A God of Restoration

Three years ago, I received a phone call from a very close friend Virgilia whose husband Jose confessed to having affair during their 7 years of marriage. If you’ve ever heard these words, “I’m having an affair.”, then you may understand the weight they carry. They are daggers to the heart and can be deadly to a marriage, but there is still hope for healing and restoration.

Trying to hold it together, she didn’t know how to deal with the myriad of emotions that she was experiencing – sadness, anger, frustration, confusion, desperation – you name it. During that time of despair, Virgilia had decided to separate and move on with her life and let him stay with the apartment with the significant other (who happens to be much younger than Virgilia)… During his time while living together with the significant other, they had two girls.

I don’t believe anyone sets out on a quest to commit adultery and bust up their family. It happens one small bad decision at a time. One “meaningless” flirtation that leads to a lunch date at work. One silly text that points to inside jokes and a secret meeting. One inappropriately vulnerable conversation that leads to an intimate relationship. And, any of us can fall prey to this temptation when boundaries are crossed, and we proceed without caution. Even so, when one spouse decides to have an affair, they choose to break their marriage vows. The other spouse is NOT to blame. However, no spouse is ever completely innocent of sin in marriage. We ALL fall short. The majority refer to the spouse who had an affair as the “guilty” one and the other as the “innocent” one, but none of us are completely innocent because none of us are perfect. But thankfully, we serve a perfect God who graciously chooses to forgive our repentant hearts. His forgiveness wipes away the stain of our sin. However, we must face the natural consequences of heartbreak and broken trust that are an inevitable reality after an affair.

And when we read the Bible in the book of Luke 17:4 scriptures states that even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.
For three years I’ve continued to counsel her in her despair and anger and emphasized the importance of seeking God’s face and to continue to pray and read God’s Word daily for this is the only way she could recover yet reminding her of God’s divine plan for her life will always prevail and that we serve a God of restoration and love. Prayer is a powerful tool that helps us to humble ourselves towards God and one another, and it brings us closer together as nothing else can. There is no better time to pray than when we are in a rough patch in our marriage. Many of us neglect this fantastic gift because we are disillusioned and upset. As I counseled my good friend Virgilia, she was able to get past those sentiments and get on our knees in prayer until she saw God working. Virgilia believed in a marriage that is until death do us part…So she prayed and prayed and prayed… God meets us right where we are, no matter what we have done or how hopeless our marriage may feel. He brings us strength when we are weak. He gives us the words to speak to Him and one another when we feel like we are completely depleted and uninspired. He can bring peace to what feels like a war zone in our home-if we let Him in. We can do this through prayer. After three years of separation and continuous prayer, God brought healing and restoration back in to their marriage…there was never a need for divorce…for love endures all. And just this past February 16, 2019, I had the privilege of performing the ceremony of renewing their wedding vows to God be the Gory!

As we all know, we live in a fallen world where humanity lives a life separated from God and His precious and unconditional love that he wishes to share with all mankind. The love of this world is momentary, as the world sees it is feelings that just come and go, but the love of Jesus is eternal.

The good news is God doesn’t define love as a feeling that comes and goes. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”

And, verse 13 goes on to say, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Wow. THAT’S real love. That’s the kind of love that I am certain that everyone wants to have…the kind of love that lasts forever.

I share this story with you to serve as an example that nothing is impossible with God…even saving a marriage after an affair. I highly encourage anyone who may be going through a break up because of infidelity for both husband and wife to first and foremost seek God’s face in prayer and if needed… to speak to your Pastor or see a Christian counselor on a regular basis and attend a crisis marriage retreat/conference. This can be very helpful. Saving a marriage after having an affair is not an easy road, and it will take everything from both husband and wife that they will have to fight for it. Because your marriage is worth fighting for. It is our hope and prayer that both spouses experience full restoration and healing and continue to move forward and work hard to cultivate a healthy and thriving marriage through Jesus Christ our Lord