He had cheated on her before. But this time was the last straw. She now convinced herself that eight years earlier she had forgiven him too soon. But even since then things had not been right in the relationship. This time she knew there was a problem when she noticed her body experiencing some peculiar symptoms. She wasn’t sure exactly what the problem was but based on her husband’s previous moral failure in their marriage, she thought she would start with getting answers from him. “Who have you been with?” “No one,” was the smug and tentative reply. He flat-out denied giving her anything.
From bad to worse
She finally worked up the courage to approach her family doctor with her symptoms. After a few tests her worst fears were realised. She had a venereal disease but she had always been faithful to her husband all these years. When she arrived home from the doctor, she confronted Darrell with a print-out of her test results.
Darrell finally caved in and confessed his infidelity. He had been with a prostitute and the protective measures he had taken had failed. Now he had been found out and everything was about to change in a big way.
From her perspective the marriage was over. There was no way she was going to be able to forgive this one.
In desperation Darrell contacted his pastor and asked for help. After the pastor assessed the situation he thought the marriage was over too. Not only was Darrell a habitual adulterer and liar, he had now added possible murder to the list, knowing full well that because of his immorality he could be a potential carrier of a deadly venereal disease that he had denied giving to his wife.
For the pastor this was as bad as they come in the marriage counselling department. The inevitable outcome was divorce.
The pastor met the couple to try to help in any way that he could. Not only was the marriage in trouble but there were three children that hung in the balance too. As they met together, the pastor prayed for God’s guidance and wisdom.
Bringing it into the open
Then he asked them to share their story, each from their own perspective. She was seeth-ing with rage and embarrassment: “How did our marri-age ever come to this?”
The more she unloaded, the more Darrell silently wept. He had no response for his failure. He knew he had blown it. He was now going to reap what he had sown. He was now watching the one thing that he valued the most in this world explode and disintegrate into a million pieces.
The right to divorce
The pastor made it clear that she had every right biblically before God to put her husband away through divorce. Even Jesus himself spoke of the instance of ongoing, unrepentant adultery as grounds for divorce.
But Darr-ell seemed repentant. Couldn’t she just forgive him and go on, like last time? He was remorseful eight years ago too. But there was no way to know this time if these were true feelings. Or was it just crocodile tears because he had been caught?
The pastor explained that the only way they would ever find reconciliation was if they both determined to follow Christ. As the pastor shared this idea, she protested: “I want him out of the house now. And there’s no way I will ever let him back in my bed again. He disgusts me.”
The writing on the wall
Now even more tears came from Darrell. The writing was on the wall. It was over.
The pastor then recommended that they both seek God over the next few weeks. The pastor invited Darrell to meet with him as often as possible to work on overcoming Darrell’s sexual addiction and begin learning what it means to walk with Jesus.
For Darrell’s wife, the pastor made it clear that if she was ever going to restore this man, it would have to be something that God made very clear to her.
A happy ending nonetheless?
So what happened? The answer to that turns out to be one of the most amazing miracles the pastor had ever seen. Check it out on our website at http://tinyurl.com/of6zrht.
– Reverend Bradley S. Belcher is the senior pastor with the International Baptist Church of Budapest, www.ibcbudapest.org.