Yesterday in Part One of this mini-series we looked at Addressing His Secret Sin. If you missed it, I suggest you take a peek! Today we will examine the effect on a women whose husband grievously sins and repents on his own without the intervention of the church or even his wife.
In today’s example, the wife, through providential means learns of her husband’s past sin and repentance. When she confronts him he confesses his sin to her and asks her forgiveness, which she by God’s grace gives him. Together they agree to keep this between themselves and move forward with healing their marriage.
Their reasons for keeping it between them is that he ended the sin on his own and demonstrated the fruit of repentance in that area over many months without his wife ever knowing of the sin. Since the revelation of his sin, they have put many hours of discussion and prayer into their reconciliation. He is willing to answer any questions she has about what took place in his sinful time; and while he is considerate with his answers, the knowledge of the details is painful to the wife.
While things are moving in the right direction for them as a couple, the wife is struggling with the knowledge of the depths of his sin. She lacks trust in him, wants to check up on him, and verifies what he tells her as truth before she believes him.
The wife also grapples with the emotional components of knowing his past sin. She fights anger at the realization of what his sin has done to her and their marriage. She also fights against bitterness at times when she thinks of how this has changed everything. Most of all, what she struggles to deal with is the loneliness that comes with the secrecy, of bearing his secret sin.
Women who are the keepers of such secrets walk a lonely road for there is no one they can share their burden with but God. Very often they have questions about what to “do” with various emotions and thoughts and there is no one to whom they can go without revealing their husband’s past and his sin.
She lives with the fear of a repeat episode, the reality of what he did, the betrayal she feels, and the knowledge that she has forgiven him and sees repentance in his life. If his sin was with pornography, she frets over her sexuality and appearance; wanting to “measure up” to a standard she will most likely never attain. If his sin was adultery she worries “the other woman” will resurface, or that somehow she will fail to please her husband and drive him back into her arms.
There is great temptation to live beyond today and forget the Scriptural admonitions to trust God, be thankful, and pray without ceasing. A wife can triumphantly live with the knowledge of her husband’s secret sin, but she must do so in the shadow of the cross.
She must understand that her sin is as great in the eyes of God has her husband’s sin. She must continue to humble herself before God as she trusts God to lead her husband and to reveal anything she must know about any “secret” goings-on in her marriage. She must continually keep her focus on her need for the message of the cross in her life.
The Lord is great and powerful enough to heal her hurts and her marriage; even as she bears his secret sin.