What do you do when your sin is against your husband?
What do you do when your husband is not a believer?
Do you beat yourself up time and time again? Do you tell yourself that you aren't worthy of grace or forgiveness? Do you make yourself believe that you are now alone? Do you convince yourself that your husband will never become a Christian because of you?
If you do, you're in company because I just described me.
The entire story behind my bigger than life sin is long and lengthy, filled with years of sin, years of tried repentance and months of repetitive offenses. I've cried enough to solve the drought problem in California. I've entertained depression, I've shut down, and I've told myself I'm not worthy of love.
And as if that weren't bad enough, it was a sin that directly affected my husband. My husband who looks to me for Christ like examples was the one having to repeatedly show me Christ like grace.
I know you're wondering, "what the heck did she do??" I did not have an affair, there is nobody else involved. But what I did is equally as damaging to a marriage. I was heavily buried in financial deceit. Like anything that remains hidden from truth, it didn't start off big, but it snowballed and grew until it avalanched and came crashing down.
All while I'm claiming to be a woman of faith.
And my husband knew that.
What picture did I paint for my husband? A perfect hypocrite. Say one thing, but do another. How can that be inspirational or lead my husband towards God? It can't. And it won't.
As wives, spiritually single or not, integrity and follow through are two of the most important things we can offer to our husbands, which are results of loving and respecting our husbands daily.
When my sin was revealed to my husband, he immediately did not feel loved, and he definitely did not feel respected. He was faced with knowing that his wife had been deliberately deceiving him for a long time. And aside from the shock of being made aware that there was financial sin happening, his heart and his mind then wandered towards, "if you lied to me about this, what else are you capable of? Would you cheat on me?" Of course, I know in my heart I would never even dare to entertain that thought, but you know what? By hiding sin from him, I proved to him that I am, in fact, capable of doing something like that.
Is there something in your life that you are keeping from your husband? Does he know the truth about everything? Are there "little white lies" that you assume will do no harm?
My "little white lies," which I (wrongfully) justified as "keeping peace and not wanting to cause a ripple in our daily living," were not filled with malicious intent. My heart hurt, my mind knew I needed to be truthful, but I convinced myself that I was protecting our family. And that's where the enemy wants us to feel safe with our sin. If we can tell ourselves that we're hiding our sin to avoid arguments or keep the house happy, the enemy wins because he has deceived you.
"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23
God's word doesn't say that some things flow from our hearts, He says that everything flows from it. So what's in your heart? God? Or the enemy? Who takes up the most space?
You may think I'm crazy, you may be saying, "I would never let the enemy in my heart! There's only room for God in there," and I certainly hope that's true...but have you ever told your husband, "oh I've had this for so long," about a blouse you bought just last week? Or "look what I got today, honey! It was on sale," but it wasn't? Maybe it has nothing to do with money. Did you tell your husband that your ex-boyfriend contacted you through social media? Does your husband know that you check his email? You get the idea...
From the smallest "little white lie" to the outrageous deceit, it's all the same.
So what do we do about it?
Ugh. Who wants to do that, right? This is the whole thing we were trying to avoid. "I don't want to tell anyone. I'm embarrassed. I'm ashamed. He's going to be so mad. It's going to ruin everything."
True, it might ruin that ripple-less home you've been secretly creating, but that conflict-free atmosphere you've been shaping is false. The only thing you've been doing is pretending your sin is ok.
Here's what I love about God (and what I sometimes don't appreciate)...He gives us the chance to confess our sins. You know those times when you've felt that prompt, "now is the time, tell him," and you ignored it? That was your chance. That was God prompting you to confess. Oh, but you didn't confess? Phew - got out of that one, right? So wrong. God will try again and again. Until one day He will reveal it himself.
Which would be better for your husband? To hear your words in truth? Or to find out because you couldn't control it?
There is so much relief in the confessing of your sin. Sure, it won't be pretty at first, but once that sin is out, you are instantly closer to God...because our sin is the only thing that can separate us from Him.
And He wants to rescue us from our sin:
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:8-9
Confess. It will be ok. Let God deliver you from unrighteousness.
2. Seek Advice
"Now I gotta tell someone else about what I did?" Yep. And again, it won't be pretty. It will hurt. If it's a righteous man, woman, or a couple, that you are seeking advice from, it should hurt. Because they will be truthful using God's word and His expectations of us as Christians.
But that's what is needed. When we are cut to the heart, it allows the opportunity for God and His word to sink deep inside and begin the healing process.
Seeking advice not only allows us to hear the effects of our sin, but it provides us with someone to guide us back onto the path of righteousness. Accountability is huge. If there is nobody to check in on you, your repentance and your walk with God, how do you really think you'd do? How quickly would you go back to the mindset of "nobody needs to know?" I am willing to bet that you would quickly return to old habits.
This whole journey is not meant to be done alone. Not only can we prosper with accountability, we can have prayer warriors on our side...and we know the power behind prayer.
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16
God doesn't expect you to fight this battle on your own. He instructs us to confess to each other...and look at the reason why: so that we can be healed.
Sin is sin. Yours is no different than mine, and mine is no different than yours. Whether we intend it or not, our sin and our choices directly effect our husbands and our families, even if we think we're protecting them. The truth is, by keeping sin hidden, we are exposing them. We are not protecting them at all. We are leaving them wide open....and welcoming the enemy into our home.
There is healing in confession, power in prayer and comfort in knowing that God is with you every step of the way. He tells us,
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned...For I am The Lord your God...you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you..." Isaiah 43:2-4
You are loved. I am loved. Let the healing begin.