From my husband 

I remember my affliction and my wandering,    

the bitterness and the gall.

I well remember them,

    and my soul is downcast within me.

 Yet this I call to mind

    and therefore I have hope:

 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

    for his compassions never fail.

 They are new every morning;

    great is your faithfulness.

 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;

    therefore I will wait for him.”(Lamentations 3v19-24)

Last Sunday I stood in front of our new church family to give a short testimony. It was exactly a year after we had turned up; overwhelmed, devastated, broken, fighting the feeling to run away, dreading meeting someone who knew us, hoping no-one would innocently ask, “so, what brings you here?” How do you respond when the answer is, “I have just told my wife I have been unfaithful, resigned my job in church ministry and we needed to get away”?

I began with the verses above from Lamentations 3v19-24 and testified to God’s great love (v22) and faithfulness (v23). I have expanded those thoughts at my wife’s request for her blog.  

Like the writer I well remember my wandering (v19) and the ensuing affliction. For many years I lived overwhelmed by guilt, feeling unable (or perhaps unwilling) to confess it. I lived under a cloud of conviction. Every week’s sermon preparation brought new reminders of my failings and every Sunday morning I battled with the knowledge that I  was about to preach God’s word to God’s people but was actually disqualified. In pastoral counsel, as I brought God’s word to those who battled with sin, I felt an absolute hypocrite, “if they knew what I had done……” Time with my wife and family was always alloyed by thoughts of what would happen if or when they found out. I was guilty of living unfaithfully, unkindly, deceitfully, selfishly and therefore as a hater of God. In Lamentations 1, the writer (probably Jeremiah) captures exactly what it is like to live with guilt:
 Look, O Lord, for I am in distress;

    my stomach churns;

my heart is wrung within me,

    because I have been very rebellious


David, similarly speaks of the pain of guilt when he says:

When I kept silent

  my bones wasted away

    through my groaning all day long.

 For day and night

    your hand was heavy on me;

my strength was sapped

    as in the heat of summer.

(Psalm 32v3)

Both passages are clear that such struggles are down to the tenacious faithfulness of God. God was too faithful to let me get away with it. Too faithful to let me live with a broken relationship with him. Too faithful to let Satan have the last word. It was divine, loving faithfulness that pursued me, faithfulness that afflicted me, faithfulness that closed all the not-so cunning escape routes I dreamed up, faithfulness that brought me to embrace confession as a friend and not an enemy.

And then, divine loving faithfulness that forgave me. I knew the gospel, believed the gospel, preached the gospel, had the privilege of seeing many experience the power of the gospel but this year has brought the gospel home to me like never before.   

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,for his compassions never fail.

There is literally hell to pay because of my sin – and of course not just the ugly, obvious sin I owned up to but all the acceptable sins that no-one ever seems to be bothered by. Having said that, marriage in the Bible models God’s covenant relationship with his people and therefore adultery uniquely grieves God and falls short of his glorious unfailing faithfulness. It was right to be overwhelmed by guilt, but here is the amazing thing, I was chastened but not consumed, corrected but not crushed. Because of God’s faithfulness I was, instead, completely cleansed. God has tied himself to the gospel so that John writes:
 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.(1John1v9)

He is FAITHFUL and JUST. Faithful and therefore he forgives. Righteous and therefore he purifies from all unrighteousness. Why? Because Jesus was consumed. Because Jesus was treated as if he committed my sin, punished under the white-hot purity of God, condemned, crushed, consumed in the horror of hell. And because God punished him instead of me, he cannot stay just and punish me as well. As that wonderful old hymn puts it

Payment God cannot twice demand

First at my bleeding Surety’s hand

And then again at mine. 

God’s faithfulness meant that I confessed, that I was cleansed, my relationship with him restored and my heart renewed. God’s love has meant that my marriage and family are being restored, as readers of this blog will have seen. I have a new church family who have responded graciously, humbly, faithfully – as fellow sinners who need grace every bit as much.  

God’s loving faithfulness is great. Very great. Amazingly great. Awesomely great.

I am still sad, shocked, grieving, recovering but ….
   God’s compassions never fail.

 They are new every morning;

    great is your faithfulness.

 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;

    therefore I will wait for him.


4 thoughts on “From my husband 

  1. mylifebeginsagain73

    This made me cry… I can only imagine how hard it must have been but a truly repentant heart honours God. You both have honoured God.
    My now ex-husband justified his sin by “everyone does it” . There was no remorse, no shame… until he made it clear that he had no intention of changing…and yes he was a Christian.. P


    1. Flowersontherubbishheap Post author

      How my heart aches for you. Thanking God that he keeps all of your tears in his bottle and every injustice and pain you’ve been through he knows about. Praying on for repentance and that the spirit convicts and shows him that he can only cling to the cross. Huge love ❤️


  2. CA

    What a difficult thing to do. I pray for the Lords blessing to be on you both in your marriage and Church life. Would love to see you both some time. I think Natalie has my number. CA

    Liked by 1 person


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