I came upon your web site via Google, and read a few of your articles and found them to be interesting and very helpful, Thank you.
My problem is that I became a “Born Again” Christian a few years ago when I was in my mid-thirties. My husband joined shortly thereafter. We both went to Bible study, prayer evenings, church on Sundays and our children were with us always. During the first year we were hungry for God and His teachings, we were on a spiritual high. By the second year things turned sour. My father was a womanizer and had many affairs, and I find myself in the same situation -- not being intimate, but by flirtatious emails, texts and phone calls. My husband found out about this and almost ended our marriage , but through the grace of God we managed to work through my temptation problems. For a very long time things were okay and I kept those feelings away. This year again it happened and it went further than a phone call. It was with someone I knew 14 years ago. My husband is very caring and trustworthy and I cannot tell him about this. He will never forgive me and I will not be able to handle the hurt I caused him. Because of this I have been for a while distancing myself from God and too ashamed to ask for forgiveness, as this is a sin that repeats itself over and over again.
I don’t go to church because when I am there I can't connect to God. I just can’t do things right with Him. Our Christian life is such a mess that we don’t pray at home. We don’t read the Word to our children like we use to. My husband swears more than usual. We are not living the way God intended. And me always looking for something else. What is holding us back so much? Do I just leave everything because I feel I would be better off on my own? Less people will get hurt by my selfishness if I leave.
Please note that I am not feeling sorry for myself. I am just tired of playing games with God and not being the Christian that I should be. I feel like a complete fake to God and my family.
Thank-you for your time in reading my mail.
"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 7:10-11).
There are three responses to sin: you can not care and remain the same, you can be sorry but not change, or you can be sorry and change. It seems you are leaning toward the second choice, which really doesn't do you or anyone else any good. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2). Good never comes from evil, so the idea of giving up and going off on your own isn't going to solve this matter.
I assume the affair is still going on, so that then has to be your number one priority. I don't care if your father was a rotten example. You aren't bound to repeat his sins (Ezekiel 18:20). "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). Cut all communication with this man, remove his phone numbers, social links, and anything else you have with him.
The second step is get yourself right with God. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).
The third step is fix what you know you are neglecting. "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). A basketball player doesn't improve by sitting on a couch. In the same way, you are becoming a continually weaker Christian by staying away from your source of spiritual nutrition. "Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious" (I Peter 2:1-3). Even if at first it feels like you're forcing yourself, get back to worship and into Bible study. Your spiritual batteries are empty and you are long past due for a recharging.
Once you are going again, then start including your family. Read from the Bible to your children. Bring them along to services. Tell your husband you would like to have him with you. Step by step you'll see life turn around.
"Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: "Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" ... "Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."" (Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23).
You've become the thorny ground. Be the good ground.