Just tuning in? Please start at the Original post of this Series on “Surviving Infidelity”: Shattered Hearts, Broken Promises.
For those of you all caught up, this is post 2 for today, please go back to post 1 and read in order, starting with: “Florida Healing”.
It is strength, not weakness, to acknowledge the need for help.
Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.”
We had already committed our shattered relationship to the Lord, but we also knew we needed to seek help to put the pieces of our marriage back together. We first turned to a couple who had walked the same road we did, they had wonderful insight and answered our many questions. They also reminded us to be on our guard, as good friends can give bad advice with great intentions!!! Next, we turned to our long time friend and mentor, he too came and “poured clean water over us”, allowing God to flow healing, refreshing words through his lips.
We knew the next step would be from outside help: a Professional Christian Counselor. The man we went to first had all kinds of letters behind his name and came on a recommendation from a dear friend, so he must be good, right?
Beware of these titles, because they are not a guarantee that you are getting someone who believes what Gods Word says. Our first red flag, was that this Dr. did not open in prayer, shouldn’t we seek the Great Healer FIRST?! Not only that, but he did not even make mention of the Lord, or His Word. He was too busy listing off his accomplishments and telling us about how he is one of 2 “real” psychologists in town.
We told him our story, weeping as we did. Offering him our broken pieces, asking him to help fan the tiny flicker left of a flame of hope that burned underneath the rubble. He did not feed our flame to a burning glow. He did not help carry our burden to the feet of Jesus. He was too busy speaking doom and gloom over us.
Our 9 1/2 years long marriage has been a waste. It was dead. Unsalvageable.
And as he blew his hot air, he began to blow out the tiny flicker of hope we longed to keep burning.
He said we may be able to rebuild, but it will be SO SO SO hard. And it will never be the same again, it COULD be great. Maybe, but probably not.
He told us he would NEVER forgive his ex-son in-laws whom he had been through this same situation with. He turned to Dale and told him his in-laws would NEVER forgive him either. In fact, if he were us, he wouldn’t tell them AT ALL! Little did this man know, Dale had already begged forgiveness of my family, my best friend, his mom, our pastor….many a tearful apologies had already occurred. And, just like Jesus asks us to, they all forgave him. They all embraced him, loved him, encouraged him and commended him for telling the truth.
When we walked in to this man, we were holding hands and feeling so positive, so hopeful that our combined light would glow strong again one day, our tiny flicker of hope would grow into a bright flame, shinging brightly. Mid-way through this session, we were leaning away from each other and no longer holding hands. By the time we left, we had this huge wall between us, a heavy dark curtain on top of us, and our small flickering flame called hope, totally snuffed out. We both felt hopeless…..
Isaiah 43:25: The Lord blots out our transgressions for His own sake….because He desires us in Heaven with him.
What a great thought!
During prayer time, Dan asked me to go back to the moment I found out the truth and tell him once I got there, praying God would reveal to me what He wanted to about this moment:
Instantly I was in the laundry room, note in hand. Everything blurred except Dale’s haunted, wide eyes. I could put myself exactly where I was to the right of the sink, our 4 little ones lined up between us ready to wash hands after an evening at church. In my heart, I already knew what he would later confess to….I knew the story of the couple mentioned in the note I held with shaking hands. I knew what they had dealt with; the lies, the affairs.
In my mind’s eye, I saw & felt my heart break, dropping down into my stomach then falling out, shattering on the laundry room floor. Instantly, in my mind, the Lord was there, asking me to give Him all the pieces as He stooped to help me clean up. He began to put my heart back together, carefully cradling it in His hands, He took His blood and worked them into the cracks until it looked new again. He offered it to me, but I wouldn’t take it back.
We opened our eyes then and discussed what this could mean. I realized I was scared to take the heart back because it meant forgiving Dale. Forgiving means giving up hurt, or so I thought. It also means being strong, and being strong means Dale doesn’t need to be sweet and tender to me anymore.
This obviously is not the case, but it’s what I have thought all along. I know now the truth of the matter and I know that I need to trust the changes I see in Dale and trust the process of forgiveness as the Lord gives us new hearts to love each other with.
