Something that God has afforded me the opportunity to do is marriage coaching. Yes, I’m single (eh hem like Christ and Paul, the two people who spoke the most on marriage in the Bible). However, I’m also someone who professed at the age of 12 that I was going to break the generational curse of divorce in my family. And when you’re a curse breaker, God tends to do some really radical things in your life. He tends to give you some opportunities that, to some, appear to be pretty…bizarre.
For me, it was been amazing to watch him work. So much in fact, that one of the divorced couples that I worked with last year got remarried this past June (good for them for following I Corinthians 7:10-11!). And so, since we are called to the ministry of reconciliation, since even on our taxes, divorced people are not considered to be “single” but divorced and since even Christ himself said that divorce was allowed, not because of adultery, but actually because of a hard heart (Matthew 19:1-12) and Proverbs tells us that a hard heart causes calamity, I am very passionate about broken marriages being healed. And restored. Fully.
Another way of putting it is “I am passionate about people forgiving so that they can be forgiven.” (Tweet This) Not only because it’s biblical but it’s a way to live one’s life progressively too.
Take one couple that I’m currently praying (and fasting—some things only come by doing both) for. They are divorced and actually, a little over a year ago, the husband was engaged to someone else. Yet after talking to a few of us, he felt convicted about the Word saying (yes, in I Corinthians 7:10-11) that one should remain single or be reconciled to their original spouse. And so, he broke off his engagement (he is so my hero for that!) and he’s been praying for his ex-wife to want to get remarried ever since.
And then there’s her. Yes, her husband had a couple of indiscretions (not intercourse; something else). Yes, he was wrong and selfish. And so, in her mind, he doesn’t deserve a second chance (what about the “seventy times seven” thing? Just askin’-Matthew 18:21-35). And so, she doesn’t talk to him. She avoids him as much as possible. She gets irritated when he even tries to hold a civil conversation with her about the children. Oh, but according to her…she’s forgiven him. Yet, she seems just as bitter now as she did five years ago. Forgiveness doesn’t look like that.
I know them both. I’ve talked to them both about the matter. One thing that I’ve said to her is that I can only imagine what our lives would be like if God forgave us like we tend to “forgive” others. If he was like “I forgive you but we have nothing more to talk about” or “I forgive you but I don’t want to try and make this relationship work” or “I forgive you but I am not willing to do anything that will give you the opportunity to win back my trust”. Yet he’s not like that. He forgives and then he provides a spiritual and emotional environment for us to grow from who we were to who we are truly meant to be.
There are a lot of people on this site who write to us about how they are victimized by their spouse’s addiction. And while each circumstance is different, I am asking you to seek the Father for wisdom/clarity/insight on if you are approaching the matter and the call to forgiveness as he would. You know, when Christ was in the midst of dying for our sins, people were jeering him (John 19)—they were still “not getting it”. And yet, his love was big enough, even then, for him to want them to be forgiven.
Sexual brokenness is not fun. It’s a sickness. And while the person within the addiction has a lot (A LOT) of self-work to do, one part of what they need in order to heal is forgiveness. Real, true, godly forgiveness.
It’s one thing to forgive like man does.
It’s life-changing when we can forgive as God does. (Tweet This)
For the victim. And the victimizer too.
Please choose wisely.