Go and Sin No More

Hi Andrea,
[Lengthy detail of past adulteries deleted by the blood of the lamb] … I now understand that what I did was so very wrong. I am very very sorry for what I did. I prayed and asked God for forgiveness. and I know he forgive if you mean it. And I really really do. The past few days have been the worst. I haven’t been able to eat or sleep over this. I want to tell him because I can’t live like this. But I know if I tell him he will break up with me for sure. Lately things have been going so well for us! And he is the guy I want to spend my life with and have a family with. I even think I am pregnant now. I know if I tell him he will break up with me and maybe even more. He has such a anger and rage in him, and I’m scared that he may even try to kill himself. He has once before because he said that he thought I didn’t love him. We had a talk the other day and said we were sorry for everything in our relationship, and things are great between us. But I know if I tell him I may regret it. What my question is is that, I asked God for forgiveness and I know he forgive me because he loves me. Do I have to ask my husband for forgiveness also. I don’t want to loose him and I don’t want him to hurt himself if I tell him. IM just so scared and confused, and need advice. Will God not forgive me if I don’t ask my Husband for forgiveness? I know he has done things and may even have cheated on me. And he has never once told me that he has done them, but I know he has. I don’t care if he has cheated on me in the past. Things are sooo well right now. He just applied for a supervisor job but didn’t get. And I know he is upset about that. He feels things in his life are not happening for him. And I feel this will really push him over the edge and he will hurt himself. I dont’ know what to do, and I need help.
Please help me.

Ashley

Dear Ashley,

I’m sorry to say it, but I think you do need to tell him. Usually, when you’ve sinned against someone or hurt someone, it is necessary to go and seek forgiveness, if you are able (meaning they’re alive and you have access to them.) It’s part of repentance oftentimes, and skipping this step can create a blockage between you and God. It’s a heavy weight around your ankle and bad for your spiritual health in that it drives a wedge between you and god that could potentially pull you away from Him. Now, it doesn’t matter whether they actually forgive you or not. You’ll have done your part and be clear before God. Their unforgiveness will hurt them more than it does you, and that’s something they’ll have to answer to God on.

Besides that, the truth has a way of coming out, sooner or later. Scripture says, “the truth will set you free” and when you’re in you’re situation, that can be hard to believe, until you realize how much of a struggle it is to hide from the truth. Even a lie of omission quickly becomes a chain around your soul and the only way to be free from the bondage is to admit the truth. I know the power of fear. I also know you can’t understand the freedom of confession until you’ve followed your heart’s conviction in spite of the fear.

I don’t think it would be wise to tell him this sort of thing alone, or in front of a large group of witnesses. I would suggest a marriage counselor, clergy, or Christian counselor, or other person experienced at moderating such confrontations and helping you through it. A marriage counselor would be ideal, most will have tons of experience helping couples heal and reestablish trust. To get him in, just tell him you need help and need him to go with you.

IF that doesn’t work, or is cost-prohibitive, write him a letter. A written confession may or may not be appropriate, but you can still pen it on paper and rehearse until you can speak gently. A letter can also be helpful, though, in getting all your thoughts out. Including how much you love him, how sorry you are, how much his behavior has hurt you, and how much you want to make this marriage work. Those things, minus his mistakes, should sandwich the confession.

In your case, while your fear is understandable, and double standards existent, he is in no moral position to condemn you, and is spiritually required to forgive you before he can be forgiven for his own adultery.

Even if he leaves, better a clear conscience and right relationship with God than a marriage slowly dying under the weight of unresolved issues.

But I agree that it would be unwise to confront him with this alone. But it would also be unhealthy to keep a secret like this. If at all possible, please get a mediator of some sort (local, preferably one with experience) to assist you. But no TV audiences, please! A marriage counselor would be ideal, you both have baggage, and a good, godly marriage counselor could be the ticket to saving your marriage.

Again, remember, you’re not responsible for your husband. But you are responsible for yourself. The folks at http://www.familylife.com/marriage.asp are good. I’ve been to their marriage conferences and found them trustworthy.

Considering your recent conversation, one tack you could take is to first let him vent his frustrations, then move to the postive things you have to say about your relationship, your hopes for the future and such. After that, opening up about your fears and what’s bothering you in general, non-specific terms, and let him know that while you both apologized in general terms, you feel like you both have done things you’re afraid to confess, but that it’s weighing on you (yourself) terribly. Let him know you love the way things have been lately and want to keep things that way–which is why you want to see a marriage counselor so the past doesn’t come back to bite you. It has a way of doing that.

In Christ’s Love,
Andrea Graham

“Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

–John 8:11,12

Readers: I cross-posted several of my articles from the Lost Genre Guild, filed under the publications page, which has updated information on the Guild’s anthology.

Trackposted to Rightwing Guy, 123 Beta, Perri Nelson’s Website, The HILL Chronicles, Woman Honor Thyself, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, stikNstein… has no mercy, Adam’s Blog, The World According to Carl, basil’s blog, Pirate’s Cove, Stuck On Stupid, Thought Alarm, Dumb Ox Daily News, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe

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