Betrayals by our partners can be some of the most devestating, especially when an affair has taken place. Whether we realize it or not, affairs are rejections and cause us to feel loss. Add to the sexual betrayal, a stack of lies, manipulation and hurtful words. The very things that you once loved about your partner become hard to stomach. While it might seem the partner having the affair comes out on top, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The unfaithful partner is burdened by lies and guilt while living a double life. Even when the unfaithful partner remarries, it seldom lasts because of the trust issues. Couples who have been blessed with children must teach their children, the product of their union, to love the very one who hurt them or who they betrayed.
In Luke 16:10 Jesus teaches us that if we are faithful in small things, we will be faithful in large things. We know this from our wedding vows that we repeat “for richer and poorer, in sickness and health, till death do us part.” God wants us to be forgiving and faithful, but even if the union is beyond repair, we should be forgiving.
I was eating lunch with some friends this week, when one started showing photos of her family. This particular friend has been married about 50 years and has been caring for her invalid husband for at least the last 15 years. So often I have thought of her positive and sweet spirit despite the burden she endures daily. I looked at the photo as she named out her children and grandchildren. Without even blinking she said and this is Marcus, he’s my husbands child from an affair, but I love him like my own. I thought to myself, “wow, that is forgiveness the way Jesus does it.”
Forgiving a partner does not mean you have to stay in a bad relationship. That is something you need to pray about and work out for yourself with God’s help. Forgiveness means letting go of the pain and freeing yourself from the bondage of being a victim. God bless you.