They were so incredibly in love. Never in a million years did they think their marriage would struggle. But add three children from a previous marriage, a husband’s desire to include pornography in the bedroom, more than one miscarriage and an anger at God for allowing those unborn babies to die, and you will find a recipe for the unthinkable.
We have both been believers for many years but we didn’t put God at the center of our marriage. We also didn’t realize the reality of spiritual warfare. Those two things made for a very hard fall. In May of this year I almost had an affair.
Many think a friend request from an old boyfriend isn’t a big deal. Hear me…IT IS A BIG DEAL! Gretchen knows this well. And even though she ignored the request, she didn’t ignore the email he sent to her that ended with a “You look great!” comment. That was all it took to reel her in.
Because you see, Gretchen struggled with poor self-worth and became addicted to getting attention of other men. She wasn’t satisfied with her husband being the only one who found her attractive. She continued an email relationship with this old boyfriend for a couple of months but the physical distance between them caused it to die off. So Gretchen sought someone else:
I found a guy at our gym that seemed interested so I got his email address and started emailing him. The night I went to meet this guy my husband had fallen asleep after dinner watching TV with our daughter. I kissed him before I left and said I’d be back soon. Not too long after I left he was jolted awake from his sound sleep by God with a voice that said “Get up and call your wife!”. My husband called me to see if I was okay and to verify where I was going. We hung up after I told him everything was fine. God then told him to check my location because something wasn’t right. He saw that I wasn’t where I said I was going and asked me what was going on. We had a brief conversation because I was trying to get off the phone. The guy was in my car at this point. I hung up on my husband but told him I’d call him back. I got the guy out of my car, but not before he kissed me. Then he left. I called my husband and drove straight home. That was a bad night, but my husband said God clearly told him not to leave me.
Thankfully, Gretchen and her husband saw the destruction and immediately reached out for help:
The next day we called our church and found a couple who could talk to us. They led us through a prayer of repentance and forgiveness and taught us how to go through each sin and repent and ask God and each other for forgiveness. It was a powerful and emotional night and that began our healing. Since then the journey that God has brought my husband and I on, both individually and in our marriage, has been nothing short of amazing. We are both so excited about our future and how our story can help other couples.
I wonder if you see yourself in Gretchen. I wonder if you have crossed the lines in your relationships with others. I wonder if you secretly desire to be found attractive by someone other than your spouse. If that’s you, Gretchen would tell you to run. Run as fast as you can in the arms of your Heavenly Father and press into Him. Yes, Gretchen had emotional affairs and even received a kiss from a man other than her husband, but it could have been so much worse. By the grace of God, she walked away from a full-blown affair.
If you’d like to connect with Gretchen for support and encouragement, I know for a fact that she’d love that. Feel free to encourage her in the comments below.