What Can I Do When My Spouse Is In Adultery?
Handling the Hurt
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.
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 to God our feelings. The important thing is to not 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.
“Rest for your souls” means rest for your mind and rest for your emotions. The way to do this is to give our burden to Jesus and then learn of Him. We serve a God who watches over us, cares about every detail of our lives and delivers us out of ALL our troubles!
God’s Word provides a primary source of comfort. While God is surely 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“.
David Expresses His Hurt
Long after David wrote the Psalms, the Apostle Paul challenged us with the words, “Casting all your care upon Him for He careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) David probably remains our best example of how to do this.
Have _____ on me, Lord, for I am in _____. My sight is _____ because of my _____. My body and soul are _____ away. I am _____ from grief; my _____ are shortened by _____. Misery has drained my _____; I am _____ away from within. I am _____ by all my enemies and _____ by my neighbors even my _____ are afraid to come near me. When they _____ me on the street, they _____ the other way. I have been _____ as if I were _____, as if I were a _____. I have heard the many _____ about me, and I am surrounded by _____. My enemies _____ against me, _____ to take my life.
The Non-Covenant Person
The Word of God is a powerful weapon of spiritual warfare that must be used to experience victory when our mates are involved in adultery. There is no situation that we face in life that God has not already documented in some way in His Word. If we ask God to lead us, He is faithful to bring us to those passages and principles that we can then apply to our situations. 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. We do see, however, 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 for the lives of children born outside of our marriage covenant. They are not our enemies!
There are four things we must remember about the non-covenant person and children.
- They are made in the image of God.
- Jesus died for them.
- Satan is also their enemy.
- God cares for them and their needs.
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?
The Word of God is the weapon we use to do battle in the realm of the spirit. Using the scriptures provided, write down the different effects the Word can have on our situations and us. Psalm 119:11, 1 Peter 1:23, Ephesians 5:25-26, Matthew 4:4, Psalm 119:130, Proverbs 4:20-22, Isaiah 55: 11, Psalm 107:20, Romans 10:17, 1 Peter 2:1-2.
Our Attitudes Make a Difference!
Look up the scriptures below to discover the four different attitudes we should have towards the non-covenant person.
Proverbs 16:7 & Proverbs 25:21-22
James 3:17-18, John 14:27, John 16:33
Ephesians 4:29-32, 1 Peter 3:8
Ephesians 5:2, 1 Corinthians 13:5