A question often asked of us deals with how we handled what had happened emotionally. How did we handle all that Bob had done? The solution is simple but one that Satan hates. Forgive your spouse and love them unconditionally.
Hosea’s wife had been unfaithful, but let’s read what the Lord said to Hosea. “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” Hosea 3:1 God told Hosea to show a forgiving spirit to Gomer and to love her. God will do the rest for you daily. Lay your spouse at the cross every day, trusting your Lord. LET GO AND LET GOD. Handle the past and the present by rebuilding your marriage one brick at a time. Even greater, praise God for the restoration miracle that He has given your family. My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion. Psalm 71:24
That other person may be with you emotionally; not in the physical, but in your mate’s thought process. It may not seem fair. It may not be right, but it is true. You will be called to deal with that other person and your mate in the days ahead.
You deal with them both in the same way – in the prayer closet. Demanding that your returned prodigal never make any reference nor think about the other person is inviting problems and being unrealistic. We both know you’ve had enough issues without opening another door for Satan to attack. Your spouse needs to learn how to fight the enemy, but for now, you may have to do that for them. You must wait for the Lord to teach your spouse how to fight and win spiritual battles. In the meantime, you need to fight against the enemy in that area where he is most likely to attack your spouse, which is in their mind.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
I know how much it hurts to have that other person come into the thoughts of your returned spouse. After Bob returned, I thought that he must be comparing me to her in everything (and I mean everything) I did. I wondered how my cooking compared. I wondered how my housekeeping compared. I even wondered how our intimacy compared.
If your spouse was involved with someone else, they were involved in sin, which is pleasurable for a season. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. Proverbs 4:19 Don’t beat yourself up by comparing your godly lifestyle with sin. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
If you need to compare anything about yourself with the other person, compare your walk with Christ. Compare your prayer life. Compare your commitment to marriage. Enough? Whom has the Lord looked on with favor? The Lord gave me a promise while Bob was gone. The Lord reminded me of this promise He had given me whenever the enemy was coming against us as a couple during those early restoration days. “I have seen their ways, but I WILL HEAL THEM; I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners…” Isaiah 57:18 (Emphasis mine) Remember, do not look at circumstances. Look only to your Lord for His help.
Unconditional love is unconditional. You need to love your spouse without conditions. Be prepared that, for a season, you may not always receive love in return.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
Some people inquire, “How can I ever trust my spouse again?” The answer to this question may sound unusual, but I trusted my Bob by first trusting my Lord. Our marriage was not being restored by my efforts or Bob’s efforts. The Lord Jesus Christ restored it.
That other person was not your enemy during your marriage interruption. That other person has not become your enemy now that your marriage is restored. Keep taking them to the Lord, one day at a time.