Christian Recovery After Adultery
By Angie Lewis
title of this article sounds like an oxymoron. Christian’s who
commit adultery? Why would a Christian commit such a sin against
their marriage? It happens more often then it used to. But if
the Christian is repentant it is our duty as fellow believers to
forgive him or her, no matter what sin they have committed.
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
The moral of the above scripture is a great principle to live by and one that most Christians miss when they read this verse. We all sin! Some of us don’t commit sexual sins but we all sin and come short of the glory of God and that means, stop throwing stones and learn to forgive.
Sometimes all it takes is putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes and asking ourselves, would we want to be forgiven? Ok, so maybe you think you wouldn’t commit adultery but if someone is a new Christian and had a moment of weakness, and is seeking forgiveness, then, at least, we need to afford them the opportunity to redeem themselves and show they have turned their life around. A spouse in this instance would help them to recovery by offering their compassion.
Unbeknownst to many of us is the simple fact that forgiveness is actually not for the sinner as much as it is for us! Forgiving someone frees us from its grip, frees us spiritually, and frees us to love without conditions. This is a phenomenon that God gives us to make us Christ-like as much as humanly possible. Only those Christians who make use of the Holy Spirit within them are capable of actually forgiving.
Have you read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter? It is about a young woman caught in the act of adultery in seventeenth century England. Her punishment was that she had to wear a big scarlet letter “A” on the front of her dress for the rest of her life, never taking it off. All of her friends and townsfolk knew she was an adulteress and this triple folded this young woman’s guilt and shame and made her life miserable. I believe in her heart she sought forgiveness but never received it from the people she knew and loved. God forgave her and that is all that matters.
But as Christians we don’t have to bear such suffering and shame for the rest of our lives because if we are willing to repent and turn our life away from living in sin then we have been forgiven! What an awesome freedom it is to be a part of God’s family. He wants to forgive us and all we need to do is stop following our selfish desires and follow Him.
Most Christians who commit adultery usually have a low self worth and cave in under pressure to find something they feel is missing in their life. They want to feel good about themselves and life but unfortunately this road leads to more misery and loneliness. Sadly, if we do not find gratification of our inner emotional issues through sex, we’ll find it through something else, like addiction, gambling, emotions, selfish needs, overeating, etc. That means Christians need to get to the root of their problems and stop dwelling on the symptoms. This is where true recovery is – always within our inner being, whether it is digging up the past or getting over an addiction.
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.
But we can fully heal and recover from the baggage of past events when we realize our true potential is through our Father, the Creator. When we are made a new man or woman in Christ, our past is really put behind us, maybe not forgotten, but forgiven, and that is what truly matters. Christ has shown us through His principles that we don’t need to abuse ourselves sexually, physically, or spiritually. We can find everything we need through Him.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
II Corinthians 5:17