Sunday, November 04, 2012


My previous post tackled the goal of prompting thought and conversation about the need to be aware of sexual temptations when working in ministry. The aim was to call out anyone walking a dangerous line in potentially inappropriate relationships. Though the tone of the original author was strong, the words were good words with some good suggestions to prevent failure if possible.
The post was intended to be preventative in nature and did not deal with those who have already failed so today I want to address the issue of hope.

Hope for individuals. First, if you have been unfaithful in your marriage know that there is hope. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and we all have our own issues. If you have failed, there is hope for you because Jesus' love reaches to the sexually impure and the self-righteous. God's healing not only extends to your spiritual life, but it also applies to your emotional life. You can be healed. You can be made new and your marriage can be made new and stronger than ever. As with any sin, it will take honesty, hard work, and patience. In moments of brokenness, there is hope.

Hope for relationships. The most obvious consequence of unfaithfulness for some is the end of the marriage. Usually the best option is to allow God to work in your lives to heal and restore your marriage. But if your marriage ended due to unfaithfulness know that the forgiveness and grace of Jesus applies to you as well. There are many issues that may lead to the affair and I don't pretend to understand all of them. Those issues are reasons and not excuses but too often, Christians believe if you did not save your marriage then you are less godly than those who did. That thought is naive and again limits God's ability to make beauty from the ashes. The things in our lives that we mess up or that are messed up for us do not have to define our identity. God is able and willing to redeem and make beauty out of our messes. I have seen many "second" marriages flourish and exist as pictures of healthy relationships. Even in the ashes of life, there is hope.

Hope for friendships. If your unfaithfulness or the unfaithfulness of another has ruined relationships in your life, you have to believe that even here there is hope. Jesus says, "I am making all things new". We are not able to pick and choose what the "all things" Jesus is referring to. He is making ALL THINGS new. The broken relationships and order of things in our world is being repaired and restored by Jesus. There is hope for hurting friendships, family relationships, and relationships between parents and children. Time, patience, understanding, and grace are needed, but don't lose heart because there is hope.

Hope for today. All of us who have struggled with any sin or addiction know that sometimes the idea of living without that thing is more than we can handle. In the previous post one anonymous comment alluded to the difficult nature of changing behaviors. Though we know we should live without it, we cannot simply "turn off" longings for something that has become a part of our lives. When everyone around us wants us to magically heal we either lose heart or become dishonest. My encouragement is to be honest and know that it is okay to be "not okay" but do whatever you can to make progress. Feeling like you can never be restored or healed is a ploy of the enemy. Know that God never gives up on us so even in our darkest moments, there is hope.

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