I am starting a three part series titled “Recovery from Adultery- Three Necessary Attitudes”. An attitude can be defined as a “settled way of thinking or feeling about something.” Part I will focus on the attitude of FAITH. At its core, recovery is perseverance in faith that my circumstances can change and become better. The real question is, in “whom” or “what” do you place your faith in?
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matt 11:28-30 NLT
Jesus clearly says “come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens”. This is where faith begins. Will you come to God through Jesus or choose not to? It is a choice. Just know that God invites you to come. He especially invites those who carry heavy burdens like infidelity and those who are weary from the battle that takes place following marital betrayal. The promise is priceless: rest. Wouldn’t you like to find rest right now? I remember clearly the days of turmoil, tears, sadness and pain all while trying to hold it together for my kids. I was able to find those moments of rest that God promises; they are real.
There are countless definitions of the word “faith”. Dictionary.com defines it as “confidence or trust in a person or thing”. Note the word “confidence” implies faith because there are no guarantees. Oxford Dictionary defines faith as, “strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof”. An interesting point is that there is ample historical and archeological evidence that the Bible is factually true even though God’s existence can’t be proved. I don’t believe God asks us to believe in Him blindly.
The Bible defines faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 NASB). Christian apologist, R.C. Sproul, points out that, “When faith is linked to hope, it is put into the time frame of the future, and the one thing that I cannot see at all is tomorrow.” I would take it a step further and say that we don’t know what is going to happen minute by minute.
Everyone Exercises Faith
People operate by faith daily because there are countless things in this world that cannot be known. For those in the Western world, most of us get in our cars and drive somewhere everyday. We drive by faith that when a traffic light is green, cross traffic will stop. Over time, we realize that the traffic system can be trusted. Yet, that isn’t always the case. Thousands of people die every year when drivers run a red light.
As Oswald Chambers points out, “Faith by its very nature must be tested and tried.” The problem is that most people who don’t believe in God have not bothered to test His existence with a genuine and concerted effort. If you would like to do that, I highly recommend Lee Strobel’s book, “The Case for Christ”. Don’t make the argument that you can’t believe in what you can’t prove. You cannot prove that people will follow the traffic signals 100% of the time. Yet, each day you get in your car with faith that they will.
The Role Of Faith In Recovery
What role does faith play in recovery from adultery? It plays a very big role, if not the biggest. Will your spouse cheat again? Can you trust anything he or she says? Are they truly sorry? These are questions that simply have no guarantees. You can only hope for the right outcome. If you are going to proceed in healing, recovery and rebuilding, it will require a foundation of faith. The critical question is in whom or what will you place your faith?
I will be brutally honest. I could never place my faith in my wife after her affair. She proved that she is capable of hurting me in a manner I never thought possible. To place my faith in her again would only be setting myself up for disappointment. For that matter, why would we ever place our faith in anyone who is imperfect? Why would she place her faith in me? What if I want to have a revenge affair? What if I change my mind three years from now and file for divorce?
“Faith carries a strong element of trust”. Therefore, what or whom we have faith in depends on the degree of our trust. What is your degree of trust in your spouse? After an affair, I know that it’s extremely low. Should you place your faith in counseling or counselors? What if you choose the wrong one? What do you have to lose by placing trust in God? You may say He doesn’t exist yet you can’t prove that. What if you placed faith in God and He revealed Himself to you?
There is a story in the Bible about a man who brought his son to Jesus for healing. The boy’s father spoke to Jesus and said, “Have mercy on us and help us, if you can. What do you mean, ‘If I can’? Jesus asked. Anything is possible if a person believes. The father instantly cried out, ‘I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:22b-24 NLT). Jesus is telling the man to believe what he already suspects to be true- that Jesus has the power to heal. Obviously the man had heard of Jesus power and prior miracles. That is why he brought his son to Jesus, to test Him and see if it was true. He just needed a little help to “overcome” his unbelief.
Perhaps this is you. I read the painful posts on infidelity forums all the time. You don’t know where to turn. Your world came crashing down in a moment. Everything you thought was safe, trustworthy and loving was taken away. Now you need help overcoming your belief that things can’t get better. They can get better. My wife and I are living proof! There is no explanation for our healing apart from God’s intervention and power to renew our relationship. There is no doubt it was miraculous in nature because I wanted to leave her. Ask God to help you and I believe He will.
8 “For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him” (Matt 7:8-11 NLT).
At some point in this recovery journey, you will be asked to exercise faith. In whom and what you place that faith in is critical. Always remember that God promises “rest” for those who come to Him in faith. Part II of this series will look at the attitude of surrender.
 Oxford Dictionary https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/attitude 2017
 Sproul, R.C. “What Is Faith?” (Kindle Locations 96-97). Reformation Trust Publishing.
 Chambers, Oswald. “My Utmost For His Highest” (Day: October 31) Discovery House Publishing
 Sproul, R.C. “What Is Faith?” (Kindle Location 67). Reformation Trust Publishing.