I have been married for twenty-seven years…. Ten years ago, my husband was unfaithful, and I forgave him. He seemed like a good Christian, a good father and husband, until he was unfaithful again. Now my two teenage kids and I kicked him out of the house… and he left without even saying that he was sorry….
What would you advise me to do? … I don’t have the nerve to show up at church, since we had attended together for many years…. I feel like a widow who has lost her husband. It’s as if he is dead to me.
We are so very sorry to hear what has happened to you and your children! We know that you will suffer a long time because of your husband’s actions. But don’t let it bother you that he didn’t say he was sorry; you wouldn’t have believed him if he had said it. He probably knew that.
The most important thing that you need to do is to change the way that you are talking to yourself. You have been telling yourself that you are ashamed to go to church without your husband because that will cause everyone to find out what has happened to you. You are imagining that the church people will all talk about you behind your back and that you will feel embarrassed.
All of us have hidden thoughts, which contribute to our feelings, and both our hidden thoughts and our feelings influence how we act and what we say. Instead of telling yourself that you need to stay away from church so that people will not talk about you, we suggest that you tell yourself the truth: that you are not the one who has done something wrong! Your husband is the one who should feel ashamed; not you. You have no reason to hide out or stay away from church. This is not the time to isolate yourself, even though you are tempted to do so.
You say that your husband appeared to be a good Christian. Maybe he was. Maybe his heart and his actions were exactly what they seemed to be. Just because he failed God and betrayed you does not mean that he was pretending to be a Christian. Some of the most dedicated Christians have failed God. In fact, the Bible is full of the stories of people who once loved God but then turned their backs on Him.
On the other hand, your husband may have just been pretending to be a Christian. There are many who go to church and pretend that they love God with all their heart. You can be sure that God is not fooled by them. But just because some are hypocrites does not mean that all churchgoers are hypocrites.
There are some in your church who are genuine followers of Christ. They will want to help comfort you, just as Christ wants to give you His peace. Remember that you don’t need to keep the situation a secret, because you weren’t the one who did something wrong.
We wish you well,