Jesus’ very presence is an intercession, a reminder to God of the atonement of our sins. Jesus goes to God on our behalf. He is not finished with Dale’s issue of the fear of rejection, it seems to stem back to his parents divorce at age 12. He feared being left suddenly and for “no reason”, so he became a pleaser. When he was with church friends, he was a good little church boy, when he was with his party friends, he was the best party animal out there, when he dated a girl, he molded himself to whatever “type” she liked, when he married me, he felt it necessary to be the “Godly man” I expected him to be to match up to my standards. So when I asked him about temptations in the past….
No, of COURSE he wasn’t tempted by porn, of course he didn’t deal with wandering eyes. He wasn’t like other guys. Those things weren’t issues for him. He didn’t want to disappoint me, so he kept the problem inside, hoping to deal with it on his own.
Later, after “the fall”, He was too scared to tell me the truth and disappoint me even more. Satan really had him so blinded that he thought he could look at porn and never fall. But lust of the mind, leads to lust of the heart, leads to lust of the flesh EVERY STINKIN’ TIME!
This secret and the lies to cover it, led to separation from God, which allowed satan to get in and plant the spirit of pride and self-sufficiency, leaning on himself rather than the Lord. Satan used this to ultimately destroy our marriage. Dale’s soul has been trapped in the cell of rejection and has been deceived to believe no one could love the “real” him all along.
It is so hard to look back over the past year and see the unravelling of my Dale, first leaving his management position, then our year of financial discipline…all part of a slow process of the breaking down of the walls Dale had around himself. After Mens Encounter, as the walls came tumbling down, it exposed the hurt, it exposed the lies. It’s been such a painful difficult year in the Refiners Fire, but look around, beauty is already emerging from the hideous ashes! Praise HIS name!
Revelation 3:8 “You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me……because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come….”
Dan spoke to Dale that healing is not just for me, Godly sorrow leads to repentance and the Lord wants Dale to recover and be healed too.
Our counselors are so thankful for the sincerity they see in Dale and the remorse they see in his eyes, uncommon and refreshing. They encouraged us to ask the Lord to raise up intercessors all over the world to pray for us, that even now God was nudging them to pray for a struggling couple. The Lord wants me to work on finding my worth in HIM, not Dale, because I am worth far more than rubies to Him……
Sometimes, that is hard to remember.
Christian marriage is a wonderful and sacred union between a man and a woman. Both participants are confident that the Lord brought them together and their marriage will be long-lasting and successful.
Sometimes though, life gets in the way and they hit a period of rough times. Because of their true love and devotion for each other and the Lord, rather than throwing in the towel they decide to seek out Christian Marriage Counseling. It is wonderful that they have made the decision to seek help.
Exactly where does a Christian couple go to be counseled correctly?
One option and probably the most obvious would be to seek counseling from the great counselor, the Lord. Turn towards him during this tough time. Speak to him together, call out to him together, and cry with him together. He is more than aware of the difficulties you are experiencing and He is just waiting for you to ask Him for help.
If you both open your hearts up to Him completely and pray that He will guide you closer to each other and to Him, He will do just that no questions asked. When two individuals who are already strongly faith-based come together and ask the Lord for guidance and help, miracles have and will occur. Just make sure that both of you truly believe that He is in control of the situation and has the power and the love to help you both.
Something else that you may want to consider to incorporate with the Lord’s love and counseling is to seek out Christian counseling as well. This is where you and your spouse can sit down with an unbiased third-party that you can talk to and air out your differences. Please make sure you seek out Christian counseling and not just traditional counseling.
You may want to see if your church has a program in place (which many usually do) or ask a Christian friend or Pastor for advice. Reason being is that because your marriage is faith and devotion based it is important to have a counselor who understands the importance of the Lord in both of your lives and in your marriage as well. This will make all the difference.
A Christian Marriage is a lifelong commitment. During the rough times if the need to seek out counseling arises please obey. Whether it is through prayer counseling with the Lord or through a Christian counselor it can only strengthen your marriage and bring you, your spouse and the Lord closer together.