I’ve deliberately kept this page separate.  I am a Christian, but I didn’t want anyone reading through this website to feel pounded by religion, or especially think that religion has kept us glassy-eyed while the rest of the world faces reality.

Don’t get me wrong – I know without a doubt that my faith in God, my personal understanding of forgiveness, grace & mercy have played a part in how things have progressed for us.  I also know that being a Christian doesn’t magically shield you from infidelity, divorce or suffering.  My faith has brought some of the hardest challenges, but also shown a path for the future.   Jeremiah 29:11-12 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.   Quite simply, all the strength, hope & purpose we now have for the future – is because of Him.

Being a Christian has also posed some interesting challenges. First off, you can’t help but scream – “why did you let this happen to me”  WHY ME! ?”   I cried out many times, but always knew that God gives us free will – He didn’t make this happen.   Why didn’t he stop it?  My wife concedes that in each situation she had a way out; a way she could have stopped it happening.  

I also faced many questions about my personal  faith.  Am I choosing to stay because I’m too ashamed to let other Christians see our marriage was a sham?”.  Am I  too ashamed that I married  her to leave?  If I don’t forgive – does that make me a bad Christian?  What have I done wrong to deserve this?


So -‘What is forgiveness?’

Forgiveness is a decision as well as an act of mercy.  It is the choice to let go of thoughts of resentment and revenge; it is an action of release.  Forgiving someone is not about  forgetting, excusing or justification – their accountability remains.   Forgiveness is the catalyst for reconciliation and to finding peace in the midst of suffering.  

Why forgive.  As a Christian, foriveness is an act of faith, as a response to what God has first done for us.


If you have read though our Family History pages, you’ll see how my life hasn’t been a perfect, glossy existence.  I’d never pretend that any of my ‘mistakes’ are devastatingly bad, but at at a young age (9 yrs) I had my first taste of trying to figure out who God really was.  I faced years of a broken relationship with my parents, knowing and seeing the consequence of my actions.  At that age, all I could really try to understand is ‘how can God love me?  The ‘why’ of God’s love for us is easy.  He made created us to love, to be loved and to enjoy all the blessings He has for us;  but how far can you go before God doesn’t want to know you anymore?

It hit me almost immediately after she confessed – how ‘bad’ does it have to get before I turn my back on her?  Surely a 3-year affair warrants me to sever ties for ever?  Doesn’t it?


This is where God stepped in.  Big time.  He challenged everything I thought I knew about myself and especially everything I proclaimed that I believed in Him.  I knew I had more than enough reasons to turn my back on her, but I also became aware that in many ways, I had been treating God the same way.  Romans 3:23 – “for fall have sinned and fall short of the glory of God“.  I was no less guilty of betrayal in my relationship with God, than she had was with me.  

It was more than that.  I became very aware of my shortcomings.  Very aware of how many people I have hurt, lied to, betrayed – how many people I have done the wrong thing by.  In a sense, I felt God was showing me a mirror.  Sin, as a Christian definition, simply means to fall short of God’s will; God’s perfect plan for us.  Yet, despite my imperfections, God kept forgiving me.  Surely I couldn’t be driven to make the same allowances with her though?  

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”  – the Gospel in a verse – kept painting a picture in my mind of what love and forgiveness is truly about.  I was challenged.  Deeply challenged.   “How much of God was truly reflected in me – in my choices; in my reactions; in my love;  in my forgiveness”?

I was facing ‘that question‘ – do I ask her to leave, or let her stay?  If it was only about being obedient to God and forgiving, I don’t believe we would have a future.  If my only emotion, only reason for not asking her to leave was ‘not of me’ – then all I’d be doing is setting ourselves up for the future failure of a deceptive reunion.  Forgiving her as God has first forgiven me would be a challenge, yet I still needed to understand ‘love’.  Did I love her enough to fight through this?  Could I ever  love her again as Husband should?  Did I actually want any of this anyway?


It took a few weeks before I knew in my heart that I could forgive her, but that still wasn’t a guarantee of us staying together.  By then I knew that God wanted me to forgive her – it’s His nature!  It still wasn’t easy, even though I held on to the belief that God would be helping me:  1 Chronicles 16:11Look to the Lord and His strength;  seek his face always”.   I knew I wouldn’t have to do it alone.  2 Corinthians 12:9 says ” . . .  My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”.  This certainly was a time when I was at my emotional and spiritual lowest, but God promises we have all the strength we will need in Him.

For me, knowing that God has given me a new chance; a new beginning in spite of all my mistakes, was something I wanted to pass on.  I had to pass on.  Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”.  I could see the brokenness in her. I wanted to see her meet with Jesus in a way she never had before.  2 Corinthians 5:17 “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”.    It wasn’t just about mending our broken relationship.  It was about God reaching out and calling his child home.

I knew God wanted me to forgive her, but I never felt like God was forcing my hand for us to stay together.  The only biblical reason given for divorce is for adultery, so I knew I could just walk away without any moral/spiritual dilemma.  Yet, God challenged me to truly understand who I was focusing on: Me, Her or Him.    He challenged my deepest resolves:  Luke 9:23-25 23 says “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?“.   Who would I be if at that moment I was solely  interested in self-preservation?  How much would I lose by just trying to save myself?  Where would I be now if Jesus put himself first and walked away from the cross?  God was just getting started with me . . . . . !


Mercy

.  Mercy is not getting what we deserve.  Without a doubt I knew she didn’t deserve any chances.  She knew (and I guess expected) that it could be the end.  I certainly considered it.  But there was something about her I could see, beyond all her ‘muck’.  I believe God let me see through his eyes what he had created in her.  The hopes he had for her.  The dreams he still had for her.  I could see the hopeful little girl stuck inside her that somewhere along the way got lost.  1 Peter 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Grace

.  It’s a pretty awesome thing.  Gods Riches AChrist’s Expense.  Romans 3:24 “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”   Grace is getting what we don’t deserve.  There is so much I have received that I have never deserved.  God has lifted me up beyond the muck in my life and set me on solid ground.  I had an opportunity to do the same.  I had an opportunity to love her; to show her that she was worth it.  To show her that she was worth it to me.

Hope

.  God had given me the strength to look past the views of the world.  To look past the desire for revenge, compensation, selfish justice.  Through Christ, we have hope; we have a purpose; we have new dreams together; we have a destiny.  Lamentations 3:22-23 ” Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness“.  Every day is blessing – we see it as nothing less.  We both feel that we have lost nearly 17 years of what could have been an awesome relationship.  We both mourn for what we can never recover.  Tomorrow is another day; another opportunity to love each other unconditionally.  Another day to face each struggle together.

Faith.  There has been so many battles along this new journey.  Some have been painfully difficult to overcome.  Yet, we still stand.  We stand in the belief that God has kept us together.  We can’t see where the road ahead will lead, but we know we won’t walk it alone.  Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see“.


 I’ve kept this for last, as I feel it is the most important.  It’s that defining thing that has made the difference.

Love.  1 Corinthians 13:4–8a  ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails”.      

It still is very hard.  I still cry.  I have my days where I question everything I have written above, but I choose to look ahead: Philipians 3:12-16  “. . . but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us”.