The following is an edited transcript of the audio.
If a husband or wife has cheated, but then decides to stay with their spouse, where do they go from here?
I think it's going to be incredibly important that they confess what they've done, not hide it. A man or woman who commits adultery and then hates what they have done and renounces it might think, "Maybe my spouse never has to know!"
I doubt it. I doubt it. I would resist that temptation and I would deeply renounce and repent towards God. And then I would go to her or him in some moment where there is enough time to deal with it deeply and confess the whole situation. And plead with them for forgiveness, and ask them to trust again.
And then be willing and able to deal with the distrust that's going to last a long time. She or he may forgive quickly. But trust and forgiveness are not the same.
He or she thought you were faithful, and you weren't. And so how do they know you're not now pulling the wool over their eyes? So you need to settle it: "I have wrecked this marriage for probably several years to come. I have got to win them again. I have got to establish again what has been so wounded."
When a wound that deep has been delivered to a man or woman's heart you can't just stitch it up and go on as usual. That doesn't happen.
And so where do you go from here?
- You go to confession to the Lord, receiving profound deep cleansing of the blood of Christ,
- you go to your wife or husband and lay it out with broken-hearted confession,
- and then you, with deep confidence in God, expect that there will be distrust for a long time. And you humbly win him or her back.
You don't say, "I thought you were supposed to forgive me. You're acting like you don't even trust me!" Well, that attitude is the attitude that caused the sin in the first place. Humility doesn't talk like that. I just returns good for evil here, and loves and loves and loves until the thing is rebuilt fully.
And that time will come. It can really come! I have seen it come for couples.