I remember hearing those words. Words I’ve heard spoken about other couples’ relationships, but never in a million years would they be uttered to describe mine. You see, I’m a pastor’s wife and somehow I had convinced myself that being married to a pastor would affair-proof my marriage. But I’ll never forget hearing those words spill from husband’s mouth, “I’m having an affair” and the gut-wrenching reality that my marriage was most likely over.
In the wake of the cyberhack on the website Ashley Madison (created to help you have an affair) millions of Americans can now search the data base to see if their spouse used the online service, and find out exactly how they used it. Millions of husbands and wives are painfully exposing the truth about the state of their marriage through this simple search. Maybe you’re one of those millions.
You thought you had a great marriage (okay, maybe not great), or a good-enough relationship to protect you from an affair. So what now? How do you move forward? How do you ever trust again? Can you ever trust again with websites all over the Internet that, like Ashley Madison, tempt our husbands to sin?
When my husband confessed to having an affair with my best friend in 2005, I remember asking those same exact questions. I had lost my husband, my best friend, and my church family. But the greatest loss was my identity. My life felt like one big joke and I was the punchline. I was left looking at a future of being a single mom to my three young boys with more unknowns than I could handle. I had hit rock bottom. Rock bottom from choices I didn’t make. My life felt like a hopeless mess.
But, the gift of hitting rock bottom is that it’s a solid surface to stand on.
Hebrews 12:10-13 says:
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
Leaning into his discipline means you will have to choose to trust him (which is ridiculous when so much trust has been broken, I know) but Isaiah 26:3 says:
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
If the currency of all relationships is trust, you have to first trust in your relationship with Jesus before you can find hope and healing in your marriage. But you and only you can choose to get up and stand in the trustworthy love of Jesus. And when you do, you will find yourself standing on a firm foundation that will not waver or break.
This summer, my husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Obviously there is so much more to our story of redemption I wish I could share. In our book Beyond Ordinary When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough we tackle tough topics like drifting apart, sexual brokenness and forgiveness. But today, I wanted to share with you four ways to begin building trust that can become the catalyst for change in your heart and the heart of your marriage.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today The Exchange – Trisha Davis