Have you ever thought to yourself or told a friend that the reason you chose NOT to divorce your husband after betrayal, was because you wanted to "please God?" You are not alone. Over the years, I have read where many women have said that very thing, me included. That should be no surprise. After all, as women who have been saved by the grace of God, through Christ, pleasing God should be what motivates us all. However, Even though we may have stayed in a difficult marriage in order to "please God", the truth is we may not be producing fruit in our lives that is pleasing to him at all. Let me explain.
Betrayal in any form can cause deep rooted issues in the heart of a woman. Even though a husband is repentant and moving forward in Christ, wives can get stuck in the aftermath of such devastation. Our pain and wounds can lead to mindsets that we don't even realize we have. If we do not completely surrender our broken hearts to Christ, the pain can begin to produce fruit in our lives that is totally opposite from our initial intentions.
Think about this...do you secretly consider yourself a "martyr" for Christ for giving grace to your husband and not leaving him? Do you feel like your husband "owes" you something because you chose to stay with him even though he did not deserve it? Could it be that you are emotionally creating an unfaithful heart towards your husband by making an idol out of your "sacrifice" to stay married to him? I am only asking these things, sweet friend, because these are the very things that God brought to my attention not too long ago. Tough stuff, I know! Can I tell you that these are very dangerous mindsets? SO, how can you tell if, in your heart of hearts, these mindsets may have taken root? It is really simple...by your fruit.
Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Is this the kind of fruit you are bearing or does it seem more like rotten fruit of the flesh is taking over? Are your past wounds still controlling how you treat your husband? Are you showing disrespect towards him? Is there an underlying anger that controls you at times? Are you reminding him of his "sin" every time you are reminded of your pain? Been there, done that. Can I just say "UGLY?!"
We can become so critical of our husbands that the beauty that "may have been" from such a commitment becomes tainted. I know this is tough, but ladies, if we have made a prayerful decision to stay with our husbands, to show them mercy, to allow God to restore, redeem and to make new...then we must let go of EVERYTHING that hinders His work in our hearts and our marriage.
Seriously, do you really think God is pleased or impressed as each anniversary comes and goes and your actions and attitude is ruled by the wounds you never allowed Him to heal? I may be able to brag and tell others that I have been married 27+ years and it may sound like an awesome feet to those who hear it but what if they could see what was really going on in my heart? What about God, what does He see? Honestly, I think you can be married for 50+ years and still not be glorifying to God. You see, I don't believe He is concerned as much about the number as He is about the condition of the heart. Yes, He hates divorce; the Word of God is clear on that, but what about the fruit of unrighteousness that is produced in a marriage where the wounded wife takes on the role of the saint who showed mercy only to have her own heart blackened with sinful attitudes? Honestly, you may as well have gotten a divorce if your heart, your attitude, your actions towards your husband is not exemplifying the character of Christ. NO, I am not in anyway condoning divorce; I am only trying to make a point.
Sweet friend, I know as a follower of Christ, you really do want to do what pleases Him. I also know, first hand, how very hard it can be when your heart has been so broken by the one who pledged to love you and treasure you. However, I can tell you that even though it is hard, it is not impossible. Thanks be to Jesus, we do not have to live this way. We can choose to surrender our brokenness, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger and anything else that is not honoring to God and allow Him to heal us and transform us. We can live, not as a victim, but as a victor. We CAN be free from roots that produce rotten fruit in exchange for the beautiful, sweet fruit of the Spirit that is ours through Christ.
So let's go back to where we started....pleasing God. Girls, may we please Him, not just by keeping that ring on our finger, but by allowing our hearts to look more like his....That's what really counts, that is what really matters. May David's prayer be our prayer...... "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Amen!
Written by: Mindy Adams