Monthly Archives: February 2012

WHY DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME!?

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!!”

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14 Days of Love Challenge

You know what’s funny?  I’ve always been the kind of gal who’s emotional, sentimental and romantic.  I keep things that remind me of good memories.  I appreciate a good poem, a tear-jerker chick flick, and a half gallon of Rocky Road as much as the next gal!  But to me Valentines Day has always seemed like a made up holiday, specifically made to stimulate “card sales” and as a kick in the pants for the flower economy.  “What does all this have to do with infidelity?”  you ask?  Well…a lot!  I was looking at Valentines Day like I think most folks in western society look at love: like it should just naturally be gushy and romantic, with roses, lace and barbie-doll sunsets!   But in real life, “love” doesn’t just happen effortlessly.  In real life, love is a VERB and it is a decision…a very deliberate choice to act lovingly toward someone, especially the one to whom you’ve made a vow to “forsake all others.”

That’s where the Fourteen Days of Love Challenge comes in.  As I mentioned, Love is a VERB and that means it’s active.  For the first fourteen days of February, we have one loving activity each day on our Affaircare Romance Calendar….so that means today is Day Six already!!  For the first fourteen days of February, I challenge you to stop looking at what your spouse IS or IS NOT doing, and instead look at yourself.  What loving actions have YOU taken?  And for these 14 days, rather than doing nothing or wishing your spouse would be romantic or loving…YOU be loving!  When your spouse is not exactly wanting to be with you or not treating you in a loving way, the temptation is to say, “Fine then I won’t be nice back!”  No.  For the next week, leading up to the final day on Valentines Day, make the decision to be the kind of person who honors their promises and acts based on commitment rather than as a reward or punishment.  Be a loving person because that is WHO YOU ARE…not because some does or doesn’t do something to you.

Finally, some of the ideas on the Romance Calendar are geared for couples who are together, but as an example, if you look at Wednesdays and realize that you let TVs and computers and laundry turn your bedroom into a Family Room rather than a sexy haven…now’s the time to love by changing that!  Get some new pillows in rich, royal satin.  Move the PCs out and the incense in.  Get a new nighty and still be the loving, sexy person you are!   The idea of the calendar is to give you an idea…whet your whistle…and let your creative juices flow to suite your particular situation.  And don’t forget, your spouse is not the only person whom you can love during this 14 Days of Love Challenge:

Love Yourself–give yourself that loving gesture you need.  Take time, get to know yourself, and love who you are…and if you don’t love who you are at the moment, become the person you were meant to be.

Love Someone who needs it–do you have an aunt who’s all alone?  How about a old dog who’s been faithful all these years?  A best friend you haven’t talked to?  Love THEM by doing one thoughtful thing for them.

Love Something–love gardening, crocheting, working on your car, dog shows…whatever!  Do some activity that YOU used to just love and haven’t done for a long time.

Love a Stranger–this is especially true when it feels like your world is falling apart and you feel despair.  Go help out at a nursing home.  Feed homeless people.  Volunteer to read to blind children.  Suddenly you’ll realize that your life isn’t so bad after all and they will LOVE you for it.

So I’m laying down the challenge.  Who’s joining in?