“For whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. For the eye of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (I Peter 3:10-12 NIV).
Betrayal: #2 of Three Possible Causes of Betrayal in the Marriage Relationship
By Marlene A Hibbard
Who wants to go home to a spouse who dishes out reprimands, harsh looks, crushing words? There’s always someone out there who will make you feel better about yourself.Hanging out with siblings, and friends can be more affirming, they make a great retreat.
Cause #2: We all tend to go where we feel re-enforced. But hang on, read to the end before you use this as an excuse to cheat.
A selfish or insecure person will use demeaning words in an effort to keep the upper hand in a relationship. Sometimes that actually works but it certainly isn’t an endearing quality. It drives love away. If you were seeking significance from your marriage partner and that need goes unmet, the door to temptation swings open, doesn’t it?
1. Honesty is the best policy. Tell your mate how you feel about the devaluation of your person.
In a spirit of meekness explain that there is a temptation to avoid home and find affirming friends elsewhere, if that’s your problem. Admit you find yourself reacting with unkind words and you don’t want that pattern to continue. Suggest a truce. Put a rubber band around your wrist. Each time you use unkind words, snap yourself. Punishment that hurts chases evil from the heart.
2. Understand that you are led away of your own lust and enticed, according to James 1:14.
Don’t use your mate as an excuse to feed your desires for someone else. Everything you need for life and Godliness is met in Christ (I Peter 1:3). God has provided a way of escape from temptation so that you can bear it (I Corinthians 1:13).
3. A Biblical marriage must be a giving relationship. “Just as you excel in everything in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving” (I Corinthians 8:7).
4. Seek significance in Christ alone not another human being. Not that you should allow name calling to continue, but until you rectify things or seek help, remember the names that God calls you: friend, brother, His lamb, dearly beloved. Do a search of what He calls His children.
Any causes for adultery and even arguments stem from selfish desires. We are created with a need for approval but how we have that need met is where we cross the road to sin. “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:15NIV). God made a way. Flee youthful lusts, he commands in II Timothy 2:22.
Honesty and sincerity in your efforts can really pay off. Christina and her husband would hang out with some sarcastic friends. They’d be having a great time and her husband would begin to use the sarcasm and mocking along with the rest of the crowd. One night she reached out across the game table, gently took his hand and in her usual sweet Christian demeanor said, “Honey, I thought we decided not to do that.” Their marriage has thrived for many years. Try these solutions. If you can’t get any cooperation, see the list of recommended counselors under the banner above or consider the helpful books in the sidebar.
Other blogs that might be of interest.
“Your next big break-through is going to come from your current struggles” (Brendon Burchard).
Thank You God,
For Trials, yes, I thank you for trials as they point me to you. My stability, my strength, my only hope. Without trials I would not keep in touch with you as well as I do when I’m forced to lean on you. When I have questions I run to you.
Thank you for trials. I know you send them in love. I know you want me to stay close to you. Thank you for peace even in trials. You are the salve for my pain. Thank you for that soothing balm that only you can give.
Thank you for trials. I love you, Lord.
Three Possible Causes of Betrayal in Marriage Relationships
1. Selfish Fulfilment – Lust of the Flesh
2. We Go Where We Feel Re-enforced.
3. Failure in Marital Training or Premarital Counseling
Why? How many times have you asked yourself why you were unfaithful to your spouse? What led to the down-hill spiral in which you now find yourself? There are two sides to every story. Usually this blog more or less is addressed to the victim of betrayal. Not so, here. The next three posts will be of interest to all three in the love triangle but is addressed to the offenders.
There are many different causes for infidelity but we will cover three basic ones here.
1. The Lust of the Flesh
Some people may have no intention of hurting their mate or their children but they ignore the warning signs of the lust of the flesh. Yes, even Christ-followers can become so self-absorbed that they believe there is such a thing as in innocent flirtation.
Warning: The folly of fools is deceit.
Self-deception is much more easily accomplished than deceiving others. Your mate will see signs. Your partner in deception may not be an accomplished liar and slip out clues to someone. No one is innocent in an adulterous relationship. One person may do the pursuing.
A woman may think she looks innocent by wearing revealing clothes that are commonly seen in public. Does she ask herself when she looks in the mirror what God thinks of her attire or how the married man she is trying to attract will view her. We all know that unless it’s a case of rape, it takes two to tango. If people don’t stay close to God and remember the definition of sin, they are weak in the face of temptation.
What goes through the mind of a man who thinks there’s nothing wrong with finding a way to be where that attractive gal is so he can spend time with her. He finds any excuse to get there. He may even convince himself that he wants to help her grow spiritually.
We deceive ourselves. Self-deception and rationalizing can be deterred by staying in the word and reminding oneself of God’s presence and love. He gave commandments in order to protect us from the pain sin causes.
