Hope After Betrayal

Hope After Betrayal

Tim Keller writes, “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is like being loved by God.”

I’ve thought about this quote a lot. God sees our faults, failures, and impure motives, and his love for us never diminishes. However, when our spouse has a fault, commits a failure, or takes advantage of us in some way, expressing love and being “in love” is challenging, to say the least. Oh, to love one another as Jesus loves us (John 13:34).

Gallup recently reported that views on sexual involvement and relationships have shifted noticeably in the last 20 years. For the general population, people’s moral acceptance of sex before marriage has changed. People’s moral acceptance of same-sex unions has changed. People’s moral acceptance of divorce, polygamy, and pornography has changed. Basically, people have become more “accepting” of people’s sexual choices. However, there is one sexual experience where views have not changed at all; extramarital affairs. Why? Because there is no feeling like the feeling of betrayal. Broken trust of this magnitude is extremely hard to heal. In reference to Tim Keller’s comment, to be Christ-like is to allow God to give us the power to love through the pain.

Now, there are too many moving variables to suggest that all marriages will appropriately heal and be healthy when there is an extramarital affair. There are biblical reasons for some marriages to end. However, ending a marriage does not mean we don’t love. When we love well, marriages that suffer from an indiscretion or an affair have hope of healing. Without love, there is no hope for such healing. I recently shared the story below with our financial supporters:

A young woman had an affair, left her family to live with friends, and quickly filed for divorce. I talked to the husband shortly after she moved out, and he said, “All is lost. All is over.” Both husband and wife were emotionally numb, angry, and ready to throw in the towel. However, through the work of a friend, they agreed to meet with us. They spent a few days with us. That was several months ago. Today they are together and say they have never been better. 3S Ministries financially supported this intervention because the couple did not have any other resource to help. We are grateful for the churches and individuals who support 3S Ministries to help families and marriages.

In some way and to some degree, we all experience betrayal. Jesus ate His last supper with one He called friend. Judas sold Him out in a big way. Jesus knows the pain of betrayal. He, literally, rose above the pain to facilitate hope and redemption. May His resurrection power be found in you when you suffer from acts of betrayal from friends, co-workers, and even your spouse (Phil 3:10).

Here is to healing and hope in all of your relationships,