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This article first appeared at leslieburris.com. Thank you Leslie for letting us share your story!
Just as divorce lawyers are foaming at the mouth for massive profit from those being exposed on Ashley Madison, a website founded on its slogan, “Life is too short, have an affair”, I too, find myself standing in that line, offering the same people to save their money and become rich themselves.
Betrayal as painful as adultery has a way of wakening the soul with a type of despair that is unlike no other.
I would know. It has been nearly one year since I found out that my husband was pursuing another woman outside of our Christian marriage. My once apathetic soul was awakened by agony.
Anyone who is made in the image of God, watching the desolation of their marriage via unfaithful spouse, will endure a despair that the heart of God knows personally. This pain reveals an inner groaning in the core of our soul, no matter who you are.
We never rejoice over sin, but we rejoice at the exposure of it, as sin is our one contribution and requirement for salvation.
We never, ever, EVER, rejoice over evil. Marriage is under a special kind of assault, as it is a tangible expression of the relationship of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). I know first hand that God exposes sin in order to save us, as sin is the only requirement on our behalf to receive salvation. People matter so much to God, that sometimes on this side of heaven, he exposes personal sin in order to draw people unto himself.
A sort of wake up call. (Lord, revive your people)
God is always poised to pour out his mercy upon those who repent.
Many of my friends are not Christians. I love all people deeply. If you are reading this and are walking through this painful time, you are not alone. I meant what I said about saving your money for the divorce lawyer and making you rich. It doesn't mean that youwon't end up divorced, and it doesn't mean that you will end up divorced.
It means that regardless of what happens in this time, you will have a hope to cling to.
You are never out of reach to receive mercy.
What can Christians do?
Position yourself. Remember that, according to God's standard, every spouse has committed adultery. That is not explicit to sexual lust in the physical sense, but includes lusting over the imaginary spouse you have made up in your head, that you wish they would be. Any thought that doesn't honor them, at all times, is lusting. Wanting something in place of them.
Yes. That is harsh. But I say that in order to strip you from thinking you are above this (or any) sin. God has truly stripped us from the ability to judge sin; we are all in the same boat, having received a mercy that none of us deserves. The moment a believer places himself above any other person, they become non-effective in the advancement of God's kingdom. The Enemy wants you to see yourself as a better person, keeping us from preaching the gospel.
Remembering why Christ died for you, positions you to be compassionate.
Position others. You may haze zero experience in this area, to the degree that hurting people in the wake of the AM exposure are, but there are believers who can help, like myself, who are walking through this dark time in the light of Christ. Send them to people and resources who will be a giver of hope.
Pray. I love this teaching by John Piper;
“God Has Preserved All the Prayers of All the Saints
Look at Revelation 8:3: "And another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne."
Notice: it is the prayers of "all the saints" that have been piling up on the altar. If you wonder where your prayers go and what God does with them, here is one of the answers. They go onto an altar before his throne. If mere human beings can invent a microchip that holds millions of bytes of communication, it is not difficult to imagine that God has no trouble at all devising a way to preserve on his altar every prayer that has ever been prayed in the name of Jesus.”
Your prayers matter and are being stored up by God himself.
It is no surprise that people are cheating on their spouse, what is surprising is how powerful sin exposure can be, and how God is always poised to pour out his mercy upon those who repent. Today if you hear his voice...
The harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few. Lord, strengthen the laborers.
For more on this topic, check out Leslie's blog at leslieburris.com.
Leslie Burris is married to her husband Randy, AKA “Burris”. They have been married for 6 years after meeting on Twitter. They have three children ages 3 and under. Leslie is committed to encouraging believers to rest in the finish work of Christ, taking passages/doctrine and making them applicable for those who need hope; whether through writing, leading bible study, or hanging out. She is an avid coffee drinker and reader.