Suzanna Wesley wrote in a letter to John (her son and the founder of the Methodist Church) in answer to his request to define sin:
“Take this rule: whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.”
This also rightly defines the lust of the flesh, doesn’t it? Betrayal, for the Christ-follower is not just a sin against your family and yourself but your God. I Corinthians 6:18-20 (then click on scripture verses and references)
However, it’s important to remember how God dealt with the woman at the well. There is forgiveness for sin. He did tell her, though. “Go and sin no more.” Are you ready to stop giving in to the lust of the flesh? Tell God, right now.
And let this be a warning to the faithful partner. After facing betrayal you are very vulnerable to the sin of adultery. Don’t think for one minute that pay back will bring you pleasure. The folly of fools is deceit. Proverbs 14:8
Come back tomorrow for the #2 possible cause for betrayal in marriage.
Marlene Hibbard is not a professional counselor and recommends the above Christ-followers for counseling services. This site offers resources and advice from Hibbard’s personal experience and experience in counseling as a Pastor’s wife for twenty-plus years. This site is not intended to be a substitute for getting professional help but encourages readers to get professional help.
QUICK TIP OF THE DAY Investigators at the University of Wisconsin found that the less people forgave, the more diseases they had and the more medical symptoms they reported. A lack of forgiveness always hurts the one who holds the grudge more than it does the offender or abuser. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCc-JAols-c
Modeling Marriage to Your Family – Four Questions to Determine if You Are Living With Emotional Abuse (or Are You Blinded by Your Past?)
1. Do you speak to each other in a respectful manner?
2. Are you considerate of one another?
3. Are you so accustomed to maltreatment that you don’t even expect any better?
4. Are you afraid to express your opinion to your mate?
You may need a marriage evaluation? Onlookers may see some indications that your family is passing on a heritage that is destroying society. Friends may have tried to make you see that the way you treat each other is disrespectful. You may not even recognize it if you came from an emotionally abusive home yourself.
Have you, perhaps, developed a remarkable ability to adjust to your situation and define it as normal? If you’ve never seen a caring, considerate and productive marriage,you may be saying: “Everybody has problems, nobody’s perfect.”
Did your parents yell and call each other names. You have learned that this is par for the course. Did you ever feel accepted and loved as a child? Was your home a haven or a place of enduring criticism from parents and/or siblings.
Get an evaluation?
Ask your pastor and/or his wife to come over for coffee or dinner with you and your spouse. Before the date, have a pre-meeting with them asking if they could evaluate your relationship with your spouse.
Of course, your spouse will not likely abuse you in front of them, but a keen observer can pick up on some things about which you may be in denial.
Be open to their evaluation. Pray for wisdom from God. You are the one who knows if you are in a dangerous situation. Ask God to open your mind to see things from His point of view.
Has your spouse ever pushed you or threatened you with harm or threatened to take the children from you if you don’t abide by his/her wishes? Do you recognize this as emotional abuse or are you in denial. Emotional abuse consists of attempts to control you by using threats. Did your parents use these methods of control? Then you may not recognize that God does not expect you to permit this. Get help!
If your spouse will not go for having dinner with the pastor and his wife, you could go out for coffee with trusted friends who are Christ-followers. Choose friends who can be objective. A couple is a good choice because women and men have different viewpoints.* They might be able to notice if your spouse appears to be thoughtful of your feelings in conversation. Does he/she insist on doing all the talking, interrupting you when you try to take part. Does he laugh at your ideas? You could be blind to what these actions imply.
*(That’s one of the big problems in couples going to either a male of female counselor. Each will feel the counselor is siding with the person of their own gender.)
Links to Websites for Christian Counselors
For those of you who may be struggling with a mate who’s dementia or Alzheimer’s disease has caused him to become mean or violent here’s a blog by Leslie Vernick.
Marlene Hibbard is not a professional counselor. See top of page and click on Recommended Counseling Services under site banner. This site offers resources and advice from Hibbard’s personal experience and experience in counseling as a Pastor’s wife for twenty-plus years. This site is not intended to be a substitute for getting professional help but encourages readers to get professional help.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Luke 13: 34)
If you are in an abusive relationship, be it physical or emotional abuse, you should know that it has nothing to do with your unworthiness. God knows how you feel as He was rejected by Israel over and over, even when he pleaded with them to repent and return to Him. Realize that when you are rejected or unloved, disrespected or abused, it is awful and hurts you deeply, but God cares because he knows exactly how you feel.
