In part 1 we talked about confession, repentance and restoration with our Heavenly Father, but what about those who I’ve hurt?
When David said, “Against you only have I sinned” he wasn’t saying that he wasn’t responsible for hurting others. This was his acknowledgement that his primary offense was to a holy God. His sin hurt others and the consequences of that sinned followed him for many years. Though he was free from the guilt and penalty of sin, he was not free from the consequences. Adultery wounds marriages and families. It leaves those we love feeling betrayed and discounted. Forgiveness from our heavenly Father comes freely and immediately. Forgiveness from our family and friends may take time.
Taking a step toward restoration and healing can be scary and seem impossible. Fortunately our God specializes in the impossible and supernatural. The journey is not easy, but where there is faith and a sincere desire to seek God’s will – there is hope. Restoration with those we’ve hurt by our sin takes a step of faith. It also takes a step of faith if you’re the one who has been hurt. How can you ever trust again? Can you really forgive? These are questions we’re going to explore.
Principles for restoration
“Godly sorrow leads to repentance and brings life, and leaves no regret. But worldly sorrow leads to death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10
Restoration begins with genuine and utter brokenness. Are you sorrowful because you were caught, or are your sorrowful for how you’ve hurt your spouse, family and friends? Are you broken and contrite because you sinned against a Holy God? How broken are you FOR your spouse versus yourself? Consider Psalm 51:17 “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” This is the first step towards restoration and healing and it cannot be skipped.
Biblical confession is the pathway to forgiveness with God & others. You must confess and take responsibility for your actions. Are you willing to own your sin? Will you assume the responsibility and the consequences? Here is a tip: If you use the word mistake, you’re not confessing. When a basketball player commits a foul – that’s a mistake. Burning dinner – that’s a mistake. Adultery is not a mistake. It is sin. Don’t blame. Take responsibility and offer a genuine confession to your spouse, your children, and those in your Biblical community of faith like an accountability group, or small group you belong to.
Allow them to grieve
When you confess, there is likely to be a period where those you love are angry, even angry with you. You have to give them space to go through a process of grieving what they’ve loss. This is actually an essential process to healing.
One of the pitfalls people often fall into is isolation. You feel embarrassed and afraid of what others will think or say, and those feeling will rob you of healing if you listen to them. Community may not be easy but IT’S A MUST. You need community for the sake of your family, your mental health and for a covering of prayer. Get counseling. Counseling is not for the weak, but those wanting healing and who have the courage to recognize their need of guidance. You need someone or someones to help you along the journey. Not every counselor will work out. Keep trying them till you find one who you feel comfortable with. Without exception EVERY couple who goes through this test needs wise counsel. Not from your friends or family, but a wise counselor who can look at every angle without bias. Don’t let pride derail your opportunity for healing and restoration.
Establish the Guardrails you need to prevent missteps from ever happening again. Do whatever it takes. Jesus said it this way in Matthew Chapter 5:27-30 “… If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”
A Story of Hope.
Justin and Trisha Davis moved to Nashville in 2002 to start a church. Justin had an affair with a staff member, who was also Trisha’s best friend. Below is their story and how God worked in both of them to miraculously restore their marriage and lives.
Justin and Trisha founded Refine Us, a ministry committed to helping repair and restore broken marriages. They have a new book, Beyond Ordinary. Check out their ministry for further resources and help for your marriage.
We are committed to walking with you through good and the bad. As a community of faith NorthStar believes and lives the Gospel. We’ll journey with you. If you need to set an appointment with one of our pastors or a counselor contact us.