Corinthians were enduring. We see Paul make reference to this in 1 Corinthians 7:26, “I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress–that it is good for a man to remain as he is.” Paul certainly was not teaching that people for all time ought not be married. He said these words in light of the persecution that Corinthians were enduring. In verses 32-33 Paul explains why it is better to not be married during a persecution: “But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord–how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world–how he may please his wife.”

    Further, it can be argued that verse 39 was written with the present distress in mind. This can be seen from the flow of the argument given inverse 40: “But she is happier if she remains as she is, according to my judgment–and I think I also have the Spirit of God.” Paul said that she is happier to remain as she is. Was Paul saying that all widows are better off not marrying? No, that cannot be since he instructed younger widows to be married so that they would be taken care of in 1 Timothy 5:14. Obviously, Paul is says these words in light of the persecution. It would be better for widows not to get remarried during the present distress the Corinthians would be enduring. It can be contextually argued that Paul commanded widows that if they were going to remain during those difficult times, then they must marry a Christian.

    Arguments against

    But there are also some difficulties with this position. One problem is that the argument begins to pick and choose what commands were given because of the present distress and what were not. If there is a command that we do not like, then just attribute the command to the present distress. I do not believe we have the liberty to be so free with the commands of God. Unless the passage clearly speaks in such a way so as we know it is referring to the present distress, then we must be careful to simply throw away commands we do not like or cannot explain.

    Further, look carefully at verse 39 again. Is there anything in that verse which suggests that this command is referring to present distress? It does not seem to be the case. Further evidence of this is the fact that this principle that is given by Paul is given in other places in scripture. Romans 7:2-3 says the same thing as 1 Corinthians 7:39. Was Romans written in light of a present distress? No, it was not. It is a fundamental principle of marriage that a mate is bound to another as long as one of them lives. That was not a command that was true only in light of the present distress. It is a permanent command of God regarding marriage.

    We should also argue from logic. If this command was given because of a persecution, as the position argues, then what benefit would the widow have from marrying another Christian? If Christians are being persecuted, why would marrying a Christian be an advantage? It seems that the opposite is true, that it would be an advantage to marry an unbeliever and possibly be able to avoid the persecution. One who accepts this position must come up with a logic reason why it would be in the best interest of a Christian during a persecution to marry an unbeliever.

    “‘In The Lord’ Means According to the Law of God” position

    Arguments in favor

    The final way to look at this passage is to understand the statement “in the Lord” to not refer to marrying a Christian. Instead it is argued that “in the Lord” means according to the laws of God. There are many scriptures where the phrase “in the Lord” in used in such a way. Ephesians 6:1,“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Colossians 3:18, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”These are two clear passages where Paul used the phrase “in the Lord” to refer to obeying God’s will and not to being a Christian. Paul is not telling children to only obey their parents if their parents are Christians. He is telling children to obey their parents because that is God’s will. The same for wives in Colossians 3. Paul is not telling wives to only submit to Christian husbands. He is telling wives to submit because this is the will of God.

    Therefore Paul is telling the Corinthians that when a spouse dies, they are free to marry whomever they choose, according to the laws that God has given. In particular, they are free to marry according to the laws that Paul has just stated in chapter 7. Paul has just spent a whole chapter dealing with God’s legislation in marriage. Paul is reminding his readers that these commands are still in effect, even if your spouse dies.

    Arguments against

    The only objection in my mind to this position is that this position is not the most natural reading of the text. It does seem more natural to understand the passage as referring to marrying Christians. However, we have noted that while this may be a natural reading, it is full of too many conflicts and difficulties. Also, the use of the word “only” in verse 39 is a limiting factor. Paul is placing a limitation upon the widows in some sort of regard. Some argue that the word “only” is limiting the widows to only Christians. But this is not a necessary assumption.


    The three positions have been presented. I currently believe “only in the Lord” refers to being married according to God’s law because it has the least amount of difficulties and do not conflict with any other inspired word of God. In fact, in light of all the commands that Paul has given in 1 Corinthians 7, it seems like a natural reading for verse 39 to say that a widow is allowed to remarry whomever they wish, as long as they obey the commands Paul has just given. Everyone in encouraged to study these things for themselves and come to a determination in regard to this scripture. I hope that this study will give you a good head start in helping you come to an answer regarding this passage.

  • jwfacts


    my morals are to high to love another boy from the world.

    Not high, possibly different. Long lists of rules does not make a person moral, it makes them similar to the Pharisees.

    Continue to research, understand the judgmentalism and guilt imposed upon you by a coercive upbringing, and in time you will find there are many moral people worthy of your love.

  • Clambake

    Date and marry whoever you want. Just keep your pants on and they can't really do anything. Of course there will be a few shunners but they are assholes anyway.

