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← Should I Divorce My Husband For Adultery? - Ask Pastor Tim

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Showing Revision 6 created 07/14/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. This is from:
    "anonymous - just humiliated."
  2. "Can I get a divorce?
  3. I am still raw with pain
  4. with every desire..."
  5. Now hear this: "Can I get a divorce?
  6. I am still raw with pain..."
  7. but she has every desire and prays
  8. to forgive her husband
  9. of twenty-plus years
  10. for his adulterous affair
  11. with a young, beautiful woman,
  12. who he spent over $8,000 on
  13. with traveling to at least five states
  14. including six cities,
  15. jewelry from Tiffany's, jackets,
  16. a new iWatch when it first was introduced
  17. to the market.
  18. It has been a little over two years ago
  19. since this young woman,
  20. angered by their breakup..."
  21. Her husband and this young lady broke up,
  22. so the young lady called the wife
  23. and introduced herself....
  24. "...to me as his girlfriend."
  25. And revealed all this information,
  26. which her husband didn't deny.
  27. He confirmed it as true
  28. when she confronted him.
  29. "Reconciliation has been
    harder than anything,
  30. testing my faith as I go to God regularly
  31. to forgive him continually."
  32. She says, "I face triggers."
  33. What does she mean?
  34. There are these triggers that set off
  35. anger and bitterness.
  36. What? New discoveries.
  37. Things that her husband
    didn't fully disclose.
  38. She's finding out as time goes on
  39. new information, new discoveries.
  40. Inconsistencies in the things
  41. that he has told her that reveal lies.
  42. "And the discovery that
    he referred to this girl
  43. as his ex-girlfriend,
  44. upgrading their foul,
    adulterous relationship
  45. as one as common as a courtship
  46. instead of referring to
    her as what she was,
  47. a mistress.
  48. I'm hurting badly
  49. with feelings of not feeling good enough."
  50. So she feels like a failure as a wife.
  51. "Anger that I wrestle in the flesh
  52. because I cherish my
    relationship with Jesus Christ.
  53. My journey actually has been smoother
  54. since I've discovered
    this two-plus years ago.
  55. But we still argue.
  56. He says he's repented, but I don't see how
  57. because I still feel disrespected
  58. in the way he views her.
  59. Like how he mentioned her to someone
  60. as his ex-girlfriend,
  61. and how he tells me I'm crazy
  62. for still wrestling with the problem.
  63. And like how he says
    he lives a sinless life
  64. now that he's repented.
  65. Like when he uses profanity
  66. in response to me badgering him
  67. about the past adulterous affair
  68. as if it's my fault.
  69. His lies he's told in the aftermath
  70. to cover up things she told me
  71. aren't recognized as sin by him
  72. because now that he's
    not committing adultery,
  73. he claims he's sinless."
  74. She says, "I'm born again,
  75. and I'm always repenting,
  76. always seeking the Lord to purge me
  77. as He said He would.
  78. 'Every branch that abides in Him...'
  79. I'm never so satisfied with where I am
  80. that I call myself sinless.
  81. Am I set free? Yes.
  82. But now more than ever, I'm wrestling
  83. with anger and unforgiveness
  84. as they are triggered.
  85. I have really great days.
  86. I have good days, moderate days,
  87. and really, really bad days.
  88. I'm seeking the Lord
  89. and pouring out to Him through all this."
  90. Now she also sent a follow-up
  91. where she said this:
  92. "I'm so sorry
  93. concerning the message I just sent.
  94. Be it far from me to leave
    out my own fault too.
  95. I've been wrestling with both anger
  96. and horrible profanity.
  97. I'm repenting constantly
    for my angry outbursts
  98. about the affair
  99. and the marital neglect I experienced.
  100. And to be honest," she says,
  101. "he has many times sat quietly
  102. and listened to me.
  103. He has not been a monster toward me
  104. since about two months after the discovery
  105. of his adulterous affair.
  106. And I'm sorry I left those points out."
  107. She felt convicted.
  108. So her first question is

