So What If They Do Not Come Back?

Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. -Mt 19:21-22, ESV


Jesus was not afraid to give people choices. He did not wring his hands afraid people would walk away from him because he demanded too much of his followers. Jesus laid it out. And he respected the person’s choice.

I respect that about Jesus.

We need more courageous pastors and Christian leaders to follow Jesus’ lead on this when dealing with adultery. A choice between living in the Kingdom of Lies or the Kingdom of Light needs to be made. And the choice needs to be respected even if that means the adulterous spouse walks away from counseling and the marriage ends in divorce.

If the adulterous spouse is not willing to confess all his/her lies to the faithful spouse and completely cut off the adulterous relationship(s), then I think pastorally it is a waste of time to continue trying to work on the marriage. Worse, it signals to the adulterous spouse that adultery is acceptable. It says the pastor or Christian counselor is willing to tolerate ongoing, unaddressed soul rape.

This is why I say:

So what if the adulterous spouse does not come back to your office after facing the choice of full confession or no more pastoral marriage help?

If the adulterous spouse does not come back, that tells you all you need to know. They are not willing to submit to God and live in the Kingdom of Light. The adulterous spouse prefers darkness and sin. Their actions tell you that they are unrepentant.

And I would add, this choice ought not to be difficult one for someone who has the Holy Spirit indwelling him or her. It is a choice between darkness and light. It does not take a true son or daughter of the Light long to discern which way to go. Asking for more time to decide tells me that the adulterous spouse loves his/her sin more than his/her professed Lord. A delay is an answer on that front. They are resisting letting Jesus be the true Lord of their life.

Don’t help them.

Insist on an answer

Or let them know that their silence has spoken for them.

Jesus was not afraid of putting hard choices before people.

Neither should we fear doing the same as pastors and church leaders.





4 thoughts on “So What If They Do Not Come Back?”

  1. Bravo. Very strong, very Christ-like. God made us in His image. He does not prevent us from making really, really bad choices. It is really liberating to understand with compassion the reality that the choices another person makes does not reflect you. Every time my when ever to ex tries to blame me for his adultery, it no longer angers me. It no longer strikes fear in me that I am responsible for his choices. It only reinforces that if he is busy blaming me, he isn’t strong enough to stop his nonsense nor is he hardened enough (yet) that he has to blame someone else. That action gives me hope for his soul. The marriage is over. But I prefer the hope that maybe someday the father of my children will repent. And no – not waiting around for the sequel. This was a one book “series”.

  2. Good message DM. Our church counselor delayed the disclosure process from my unfaithful wife. Then when I insisted we needed that to heal, he obliged me but allowed it to end without all questions being answered. He even said she didn’t have to disclose some of the major events and lies, betrayals. I warned him of some continued deceit and that I knew some of the secrets she was holding on to. He advised against pushing further, and suggested I was trying to trap her.

    I felt so alone, despondent. I suffered for 2 years the deceit, gas lighting, disrespect. And now, when seeking reconciliation, she still was not being held accountable. She used him as a shield, hiding behind him and refusing to talk without his guidance. It allowed contemptuous behavior to continue. Other enablers, triggers have not been revealed.

    Now the counselor is advising me it’s time to forgive, move on to aid reconciliation. I say I’m still not sure I know what I’m forgiving. Continued secrecy prevents connection, trust-building. It’s discouraging. Putting pressure on the betrayed spouse without honesty from the unfaithful does not seem like it will promote successful healing.

    1. Untold,

      Based on what you wrote, it sound like your church counselor has enabled your wife to sin by lying through omission. And no wonder you are concerned about the outcome of reconciliation! If something more comes to light (and there sounds like there is more from what you wrote), that’s going to cause considerable and further damage to your relationship as it demonstrates the ongoing betrayal of trust done through hiding the truth.

      Have you thought of finding another counselor not so easily manipulated by your wife? Look at my resource page and consider someone who follows the Dr. Clarke methodology in addressing adultery (his stuff is listed there). Dr. Clarke is tough and Biblically so on these matters, and I’d encourage you to find someone who is willing to follow his program.


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