Archives For Affairs & Unfaithfulness

When I’m talking with someone who has been deeply betrayed by a friend, a family member, or a coworker, they often ask, “How can I ever trust him again? He said he was sorry, but how do I know if he is truly sorry about the damage he’s done or if he’s just sorry he got caught? I don’t want to get burned again.”

Those are tough questions, because there’s a lot at stake for both the betrayer and the betrayed.

Rebuilding trust in a relationship after a bitter betrayal almost feels like an insurmountable task. No one in his right mind would dare trust a spouse who was unfaithful, a coworker who stole his good idea, or a friend who lied about him behind his back. Would you?

But what if that person apologizes? Then what? How can you know if someone has truly repented?

As Jesus’ followers, we talk about repentance—that radical change of heart and mind that alters one’s perspective and reshapes behavior patterns to look more like Jesus.  It’s been a part of the Jesus story from the beginning. John the Baptist referred to it as “producing fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matt. 3:8; Luke 3:8).

Testing repentance is vital to rebuilding trust in a broken relationship. So what are some of the signs of a repentant heart?

King David—a man whose deceit betrayed his wife and his nation—said it best: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Ps. 51:17).

One place to begin looking for “fruit” that reveals a deeply rooted heart of repentance is in how the repentant betrayer responds when questioned. A repentant person demonstrates a humble attitude that is neither demanding nor defensive when questioned. There is an openness that replaces deceit, a willingness to be accountable for his or her actions on multiple levels without resorting to blaming others or making excuses for failures.

It’s only through experiencing a consistency in both attitudes and actions that reflect repentance that the betrayed individual will over time begin to take the risky steps towards trusting again.

How much time? As much as it takes.

And the repentant person will humbly wait for as long as it takes, knowing that the celebration over restoration will be a sweet harvest for both parties—a harvest that repentance and forgiveness has made possible because of Jesus’ example.

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret” (2 Cor. 7:10).

Many spouses beat themselves up after their partner has had an affair. Somehow they begin thinking it was their fault. But what they fail to understand is that their unfaithful partners don’t have affairs primarily for sexual pleasure. What attracts people to affairs is that they become opportunities for them to experience pleasure without the responsibilities of relationship.

Our view of marriage can impact our commitment level to our spouse. Join us as Gene Getz discusses the biblical values of marriage.

Many marriages are in trouble. Too often divorce is viewed as the quick and easy solution. It’s not. However, while the Bible upholds the priority of a lifetime marital commitment, there are some cases in which even God allows for divorce. Unpacking the biblical grounds for a divorce is a thorny challenge but sometimes it’s necessary to respond in a loving way to a damaging or dangerous spouse.

The reasons for divorce can vary from couple to couple. Join us as Gene Getz discusses his views on the biblical grounds for divorce.

The prevalence of adulterous affairs are one of the most regrettable aspects of our modern times. One of the casualties of an affair is the betrayal of trust. Rebuilding that trust is essential if a couple is to restore their marriage. Rebuilding trust takes time, patience, and the full participation of both spouses.

 

Join us as Gene Getz shares how true repentance is the foundation for restoring a marriage damaged by an affair.

Join us as Gene Getz explains that restored marriages after divorce are possible, but can be a difficult process.

 

In order for a marriage to be restored after a divorce, both partners must be willing to say that they have fully explored the reasons why they originally divorced. That usually takes a significant amount of time, counsel, and brokenness before they can move in different ways with clarity, purpose, and agreement towards restoration.

Divorce, abuse, betrayal are just a few of the wounds we suffer from others that are so damaging that it often feels impossible to ever forgive. Listen in as Dr. Dan Allender explains how there are no easy answers to these complex issues.