Guard your heart. Scrupulously.
The best way to heal and restore a marriage after an affair is to never get to the place where it needs to be restored and healed because of an affair.
So consistently nurture your marriage. And choose to fall in love with your husband a thousand times during the course of your lifetime shared.
Staying the straight and narrow course comes from a heart that loves God more than it loves itself — because it understands how deeply it is loved.
This is always better than back pedaling.
But if you succumbed to temptation like Eve, falling for satan’s line and reeled into his web of deceit, there is hope. So don’t give up.
However, once the affair has ended and you are truly sorry for your sin you may experience a boatload of despair.
For when it is over and you come back to the Light seeing clearly how far off course you had wandered, you may feel a depth of depression that you have never known before. Joy and peace that comes from a long, steady walk hand-in-hand with God will be absent for a season.
However, that’s not the end of your story for this is His story and always a love story.
Like any good dad, God will take you in His arms as you cry in repentance and hold you close. His discipline is always in love and tenderly merciful.
And if you are willing to submit to some hard lessons you will go forward wiser, more loving and closer to God than before. Somewhere down the road God may even allow you to share your story with another woman that has fallen or as a warning that might prevent her sinning.
Pain can be turned into powerful healing when you surrender to the One who loves you best of all.
Here are seven tips to steer you in the right direction as you start out on your healing path.
1.God above all…
Whenever we sin we hurt God. So He is the first One you must seek and humbly ask His forgiveness. Read Psalm 51. If your heart is truly contrite, you are immediately forgiven. There is no condemnation from God. Pray and spend more time listening to your Father for He knows best. Ask God to show you what is lacking in your own heart that lead you to make the choice to betray your husband. Our sinful choices sometimes stem from unfinished business from the past and unhealed wounds from earlier times.
2.Your husband next…
Humbly approach your spouse after much prayer for grace and tell him that you have done a great wrong to him and your marriage. Let him know you are very sorry for disrespecting him the way you have. Ask him to forgive you for breaking your marriage vow of forsaking all others.
Then give him some time.
Pray for your man. Without ceasing. He may not be ready or able to forgive you at this moment, especially if this is the first time he is hearing about the affair. Let him know you repent for loving him so poorly and that by the grace of God you want to become the wife God desires you to be, the kind of helpmate your husband needs. Then make good on your commitment to God, your husband and your marriage by becoming the wife God wants you to be.
3.Forget about the other man…
Maybe that means quitting your job. Or leaving a church ministry if that is where you met. Get rid of any gifts, cards or emails this other man may have given you. If you have photos of him on your computer, delete them so you won’t be tempted to gaze at him. When you find yourself missing him and thinking about him tell God you are sorry and take captive those thoughts. Then pray for your husband. After God, keep your heart and thoughts devoted to your husband.
4.Fall in love all over again…
First with God. When you love God more than yourself you more readily resist the opportunity to sin. So turn to the Gospel of John and read it everyday for a month. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God and His love to you in a new way, a deeper, more profound way.
Next fall in love with your husband. This may require counseling, preferably for both of you individually and then as a couple. But sometimes husbands don’t like to go for counseling. So be it. You go. And keep going.
Sometimes it helps to talk woman-to-woman with someone who has survived several chapters of her own sin. A Titus 2 mentor can help you choose to love your husband with 1 Corinthians 13 love. For love is always a choice and marriage is a commitment and sometimes when the going gets really tough it is choice and commitment that carries the day. But be assured that God is not a miser when it comes to restoring joy. Follow Him, be obedient and in God’s time the joy will return and you will be flooded with wonderful feelings for the husband again. Or maybe for the first time.
5.Show, don’t tell…
Begin to prove your love to your husband by the kind and gentle things you do for him. Maybe it’s buying him a half gallon of his favorite ice cream — and not nagging him about his cholesterol levels, or taking a walk in the evening together, or helping him with a chore that he dislikes. Share your time with him giving him the best you have to offer not your leftovers after the kids or work. Gently touch his face, look into his eyes. Thank him for all his does for you and your family. Minister to him sexually. Plan a special date night. Maybe a weekend away. And finally, do tell him that you love him. More than once.
6.Make a list…
Of all the things that you love about your husband. All the things you are grateful for. And over time, with God’s leading, your list will grow long even if you cannot think of much at present. Be willing to have the mind and heart of Christ and to see your mate through His eyes. Your husband is fearfully and wonderfully made and in marriage he is your perfect partner. You spouse is the one soul on the planet who can best help you become most like God. Marriage is a crucible in which the dross of both can melt away.
7.Feast on Bread…
Let the bread of life feed your hungry heart tasty morsels that help you love, honor and cherish your husband better. Honoring God with time in His word yields the timeless treasure of a heart resting secure in relationship-altering truth. And when a formerly faithless wife disciplines her heart to live out Bible truths each day, real, lasting changes result. See this post for eight scriptures that can help you.
With God’s help wounded marriages can be restored. Don’t get impatient and don’t give up. You promised your life to your husband and God will give you all the grace needed to become his perfect helpmate.
Restoration takes time.
So trust and obey…
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