On the subject of cheating…

Today was a bit of a somber day for the attendees at our local church.  It appears that our pastor resigned because of his unfaithfulness to his wife.  I am a member of this church, but no longer a regular attender.  I have found organized religion to be very frustrating at times and so I don’t go as often as I used to.  I enjoy my quiet time at home, worshipping God in my own way, without the distractions from others.

It seems that the majority of church goers these days, are generally just there to keep up with appearances.  To me, being a believer is more than just putting on a fake smile and acting as if I’m living a good morally correct life.  I don’t need the acceptance of others, and I don’t care if the world loves me without question.  God should be the only person who I look to for acceptance.  As long as He loves me, I figure I’m good to go, and the Bible plainly states He does, so there’s no doubt in my mind about that.

I do attend church for my children’s sake, because they are home schooled and they like to attend in order to see their friends on Sunday mornings.  But still… it isn’t on a regular basis.  I used to feel guilty when I would miss a Sunday, but that all changed for me over the years.  I started to see the true colors of the people who were there, and it simply broke my heart because of what I witnessed.  This isn’t the first church I have attended where things like this have happened and I suppose over the extent of my life, I have just become tired of all the drama.

I can almost guarantee, that after what happened today, half the church will leave and move on to other churches.  Each one will feel so disappointed by what they have learned, because of the indiscretions of our head pastor, they just won’t be able to find peace within those walls anymore.  And yet, if we could see the hearts of every individual that attends the church, I bet at least three quarters of them have cheated on their spouses before; at least in their thoughts.  The thing is, the only difference is, they haven’t gotten caught, and their true desires aren’t seen.  We begin to judge people before we even think about our own thoughts and the way we’ve been behaving ourselves.

I myself, have never had a physical affair, nor do I intend to, but the thought has crossed my mind plenty of times.  And given the opportunity, I honestly can’t say for sure what I would do.  To even admit to this, would probably get me kicked out of the church, and yet many others are thinking the very same thing.  I believe none of us are free from the temptations that surround us on a daily basis, and this is the reason that so many of us fail at being obedient and living Godly lives.  Even now, my heart has not been in a good place lately.  I find myself longing for things, which I should never even consider, and yet I still do.

This topic has been thoroughly discussed in my own marriage.  My husband knows that I am struggling to be completely devoted to him and we are trying to work through the problems that we are currently facing.  I am not ashamed to admit this, because I know that I am not the only one who is dealing with this kind of situation.  I have been very unhappy in my relationship and it has led me down some very tempting pathways.

I honestly don’t think that we are any different from the millions of other Christian couples out there.  I am tired of people being shamed for things, when really we should be building them back up, and helping them fix the problems that they are facing.  Belittling others doesn’t solve anything and expecting a pastor to be any different than anyone else is completely absurd.  We are all sinners and we all struggle, whether we care to admit it or not.

So today, I am feeling sorry for my pastor and his wife.  Sorry because apparently their marriage was failing and they couldn’t seem to fix what was broken.  It takes two people to make a marriage work, so I will not take sides.  I can only hope and pray, that they will now find their way through this mess that they are dealing with, and I think the hardest part will come from the conviction of the church.  They will most likely lose friends, possibly family members who cannot understand.  Their own children may start to take sides.  Who knows…. It won’t be pretty I’m sure and I just hope that they will both come out stronger in the end, for all that they have had to endure.

We never know what causes a marriage to crumble and unless we are in that relationship ourselves, I feel we have no right to judge another person’s marriage.  We can offer up helpful solutions and give a word of advice, but even in that, we have to be careful not to overstep our boundaries.  I think the best thing we can do, is just pray and let God handle the situation.  Each of us have enough of our own existing problems to deal with ourselves.

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