I originally wrote the following blog in 2008. Recently I have gone back and reread so many of my older blogs just to compare then and now. This one is a goodie if I am allowed to critique my own blogs. Ha!
Anyway- I will debut a new blog on April 19, 2010 after taking eight months off. So much has happened in the last eight months as the journey continues, I hope you’ll come back and join me!
Its Not Your Fault; however…
A common thread that seems to link a lot of us wives together is that we feel (in the beginning stages of the discovery) like we must be to blame somewhere for this horrible problem. There is a stereo type out there and believe me I know it is real because I was once ‘of’ the world. The stereo type says: “if her man was getting it at home he wouldn’t need to get it elsewhere.” That is a lie and that is not what God says. Your husband’s compromise of his own integrity has no place of blame on you! As a matter of fact even if we do all the things we are told by God not to do (withhold sex, hold a record of wrongs, withhold forgiveness etc.) God still doesn’t release our husband’s to take matters into their own hands and do what they will to “get what they need” elsewhere. You can be for certain that there is nothing you have done that can take the responsibility of your husband’s choice to be unfaithful and call it your own. You are not the blame. However (don’t you hate that word!) even though we know all the Scriptures that talk about husbands loving their wives and what the GOD assigned role of a husband is, do we remember what our role is?
In the book captivating, Stasi Eldredge uses research from Hebrew scholar Robert Alter who spent years translating the book of Genesis. He states that when God created Eve, he called her an ‘ezer kenegdo’ (Gen 2:19) which most of us know as “helpmeet”, “companion” etc. However, the Hebrew scholar translates this as “sustainer beside him.” “A help in time of need.”
Too often we as women listen to the voice of the world that screams “leave him, he’s done you dirty, he will never change- any man that looks upon another woman with lust is an adulterer and you should divorce him.” We forget that we have entered into a covenant of marriage and our God given role is “sustainer beside him” we are a “counter part”. Too often we grasp at our rights forgetting that in God we are called to lay down all of our rights. Yeah, I know there are some reading this that will disagree and think I am a fruit loop but you know as you read this that what I say is resonating truth within your spirit.
When we hurt, we want to cover that hurt and protect it. We tend to allow a callous to form and harden us to the hurt so we don’t have to suffer or endure the nonsense of it all anymore, ever again! But is that what God is calling us to do? A lot of us women find it easier to stay mad at our husbands and argue constantly than to forgive and take the risk of being railroaded again. Furthermore to keep up this hardness of the heart we will rise up against our men looking down on them, judging them for this ‘thing they do’ that is so beneath us. How do we forget what the Lord our God says to us: “Do not judge or you too will be judged For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” -Matthew 7:1-2
“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you- who are you to judge your neighbor (husband)?” -James 4:2(emphasis mine)
Yes, we need the wisdom of God in dealing with this situation, getting help, setting boundaries- but we are not to set ourselves up as judge over our husband.
“Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” -James 2:13
So what is the point of my blog this week? It’s two fold. I want to reassure you that your husband’s struggles with this sin are not your fault- however; don’t use that as an excuse to receive offense and shut down or worse rise up against your husband. If at all possible we are called to be at peace with all men. Perhaps your husband is repentant and wants to be free but is afraid, feels all alone or is just lacking the strength in his faith to make it. Don’t make this about you and how hurt and devastated you are. Ask God to help you to let go of that right and to help your husband. Encourage him! Be his “ezer kenegdo”, forgive him, love him. Love never fails.
What if he isn’t repentant? What if he doesn’t want to change? Continue to pray mercy for him and while you are doing that go before God each day to help you discern what your next steps are.