A Time for Mending
We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
If we have broken trust with a spouse, especially if we've violated our marriage vows, making amends will take time. Perhaps we've made so many false promises in the past that our spouse will need time before fully resuming the relationship.
The prophet Hosea was told by God to marry a prostitute. His marriage was to be a living example to the nation of Israel of her infidelity toward God. It had to hurt Hosea deeply when she returned to her life of prostitution. Hosea said, "Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.' So I bought her back [from her slavery] for fifteen pieces of silver and five bushels of barley and a measure of wine. Then I said to her, ‘You must live in my house for many days and stop your prostitution. During this time, you will not have sexual relations with anyone, not even with me' " (Hosea 3:1-3).
Hosea needed some time before he could be close to her again. Sometimes the best way we can make amends with our mate is to allow time to go by. During that time, we need to prove to our spouse that there is no reason to fear that our wrong behavior has continued. If a time of separation is needed to see that our commitment is real, we need to give our spouse that time and focus on our own recovery.
As God has bought us back, we need to restore our most important relationships.
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.