Tragedy of Infidelity
One of the tragic things about infidelity is how often it happens, even in Christian marriages. Christians are held to a higher standing before the Lord, but it still occurs more frequently than one would imagine.
Why do people have affairs? There are a number of factors tempting some to break their marriage vows. Often, the cause of is difficult to pinpoint. It could be stress from financial troubles, joblessness, illness, or infidelity. An out of work husband may feel resentment of a wife becoming the family breadwinner.
Infidelity on the part of either spouse can destroy a home. Pain and anguish because of unfaithfulness may alter the decision to reconcile or in a relationship. But the road to reconciliation can be possible with the right counsel and a willingness to forgive. In the eyes of the Lord, a guilty spouse is still worthy of forgiveness.
People who cheat don't realize how devastating marital betrayal can be, and our permissive society is largely to blame. Adulterous behavior and fornication are regularly part of many prime time TV shows and movies. It would seem to the casual watcher this type of behavior is normal. However, God's original purpose for holy matrimony was for one man and one woman to be joined together in matrimony for a lifetime.
The Bible gives several scriptures on coping with infidelity.
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge(Hebrews 13:4).
The decision to forgive and reconcile is a very personal choice, but the determining factor is love. When Christian couples look to God, reconciliation is much more likely to occur. However, it requires genuine remorse. It requires an innocent spouse to be willing to forgive past feelings of betrayal to find peace, and have open, honest communication.
Couples seeking how to cope with infidelity in marriage can only take one day at a time. Open and honest communication is a prerequisite if reconciliation can take place. Candidly and patiently talking through problematic issues without arguments or accusations helps rebuild trust. Spouses may need to seek professional counseling or visit with an experienced clergyman for assistance.
In the beginning counselors may meet with each spouse separately to discover where areas of conflict are. Later meetings will be scheduled with both spouses present. No one individual is solely innocent or guilty. Each must be willing to take responsibility for actions which led to the marriage's demise. It's important both parties not play the blame game and avoid accusations that may lead to further anger and hurt.
Will will will will will If your spouse has broken their marriage vows by having an adulterous affair, the deception may have destroyed the trust that formerly existed. As a Christian, you know God wants to heal your marriage. But the thought of ever trusting your spouse again may seem impossible.
Is it possible to heal wounds after a spouse has been unfaithful? Yes, because God is faithful, and anything is possible with Him. While it’s normal to ask your spouse to tell you everything about an affair, you should handle these questions with care. Once the who, when, and where questions have been asked, don’t probe any deeper unless doing so will help you heal. Dwelling on a spouse's affair will only cause further harm.
It's vital to learn successful coping strategies.
Life’s daily demands continue whether or not there is a crisis. Children must still be cared for, as well as keeping up with your employment responsibilities. Learn from your grief. Don’t try to suppress it. However, if all else seems to have failed, let's look at what the Bible says about divorce.
God, laid out His plan for marriage as a lifelong union. When we stray from His plan, we have seen the results are damaging on many levels. Unfortunately, the divorce rate in the church is comparable to that of the rest of society. Many Christians see nothing wrong with divorce. But the Bible clearly addresses the topic.
Marriage is the first institution created by God. God made the first man, Adam, but saw it was not good for him to be alone. God then created a woman, Eve, for Adam. The creation of marriage occurred prior to sin's entrance into the world.
God emphasizes three principles:
Marriage is sacred
God hates divorce
Marriage is designed to produce children of good character.
Divorce is the destruction of the foundation of all societies – the family unit. Sometimes, it's necessary. Sometimes, even unavoidable. For example, some states have what's called no-fault divorce. If one spouse files for divorce the other can't stop it.
It becomes obvious those considering divorce should seek counseling, because most divorces are neither necessary or unavoidable. Divorce isn't required in most cases. If you are concerned about whether you have biblical grounds for divorce, you need to commit the matter to prayer and study. Seek counsel from a pastor or licensed Christian counselor. Sin can't be taken lightly. But there might be biblical grounds:
If your spouse has committed adultery, divorce is morally allowed, but not required. Many couples have been able to rebuild their marriages even in those concerning adultery. The point is, according to Scripture, divorce and remarriage appear to be justified in only in a few instances.
Another option is to consider a legal separation first. This will allow both partners more time to ponder the situation and not rashly rush into any hasty decision.