  109. can I get a divorce?
  110. Now you recognize, she follows it up
  111. by saying "every desire in her prayer
  112. is to forgive her husband."
  113. So this is a woman that's torn.
  114. This is a woman who's trying to heal,
  115. but she says there's triggers.
  116. Like she finds some new information
  117. that he wasn't honest about.
  118. Or he seems to downplay it -
  119. say it's her sin, it's her fault.
  120. Why does she keep carrying on with this?
  121. What do you tell her?
  122. She says, "he tells me I'm crazy
  123. for still wrestling with the problem."
  124. I would say to her you're not crazy.
  125. I mean, clearly if you're a woman
  126. and your husband has been unfaithful
  127. and then in the aftermath of it,
  128. new information keeps coming out,
  129. lies get uncovered,
  130. your husband basically acts like
  131. now that he's repented it's over
  132. and you ought to just get over it.
  133. No, I would say that all those things
  134. are exactly going to keep the wound
  135. opening up afresh.
  136. What do you tell her?
  137. Let's start right there.
    Can I get a divorce?
  138. What do you tell her?
  139. I don't even think that
    she really wants one.
  140. But she's asking the question.
  141. (from the room)

  142. I don't think that's
    something that you give
  143. strong response to right away
  144. because of the nature of it.
  145. She doesn't seem like she wants a divorce.
  146. The guy has been unfaithful.
  147. She's not going to just get over it.
  148. She seems to want to get over it.
  149. You don't have a quick
    answer for something like that.
  150. I can't think - even though I know
  151. what Scripture says about divorce
  152. and the grounds for divorce -
  153. she doesn't seem that she really wants to.
  154. What quick response can you give to that?
  155. Tim: Well, she may want to know

  156. that she biblically can
  157. even though she doesn't want to
  158. so that it's kind of a
    weapon in her arsenal
  159. to leverage over the guy.
  160. I'm just saying that could be.
  161. But I mean, just from a
    purely biblical standpoint,
  162. (incomplete thought)
  163. Let me ask you this.
  164. If she divorced her husband,
  165. if she was in our church
  166. and she divorced her husband,
  167. should we say,
  168. well, she had biblical grounds?
  169. Would we say, well, we
    counseled her against it,
  170. but she did actually
    have biblical grounds?
  171. Would we say no? She can't?
  172. And there would be
    consequences if she did?
  173. Maybe some kind of
    disciplinary consequences.
  174. Well, let me ask you this.
  175. If a woman has a husband who's unfaithful,
  176. he says he's repented.
  177. He doesn't go on in his sin.
  178. And she seems to really
    desire to forgive him,
  179. is there a cutoff point?
  180. Would you say that she has a right
  181. 25 years down the road to say
  182. you know what?
  183. My husband was unfaithful 25 years ago
  184. and I want out.
  185. I just got sick of this relationship
  186. and I've got a biblical out
  187. and I'm going to take it and use it now.
  188. Is that like a get out of jail free card?
  189. Seriously, the exception points
  190. that are made there in Matthew 5 and 19,
  191. if there's sexual immorality -
  192. except in the case of sexual immorality.
  193. Is there, whether we put a distinct
  194. amount of time on it or not,
  195. is there a time?
  196. When Jesus says except
    for sexual immorality,
  197. does He mean that well,
    if you have a spouse
  198. who's been sexually immoral,
  199. and once they've done that,
  200. you basically have a right
    to divorce them at anytime?
  201. Or is there a timeline?
  202. Would we say there is a time
  203. that if enough time goes by,
  204. that it would be inappropriate?
  205. What say you?
  206. Scripture.
  207. What Scripture has
    to do with what's right?
  208. What's loving? What's appropiate?
  209. What's God-like? What's Christ-like?
  210. (from the room)

  211. Would 1 Corinthians 7:3-14
  212. be applicable to this situation?
  213. (unintelligible)
  214. Tim: Which verse specifically

  215. are you thinking is applicable?
  216. (from the room)

  217. It's 1 Corinthians 7:13.
  218. "If any woman has a husband
  219. who is an unbeliever
  220. and consents to live with her,
  221. she should not divorce him.
  222. For the unbelieving husband
  223. is made holy because of his wife."
  224. Tim: But that situation
    doesn't necessarily

