“For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.”
Proverbs 6:34 NIV
It’s probably a wife or husbands biggest fear (if fear plays a part in their marriage), and the greatest nightmare of anyone who has been affected by an extra-marital affair. Not only does it affect and break the heart of the spouse involved but the children, extended families and then the community.
We all know from celebrity affairs how much respect is lost for someone when they break their vow and sleep with another person. It puts a taint on their name that is often irrevocable. But with God, shame is always irrevocable and that’s why I share my story.
My story of being affected by infidelity goes back 15 years to just after my fourth child was born and I was a 25 year old, zealous youth leader in our church. I was a different person back then and so were the people involved. I was still insecure and had low self-esteem in regards to my body image and looks- and that was BEFORE social media!
I add all that to say, that when I found out my husband at that time had slept with another woman who I considered a friend, my self-esteem could have been shattered and my self-worth destroyed. But I can honestly say that I gave Jesus my broken heart.
Any default setting I previously had of running to smokes, or drinks or even food, for comfort all went out the window and I sought my comfort in the Lord and what He showed me at that time.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Psalm 139:14-16 NIV
This became my meditation. These verses answered questions in my soul that wanted to bring justice to an unjust situation. Even thought the circumstances around me still didn’t make sense, the storm that raged within me was starting to settle.
Jesus was reminding me that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. That even the flaws in my physical features were a part of His design. That He thought I was beautiful even though this act had sent me a different message. I was enough for Him, even though the lie of the affair was that I wasn’t enough for my husband, and that brought satisfaction to me.
He also reminded me that He knew that this was going to happen before I was even born. That it was numbered among the days I would live. While that could have made me angry that it shouldn’t have been that way, it actually gave me a sense of peace, in avoiding the “shoulda, woulda, coulda” thoughts that wanted to invade my mind.
If a loving God, who knew my heart and saw my husband cheating on me the day it happened, when I only found out 6 months later, was in control, then I knew I could trust Him with the next six months.
While I wanted everyone to hate and reject the people involved, Jesus reminded me that He too was rejected and betrayed by the very people He kept close to Him. I not only found comfort in that, but I respected and loved Him for it even more. He was sinless, full of love and always blessing His disciples and they still cheated Him. I was a young, insecure, angry, sin filled woman so I had no reason not to forgive, when I had been forgiven.
“Forgiveness gives up my right to hurt you for hurting me.” “Forgiveness releases my responsibility to judge that person for hurting me.” In this season, new pathways of forgiveness are forged. Jesus is the giver of forgiveness. We have to receive it freely in order to be able to give it.
I chose to stay in that marriage and forgive and birthed a beautiful boy the following year. I wouldn’t say that every woman should stay and that that is the noble thing to do. Every situation is different. But whatever you choose, choose to Give Him your Broken Heart and He will give you an ability to forgive like you’ve never forgiven before.
In Jesus name.
Faithful God, thank you for your grace and for your mercy. Thank you for loving us unconditionally through our heart ache and pain. Thank you that there is no circumstance that we can face that you are unacquainted with. You’re our great High priest so we come to your throne room and find mercy and strength in our time of need. Help us to forgive when we don’t have it in us. Thank you for forgiving us for all we have done too. In Jesus name, Amen