Re: Found out wife cheated first year of our marriage,7 years later
I think the following post will explain to people why I entertain the thought of forgiveness and reconciliation.
I need to kind of give everyone a little background on myself. I was raised in a Christian home and taught Christian morals and values. I know some of you would say that Christians are a bunch of nuts, and I would agree looking at Christians that bomb abortion clinics, the likes of Westboro Baptist Church, the Crusades, and so forth. There's no doubt that Christianity has had it's share of problems, just as any other religion. I look at it as any other group of people, you have those that are genuinely good people and those that miss the entire point of Christianity, which is love and compassion. I may not agree with gay marriages, but that doesn't mean I hate or hold ill will towards gay people. I may not agree with abortion, but I'm not going to harm a person that has one. God gave every man, woman, and child free will to live their lives as they please. Who am I to take that away from them? I believe this world lacks love and compassion and I refuse to contribute to that.
All of that being said, the reason I even entertain the thought of reconciliation is because of my beliefs. God sent his son to be the perfect sacrifice for my transgressions, even before I was, even when I didn't deserve forgiveness. His son laid down his life, without question or concern, for me and all of humanity. All he asks is that we know him, follow him, and do what he would have us do. It's no more than any parent asks of a child. When our children do wrong, we punish them, even though it hurts to do. Then we forgive them unconditionally knowing that they may let us down again. We punish our children in the hopes that they learn their lesson and not make the same mistakes.
After all of this happened, I cried out to God to ask why he would allow this to happen to me. I never got an answer, directly. But, the first thought that came to mind was the story of Jesus and the Adulteress. As she was about to be stoned for having an affair, he stepped in and told the crowd, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone." Since guilt had set in on the crowd, not one stone was cast and the crowd dispersed. Jesus then turned to the woman and asked where her accusers were and whether they had condemned her. She told him no one did and he responded, "Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin."
This story hit me like a ton of bricks. It not only dealt with a cheating spouse, but also showed me that I'm not innocent either. It spoke to me on many different levels. It told me that I too have sinned, and will continue to sin against God, but he still showed me grace. It showed me that Jesus was willing to forgive for adultery, shouldn't I show the courage of my beliefs and at least entertain the thought of forgiveness and reconciliation? Don't I owe this to the person I claim as my lord and savior? I know the bible states that God hates divorce, but it also says that a marriage can be put away for infidelity. Jesus said it "CAN BE", not that it has to be. I believe the reason for this allowance is because of the pain caused by the total betrayal and that God knows this pain is very hard to overcome.
I now know that if I forgive her, it's because God forgave me. I know that it will be his grace, not mine. I also know that if I can't, God is not ashamed of me. So, I think I owe this to myself to try and forgive the biggest transgression ever brought against me. I know, as well, that if I forgive her, this will be the only time and will not happen if she has another affair. I hope this was a good explanation for those of you that wonder why I don't just get a divorce.
Even if you don't believe in God, Jesus, or any other deity, forgiveness is good for the soul.