She had experienced enough of his unfaithful, abusive behavior. It had been one adulterous affair after another, lies, and then demeaning, cruel tirades… even bruises and black eyes! Then came the empty promises… I’ll never do it again! I’m so sorry… I just lost it for a minute! Please don’t turn me in!” She sought counsel, she prayed, …and she packed up her bags and left for a safe house. No woman should have to put up with this! She loved him but she had suffered enough. Her life and the life of the children were in danger.
It’s a hypothetical story, but I can tell you as a pastor it describes a sad reality in our culture that has happened over and over again! Sometimes the “reality therapy” of leaving has a positive result… the offender repents, turns to God, seeks help and changes!
This issue came to mind as a read another sad story in the Bible this morning during my time of “Coffee with the Lord”…
God speaking… “I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from me; for now, O Ephraim, you have played the whore; Israel is defiled. Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. For the spirit of whoredom is within them, and they know not the LORD…
“With their flocks and herds they shall go to seek the LORD, but they will not find him; he has withdrawn from them. They have dealt faithlessly with the LORD!
“I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me!” (Hosea 5:3–7, 15 ESV)
Perhaps you have been unfaithful to the Lord! You’ve acted like a spiritual adulterer and abuser. He has been patient, forgiving, and merciful to you over and over again – accepting you and loving you. But lately it seems like He has withdrawn from you. You pray but there seems to be no answer – the “heavens are brass!” You’ve gone so far you wonder if you can ever find Him again – you don’t know what to do!
Unfaithful, abusing husbands and wives and unfaithful Christians need to do the same thing… Sincerely repent (change their mind, heart and behavior inside and out), humbly seek forgiveness, and get help (Spiritual help and accountability)! God and will forgive and restore spiritual adulterers and God-abusers! And spouse abusers can be healed as well, and become faithful, loving spouses again! But it takes genuine repentance, the help of others and the rebuilding of trust through accountability.