You don’t need permission from anyone to ask for help. Pick up that one thousand pound phone and make that call to a counselor or trusted Christian friend. If your pastor tells you to stay in a relationship that isn’t safe or in which you feel you can’t take anymore, keep searching. You can leave a comment on this blog and we will supply you with help in your area or consider the author of the following book. Her Youtube videos have a phone number on the screen after the video ends. Go to www.youtube.com then type in Leslie Vernick or The Emotionally Destructive Marriage.
These thoughts were taken from:
Leslie Vernick, 13-09-17). The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope (Kindle Locations 1064-1067). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group.
Help Me with My Marriage Part III Humility
Part III Three More Models of Humility: Paul, Timothy and Epaphroditus were more concerned about the Philippians than themselves.
a. Paul was in prison facing possible death when he said, in essence, it doesn’t matter what happens to me, “I am glad and rejoice with all of you.” (Philippians 2:17 NIV).
b. Paul sent Timothy to the Philippians because he said, “I have no one else like him. Timothy takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks for their own interest not those of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 2:21). A truly humble person doesn’t feel they have to connect everything to themselves. You’ve met that person who exudes the it’s all about me demeanor.
c. Epaphroditus was sorry that the Philippians heard of his near-death illness because he didn’t want them to be concerned about him. He was more interested in meeting their needs. He didn’t want the focus to be on him but he turned his focus to their needs even when he was suffering himself.
That’s the picture of what God wants us to be in our marriages. Trying to out-do each other in meeting our mate’s needs. Not making much of yourself but of your spouse even fussing over them more than necessary. Yes, even when we are hurting can we act that unselfish? Can we put our own hurt on the back burner and meet the needs of those who have so utterly rejected us. Many parents have tried to hide their hurt in order to protect the children involved in a break-up. We love our children and want what’s best for them. But can we dig deep enough into God’s resources to love the one who betrayed us? It’s similar to what Jesus said, “It’s an extraordinary thing for someone to die even for an upright man, yet for a noble and lovable and generous benefactor someone might even dare to die, but God showed his love to us…while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:7,8 ESV). Can we love someone who sins against us?
What Does It Take?
If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, learn to be a servant of all. You may be very surprised to see your mate wanting to imitate the kindness you show once you take the initiative. Remember, there’s more to life than what is on this earth. There’s the peace of knowing you can meet the Savior and hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). How can you learn to imitate God in this area? Answer? Study to show yourself approved to God.Study Christ’s example in the Bible. Learn all you can about humility and serving from God’s point of view. Here are a few suggestions to help you learn how.
Humility True Greatness C. J. Mahaney
A Call to Die by David Nasser
Help Me with My Marriage Part II by Marlene A Hibbard
What About Me? Humility You may have seen the 1991 movie What About Bob in which Bill Murray’s constant cry is: “I need, I need, I need; I want, I want, I want.” He harasses his psychiatrist to the point of madness considering his own needs more highly than anyone else’s. It is hilarious in the setting of this film but in real life, not so much. Do we see any similarity in marriages today. Through the last three decades we have seen the pendulum swing from stay-at-home moms of the ‘60’s who met everyone’s needs to the cry of women in the United States for supposed liberation with a determination to be numero uno. Their cry? What about me? They believe: “If you don’t take care of numero uno, who will?
Example #1 The What About Bob Attitude
Is anyone not guilty of the what about me attitude? If humility were thinking lowly of oneself, the fictitious character, Bob, would be humble. But it isn’t. It’s not thinking less of oneself, it is thinking of yourself less. Feeling wounded when someone doesn’t pay attention to you and expecting others to meet your needs is not a portrait of humility. Even if we diss ourselves and talk trash about ourselves, we are still focusing on self.
Example #2 Perfect Selflessness True humility is mindful of the well-being of others and wanting to meet their needs. This is the major area in which marriages (and lives) need reconstructing. What are the expectations of each person in the relationship? Christ came to be a servant. He washed the disciples’ feet as an example to us. He tells us to imitate him. Can we humble ourselves that much? Can we get down on our knees and wash the feet of the person who has betrayed us? That position in itself, on our knees, is humbling, isn’t it? Christ’s concern was always for others. Even on the cross, he directed his brother regarding the care of their mother.
Before you run for the hills, here’s one more hill to hurdle on the way up: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28). See more examples in tomorrow’s post. (No more ficticious characters, we promise).
(Disclaimer: This post is NOT saying that anyone should allow abuse in the home or anywhere else. That’s why we have police officers and emergency response teams to keep you safe, pick up that phone).
Resources (including the NIV Bible, 1996):
1 David Richardson, Sermon Series – The Ascent: A Journey Through Paul’s Letter To The Philippians – See more at: http://www.treasurecoastpca.org/sermons#series_12
Recommended Reading: Humility True Greatness by C. J. Mahaney see link in sidebar; Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis see link in sidebar, when you get to Amazon’s page scroll down to bottom for link to Mere Christianity.