I read a post today over at the Institute for Nouthetic Counseling blog, entitled “Why?” (the author is Dr. Jay Adams) that inspired me to write this post. This is one question we hear SO OFTEN at AffairCare! “Why!!!!???”
“Why did my spouse have an affair?”
“Why don’t they love me anymore?”
“Why did this happen to me?”
“Why did God let this happen?”
Usually when people ask this question, like Dr. Adams says…they aren’t really looking for an answer but instead they feel sad or depressed, want to complain, and for the most part want to blame someone or something else for what’s going on in their lives. But believe it or not, there really are ANSWERS to these questions, especially if you are a believing Christian!
“Why did my spouse have an affair?”–Spouses have affairs for one simple reason: by nature we are sinful (Romans 3:23). That is to say, until we are regenerated by God’s salvation, in our natural state, we are slaves to sin and death. So it is our nature to do sinful things, sinful things feel natural or comfortable, and sinful things are easy and “feel good”. Sometimes even when a person is saved, they will succumb and slip back into the old sinful habits because obeying God can feel uncomfortable or be difficult. So your spouse had an affair because they are human.
“Why don’t they love me anymore?”–This is actually a two-pronged answer. If you’ve looked at our Basic Concepts, you’ll understand that on one hand it has to do with a gradual increase of Love Extinguishers putting out the flame of love, and a gradual decrease of Love Kindlers that make the flame of love blaze! But that’s really only one part of it. The other part is that they have made a decision. Contrary to the way it’s portraited in our culture, Love is not a feeling that swoops over you and is uncontrollable. Love is a CHOICE to act in a loving way and expend time, energy and thought for that person (I Cor. 13:4-8). Thus, they have CHOSEN to put their time, energy and thoughts into that Other Person..and if they put that same amount of time, energy and thought into you (and upholding their vow)…Love could be rebuilt.
“Why did this happen to me?”–Again, a two-pronged answer. If you are not a Christian, saved by grace, then it happened because human beings are naturally sinful and sinning hurts us (Eph 2:1). Oh yeah, we think “It feels good,” and that momentary rush of Affair Adrenalin may temporarily feel good! But in the long run…sinning hurts us. It harms children, destroys families, devastates grandparents and aunts and uncles…ruins finances…breeds unhappiness and sorrow!! On the other hand, if you are a Christian, saved by grace, then it happened for one reason: God promised you He would continue to do His good work in you until you were completed (Phil 1:6). Apparently in God’s providence He has decided you needed this problem in order to grow more intimate with Him and become more like Him. It is an opportunity to become the man or woman God intends for you to be.
“Why did God let this happen?”–I’ll quote Dr. Adams here (he says it perfectly): “What happened … was an act of God’s providence. You know He’s actively at work in this world. And what He does for His children is always for their good (Romans 8:28). Even though we don’t know what He’s up to (by ordaining this painful situation), nevertheless, we can be sure of several things since you are a Christian: God is in the problem–God is up to something in the problem–God is up to something good. GOD IS INVOLVED IN WHAT IS HAPPENING, BRINGING ABOUT GOOD IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, IN HIS TIME!!”