Tag: adultery

Top 5 Posts for 2015

Top 5

photo credit: theodysseyonline.com

It’s here, the end of 2015. And what a year it was. So much happened this year for the me and my family. Here’s a rundown:

  • I left my job at Walmart to work for the Department of the Army at Arlington National Cemetery. It was pretty awesome and a huge honor.
  • My oldest son graduated high school. I know I don’t look it, but I’m the parent of an adult person!
  • The church we we’re helping build in Alexandria organized a neighborhood outdoor movie night. That may not seem huge, but it was its legit outdoor movie equipment and that’s how I spent most of my summer Friday nights.
  • I launched The Whole Man. I’ve met so many awesome people through it.
  • We decided to up and move to Boise, ID. So, I quit my awesome job and packed a moving van and off we went. God did a lot of work to get us to the point where we accepted it.
  • My adult son moved to the Seattle area, near his mom, to pursue college. So no we’re down to two kids in the house.
  • MY BABY GIRL TURNED ONE! Please make it stop.
  • I became a podcast co-host. Me and a couple friends launched a new podcast called The (G)odd Show. It’s so cool. You should check it out.
  • I received my first rejection for a book proposal. It was a little brutal and stung. Not so much here or here, but right in this area.
  • Oh, and I quit my Master of Divinity program. I have no idea what I’m doing.

So that was our year. In addition to that I had some great responses to the articles I put out on The Whole Man. Here’s the top five.

5. 2 Reasons why you still haven’t found what you’re looking for.

As “blog launch day” has drawn near, I really struggled with what to write for the inaugural TWM post. There’s so many ways I could have gone, but a lot of what I thought to say about this site is already in the MANifestio (should be done in the next week or so), so it didn’t seem helpful to just rewrite it here. But then I thought about the one thing that connects all of us. It’s something that Hollywood has known for so long and has exploited to make fists full of dollars selling kiddie pool deep rom-coms. [Read More]

4. Two Truths About Not Being “In Love”

I would venture to guess that one of the most commonly used reasons for ending marriages in our culture is “I love you, but I’m not IN love with you anymore.” It’s the ready-made answer for ending the marriage that no longer meets our needs and desires. I confess that I am 100% guilty of saying this in the past. [Read More]

3. How We Got, “Wives, submit to your own husbands…” Wrong.

This past week my wife asked me, “Why is it that everyone talks about what Biblical manhood should look like, but hardly comparatively, anyone talks about Biblical womanhood?

Good question. Maybe because we mess it up more. [Read More]

2. He said, “Tell Her How You Know.”

I had always wanted a newspaper route. I thought it would be cool. Having my own money to spend only made it more desirable. I was 11 when my parents agreed to let me deliver papers. It was hard work. I got up every day at 4:00 am and hauled my bound stack of daily news into the dining room. There I would roll and stuff each one into a plastic sleeve and place it into the double-sided pocket carrier. Once all the newspapers were packed, I would sling the heavy carrier over my head and rest its weight on my shoulders. Each morning I headed out into the dark, snow-covered, streets of my neighborhood. It was hard work, but I loved doing it. [Read More]

1. Do I Need to Confess My Adultery?

A few years ago, I was counseling a guy who had been hiding his affair from his wife. He had long since ended contact with the other woman, and even confessed his affair to a chaplain friend. However, he continued to hide the truth from his wife. On the day he confessed the affair to me, he was in the midst of struggling with the need to confess to his wife. I wasn’t surprised that he hadn’t confessed to his wife, or that he was struggling with whether or not to do so. [Read More]

So there you have it, the Top 5 posts from The Whole Man for 2015. I’m super excited about 2016 and what Boise holds for us. See you in the new year!

Do I Need to Confess My Adultery?

infidelity-379565_1280

A few years ago, I was counseling a guy who had been hiding his affair from his wife. He had long since ended contact with the other woman, and even confessed his affair to a chaplain friend. However, he continued to hide the truth from his wife. On the day he confessed the affair to me, he was in the midst of struggling with the need to confess to his wife. I wasn’t surprised that he hadn’t confessed to his wife, or that he was struggling with whether or not to do so. What did surprise me was the advice that he received from his chaplain friend.

