Bearing Sexual Sin

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:13 (ESV)

I have been a part of the lives of numerous couples who have put their marriages and families back together after weathering the storms brought about by sexual immorality.

As difficult as it is, you must understand that your marriage will never be the same as it was before the sexual immorality took place. On its face, that statement may make you sad, but take a few moments and think about it. Do you really want that life back? You were married to a different person then, one who had secrets and was deceptive. Now things have been brought into the light and the Lord has revealed his heart. Hopefully, some changes have been made in both of you and you are able to be more honest and open with one another.

You will need counseling. Counsel separately, man to man and woman to woman, and then counsel as a couple with both counselors. The counselors should always be pointing you back toward the cross and restoration of the marriage relationship; pointing each of you in the direction of working on your own sinful thoughts, beliefs, and desires (Matthew 7:3-5).

The majority of our counseling cases involve two believers who say they are willing to submit to our counsel and say they are willing to change. What we find through the counseling process is that even when the initial issue of the sexual sin is dealt with biblically, there is much work yet to be done.

You will have to deal biblically with issues that are, in some cases, long-standing. You have to get at the roots of the problems that led to the sexual sin. Each issue you bring to the counseling table should be looked at from a biblical perspective. The goal should be for each of you to individually determine to give God the glory by how you live your lives. This means confession and repentance must take place in each individual’s heart.

You must determine to put God first in your lives followed by each other; everything and everyone falls in line after God and your spouse with very few exceptions  Be careful not to idolize each other or your marriage in the process. A good biblical counselor can help you avoid that pitfall.

This process will be a lot of work and at times it may feel impossible and overwhelming to you. Remember in those moments (or days), that you did not get into this marital mess in one day and you most likely won’t climb out of it quickly either.

It would be unrealistic and more importantly unbiblical for your husband to expect you to pretend or ignore the hurt and pain you are enduring. There has been betrayal; you have been wounded. You may be conflicted and have little inner peace due to the recurrent thoughts and memories. To pretend this inner conflict does not exist and to minimize its impact would be peace-faking and, in reality, all that emotion would be driven underground to fester and become a cancerous spiritual issue. God has called us to live in peace and to address anger and other sin issues before the sun goes down (Ephesians 4:26, 27).

You as the one who is hurting and struggling with the knowledge you possess, are responsible for getting help for the sin issues you are confronting in response to your husband’s former sexual sin.