Rebuilding Trust, Part 1 The First Step to Recovery from Adultery From The Road to Grace Devotional
…but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ
Lying always accompanies sexual sin. If the deceit is not overt (“No Honey, I haven’t looked at porn for a long time”), it is covert—pretending to be something we’re not. As the bondage to lust increases, so do the lies. Once the mask comes off and others (especially those closest to us, who get hurt the most) discover that we’ve been deceiving them, all faith in our character collapses. Relationships are built on trust; without this, the risk of getting hurt, betrayed or let down can be too great for the offended one to stay in the relationship.
When the truth comes out and a marriage is crushed under the weight of adultery, either with porn or another woman, a wife’s anger at the lies can be as great as the pain caused by sexual sin. This is why the most critical component of rebuilding the foundation of a marriage is often to stop all lying, hiding or cheating. If she can’t trust you to tell the truth, it will be extremely difficult for her to open her heart again and love.
In addition, God commands those of us who are Christians to be men of the truth. Lying about Sarah’s relationship got Abraham in trouble multiple times (Genesis 20), to the point where he could have lost his wife. Being a man of integrity isn’t an option for those who want to serve Christ.
In the early stages, exposing the truth to your wife can seem like stepping into a hornet’s nest. She may ask questions you don’t want to answer, and when you do, her responses might make it feel like you’re getting beat up for “doing the right thing.” (Of course, if there had been no adultery in the first place, this wouldn’t have been needed.) As you answer her questions, do so truthfully, but in love, which means not being defensive when she expresses her hurt, anger or disappointment. Although the process can be rough, speaking the truth in love is the first step back to her heart. You want her to express her pain and anger; if she doesn’t, there is a danger that she might stuff her feelings and harden her heart. Your marriage can’t recover if your wife doesn’t heal.
There is freedom in the truth. What a relief it is to cease from hiding sin, faking the Christian walk, and trying to cover one’s tracks. We need no longer pretend we’re “the good Christian,” which, we could never be. Our wives may never see us as a “knight in shining armor” again, but hopefully they will see us as we are: broken, in desperate need of God’s grace—and their forgiveness.
In the end, speaking the truth in love involves making a determined choice of humility over pride. It is this choice that opens the door to the grace we so desperately need.
and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
1st Peter 5:5
Excerpt from The Road to Grace Devotional
©2012 by Mike Genung. All Rights Reserved. This excerpt may be copied and forwarded only if this permission paragraph is retained intact and a link to this website is included.