5 Steps to Handling the Hurt of Adultery

FROM THE ARCHIVES:
There is no denying that adultery brings an incredible amount of pain and hurt when it enters a marriage. This pain may manifest in many ways; rejection, anger, feelings of failure and worthlessness, frustration, helplessness, confusion, depression, suicidal thoughts, vengeful attitudes, shame, neediness, dependencies, and the list goes on. As humans who have been created to feel and express emotions, we can't deny or ignore their reality. At the same time, we cannot let them control us, for many of them are destructive if left unchecked. We must learn to deal honestly with our emotions.
 
STEP 1: OPENLY EXPRESS YOUR EMOTIONS TO THE LORD
 
In the Psalms, David openly and often expressed to God his feelings of hurt, betrayal, rejection, anger, and confusion. We, too, must deal honestly with our emotions. We need to follow this model and confess our feelings to God. The important thing is not to stop when we have voiced our complaints, but rather take positive steps to cast our cares on the Lord, trust in Him and allow Him to heal our wounds.
 
The way to do this is to give our burden to Jesus and then lean on Him. We serve a God who watches over us, cares about every detail of our lives, and delivers us out of ALL our troubles!
 
STEP 2: AVOID SATAN'S TRAP OF JUDGEMENT
 
If Satan is unable to get someone to sin, he will attempt to have them judge that same sin in another person. Judgment and unforgiveness block healing and affect both you and your spouse. In Genesis 18:25 and Hebrews 12:23, God is referred to as THE JUDGE of the earth and people. Judging is passing sentence on the actions of another. Throughout scripture, God reserves this right for Himself. Only God has the right to judge others.
 
YOUR SPOUSE: Do not criticize what your spouse is doing, but instead, move
immediately into forgiveness. I know you must be saying, "How in the world can I do that?" Whenever you find that your mind (or flesh) is seeking to compare, criticize, gossip, judge, or wallow in self-pity, you need to STOP yourself immediately. If you let it go on for even just a moment, it will eventually bring you to a place of despair instead of strength. Tell your thoughts to obey the mind of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Then go back to what the Lord HAS given you. Has He given you good health? A secure job? Kids, that love the Lord? A family that supports you? A church that loves you and comes alongside you? A CK group that prays for you? Praise Him for what He HAS done!!! Forget what your spouse is doing. Forget what the other person is doing. Concentrate on YOU and THE LORD.
 
YOURSELF: Allow the Holy Spirit to be your judge. Often we are tempted to judge and condemn ourselves, but we must be careful with this also. Rather than try to look within and determine "where we blew it," we need to be responsive to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to search out and reveal the areas in our lives where we need to repent and change. When we take over and try to do God's work by becoming introspective, we take on a burden that God does not intend us to bear. We have freedom and righteousness through the blood of Jesus. It is essential, however, to be obedient to any change that He reveals to us.
 
THE OTHER PERSON: It can be incredibly challenging to avoid judgment on "the other person." In scripture, there are instances of persons who are not a part of a covenant, residing in the land of the covenant. Those faced with a spouse living in adultery have a similar situation. While the term "alien" is applied in scripture, we can better refer to them as non-covenant persons.
 
In Genesis 16 and 21, we see Hagar was a non-covenant person. Her relationship with Abraham came into conflict with Sarah's covenant relationship with Abraham. This story is a striking example of how fear (lack of faith) leads to deception, sinful actions, and hardened hearts. As a result, Hagar and Ishmael (the child born of the non-covenant relationship) had to leave. However, we do see that God cared for Hagar and Ishmael and sent an angel to speak to them and declare a blessing over them. We must remember that God loves the non- covenant persons just as much as He loves us, and He has a plan for their lives and the lives of children born outside of our marriage covenant. They are not our enemies!
 
Our attitudes and actions toward the non-covenant person will affect our own reconciliation. We should ask ourselves two questions. First, do my attitudes and actions toward the non-covenant person create strife with my spouse? Second, how would Jesus respond to this person in this situation?
 
 
STEP 3: FORGIVE, FORGIVE, FORGIVE
 
We must forgive quickly. Unforgiveness is a two-edged sword. It traps and binds those involved in the offense, and it can keep us from experiencing God's forgiveness in our own lives. It has even been said that unforgiveness is a prison in which we hold ourselves.
 
We must forgive repeatedly. There is no limit on the number of times we forgive. In the Lord's Prayer, we are given a model of how to pray. In that prayer, we ask to be forgiven as we forgive others. Just as we continually need forgiveness, so we need to forgive others. Sometimes it maybe every five minutes, but whenever the occasion or thought occurs, we need to forgive consciously.
 
There is no limit on what we are to forgive. Jesus provided us a model in forgiveness. He not only forgave adultery (see John 4:17-39; John 8:10-11) but even forgave those who rejected and crucified Him. We are to conform to (imitate) God's nature of forgiveness.
 
 
STEP 4: USE GOD'S WEAPONS AGAINST SATAN'S ATTACK ON OUR MINDS
 
The Word of God is the weapon we use to do battle in the realm of the Spirit.
  • Use the weapons of spiritual warfare to remain victorious and help your spouse be freed of adultery. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
  •  Take control of your thoughts by refusing ungodly thoughts. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
  •  Satan flees when we resist him. (1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7) Jesus resisted the devil with the Word of God.
  •  Meditate on the Word of God. (Psalm 119:99) This helps build faith within us. It helps us control our tongues and avoid strife. We gain wisdom and understanding to deal with difficult circumstances. And ultimately, when we meditate, God's Word promises us peace. (Isaiah 26:3)
  •  Pray in the Spirit to strengthen yourself. (Jude 20; 1 Corinthians 14:2; 2:11; 13:1)
  •  Speak decrees and declarations over yourself, your spouse, your children, and your situation. The mouth is the launching area for spiritual warfare. (Proverbs 18:20-21; Psalm   107:2-3; Ephesians 4:27,29-32) God directs us to SPEAK OUT His Word. (Joshua 1:8)
 
STEP 5: SEEK GOD'S WORD FOR YOUR COMFORT
 
While God is undoubtedly willing and able to heal our emotions, we also have a responsibility to encourage ourselves in the Lord. As we read and study His Word, the Holy Spirit will illuminate specific passages that will minister to our hurts and bring healing and hope. This "illumination" is God making the written words a revelation, or Rhema, to our spirits. This is when His Word truly becomes "the bread of life" and a "lamp unto my feet. "
 
Here are some Scriptures the Holy Spirit may use to minister to you:
 
2 Corinthians 1:4 "He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."
 
Psalm 23:4 "Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me."
 
Isaiah 57:18-19 "I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them. I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips. May they have abundant peace, both near and far," says the Lord, who heals them.
 
Psalms 55:22 "Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall."
 
Mark 5:36 "But Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, 'Don't be afraid. Just have faith.'"
 
John 14:27, "I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid."
 
PRAYER
Father, just as David came to you with his feelings of hurt, betrayal, and rejection, we come to you also. Lord, we hurt, too, because of the adultery in the lives of our spouses. We give you the hurt, betrayal, rejection, anger, and confusion. We release these to You so that Your healing can be released to us. We see what adultery has done to our children, and we hurt for them. We release this hurt, also. Reach inside us, Jesus, and bring inner healing. Your Word says You came to "heal the brokenhearted and to set at liberty them that are bruised." We receive healing for our broken hearts, wounded spirits, and damaged emotions. We forgive our spouses for the adultery and also forgive any others involved. We ask forgiveness for any wrong responses we have had. We ask You to continue our healing process and thank You that we are being set free—body, soul, and Spirit. Amen.
 

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