Monday, April 11, 2016

Has Divorce become the Death Penalty of Adultery?

With the most recent divorce and back-into-the-dating-scene announcements by our beloved worship leader, multi Grammy awards winner Israel Houghton, once again Christendom must wipe in shame, justify in vain the failures of our leadership with cheap rhetoric such as:  nobody is perfect... let he who has not sinned cast the first stone... judge not..  at least he's owning up to on and so forth..
Is it possible the grace of God that we so love to sing about is just not enough to keep us from making of ourselves a laughingstock? Can a couple really recover from violent turbulence such as adultery? Has divorce become the death penalty of a marriage following adultery?

No woman/man that has known the sting of a cheating partner would wish it on another human being. The nefarious consequences of adultery are innumerable with every cheatee's (the person that has been cheated on) post-adulterous symptoms leading to the following:
  • lost of trust in the cheater
  • lost of trust in self
  • lost of trust in others
Usually with time, the last two are repairable but very scarcely is the first one. And this is my recommendation to address that first bullet. If you are a cheater but are remorseful and repentant of your behavior, and wonder how you "must" come clean to your spouse, then wonder no more: DO NOT confess to your spouse. Let me repeat, DO NOT CONFESS TO YOUR SPOUSE.
Before you jump on me about the importance of the "no secret" code, let me ask you some questions:

  • What's the purpose of you telling your spouse if he/she has not found yet? 
  • Is that to make you feel good or make her feel good?
  • Is that for her/him to love you more or trust you more? 
  • Is that to make her/him smile or cry? 
  • What goals are you trying to reach?

Hear me well, should you confess your crime to someone? Yes, but not your spouse. Find your pastor, your mentor, a trusted friend who will not spill the beans. But if he/she finds out, you MUST COME CLEAN. And whoever you choose must hold you accountable.                                

I believe it is possible for a couple to reconcile and even enjoy a better marriage after adultery provided the following conditions are met:

  1. The cheater and the cheatee are both FULLY committed to rebuilding their relationship.
  2. Both are willing to put God first before everything else. What does that mean in this context?     a. That means doing what the bible says rather than what we feel at the moment. For instance, the cheatee will undoubtedly experience bouts of anger and resentment that will need to be expressed. 

In such situation, the cheatee must resolve to NEVER express that anger in the presence of the cheater. Doing so will result in the cheater being discouraged and any ounce of progress towards reconciliation will be scraped.

     b. it is important that the cheater and cheatee agreed on a godly couple they can call on to unload
awry things going within the marriage. Such a couple must be mature and able to keep confidential

     3. the cheater ought to realize that the road to recovery will be very difficult and must make a lot of concessions. And of those concessions, transparency is the key: email passwords, phone records, expenses records must be shared voluntarily. Any wrong move can be misinterpreted as a recidivist action. The cheater must always be reassuring in his commitment and love, ready to acknowledge his stupidity and show regret. It will take time and effort for things to get back to normal.
    4. The cheatee must encourage intimacy and must be willing to hear hard truths like the reasons why the cheater has gone astray.
    5. Prayer and Fasting must be re-instated/reinforced within the couple. The couple must already be praying individually but also together to partner with the Holy Spirit to fight for their marriage and against any averse consequences of adultery.

Reality is that a couple that divorces after adultery, provided all of the above, is the result of a lack of
forgiveness. It's easier to move on to a new partner than holding onto the one we have using God's grace
- To resist the temptation to lash out at them
- To resit the temptation to remind the cheater of their wrongdoing
- Not to have to explain our every move
- Not to have to face the pain you caused in the eyes of your spouse.

And quite frankly, I've known unbelievers, non God-fearing people that have turned around their marriage and the wayward ways of one spouse. How much more triumphant could a Spirit-filled, God-fearing believer be in the face of such trial?

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