By Reverend T L Mashiloane
Proverbs 5:15-23 15 Be faithful to your own wife, just as you drink water from your own well. 16 Don’t pour your water in the streets; don’t give your love to just any woman. 17 These things are yours alone and shouldn’t be shared with strangers. 18 Be happy with the wife you married when you were young. She gives you joy, as your fountain gives you water. 19 She is as lovely and graceful as a deer. Let her love always make you happy; let her love always hold you captive. 20 My son, don’t be held captive by a woman who takes part in adultery. Don’t hug another man’s wife. 21 The Lord sees everything you do, and he watches where you go. 22 An evil man will be caught in his wicked ways; the ropes of his sins will tie him up. 23 He will die because he does not control himself, and he will be held captive by his foolishness.
Infidelity is one of the temptations the devil uses to break up families and marriages. Although infidelity is not explicitly referenced in the Bible, it is synonymous with terms and ideas that are frequently mentioned and addressed throughout Scriptures. Synonyms of infidelity include adultery, cheating, unfaithfulness and betrayal.
The Bible in Exodus 20:14 clearly condemns adultery. Infidelity violates the commitment made in marriage to be faithful to one’s marriage partner. Infidelity is the treachery of a confidence, the violation of vows, the collapse of security and trust; and the destruction of a union.
Sex is a gift from God designed to be enjoyed within a committed marital relationship. Under no circumstances whatsoever is it to be taken outside the context of marriage.
Marital infidelity is highly destructive to a marriage because it severely damages the trust between a husband and wife. It is extremely difficult to recover from the trauma of broken trust particularly due to infidelity, but it is not impossible. It takes time and effort to rebuild trust once it is lost.
Many couples choose to continue with their marriage and live together after the traumatic experience of infidelity. Marital infidelity like all sin can be forgiven. Although infidelity is a biblical ground for divorce, divorce is not always the best option, since it can even be more traumatic, not only for the couple but also for their loved ones, especially children.
Even though a couple may choose to continue with their marriage after infidelity, it does not mean that they have healed, or the trust has been regained. The road to restoration will be long and painful but the grace of God is always sufficient. However, the grace of God does not mean that the couple has no role to play or contribution to make towards the healing and restoration process. The couple, especially the “offending” spouse must work hard in dealing with their weaknesses and correcting their mistakes. It is very possible for a couple to end up with a stronger, happier and more fulfilling marriage after the traumatic experience of infidelity.
My advice to the offending spouse is that they must accept responsibility for their actions and apologize, without giving any kind of excuse or justification as doing so can make matters worse. The first step in rebuilding trust, is to tell the whole story. I mean the truth and nothing but the truth, because if you don’t, the omitted details will come out later and this will cause a delay of the healing and restoration process. When making promises to change your behaviour, make sure that you keep your promise. Empty promises will definitely exacerbate the situation. You have to convince your spouse that you can still be trusted and that you have truly repented. It is important not to rush the betrayed spouse. He or she is wounded and you must have patience and forbearance; and allow your spouse time to heal without undue pressure.
My advice for the betrayed spouse that they must look at their spouse the way God does. Your spouse is an imperfect person who is capable of committing serious sin. Pray and ask God to give you the grace to forgive and compassion for your spouse’s brokenness. It is important to remember that forgiveness is not optional for children of God (Matthew 6:15). Pray and ask God to help you treat your spouse gracefully, just as God treats you when you sin. I am not saying that you should suppress your grief or rush past it as this can only cause more problems later. It is important to be honest about how your feel. As long as your spouse is repentant, do whatever it takes to work on your marriage and save it.
Although many couples prefer to ‘’sort things out’’ by themselves, I strongly advise couples to seek pastoral counselling. Outside accountability may be helpful in helping the couple to do the necessary work for the healing and restoration process.
Father in the mighty name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I pray for marriages and your children who are under attack from the enemy and are experiencing trauma as a result of infidelity. LORD You are faithful and nothing is impossible and difficult for You. I pray that you may forgive and restore your children. I declare that what You have put together, no man shall put usunder. LORD I pray that you may give them strength to overcome their challenges. May you give them your peace that surpasses understanding. You are the God of all comfort. I pray for hope that trust can be rebuilt. In the wonderful and powerful name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Rev T.L Mashiloane has been married for 21 years. He is the Presiding Pastor of two Full Gospel Church assemblies, City of Love & Restoration in Sasolburg and Faith Tabernacle in Viljoenskroon. He is also the CEO of HospiVision. (www.hospivision.org.za). For further advise and counselling, please contact Rev Mashiloane on 082 579 4595 / email@example.com
For further advice and counselling contact Rev Mashiloane on 082 579 4595