Soul Mate

“I want you to teach me how I can continue this relationship and not feel bad.”

This is what a man I once counseled asked of me.  He was married with children, and involved in an adulterous relationship with another woman, whom he referred as his “soul mate.”

I could barely believe what I was hearing.  I had been meeting with this man for several weeks establishing the counseling relationship.  The directive of this session was to establish a clear goal for our counseling.  This was a man who was a professing believer in Christ, consistent attendee of our church, and someone with whom I had worked in ministry.  Here he was asking me to help him learn how not to feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit for his sinful behavior and attitude.

This man was to the point in which he felt as if he made a mistake when he married his wife.  He thought he had chosen the wrong woman for his wife.  If only he had waited to marry until he had found this woman who was his “soul mate.”

O, did I mention she also was married to another man with children?

Have you been there?  Are you there right now? 

Do you think you made the wrong choice when you married?  Do you feel like you have to make a choice between being miserable for the rest of your life or leaving the marriage so you can enjoy your life and possibly with someone better for you, maybe your “soul mate”?

“For those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord.  A wife must not leave her husband.  But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else be reconciled to him. And the husband must not leave his wife……Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.” (I Corinthians 7:10-11, 17)

These words of the Apostle Paul can be tough to hear.  What is communicated here is the idea that your “marriage” is more important than your personal happiness.

I understand that there are times when there is nothing a person can do to salvage a marriage, especially if your spouse is set on abandoning it, or if your life is in danger due to your spouse’s behavior.

The consideration to abandon your marriage should be the same consideration you would give for having an arm or leg amputated from your body.  When God Married Adam and Eve in Genesis 2, they became “ONE flesh.”  Jesus repeats this line of thinking in Matthew 19 and Mark 10, when he refers to Genesis 2.  When a man and woman are married they are “one” and if they divide it will hurt and it will be messy with huge wounds.

If you are finding yourself in this marriage dilemma, I encourage you to change your thinking to how God can help you influence your marriage for the Glory of God.   

To Tell or Not to Tell…the Wife?

To tell or not to tell…the wife?

Over the years I have had men discuss with me whether to tell their wives about their internal lust.  With certain sins this is a “no brainer”; but with others, there tends to be some question.

For a few, they were told to either meet with me or start attending Clean Heart because their wife had discovered their issue.  But then the wife did not want to hear about the issue anymore, almost as if their non-involvement made it easier for them.  Or, maybe they were just uncomfortable and had no idea what to do.

This week I read a book titled, To Kill a Lion, by Bruce Lengeman. He also discussed how he had to make a choice when he started his healing journey.  After his first two counseling sessions he did tell his wife about his lustful heart.  He invited her to be part of his counseling and process of healing.  Somewhat expecting a negative reaction, he was surprised with his wife’s positive response toward his invitation.  Instead of looking down on him, she developed a stronger admiration for him. She viewed his desire to be a man with a heart of sexual integrity as strength instead of viewing his reaching out for help as a weakness.

By no means was he, or I, suggesting that the wife become a husband’s accountability partner.  Accountability partners are more successful and develop less friction if they are of the same sex.  But Pastor Lengeman does advocate that a wife be involved in a husband’s healing process.

So, knowing that there are a number of women, both single and married, who read the Clean Heart for Men blog; I am asking for your input:

  • Would you prefer your husband to tell you or not?
  • Would the type of issue he had determine if you would want to be told or not?
  • Would you want limits on how much he told you?
  •  Would you want to be a part of his counseling and/or healing process?  If you were educated on how to do so, would that matter?
  • Would you view his desire to have a heart of sexual integrity as strength? Or would you view the fact that he has an issue to be weakness?
  • If you were the one with the lustful heart issue, would you want your husband to be a part of your healing process?

I am interested in hearing the thoughts of women: single, married, widowed, or divorced.  Please let us hear your thoughts on the issue.  If you would prefer a form of anonymity, feel free to type in a false name or simply put “clean heart wife” as your name.