Forgiving Adultery?

Your Questions Answered by the King's High Way

Q: I am in the struggle of my life since discovering my husband had an adulterous affair. He has repented and really wants our marriage to be restored. However, I still struggle with justified hurts and wild feelings of betrayal and rejection. Is there a time or a situation where feelings are justified and being righteously jealous is appropriate, or is it just plain self-life rearing its ugly head?

When you pass through the water (trouble) I will be with you; and through the rivers, they won't overflow you; when you walk through the fire, you won't be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord, You are precious in My sight and I LOVE YOU.

Isaiah 43:2-4

A: The wounds from adultery run very deep, but Christians have The Healer living in them. He wants to take our deepest wounds and help us not only to forgive, but also to forget. There is no wound too deep, too great, or too damaging that cannot be healed by the Spirit of God working through His Word. The question is: Are you willing to make a commitment to your marriage based on the promises in the Word of God? Choosing by faith to commit to saving your marriage, regardless of how troubled your relationship is, will allow you to receive God's favor and blessing. 

When we suffer unjustly at the hands of others, it's hard to forgive. God's Love (Agape) is the only thing that will enable you to unconditionally forgive and forget what was done to you. You can't do this naturally. Your negative thoughts and emotions won't go away on their own. God is not asking you to work up a feeling of forgiveness toward your husband, He is asking you to make a choice (no matter how you feel) to forgive him. Forgiveness is a matter of your will - a choice to obey God regardless of your emotions. It's a faith choice, not a feeling choice. By choosing to unconditionally forgive him, God will pour His Agape Love into your soul; your wounds and hurts will be soothed, healed and removed. Then, in God's timing, He will align your feelings with your choices and you'll begin to "feel" forgiveness. Corrie ten Boom describes unforgiveness as sitting in a very dark room, in the daytime, with heavy draperies closing off the sunlight and fresh air. When you choose to forgive, the sunshine floods in and dispels every corner of darkness. The air will be fresh and sweet.

Agape Love is a totally unselfish Love that has the capacity to give and keep on giving without expecting anything in return. Only Christians can have this Love because it is Christ in us. Agape is a choice of your will and has no dependence on feelings; therefore, you can bring it into your marriage immediately. It is a Love of action, not emotion. It focuses on what you do and say rather than how you feel. If you choose to cling to your justified hurts and jealous behavior, your marriage has no chance of survival. Also, over time, those negative feelings will take a toll on your physical and emotional well-being. Because, whoever directs and controls your thinking is ultimately the one who will direct and control your life. In other words, how we think affects how we feel; how we feel influences our desires; and, our desires are what produce our actions.

What do you do when those justified thoughts and feelings just won't go away? Remember you are in a spiritual warfare. The reason these thoughts keep coming back is because they have become long-standing "strongholds" of the enemy and Satan is not going to give them up easily. His strategy is to besiege your mind until he wears down your resistance and captures your thoughts. When we give God our negative thoughts and emotions, He takes them immediately; however, often our feelings don't align with that choice for awhile. And this is where Satan tries to make us think that God is not faithful and that He hasn't really healed us. Now, it's God's prerogative as to how long He lets us go before He aligns our feelings with our choices. Will we keep on believing Him, even though we don't feel any change? Satan, of course, wants us to crumble in confusion and discouragement.

Therefore, if you have confessed, repented and given the jealousies, betrayals, and rejections over to God and they don't immediately go away, don't give up! Stand still, submit to the confusion and keep trusting Him. Father God, thank you for strength to forgive today, in the name of Jesus, our Intercessor.

Debbie Holland
King's High Way Manager