Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com

Should wife confess sin to her husband?


Dear Sir

I have done a very evil thing and have emotionally become involved with another man for a few months.  There was two brief kisses but nothing else really physical.

There are no words to describe my level of pain, disgust, shame, remorse and guilt I feel. I deserve to suffer but my darling Husband does not deserve any hurt. It was my weakness, not his.

I read your item that mentions the greater good is not hurting other people by confession if they are unaware but I have also read in the Bible that falsehoods are a great, great sin. God hates lies.

I'm beside myself with regret, fear and turmoil.  It's only what I deserve but what are your words about what the Bible says about falsehoods?

T from USA


Dear T:

Your heart is breaking, and racked with guilt. Becoming emotionally involved with another man is wrong, but depending upon the circumstances can happen to the best of people. Kissing is taking another step down a dangerous path. However, based on your words, adultery was not involved.

You are very courageous and wise. I commend you that you stopped the relationship before it became a full blown affair. You experienced a tremendous temptation, but in the end, you resisted. Congratulations! I look at it as a victory.

You say that you understand “greater good” principle, and realize that it applies to your case. But, you still feel miserable, and think you are committing a sin of falsehood, or lying. There are several things to suggest.

1. The greater good principle is still valid. By applying it, you probably saved your marriage. If you disclose everything to your husband, it is probably the end of your marriage. It certainly will mean much turmoil and conflict in your relationship. Do you want that? I don’t think so, because you sound like you truly love him.

2. Second, stay far away from the relationship with the other man. It will not be hard to rekindle the, “affections of the heart.” We are sexual beings, and need to carefully guard that area of our lives.

3. I assume that you have gone before the Lord with your repentance and confession. This is a matter of faith: do you believe God or not? John wrote, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, the His word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10).

By continuing to condemn yourself, you are calling Christ a liar – that He really doesn’t forgive sin. Or, you have deceived yourself to believing your sin is so big and bad that Christ cannot forgive it. Christ forgives you; He does not continue to condemn you. As Paul wrote, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31).

Why do you deserve to suffer if Christ has forgiven you? It is good that you felt guilt, it means your conscience still works, and the Holy Spirit is at work within you. That is a positive. Remember, Christ took the penalty for your sin. He will never leave nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5-6). Believe Him.

You are correct in one sense: we all deserve punishment and suffering in hell. None of us deserve any goodness from God. We are sinners. Motivated by His love, however, God by His grace sent Christ to die on the cross to save us from what we deserve.

4. You say you are living a falsehood, which is a sin. Really, I am having trouble understanding where the sin is. You have, I assume, taken the matter before God, repented, confessed and gained His forgiveness. If so, then things are ok between you and God. You have probably saved your marriage, or at least much grief with your marriage, family and to your husband.

My question is this: why would confessing a “falsehood” that may destroy your marriage be good? You are not living a lie before God. You have opened your heart to Him.

We all do things and think things that are wrong before God and people. I often use this illustration before a class: if I had the power to reach into your mind and heart, and extract every thought, gossip, anger, feeling, urge, picture, dream, word that you have said or thought in the last week, then use a video and show it upon a giant screen, and invite the entire community in to see it, how many volunteers would I have?

None volunteer. We all still have the old sin nature within us. We are all human and make mistakes. We all think sins, or do them. We all hide things from God and other people, because we are ashamed of them. It is not productive to live a completely, and I mean total completely, life before all people.

Just as a simple example. Let us say that Esmie, came to me and has put on a few, or maybe more than a few, extra pounds. She asks me, “Do you think I’m fat?” What should I say? If I say, “yes,” then I discourage her, and will probably be in big trouble. If I say, “no,” then am I living a falsehood? I think not. Focus on Christ, and not on how bad you think you are.

5. Take the experience as a learning experience. We are told that we are disciplined by Christ when we make a mistake or sin (Hebrews 12:3-8). However, we can learn from our mistakes in life. We know what to avoid in the future. We can help others who are tempted or who actually do fall into sin. We can experience the grace, forgiveness and love of Christ. Those who sin have a greater appreciation for the grace of God. It brings a sense of gratitude, wisdom and humility. We are not so quick to judge others, and become quicker to help a fallen brother or sister.

6. I would also suggest that you consider where the hammering guilt is coming from. Perhaps it is the devil trying to defeat you. The Bible calls him, “the accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10). It might be good for you to memorize and dwell on Psalm 103. One promise is this, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). God doesn’t partially forgive us, He completely forgives us.

7. As a final word, I suggest that you put more positive effort into your relationship with your husband. Usually, the reason we become interested in someone else is because something is wrong in our relationship with our spouse.

An affair doesn’t just happen out of the blue. It is usually the end result and last step in a relationship that has been deteriorating for some time. No one just wakes up one morning from a wonderful marriage, and then says to themselves, “I think I will go have an affair today.”

T, I hope this helps you.

All the best; and God bless,

Dr. Newman

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