My husband is addicted to porn... My husband is having an emotional affair... My husband abuses me... My husband is cheating on me... My husband won't touch me... My husband has left me... My husband is divorcing me after 19 years of marriage...
Different women. Different stories.
All the same kind of pain.
The journey through betrayal is, what I call, a living death. There are really no words to describe the kind of pain that comes when you are shattered by the person you are married to; the person you trusted the most. If you are a hurting woman who knows this pain, I ache with you and weep with you. It's a hard road we walk and our enemy knows that. And like the vicious snake he is, he has traps laid for you and for me. In light of that, I would like to share five traps every hurting and betrayed woman should avoid.
#1: The Makeover Trap.
Like most women who have been betrayed, the first feeling I felt was shock, followed quickly by uncontrollable panic and self-loathing. Within a week, I was in route to the city where I walked into boutiques with price tags that left me hyperventilating in the car. After being pulled, tucked, smoothed, and examined in every article of clothing I put on, I sat in a chair where a makeup artist painted my face into a woman I didn’t even recognize. I was uncomfortable but I was also desperate and had vowed I would do whatever it took to keep my family together. I came home with crimson red lips, bags in my hand and new tactics to use, and by the end of the night, I thought things would be fine. But they weren't because sin needs more than a new wardrobe to be destroyed. Friend, avoid the trap of thinking that you just need to look like a centerfold star. You don't.
#2: The Spiritual Trap
The Bible says supernatural things happen when we fast and pray. I took that truth and ran with it. I fasted for almost two weeks straight, barely touching food and drinking only water. It left me collapsing in a church pew and in the hospital days later. I did so much fasting in the span of nine months, that I almost did permanent damage to my body. Fasting is Biblical but fasting with wrong motives is idolatrous. Fasting is to get closer to our Lord, not a means to force His hand. Avoid the trap of neglecting your temple in order to get what you think you want from God.
#3: The Unbelief Trap When we are in a deep trial and are scared and confused, we are susceptible to any doctrine that promises relief. I dismembered my faith down to its foundation and examined every block as I began to rebuild. At my core, I later realized that I didn't trust God at all. I had an unbelief problem and I didn't trust that He was really good and kind. That mindset prevented me from letting go and submitting myself to His will. It robbed me of my rest, my health, my joy, and my growth. In the deepest of sorrows, Jesus said "Thy will be done." Sister, avoid the trap of doubting God and all that He is. That's exactly what the enemy wants you to do.
#4: The "I Deserve This" Trap
I had been led to believe that I brought all the pain upon myself. I wasn't perfect, therefore I deserved this. Hear me, sister, that is called shame and it is not of God. I remember well the humiliation and the hurt and many more things I will likely never talk about, but a bigger reality than all the lies from hell is the reality that Jesus Christ died for me and He loves me. And He loves you! Avoid the trap of living defeated. A handicapped Christian is something our enemy delights in. Don't let him feed you lies. You did not bring it upon yourself, it's simply the result of living in a sinful world. But you can take comfort in knowing that Jesus, the Advocate, is on your side.
#5 The Manipulation Trap
It's easy to beg and plead and it's natural to weep and wail. But know the difference between expressing your pain and manipulating another human being. You may have been betrayed and hurt in the worst way, but make sure you are genuinely humble. There is no sin in another person that isn't also in you, so be careful not to trick or coerce someone into doing what you want them to do. You are not the Holy Spirit so move aside and let God do His job. Avoid the trap of trying to manipulate any situation.
If you are a hurting woman who is desperate and panicked and screaming, "What do I do??", here is what you do:
You abide in Christ.
But what about my husband? What about... what about...
Sister, just tie a knot in the rope called Jesus and hang on for dear life. Dig a hole at the base of Calvary and get in it. No matter what happens and no matter what comes or who goes, the only thing that is sure is Jesus. So abide in Him. Do your praying and fasting and serving, but do it with a heart set to magnify the name that is above every name... including your own. Even in tears and with questions in your heart, abide and let your voice sing "Though none go with me, still I will follow." Trust God's Almighty hand to work all things together for your good and for His glory.