No one is exempt from temptation and sin. Not even Christians. Even if we’ve accepted God’s forgiveness and are trying to live by his standards, we can still fall because we are imperfect beings. Just when we think we are standing strong, we must be careful not to fall.
This was me. I thought I was strong because I love and fear God. But I was not careful and fell into temptation. The flesh part of me was fascinated by the charm and magnetism of a man who is not my husband. So I pushed aside all moral reasoning and acted on my desires.
I didn’t run from temptation like God warns. I ran towards it because it made me feel good. Being around this guy made me feel young and desirable. So I fanned the flame of temptation and left my heart wide open for sin to come and settle in.
But God wouldn’t leave me alone. He kept replaying these words of 1 Corinthians 13:10 in my mind like a broken record.
“This temptation is no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. He will offer a way out so you can endure it.”
God was doing preventive adultery counseling while I tried to rationalize my sin. I’m just being friendly with the guy God. I haven’t acted inappropriately around him. We’re only talking. What is the harm in conversing with another man?
Well, the potential for harm was real because my motives weren’t pure. I wanted more than a friendship. I was enamored with the guy. But it was more than a physical attraction. I was drawn to his personality and character. He was present. He was interested. So was I.
Deep in my heart, I knew I was sinning. But I tried to convince myself that God sent this man because he wanted me to have him. Why else would He move us to Georgia? Maybe, God will set him aside for me in case Scott and I are no longer together.
It’s ridiculous. I know. But I did really have these irrational thoughts. I was trying to make sense of my crazy. To bring order into my chaotic thinking. Of course I couldn’t because sin is crazy and disorderly. My feelings and thoughts held me captive for I was too ashamed to tell anyone about my sin. Yet, I knew we needed help because our marriage was on the verge of breaking.
In the fall of 2015, I went searching for help. Out of desperation, I tearfully asked a pastor and his wife to be our marriage mentors as we were having lunch together. Well, I must have scared them because we never heard from them again.
But God didn’t leave us on our own. He offered me a way out by removing my temptation out of plain view, but not completely out of the picture. We still bumped into each other and my feelings for him intensified. I thought about him often and imagined what life would be like with him instead of Scott.
I was in a dangerous place and it scared me. How did I get in so deep? Should I leave my husband and my boys? I know God hates divorce. I can’t get a divorce. I won’t. But what do I do with these feelings I have for this man? Maybe God will save him for me in the future. Until then, I will exist in my marriage. I’ll stay married but my heart won’t be in it. Or maybe I can keep this fling on the side. We’ll keep talking and he doesn’t have to know I’m married.
Oh, this is crazy! How long can I live in hiding? My husband has no idea I have committed adultery in my heart against him. For God says when I look at another man to lust after him, I have already committed adultery with him my heart (Matthew 5:28).
What am I to do God? I need your help more than ever! If you don’t show up, I don’t know what will happen to this marriage. We are in trouble! Please show me a way out! I have never been so conflicted. I’ve never compromised my marriage in this way. I am so confused about how and what I feel. I need you to help me see things clearly God!
God was faithful. He did offer me another way out of my temptation. And this time, I had no choice but to take His way out. It was painful and humbling. But God was a good and merciful Father to me through it all.
Just as he is to all who admit their sin and turn from it.