Forgiveness? I need opinions from a religious point of view....

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-08-2011
Forgiveness? I need opinions from a religious point of view....
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Wed, 08-01-2012 - 12:15am

I also posted this on AYA so that I could get as many opinions as possible. :smileyhappy:  A few things have been on my mind lately.....  Some of you may be familiar with my story...short affair with a guy I attend church with...it has been about 7 months since the PA ended and a little over 3 months since we went NC.

Anyway, I have struggled with the forgiveness issue for a long time.  My husband does not know about the affair and I have wondered if God could forgive me for adultery if I continue keeping the secret from my husband.  Last week I was talking with my Mom about something totally different (she doesn't know about the A either) and she said that she thinks we can only be forgiven of sins after we make them right.  I don't agree with this myself.  I can never do anything to make this situation right...I can't turn back time.  

Also, I wasn't the one who ended the A....nor was I the one who decided we didn't need to be in contact anymore.  I worry about forgiveness because of these things, too.  I didn't stop the A because I was trying to do what was right....if he hadn't of ended it I would probably have kept on for a long time.  Can I be forgiven for the A when I still have fond feelings for xap?  If I was truly remorseful wouldn't those feelings go away?  It isn't as if I'm still pining away for him...I've pretty much moved on, but the fondness is still there.

So, I know that I am the only one who can ultimately answer these questions for myself, but I am curious as to what others believe on this topic.  Thanks!

JWIA

Sometimes you just have to die a little inside in order to be reborn and rise again as a stronger and wiser version of you!

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Community Leader
Registered: 06-08-2010
You both know how I feel on this one...
I will always hold fast to this - You are MORE than the sum of your past mistakes. I cannot tell you that God will not forgive if you do not confess to your H, because I am certainly not in a position to tell you who is forgiven and who is not. Only God knows our hearts. What I DO know is that living with a secret is a dark place, and I agree with Hurting that Satan uses those dark places (being the Father of the Darkness) to confuse, torment and deceive us into thinking we are the worst people ever. Satan wants us to live in fear, dread and feel burdened with a load of guilt and shame. Our loving God does not want us to be crushed by this weight. He frees us. But we have to make a choice to allow this to happen. God will not force us. He gives us a free will because this is how much He loves each and every one of us. No matter where we are. No matter how broken we are and no matter how many hurts we feel. So, while I will never tell someone that they should most certainly confess to H or someone else about their past A, I will say that with confession comes a level of hope - I do not think it is a selfish act (and there are many who disagree, and that is fine). I cannot say for certain that I ever would have confessed my A's to my H. I thought about it, agonized over it, but when it came down to it, I was cowardly. I was ashamed. My H is a pastor. How absolutely humiliating to admit to him that I did this. So I kept it...but it became so oppressive that I finally reached a point of breaking - I broke down before God and cried out. The letter from xap came several days later. My deliverance. I know many here think my D-Day was awful. And that xap was vengeful. It was not a day I would like to repeat by any means. But through the pain in my H's heart and on his face, the brokenness of my own spirit and pouring my own heart out before him, all my shame, all my pride, my horrible actions, there was HOPE. Hope for a new beginning. Hope for a brand new start to our M. It will never be the same again. It is different, but better. Still painful in many ways, but we are working on this together. He did not have to stay with me. But he CHOSE to stay. And I am CHOOSING to remain A-free for the rest of my days, with the help and strength that God has freely given me. I cannot tell you that had this letter not arrived to my H if our M would have survived - that I just do not know. But I think it would be the same...I would have still struggled silently, and perhaps even been not working on myself enough that I could very well have been vulnerable to yet another A. And I am in no way saying that just because H knows that I am never going to be vulnerable. I am most certainly needing to be on my guard at all times. I am not perfect. But through God's grace, He will give me all the strength that I need. :smileyhappy:

(((((HUGS)))))
Hearts <3
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2012

JWIA,

I am a Christian woman and I had an affair with a man on and off for 5 years.  During that time I received the Lord as my Savior.  I struggled and struggled with the guilt of the sin and how I could actually do this when I loved the Lord so much that it hurt.  Looking back I know that becuase I had this hunger for the Lord and the need for more of him and to have a relationship with him, Satan knew this.  Satan knew that I was in Love with the Lord and what was happening in my life, therefore, he did everything in his power to ruin that...Hence, my continuing the affiar.  I cried daily and prayed for this to be removed from my life swiftly and prayed for fogiveness.  Then one day it happened, XAP said something to me that made me physically ill to the point that all feelings and emotions were gone.  I knew at that moment that God had answered my prayers and that I was truly forgiven.  I am now a SUPERTWEENER and I haven't looked back.  XAP does cross my mind but there is nothing in there for him.  In the beginning of the ending I felt nothing but anger and disgust.  That also has faded.  I have forgiven him and often times I pray for him.  But my life is AMAZING and I have the love of a man that I never want to lose and more than that the LORD has me on a path and I do not want to ever leave that path again.  The Lord loves me and he loves you, he died to save us from all of that and wants amazing things for us.  I trust him.  You too should trust in that you are forgiven.  Accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior brings Forgivness and so many other wonderful things.  All emotions and feelings aside....you are fogiven if you believe that.  Confess to him, talk to him about your feelings he will forgive and give you peace. 

I will be praying for you. 

Forgiven. 

1 JOHN 1-9

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2012

I wanted to add one more thing....During all of my other ending attempts I never included the Lord, and I always went back and felt that I couldn't do it.  That I needed XAP in my life and I couldn't go on without him, blah blah blah....This time was so different after I prayed and prayed about it and asked for strength and peace and gudance and forgiveness.  All of what he gave me. 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2012

Oh and one more thing....:smileywink: This is my opinion and what happened in my life and I love sharing my story and Glory of our Lord!  The love is amazing and I can't express it enough!

