A woman I’ve known for many years posted this on Facebook. She has a teaching ministry for people that struggle (in and out of marriage) with abusive relationships.
“I will tell the Lord …I do regret one thing …in staying in an abusive relationship…and keeping my children in that environment…use to tell father, we are setting our children for failure! He didn’t listen! Forgive me my children again! Children get it too..PTSD!!!! The post was accompanied with a quote on how emotional abuse can cause PTSD.
That’s one “plus” to Facebook – people only post what they want others to hear. I am a victim of abuse ~or~ I am an adulterous woman. Which would you post? (I wish she was the only woman I’ve known who was, or is in an adulterous relationship with an abusive man.) Granted she was simply acknowledging her responsibility for her children’s emotional struggles. But her post brought to mind the destruction she caused by taking up with a married man. In thinking about it…two marriages were destroyed, a church was divided, the abuse this man inflicted on his wife at the time – was transferred to her and the children that came out of that relationship. She claimed she had been seduced by the pastor, so she was just another victim – for ten years and two children – and subsequent divorce and remarriage. At any point she could have put a stop to it.
So when we get a peek into the lives of others via social media – you get to see information specially selected for public viewing – good or bad. It’s manipulation at its finest.
I have to admit I was troubled by her post, because I knew her history. How do you tell a Christian woman that has suffered at the hands of an abusive man that her experience was the result of outright rebellion against God? Or do you? Do you say anything? We can try to help and support victims of abuse, but surely, as Christians we should examine ourselves when we enter into all relationships. We should be honest, if not with others, with our self. In her own words, she was a victim of physical and emotional abuse. The fact that she had an affair with a married man – is irrelevant. In the years that I’ve known her she has never confessed that she did anything wrong (by taking up with a married man).
Psalm 44:21 “Would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.
Getting honest… I wondered if the “…” meant other than the fact that her children were conceived in an adulterous relationship. I wondered if she had repented of her obvious sin. Had she been honest with her children about her twisted – stinking thinking in getting involved with a married man. He was the pastor of the church. She paraded around church, Bible studies and social gatherings – married to one man and sleeping with another.
I wanted to desperately tell this woman that her experience, her children, their subsequent experiences were direct consequences of her adulterous relationship. Yes. She had an affair with the pastor of the church we attended. This was happening back in the 80’s and early 90’s. In later years, the pastor’s ex-wife was my friend – through more than twenty years of suffering in silence, never-ending various abuse, infidelity, and other sins of the pastor she never lost faith in God. When she cried out for help – her family and friends advised her to suck it up. I believed her because that was the same advise I received in trying to deal with my ex. (And let me tell you, God gave her grace beyond measure to accept this woman as a friend – to forgive her and her ex-husband. After all was said and done…she listened to her (this woman) as she shared her horrid stories of the abuse she she endured at the hands of this man …) The other woman continued her adulterous behavior. Oh my! The details here are very sordid.
This woman had a ten year affair with this pastor, had two children by him while she was still married and living with her husband – and tried to pass the children of as her husband’s.
My friend shared her story of abuse, before she married, and after. Years later – she still recalled certain events with vivid detail. She lived in feared for many years. My ex and I were out of the country when the scandal broke at our little church. I held back the tears, the horror and anger as she shared many disturbing details. I asked my friend if this woman had ever asked for her forgiveness. I was shocked when she said – never. She did say that her ex did eventually seek her forgiveness.
How do we as believers, wrong somebody, and subsequently exposed – never seek forgiveness of those we wronged? Something is wrong with this picture.
And I guess it’s easy to ignore the sin of adultery and shift the focus to the subsequent effects, because even a promising relationship can have bad consequences – as was the case for this woman. She was taken by surprise when her husband began the abuse. As believers in Christ if we learn anything – we learn that God hates adultery. We also learn the consequences of sin and still we react in utter disbelief when we suffer.
Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? … (1 Cor. 6:9-10)
Isn’t thou shall not commit adultery a commandment? (Exodus 20:13)
It’s been bothering me. I guess because as Christians we tend to roar when it comes to certain atrocities – like abortion. Yet we stand idly by – silent – as we watch fellow believers being pulled down into the abyss. Into total darkness they go in their rebellion. Liars, cheaters, abusers, lovers of evil – those attributes – well, we prefer to turn a blind eye rather than confront a brother or sister in Christ.
My friend had spoken to this woman often about her lifestyle choices. My friend told me that she was convinced that God was directing her steps. God had given her a peace about being in a relationship with a married man. I cannot describe his vileness without soiling your soul.
I was only twenty-two years old when all this happen in my little church. I was a new Christian. I too got caught up in a bad relationship, despite warnings. Yes – in my rebellion, which was easily rationalized – I was young and stupid – ignorant of the things of God. Sure. But how long can we claim ignorance?
There are many published authors, writers, bloggers, some well known, others not so much, many more writing in obscurity just like us here – that share stories of faith and insight into the things of God. They share their interpretations of Scripture. Some we trust, others we take with a grain of salt. Still others we can confidently say pervert the gospel of Christ for personal gain. They are men and women, young and old.
“And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions. Joel 2:28
These days there is so much information out there to be found about how to live the blessed Christian life, how to name it and claim it, and how God will give you the desires of your heart if you seek Him first – tons of topics – with everyone being some kind of authority on the topic. So, how important is it to know Scripture? Extremely important!
There are too many Pied Pipers out there trying to seduce weak minds to follow the path that leads to destruction.
Even as believers, many of us are hard-pressed to believe that sin has consequences. And here I only refer to the obvious sin of adultery and entering into a wrong relationship. But sin comes in many flavors, big, little, bold or subtle with varying degrees of consequences, but consequences nonetheless. Sin reaches into the deepest part of the soul. It hides in the recesses of the mind.
Isn’t the Lord so merciful… to reach deep down into the abyss to pull out the soul that cries out for forgiveness…
Yes, woman…sin has consequences. For me, it’s about considering my role in the body of Christ and act, respond – by faith – in meekness – in total surrender to the One that calls me by name. It’s about recognizing sin – when it crouches at the door. Calling it what it is – sin- rebellion against God.
Matthew 7:5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
It’s time to learn about the God that sacrificed His only Son for our sin. Jesus, who loved us and died for us – that went to His Father’s house to prepare a place for us. We are His.
Thank you for reading. Be blessed.