Over the last 4 years John and I have been told more times that we can remember how far we have come in our journey. It's important to remember that YES, we have come very very far, but do remember there is PAIN in the recovery. We both took our vows seriously, even through the infidelity, when they said "for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health…” and so on. Those words are simple but meaningful. But just because they mean something on the wedding day doesn’t mean that stays the same as the marital years pass on.
When I chose to walk the road of unfaithfulness, so many people were SHOCKED. Literally shocked. They could not believe I would do such a thing. But as I began to share everything that led up to the point of the final blow, the picture became more clear to those in shock. You see, my choice to be unfaithful didn’t happen overnight. It's not something someone ever wakes up and decides to do one day. It started with one poor, small choice.
Most people don’t plan to commit such disgusting acts of sin like unfaithfulness. It happens VERY slowly. That's how the enemy works. It creeps in so silently as to not even be perceived as a threat, until it is clearly present. One inappropriate conversation with a man who flirts with us. One innocent lunch appointment. And before we know it, we have done the unthinkable. And broken our spouse’s heart in the process. More importantly, we have broken the heart of our God.
None of this make sense, and yet, it makes total sense.
It didn’t make sense that here I was, a pastor's daughter, a pastor's wife and a youth minister myself, would step outside of my marriage to commit adultery. Adultery. Yet, it makes total sense when you realize that I struggled with self worth and insecurity for the better part of two decades and was looking for validation in anyone who would give it to me.
It makes total sense if you realize that it started with innocent flirting and text messages just a couple of times throughout the week. Listen to me closely my friends! When we start listening to the lies of the enemy, we soon begin telling our own lies. Even more hazardous, we start believing them. This is dangerous ground. Those texts that once were a couple times a week turned into day long conversations. What started out as a little confidence boost now and then felt like an emotional lifeline that I couldn't escape.
I was in over my head and I began to crave more. This is what the enemy was after. The craving of more. Maybe your more looks different. Maybe your more is in the form of material things, just the next new upgrade, the new pair of shoes in every color. Maybe your more is having too many brownies, and eating your emotions, numbing the pain instead of going to God's word. We all crave more of something, when all God wants us to do is fill our cravings with Him.
Whether it's in your marriage or just in life in general, we typically never see it coming. Not once on your wedding day did you imagine this day would come, and yet we are all just a few poor choices away from sinful situations we never thought we'd be in. I sure never thought I would be sitting here today writing you on such a topic. The enemy may be vicious, sweet friends, but he is not victorious!
Jeremiah 17:9 says The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? This just validates that we need the word of God to guide our every moment.
What have you experienced in your marriage that caused catastrophic consequences? What led you there? What are some guidelines you can put into place in your life to prevent you from making a poor decision?
Father, guide us by making us realize the importance of staying in your word so that we can make wise choices. Even the small choices have compound effects and we want to place those in your hands today and every day. Amen.