Tuesday, April 8, 2014

[You didn't deserve it.]

    This is a message for every person who feels like they're mortally wounded. This is for the downtrodden and defeated. It's for my wife and the countless other people like her, battling their inner voices in quiet convalescence. You didn't deserve it.

    No one earns this kind of betrayal. Despite your flaws or failures, you did not warrant being cheated on. Nothing carries this as a penalty. The pain you feel is not the consequence of your actions, but instead it is the result of profound weakness in your spouse. Blaming yourself will give your the illusion of control, but the scary thing is that you can't control this. Not really.

   Normally, we use this blog to explore various concepts related to marriage and healing in great detail. Not today. In this moment, the message is clear and simple:  You didn't deserve it. There's a choir of voices swirling around you, both internal and external, that will tell you that you made this happen. Your inner voice will scream this. Maybe even your spouse (or his/her lover) has insisted that you brought it on yourself. Do not entertain this painful idea, even for a moment.  You didn't deserve it.

   Perhaps you have no one around to assure you that this wasn't your fault. Seek healing anyway. You can find solace in music, scripture, and the embrace of trusted friends. Maybe, as you read this, you're not the victim, but instead you're the transgressor. If you've betrayed someone like I have, let these words be a motto to live by-- "you didn't deserve it". Repeat it to your spouse constantly and live it out through your behavior, until at some point they actually start believing it.  Let it define your heart's posture towards them.

Because they didn't deserve it.

(New to The Meaning of Repentance? Read our brief introduction here and check out the About page to learn more about The Hartsfields.)


  1. I am married to a loving Christian man who treats me like a queen. I admit, however, that I am pretty hung up on the fact that he had a very active sex life, pre- and post-salvation, before we got married. He even lived with a girlfriend for a couple years. He eventually repented of his sexual sins, thank God. He told me that he was interested in several women after that although he exercised self control and didn't get involved with any of them. And then he met me.

    My husband was my first boyfriend, my first kiss, my first everything. I could have dated others, but I chose to wait until I knew it was a God thing. We waited on sex until our wedding night. I know that God has put us together, but honestly I've been mad at God and mad at my husband because my husband has never really apologized to me for his past. It's like he doesn't see how it could affect me/us. I wish I had addressed this issue more directly a few years ago when we were still dating and not yet married, but I didn't know how to have a healthy conversation about it at the time. I tried to bring it up, but all I did was cry and blame, and he got really defensive. We haven't spoken of it since.

    We are happy in so many ways, and I know I'm being selfish. It's not fair of me to want to be worshipped, if that makes sense. I have idols in my heart and self-righteousness too, so I really need to get God's perspective on this issue.

    This letter ministers to me, so thank you for posting it. I need to accept that forgiving someone and bearing with their faults does not equate to condoning sin and compromising my values. God knows I have my fair share of faults that my husband patiently bears with each day. God bless your marriage and future!

    1. Thank you for sharing your heart! I understand completely why this would bother you and I definitely think it's something worthy of discussing with your husband. Continue to seek God's heart on the matter and ask for God to help you forgive your husband without yet receiving an apology.

      For the health of your marriage, I do think having a talk about this would be very beneficial for you guys. However, wait until you feel like God is prompting you to have the discussion. If you approach this issue out of emotion, it could cause your husband to be defensive again and build up walls where this topic is concerned. Pray that God will prepare your husband's heart to have this conversation. If you approach this issue carefully, *hopefully* your husband will recognize that your heart is genuinely hurting over this.

      Just remember to have grace with your husband. I know it won't be easy because where sex is concerned, it is so painful to overcome the baggage of your spouse having been with someone else. But if you confess this burden to Jesus and totally give it to Him, He will carry this burden for you and walk with you as you navigate how to work through this with your husband.