Married couples from every walk of life are faced with the decision whether to reconcile after infidelity. Over 40 percent of married couples have experienced infidelity, and those who reconcile continue with the harsh memories that create a dark cloud in their marriage.
The shame and embarrassment of infidelity continues to paralyze Christian marriages. Couples who have conquered previous obstacles are now reluctant to face their family and friends. The effect of infidelity can be detrimental to the strongest marriage. One mistake can create an uphill battle that you don’t feel equipped to climb.
In the darkest times, Jesus Christ desires to escort you and your spouse to a place of peace and reconciliation.
There is hope after infidelity. God can restore the beauty in your marriage. If you are searching for direction after infidelity, consider these steps to a path of forgiveness, reconciliation and a strong marriage.
1. Allow yourself time to heal.
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
It can be difficult to continue your normal routine after finding out about your spouse cheating. Although you desire to reconcile with your spouse, you may feel a little disconnected.
Reconciliation requires both parties’ willingness to move forward, regardless of how long the healing process takes. Patience is essential to ensuring you receive the healing you need. This can be difficult when you have a desire for things to return to the way it used to be but rushing this process could prolong the healing and leave certain issues unaddressed.
Jesus Christ is our perfect example. He does not desire for you to carry these burdens alone. He wants you to cast your burden and pain at his feet.
Prayer: Father God, Teach me how to forgive my spouse and lead us to the road of reconciliation. Show me how to properly heal and move forward to a prosperous marriage. Let me feel your presence, when I feel alone and vulnerable.
2. Don’t blame yourself.
“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” James 1:14
Infidelity is even found in the homes of the most attractive and successful couples. Infidelity does not mean you are not a sufficient husband or wife.
Thoughts of insecurity and self-pity may try to enter your mind. It is during these times when you must guard your heart and your mind (Philippians 4:7 )
Infidelity is not a poor reflection of you as a spouse. When a spouse goes outside of the marriage it is often due to issues within themselves, which occurred years before meeting you.
Stand on the Word of God and what His Word says about you and the promises of your marriage. Allow the Word of God to minister to every broken piece of your heart. You are not fighting alone; God is with you. God is your strength at your time of weakness.
3. Ask God to teach you how to forgive.
“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1
Forgiveness is the most critical step. How to forgive (like Christ commands us) is not widely taught or accepted. Husbands and wives often believe they have forgiven their spouse, but the pain continues to grow. Every suspicious phone call or late meeting brings your back to the initial pain.
Jesus Christ demonstrates a better way. Forgiveness is not natural, it’s spiritual. Our sinful nature does not teach us how to forgive like Christ. Jesus Christ knows our shortcomings and yet continues to extend His grace and mercy toward us – not to continue in sin but He provides us an opportunity to make it right (John 8:1-11). We must extend that same mercy to others, especially to our spouse.
Every day He provides us an opportunity to repent and get it right. Do not hold your spouse prisoner to the mistakes they have made.
The lack of forgiveness cultivates a destructive environment. It plants seeds of mistrust, anger and bitterness which can only produce a dysfunctional marriage. Forgiveness requires you to yield your flesh to the will of God and not the pain.
As the disciples asked Jesus how to pray (Luke 11:1), we can ask God to teach us how to forgive. Invite him into your marriage.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6
Prayer for today:
Father God, teach me how to forgive. Show me how to extend grace and mercy to my spouse and see them through your eyes. Teach me how to show compassion and teach me how to love my spouse through the good and bad times.