  225. bring in the sexual immorality.
  226. Whereas the Matthew texts
  227. do bring in that specific reality.
  228. Let me ask you this.
  229. Do you think that it's possible
  230. to forgive the husband
    and still divorce him?
  231. I hear no. I hear yes.
  232. Could you imagine a situation
  233. where forgiving him - which is good,
  234. appropriate,
  235. letting go of the
    bitterness that you feel,
  236. where it still would be
    necessary to divorce him?
  237. (unintelligible)
  238. I mean, what if your husband
  239. actually was involved in
    pedophilia or something
  240. and you've got kids.
  241. Is it possible to forgive him
  242. and yet recognize I've
    got to get out of this
  243. perhaps for my own safety
  244. or for the safety of the children?
  245. Perhaps that could be.
  246. That doesn't seem like this situation.
  247. And clearly it's a different situation
  248. when you have a spouse who's continuing
  249. in their sexual immorality.
  250. But when you have
    somebody that's committed it
  251. and then they're repentant...
  252. Now, I recognize, we could wrestle with
  253. well, is he sincere? Is he not sincere?
  254. But do you think that a Christian
  255. has an obligation to
    remain in the marriage
  256. if the spouse repents?
  257. Is it an obligation?
  258. Open your Bibles to Matthew 19.

  259. You're already there.
  260. Look at 19:1,
  261. "Now when Jesus had finished these sayings
  262. He went away from Galilee
  263. and entered the region of
    Judea beyond the Jordan.
  264. Large crowds followed Him
  265. and He healed them there.
  266. And Pharisees came up
    to Him and tested Him
  267. by asking 'is it lawful to divorce
  268. one's wife for any cause?'
  269. He answered, 'have you not read
  270. that He Who created them
    from the beginning
  271. made them male and female?'
  272. And said, 'therefore a man shall
  273. leave his father and his mother
  274. and hold fast to his wife,
  275. and the two shall become one flesh.
  276. So they're no longer two, but one flesh.
  277. What therefore God has joined together,
  278. let not man separate.'
  279. They said to Him, 'Why then did Moses
  280. command one to give
    a certificate of divorce
  281. and to send her away?'
  282. He said to them, 'Because
    of your hardness of heart
  283. Moses allowed you to divorce your wives.
  284. But from the beginning, it was not so.
  285. And I say to you,
    whoever divorces his wife
  286. except for sexual immorality
  287. and marries another, commits adultery.'"
  288. So there is an exception there.
  289. So okay, with the exception -
  290. now this is speaking of a man.
  291. It was a very man-dominated society then.
  292. But nevertheless, a woman
  293. divorces a husband
    because of sexual immorality.
  294. It seems like there's an exception there.
  295. There's an exception,
  296. but there certainly isn't a mandate.
  297. It's not commanded.
  298. Do we not feel that a Christian
  299. who forgives sin against themselves -
  300. that's very Christ-like.
  301. For her to forgive her husband -
  302. very Christ-like.
  303. Would we not agree with that?
  304. He's claiming to have repented.
  305. She says for the last two years -
  306. that's 24 months - she says for 22 months,
  307. things have actually gone fairly well.
  308. Now there's these triggers
    that keep opening it up,
  309. but once he came clean, she says,
  310. that things were pretty good.
  311. What do you tell her?
  312. She's got these triggers.
  313. She's got these difficulties.
  314. What could you tell her
    that would really help her?
  315. (from the room)

  316. Do you think that telling her that love
  317. does not keep a record of wrongdoing,
  318. if she truly has forgiven him...
  319. for example, like you said, if we tell her
  320. that biblically she can divorce,
  321. is there a time limit?
  322. Well, let's say 25 years from now
  323. she wants to divorce.
  324. Tim: Here's the thing.

  325. You can say that,
  326. but here's the problem.
  327. If you were married and your husband
  328. was the one who was unfaithful,
  329. and then as you're moving forward,
  330. you keep finding
    inconsistencies with his stories,
  331. and instead of calling
    the woman a "mistress,"
  332. he's referring to her as an ex-girlfriend.
  333. And his lies keep coming back
  334. so that the wound keeps getting re-opened.
  335. You wouldn't be impervious to that.
  336. Your trust is destroyed.
  337. And the thing is
    inconsistencies in his stories
  338. keep coming up.
  339. And he keeps referring to the woman
  340. in terms (incomplete thought).
  341. What's that?
  342. (from the room)
  343. What keeps bringing that issue up though?
  344. Tim: Well, it's going to come up.

