In This Series:
Hurdle #1: Wrong ThinkingMany people mistakenly think that adultery is simply a wrong action, but it is also a violation of God‚Äôs divine order for marriage. A person who has had an affair must seek his spouse’s forgiveness, not just for the adulterous act, but also for violating the marriage covenant, or sacred commitment. An intact marriage covenant creates an atmosphere of security and trust. That security and trust is what Kim needs in order to give herself freely to Jim. Only a restored sense of security and trust, borne of Jim asking and receiving forgiveness for breaking the covenant, can begin to restore Kim’s confidence, peace and joy.
Hurdle #2: A Multi-Faceted StruggleIt is important to realize that a wounded spouse, such as Kim, will struggle with multiple issues. On one hand, her own sexual identity has become confused. Because of Jim‚Äôs act of immorality Kim finds herself asking deep in her soul, What is wrong with me that he would want someone else? There is also the issue of shame emerging in her spirit: shame that he would want any other woman, and especially that it was her friend Bonnie. How could it be Bonnie? Bonnie of all people! Another facet of Kim’s struggle is her confusion over her lack of peace. Although she has forgiven Jim’s acts, she needs to process and eventually forgive him for the ways she has been affected by his violation of their marriage vows.
Hurdle #3: Getting to the Real ProblemOn the surface, it may appear that one’s behavior is the problem, and that a promise “to change” is the solution. However, the real problem with someone like Jim is the fact that in his mind, he granted himself permission to break his marriage vows. To address only his behavior and overlook this issue of permission will leave both Kim and Jim in limbo. Without getting to the real problem, both spouses are destined to continue feeling as though something is wrong, but neither will understand what. They will limp along, wondering why their relationship is so tentative and distant.
Hurdle #4: Inability to Trust or Be TrustedThis ties in closely with Hurdle #1. Once a marital covenant has been breached, trust will be difficult ‚Äî but necessary ‚Äî to restore. Without trust, a couple cannot know intimacy. To set the stage for restored trust, Jim must be able to humbly admit that he is unable to manage his sin or keep his promises, and that he is deeply addicted to the pleasure of sin. At that point, he will be in a position to receive God’s freeing grace and empowerment to choose differently. By being humble and openly dependent on God, Jim will also be putting himself in a position where Kim can begin to trust him again. As renewed trust grows between them, the couple will be able to enjoy rich intimacy, true fulfillment and sustaining joy. By conquering these hurdles together, hurting spouses can overcome the damage of infidelity. By learning to trust God in a new, much deeper way, they can enjoy a stronger, more fulfilling marriage.
Put the Pieces of Your Marriage Back Together
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