Redemption is the act of being saved from our sins by God. It is something every person needs. It is not something we can ever do by ourselves or for ourselves. The great news is that God wants to redeem us. He wants us to be free from sin. As we talk about affairs this month, the topic itself can be a downer. We all know people whose marriages have been affected by an affair. For many of you, it has been your story. Yet as devastating as an affair can be, God can redeem a marriage. There can be healing for both parties. Sure, the consequences of an affair reach painful depths; but in those depths we find that God is there. As I have counseled many couples over the past few years after an affair, I have seen God’s healing touch time after time.
It does not usually take me very long to know if both parties are really willing to do whatever it takes to restore a marriage. For the one who went outside their marriage, I look for a depth of pain as they see the hurt they have brought to their mate. I look to see if they are willing to do whatever it takes to restore their marriage. They don’t ask, “How long do I have to do this?” They just do it. I look for a heart change that shows a total surrender to God and the impact that God’s forgiveness has on them.
For the other spouse, I look for at least an openness to what God can do. When trust is broken, no one gets up and says, “Punch me again.” We want to protect ourselves; but if healing is going to happen, we have to be willing to give the other person the opportunity to begin to build trust. Ultimately, it is not trusting the other person; it is trusting Christ in that person. It is being willing to forgive our spouse as God has forgiven them.
Every affair-scarred marriage does not make it, but more and more broken couples are seeing the possibility of what God can do and the real possibility of restoration. It is redemption for the husband, the wife, and the marriage. It is a God thing at its best!