  345. I mean, it sounds like he's speaking
  346. to other people about it
  347. and it gets back to her ears
  348. that he's referring to her in terms
  349. that seem to lessen
    the severity of his sin.
  350. And then, can you imagine
  351. if you're wanting to talk,
  352. especially when there's inconsistencies
  353. and you've got questions,
  354. and when you ask about them
  355. and you get upset,
  356. he's telling you that you're
    the one who's wrong.
  357. You're just holding on to it.
  358. You're crazy.
  359. You're still wrestling with these things.
  360. Get over it.
  361. Listen, those things would be
  362. incredibly hurtful and
    wound opening events.
  363. (from the room)

  364. It kind of reminds me
    of David in Psalm 55,
  365. some of the things he said there,
  366. that my companion stretched out his hand;
  367. he violated his covenant.
  368. And here this lady's
    marriage has been violated.
  369. And David felt like flying away
  370. from the situation,
  371. but ultimately cast his
    burden on the Lord.
  372. And I guess if she's determined
  373. to love her husband,
  374. all those reminders are a reminder
  375. ultimately to go back to Christ,
  376. to cast her burden on Him,
  377. and just plead for mercy
  378. and help from the Lord.
  379. And He's going to give that.
  380. And if it's getting better
  381. in these last two years,
  382. I would assume in five years,
  383. it's even going to be more bearable,
  384. better hopefully.
  385. Hopefully God would save her husband.
  386. If she's going to stay with him,
  387. what other option does she have
  388. but to rely on the Lord?
  389. Tim: Yeah, one of the things I wrote down

  390. is to encourage her to not forget
  391. the power of prayer
  392. and laying hold on the Lord
  393. and asking for supernatural grace.
  394. But here's the thing,
  395. there are women who navigate
  396. these kinds of situations
  397. and they navigate it to the
    honor and glory of the Lord.
  398. But I think one of the things
  399. that you need to navigate it
  400. is you have to think right.
  401. And you have to think truth.
  402. And one of the things
  403. is to surround yourself with people
  404. who are going to bring
    you back to the truth
  405. all the time.
  406. And I think that's being in a good church,
  407. surrounding yourself with people
  408. that truly help you.
  409. There are people who don't help.
  410. There are people who -
    even professing Christians
  411. and perhaps genuine Christians
  412. who give wrong advice, bad advice,
  413. and it's not helpful.
  414. It's not healing.
  415. You need to surround yourself with people
  416. who really are going
    to guide you into truth
  417. that is helpful,
  418. that will help you get
    across these hurdles.
  419. And they don't always
    need to be living people.
  420. One of the reasons I grabbed
  421. "The Sympathy of Christ,"
    by Octavius Winslow
  422. off my shelf is the sympathy of Christ.
  423. The reality is we have a
    sympathetic High Priest.
  424. This is one of the greatest books
  425. that I have on my shelf
    for suffering people.
  426. Because what it does is
    it takes you close to Christ.
  427. And it shows you His
    suffering and His sympathy
  428. for the suffering.
  429. Because the truth is that Jesus
  430. has been in a place where
    He suffered the rejection,
  431. He suffered the hurt,
  432. He's been there.
  433. And I think that's critical,
  434. but think right. Think right.
  435. What we need to be called back to
  436. especially when we're suffering -
  437. (incomplete thought)
  438. I especially think about the Apostle Paul
  439. or the Apostle Peter.
  440. When they're dealing with people
  441. who are suffering, what did they do?
  442. They didn't say just
    get over it. You're crazy.
  443. They brought truth to appeal to the mind.
  444. That's what they did.
  445. They came in and they said look,
  446. we're not going to say
  447. your suffering isn't suffering.
  448. But, your suffering - it feels long,
  449. it feels hard - it's momentary.
  450. Fifty years from now,
  451. this sister will be with the Lord.
  452. She'll be in Paradise.
  453. Every tear will be wiped away.
  454. So we need to keep it in perspective.
  455. Momentary, light affliction is all
  456. that our suffering in this life is called.
  457. And it's going to give way,
  458. give place to an eternal weight of glory.
  459. But you think - you think.
  460. What truths does this woman [need?]
  461. Obviously, the truths of the cross.
  462. The truths of God's forgiveness of her.
  463. That's got to be the foundation.
  464. I'm forgiven.
  465. After what I've done, I'm forgiven.
  466. After what I've done to Him, I'm forgiven.
  467. Another thing that is essential

