It is very depressing and sad when you look around our world today and see so many marriages and relationships in turmoil. The most shocking of it all is that, it is very rampant today in the body of Christ i.e. the church.
After reading books, watching the news, listening to loved ones and counseling a few, I have come to the conclusion that one of the greatest marriage and relationship destroyers of all time are “Adultery”. It is not only a sin against God but it is a sin that causes so much emotional pain to the other parties involved (spouse and children).
If you look at the statistics today on the divorce rate, you will see that over 50% of the marriages that end up in divorce are as a result of infidelity/adultery.
By the way, what do we mean by Adultery? Adultery by the dictionary definition is extra marital/relational sex that willfully and maliciously interferes with marital/relational relations. Some people confuse adultery with fornication because they are both transgressions before God. The difference between fornication and adultery is that fornication is the act of having pre-marital sex with another unmarried person so it usually pertains to someone who is single; however adultery pertains to sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse.
The sin of Adultery is a disastrous reality that has existed and afflicted mankind since the beginning of time. For believers, one of the most well known accounts of adultery recorded in scripture is revealed in the story of King David and his affair with Bathsheba. 2 Sam 11:2-27. Although King David actively pursued Bathsheba, the strange woman in his home, some respected and anointed men of God like King David have fallen victim to the beauty and flattery tongue of the strange woman Proverbs 6:24-25. And as a result, the anointing of God in their lives was destroyed and sometimes their homes, and in such cases it will take the divine intervention of the Holy Spirit to restore them. There was an incident in the church I was attending a few years ago where a man of God whom I so much respected had been having affairs with the women in the church. He was quite a handsome preacher and 90% of his congregation was women but I just saw the anointing of God on his life and how the Lord was using him mightily. It never occurred to me that such a thing would happen to him and as a result of his succumbing to the flesh, his ministry suffered a terrible blow, marriages were destroyed, for a couple of women he was sleeping with also happen to be married. It was a very unfortunate incident and so brethren; this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed in the church today. We are an adulterous generation.
When adultery taints the purity of the marriage covenant, the road to reconciliation is usually quite difficult especially for the spouse who has been betrayed.
Sadly to say, many Christians have skipped the reconciliation process because they find it difficult to forgive their cheating spouses. Decisions of separation and divorce are therefore made in haste out of pain and anger. Can you really blame them? However, we should ask ourselves will this be God’s will for me if I do this? Many have used the famous words of Jesus Christ in Matt 19:9 to justify their decision for divorce but if everyone who has been through the pain of adultery decide to obtain a divorce, how many marriages will truly remain standing? There has to be room for forgiveness. The same scriptures tell us to forgive those who have trespassed against us and also that God hates putting away i.e. divorce Mal 2:16. As painful as the betrayal is, an effort at saving the marriage/relationship should be made especially a Christian union that has been ordained and blessed with children. God’s thoughts towards us are good and not of evil to give us an expected end (future). Divorce was never in God’s plan for man and therefore it is evil, it is the work and plan of the enemy to destroy marriages especially Christian marriages. His only job is to kill, to steal and to destroy, John 10:10.
It pleases the Lord to see the spouses reconcile because it also causes them to be reconciled back to God as a family. He assures us that he will be with us always even in times of trouble.
Having said all this, we know that rebuilding a relationship is definitely not an easy task for it will take both time and effort on both sides to make it happen. Above all, it will take the grace of God to bring harmony back into the home again.
- The first step to rebuilding the marriage or relationship is for the adulterer to be willing to repent. He/she must genuinely confess their sins and repent.
- The betrayed spouse (victim) must be willing to forgive in order for the healing process to begin.
- The couple should seek biblical counseling immediately for it helps both parties to understand why it happened and how to avoid it from happening again.
- In addition to counseling, the couple should spend time in prayer seeking God’s face and asking for his grace and power to get them through the tough times.
- The adulterous spouse should be accountable to someone in order for that trust to be rebuilt. Mostly likely he needs to be accountable to his spouse, pastor or counselor.
I have had the opportunity to counsel both relatives and close friends who have all suffered heart breaks at some point in time and they all had one thing in common and that was feeling better after sharing their troubles with a loved one. One who is patient and offers a listening ear does make the difference.
For those who have been betrayed and are still harboring un-forgiveness towards their spouse, give God your heart and trust him completely for your healing. Proverbs 3:5. Do not harbor un-forgiveness in your heart for then you also will be sinning against God and it is also unhealthy to your spirit, body & soul. Trust the Lord for your marriage/relationship and your family for he is with you to guide and see you through every step of the way. Do not forget that your spouse is human and as long as we are still in the flesh, all humans, even we that are born again Christians have the tendency to still commit sin. None of us are beyond temptation and that is why we have to ask God for his grace daily to deliver us from every temptation. Forgiveness is a big step in the reconciliation process and it cannot be avoided. Do your part and leave the rest to the Lord. As he is working on you, he will also be working on your spouse through his Holy Spirit. In due time, he will make everything beautiful again, for he will give you beauty for ashes and joy for pain because you have decided to surrender all to him.