Question:

How do I forgive my husband who keeps committing the same sins against me and God repeatedly? He claims to be a Christian but it is not hardly seen in him in anything he does outside of the church. He neglects his family by being very mean, selfish, and angry all the time, and he only does the things he wants to do that does not involve his family while at the same time it is tolerated out of love for him, but he is happy and kind to the members at church. It is like he is two different people.

I have a strong sense he is in only in the church and claims to want to follow Christ just to satisfy his God loving and fearing wife who has been totally transformed by the Word. There used to be no trust at all before hearing the Word, and ever since he has been trusted for the belief he truly loved and feared God like he proclaims he does. But I know I have been fooled. Even in church he is secretly mean to me but so nice to everyone else.

I just thought he still needed a lot of time to grow but he is not even trying. He won't read the Bible, won't pray and you'd even think he hates to be around his own son. It seems he is being very fake about the whole thing. I let down all my guard and trusted him thinking he won't sin against me like the hundreds of times before we heard the Gospel. I really thought he would not do these really big sins against me any more, even though he was so mean. I really believed he feared God's judgment, and it brought me great peace to think he was not hiding girls behind my back any more or doing other things behind my back while at work and lying to me about them. But I just found out he has been lying to me again for almost every day for the last month. I felt something fishy was going on, and I always asked him. He always said "no I'm not lying," and I believed him every time until he was caught red handed. Then he said the same old please forgive him stuff.

I am more hurt than ever since he claimed to love God. I feel like there is no hope for him now, and I feel so betrayed, empty, and gullible. But most of all I fear for his salvation and for mine because I don't know how to forgive him this time. He seems so fake and everything is piecing itself together as his ways are being exposed and no real shame is shown by him. I have no hard proof he has committed fornication. I do have hard proof that he has been lying and has been very sneaky behind my back while telling me otherwise.

How can I forgive him and forget about wanting a happy life? I mean if I do forgive him my life will be very sad. But I will do this for God since life on earth is not long and He has done so much for us. I just don't know if I can forgive him and really mean it in my heart. I really need prayer.

One more thing, do you think I should get him help from the church?


Answer:

The difficulty I'm having with your note is that you are mixing two issues. You are letting your suspicions that your husband may be having an affair or at least lusting after other women spill over into all other aspects of your relationship with him. Your suspicions may be well founded -- I don't know because I'm only hearing things from your view.

As hard as it is, the two issues need to be handled independently, though they may be related. I've seen men "justify" chasing after other women because they believe their wives don't love them. I've seen those same wives holding everything against their husbands because they are convinced they are seeing other women. The result is a vicious cycle that is hard to break. The way to break the cycle is to treat the issues separately.

If he is chasing after other women, then, yes, he needs help. Once that issue is addressed or in the process of being addressed, you need to also look for help in ways to make your marriage better. It is when progress is being made on the problems that forgiveness won't be so difficult. I'm, of course, assuming he is willing to get help.