A note to Husbands and Wives; Fighting for your marriage after sexual addiction has been confessed and forsaken is the way to go!
There is a entire mind change that needs to take place with a husband and wife when working on this sexual stuff. As I shared before most spouses would rather live in a relationship without any confession than to deal with confessions. Confessions of sin, mean pain, and the need to forgive offences. But the sad truth is a marriage without sin, confession and forgiveness is a marriage without mercy and grace. Because mercy grace can only be shown when there is a person who is un-deserving and messy. Our own self preservation makes us hide in disillusionment. Many spouses walk in this way with there spouses who have struggled in sexual sin.
Why would you rather walk in this fairy tale kind of life? How did we get this way?
So many of us have not seen examples of marriages that have cultivated a confession culture. This is probably the root of most of our problems in confessing our sin with another (James 5:16). Think about it a minute; Do you have good examples in your life of Pastors or Parents confessing there sin to you? Most of us have not. And this lack of confession and hence forgiveness, has shown itself in our lives as a lack of mercy and grace. We simply might not know how to be merciful and gracious in light of confessions of sin. Some of us have learned through our study of the Bible the amazing grace of Christ, which in turn has taught us to forgive others and through consistent practice, we have gotten good at granting forgiveness! Praise God for that!
Couples tend to measure success based on the positive and not the negative. I have not heard many couples raving about how awesome it was the other night, when my ‘long time’ boyfriend confessed sin. That goes into the negative vault, to be expressed in a parent or best friend conversation. Confession of sin, is seen over time as a bummer, and not a positive. Most engaged couples I have talked with over 20yrs of ministry would rather not talk about the ‘negatives.’ They find it challenging and potentially a bubble buster- a downer. This negative view progresses into marriage. But think about this! What is a marriage without sin, confession and forgiveness? You might say a perfect marriage, but is that possible? From the Biblical record we have countless events of relationships where perfection was not attained. Repeatedly there is revealed sinful acts which must be dealt with, yet we think we are different? Like there is such a thing as a marriage that does not have sinful behavior? I recon, that today what we call a good marriage, can be a bad marriage. This is because we call a good marriage one that does not have this sin, confession, forgiveness pattern in it! What the Bible calls healthy (Confession of sin), we tend to see as negative. That is a problem. I must get to a place where I see this sin, confession, forgiveness pattern a betterment or I will avoid it at all cost only to find my relationship in jeopardy of failing.
There is beauty of seeing this pattern as a positive and not to be avoided. We live in a real world, with real people, who have hearts and minds that really struggle with all kinds of things. Lust being one of them. But there is much more to right? Greed, jealousy, hate, pride, covetousness etc…What do you see in your heart? Or do you have a perfect heart? If we all have these ‘issues’ in us, then wouldn’t it seem to recon that sharing them with our loved one is a good thing? A needed thing to do? A beautiful thing? I find it beautiful that a person who loves me can show there heart to me in this way. They see there problem, it bothers them, and they desire to have me of all people help them out. Can you see the Christ pattern here? Haven’t we as Christians come to the cross of Christ, with our sin in hand, needing to be healed? And what started this beautiful relationship with the Christ? Was it not confession of sin? Isn’t that where we began? And what was the response of the Savior to us? Was it not grace and mercy lifting us out of the pit we were in? Is it not the precious response of our Jesus that has given us hope that we will be changed as we continue to fight against desires that go astray? I would say yes it has! “He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it!” (Phil 1:6). His work of grace and mercy found us in that pit and it’s power lifts us out and places us on our feet, over and over until the day of Christ Jesus.
We can glorify our God by being like Him in our marriages. What will encourage and lift up our spouses who have confessed there sin to us? Is it not forgiveness seen in grace and mercy? Is glorifying God the better pleasure for you? Do you love to glorify God? Or could it be that our refusal to show forgiveness through grace and mercy is a sign of our own self centered Christianity?
There are two things that I have seen in my life that are a bummer; Continued sin, and continued un-forgiveness. Since we cannot change that we will continue to stumble in this world, we have better change our ideas on forgiving one another when confession happens. You might say I cannot forgive him/her for that, but then it is us who needs forgiveness as well isn’t it? We need forgiveness for our sin of un-forgiveness! Yikes, our hearts need change. Yet how to?
Seek the glory of God. Pray for it, ask the Lord to grant you that heart to desires His Name and His Fame, and that your pleasure would come from that. Christ is the cup that never runs out! When our joy is linked directly to reflecting Him in our life then we will see the pattern of sin, confession and forgiveness as a beautiful dance to shine the Savior, to a world that desperately needs to know the forgiveness of God in Christ. You and I are a part of this play, let’s continue to learn our lines, our staging as to reflect the writers desire in communicating his heart to the viewers!