    Also re read your theology. You are outside of the new convanent. You can't have a relationship with God. Praying is pointless and you never had a relationship with God.

    No jw man is a serious christian so don't worry about it.

  • TheListener

    Welcome Rawr, glad you posted. You will get lots of advice here but it's really up to you to look at it and really think it over. Sometimes what is familiar to us isn't always the best or right thing. I know a lot of non-witness people who would be considered moral and I know a lot that wouldn't, same goes for those in the local congregation and circuit. In my experience witnesses are just a bit better at hiding their true feelings/actions due to the potential of not just losing a mate in divorce but being disfellowshipped and losing pretty much everyone they know.

    I hope you take the time to review and think about what jwfacts the poster said about following rules and regulations making us similar to the Pharisees.

    I'm really sorry you're so stressed out right now and I wish you all the best. Please keep up posted on how things go.

  • thankyou


    I hope your ex-boyfriend will "join the club" of the non-JW "broken hearted.

  • LisaRose

    You have painted yourself in a nice little corner haven't you?

    You are making several incorrect assumptions and your black and white thinking is making you see very limited options.

    I desperately want to find someone to share my world with but I feel like I'm too tainted to be loved by anyone worthy in the truth

    That is ridiculous. Many, many Jehovah's Witnesses have been reproved or disfellowshipped and then gone on to find acceptable marriage mates. It might take time, but you could repair your reputation, if that's what you truly wanted to do. You are probably young and six months or a year seems like forever, but it's not.

    and my morals are to high to love another boy from the world.

    Well, no offence, but actually you have proven your morals aren't actually that high. It's not the end of the world, we all make mistakes, but why make an assumption that every boy "in the world" has low morals and that every JW guy has good morals? The reality is the JWs do not have a lock on morality. Many JWs do immoral things and just don't get caught and many people outside your religion have good morals, they just don't go on about it all the time.

    If your Christian beliefs are important to you and you want to find a moral husband who shares your belief in Christ, then focus on that. The bible says you should marry a fellow believer, it doesn't say you have to marry a Jehovah's Witnesss, just a fellow believer in Christ. It's not actually Christian to judge a fellow Christian because their interpretation of the scriptures differs from yours. The early Christians had differing views, they were not ostracized for it. There are other good religions out there, and good people in them. You could probably still remain a JW if that is important to you, it's not a disfellowshipping offence to marry a non JW, you would just not be able to have pre marital sex.

    If, on the other hand, you really want to live the JW life, and only see happiness with a JW husband, then you will probably have to compromise on some of your wishes. Maybe you find a guy who is good, but not good looking, or maybe you find a guy who also made mistakes in the past. At the end of the day you might also not find a mate, that is the reality, but you are a long way from knowing for sure you can't find a JW guy.

    But before you do anything, I would urge you to investigate your own religion. The Watchtower is not what you think it is, so before you make painful choices that will limit your future, why not see if you are actually in the right religion in the first place?

  • OutsiderLookingIn

    I often see this question (or some statement that JWs should date outside their small pool) and it strikes me as selfish and patently unfair to the unsuspecting non-JW on the other end. We don't know about all your rules and those that do wish we didn't.

    I'm all for compatibility and finding your true love but quite honestly, there should be some qualifying test for JWs before they can date non-JWs:

    1. Do you still believe JWs have "the truth"?

    2. Do you secretly look down on or feel sorry for the person because he or she is not a JW?

    3. Are you dating this person out of rebellion or youthful indiscretion and will kick him/her to the curb once you "grow out of it"?

    If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, please step away from the "worldly" person and let us be. Let us live out our sad, unfulfilled lives until we get killed at Armageddon

    Newsflash: we're people too. We're looking for love and happiness, sometimes in the wrong places. We're well aware that there are bad apples out there but many of us learn discernment because we have to. We don't assume everyone is depraved, awful or immoral just because they're not a JW. We judge people as individuals.

    As someone else said, the same problems that exist among JWs exist among non-JWs--you just don't make excuses for us.

    If you don't feel comfortable doing something like living together or sex before marriage, don't do it. It's called boundaries. And most non-JWs have them. Stand up for what you believe. Just remember Watchtower rules don't equal morality; sometimes they just make you judgmental.

  • AudeSapere

    Welcome RawrSaysTheLion! It's nice to have you join us and even nicer that you chose to participate in a discussion. Stick around. You will find some great insight - and good challenges to your thinking. You are very, very welcome here.


    @Divergent - Your post looks like it was a 'cut and paste' of an article. Can you please cite the source for reference? [If it's your own composition, please claim it~!]

    -AudeSapere (meaning: Dare to Know; Dare to Have Wisdom/Understanding; Dare to Think for Yourself)

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