  468. is coming back to the truth,
  469. God has promised
  470. to never leave us or forsake us.
  471. Because you know what the temptation
  472. in trial is.
  473. The devil's right there to say,
  474. "Look, God's vacated.
  475. You're on your own.
  476. He's not helping you. He's silent.
  477. You're praying to Him?
  478. This isn't going away.
  479. He's not hearing you."
  480. And I know Charles Leiter has said
  481. that the Gardener is never so close
  482. as when He's pruning.
  483. And I've come across it somewhere else,
  484. maybe Matthew Henry,
  485. that the Refiner is never
    so close to the gold...
  486. You could speak to that.
  487. I mean, you put the silver and gold
  488. in the kiln.
  489. You're not far away
  490. when the gold's cooking in the kiln,
  491. and you're getting the impurities out.
  492. And that's the reality.
  493. What we have to be
    brought back to is this,
  494. that God is specifically
    ordering my suffering.
  495. We have to be confident in that.
  496. Otherwise, we have no
    foundation to stand on.
  497. We have to be able to say
  498. all things are indeed working
    together for my good.
  499. I have to believe in a God
  500. that is entirely in control
  501. of every nuance of my life,
  502. and that He's guiding.
  503. And that He is the God Who says
  504. He does not willingly
    afflict the sons of men.
  505. What does that mean? It's the idea
  506. that He doesn't from the heart.
  507. He doesn't because He's cruel.
  508. Now look, He's a God Who's just.
  509. But there's sensitivity with God.
  510. I mean, you definitely
    get the idea in Scripture,
  511. God does not need to have His arm twisted
  512. to show mercy.
  513. It seems more difficult for
    Him to mete out justice.
  514. But entirely consistent
    with His character,
  515. He must.
  516. But just the idea that He's not willing
  517. to afflict the sons of men.
  518. It's this idea that God is going to bring
  519. the suffering that's for our good.
  520. I'd tell her you don't want to
    use your mouth like that

  521. with your husband.
  522. You don't want any profanity to come out.
  523. That's wrong.
  524. No matter what he's done, that's wrong.
  525. And she talks about the
    repenting that she does,
  526. but it really needs to be
    the kind of repenting
  527. where she eliminates
    that from her life totally.
  528. She needs that.
  529. There needs to be a real holiness
  530. being worked out there
  531. in the fear of God.
  532. There needs to be a cleansing.
  533. The tongue needs to be set in order.
  534. And she needs the grace.
  535. Just because her husband may be
  536. reopening the wound and triggers may come,
  537. that is no excuse for her to do that.
  538. I mean, we understand the circumstances
  539. and that it's really difficult.
  540. We're not saying it isn't difficult.
  541. It is.
  542. She's in an incredibly
    difficult situation.
  543. I mean, do you ladies have anything
  544. that you would add
    that you would tell her?
  545. (from the room)

  546. I was just going to ask
  547. on a practical level.
  548. Is there a time when godly counsel
  549. is to go seek help from elders,
  550. from people in your church,
  551. to counsel the two of them together
  552. if he saying that he has repented
  553. and has turned from that,
  554. but there are signs that
    maybe that is not true.
  555. Is there a time when it's not just dealt
  556. with the two of them, they need to go out?
  557. Like within their body?
  558. Tim: Yes, I mean, definitely counseling.

