Regaining Trust in a Repentant Husband
*The following transcript has been slightly edited from the original audio text for readability purposes. All speakers’ original intent has been maintained to the best of our ability.
"My husband is changing, but I'm having trouble trusting him” - that's the topic on the table for today's Ask the Counselor question. To help me talk through this, I've asked Carol Bourque to join me. Carol is a counselor for the Overcomers-At-Home-Program here at Pure Life Ministries. Carol, thanks for coming in.
Thanks for having me Nate.
Alright Carol, today's question comes in from a wife who says that her husband has had a porn addiction in the past. He's gotten a lot of help from our ministry so far and he is changing. She says he's honest with her about his struggles, but she still worries and she's having trouble trusting him. You know Carol, I'll bet this is a really common situation for wives whose husbands are starting to walk out real repentance. What would you say to a woman in the situation?
Well based on what she's sharing with me, it sounds like her husband is sincere about coming out of his sin. She talks about things and changes; so there is fruit coming out of his life which is a good sign. For her, the issue would be to help her with this worry. To keep her mind and her focus on the Lord will be very helpful for her and her struggle with worry.
Carol, before we move on, I want to park here on something you said. You mentioned sincerity. How is observing sincerity in her husband going to play into her ability to trust her husband?
That's a good question. It is much easier when a wife is seeing that her husband is sincere. His willingness to get help and want change plays a huge part, I believe, in re-establishing the trust that was broken. The fact that he's being honest with her about his struggles is truly helpful in rebuilding that trust.
OK. What other counsel would you give her?
The other advice I would tell her would be to get her focus off of her husband and on to the Lord, especially as she seeing some changes in her husband. Just again, focus on who God is - that He is a God who is able to change her husband and to keep her husband.
Carol you just said something that I think a lot of people would object to. You said the wife should get her eyes off of the sexual sin and on to the Lord. That almost makes the sexual sin sound like it's an insignificant issue. I thought sexual sin was the issue.
Well I used to think the sexual sin issue was the big issue. I also came into the Overcomers-At-Home program, and as I started going through Overcomers-At-Home, I realized that the big issue was a heart issue because Jesus tells us that out of the heart come evil thoughts, fornications, adulteries, murders; and he also says to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. So when the heart is right and when the husband begins to pursue the Lord in a right relationship with Him - again, when there is repentance taking place, when there is daily spending time in the Word of God, when he's in prayer with the Lord - the Lord replaces those old desires and those old sinful pursuits with new desires. There is a love relationship that begins with Jesus, and we're satisfied in Him, and we're not looking to be satisfied in the sinful practices that we were before.
Right. OK. This is really great because what you've done so far, it seems like, is you've given the wife enough evidence to sort of change her mindset about this issue; but I know that really that's only half the battle. Now she has to begin to work out that mindset change. What would you say some practical things are that she could do when she actually starts to worry about her husband's actions?
In my own life, I'll say this, I had a lot of trouble in my thinking. My mind would just wander; and when my mind would begin to wander, I would have to make a choice at that point, to take it and meditate on the Word of God. One practical way of doing that for me was to take 3 x 5 cards and when my thinking would start wandering - or I'd start worrying or fretting or getting anxious - I would choose at that point to take out my 3 x 5 card that I had my scripture written on, begin to meditate on that, and begin to get that into my thinking.
OK. What else can she do?
Well it's a great opportunity for her to pray in faith for her husband. That's another thing practical thing she can do - believing God to keep her husband. The apostle Paul mentions in Philippians that he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. She can trust the Lord's Word and hold faith for her husband that God began something good in him, and He's going to finish that work. As long as her husband stays on the path, continues to turn to the Lord, and do the right thing - she sees her husband fighting the good fight of faith - then she can trust God to complete it. And as she begins to dwell on God and on His promises, she will begin to experience a peace that surpasses all understanding.
Carol Bourque, thanks so much for coming in.
Thanks for having me Nate.
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