Are We Punished for the Wrongs of Others?
- Kris Swiatocho, Cliff Young
- 2015 27 Aug
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: My husband cheated on me for years and left me for another woman. Why does it seem I'm being punished for his actions?
I am so sorry for your disappointment; nonetheless if we were to start questioning things in our life like that, we can begin by asking, “Why are we being punished for Adam’s actions in the Garden of Eden?” We live in an imperfect world and will always reap the consequences of others’ poor decisions and actions.
Every day there are stories of drunk drivers taking innocent lives, misguided individuals who think they need to harm people, a parent not wanting to be one anymore or a spouse who doesn’t uphold their marriage vow.
Not to dismiss the hurt, deception and betrayal you are experiencing, but we can go through our entire life asking, “Why?” while at the same time withdrawing into a shell of self-protection for fear of being hurt again or carry a sense of resentment towards the world and others.
What I have been trying to learn for myself is to continue walking through the seasons of life (and disappointments) not looking back and questioning specific events (or God), but rather seeking the bigger picture and how He will use it for His glory.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Psalm 1:6
In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
If nothing else, you have finally rid yourself of a man without honor and integrity who has proved himself unworthy of your love.
Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 97:10
We will always be at the hands of those who make poor decisions and can continue to live a life of regret and questions. Instead of focusing on those circumstances, we can look at all of the good things we have and ponder, “Why was I allowed to receive such a blessing?” and give all glory to God with gratitude.
I am so sorry you have had to go through such pain. First, what you are feeling is real. Betrayal is one of the hardest things in life to deal with. To this day, my own mother still remembers my father's infidelity 40 years ago. But please know, there is hope in Christ to start the healing process. Contrary to what some say, time does not heal all wounds but it does help.
The reason you feel you are being punished for your husband's sin is that all sin has consequences. Sometimes we don't even realize how far it reaches. Your trust has been shattered. You probably fear someone doing this to you again. You feel broken and even ashamed. So what do you do?
As with all things, you start with prayer. Pray and ask God to help you heal. Also, ask God to show you the areas that you are struggling with. I know with my own mother, she didn't start healing until she also confronted some things she had done wrong in the marriage. Her biggest mistake was marrying an unbeliever. Both she and my father never went to church, never prayed together, and never grew in their relationship with God. Once she asked God for forgiveness of where she had failed, she then began to heal from where my father had failed. She was also able to rebuke the enemy who loves to keep us in pain, in fear, and in bondage from our past. Once the enemy had no power, she could clearly see the next step in her life. She then sought some great counseling. Today, I would also encourage a great divorce recovery program including building some new friends that know what you are going through.
Because betrayal breaks our trust, something that we have a hard time gaining back again, the pain seems to stay with us. But with time, healing, and support, you can start to trust again and one day be healthy enough to get married again. May the Lord give you His strength today.
Col 1:11 NIV ...being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience...
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of four books.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
Publication date: August 27, 2015