  559. Definitely whether that's
    pastoral counseling
  560. with the pastors
  561. or whether there's some kind of counseling
  562. with a counselor,
  563. if both of them can be involved,
  564. that's definitely a good place.
  565. My assumption in this
  566. is that you have a husband
  567. that's professing to have repented
  568. and he feels like now he's actually
  569. even reached some state
    of perfection or something.
  570. The feeling I get is he probably
  571. isn't a genuine Christian.
  572. Now, that still doesn't mean
  573. that there couldn't be some good things
  574. achieved if you can get
    them both into counseling.
  575. But that would be good if
    he's willing to do that.
  576. But sometimes I guess we just
  577. have to recognize
  578. that a guy like this might not be willing.
  579. Without knowing the real details there,
  580. he might not be willing,
  581. or even if he was
    willing for a time to go,
  582. if he's not genuinely converted,
  583. difficult to know how
    much fruit there may be.
  584. Sometimes in these situations
  585. if you've got one that's converted
  586. and the other one it's
    pretty obvious they're not,
  587. you really have to focus
    in on the one that's saved
  588. to do the right thing.
  589. Because if the lost member,
  590. even if they're going to counseling,
  591. they just lack the equipment
  592. to handle this thing in a godly fashion.
  593. And perhaps they even need to be
  594. dealt with about their false profession.
  595. And the thing is if the Lord's in it,
  596. then yeah, you'll get wonderful fruit,
  597. because if God saves him,
  598. then the thing will really heal.
  599. But if the Lord isn't in it,
  600. dealing with him like that is probably
  601. going to chase him away
    from the counseling.
  602. And he will all the more quickly
  603. not want to be involved.
  604. Somebody had a hand up just now.
  605. (from the room)

  606. I was just thinking that she might also
  607. still be dwelling on it because
  608. he did not confess - he got caught.
  609. So that could be something
  610. that she's still thinking about.
  611. Tim: Yeah, she's going to play
    it over and over in her mind.

  612. And I'll guarantee, we view things
  613. as elders in the church like that.
  614. We take very much into consideration
  615. when sin is exposed -
  616. did they get caught?
  617. Or did they come and confess?
  618. So often when people get caught,
  619. then they say, "Oh, I repent."
  620. Well, now it's very questionable.
  621. Now you got caught.
  622. You were forced to now play the part.
  623. So yes, I think any woman,
  624. that would be a big issue.
  625. That yeah, he didn't come
    and confess this to me.
  626. He got caught.
  627. And then the thing that it seems like
  628. she's bringing out -
  629. because we've seen this.
  630. We see this with sin.
  631. A person gets caught.
  632. Now they confess, but later
  633. it becomes discovered
  634. that they didn't confess everything.
  635. And now you confront them with the more.
  636. Well, now they confess it.
  637. And now they apparently repent of that.
  638. But you can understand if you're a wife,
  639. and it seems like he's repented,
  640. but new things keep coming up
  641. that it's very convenient
    he never mentioned.
  642. The thing you're looking
    for when somebody repents
  643. is you just lay it all out on the table
  644. so that there's nothing hidden,
  645. nothing more that's going to come out.
  646. It's just there it all is.
  647. I'm not hiding anything.
  648. Because yes, as soon
    as you've got the idea,
  649. he got caught and he's only
  650. admitting what he got caught for
  651. and we keep finding out
  652. there's more stuff that's hidden.
  653. That's one of the greatest indications
  654. that there is no genuine aspect
  655. to the repentance.
  656. It's all a put on.
  657. (from the room)

  658. I also have a thought,
  659. in the first letter she talked a lot about
  660. his response and that at times
  661. still referring to her as ex-girlfriend
  662. and/or not disclosing everything,
  663. but in the next letter, she was like,
  664. it hasn't all been bad.
  665. There have been times where I have had
  666. him listen to my concerns.
  667. So it just made me think of when
  668. in 1 Peter it's talking about suffering
  669. and her desire to actually walk
  670. pleasing to the Lord in that manner.
  671. And in knowing her weaknesses,
  672. knowing that there's triggers,
  673. knowing that the devil's
    going to be right there
  674. to tempt her in those weaknesses,
  675. just what it says in 1 Peter 5:6,
  676. "Humble yourselves therefore
  677. under the mighty hand of God
  678. so that at the proper time
  679. He may exalt you,
  680. casting all your anxieties on Him
  681. because He cares for you."
  682. And then this part where it says,
  683. "be sober-minded,
  684. be watchful.
  685. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around
  686. like a roaring lion
  687. seeking someone to devour.
  688. Resist him, firm in your faith,
  689. knowing that the same kinds of sufferings
  690. are being experienced
  691. by your brotherhood throughout the world
  692. and after you have
    suffered a little while,
  693. the God of all grace Who has called you
  694. to His eternal glory in Christ
  695. will Himself restore, confirm,
  696. strengthen, and establish you.
  697. To Him be the dominion
    forever and ever, amen."
  698. So it seems like she
    wants to fight against it
  699. and just trusting in those things
  700. and God's enabled her to fight against it
  701. and to humble herself before Him
  702. and to cast her anxieties on Him
  703. in this season.
  704. It seems like she recognizes
  705. that things are getting
    a little bit better.
  706. She's enduring and trusting more.
  707. Tim: I'll tell you two
    other aspects of this

