An Indian sister I will call Vicki has been concerned about whether she and her husband are lawfully married according to scripture, although they are legally married by Indian law.  Vicki grew up in the church.  Vicki’s father was not a Christian, but her mother had been converted and brought her daughter up to be a Christian.  She and her mother came to church regularly.

When it came time for Vicki to be married, her mother and father arranged a marriage for her, and it was probably more the father’s choice than the mother’s.  Earlier Vicki had a offer of marriage from a Christian, but his proposal was not handled according to Indian custom.  She rejected that offer because he approached her directly.  Vicki accepted the person her father and mother brought forward and was married to him.  She has borne two fine looking children who are better trained than average.

Not long after her marriage, Vicki’s mother died of high blood pressure, so she was the only one left in her family who was a Christian.  That did not dampen her zeal to remain faithful in church attendance.  Recently, Vicki was shocked to find out she was not the only wife of her husband.  It is quite common that Indian men have more than one wife.  Indian law officially frowns on polygamy for anyone except a Muslim, but it seems to turn a blind eye to obvious abuses.  Vicki’s non-member father may have known the marital status of the boy he arranged for her, but we have no evidence for that.  Her father also has expired now.

The status of women in India has improved in the past few years, but still it is difficult for any woman to find work that pays enough to support her children if she has no husband.  Vicki claims she had to stay with this man until her children are grown, because she cannot otherwise support them and send them to college.  There are times when Isa 4:1 seems to fit some women who refuse to live by themselves.


  1. What scripture would you use to prove conclusively to Vicki that she is not married to the man who is father to her children, no matter what Indian law says?
  2. What scriptures would you use to convince her of the seriousness of her situation?
  3. What scripture promises that the Lord will look after someone if they seek the kingdom first?
  4. What other counsel does the Lord offer Vicki and her children?
  5. What comfort does the Lord offer for how her past sins can be forgiven?