Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why Share? / Part 2

In the days and weeks following the revelation of the affair, Chris and I sat down with friends and family many times for him to confess what had been going on.  We did this for a few reasons:  One, Chris was immediately repentant and following that repentance came confession.  He felt he had a responsibility to share with certain people.  Secondly, I needed him to share.  I needed him to share for accountability, to let people into our lives so that we could never be that isolated again.  Thirdly, and this may be difficult to understand, there was something healing for me about hearing Chris confess his sin.  It made me love and trust him more.  It made me look upon him with respect and admiration even though I had been offended.  It made the affair real, and I needed it to be completely real so I could deal with it completely.

In the years following the affair, Chris and I have met with numerous couples.  We've met for different reasons.  Some come for guidance, some for pre-marital counseling and some for help in dealing with a tragedy (like an affair).  We've been able to use our pain to help others.  We believe that transparency fosters transparency. When we are honest about our struggles, others are more likely to share theirs.  In the early days of dealing with the affair, we felt a tremendous amount of God's grace and promised we wouldn't be selfish and keep it to ourselves.  Everyone should benefit from what He's done for us.

To this day we continue to share our story because it is still needed.  I suppose we'll stop when all marriages are healed.

But, really, this isn't about us or confession or accountability or healing marriages.  I have watched a man over eight years stand before hundreds of people and share something he doesn't have to for one reason -- the good name of Jesus!  Not for himself.  Why would he do that?  What does he have to gain?  Nothing but shame and rebuke.  But, when Christ so works in our lives and sets us free, we can't keep it to ourselves.

"... So that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel." Matt. 15:31
"Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, 'He told me all that I ever did.'" John 4:39  

Our hope is that because we have have been healed and our marriage has been restored by the only One who heals and restores that eyes and lives will be turned toward Him.  This is why we share.  We share because it's not about us.  We share to "proclaim throughout the whole city how much Jesus has done for us."

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