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
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).
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.
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.
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
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
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.