  708. that if she's rightly communicating it
  709. that are pretty good indicators
  710. that his repentance is
  711. not a godly repentance.
  712. He may have stepped away from this
  713. and he wants to preserve his marriage,
  714. but a good indication
    it's not godly repentance -
  715. two aspects that jump out at me
  716. is one, if a man sins
    against his wife that way,
  717. and he knows that calling that girl
  718. an ex-girlfriend just does not
  719. sit well with her,
  720. he should never do it again.
  721. Another thing that jumps out
  722. is that he would ever fault her
  723. for not getting over it.
  724. After what he's done,
  725. his approach should be one of shame,
  726. not fault-finding with her.
  727. So you can understand
  728. that those things would definitely
  729. reopen the wounds and be hurtful.
  730. But the thing is, you have to trust,
  731. yes, the wound keeps getting reopened,
  732. but the Lord's only
    going to let that wound
  733. be reopened as many times as is necessary.
  734. Never so often that it's cruel.
  735. Never so often as that it's harmful.
  736. He's going to let it happen
  737. as many times as it's useful.
  738. And clearly, she's indicating
  739. that there are some things that do need
  740. to be dredged up out of her own life.
  741. But it's very difficult.
  742. (from the room)

  743. If he continued to refer to the woman
  744. as an ex-girlfriend
  745. and continued in that disrespect to her
  746. as his wife,
  747. would we call her to continue
  748. to endure the struggle?
  749. Or do you think at that point,
  750. like it's an intentional harm towards her
  751. by her husband?
  752. Tim: Well, I don't think it's grounds

  753. to try to get out of the marriage.
  754. I think she needs to
    fight for this marriage.
  755. And like I say, I think
    all the more she's able
  756. even with him reopening wounds,
  757. all the more she's able to forgive him,
  758. is all the more Christlike
    she comes across.
  759. And you know, the truth is
  760. that 1 Peter 3 reality
    of seeking to win him
  761. by her conduct.
  762. And I guarantee,
  763. her throwing a blast of profanity at him
  764. does not help.
  765. It doesn't help anything.
  766. It doesn't help her.
  767. It doesn't help heal it.
  768. It doesn't help him.
  769. In no way does it help anything.
  770. But if she navigates this thing
  771. with the help of God,
  772. with the grace of God -
  773. and that's like, after what James said,
  774. I have it here -
  775. don't underestimate the power of prayer.
  776. Don't underestimate the thing that seems
  777. so impossible to let go of or to forgive
  778. or to get over,
  779. the Lord has helped His people
  780. to get over and past every one
    of those kinds of situations.
  781. And there is grace sufficient.
  782. And people who have experienced it
  783. can say at times, there is a
    supernatural help from God
  784. to forgive or to be able to cover over
  785. or to love.
  786. I was just recently talking about
  787. the Wurmbrand book that
    was selling for a dollar,
  788. "Tortured for Christ."
  789. You know, when they were in
  790. those Romanian prisons,
  791. the more their captors beat them,
  792. the more love they felt for the jailers.
  793. It's the guy whipping them,
  794. with every stroke of the whip,
  795. they're feeling greater love
  796. for the guy whipping them.
  797. How is that?
  798. It's just plain supernatural.
  799. But God's in the business
    of helping His people,
  800. so you cast your cares on Him.
  801. There's a place to come:
  802. Lord, please, he keeps
    reopening the wound.
  803. You know that he is.
  804. You know this hurts, Lord.
  805. You don't expect it not to hurt.
  806. I need help. Lord, I need help.
  807. In my own strength, I cannot do this.
  808. You just cast yourself on Him.
  809. And the thing is He helps His people.
  810. He really does.
  811. There's help for her.
  812. And I think she's experiencing
    some of that help.
  813. But I think there's areas
  814. where there's still defilement
  815. in her own life that needs to be cleansed.
  816. She needs to control her tongue.
  817. And that doesn't seem like it's in place,
  818. not if she's letting loose
  819. with a flurry of profanity.
  820. Well, anything else?
  821. (from the room)

