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I choose to blame him less

It’s been 3 years since he confessed hints of his infidelity over breakfast.

Initially, I blamed him.

I blamed his wandering eye.

I blamed his callous disregard.

I blamed his all-encompassing love for himself.

And initially, I blamed his adultery for the ultimate destruction of our marriage.

But now, years later, my heart has not only forgiven,

my heart has softened allowing my eyes to see things in a new light.

Now, I blame him less.

And instead, I blame our broken world more.

I blame the ever-cunning, always-persistent enemy more.

Matthew 5:28 tells us, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Anyone. Who. Looks. At. A. Woman. Lustfully.

Not anyone who flirts.

Not anyone who touches.

Not anyone who engages in anything.

No.

Slow down.

Throw it in reverse.

Anyone who so even LOOKS at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery.

Friends, is it just me or have we totally been missing the mark here?

Is it just me or has the enemy gotten ahold of society, dangerously twisting the truth?

Society has us believing that in order to be considered adultery one has to sleep with another.

Society has us believing looking, flirting, touching isn’t REALLY adultery; it isn’t THAT bad.

Society has us believing we should be able to tolerate or overlook such things because they have yet to fully “cross the line.”

But friends, who are we kidding?

Listening to those lies is not protecting us.

Listening to those lies is not shielding us from the pain.

In fact, listening to those lies is just opening the door for the enemy to easily enter and destroy.

The truth is the damage is done long before one sleeps with another. The truth is the moment one looks at another lustfully the damage is done, the sin is committed. The truth is the flirting, the touching, the engaging in anything else just further deepens the hurt, deepens the betrayal, deepens the shame of the sin.

So, when I take the time to really reflect on my past experience

my compassionate heart makes a decision to blame my former husband less.

While like each of us, he was and is responsible for his actions,

my compassionate heart makes a decision to extend grace.

I choose to extend grace and blame him less because I realize how difficult it must be to understand the importance of protecting your heart when you aren’t walking with the Lord.

I choose to extend grace and blame him less because I realize how difficult it must be to understand the importance of shielding your eyes from the images that infiltrate our daily lives when you don’t know they are harmful to your soul.

And I choose to extend grace and blame him less because I realize how difficult and overwhelming it must be to feel you have to do everything in your own strength when you aren’t aware that you could tap into the strength of the Almighty God.

So, while the adultery broke my heart and broke our marriage,

I choose to blame him less

and blame our broken world

and the ever-cunning, always-persistent enemy more.

Pieces of Jessika©

Featured

Less about the words

A few months ago, my stepfather gave his life to Jesus. He humbly stepped out in need, raising his hand at the end of the church service to pray the sinner’s prayer with the Pastor. 

 

And together we smiled. We wept. We rejoiced.

We thanked the Lord for changing his heart and calling him near.

 

And while his walk with the Lord is new, while it requires daily discipline, it also requires grace.  It requires the grace and understanding that must come from us, his family. And it also requires the warm blanket of God’s grace and God’s love that my stepfather needs to cover himself in.

 

I know his need for grace because I’ve watched him turn down the opportunity to pray, passing it along to someone he considered more experienced, more well-versed.

I’ve watched him self-consciously rush through a prayer, worried that something was missing from his attempt.

I’ve watched him say a prayer in the form of a phone call to God, thinking his comedic approach might relieve him from being asked to pray again in the future.

 

But I’ve also watched him pray from his heart, getting choked up in the moment and unable to finish his thoughts except for a humbled and tear-stricken “Amen.”

 

And you know, of all these examples mentioned I have no doubt that God’s favorite, the one that touched His heart most was the last. I have no doubt that the imperfect, unfinished prayer was His favorite because it was in that moment that my stepfather’s true heart was revealed.  He may not have been able to finish his thoughts, but you can believe that God knew how to fill in the blanks.  You see, if there is one thing I have learned it’s that in prayer God cares less about the words you use, and more about the condition of your heart.

 

Pieces of Jessika©