Focal Passage: Ephesians 5:1-10
Statistics in 2007 claimed that 45-55 percent of married women and 50-60 percent of married men engaged in extramarital sex at one time or another during their relationship. Nothing is more devastating to a marriage than infidelity. Adultery is a great tragedy. God tells us that all sin will have consequences. When one commits adultery he or she risks all that they have built over a lifetime – marriage, family, ministry, respect and honor. The law of sowing and reaping (Galatians 6:7) teaches that we will reap what we sow. Many sow while praying for a crop failure.
Although the steps and process following infidelity can take a long time, we can be assured that healing of the marriage and recovery for both partners is possible by the work of the Holy Spirit.
Christian counselors instruct us to take the following steps toward restoring and rebuilding the shattered marriage. The first step is for both spouses to spend time each day in prayer, Bible study and seeking God to give them the ability to grow in Christ-like actions and attitudes. There must be no further contact between the sinning spouse and the third party.
This means that the unfaithful person must make a radical commitment to rebuild trust. They must be open to any inquiries of their spouse.
Importantly, the unfaithful one must seek God for forgiveness in true repentance. As the unfaithful person is assured that God is “faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, HCSB), they need to seek the forgiveness of the spouse. Forgiveness is a journey and will take time.
Forgiveness is required, but reconciliation of the couple is based upon true remorse and repentance.
While the Bible never advocates divorce and many couples do stay together and heal, some may not be able to work through the broken relationship. Sexual sin can be very appealing; remember that to violate this bond will lead to pain, grief and self-destruction.