This has always been tough For me. The concept of being strong and confident, while at the same time being broken and humble. My strength and confidence always came across as arrogance and pride. Often times it was harsh. Notice I said “my strength… That was the problem, I thought it was about my strength and me pushing things along. Ephesians 6 tells us “to be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might.” I’m learning to be strong in Him and because of Him. This breeds humility because it will only happen if I recognize moment by moment my dependence on Christ.
When you betray your wife, you believe and the devil tries to tell you that she wants no comfort from you. The devil tries to tell you more lies. That if you are truly sad you will be broken and sad, constantly beating yourself up. The enemy wants to heap burning coals of shame on your head.
The truth is your wife actually needs you to be broken in Christ and at the same time strong in Christ. For some of you, your wife won’t want to look at you. She won’t even want to be around you. Forgiveness will be a process for her, but if you are to get her back, strength and brokenness in Christ will be a given. This will be hard for you as well. However, as you accept the forgiveness of Christ and as you forgive yourself you will begin to find both strength and brokenness.
The first few weeks after confessing, the only way I could lift my eyes and look my wife in her eyes was because of Christ in me. In all honestly this process was only made possible through the friends in my life and our counselor. They had to keep bringing me back to the love and forgiveness of Christ. I honestly would have wallowed in self-pity. Destroying myself over and over again, sinfully agreeing with the enemy.
I want to explore more closely this simultaneous strength and brokenness in Christ. Then I’ll finish explaining why your wife needs this from you. Let’s start with true godly brokenness. In the gospel we come to understand our complete bankruptcy and need for Christ. If you have come to a place of confessing affairs or some grievous sin against your wife, then you probably get how broken and weak you are. I highly doubt you just ran to the affairs. My guess is it was more of a slow walk where at times you felt powerless. That’s because we are broken and depraved. Remember how broken you are and how disgusting you can become. Then ask for life, ask for confession and repetance that leads to life. When we are granted true repentance it bears life and hope because we recognize the grace of God in it. You must never forget where you came from and where you will end up again a part from Christ.
Now, you have the ability to be strong as you work through all the mess and pain with your wife. Remember Ephesians 6 tells us, to be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might. So rise up not because of you, but because of Christ in you. Be there for your wife. Be what she needs you to be because Christ is in you. This is the power of Christ in you.
Despite the fact that we have betrayed our wives, on the deepest level they need our strength in Christ. That strength tells them or reassures them that Christ is at work. It lets them know that we are walking in Christ and finding hope and healing. This will aid your wife in the healing process and help her forgive you. This strength from Christ allows her to be fully open and express herself while you listen and hold her. Yes, you caused the deep hurt, but if she is still there then she wants your love and strength in Christ. This is truly a miracle of God that is beautiful to see.
Friends this is so incredibly difficult. The enemy is fighting hard to get you to a place of self-pity. Keep trusting Christ, apologize when you don’t bring this brokenness and strength. Ask Christ and your wife to help and encourage you. Remember, Christ has forgiven you and wants to make you strong. Now forgive yourself and step up in Christ. Never forget how much He loves you.