The chaplain friend, a Protestant Christian, suggested that confessing his affair to his wife would destroy her sense of security and safety in the marriage. The chaplain told him that because he was repentant and confessed (in this case to the chaplain), there wasn’t necessarily a requirement for him to confess his affair to his wife. I have several concerns regarding the chaplain’s advice.

The idea that you will destroy the security and safety of marriage, for your wife, by confessing to adultery is absurd. By committing adultery you have already destroyed her security and safety. Whether or not your wife is aware of your adultery is irrelevant. Any perception of security and safety a wife holds in the marriage, after her husband commits his body to another woman, is false. It is akin to erecting a fence made of cardboard and then painting the cardboard to look like a wooden fence. The owner may see a wooden fence, but it remains cardboard. The painting does not make for a strong fence. By committing adultery, you’ve already decided for your wife that your marriage is not a safe place. Along with that, if you think she doesn’t know, you’re wrong. She knows. Even while she doesn’t know the details; she knows something has changed.

I made the decision to have an affair during my first marriage. I never confessed. Eight years later, during our divorce, I finally confessed to everything. Her response to me was, “I know. I always knew. I was just waiting for you to tell me.”

Your wife knows.

Additionally, the advice that you don’t need to confess to your wife, because you already confessed to someone, is a hard pill for me to swallow. Aside from the legalism found in that advice, I have difficulty with it because it opposes what Jesus said in Matthew 5:23-24. While Jesus was preaching the Sermon on the Mount, and teaching on anger and offenses, He said, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Jesus is saying that if we have committed an offense that causes, or would cause, someone to be angry at us; we need to go to that person, settle the issue and reestablish our close relationship. If he takes that stance with a “brother” (or sister), how much more do His words apply to the one that is intended to be the other half of our one?

Saying that it is not necessary to confess your adultery to your wife, is a cowardly and legalistic way of attempting to fulfill the call to “confess your sins to one another” without having to face the earthly consequences of your sin. Saying this ignores Jesus’s command to “love God and others” and Paul’s prompting for husbands to love their “wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…” When you gave your body up to another woman, you ceased giving yourself up for your wife.

“Do I need to confess my adultery to my wife?” No, you do not. There is nothing that requires you to confess to your wife. Arguments could be made that scripture recommends it, but there isn’t anything that specifically states you must confess to her. However, I believe asking that question is weak. By the time you get to that question, you already know that you should confess. But you may still be looking for someone to tell you that it is not required.

“Do I need to confess my adultery to my wife?” That is the wrong question to ask. A better question is, “WHEN do I need to confess my adultery to my wife?” If you desire real intimacy with Jesus and your wife; eventually the weight of your sin will become too heavy to bear. The Holy Spirit will change your heart and give you the desire to confess to your wife.

Route 1520 says it like this on their FAQ page:

“Eventually you will want to tell her. Why live another day without the true intimacy of really being known? Why wonder whether or not she would leave if she found out? You don’t need to tell her every detail of your acting out, but she will need to know the general nature of it. It is important to find a truly humble and willing heart first. You should also be totally committed to your marriage and to sobriety from all sexual sins before you talk to her. You may need the help of a pastor or counselor to get honest with her. Your wife will also need lots of support. Don’t expect her to just forgive and forget. Rebuilding trust and finding true intimacy will be a lifetime journey.”

You do not have to tell her. However, if you desire true intimacy with the other half of your one, you will want your wife to know.

If you’re struggling with adultery, sexual addiction or pornography there is hope; there is help. Route 1520 is a ministry dedicated to helping those struggling with these addictions and their families discover the freedom offered by the Gospel. You can contact them HERE.

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Thank God for the prostitute and adulterer.

Rahab

I know that historically Christianity has been portrayed as an exclusive religion. That some how if you were Christian you were part of an elite group and better than everyone else. Christianity would run through cycles of using violence in an effort to see people converted. If that didn’t work, we resorted to heavy doses of guilt. I’d almost rather take the stretching rack than have someone tell me all the ways I’m not a worthy or valuable as a person. At least the physical pain of the torture rack eventually ends. None of that is what Jesus intended when He commissioned His disciples to make more disciples. We’ve so convoluted the process of coming to and following Jesus and inviting others to do the same, that it actually rejects people. And not just a few, but a lot of people.

