Contrary to what many people believe, Christian marriages suffer from infidelity just as secular marriages do. Being a Christian does not mean you will become a perfect person. Accepting the Lord into your heart does not mean that you will stop being tempted by the same things you were tempted with before. As a matter of fact, this only makes Satan that much more determined to ensnare you in whatever sin you struggle with the most. To someone who struggles with the temptation of having an extramarital affair, Satan will most likely send many opportunities your way once you become a Christian.
So how do you react if you discover that infidelity has come into your Christian marriage? Most likely, you will react the same as anyone else would react…with hurt, anger, and shock. You may be even more surprised since your marriage IS a Christian one. After all, cheating and affairs don’t happen in marriages such as yours.
Unfortunately, they do. The good news is that your Christianity is the vehicle in which you can find healing for your marriage. God is in the business of fixing what is broken. He can dry your tears, turn your anger to forgiveness, and put you on a pathway to deal with any issues that may have caused the cheating to occur.
What does it take from you?
-Surrender. You both must surrender all of your anger and hurt to God. Offer it up to Him, and admit that you are both clueless as to how to even begin to heal your marriage.
-Forgiveness. Forgiveness is an essential ingredient in the healing process. You must forgive your cheating spouse. This will open the door for healing because you will be able to let go of the bitterness and resentment that can poison you from the inside out. It will also give your spouse hope for reconciliation and a rekindling of what has been lost. Not only is it important for you to forgive your spouse, it is important for your spouse to forgive him or herself. Very often, a cheating spouse has such a hard time doing this that he or she is unable to move on in life.
-See a Christian counselor. There are many wonderful marriage counselors . If, however, you are a Christian couple, it would be of great benefit for you to specifically seek out a Christian marriage counselor. This way, you will be free to discuss your problems within a Christian setting and receive Christian guidance.
-Act in love even if you don’t feel it. Trust has been shattered. Vows have been broken. It is going to take time to feel love again. Still, you must act on it. Remember the fruits of the Spirit? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22) There is no better time to practice these than when you are in the process of trying to heal your broken marriage.
Overcoming infidelity in your Christian marriage may open the door for healing in areas that you both need individual healing in as well. The outcome can be a richer, more loving relationship than what you started out with. In the end, your story can give hope to others who are going through a similar struggle.