Question:

Hello,

I have been married for over ten years, and I just discovered last month that my husband has been visiting prostitutes and massage parlors the whole time. The news was quite devastating because I never saw it coming. I saw him as a totally different man and not able to carry out adultery without me knowing. To complicate things, we are professing Christians and go to church. I was amazed that someone can sit through the preaching and still be visiting prostitutes. My mind has not been able to grasp how one is able to do that.

Recently a visiting minister came to our church and gave a word of knowledge that "God is tired of our sins and He is saying no more mercies." I saw my husband get up then but didn't ask him why. Well, later he confessed his sins but the problem is that he just committed another sin of adultery just two days prior to confessing me. He tried to base his confession on James 5:16 and just wanted me to pray with him because that is what the Bible says. He was tormented by the word of knowledge that was spoken earlier. I was more bewildered that God will warn someone and he still goes ahead to sin. It's just shocking to me. He thinks that he is still a Christian even while committing the sin, but I think he doesn't fear God at all. How can you continue to sin for so many years? He claims to have asked God for forgiveness each time, and that he believed that it would never happen again.

I am willing to save the marriage because we have beautiful children. Before the revelation, we had a fairly good marriage. Now, my question is, is it right for me to tell him to write a letter of faithfulness to me with the clause that if he ever lays with another woman, God should take him home? I am asking him to write that because I made a vow with God myself to take me home if ever I am about to commit adultery with another man. Nobody asked me to, but that is how I value fidelity. I was in my twenties when I married and was a virgin, so infidelity is not something I tolerate at all. Am I asking too much by requesting such a vow? He thinks his word should be enough for me since he has confessed to me, but I feel he needs to do more. He broke his marriage vows for all the years we were married. Why should I believe him now? He desperately want us to stay married. Nobody except a Christian counselor we found online knows. His image is very important to him, and he wouldn't want people to become aware of his double life.

I also know he has not fully grasped the extent of his sinful life, and he is of the opinion that God has forgiven and that is it. I know God forgives, but I also believe there are consequences for sin. Our son, who was born perfectly, suffered a stroke as an infant and the doctors don't know why it happened. Is it generational curse in effect? Also, although we are faithful tithers, we have been having serious financial issues, even with the fact that my husband has a good income. I think it is because of the sin in our family that these unfortunate things are happening but my husband thinks God does not work that way. He forgets that God is love but also a consuming fire. I would be grateful if you can preach some good word to me. I like your no nonsense approach to the word of God.

Much thanks.


Answer:

I cannot judge your husband's heart in regards to whether he truly has repented of his sins or not. "For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?" (I Corinthians 2:11). I agree that given his deceit for so many years that it would be difficult to accept his word without some accompanying evidence of a change, but I don't know what would be sufficient evidence.

People can and do make rapid and radical changes. I've seen people who finally make up their minds that sin is no longer going to rule them and they become totally different people. Paul talks about how the Corinthians had changed: "Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:9-11). It is possible for your husband to make a radical change? Yes. Has he made such a change? I have no idea.

I'm glad that despite his unfaithfulness that you want to try to repair the breach he has caused. I'm also glad that you are both seeing a counselor about his behavior. I would insist that continues for a while, perhaps a year or more.

The vow that you want him to write violates God's Word. Jesus said, "But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one" (Matthew 5:34-37). Putting conditions on a vow is only there because you don't believe him. If you don't believe him, then the condition is not going to make any difference anyway. God is already going to judge the adulterer. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). He doesn't need anyone's permission to execute that judgment. If your husband has not truly changed, his life is in danger anyway. "For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?" (I Peter 4:17).

Consider the vow that you made. You ask God to take you if you ever commit adultery. But if you did commit adultery and God took you, then you would die in your sin because you would not have a chance to repent. Without repentance you would not be going to heaven. "Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand" (Ezekiel 3:20). I don't think you've thought through what you actually stated. The reason this world continues and sinners remain alive is to allow them a chance to change. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). This by the way shows a conflict to what your preacher claimed by saying "no more mercy." The preacher had no right to put words in God's mouth, let alone contradict God. "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more" (Hebrews 8:12).

Yes, there are consequences that result from sin. Your husband got caught. That was a consequence of his sinning. Often there are diseases that get picked up from promiscuous sex. That would be a consequence as well. But not right to say that your child had a stroke because your husband was an adulterer. Money problems could arise because prostitutes and pornography are not cheap.

There is no such thing as "generational curses" in the way that you are using it. God doesn't operate in that manner. See: Should a preacher say, "I break all generational curses on you"?

"Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him" (Luke 17:3-4).

Thank you so much for putting clarity to my confusion. I will take heed to all you said. I appreciate that you backed your word with the word of God. I will read each one further and adjust accordingly. You talk about disease that can be picked up. Mine is that if it affects him, it affects me too. I have not seen one punishment that touches him that wouldn't touch me too, so, I know I have to be careful what I wish for. Thanks for the counsel.