to save my marriage

"I did it to save my marriage." That's what she said right after she told me she'd slept with someone other than her husband.

Through tears and trembling, she recounted her shame over what she had done. She had not been able to get pregnant, and her husband wanted a child so badly. It was becoming a source of tension in the marriage, and a source of personal embarrassment for her husband. (In African culture, the number of children in a family is a reflection of the virility of the man.) So she went to her mom for advice. "Do whatever it takes to give your husband a child," mom said. "Even if you have to go somewhere else..."

So on the advice of her own mother, she decided to look elsewhere in order to give her husband a child. "I did it to save my marriage." She got pregnant, had a son, and ended the extra relationship. Over a year later, she came to me, in such brokenness, because she needed to tell someone. She carried the guilt and weight of her actions until she reached her breaking point. "How could my mother have told me to do such a thing?!" I am wondering the exact same thing...

Several months later, she told me that she finally told her husband. And by the grace of God, he chose to forgive her. And he continues to treat their son as his own. She has seen God's hand at work, and she is glad the truth finally came to light. She still carries the personal and emotional consequences of her choice, as well as the fear that her husband will hold it against her or choose to leave. But mostly she feels as though the truth set her free.

How do we get to a point where we believe that something like adultery is our only choice? What makes us feel so helpless and hand-tied that we do the things we actually despise? Why do we allow ourselves to get that far down the road before we turn to someone for help?

Truth will always set me free. Where do I need to allow God to shine His truth in my life, in my heart, in my mind? And will I let Him?