K, I'm done now! LOL!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2005

>Last week I was talking with my Mom about something totally different (she doesn't know about the A either) and she said that she thinks we can only be forgiven of sins after we make them right.  I don't agree with this myself.  I can never do anything to make this situation right...I can't turn back time.>

I can't give you a point of view from a religious point of view...I'm not a Priest, Minister or Rabbi...can only give you my point of view.

I agree with your Mom.  No one can turn back time and undo what has already been done.  We can all make things right by making amends and doing what it takes to be and do better.  I mean, if we couldn't, then no one would bother trying to do and be better.  And where would we be as a Race.  All walking around in shame and guilt, heads hung low.  As humans we have the ability to self-correct.  Perhaps where one might get jammed up is when they cannot speak of the harm to those they harmed and so never have the chance to make amends to them.  

IMO, there's a big difference in having linger fond feelings for an xaffair partner and knowing you wouldn't have stopped your harmful behavior if it hadn't been foisted upon you.

I think one has to feel remorse for their behavior for the process of forgiving ones self to begin.  If you don't feel remorse, then what's to forgive and why do you want or need forgiveness?   The struggle comes as a result of the fight within us between right and wrong.  We can say we did wrong, but do we really mean it...in our hearts.

Clarity


Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
I don't think anyone can say how God feels, they are not God. You can speculate, but that's it. Whether or not you believe in God or not doesn't have any bearing on this. I know you do believe, I personally do not.

The real issue is you living with yourself, for the rest of your life, with the secret that you have.

If there is a God in the vein of the standard christian model, I believe his followers would tell you that God would have a much bigger problem with someone not seeking forgiveness, than someone who made a mistake and is making an honest attempt to own up to it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2012

Hi JWIA

So nice to see you post again, and what a great topic.... Forgiveness. Soooo far away from that just yet. I am not "religious" in that I dont attend church. I was raised a catholic and an Irish one at that so have guilt aplenty! but I do believe and turn to God in my hour of need..... Like so many areas in my life I have neglected this aspect in recent years as well. I do hope when I have found me again I may someday embrace "religion" again.

I too have wondered if God would forgive me, will I forgive me? I too am plagued with notions of "confessing" but deep down inside I know it is only a way for me to unburden myself of the heavy weight I must bear. Sometimes I tell myself that to carry this shameful secret, is my punishment. Ultimately though I believe that I must first forgive myself. As hearts would say God loves us all, sinners and saints alike and so in loving us he invariably forgives us......

 

So pleased to hear you continue to move on, keep on moving on :smileyhappy:

 

(((Hugs)))

Sunny (soon) Xxx 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2005

I didn't say I believe or don't believe in G-d. 

The original poster asked for POVs.  Okay...religious POV's, but no one here is a man or woman of the cloth...so we can only give our laywoman/man POV.

I thought one receives forgiveness for a wrong doing.  But if someone doesn't see the wrongness of their doing and would still be doing wrong if someone else hadn't put a stop to their wrong doing...then, as I asked, why do you need or want forgiveness?

If I *were* G-d, I'd be asking what you want forgiveness for?  You want forgiveness for __________.  If you felt it in your heart that you had been involveded in wrong doing...well then, granted.  If you are just looking to get off the hook...and that ticket to Heaven....well, you and this Goddess would be at odds :smileyhappy:

Clarity


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-08-2011

Thank all of you so much for taking the time to reply to this...this topic has been on my mind so much over the past few months.  I have read, read, & read some more through my bible....I've talked to my pastor...I've prayed about it A LOT!  Some times I feel like I have been forgiven, including forgiving myself because of where I am now.  I am not hurting anymore...xap isn't constantly on my mind...I am glad the affair is over.  

But that being said...I do wonder if or when I would've stopped the affair if xap hadn't.  Believe me, xap and I had many conversations about what we were doing & how wrong it was.  He is a pastor's son and his beliefs are the same as mine.  We both felt guilt during the A and knew it was wrong.  Yet, I never made any move to end it....and I was devastated when he ended it.  I worry that I am not remorseful enough since I had to be forced to do what was right.  Over these months I've had so many different emotions and have spent hours in thought about the A and my feelings for xap.  I do still have feelings for him, but I am truly glad the A is over.  I am at a much better place now than I was when I was running around with him.  I can focus on my kids and not have to keep my phone in my hand 24/7.  I feel more "me" than I have in ages!!  

I know that I will eventually have to come to peace with this myself....I still find it hard to believe that I am capable of cheating on my husband...I never dreamed I would do that.  Yet, I didn't even hesitate.  Maybe I just haven't forgiven myself and therefore I keep worrying about forgiveness from God...

Sometimes you just have to die a little inside in order to be reborn and rise again as a stronger and wiser version of you!
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2005

Yes, JWIM...this is something you will eventually have to come to peace with yourself.  Listen, you're doing the right thing now.  As you said, you are no longer hurting anyone (or yourself), you are glad the affair is over.  I mean you could be fishing or finding another unhealthy outlet...that's code for JAM...  You are not.  You are working at figuring things out.

If I really set my mind to it, I'm sure I could come up with an instance or two or three where I was misbehaving in some fashion, and it was not me, myself, who stopped because I came to my own conclusion...something or someone probably intervened somehow to put an end to it.  And I was glad because I wasn't seeing it for myself.

As long as we are striving to be better and do better....and you are.  Like your quote says, 'The past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited or erased...it can only be accepted."  And if we don't like how we behaved in the past....we can certainly change how we behave in the present.

(((hugs)))

Clarity


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