That’s not how it was. In fact, one of Jesus’ more notable descendants was a prostitute. Rahab was a  prostitute that lived in the city of Jericho and was the sole player in making sure the Israelite spies made it out alive. They were so grateful that they promised to keep her family safe when they took the city. She was so struck with awe at the power of their God and the willingness of His people to accept her and not take advantage of her, that she joined them and started worshipping God. Eventually she married and began having children, specifically Boaz, who was the great-great grandfather of King David, who Jesus descended from. At that time, women were considered low-class citizens. Their husbands maintained every legal right over them. At times slaves had more privilege than women. So for a woman to be a prostitute was even worse. That means she would be subject to the abuse and use of who ever desired to control her. Likely she was viewed lower than a dog, which dogs we’re pretty low on the totem pole. For Jesus to be descended from a prostitute is huge news. And it’s good news.

It’s good news because even as she sat in a position of shame and sin, she asked for mercy and acceptance and received it. Not only did she receive it from God, but from His people. God’s people extended mercy and grace to a woman, that by all accounts didn’t deserve it, because that’s what God does. It’s the same with us. Think about the sin you were in before you accepted God’s invitation in. Mine was ugly, but it didn’t matter to Him. If that’s too much conjecture for you, then consider the adulterer.

While Jesus was in the middle of his ministry, a group of religious leaders brought a woman that they caught in adultery to Him and threw her at His feet. It happened in the street, in full view of the public. She was likely naked, which surely compounded the guilt and shame. Note that there was no guy drug out and flung at His feet, just the woman. The religious leaders had the law on their side. They intended to stone her to death. Flinging her at His feet, they demand that He cast judgement on her and probably expected that He participate in her execution. But He didn’t. Instead He told them that the ones among them that were without any sin, not less sin than hers, could throw their stone. No one did. Then He leaned down and looked at this broken, embarrassed, guilt laden woman and asked, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?She said “No one, Lord.” And He said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” He said He didn’t condemn her either. He didn’t condemn her. Some scholars believe that she continued to follow Him and serve in His ministry, even after He ascended to heaven, suggesting that she took serious the mercy shown her and the command to “go and sin no more.” The point here is that God invited in a prostitute and an adulterer. I’m grateful for that because that means I have a chance at mercy and grace. It means you do too. You have a chance at acceptance. You have a chance at grace.

If our Savior invited in prostitutes and adulterers, who are we to reject anyone. Our mantra has to be, “Come to Him, all who labor and are heavy laden, and He will give you rest.” It can’t be anything else. It can’t exclude those that we think are “too sinful,” because He came for everyone. He didn’t come to condemn, He came to save. And when we take on the mantel of condemnation, we throw His mantel of grace and mercy in the rubbish heap. I’m not saying we shouldn’t expect each other to live by the standard He set, we should, the bible is clear on that. If Christianity is a religion of exclusivity on any level, then it was reserved for the lowly and excluded the religious elite. Read your bible. But Jesus was clear that everyone was invited to the party; even the religious elite (consider Nicodemus).

If you’ve been hurt by Christianity, I’m sorry, that’s not what God desires. His call is to the tired. Those that life has beat down, those who have been trying too hard, those who labor in vain only to receive rejection, those who think they’re too lowly, and those who need acceptance; He’s for you. And it isn’t meant to be some intangible or fanciful thing. It’s meant to be experienced through His people. I’m sorry if His people hurt you, that wasn’t Him. If you’re a Christian and presenting a religion of exclusion, stop it, that’s not Him. Our purpose if to be agents in the reconciliation of humanity back to God, for His glory. If we’re so critical of others that it causes them to reject Him, that’s on us and we have to stop. Rejection is crushing. We all experience and deal with it differently. The Church shouldn’t be known for rejection. The church should be known for invitation. God invited the prostitute and adulterer. We should be thankful for that and follow suit.

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