Let me mention just a few of the possible consequences:

Consider shame. Facing your wife, children, family and pastor will be incredibly shameful. Healing from the shame of what you have done will for most people take a long time. So, don't be surprised and don't be disappointed if you don't struggle with shame both before God as well as you family and/or friends.

You have broken trust with those who depended on you. Trust will not be rebuilt over night.

Loss and depression will at times overwhelm you. You are no longer qualified to minister in your church. The issue here is betrayal of truth and honesty and a loss of leadership.

Rejection may dog your heels. So many trusted you and placed faith in you, and now they feel so disappointed in you. They may not want to spend as much time with you as they used to.

Your marriage may or may not survive. Imagine the shame, rejection, loss of trust, and anger that your wife will experience.

I could go and on describing the consequences that you may face. But, I will stop here. I don't want to overwhelm you.

May I share a word of encouragement?

I have counseled and ministered to many people who have committed adultery. If you hang in there and don't quit, there is every chance in the world that all will eventually be restored and you can have a fulfilled and profitable life.

But, I do want to talk to you about the great temptation to hide your sin. Since you were in a foreign country, if you just keep quiet maybe you can keep it all a secret. You can avoid most all of the consequences.

There seem to be two approaches in handling this issue with or without others.

One is to keep quiet. Some counselors say that there is no reason to inflict pain and suffering on others by telling them what you've done so keep it quiet. I agree that there are some secrets in our past that are better kept untold.

But, in your case, as a Christian, the problem is that hidden sin will eat out your soul. David talked about how sickness and misery overwhelmed him when he kept quiet about his sin. But spiritual and emotional relief commenced as he came clean about what he had done.

After dealing with this issue hundreds of times, my opinion is that you can take your medicine now or you can take it later. It is much better to confess to your wife and pastor now while you have many years ahead to restore what you have done. However, the longer you wait and hope that your sin is never found out may not leave you much time to fix your broken relationships with your wife, family and friends when it is one day exposed.

I am truly sorry for what has happened in your life. This should never happen to anyone. Fortunately, many have endured these same storms and come through them stronger than ever. May God grant that to be the case in your life.

I know of many couples who have weathered these storms and come through with relationships stronger than they ever were before.

I am enclosing below the story of one man who faced much the same circumstances as yours and came out victoriously. I hope his experience will help you as well as others who may be following in your footsteps.

May God grant you good days ahead.

Love, Roger

An Anatomy Of Lust--by Anonymous

When I was a young pastor, “Christianity Today” developed a practical quarterly journal for pastors called, appropriately, “Leadership Journal.” One of the early articles was written by an anonymous pastor detailing his descent into pornography. “An Anatomy of Lust”was a fascinating article. We couldn’t pass it around the church office fast enough.

The anonymous pastor was preaching a revival meeting in a particular city and decided to spurn a ride back to his hotel since the hotel was only a few blocks away. It was a lovely evening so he chose to walk. On the way he passed a strip joint. He'd never entered one of these before. He said to himself, "I'll just duck in here and take a quick look." When he got inside he saw things he had never seen before—never imagined he would see—never planned to see. Unfortunately, he was hooked.