A Resurrected Marriage Story Day 3: Shattered Dreams
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Hebrews 13:4, ESV)
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18, ESV)
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13, ESV)
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. (James 1:13, ESV)
There are moments in life that take a toll on your emotional, physical and spiritual health, and in them, only God is able to give the needed strength to persevere. It’s impossible to prepare yourself for the reality that not only is your spouse having an affair, but their plan is to leave you. Right after Christmas of that year, my husband took a trip, and I absolutely knew when he came home that our lives were about to be turned upside down. Fear and pain were never more real than in the months and years that followed.
It’s never God’s intention that we face these things in life, but when we live in a broken world, the brokenness touches our lives in ways that desperately try to break us. Satan does that. Now listen, we are well aware that sin is a choice and that temptation is not from God. We understand that only when we wander from God and His Word do we choose actions that are wrong. And we both now realize how great is the cost of turning away from the Lord and ignoring the Spirit within us. There is only one way this became part of our journey—a disconnection from our Father above. When we experience a disconnect, we open ourselves up to sin that will not only hurt us, but will also hurt others, and it will hurt God.
Looking back on the day my husband packed a bag and walked out of our home, I see two entirely different people than who I see in us today—and I thank God for that. The break in our marriage would ultimately be a catalyst for change—good change—but there was a long process from that horrible day to the day we committed our hearts and lives to one another again.
Marriage is meant to last; divorce was never God’s plan for us. And yet in that season, the dreaded D-word became a possibility for the first time in my life, not because I wanted it to, but because I could only control my actions and my choices, not his. A very important thing for married couples to remember is that our commitment to our spouse is the only side of “committing” we are responsible for. I am responsible to be honorable, loyal and committed to my husband, but he must choose that (or not) for himself. In some ways, this takes the pressure off of trying to control a spouse’s faithfulness. In other ways, it’s terrifying because you realize that your spouse’s commitment to you is out of your control. And in the season that followed, I feared we would face a painful and devastating divorce.
God sent many people into our lives in that season, people who loved us, prayed with us, encouraged us, and strengthened us. People brought us food, kept us company, called or texted us to check in, and really carried out the truth of “bearing one another’s burdens.” While the breech in my marriage made me feel broken and even physically sick, I am forever thankful for the people who loved me through it.
Maybe you know someone today who is walking through something difficult. May I encourage you to step in and offer them love and practical help? You may feel there is someone else better suited to step in, and maybe that’s true, but I can assure you they would appreciate a kind note or a hug. You don’t need to ask details unless they want to offer them; just show them you care! That’s what Jesus taught us by His own example, and we should be honored to do the same for any who are lost and hurting. Pray that God will open your eyes to those who may need you, and then be willing when He does.