  822. I would say to her
  823. to just exhaust every avenue
  824. of overcoming it with love
  825. and persistence in prayer with the Lord.
  826. Because the Lord will give you peace
  827. to left or right if you're
    in prayer about it.
  828. The fear of the Lord overcomes you
  829. and will convict you of the things
  830. spoken out of turn
  831. or if you made a frown
    when you're offended.
  832. The Lord will convict them right there.
  833. The sanctifying even in that suffering
  834. is good for the offended or the spouse.
  835. And also, in the care of the Lord,
  836. He will direct when
    the time is to move on.
  837. Because it won't be the
    Christian's desire to move on.
  838. But it will be the Lord's will.
  839. Tim: Yeah, on that note.

  840. This is from the chapter,
  841. "The Emotion of Love in Christ."
  842. "How little do we know experimentally
  843. of the love of Christ in our souls
  844. dislodging slavish fear,
  845. a bondage spirit, unbelieving doubt,
  846. and so enlarging our hearts that we may
  847. run the way of the Lord's commandments.
  848. And the chiefest is to love.
  849. Bring your heart with its
    profoundest emptiness,
  850. its most startling discovery of sin,
  851. its lowest frame, its deepest sorrow,
  852. and sink it into the depths
  853. of the Savior's love.
  854. That infinite sea will flow over all,
  855. erase all, absorb all,
  856. and your soul shall swim and sport
  857. amid its gentle waves,
  858. exclaiming in your joy and transport,
  859. 'O the depths...'
  860. The Lord direct your heart
  861. into the love of God.
  862. Just as it is hard, cold, fickle,
  863. sinful, sad, and sorrowful,
  864. Christ's love touching your hard heart
  865. will dissolve it.
  866. Touching your cold heart will warm it.
  867. Touching your sinful heart will purify it.
  868. Touching your sorrowful
    heart will soothe it.
  869. Touching your wandering heart
  870. will draw it back to Jesus.
  871. Only bring your heart to Christ's love.
  872. Believe in its existence, its reality,
  873. its fullness, its freeness.
  874. Believe that He loves you
  875. and just as love begets love,
  876. so the simple belief in the love of Jesus
  877. will inspire you with a reflected
  878. responsive affection
  879. and your soul like the chrysalis
  880. will burst from its captivity and gloom
  881. and soaring in life, liberty, and beauty
  882. will float in the sunbeams of God's full,
  883. free, and eternal love.
  884. And in a little while, will find itself
  885. in Heaven where all is love."
  886. And she should buy this book.
  887. Seriously.
  888. For people who are deeply suffering,
  889. like I say, Octavius Winslow.
  890. One of the greatest books -
  891. balm for the suffering soul.
  892. Well, let's pray.

  893. Father, we pray that there might be help
  894. for some folks in the things
  895. that were said tonight.
  896. Lord, we pray that You'd use this
  897. in some people's lives for good,
  898. for Your glory, for healing,
  899. for salvation, for help.
  900. Lord, we pray that Your kindness,
  901. that this love that
    Octavius Winslow speaks about,
  902. oh, Lord, may we know more about it.
  903. Help us to know it
  904. and to swim in the depths of it.
  905. Help this sister, who, Lord,
  906. You've put her in the furnace.
  907. We pray that she would know
  908. the cleansing, purifying grace of God
  909. in the midst of those flames.
  910. Help her to endure.
  911. Help her to persevere.
  912. Help her to love her husband
  913. with the love that only You can give.